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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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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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