Secrets, Schemes & Sewing Machines

I am truly thrilled to be able to bring you a wonderful guest post today from Katy Cannon, author of Love, Lies & Lemon Pies and her latest YA novel, Secrets, Schemes & Sewing Machines.


Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines is the companion novel to Katy Cannon’s delicious teen read, Love, Lies and Lemon Pies. Grace had a plan for this year – and it didn’t involve learning to sew. But when her world is turned upside down by a family secret, everything changes. Grace’s family is in need of patching up and she’s trying to focus on what really matters. But when new boy Connor appears on the scene, it doesn’t make things any easier. She’s desperate to prove to him that she’s not a drama queen – but why is what Connor thinks so important? Katy Cannon is a hot new voice in Young Adult fiction, writing contemporary romance that is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Louise Rennison.

I Made It Myself

Someone asked me the other day why anyone would bother making things when they were so cheap and easy to buy. Especially things like clothes, accessories, bags, home furnishings – you can pick them up for pennies in some stores. So why go through the time and effort of making your own? Especially if it actually works out more expensive in the end, once you’ve bought all the materials and supplies?

I was taken aback, because to me the question seemed to miss the point of crafting all together. To me, it’s just natural to want to create – the same way I make up stories. But since then, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. And now I have a list of my top five reasons why you might want to try making things yourself, too.

And if someone ever asks you why you bother making things, you’ll be ready with an answer.

  1. It will be unique. Anything you make will be unique to you. Even if you’re following a popular pattern, the material, threads and embellishments you choose will make it all yours. And it will certainly stand out from the run of the mill, all bought in the same shop stuff you see on the high street. Show your personality!
  2. It will be exactly how you want it. Sick of bags with handles that are too long or too short, or that don’t have enough pockets inside them, or have pockets the wrong size for your phone? Make your own, bespoke, made to measure bag and it will be perfect for you. Don’t put up with good enough!
  3. It will be a perfect match. Say you have an orange skirt that you love beyond reason. You want a bag, or a necklace or a corsage or whatever to match, but orange isn’t an ‘in colour’ this season so there’s nothing in the shops. But if you can find a piece of material, or beads or buttons that match perfectly, you can make your own! And there’s always a greater range of colours and patterns in fabric and craft shops than on the high street. Pick your own ‘in’ colours!
  4. It’s not just the finished product. Yes, sometimes (but definitely not always) it can be as or even more expensive to make your own, perfect product instead of buying one that will just do off the rack. But remember, you’re not just paying for the finished product. You’re paying for the experience, for a hobby. How much would you pay for an afternoon taking part in another hobby? Spend that money on an afternoon crafting and you have something to show for it at the end, too. And most importantly – You’ll have FUN and be able to say ‘I made it myself!’
  5. It’s environmentally friendly. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Crafting, and especially sewing, is a great chance to use up, repurpose and upcycle. This is more than just making do and mending (although if you learn to mend your own clothes you can save that way too) – this is a chance to give beloved clothes or blankets or whatever a new lease of life. Turn your favourite jeans that are now too short into a new bag, or your favourite, shrunken band tee-shirt into a cushion. Scour charity shops for pearl necklaces to take apart and sew the pearls onto something new to make it different. Experiment, and see what you can create!

So you see, the question isn’t why bother making your own stuff. The question is why wouldn’t you want to?


Humongous thanks to Katy for this brilliant post. Secrets, Schemes & Sewing Machines is available to buy now!

A review of both of Katy’s novels will be up in the near future!

About Katy Cannon

???????????????????????????????Katy Cannon was born in the United Arab Emirates, grew up in North Wales and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and daughter Holly. She did an English Literature degree at Lancaster University, but soon found out that writing her own stories was much more fun than analyzing other people’s. Katy loves animals and baking.

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