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JMweb

My name is Jeanne and I live in Oxfordshire, England.

I’ve loved sewing since I was a child. I started by learning from my mother, a very clever needlewoman, how to do embroidery and make clothes for my dolls.

I went to school in the days when they still taught “needlework” and learned all the basics of dressmaking there. I made my first dress when I was 12 and within a few years I was making almost all my own clothes. Later, as I tried my hand at more ambitious projects, I would turn to Mum, who was by now a professional dressmaker, for help with anything tricky. I love the individuality of style and fit that making my own clothes gives me. It’s also really useful to be able to do alterations if something I’ve bought readymade (yes, I do, sometimes) isn’t quite right, or bring old favourites up to date.

As soon as I had a home of my own, I began making curtains, cushions and blinds. I love the creative inspiration that fabric gives me and researching techniques for achieving the look that I want.

Eventually I began accepting commissions for soft furnishing and dressmaking projects. One of my clients asked if I would consider starting up some sewing classes, as it was something she had always wanted to do. I wasn’t sure - whenever I had mentioned my passion to friends, I was met with either blank looks or cries of horror from those who’d had bad experiences with sewing machines, so I wondered how much demand there would be (this was before “The Great British Sewing Bee”, before sewing had become cool). But the idea took hold and I thought: why not? So I started my first “Sewing for Beginners” class and …. here I am, eight years later, having taught well over 100 people topics from how to thread up a sewing machine to making Roman blinds or a party dress. We have lots of laughs and I find it I find it hugely rewarding to be able to pass on my knowledge to other people, see how much they come to love sewing and celebrate their achievements.