How I Got Here

I have mentioned before that when I was a child we left London and moved out to Hertfordshire. Whilst at school in London one of the options I had taken was to do art and sewing. After we left I had to start at a new school and I was told I could only do one of the options and the school decided that I should take the O Level Design and Sewing course. I had to design a piece of clothing and I had to break down on paper how I designed and then put it together, what steps I took and what stitches I used and why etc. I’m very proud to say I achieved that O Level with a B grade.

When I first met my husband I hadn’t sewn for a while as I didn’t have a sewing machine at home. After we married I purchased a sewing machine as I wanted to get back to sewing clothing and be able to take up my trouser hems too (I’m short). My husband and my family encouraged me in this. We were living and working in London when I found out that Liberty’s of London held weekend and evening sewing classes and I attended several of their courses. I loved sewing my own ‘Christmas company do’ dresses and I have a beautiful full length black velvet cloak that I created to wear over my beautiful dresses and outfits.

When we left London I attended a couple more Liberty’s sewing courses and one of those was how to design and create professional curtains. We learnt how to accurately measure the window and how to calculate the measurements required to design and sew curtains. We learnt about the different heading tapes and how they affected the calculations (pleat, cartridge, goblet etc). We learnt about curtain styles and pelmets and how to plan and design a pair of curtains and a pelmet. We learnt how to estimate the amount of material that would be needed and if more was required because of a repeat pattern on the fabric. Patterned fabric needs more calculations to get the repeat pattern to perfectly match up (I’m not good at maths so hubby helps).

We created a mini interlined sample curtain incorporating the triple heading tape (French pleats), it was to be interlined, lined and have removable weights incorporated. We learnt how to attach the interlining by hand, how to make the lining and how to attach it to the interlined curtain. We learnt how to create removable weight bags for the copper weights (it is recommended that they are removable when the curtains are cleaned). We learnt about different linings, interlinings, stitches and techniques that would help us. We covered both hand stitching and machine stitching. and how to add removable weights. We learnt how to hem the curtains again using hand stitching or machine stitching techniques.

I know I did several other Liberty sewing courses but at the moment I cannot get to the samples I created but as soon as I can I will update this blog entry and be sewing several more projects too! I have a lovely stash of Liberty Lawn too so I will be nagging my hubby to get his stuff sorted so that I can get to mine lol!

I then took a totally different route for a few years. I did art classes, glass painting classes, watercolour classes and then I learnt about silk painting for a couple of years and three of my projects were shown in an art show and one of them sold.

Then I decided I wanted to get back to my sewing and I found out that a local college was running clothing design courses and I signed up to get my first design and sewing HND qualification (higher national degree). Sadly the tutor left about a quarter of the way through and the college ended up cancelling the course. It was around this time that I asked my hubby to put my sewing machine, fabrics and haberdashery in his computer room for a while because I had found out about stamping and card making to begin with. I attended many different stamping, card making and paper craft courses.

Then my back condition worsened very quickly and as I couldn’t get out of the house very often I thought my days of learning were at an end. But a very lovely and kind friend of mine introduced me to blogging, You Tube and Pinterest and I’ve learnt that learning new things and new techniques never ever stops and for that I am really very very grateful! I am learning to improve my drawing and painting skills all the time.

I have many hobbies and they are: Drawing (especially female faces); Card Design; Mixed Media; Paper Crafting; Sewing; Stamping; Watercolouring.

Getting fabric back into my life now just feels right. When Fiskarettes UK approached me to be a Guest Designer I was asked if I would be able to create a sewing project or two and I jumped at the chance because I hoped it would lead me back to something that I once wanted to be in the real world a maker and a designer!

So that is my back story and how much craft has been a part of my life.  

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