So where did sewing begin for me?
Growing up I remember my Mum making homemade clothes for me and my family. I have fond memories of party dresses and knitted jumpers – I just adore homemade clothes! I remember Mum cutting out patterns and fabric on the living room floor and was very excited when I was allowed to do some of the cutting out.
My first sewing project was a patchwork cushion cover at senior school, which I gave to my Nan and still have now. Homemade items will always be treasured. Since then I have always enjoyed doing crafty things like making homemade cards and gifts and I also love to knit, another skill I am very grateful for my Mum and Nan passing onto me. Sewing has become a big passion (obsession!) of mine over the last 3 years. I made a little girl’s dress under my Mum’s guidance and realised that not only I could do it but also I absolutely loved it. I love everything from choosing fabrics, reading patterns, the cutting out stage and then the actual sewing itself. I then progressed to making garments for myself which I proudly wear and have kept an online sewing blog about my makes since 2015.
The sense of achievement when I finish a project and think to myself “I made that!” is fantastic, especially if it’s something I can then wear, something for the home that I see every day or give to someone as a gift.
So what have I been up to since then?
After leaving school I went to University to study Physiotherapy and worked as a Physiotherapist fulltime for 8 years, predominantly in Paediatrics with children with neurological dysfunction. I loved helping children reach their potential, getting to know them and their families and working as part of a unique team in the hospital environment. Since having children I made the difficult decision to leave my career and to spend my time at home with them. As they have progressed through their early years I have gradually had more time to pursue and explore other interests that I just didn’t have time to do when I was working full time. I then realized that I wanted a new direction and sewing had to be at the heart of it. In addition to making lots of things myself, I have attended Sewing and Dressmaking courses at Solihull College and have achieved the Level 1 NCFE in Dressmaking with Birmingham Adult Education Service.
In May 2015 I entered a competition run by Simplicity, the pattern company titled ‘Simplicity’s Star sewist’ Competition. I entered the best dressmaking category and was thrilled to be one of 2 highly commended entries (runners up) in my category and was awarded a badge for my blog titled ‘Simplicity Highly Commended Dressmaker’!! You can read more about it here.
In July 2016 Simplicity included me in their list of ‘Top Stitchy Tweeters you should be following’. Simplicity said “We’ve picked out 7 profiles that are sure to brighten up your timeline and get you running to your sewing machine…”.
Sewing for myself has to fit around my busy family life which involves dashing around after our 2 gorgeous children! Our spare room has gradually adopted the name of Mummy’s sewing room! When I am not sewing I also enjoy running, summer bike rides and good Italian food!
So why teach sewing workshops?
I have always loved helping others to learn and when I worked as a Physiotherapist, teaching others was something that I particularly enjoyed. When I developed my love for sewing I wanted to get others involved too so I started to organise informal sewing sessions with friends, sharing my knowledge and making things together. You can read about some of their experiences on my testimonials page. I love seeing the moment when people finish their project and are proud at what they have done and then want to carry on and develop their skills further. I also love seeing each individual’s interpretation and design when all working on the same project together.
In April 2016 I completed the Level 3 Award in Education and Training. This has given me a greater understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a teacher and how to develop a successful learning environment. I believe that through this, the experience of people coming to my workshops will be enhanced.
I now want to take this further and reach out to more people, spread the sewing love and bring people together to learn new skills. Sewing and crafting can be quite a solitary hobby. By learning in a group environment, people can benefit from having time away from the ‘routine’, be alongside friends, make new friends, share ideas, enjoy that all important cup of tea and biscuit and take away something that they have made and can be proud of!
I hope to meet you sometime soon at one of my workshops.