Behind the Scenes with Raynor from Elf Pop!

Happy Monday! It’s been a while since we’ve shared a Behind the Scenes interview here on KID independent, so today I’ve invited Raynor Gellatly from Elf Pop along to give us a little peek into her creative mind! Raynor is a mum of three who lives in North East Scotland where she designs and hand makes all of her patterns and toys.

Elf Pop Handmade Dolls, Toys, Doll and Toy Patterns

Elf Pop is…

My range of Doll and Softie sewing patterns.  I actually started my pattern designing back in 2008 with my knitted animal toy patterns (Jelly Bums).  Last year I was on maternity leave with my son and after a creative block with my knitting I really wanted to get back into sewing again and to release a doll range which is why I decided to start Elf Pop in mid 2012.

The name Elf Pop comes from my three young children Evie, Lois and Flynn (or the ELF as they are collectively known) and there has been much speculation as to what the Pop represents, some say pop culture others have claim it’s ‘Print Out Patterns’ but really I just thought it sounded cute together.

My Design Style is influenced by…

My three main influences are the cuteness of  Japanese Kawaii, the colour and simplicity of waldorf and the nostalgic feel of vintage styles.  I’m a doodler and constantly have a piece of paper on my desk where I jot down the little inspirations that pop into my head. My doodles are very simplistic and child like and this is what transpires into my patterns. I want people to have fun with my patterns and not feel like they need to have mad sewing skills and a crafting room full expensive material to make awesome handmade toys.

Elf Pop Handmade Dolls, Toys, Doll and Toy Patterns

When I look around my workspace I see…

Mess! I claim it’s organised but really I’m always searching for something or other. I like to have all the materials and notions I’m using for a whole toy in front of me, and not tucked away in a cupboard. Seeing what I need to do helps to keep me on track like a visual ‘to do’ list, otherwise I’d just procrastinate for the day.

My workspace is simple and tiny, tucked away in a little corner in our sitting room with a fabric storage box under the desk. Huge fancy craft rooms are great crafter eye candy, however I like to keep things simple so I have more room to make my mess!

My favourite materials to work with are…

Quilting cotton and wool felt as they are both great to work with and a simple change of colour or print can give a whole different look to a doll. It amazes me the range of beautiful printed fabrics that you can buy nowadays, but I’m also a sucker for really brightly coloured plain cottons.

Three things people don’t know about me…

  1. I’m obsessed with photos and I particularly love childhood photos, even if they are cringe worthy. I often think my memories fade too quickly and a photo can take me back to a moment in time in a glance.

  2. I’m allergic to wasp stings – I inherited it from my mum, so if you ever see me flailing from a wasp you’ll know why.

  3. I’m student midwife in my second year and have delivered 17 babies. It’s an amazing privilege to be a part of someones monumental life experience.

The first handmade product that I made for my store was…

A fleece dog pattern. My toy style has evolved slightly since then but I still have the original toy and my little boy cuddles him to sleep every night.

Elf Pop Handmade Dolls, Toys, Doll and Toy Patterns

The next handmade item I plan to make is…

I’m currently working on some clothing patterns for the dolls and have a retro boy dress-up set in the prototype stages. I always have a few patterns in various stages of  development at any time waiting to be drafted, prototyped, tweaked etc. This helps to keep things fresh for me, so I’m not spending all my time at either the computer or the sewing machine, I easily switch between the two.

Three things that make me smile each day are…

  1. My husband making me a cup of tea first thing in the morning as a start to my day.

  2. Receiving emails from customers through the day to show me photos of dolls they have made from my patterns. It’s my most favourite part of being a toy designer as it allows me to see the individuality that comes through from the blank canvas my doll patterns provide.

  3. Every night as part of the kids bedtime routine we watch a ‘funny home video’ type show and laugh together as a family, the sounds of a kids laughter is the best sound in the world.

Elf Pop Handmade Dolls, Toys, Doll and Toy Patterns

My favourite memories from childhood are…

Playing with my dolls. I was obsessed with barbies and would play on my own for hours making up little stories for the dolls. I still love dollies but now I can use my girls and business as an excuse to buy them – strictly for research purposes of course.  In fact my husband gave me a special edition La La Loopsy doll for Christmas this year to make me feel like a little kid again.

If I could go back and give one piece of advice to my teenage self it would be…

Make the most of your long morning sleep-ins, because when you have kids you’ll never get one until they are teenagers! Can you tell I love my sleep?


Visit Elf Pop to check out the full range of patterns, or visit Raynor on Facebook for all the latest news.

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