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Becoming a guest designer on Sewing Quarter

Hi everyone,  I think it is fair to say I have been neglecting this blog.  It began to feel scary, like a long overdue library book that you are too ashamed to take back.  The simple fact is that I have been all carried away with my other social media - easy to post from my phone and to share in seconds.  However, this blog is important to me.  When I read back over the past few years it is the best record I have of my creative and business journey.  It has helped me to record experiences, and the important and inspirational people I have met.  It is a way to connect with an audience of like-minded people and...

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Sewing a Chanel-style Jacket and a trip to Linton Tweed

Last week I persuaded five of my sewing friends to join me on another fabric-related adventure. We took the famous train journey from Settle to Carlisle, which I have never travelled  before, despite living close-by for most of my life. It's a two hour trip passing through  amazing countryside, over the famous Ribblehead viaduct and with views of the Yorkshire Three Peaks and the Lake District.  A sweet guide came through the carriage to tell us all of the historic landmarks we could visit on our arrival, including the castle and museum.  He didn't know that we intended on spending our four hours in Carlisle admiring fabric and having a leisurely afternoon tea, which is exactly what we did.  A...

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Patrick Grant opens Community Clothing in Blackburn

On Thursday morning Kay and I made the short trip across the border to the town of Blackburn, for the official launch of Community Clothing. Despite growing up in Yorkshire, I visited often as a child to buy fabrics in the market, as well as shoes from the  legendary Tommy Balls factory. Kay grew up in Rochdale but always wished she had a Blackburn accent! We were both excited to go back and I have been wanting to find out more about Patrick Grant's inspirational project since I read about it in the May issue of Sew Magazine (which I was very happy to be featured in too).  The big idea behind the brand is this: "Community Clothing is a manufacturers...

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Jenni Smith Ltd is born and Beyond Magazine Feature

A lot has been happening behind the scenes in recent weeks. I have opened my new studio space and started to fill up all of my classes for the Autumn. I have also registered as a Limited Company, put in several trademark applications and started working on my branding and packaging.    My first garment patterns are in production (yippee) and this is a stage which I worried I might never get to.  It's very easy to have an idea, but to make it become reality takes a lot of work and even more bravery.  I think everybody is afraid of failure, and also the unknown but I am trying to not get too distracted by fear! I have also...

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Teaching Alex and Brad from Aurifil how to sew a tie

A few weeks ago I spent the day teaching Alex and Brad the basics of sewing.  They spend their days surrounded by thread and creative people at Quilt Market and other International Shows, so they were keen to give it a try. Not wanting an easy challenge they chose to make a tie - a project considerably harder than it looks and which drove contestants on the Great British Sewing Bee to tears.  They didn't cry.  Here's a little video to watch….

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