Gamer Spotlight: Donna Evans (Tavington Crafts)

Donna Evans (Tavington Crafts) 001

Back in October I stumbled across a shop of wonders; filled with soft colourful recreations of legendary gaming icons and references. These were all the work of Donna Evans, a talented young woman who is this month’s featured gamer!

1. What inspired you to start crafting gaming items?

MyGamerXP Community Spotlight #3I’m not really sure! I think investing in a brand new sewing machine when my other one sadly gave up the ghost was a good incentive to try some new and unique things. A better make and motor of machine meant that it could handle lots of different fabrics and layering of fabrics.

2. How long have you been crafting for?

I attended SOS in 2011 and started making plush items back then. I’ve always loved gaming and making things that are a little bit outside the box. I’ve learned a lot since then though, and have (hopefully!) expanded my skill set somewhat in the manner I produce items. I am now quite experienced in appliqué, having read various tutorials online and discovering new processes myself. I use that as my main technique when making new things.

3. What would you say is the most difficult item you’ve produced?

The biggest item would be without a doubt, my N64 controller pillow. It took a whole day to plan, design and print templates, appliqué, and fill. The most challenging item I’ve made to date is my glowing Majora’s Mask pillow. A similar technique is used to the standard version I make, the only difference are the threads I sew with. They are prone to snapping, so it takes a lot longer for me to finish. The end result is pretty scary though!

4. One of the most visually striking objects on display was the Majora’s Mask. How long does it take you to make one of those?

Thank you! The Majora’s Mask usually takes between 5-6 hours from start to finish, including pre-cutting all my shapes before hand, sewing on the sides and back, and filling at the end.

Majoras Mask Pillow

5. With all these wonderful things you’ve made, you’re obviously a big gamer at heart! When did you first get into gaming? What was the first game/console you ever played?

I got into gaming aged around 10-11, so pretty late for a child in the 90’s. I saved up my own pocket money to purchase a SEGA Master System II and was the greatest thing I had ever bought.

One of the first systems I ever played was the Mega Drive, though I was a little impatient to save up almost £120 back then to buy one!

6. What would you say are your top 10 games of all time?

Oh this is difficult! But I’ll give it a try!

  1. The Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  3. Pokémon Red
  4. The Legend of Zelda – Majora’s Mask
  5. Sonic the Hedgehog (Master System – built in!) (my first game I ever played that was mine, so it’s memorable for that!)
  6. Streets of Rage II
  7. Phoenix Wright ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations
  8. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  9. Mario Kart 64
  10. Thief II: The Metal Age

I love the variety of playing games with friends, like Smash, Streets of Rage or Mario Kart 64, but I also like solo play, for more intense games, that sometimes require certain skills or “thinking outside the box” such as Ace Attorney or Thief. I put New Leaf on there because it’s really gotten my mum into gaming. I bought her a Nintendo 3DS for Christmas and she’s played it every day since! It’s nice to see her play a new game with me that she understands fully. It’s something she hasn’t done since I was small and it means a lot to me.

Gaming Plush Crafts

7. Do you have any cool gaming collectables?

Yes I have a few things! I mainly collect Zelda figurines but I have a few older pieces in there. My favourites that I own are my Toy Biz Zelda figures (yes I have the whole set) I got them dirt cheap from a small store a few years back, and I’m very surprised to see how much they are going for nowadays!

I also own the gigantic First4Figures Ganondorf statue, (number 3, lucky me!) and the Link on Epona figure from Majora’s Mask.

I’ve never gotten rid of any of my games consoles either, I still have my Master System II, Mega Drive II and N64 all in their original boxes. The games consoles I grew up with are pretty special to me.

8. What sort of games do you most enjoy playing at the moment? Are there any you can’t stop playing and are eagerly looking forward to playing?

I’m quite taken with my 3DS at the moment as I carry it around a lot and play it at work. This year was a great year for Nintendo, with Layton vs Wright, Prof Layton Azran Legacy, Ace Attorney 5, Smash Bros and Pokémon.

I still play New Leaf occasionally, but right now I’m playing Smash Bros. I’ve been picking up Thief again too lately, both new and old. I am fond of the classics.

Sonic TV Collectables

9. If you could be any video game character, who would it be and why?

Oh gosh, that’s a tough question! For an interesting look into his lifestyle, I would have to go with a rather obscure character – Garrett from the Thief series. I would be very intrigued to see how he lives his life, being a night owl and sneaking around peoples’ houses for shiny treasures. Though having my eye plucked out wouldn’t be something I would like to experience!

10. Do you have any big projects you are currently working on?

I tend to have a few ideas on the go, but my next batch of items will veer away from video games for a little while, as I delve into food related plush pillows and items. My first items will imitate sushi, then hopefully onto western and British foods.

Sometimes I plan a project depending on what materials I have left over from previous event preparations and commissions. I did start a Game Boy Color last year but never got around to finishing it. Now that I have more experience in this field, I would probably start it again from scratch.


You can follow Donna and see more of her great work on the Tavington Crafts Etsy Store, on Tumblr and on Deviant Art.

My first games console was the Mega Drive and I've been in love with video games ever since. Over the years I've owned many systems, which I hope to cover in the future. Most of the things I write and do videos about is considered "retro", but I do enjoy playing my Xbox One and PS4 as well...

Posted on December 19, 2014 | Last modified: 13th September 2015