Jane started her career working in product design and development for Liberty of London and went on to be a Creative Director at one of M&S primary suppliers. Travelling the world, finding new and interesting ideas for products in the UK market.
I loved my career in design and product development gave me an insight to the wonderful planet we live in. I was always especially interested in working in countries such as Sri Lanka and the Far East. The kindness and welcome I received in these countries used to quite overwhelm me, they had so little and live such sparse and simple lives, but what I saw from this was the most incredible ability to invent things from not much and be creative in a way that I had never imagined possible using by-products and waste to create beautiful items. In Sri Lanka I worked with large corporations that collaborated with small community businesses giving opportunity to families that had little or no skills, they were trained to use their knowledge of traditional crafts and skills and use them to create products with us for the UK markets. At the time I had not really comprehended what we were doing. Third World countries like Sri Lanka and the Philippines embody a profound understanding of sustainability driven by need.
Through creativity, resourcefulness, and a deep connection with their surroundings, these communities have forged a path towards self-sufficiency, demonstrating that necessity can be a powerful catalyst for sustainable innovation. Their practices serve as an inspiration for the rest of the world, highlighting the potential to create products and solutions that not only fulfil immediate needs but also tread lightly on the planet.
Returning to the UK, this journey I had taken has underpinned everything we do at the Sewing School. We waste nothing and love the challenge of creating classes from donated fabrics and supplies. Everything is used and re-used even down to the small waste our overlockers create, this go to a local business for small animal bedding!
Top sewing tip
Organise your sewing space – label everything !
Rachel Bunney has worked in the home sewing industry for over 15 years – starting off at Alison Victoria School Of Sewing in Ashby de la Zouch, and then joining the team at Brother Sewing Machines UK as an Account Manager and Product Specialist.
After baby Bunney came along in March 2020, Rachel launched Bunney & Thread. She loves solving sewing and embroidery conundrums, queries and quandaries, and seeing clients’ eyes light up when a solution is found!
Top Sewing Tip
Everything up! Make sure your foot and needle are both up before you start threading your machine.
I started my sewing journey 5 years ago and I instantly fell in love with my new skill. After attending a few courses with Jane my passion grew and I invested in my own sewing machine at home where the sewing journey began. Over the years I have made baby bibs & toys, cushion covers, table mats, dresses, tops, hoodies, and patchwork quilts. I currently help Jane with the kids programme and adult beginners at KHY Sewing School and I love being part of this fabulous team.
Top Sewing Tip
Planning and patience are key to the perfect sewing project.
Louise started sewing in Lockdown after getting a sewing machine for her 40th birthday. She was instantly hooked, and now sews every evening after her little ones are in bed. Her sewing list is never empty, as her girls are always wanting dresses, skirts or accessories of some kind!
Top Sewing Tip
Pins are very useful, but fabric clips are more effective for certain projects.
Julia Smith Rose
Julia has over 15 years experience in the fashion industry, having run her own ethical fashion line. She has a passion for sustainable clothing and is a real sewing enthusiast. Julia loves to design her own prints for fabrics which she then makes up into either homewares or fashion items either for herself or her children.
Having gained an MA in Fashion Design and Technology from the London College of Fashion Julia went on to work in Italy for designer Alberta Ferretti. Julia enjoys absorbing diverse cultures and influences to inspire her work and has a real passion for unique design and sustainability which she tries to bring into her work where possible. Julia has a variety of lecturing experience and loves working with sewing enthusiasts and helping them to achieve their goals.
Top Sewing Tip
The iron is your best friend.
My background is as a pattern cutter and grader, but I’ve been sewing for 35 years, making menswear, ladieswear and children’s clothes. I have a HND in Clothing Technology & Design and a Diploma in Education and Training. I’ve been teaching sewing and pattern cutting in Adult and Community learning for 9 years, and have also taught sewing and textiles to adults with special needs. I make lots of my own clothes using almost exclusively vintage and reclaimed fabrics, which I’ve been collecting for 20 years. Sewing has been my career, passion and happy place; it is a privilege to share these skills with others, in the beautiful environment at KHY Sewing School.
Top Sewing Tip
Always make a toile when using a new pattern, never cut straight into your final fabric. Mistakes are good, it’s a learning opportunity.
I attended the London College of Fashion where I gained a City & Guilds in tailoring and pattern cutting. I have worked in the clothing industry for the past 30 years as a pattern cutter gaining lots of experience in fitting and making garments. I really enjoy teaching at KHY and watching the student’s progress and gain confidence sewing. It is a pleasure to teach at KHY.
Top Sewing Tip Never Give up! Every mistake is a learning curve and you never stop learning