We sat down (virtually) with Melanie McNeice, from Melly & Me to hear all about the journey leading to her latest book; Melly & Me Supercute Sewing. Here’s what Melanie had to say;
Tell us a bit about you…
I am a create-a-holic who has been lucky enough to spend 15 years doing what I love and calling it a job! My first love is creating character filled toys – I just love how each and everyone feels like my baby! Lately, I have also been very drawn to creating contemporary home décor pieces. Basically put, I just love making things with my hands and brining a smile to those around me with my creations. I love surrounding myself with creativity and colour.
My upcoming book, ‘Supercute Sewing’ is a value-filled collection of some of my favourite David & Charles creations. So much joy and imagination can be found in these pages! Two of my all-time favourites are “Super Scotty” and “Monkey Mischief”
Can you give us 5 Fun facts about your latest book?
1. ‘Super Scotty’ is named after my hubby Scott, who is my constant superhero!
2. Unidentified Flying Otis was a favourite in my family – he was fought over once the book was done, and now lives happily with my Brother.
3. If you are in love with unicorns, you could turn the ‘Pony Rides’ pattern into a unicorn by simply adding the horn from ‘Yumi the Unicorn’!
4. I secretly wish I was brave enough to carry the ‘Little Ladybug Bag’ everywhere I go! I just adore it!
5. ‘Seal with a kiss’ took about 20 prototypes until I was happy with the shape – that is probably my record number, but to me so worth it.
What are 3 essential tools every toymaker needs:
1.The paintbrush tool!! Take a simple round paintbrush (the cheap variety!) and then shorten and rough up the bristles. You can use the smooth wooden end for turning shapes right side out and smoothing seams. The rough brush end grips onto the stuffing and allows me to manoeuvre stuffing to any place that needs it. You can find a “stuffing tips” photo tutorial on my website (mellyandme.com) that shows this tool in more detail.
2. A selection of quality sewing needles in various weight and sizes – including doll maker’s needles! These are all essential for adding the final touches to your toys!
3. This is a recent one for me, but I now find a pair of quality pinking shears essential. I trim all seam allowances with these now which avoids fraying and creates more flexible seams and smooth curves when turning right side out. I recommend them!
Can you share a photo that truly captures toymaking?
You can find Melly & Me: Supercute Sewing in all good bookstores, or online on the following sites: