As some of you already know, I enjoy working with all crafts and mixing different styles and techniques. Nothing is out of bounds and there is nothing more fun for me than mixing it all up and trying something new.
I used to take for granted the fact that I had been sewing for many years, after having acquired my first electric sewing machine at the ripe old age of 7 years. I had been taught by my Mum, who also started at and early age but she then went on to being trained in fashion design and pattern cutting/garment construction.
I remember many occasions of accompanying her to fabric stores where she encouraged me to pick out my favourite materials from the vast and excitingly colourful array on offer. She would then sew through the night to create my 'dream' party dress that would be hanging on my bedroom door when I awoke in the morning.
They were truly magical dresses, not least because she let me and my sisters have such a huge say in any choice of designs, colours and fabrics. That memory has never left us and I still feel 'giddy with excitement' when I enter a well stocked fabric or craft store!
It was no surprise then, when I opened an upmarket fashion design business with one of my brothers and a sister, making special occasion and stage wear for the rich and famous, several years later. Expensive silks, Italian wool suitings and exquisite embroidery went into these couture garments, all hand finished to the highest standards for our discerning clients. We specialised in unusual cuts, couture styled detailing and hand embroidery to set us apart from the mass-produced high street chains and our clients loved it!
There was one year when, after watching 'High Society', one of my favourite musicals of all time, I decided to base the whole of our next collection on the pastel shades of the floaty dresses worn by the gorgeous Grace Kelly, and tailored men's suits in Italian wool, styled after Frank & Bing! The local press loved the back-story and the garments also flew off the shelves.
I went on to take my arts/creative teaching to a more professional level after working with community groups and continued on to a role as a University lecturer. Finally training as an Art Psychotherapist, which has added the final piece to the jigsaw in regards to my approach to facilitating arts and music educational workshops - my aim is always to be my supportive, creative and also innovative.
I was used to hearing my friends complaining that they had no idea how to thread a sewing machine or that they wouldn't know how to adjust a shop-bought item for one of their children! That's when I realised that the sewing skills that I took for granted were valuable and often envied - thanks Mum for persevering with my tuition!
When we first launched Pink Alpaca and realised that there were no sewing clubs in our local area, (and after constantly being asked to offer sewing advice/support to family & friends), we first considered offering our own sewing workshops.
However, it was only after yet another friend mentioned that they had a brand new, but still unused, sewing machine lurking in a cupboard because they had no idea how to use it, that I finally decided to create workshops and courses and to offer 'sewing support for the terrified'!
These are courses structured for Beginners sewing, that take you through the basics of how to understand, set up, thread and use a sewing machine. I hold your hand right through to creating your first, basic sewing projects with confidence and beyond. I encourage learning through trial and error but mainly through fun and all in a relaxed and sociable environment. Be prepared for the endless cups of coffee, tea and cake, giggles and silly stories shared by the whole group whilst we learn together.
So...if your New Year's resolution was to challenge yourself by trying something new, meeting new friends and/or to just have more fun, then you definitely need to book a place on this course!
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