​Vicky Meets ...Lydia Finney, fabric printer, maker and dressmaker

Lydia FinneyLydia Finney
Lydia Finney
Vicky Meets Lydia Finney, fabric printer, maker and dressmaker​

You are running a block printing workshop at Winter’s Moon on 9 June. Will you tell us more?

I’ve been part of Goodwood Revival’s Revive & Thrive craft programme for the past two years, where we champion heritage skills you can use to rethink, repair and re-wear second-hand treasures. I am all set to bring my block printing demo to the Revive & Thrive Workshop on Hurricane Lawn this September, which is being hosted by Dominic Chinea. But in the meantime, Winter’s Moon are partnering with the Revive Thrive team to offer pop-up craft workshops with Revival favourites, for a taste of what to expect on event. I’m teaching my Block Printing for Textiles class on June 9th. The other workshops include Macrame with Isabella Strambio - also on 9th June - Chicken Scratch Embroidery with Miesje Chafer and Tapestry Weaving with Lucy Rowan – both on 14th June.

Tell us a bit about you - what’s the career back story?

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Principally I’m a linocut artist, fabric printer & maker, but also a keen dressmaker! Moving to Suffolk in 2013 I fell into selling fabric remnants for a local curtain company. I used some to make cushions to sell alongside and inspire buyers. A free ticket to an interiors show led me to block printing and soon I was creating designs inspired by the countryside around me. I then started to carve my own print blocks in lino; everything from octopi to moths to lighthouses!

Up-cycling is something that you really get behind. What do you love about reinventing clothes and fabric?

I’m really fabric-led, whether I’m printing or dressmaking and I use remnants as much as possible. When I see a gorgeous fabric I’m immediately imagining what I could make. I’ve sewn a dressing gown from a green silk curtain, a vintage inspired dress from a duvet cover, and restyled men’s shirts. The skirt I made for Goodwood Revival last year was intended to cover a sofa! I also love to transform a plain fabric into something unique through printing. Maybe a very subtle embellishment, or I go big and bold, like my lobster print on a 50s style circle skirt.

I sew like I’m wearing boxing gloves. What could I attempt that would be a simple and fool proof wardrobe up-cycle?

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I absolutely love dressmaking but it takes perseverance to get to the place where your ideas, expectations and skills align. That’s why I love teaching block printing - it’s accessible and you get great results immediately. When people realise how easy it is they relax into creativity. I’d suggest seeking a plain garment from your wardrobe and adding a print – you can purchase woodblocks or use household items, including fruits and vegetables. Remember potato printing? Even a very simple print repeated can look chic, and it’ll be totally unique!

How do we book for the workshop?

Book at www.wintersmoon.co.uk For Goodwood Revival tickets visit www.goodwood.com

And you can follow me on Instagram: @she_who_sews

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