Enjoy our chat with the lovely Chloe of By The Lock Handmade. You can see more of her beautiful and practical zipper pouches at
Who are you and what do you do?
"Hiyur! I’m Chloe, I design and sew useful zipper pouches over at By the Lock Handmade. I like to use vintage materials, but I’m playing around with printing my own fabrics at the minute, which is super exciting! I work from my little studio in Leeds. I love coffee and dogs."
You were involved with the Stitch-Up pop up shop this winter, how important is this kind of space for makers?
"Stitch-Up is an amazing organisation and Jen opening the little pop-up shop was super exciting! It’s the first shop I’ve had my pieces sold in and seeing them on the shelves was really amazing; especially seeing them alongside other amazing local makers too. It's given us all the chance to be seen by a different group of people that might not see us on Instagram or Etsy. People really appreciate picking up and touching pieces, it definitely gives you a better sense of the hard work that goes into making them, I think people really appreciate that! Stitch-Up has introduced me to some amazing talented people; they’ve taught me so many new skills (like weaving!!) and I’ve also been able to pass my sewing skills on too."
When did you start sewing?
"I am about a 99% self-taught sewer; I got my first machine when I was about 12 (it was rubbish) so I opted for hand-sewing tote bags with skulls on to carry my school books in... Years later my amazing boyfriend, Dixon, got me a super nice machine and I started following YouTube videos, playing around with different techniques and phoning my Mum when I got super stuck. I really wanted to make my own clothes at first and finishing a skirt that I could actually wear felt AMAZING. But I quickly turned to zipper pouches, accessories and bags; I love making useful things people (and myself) will use every day."
The finish on your work is always spot on, how do you ensure you're consistently creating high-quality work?
"I am probably a little over-critical of my own work, if it isn’t perfect I’ll start again. It sometimes means I work quite slowly when I’m working on something new, but I like to know my stuff is going to last and look good. It’s definitely worth wearing out my seam-ripper when I see things a year down the line and still doing their job. I spend a lot of time testing out new materials and findings too, to make sure they’re exactly what I want."
Which stall at Northern Craft are you most looking forward to seeing?
"There is no way I could pick out one stall I’m looking forward to seeing most! I have a huge shopping list already prepped; amypanda's stall is always super cute, I have my eye on a few Finest Imaginary pins, I am so excited to see Coffyn's work in person, I’m going to treat myself to a few Kristyna Baczynski - Illustration & Comics zines and definitely stocking up on some geo-fleur greenery."
Chloe is having the Summer Fair off, apparently her boyfriend's birthday is more important than Northern Craft!