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Monday, 23 March 2015

Member of the month


My name is Emma Smith, and I confess I'm a fabric hoarder and compulsive sewer!

This is me wearing the Wear anywhere dress by So Sew Easy

My journey started as a child - my mum used to make me and my sister dresses and I had a bag of scraps which I used to hand sew clothes for my Sindy dolls. I progressed to mini hand sewn patchwork using hexagonal blocks and eventually moved on to clothes.
I took needlework o-level (my only "A" grade!), a B-tech in fashion and textiles, finishing with a fashion and textiles degree.
For 8 years after I graduated I worked for various UK manufacturers, designing mainly childrens wear. A job I loved, but the UK retailers priced the UK manufacturers out of the market by using cheap offshore producers and after 3 redundancies I made the decision to change direction I to a more sensible industry.

So that's my potted history.
After I moved into my role in  IT services I continued to sew for pleasure and was lucky to live in a flat where I could have a dedicated sewing room. But once I met and moved in with my husband I no longer had that luxury and in the flush of a new relationship my sewing waned.

I decided that in order to meet people in my new home and to give myself a creative outlet I'd try painting, and spent quite a few years expressing my creativity via watercolour and acrylic painting classes - it was a great outlet away from work and a rear stress buster.

It was the need to shorten a curtain that got me back to sewing. I got my machine out and couldn't remember how to use it! I was devastated as sewing had been a big part of my life and what had shaped my early years and career. Well that spurred me on, I not only got the machine under control but determined to change my creativity from painting back to sewing.
That was three years ago and pretty much tied in with series 1 of the GBSB, and since then there is no stopping me!

So on to what you really want to see - the photos!

I make dresses...

This one is the Sew Over It Tea Dress

 This is the Bella dress that came free with Love Sewing magazine

And this one from Salme - their buttonless shirt dress

I also make accessories:

this was a self drafted knitting needle case as a gift for a friends birthday
 another self drafted bag for my niece

And a cushion for other friends who had their 40th just a few days apart

And things for my nieces and nephew:

I have so many patterns i could never hope to make them all and similarly so much fabric that I don't know what to do with it all. Neither of which stops me adding more to my stash at every opportunity

Hope you enjoyed my story! There's lots to come still as I work my way through my stashes.


  1. Emma you make lovely things! Those dresses are adorable especially the Sew Over It Tea Dress!

  2. Lucky, lucky friends and relatives to have you sewing for them. I kept flicking through the photos of the clothes that you made yourself to try and decide which I liked best but I couldn't as they are all so lovely.

  3. Love your projects! I am particularly taken with the needle case, such a gorgeous design!

    I am in exactly the same position where my fabric stash is concerned though you sew lots more than I do. I am wondering if you have a strategy or plan in mind to try and get through your fabric stash? I'll chat with you about that at the next meeting, exchanging ideas and insights is so very useful. Along the lines of two minds are better than one!

    Such lovely dresses and great accessories!

  4. This reminds me of how much I liked you in your Bella dress - so much so I nipped out and bought the magazine with the pattern, so you may see me in one one day,

    Catherine G


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