3 May 2013

It's Ann!

What an amazing lady! Ann Rowley kept her cool during challenge after challenge, methodically and meticulously stitching her way to glory. 75 years of sewing experience really showed, as did her yoga practice. Yes, I took up yoga after meeting Ann. And yes, I sat at her feet during the breaks to feed off her sewing wisdom. Let's hear from the wonder woman herself...

Thanks for joining us, Ann! What are your favourite things to make for yourself?
"I make everything I wear except for underwear, nightwear and t-shirts - all these are too boring! I most enjoy working with wool, jackets and coats. Basically anything that challenges me. But I also knit, crochet, embroider and quilt – anything that uses my hands and a needle."

Do you have a favourite pattern?
"No, I don’t use the same pattern twice – I bore easily..."

What are your top sewing tips?
"Preparation, preparation, preparation. Make sure you have everything you need before starting and that you understand the pattern. Work slowly and methodically and enjoy the process."

What would you say to anyone who has seen the show and is thinking of learning to sew?
"Have a go! It’s not rocket science, and the more you sew the better you will become."

How did you find taking part in the show?
"One of the most interesting and challenging things I’ve done! Incredibly hard work – I’ve never worked against the clock before – but a real test of my abilities."

How did you find watching yourself on television?
"Strange to see yourself as others see you, but not too toe-curling..."

What was your best moment on the show?
"The finale!"

Your worst moment?
"Those awful pockets in the second episode. My mind went totally blank – Patrick’s 'You could do better' was the understatement of the show."

Your funniest moment?
"Reading Alison Pearson’s column in the Daily Telegraph. And Stuart..."

Your fondest memory of taking part?
"Meeting all the other contestants - such a wonderful and caring group. It’s great to see the impact that this series has had and I really hope that it will start some sort of revival and help to spread the joy of sewing."

What are you doing now or what plans do you have for the future?
"I’m doing a patchwork class and a crochet block-of-the-month. Nice change of pace after the the show and I love going to classes. I continue to help with sewing problems on Stitcher's Guild, a lively, international community of needle women (and a few men)."

Congratulations, Ann - you are an inspiration to us all!