Meet designer-maker Pygmy Cloud

Pygmy Cloud mountain bear and bearded man

Pygmy Cloud. Whether we say it loud or whisper, those words sweep us off to a wonderland high up in the mountains where stars shine bright and little people dwell. How fitting then as Diana reveals the perfect transportation to get us to such creative peaks: easy-sew hot air balloon coasters (get the pattern in Simply Sewing issue 2, on sale 26 March).

Felt hot air balloon coasters - Pygmy Cloud for Simply Sewing magazine

Simply Sewing contributor, designer-maker and sewist, Diana Stainton started Pygmy Cloud in 2011 selling felt homewares after a fellow crafter saw them and suggested she set up an online shop. Four years later and one team member up, Pygmy Cloud now sells design-led gifts, from plush toys to stationery, drawing inspiration from bears, beards and British weather.

Please tell us a bit about you and your business.

My name is Diana and I started Pygmy Cloud in 2011 when I began making little felt decorations to brighten up my rental flat in north London. A friend of mine and fellow crafter saw them and  I designed some products and had a few sales but Pygmy Cloud really came to life when Dave joined. We started making toys based on his illustrations – mainly grumpy bears and beardy plushies which proved to be really popular. Since then we have been bouncing ideas off of one another, collaborating on making a range of products from stationery to toys to home accessories; inspired by the world around us, the bears, beards and British weather being a recurring theme.

Pygmy Cloud British weather notebooks

We also write craft tutorials to share our creativity and encourage people to get crafty. We are proud to say we have been featured in Mollie Makes magazine (issue 46 features their felt gingerbread house tutorial), Crafty Magazine and the Whole Foods Market & Etsy collaboration last year.

Pygmy Cloud Fabric Mountain Cushions

Who’s your favourite fabric designer or style?

I love anything from the designers of House of Rym and Fine Little Day. I like the contemporary, bold, and fun feel of the Scandinavian designers they work with.

Pygmy Cloud bears and bearded man

Pygmy Cloud bears hello Pygmy Cloud begining stages of design

Which sewing project are you most proud of?

I think our Pygmy Plush toys are my favourite range and what I am most proud of. It was a challenge producing them – getting the design right and choosing the correct materials whilst making sure they comply with EU toy safety regulations was very tricky! Over the past few years there have been many versions of the Pygmy Bear, he has evolved so much.

What’s the best creative advice you’ve ever been given?

‘Don’t be busy, be productive’ – so true! Learning how to use your time efficiently whilst staying creative and organised has been a learning curve. Thankfully there are so many apps and software to help with this.

To celebrate Simply Sewing‘s first issue, Pygmy Cloud is giving you 20% off all products – hooray! Use coupon code SIMPLYSEWING at the checkout.

Keep up to date with Pygmy Cloud HQ crafty shenanigans on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Now you can get 3 issues of Simply Sewing for just £5 (overseas readers: get 3 issues for $10) when you subscribe before 30 June 2015.