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Blog — Handmade Fashion RSS



The Big Stitch Campaign: How I made an evening dress from a curtain

My studio has over 50 lovely sewists passing through each month and many hours are spent stroking fabric and getting over excited about new projects in like-minded company. Occasionally we do some work. Grace came in a few months ago with a vintage curtain and I literally jumped up and down when I saw it.  The design had bold fruit in gorgeous colours, surrounded by a vine in turquoise. It reminded me of Marimekko fabric and Josef Frank all rolled into one. I helped Grace to construct a simple shirft dress with it and she took it away to finish. A few weeks later, Grace came back with the other half of the pair of curtains and gifted it to...

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Girl with a Sewing Machine book review by Jenni Smith

  Girl With a Sewing Machine is a craft book with genuine soul and one of the nicest dressmaking titles I have read in quite a while. The reason it resonates is because Jenni is a down to earth person who truly wants to get people over that initial fear of making their own clothes. It is a much bigger step than some might imagine and it makes perfect sense to get cracking with old clothes or charity shop finds and to upcycle them. Looking back this is was I was doing from about the age of 9 with my best friend Laura – creating garments from our dressing up box, letting my imagination run wild and then enjoying the...

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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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Me Made May 2016 A Change in Mindset

I have had a really enjoyable Me Made May. It is the first time I have joined in with an online project like this, but I am sure it won't be my last.  The idea is to wear a handmade item each day for the month of May. Some people record this with photos across social media, but it is much more about celebrating what you have stitched/ knitted, and discovering what lots of other creative people are up to in your local area, and across the globe. I have sewn a lot in recent years but often I finish a project and then pop it in the wardrobe and go back to my default, comfortable clothes.  I do the...

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