How did you get into making and upcycling your own clothes?
I started when I was a teenager. I went into charity shops and found clothes to upcycle. I would cut bits off and add patches from other clothes. I've always thrown stuff together – whether it’s to wear on stage or off (Gabby is in a band), but it wasn't until I was 30 years old that I really started to sew my own clothes. After that I was hooked and couldn’t keep away from fabrics shops!
What is the best piece of clothing or accessory you have found in a charity shop?
So many of my favourite garments have come from charity shops but I think a duck printed tablecloth that I made into one of my favourite skirts wins. I bought it for 50p and I always get great comments when I wear it - she's a little beauty!
Why are you supporting The Big Stitch campaign?
Heart disease has affected my family and it's very important that I help spread the message that the money raised at BHF shops go towards the BHF’s vital life saving heart research, which is why my family and so many others are still here today. So not only is getting involved in this campaign for a good cause, but also for my love of upcycling. Making something new from unwanted items is so inspiring and powerful. I always like to think of the history of the items, where it came from and make it feel loved again.
What advice would you offer on upcycling clothing to a beginner?
Just go for it! You can spend hours wondering whether to cut that old dress, make it into a skirt or turn those badly fitting jeans into shorts. But until you actually start you won't know – so have a go! I would always recommend starting off with something that you won’t mind losing and just having a play around - you'll be surprised what you come up with!
What is your favourite tool in your sewing box?
That’s a tough one but probably my dressmaking shears because you can do so much with just a simple pair of scissors to transform things!