Once upon a time, back in May 2014, having been made redundant two weeks previously and getting very fed up of cleaning the house! I decided I would try my hand at some Sashiko Embroidery. I made a visit to my local haberdashery shop; Sewcraft in Swindon. While looking for the bits and bobs I needed, I got chatting to Roger and Julie; the owners of the shop and they were both very excited ... and then the conversation went as follows:
Roger: “We are going for it!” [Opening a second shop next door to Sewcraft, their existing shop].
Me: “Really, that’s great; I am really pleased for you. But I have some news too; I have been made redundant.”
Roger: “That’s great!”
A very stunned me: “No, that not the correct answer!”
Roger: “Yes it is, you can open your school”.
And that is how my fairytale story started. I opened my doors on the 15th September 2014, with a newly furnished classroom; a bright, clean and well equipped room.
A room that was described as like; 'sewing in your own dining room but without having to pack everything away' and with the added bonus of chatting to like minded friends.
Update: During 2016, I got extremely poorly and eventually it was strongly suggested to me to give up work! Give up work; not on your nelly. Why would I give up a job that I love and live for? So; after many ‘lively’ conversations between my family, the doctors’ and the hospital(s), I compromised and the decision was made to move the school to my home in the beautiful village of Wroughton. I have a dedicated, replicated sewing room. The only difference being; is that the class numbers have been halved, which is brilliant for you the students because you get even more teaching time for your money! And the benefits of looking after my physical (which has been quite trying to say the least) and mental wellbeing are just wonderful. There is always a silver lining...
I started knitting at the age of 6, I managed to knit my Sindy doll a lemon coloured cape but only because I managed to lose lots of stitches! I completed my first turquoise tanktop at 9. I had already got obsessed on cross-stitch and then received my first tapestry kit for Christmas at the age of 14. I taught myself to crochet at 15. I completed my C.S.E Needlework at School, my ‘A’ Level Needlework at Sixth Form College. I continued making my own clothes; buying remnants at local markets. In the 1990’s I completed three City & Guilds in; Fashion and Design, Patchwork & Quilting and Embroidery.
I made most of my children’s clothes, especially for my daughter and still make the odd outfit. When my daughter was little, I made her many hand smocked dresses; with matching embroidery on her hand knitting cardigans and socks, which were always very much admired. Though most people did not realise her clothes were made with minimal pennies but lots of my loving time. At the age of 3, my little girl started ballet, and needed her first ‘original’ leotard for a little show being staged during her summer school. Not being able to afford to buy her a new one costume and no time to find a second hand one. I sat up all night and made my first Lycia leotard, it was a hit with her and her dance school in Southampton. A life of making dance costumes started. My original designed costumes have been worn at many festivals, national competitions and professional shows . I have also designed and made many gymnastic leotards, including one for an upcoming gymnast who eventually made it into the 2012 Olympic Rhythmic Team. I have sewn many ice skating costumes too. I have one grown up son who is in the Royal Navy, working as a Flight Maintainer on helicoptors. He is married to my wonderful DIL, who has gave me the greatest gift of a grandson in January 2018. Remember the little ballet dancer - well she is now a trained; ballet, tap, modern, national and musical threatre, dance teacher. Being very proud of my family, you get to hear of their escapades in class. I also have a elderly but still bouncy Beaded Collie and a cat who came as a very tiny kitten in December 2017. Last but not least, a very supportive husband, who is a dab hand at making cups of tea! .
Apart from sewing in the evenings making costumes or clothes, many people asked me to teach them how to sew and I knew I had a naturaal talent for teaching but never dreamed that I would eventually own my own school and business.
Having worked as an executive PA and Office Manager, overseeing all company accounts, payroll and HR, a job, which I have done most of my working life plus being a bar maid; a job I have done in this country and abroad and being one of the best jobs in the world for learning people skills! I also worked for a family run upholsterers business, which worked well when my son was little and we lived in Norfolk.
I was comfortable in my vocation; sewing and knitting were my relaxation away from the office. Then, here in Swindon; after 11 years of working for the same company having moved locally in 2003 and being asked to join the company. As I mentioned above, I was sadly made redundant and this is how I can now enjoy my hobbies full time and share the pleasure with you.
My aim is to teach you in a very relaxed and adaptable way, for you to learn your chosen craft, by giving you the correct skills to take away with you; enabling you to complete your chosen craft and giving you, continuing enjoyment and satisfaction.
My fairytale became my reality and I am living my dream with the best job satisfaction I could ever want, which I believe shows whole heartidly, when I am teaching you!
I am incredibly lucky, blessed and extremly thank full.