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 own wardrobe. My studio has six patterns in development for 2017 and we can't wait to start sharing them.

How do we do it?

Each pattern is born from the sewing techniques we want to teach. The big picture is to gradually build skills so that our customers can work their way through all the processes needed to sew well-made clothes. We are starting with basic seams and patch pockets but will move on to different zip fastenings, tailoring, bias-cut and so much more. 

The garment choice is based on timeless styles that allow the maker to add a personal twist. Inspiration comes from fashion past and present across different cultures. 

The cloth is also a major consideration and tells a big part of the story.  We are working with many British manufacturers to source fabrics for our patterns including Irish linen and Yorkshire wool. These will be available to buy in kit form. 

The patterns are cut by experienced professionals with intimate knowledge of making patterns that fit today's woman. They are based in the North of England.

After making up samples in the studio, we enlist the help of the fabulous local sewing community to test the patterns and instructions before release.

Our promise

Our promise to our customers is to make the whole process as stress-free as possible. We understand that some people need to see how it is done, rather than just reading instructions, so we are filming video tutorials to complement each garment.  This is included in the price of the pattern.

We want our customers to know what they will learn from each pattern.  We want them to sew with cloth that suits the project and where possible, has a story to tell. We want the process to be enjoyable and to celebrate all of the positive emotions associated with producing something amazing with your own hands!

I hope that you will join us and make 2017 the start of your dressmaking journey. 






  • Helen

    Sorry I did’t see your reply until now while I was reading this on your website! Perhaps you could chat with my friend Joanne and her husband Charlie who lives closer to you, I am sure they can signpost you to how to put subtitles on your videos…apparently it’S pretty straightforward.

  • Jenni

    Hi Helen,

    We are planning to subtitle our video tutorials and perhaps you could provide feedback when we get to that stage! We would also love to involve keen sewers in the deaf community and look at signing tutorials. Watch this space!

  • Jenni

    Hi Jane, thanks for your kind words. My website won’t let me reply so I hope you manage to see this!!

  • Helen

    Hi Jenni,

    Wondering if your video tutorials will have subtitles so that deaf folk can follow instructions? I have never tried dressmaking, have only made quilts for family and friends…. here’s hoping I can access your wonderful idea of providing dress making kits for beginners!

  • Jane

    This sounds like a wonderful venture Jenni, very best of luck with it! x

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