Lifestyle

Not just a stitch in time

  • Pushing forward: Samantha Hill, 30, produces clothing and even a blanket for her company Sew Crochet (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Yarn over all: local models are shown wearing designs by Samantha Hill
  • Yarn over all: crocheted clothing by Samantha Hill (Photograph supplied)
  • Yarn over all: a handbag by Sew Crochet (Photograph supplied)

A mermaid’s tail got Samantha Hill started. Three years later, the requests continue to come in.

The 30-year-old has created everything from bags to skirts in that period. A 7ft by 9ft blanket is one of her more recent accomplishments.

“I didn’t intend to sell. I was just doing something I enjoyed. I have four children and they’re all very active and so I needed a way out,” she laughed. “I needed something I could do to calm me.”

In spite of her limited stitching skills she decided to call her business Sew Crochet.

“In school I hated sewing. I know the basics of sewing — I have a machine — but I’m not a seamstress.

“The reason why my name was initially Sew Crochet was because I sewed the lining in my bags.”

Ms Hill was introduced to crocheting at 12 when she was taught “the very basic chain stitch”.

It didn’t hold her interest then, but in 2016 she grew fascinated while watching a co-worker at the Fairmont Southampton create a blanket.

“She let me try and the next day I went to town and bought yarn in every colour — and crochet hooks,” said Ms Hill, a recreation supervisor at the resort. “I think she was shocked because I caught on very fast.

“She just taught me one stitch and then I went on YouTube and watched a few videos and decided to try for myself.

“Even today, I look there for inspiration, what people are doing, and try and take that and make it into my own or something completely different.”

Her creations impressed her sister-in-law who asked her to make a blanket in the form of a mermaid’s tail.

“It was just so fulfilling,” Ms Hill said. “And then I met Raquel Raynor, [a craftswoman known as] Lady Macramé.

“She said, ‘It’s good. You can sell your stuff.’

Although initially sceptical, Ms Hill eventually took the advice.

“She always pushes me and it always works out,” she said. “I made an outfit for a friend who was going on a trip to Africa; I’ve done a few outfits for people for Cup Match. I’ve done bags, scarves — my imagination is my limit.”

With an ever-growing résumé, she didn’t sweat her friend Jumar Hayward’s request for a custom blanket.

“Jumar is 6ft 3in. He’s tall,” she said, explaining that her creation had to be large enough to cover his huge frame. Usually people, when they think of crocheting, they think of little booties, socks and blankets, but it’s so much more.

“There’s no limit. You can do whatever you want. Jumar’s favourite colour is purple and because he gave me creative freedom it made it more interesting for me.”

She designed a patchwork quilt using purple and orange as the dominant colours, and stitched it all together.

“I’ve been working on it off and on for a year,” Ms Hill said. “I came up with all the patterns.

“I’m kind of a perfectionist and so it’s taken me longer [than usual] as I’ve picked out bits and redone them when I didn’t think it was good enough. But to be able to have creative freedom made it much more fun.”

With an attitude of “the sky’s the limit” her hope is to develop her line although she isn’t yet ready to quit her full-time job.

“I probably work on between five and eight different things in the same timespan,” she said. “Even when I was doing Jumar’s blanket, I made stuff in between.

“I try not to post [anything for sale on Instagram] until I’ve finished it completely.

“At the moment, I’d just like to see where it goes although one day I would like to try for the Bermuda Fashion Festival.”

Despite that goal, she readily admitted she doesn’t follow trends when choosing her own clothes. “I’m not into fashion. I dress how I want, how I feel that day.”

Look for Sew Crochet on Instagram: _sewcrochet. Samantha Hill will join female vendors at the Hamilton Princess on November 19 from 5pm until 8pm as part of Pow[her], the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Conference