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 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.