Sewn by Blythe
July 20, 2012

 Entrepreneur Blythe Church with one of her sweater monsters.
Blythe Church recalls the frisson of delight that went through her when she presented her partner Spencer, a photographer and camera collector, with a 35 mm camera she made from felt for his birthday.

“He actually did a double take,” says Blythe (BFA 2004), a crafter/entrepreneur whose business is called Sewn by Blythe.

Her work is mind-boggling—completely made from hand and faithful in every detail—every F-stop, every button. Her whimsical soft sculptures range from radios to vintage toys, typewriters and telephones. One of her pieces, a boom box outfitted with real speakers to pump out sound, found a home in the office of Etsy’s CEO.

“I love a challenge. If I see something complicated, I can just imagine it in felt, with the added texture of stitched lines,” she says.

Once, she made an entire Christmas tree—complete with ornaments and vintage toys—as a fundraiser for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. It took her 10 months to do.

That’s the “serious” side of her business. Since the birth of her daughter Wren two years ago, she’s created a line of toys and clothes for babies and wee ones, all made of recycled and repurposed materials. She is particularly known for her endearing “sweater monsters,” with their red gullets, doggie noses and rows of jagged teeth. As she describes them, “they live in the back of closets, under your chest of drawers and behind the sofa. They eat the things that your vacuum leaves behind, like paperclips, marbles, bits of string and belly button lint.”

“All of them are so different; they seem to take on their own personalities.”

You can find Blythe’s work at various independent shops all run by NSCAD alumni: Allison Skinner’s (BFA 2003) Distill Gallery in Toronto, Andrea Rahal’s (BFA 2003, BDes 2004) Inkwell Boutique and Pamela McInnis’s (BFA 2003) Put Me On, both in Halifax; Brandt Eisner’s (BFA 2005) Swoon Fine Art in Hammonds Plains; and Tacha Reed’s (BFA 2003) Flying Cloud Boutique in Ellershouse, N.S. When not working on her soft creations, you can find Blythe at the NSCAD Art Supply Store, where she works part-time.

LINK:  Sewn By Blythe

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 Blythe's soft sculptures: a boom box ...  ...and a vintage camera.