The Gregg School

Sewing up a stylish Christmas

Published on isbi School News dated Wednesday 7th of January 2015

A craft book by a past pupil of Wisbech Grammar School, which is packed with seasonal cross-stitch creations, has been picked out for a double page spread in the 'Telegraph magazine'.

The King's Lynn based design wizard, Sophie Simpson, who launched her embroidery brand, 'What Delilah did', as a business in 2011, published 'Stitch the halls!', a book of 12 decorations for readers to make themselves, earlier in 2014.

During the countdown to Christmas 'Telegraph magazine' readers learned that the book offers something for everyone, from the Polar Parade bunting, comprising 32 little triangles of fabric, each stitched with its own wintry animal, to the less time-consuming Miss Prance-a-Lot peg doll, complete with embroidered skirt and ready to hang from the tree.

In the piece published in the magazine, the 31-year-old entrepreneur pays tribute to the inspiration of her grandmother and mother, as well as the first-class start she received at the Grammar School, where girls taking A Level textiles were branded the best in the country in the 2009 Good Schools Guide.

She tells readers: 'There was a brilliant textiles department at my school, Wisbech Grammar School.'

At university she studied textiles, but the course she chose had a very strict structure and she found it difficult to be creative in that environment and for the time being she lost her enthusiasm for design and floundered between jobs.

However, the creative bug started to kick in again and she came across a picture of some beautiful antique linen with cross-stitched monograms on it, which rekindled her imagination.

Writing in a recent issue of the Wisbech Grammar School magazine, 'Riverline', she said: 'This picture sparked my imagination and so I looked up the basics of the technique on the internet, bought some fabric and thread from the local haberdashery and stitched myself a monogram. I was hooked.'

The enterprise, which Sophie runs from her kitchen table at home, is going from strength to strength, with most of the sales being completed through her own website, and the books the third of which is set to be published in the spring have brought her work to a much more extensive public.

She said: 'I was thrilled to be featured in the 'Telegraph'. My business has a wonderfully loyal group of supporters who have helped me to grow steadily by word of mouth, but what I do is very niche.

'Therefore to receive recognition from a large-scale national paper is always particularly welcome as it opens my work up to a much wider audience.'

Sewing up a stylish Christmas - Photo 1
Hazelwood School
Grace Education