What do you enjoy most about working at RP?

I would have to say the wonderful team. It’s very much a collaborative team and everyone is willing to help each other. On top of that I am learning so much every day which I really enjoy too.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into your line of work that lead you to RP?

I previously worked as a Digital Content Manager for a UK retail company. I worked on numerous digital projects, planning, managing and editing content for the commerce platforms. Towards the end of 2018 I was made redundant and decided I really didn’t want to work in the corporate world anymore. While pursuing avenues of how I could earn a living from my passion for sewing, I received the advert for the RP Pattern Editor role. I had been an RP customer and follower of Rebecca for a while and it felt like kismet. I applied and here I am, working for Rebecca, who is such an inspiration, and with an incredibly hard-working team.

What qualifications do you have/ courses completed?

I have diplomas in Bookkeeping and Financial Accounting with distinction. I’ve studied a few courses, mostly to do with web development.

What is your favourite RP pattern?

The Madison Blouse – it was the first pattern I tested for RP and was my first woven pattern. Believe it or not, I learnt to sew with knits. I learnt so many new techniques with the Madison, which is part of what I love about the RP patterns.

Describe a typical day in your life.

In the morning I wake my son up (oh who am I kidding… he wakes me up!) and get him ready for school. We get ready for the long walk (ok, not really…  he could climb over our wall to his classroom) to school. I’m back before 9 and start my work day with a cup of tea. My work day is usually lots of video calls and chats with various team members sorting and finalising details for each pattern. The rest of the time is focused on editing and prepping files for testing, making any edits to patterns in test and making sure we are on track for launch dates. I can often losing track of time whilst editing, sometimes coming close to forgetting to fetch Noah from school. After fetching him and giving him a snack or two I’m back at the laptop until dinner time.

Tell us a bit about your style.

I’m not sure I have a personal dressing style, but I love wearing comfortable, flattering clothes in brighter colours and prints – mostly pinks and blues. At home I would say my style is mid-century modern mixed with a little Scandi (that’s my vision at least).

Where are you from? And where do you currently live?

I’m originally from South Africa (howzit my fellow Saffas!) and now live in the United Kingdom.

How long have you been sewing and how did you start?

I’ve been sewing for a little over 4 years. I originally started as I wanted to make a quilt from my son’s baby clothes. I’ve yet to finish the quilt as I’ve got more into dressmaking. I’ve always enjoyed being creative, having done cross stitch, ribbon embroidery, baking and even scrap booking, but had never really tried sewing before. Strange as a lot of my family are sewers. Since I started, I’ve been hooked!

If you had one wish (not necessarily sewing related) what would it be?

To have more time with my family. We’ve lost my dad and both my grandfathers – I would’ve loved to have had more time with them. Living in another country away from the rest of my family is also hard. So that would be my wish – more quality time and adventures with my whole family, preferably while travelling and exploring the world.

What’s your superpower? Other than turning a piece of material into something awesome?

Being creative – I love being creative in different forms. Taking ingredients/ elements/ ideas and turning it into something. That’s why I love sewing. Not sure if it’s much of a superpower but something I love doing.

What’s the superpower you really want?

The ability to clean without actually doing any cleaning! Wouldn’t that be amazing?!

Can you please share some go-to fail-safe tips for beginner sewistas?

  • Try use clips in place of pins. I always end up stabbed and bleeding when I use pins and I find clips so much easier to sew with
  • Always test your needle, stitches and tension on a scrap piece of your fabric – that way you can fix anything before you’ve actually started sewing your garment
  • Use the correct needle type for your fabric and change it frequently
  • I find cutting with a rotary cutter so much easier than using scissors
  • If you sew a lot of knit, invest in an overlocker – you’ll never look back
  • Save your back by having your cutting table the correct height for you
  • Press, press and press – I’ve never used an iron as much as I have since I started sewing, but it can really make a difference.

Describe your perfect Sunday.

Having a lie in, being woken with a cup of tea and cuddles from my son. Going out for lunch, followed by a lovely walk in the forest or play in the park. An afternoon of sewing would end the day of bliss. Oh, if only…

If you were stranded on a desert island, which historical figure would you want with you, and why?

She may not quite yet be a historic figure, but I believe she will go down in history. Oprah Winfrey – she’s a survivor who pulled herself out of poverty and built an empire through love, determination and hard work. I’m sure she could do the same on an island. She believes there is always a way out of difficult times. She’s a gardener so would be able to grow fruits and veggies. Most of all she is inspirational, intelligent and interesting and would make for great company.

What’s the sound of your favourite colour?

The sound water makes in all its different forms – rain, rivers, sea. Calming and uplifting

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Most definitely sewing, spending more time adventuring with my son and decorating my house.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?

Boggle or Wordsearch – I love finding words!

What do you wish you knew more about?

Parenting – so I can be the best for my son. Honestly, it’s not easy so I could really do with more knowledge on this subject. Other than that, sewing and photographing techniques! I love learning new things and these are the hobbies I enjoy most.

Candice Thurston

Candice Thurston
Pattern Editor