I'm a very creative person. My workroom is full of fabrics and costumes and boxes spilling over with ribbon. I love cats and I have a vast range of penguin paraphernalia thanks to two friends who gave me penguins in gratitude for making them masks for a ball...
I love opera and ballet and all kinds of music, theatre, books and films.
A New Zealander living in the UK, I enjoy travelling, researching my family history and learning, learning, learning.
My training in fashion and costume has been a mixture of formal, self-led and in the workplace. I have been sewing professionally for over 20 years.
I absolutely love what I do. Not only the sewing - I love making connections with my clients, and being able to solve problems for them.
I have sewn or managed sewing workrooms for: Wellington City Opera, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Cloud 9 Onscreen Entertainment, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Jaeger (Regent St.), Fenwick (Bond St.), Harvey Nichols (Knightsbridge - alterations workroom assistant manager), La Bottega del Costume (Venice), The National Trust, the Jane Austen Centre (Bath), Krystle Brides (Bath) and numerous wonderful private clients.
In theatre front-of-house I have been delighted to work for the Opera House and St. James Theatres (Wellington, NZ), Stratford Circus, Millfield Theatre, Holland Park Opera and the Royal Albert Hall, as (in no particular order) a steward, chief steward, duty manager and acting front-of-house manager.
Very early on in my career I won an award for design in natural fibres (silk, my favourite), one of my Georgian gowns has been displayed at No. 1 Royal Crescent (Bath) and a grenadier uniform I made is at Quebec House in Westerham.
I enjoy teaching and believe in working to keep traditional skills alive. This is an area in which I would like to play a greater part. This year I am launching basic sewing classes online as well as my usual one-to-one tutoring. My aim is to help students build confidence in their abilities as they learn to sew. I want to them to feel confident enough not only to make the project in the class, but to apply their new skills to sew anything they want to. Classes will start at absolute beginner level, teaching good sewing practice from the foundations up.
My love of all things crafty seems to mean that I take on a new hobby every other week! All in the name of expanding my skillset, of course... many of the techniques I try have firm roots in historical garment and accessory making, which is where my heart is, really. I see something interesting on an extant garment and I want to know how it was done, so I try to figure it out. I saw a meme recently that said collecting craft supplies can be just as much a hobby as doing the crafts themselves. I think this is true of me!