Learn how-to embroider a woven wheel rose and sew a flat felled seam in #ShopShowcase with Sew Swansea.
How did you get started?
I taught myself to sew 16 years ago after I had my first child, at the age of 18. I'd hated sewing at school but have always been creative and for some reason decided to give sewing another go. I then quickly found I had a passion for it.
I began with an old Singer sewing machine and duvet covers from charity shops from which I made dresses and skirts, completly from scratch (and very much bodged) but I learned a lot and knew I needed to take it futher.
A few years later I'd be accepted onto a fashion design and textile course in West Sussex and I've not stopped since. From being an artist/maker producing items to order, to being employed in various textile based businesses to teaching, I've pretty much covered it all.
Teaching is what I love though. I really enjoy it and I think sharing the skills I have is so important.
Where are you located?
I have a brilliant studio space in the Elysium Studio building in Orchard Street, Swansea (above, and to the back of Volcano Thetre on High Street). It's huge yet cosy, relaxing and welcoming at the same time.
I'm pretty central too and has great access links via public transport and I'm kitted out with sewing machines and overlockers for my students to use.
Which products do you specialise in?
I don't produce any products yet but I am currently working on a selection of kits to compliment my workshops, so people can carry on making at home or gift to other people and encourage more people to get into sewing.
Do you have a particular favorite product that you sell?
What's on the stereo?
I listen to a whole load of different music while I'm prepping classes or sewing up example pieces. I'd say my most listened to would be The Cure, The Smiths, Beautiful South, The Proclaimers and Scroobius Pip
Where else should we visit in your area?
Oh there are so many great places in Swansea!
To eat, I'd recommend Govinda's, it's an amazing vegetarian/vegan resturant and everyone there is so lovely!
If you're wanting a chilled evening out it has to be Cinema & Co.
For drinks? Copper is brilliant
And of course we have a huge range of galleries and a couple of museums which are all worth checking out.
Do you host any workshops, classes or special events?
Loads, it's my thing!
I run classes in machine and hand sewing as well as in crochet. My classes range from beginners to more advanced stuff like pattern drafting and dressmaking with everything in between. Coming up over the next few months I have Beginners Sewing, Intro to hand embroidery, beginners crochet, Learning to use overlockers, pattern drafting 6-week course, dressmaking, self-drafting leggings, self-drafted PJ bottoms and SO much more!
Sew Swansea also hosts a fortnightly Stitch Social where you can bring along your project, meet & chat with other crafty folks - really vital for resting, recharging and having a break. Children's classes - and parents & child classes where you can learn together. I can be hired to teach specific groups too, from team building within businesses, hen parties, baby showers but also wellbeing sessions or for groups who could benefit from gaining not only the practical skills sewing brings but the educational and social benefits and confidence building.
As well as running workshops from my studio, I'm involved in a lot of amazing events this year, from teaching at Swansea Festival of Stitch in August and Swansea Fringe Festival in October, to commissioned work for Now the Hero in September.
On top of this I'll be at Gower Show, Gower Open Studio events, Clyne Farm Centre and Gower Heritage Centre teaching and demonstrating heritage crafts with my new sister-business Ffibrau Y Gwyr (Fibres of Gower) which focuses on traditional, fibre based textile crafts such as spinning, weaving and dyeing.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
Sew Swansea can also be hired to teach for community groups or organisations - I specalise in running classes that boost self confidence, promote social and numeracy skills,encourage positivity, creativity and experiementation as well as teaching practical skills, particularly in women.
In addition I can be commissioned to produce textile items for social events such as festivals and exhibitions, examples such as; Pride Cymru, who asked me to make a dress from flags donated by local company Mr Flag for the pride parade in August and BBC's DIY SOS team for whom I made textile items for a Children In Need Big Build project which took place in Swansea this September
Do you have a favorite craft, art or supply shop in your town that we should feature? Send us a message!