After teaching informally for a couple of years I set up my own business in March 2013, realising that I enjoy the social side of sewing a lot more than sitting alone at my machine. I have run weekly classes since then, including Bring your Baby and Learn to Sew, Quilting for all abilities and more creative workshops in freemotion embroidery and textile art. I also work together with dressmaking legend Ann Ladbury offering courses on tailoring. Ann has written 40 books on the subject during her career and learning from her first hand has helped my own skills develop greatly, both in dressmaking and teaching.
My aim is to help people to develop their sewing skills, whatever level, and to encourage them to make unique and beautiful items that they are proud of.
Here are a few recent testimonials:
"I have and continue to attend a number of Jenni's classes. As well as having lots of fun and meeting some wonderful people, I have also learnt a great deal. Jenni is always patient, generous with her time, adapts to individual's learning style and brimming with exciting ideas and inspiration."
Catherine Charlton, March 2016
"Doing Jenni's sew with your baby course was the best thing I did on my maternity leave. Jenni is a patient and friendly teacher and I came away from every class feeling excited and inspired. Jenni has given me the sewing bug, which I know will now be with me for life."
Victoria Poskitt, July 2015
"I am so happy that someone recommended Jenni Smith to me to learn to sew. My only experience was at school in home economics and I hated it. However , in May 2015 I turned up with nothing , not even a needle and my love began by machine and hand thanks to Jenni's passion for sewing which is infectious. So far I have made children's dresses, a sampler quilt, a quilted wall hanging, trousers, tops,skirts and bunting. If a day goes by without having had a fix I have withdrawal symptoms. It is relaxing and focuses your mind - I even prefer it to meditation and you have something to love at the end of it. Thank you Jenni for bringing sewing and sewing friends into my life :)"
Mandy Thompson, September 2015
"I first met Jenni at the Ilkley Quilting Exhibition in 2014 and instantly felt I would love to learn more about quilting. During my first 'term' I completed a very pleasing sampler quilt. I really enjoyed learning not only from Jenni but several other experienced and generous ladies in the group. As a beginner this could have been daunting but not at all.....Since that first experience of quilting, I have continued to appreciate Jenni's informal and supportive teaching. Her enthusiasm and extensive creative style is an inspiration to beginners and improvers. I now feel very much part of Jenni's 'quilting family' and look forward to learning more in the coming months."
Susan Foster, January 2016
"I was keen to learn a new skill to channel some of my creative energy, and having admired the quilts at one of Jenni's exhibitions but not having any idea how to go about making one for myself, thought I'd try out her workshops. They were exactly what I was looking for- informal, fun, relaxing, a great chance to meet new people, but with plenty of guidance and expertise on hand and pitched at the right level for me to bring my fledgling sewing skills on quickly. Since then, I've made a couple of quilts I'm really proud of (and I have even had one on display at a local exhibition!), and am now doing dressmaking, bag making, and putting my new skills to many other creative uses!"
Annette Andelin, August 2015