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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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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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Meeting Polly Leonard at Selvedge Magazine

I have subscribed to Selvedge magazine for several years and love it for so many different reasons.  Every issue I learn stories about cloth, and the people who make it worldwide.  Textile histories and personal stories are told in detail and brought to life with breathtaking photography. The fashion is ethically produced and always has a fascinating backstory. Every magazine includes garments that would sit happily in my dream wardrobe.   So many artists and craftspeople across the globe have come to my attention in the pages of this bi-monthly publication, such as Celia Pym, Julie Arkel and Adrianna Torres.  I have also learned about local women with rich textile histories including Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth who lived at Gawthorpe Hall, and...

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The Jenni Smith Studio is open for business!

For the last few years I have packed up my car boot several times a week and carried 4 sewing machines and all of my other kit down to the local theatre. I once counted over 15 bags of fabric, wadding and sewing samples! I have taught over 300 classes at Ilkley Playhouse and gained so many loyal customers. The management were amazingly supportive to me as a new business and allowed me flexible times and low rental. I am very grateful, especially to the late Walter Swan who encouraged me to give it a go.  Joining the Entrepreneurial Spark programme in February this year was a big step forward for me. It made me realise that in order to...

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