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Why Jenni Smith sewing and quilt patterns are unique

On the eve of the release of my debut quilt pattern, Morris Mouse, I wanted to share a few insights.  The strongest value in my business is to be helpful. This goal drives the studio classes that I teach, and the patterns that I produce.  I want people to improve their skills and to feel the sense of pride and achievement that I love at the end of a craft project.  I know from experience that written instructions for any sewing or quilt pattern can be tricky - however well drafted.  I have been frustrated, confused and, at times, I may even have had a little cry when I just don't get it! Therefore, when I wrote down my vision...

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The mission behind Jenni Smith Studio patterns

The mission Nothing beats the feeling of saying "I made it myself",  yet 7 out of 10 young people don't know how to sew a button on. For a good 30 years these basic life skills have been completely scrapped from education, in the UK at least.  I am one of the forgotten generation who did not learn how to sew at school. I am a self-taught dressmaker who loves having the ability to create unique, well-made clothes that reflect my personality and style. I have taught over 250 people to sew in the past 5 years so releasing patterns seems like a natural progression. The aim is to try and help people gain the skills and confidence to build their...

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Jenni's top tips for the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show

I always look forward to my annual trip to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate. I have been for the past 4 years and without fail come home with a bundle of sewing-related delights.  I am not a knitter and am always relieved in a way, as I am not sure I could manage the whole show in one day (or financially) if I was also lured to the gorgeous wool stands. Here are my top ten tips:- Do take some cash if possible - it makes everything quicker and last year the cash point outside the building wasn't working. Try and write an essential shopping list before you go and check it at some point.  As a quilter I always...

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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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Gaining confidence by sewing a blouse (amazing fabric by Heather Ross)

I have been a huge fan of fabric designer Heather Ross ever since I discovered her work 5 years ago.  I made by youngest child a quilt with her Nursery Versery prints, as well as some shorts featuring incy wincy spider which I tried to squeeze him back into last month but failed.  Heather released a new collection last year TigerLily including these ballerinas. My daughter Edie dances so I bought a metre of the cotton in pink to make her a top (still a WIP), then I ordered 2 metres in the cotton lawn for myself. I imagined it would look like a simple pattern from afar, but make people smile (and especially me) when they studied it up...

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