Making Luna Lapin is the wonderful new book from Sarah Peel. It follows the adventures of a quiet and kind rabbit named Luna while she tackles a new job in the big city.
- How did you first get into sewing?
I was taught to sew by my mother, hand sewing first, making outfits for my favourite dolls and then moving to machine sewing- it was a great way to always have new clothes. I would take old clothes apart to look at the shapes and see the construction. Even doing the ironing helps you learn to become a dressmaker as you can study the techniques in a finished garment.
- How did the idea for Luna come about?
I really wanted to return to my first professional skill of pattern cutting and had no means of producing adult size patterns so I needed a tiny character to dress. A bunny was the answer as they seem to have an enduring appeal and those long legs would make any outfit look great.
- I adore the stories you have written about Luna, it made me want to move to a big city and become an illustrator myself, how did you come up with the idea for these stories?
We’ve been selling the kits for around three years now and many of our customers wanted Luna to have a personality. So I asked my daughter, Grace Machon, to weave some words around Luna and our other kit characters. Grace has a degree in English and Creative Writing and she has cleverly woven parts of my life in fashion and the CoolCrafting business into the stories. For instance, in the story of the Christmas Wish, it’s our haberdashery shop that is described. Also on a more moral level, I think Luna has the most important attribute any of us can have- kindness.
- The clothes you have made for Luna are very stylish, are they based on full sized clothing patterns that you have made?
They are based on my idea of a perfect wardrobe- thoughtful design, interesting fabrics, easy shapes- clothes to make your day better. I would love to replicate them into people patterns, that’s our next big project.
- What’s your biggest sewing disaster?
Probably spending ages sewing something when I’ve chosen completely the wrong fabric type- it’s a common mistake and one which puts many people off sewing. My advice would be to really consider your end use when you are buying, hold the fabric up yourself, see how it moves and drapes, ask the opinion of the sales team and look at yourself with the fabric in a mirror. It’s just like if you were buying clothes.
- Do you have any top tips for people who want to make Luna and her clothing?
Luna is very achievable- thousands of people have already made and loved her. I think the most important part of the process is the preparation- cut your pattern out accurately, cut the fabric out accurately, and then take your time- enjoy the process and always think about how you will do it differently next time- to me that’s the sign of a truly creative mind. Oh, and sew the head on really well – it doesn’t matter how great your outfit is if your heads all wobbly!