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Interview with Lisa from two pretty poppets

I first “met” Lisa last year when she contributed an article with tips for establishing a PDF pattern business to Issue 8.  I was so pleased to welcome her back with her The Statement Clutch pattern in Issue 9 and I’m delighted to share here the interview we had recently.

Lisa Ratford - two pretty poppets


Lisa began sewing at a very young age and has dabbled in many different types of sewing and craft projects over the years. She has always had a love of bags, so much so that she decided to start designing her own!

Producing expertly written, easy to follow PDF sewing patterns for practical, everyday bags is what two pretty poppets’ is all about.


Can you tell me a little about how you got into sewing/designing patterns?

My mum actually taught me to sew many, many years ago when I was maybe 8 years old! So a lot of what I know is all thanks to her. I’ve dabbled in lots of different projects over the years, but feel I’ve finally found my calling in bags.

Insulated Lunch Bag


My first pattern, the Insulated Lunch Bag, came about after I went looking for a larger lunch bag to store my daughters’ Tupperware lunch boxes in flat (not tipped on their end) and their drink bottles. I couldn’t find anything suitable and so a friend suggested I design my own! I pondered that idea for awhile and played around with different ideas before settling on the style you know so well. Following that pattern, I kind of just kept going!



What is your best sewing tip or do you have a favourite haby item that you couldn’t live without.

Probably my best sewing tip would have to be to read the instructions FIRST! I know so many of us, including myself, are guilty of glancing at the pictures in a new pattern and zooming ahead with what we think the pattern is telling us to do, not what the pattern is actually telling us to do! I’m not a huge fan of unpicking my work (who is?) and although it takes a little bit longer to pause and read the next few steps, it really does pay off ten fold!!!

Height compensation tool


As for my favourite haby item, well it would most definitely have to be the height compensation tool I got when I bought my Bernina B350 last year! I’ll admit, I had to look in the manual to find out what the heck this three-layered perspex thing was, however once I started using it, I quickly fell in love with it!!! When it comes to making bags, it is SUCH a helpful little tool that it’s never far from my machine!

If you’d like to find out more about using this tool check out this blog post HERE.

What inspires you?

Oh gosh, now you’re asking the hard questions! I think what inspires me most is my customers and the beautiful creations they come up with! I love seeing their fabric combinations and variations of my patterns, and that in turn will often give me ideas for new patterns or pattern hacks etc.

Fabric also inspires me – seeing new collections, and trending colours and prints, and of late different textures as well! It’s great fun to take a piece of glitter vinyl (for example) and play around with coordinating fabric and patterns to find that ‘right fit’, and then be able to share my finished creation with my customers to hopefully inspire them in their own little fabric journeys…

What are you working on at the moment?

I have so much I’m working on at the moment!  However, most excitingly is my upcoming pattern for a beach bag! This is something my customers have requested and I thought it could be fun so decided to give it a go. After surveying my patterns group to find out exactly what they were after in a beach bag, I set to work creating a functional and practical, yet stylish and gorgeous, beach bag pattern which I hope will live up to their expectations! The pattern will be heading out to my testers VERY soon so watch this space for an update once it’s released in February sometime!

Whats something that people might not know about you?

Ooh another hard question! Um… I guess people may not know that deep down I’m a bit of a perfectionist…! I like things just so, well, as much as I can get them anyway.  I think a lot of this flows through into my patterns, the way I write them and the way they’re laid out etc. I can be very particular at times (that’s not necessarily a good thing, LOL!) and like things done just so. Unfortunately at times, this can be the reason it takes me longer to get a new pattern finalised and out to my testers – if I’m not happy with my prototypes, I change things up or even start again, until the pattern is just right and I’m 100% happy with it. Yes, it drives me crazy at times, however it’s just part of who I am so all I can do is embrace it and keep going!


The Statement Clutch Stand Alone Cover You can purchase Lisa’s pattern for The Statement Clutch as a single PDF HERE or visit her website to see more of her sewing patterns HERE or purchase Issue 9 which contains this pattern HERE.

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