SheepInStitches

Sheep In Stitches

Gloucester, United Kingdom

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SheepInStitches is taking a short break

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Note from shop owner *** Shop closure for Lambing Time 2021!***

Sheep in Stitches is closing for a short while to allow me to carry out my other job as shepherd to our flock of 390 ewes. We are expecting around 760 lambs over the next month and I work both night and day shifts so I will be busy, tired and,( if I'm honest), a bit grumpy!

The shop will officially re-open on 1st May but it may be possible to fit in some creating towards the end of April, so if you would like to discuss a custom or non-custom order in the meantime please send me a convo and I will be in touch as soon as I can.

Thank you so much for your support and patience and if you'd like to keep up to date with the lambing, feel free to follow Sheep In Stitches on Twitter and Overtown Farm on Facebook!

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Mar 19, 2021

*** Shop closure for Lambing Time 2021!***

Sheep in Stitches is closing for a short while to allow me to carry out my other job as shepherd to our flock of 390 ewes. We are expecting around 760 lambs over the next month and I work both night and day shifts so I will be busy, tired and,( if I'm honest), a bit grumpy!

The shop will officially re-open on 1st May but it may be possible to fit in some creating towards the end of April, so if you would like to discuss a custom or non-custom order in the meantime please send me a convo and I will be in touch as soon as I can.

Thank you so much for your support and patience and if you'd like to keep up to date with the lambing, feel free to follow Sheep In Stitches on Twitter and Overtown Farm on Facebook!

Pauhla Whitaker

Contact shop owner

Pauhla Whitaker

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About SheepInStitches

Sales 1,066
On Etsy since 2012

The sewing shepherd

MY ROOTS ARE IN THE LAND...
Working outdoors in all weathers, covered in mud (and often worse!), soaking wet and freezing cold, it is easy to wonder why on earth anyone would want to be a farmer. Then there is the emotional roller coaster of lambing time with life, death and 20 hour days.
But on a good day when the spring flowers are just starting to emerge from the grass, the sun is shining and the skylarks are singing overhead, there is nothing else I would want to do and nowhere else I would want to live. It is this landscape that feeds me the inspiration for my needlework; the textures, colours and "feel" that I try to put into my work.

MY WORKSPACE...
I work on my kitchen table, surrounded by farming newspapers and magazines, piles of sheep records and biros that don't work and dogs, always lots of dogs. The phone is always ringing, people pop in an out (including me) and I have to sweep everything off when it comes to mealtimes. It's mad, chaotic even. The view from the window is either glorious and includes my 4 horses, or the fog is so thick I don't even know there is a view. At nearly 1000 above sea level, I am on top of the world in fresh air and space.

MY INSPIRATION TO CRAFT...
As a child, I had done a few simple tapestry kits and a bit of knitting with huge wooden needles that usually ended up in the creation of something that looked more like a fishing net than a piece of wearable clothing. But I had never attempted anything you could really call embroidery and I never did any serious sewing until I was in my early 40's.
One day I was looking through a cupboard and found a half-finished tapestry that I had started about 15 years previously. It had got bundled away when I ran out of the right colour wool so I got onto the internet to see if I could find a match, ended up on a wonderful sewing supplies website and was completely lost looking through hand-embroidery kits.
When I rediscovered my tapestry, I also found a beautifully hand-embroidered table cloth, sewn by my grandmother about 60 years ago in a design of beehives, holly hocks and other cottage garden flowers. I decided to get some thread, learn some basic stitches and see if I could copy it.
As usual, my Mum came up trumps and dug out a vast bag of vintage embroidery silk she had bought in the 1960’s when her godmother sold up her haberdashery shop in Bristol, so I found a piece of old linen and started sewing. Luckily, I found some part-used skeins of thread that were an exact match for the design on the table cloth, but it took about an hour of stitching for light to suddenly dawn…I was using the same skeins of thread that my Gran had used to sew the original cloth. As I stitched, a gap of over 60 years closed gently, reuniting me with my grandmother in spirit at least, through a love of needlework.
With the help of some internet resources, I gradually built up my repertoire of stitches before being diverted into other media such as needle felting, cross stitch and felt toy making just for variety. I am not good at sitting doing nothing so I like to have a project on the go on the rare occasions when I’m watching TV. In 2012 when the whole of the UK seemed to be glued to Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France and then the Olympics, I needed something a bit more substantial to get my teeth in to. I started work on a still life of wild flowers picked from one of our cornfields and found I could translate the three dimensional living plant I was looking at into stitches on fabric. Our farm is certified organic and so there are plenty of flowers in the field edges and by the time the Olympics was over, I had completed my project.

