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Portrait „Paula’s Project“ plus DIY idea for nautical clutch

For this issue we were very lucky to collaborate with Paula Votteler, known among her IG followers as @paulasprojects_. We interviewed her about her creative start, where she draws her inspiration from and the creative process behind her beautiful designs. She also created a really great DIY for a “Nautical Clutch” for sisterMAG Patterns, which you can buy in the sisterMAG Patterns Shop.

The Portrait „Paula’s Project“

Embroidery, crochet, weaving, sewing and all sorts of handmade crafts define the life of Paula Votteler, the creative artist behind the  Instagram-Account (@paulasprojects_). In her digital space, she expresses her creativity by transforming seemingly ordinary pieces like bags, jackets, and sweatshirts into eye-catching DIY masterpieces. Browsing through her profile, her passion for all sorts of materials, fabrics, and creative techniques quickly transpires. Beading, however, seems to be her absolute passion. In our interview she reveals how her venture into the world of DIY and creativity started and more details about her handmade pieces and accessories.

When did you start creating clothes?

When I was 5 my mum taught me how to crochet and just a few years later how to  sew. I started to take sewing lessons when I was 11 and that’s when I created my  very first garment. I am super lucky that my mum could teach me all about handwork  and that my parents always supported my creativity.  


What is your favorite sewing technique?

It‘s always changing… I think right now it‘s beaded embroidery but I don’t want to miss out on all the other hand work techniques. I especially love to combine different techniques in one piece.  


What do you like the most about having a handmade wardrobe?

Creating it. I love to wear some of my clothes but not all of them. I usually wear black and I like it cozy but most of my self-made pieces are very colorful and not so easy to wear on a daily basis. For me it‘s all about the process of creating handmade and unique clothes. 


What is one of your favorite embroidery pieces you ever made?

Usually it‘s the last one I made because I always try to improve myself, but I have a  special connection to the very first beaded bag I made. I started with beaded  embroidery in the summer of 2022 and I never thought it would work so well and be  so much fun. It‘s crazy to see that one project can change your whole style and I am  so curious about what my next addiction will be. 


What’s your favorite part of the process of creating an embroidery piece?

I actually do love the whole process… I really love to collect all the materials. I have been collecting beads and pearls since forever and I combine them with shells, corals and other little things that show up in my life (sometimes there is a hidden Lego piece from my boyfriend, or just a little plastic thing I found at the airport and so on). I love that every part of my embroideries have a little story behind them and sometimes they’ve been waiting for years to get used. The embroidery process is almost like meditation for me so I love that part as well,  and to see the final product is great too. 


Where do you usually find the beads and pearls you use for your creations?

I get asked this question so often…I didn‘t know that finding the right beads was a problem for so many people, because there are bead stores everywhere! Just as I mentioned in the question above, I have been collecting beads since I was a little child and I just never stopped:-) I already have a huge collection and I love to go to bead stores in other countries. I travel a lot and I never leave a country without being  in a bead or fabric store. Back home I just buy the filler“ beads in stores like „idee“,  „Karstadt“ or „Perlencenter“. A lot of my collection comes from flea markets, second hand stores or old jewelry that no one wants to wear anymore. 


Where do you get creative inspiration from?

I don‘t really know… it‘s just inside me. All my travels and the materials itself inspire  me but usually an idea just pops up in my head and then I just have to do it.  Sometimes I am scared that it will stop one day, but I think I have enough ideas for  a lifetime.  


We can see on your profile that you travel a lot, does your sewing material follow you everywhere?

YES! I never travel without a project! Usually it‘s a crochet or embroidery project  because I don’t need much space and material for them. Whenever I am back home I do my sewing and weaving projects cause I can’t always take my sewing machine or  weaving loom with me… I can definitely recommend bringing a beaded embroidery  project on a trip, because it fits in your hand luggage, and you can also use some of your vacation finds like shells, corals, glass etc. In the process, you get in contact with a lot of people because so many want to know what you are doing :-) 

Nautical Clutch – sisterMAG Patterns

DIY beaded bags are a very special piece of fashion, not only because they look stunning, of course, but also show incredible possibilities when it comes to the creative techniques you can use to embroider them. With the aid of embroidery art, a sustainable, long-lasting and, above all, super beautiful accessory can be crafted. This white embroidery artwork by Berlin-based embroidery and crochet artist Paula Votteler (@paulasprojects_) can lend a dash of charm to a variety of outfits. Fascinated by the bag shown here? Within the pages of this issue of sisterMAG is a tutorial on how to recreate this special beaded accessory by simply following the steps.