Love Stitch Team
Sewing has been a way of life since I was a little girl. My mum was an avid sewer - the kitchen table was often covered in fabric, pattern pieces and her latest sewing machine which all had to be cleared away before tea. She made many of my clothes and we sometimes had matching outfits!
Some weren't so great! We had kitchen curtains in the same fabric as the skirt of this dress!
My own sewing journey began at the age of 6 when my auntie gave me the 'Learn to Sew' book for Christmas. I made practically everything in the book - even the dirndl skirt and matching head scarf! Not sure I ever wore it though!
About the same time, I was given my nan's old Singer sewing machine complete with newly added motor, which launched me into the world of dressmaking. There was no stopping me from that point, starting with ice-skating dresses, pattern hacking my way through as there were no patterns out there at the time. Through my teenage years there was often the Saturday morning pressure of producing something fantastic to wear that evening, usually involving quick and forgiving jersey. Sewing became more serious in my twenties with training in pattern drafting, couture techniques and speed tailoring. My thirties were all about wedding dresses - a very stressful time making made to measure dresses for brides, including myself - most stressful dress I have ever made!
More recently, before opening Love Stitch I trained in making professional tutus and loved it - if I ever find the time I would love to make more - they are just so beautiful. Sadly I haven't had any time to sew since opening the shop but now the Sewing School has been launched I have tasked myself with the making of our samples for the workshops and courses - I may even make myself a dress!
Where Love Stitch came from
One of my most vivid childhood memories was visiting our local haberdashery shop, 'Janets' (how sweet) on rainy, steamed up Saturday afternoons and being totally in awe of the array of pretty fabrics, colourful buttons, ribbons and crackly packets of wool. My mum and I would spend ages chosing material and patterns - my poor brother! You just had to take something away with you, rush home and start to create!
I can also remember the beautiful fabric displays in George Henry Lee in Liverpool, 'Just Sew' and of course Liberty (for such a short time) in Chester. Amazing fabric which just inspired you to sew - such a thrill!
Love Stitch was created out of these childhood memories. The world of fabric and yarn is so touchy feely, I wanted to create a space where people could come and be inspired, relax, meet like-minded people (there are a lot of us!) and get that same thrill seeing lovely fabrics and yarns (does that sound crazy?)
Gemma was our first ever interviewee for Love Stitch. She had such enthusiasm and just got the whole concept immediately.
She started on the shop floor but is now our Office Manager. She has her work cut out organising Sue but she also looks after the finances, our HR and has recently been in charge of populating our lovely new website. Gemma organises us all but in a very subtle way!
She is a relative newbe to sewing having taken it up a couple of years ago but since joining us she has been picking up everything from crochet to patchwork.
(Sorry Gemma I just couldn't manage to crop that large glass of wine)
Jayne (blonde Jayne)
We think Jayne is glued to her sewing machine - she is never far away from one - she even recently sent a text to us while on holiday saying she was missing her sewing machine! She is an extremely experienced dressmaker and alterations expert, qualified in Fashion Design and Pattern Cutting with many years experience in the bridal industry. You can usually find her on the shop floor giving out advice on all things sewing. She has taken up crochet since joining us and is now quite an expert in that field too.
Jayne's real forte is her one to one teaching. She has many clients, both adults and children. She can help and guide you from beginners sewing to pattern drafting, all alteration techniques, pattern hacking, taking patterns from favourite garments - the list is endless!
Her enthusiasm for dressmaking and for the shop is amazing. She has a new idea maybe every 5 minutes or so - keep it up Jayne - we love it!
Emily (Sue's daughter)
What can we say? Emily dips in and out of Love Stitch as and when she is needed and when she hasn't got other pressing commitments. She is good at getting Sue organised as she is very bossy but lovely too. She has helped out in the cafe and on the shop floor and at present is helping with the production of videos for the website. She has an A Level in Art textiles so is really interested in us developing the messier side of things - dyeing and burning fabrics and such things!