OUR FARM IN MY WORK...
I shifted back to needle felting for a while but with all the sheep I was making, it wasn’t long before I ran out of wool roving but it occurred to me that I had an ideal resource under my nose….350 of them in fact.
I am shepherd to a flock of commercial breeding ewes on our farm in the Gloucestershire Cotswold Hills in South West England. We are Soil Association certified Organic and produce our own beef as well as lamb (find out more about the farm at www.overtownfarm.co.uk ) so at shearing time, I saved three fleeces. One came from a little black ewe, one from a Herdwick, (the iconic sheep of the Cumbrian Lake District) and one from a white sheep called Friendly. She was one of my bottle reared lambs from 4 years ago and lives up to her name by always coming up for a scratch behind the ear when we gather the sheep. I washed the wool in batches and started felting and on, the place was full of needle felted sheep.
Friends loved them so I booked a table at the village craft fayre and sold out. Before I knew it, I had orders coming in, started my business “Sheep in Stitches” and opened up my shop on Etsy… and now you have found me. Welcome!

Shop members

  • Pauhla Whitaker

    Owner, Maker, Designer, Curator

    I live & work on a 560 acre organic farm in the Cotswold Hills in the south west of England. We have 390 breeding ewes, 200 beef cattle, 2 horses, 4 working Border Collies & acres of restored wildflower meadows. In my spare time I do a bit of sewing!

Shop policies

Last updated on March 19, 2021
Welcome to "Sheep In Stitches" !
Thank you for taking the time to browse my shop. All designs are originals, created by me and as such, each piece is unique and may vary slightly from the photo in the listing. Many of the items I sell are made from vintage materials and threads, many of which are at least 60 years old. They were given to my Grandmother when her friend who ran a Haberdashery shop in Bristol, retired.

The majority of the wool I use in needle felting, to make sheep ornaments and as stuffing for cushions, pillows and tuffets e.t.c is from my own flock of 350 organic ewes (Soil Association inspected and licensed , license number G4314). We have a variety of breeds, mostly white wooled, but we also have a small number of Herdwick sheep from Cumbria and some Badger Faced Welsh Mountain ewes. I particularly enjoy making sheep from wool of their particular breed and will be creating more of these in the coming year.

As a shepherd, my passion is in creating beautiful pictures of sheep and I specialise in stumpwork sheep, using anything up to 3000 french knots and individual drizzle stitches to build up a thick lifelike "fleece". I also add authentic features such as individual ear tags. Did you know that it is a legal requirement that all sheep have an individual identification tag in each ear and than one of them must be electronic so that it can be read with a bar code scanner?

I am always happy to take commissions, either to your own design or to my interpretation of your idea. Please feel free to contact me and discuss with no obligation.

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Mastercard Visa American Express Discover Apple Pay Klarna Giftcard
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept exchanges
Contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 21 days of delivery
I don't accept returns or cancellations
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
  • Items on sale
Returns and exchange details
All orders are sent by Royal Mail 1st class signed for within the UK and Royal Mail Standard International for non-UK orders. Non-UK customers are strongly advised to select the tracked, signed-for and insured option for higher value orders.
If goods arrive damaged, please notify me immediately and return them with the original packaging, as received by you within 7 days of receipt for a full refund or replacement if you prefer.
If the item is lost I will refund or replace the item and if damaged I may in some situations ask you to dispose of the item rather than return it, but I may ask you for details and possibly photos of the damaged item so I can claim compensation from Royal Mail.
Items that are returned after failed delivery attempts are not refundable but can be resent on payment of any extra shipping costs.

In the case of bespoke/one-off/custom order items that are lost or damaged in transit where it is not possible to create another, I will offer a refund or a choice of alternative goods if the buyer wishes.
I do not accept returns of customised items or custom orders.
Payment
I accept several forms of payment and can also arrange for cash on collection if you are able to collect your order in person.
Payment is required at the time of ordering for bespoke and custom orders.
Shipping
***IMPORTANT***
UK...
Due to an increased number of items lost in the post or reported as not delivered, I now only dispatch within the UK by Royal Mail first class signed for post which will require a signature on receipt. I am happy to send special delivery/tracked/additionally insured for a small additional cost. Please convo me before purchase to arrange.

NON UK ...
I strongly recommend non UK buyers request expedited shipping via Royal Mail International tracked and signed for on all orders over 25GBP in value to ensure safe delivery and compensation in the event of loss.
Please convo me before purchase so I can quote you for any shipping upgrades.

I will send you a dispatch notification as soon as your item is on its way.
Additional policies and FAQs
I am delighted to take custom orders. Payment is due at the time of ordering and are non-refundable/non-returnable.