t: 07522 807004   e: info@sewshed.co.uk

About SewShed

Hongkong Markets” in the 1970s– Yes…yes they were definitely the inspiration which kindled, and sparked a sewing love affair from early teenage years. Let me tell you my story.

To start at the beginning……I have to thank my Mum.  She was not a sewer but she paid for a block of sewing classes for me with a very talented young Chinese lady named Miss Ida Po, who ran her sewing school from a tiny flat in Hong Kong.  Inside her apartment the room was bright and alive with the buzz of sewing machines and her large cutting table.  She slept in a cubby hole and devoted her entire living space to teaching sewing.

Miss Po taught advanced pattern drafting and sewing techniques , and so I was given the opportunity at the age of thirteen to learn pattern drafting and sewing.  I was hooked!

I loved the Saturday morning lessons and my 4 hours with Miss Po.  The inspiration I gained from her, coupled with my first new Singer 478 sewing machine for Christmas, set me off on a lifelong quest to manipulate fabric and create unique things which hadn’t existed before.  The cloth alleys and markets of Hong Kong were a young sewer’s dream –   Being able to buy fabric and notions for pocket money prices allowed me to add to my wardrobe every weekend!

I moved on from those formative Hong Kong days with many more wonderfully inspiring tutors. Soft furnishing courses with Maureen Whitemore, English Couture Company classes with Terry fox,  Industrial sewing techniques at Borders College of Textiles, and City and Guilds qualification in Creative Textiles at Telford College in Edinburgh.  Heirloom sewing, quilting, free machining, felting, appliqué………In the lovely words of Carol King’s classic ballad:-

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue”

Skills, techniques and know how have structured the warp of my tapestry, providing the strong foundation on which to weave the rich hues of creativity.

Over the course of my nursing career and motherhood, sewing has remained a constant source of joy, creativity and productivity.  I’ve taught many classes and workshops for women’s groups and found a passion for teaching sewing skills to others.  The internet sewing communities have brought about the sharing of knowledge from a fabulously generous sisterhood of sewers out there in cyberspace!  It really is a Global Sewing Bee, and although it competes with the sewing machine for my attention, I regard my web surfing time as “sewing by proxy”.

At home, my sewing room known as the sewing shed is a meditative refuge where I can lose all track of time,  surrounded by my wealth of precious things – not diamonds and jewels but my fabric stash, notions, felt rovings, patterns, lace, and all the paraphernalia that significant others call “hoarding”, but we sewers know is the REAL treasure!

Having retired from my district nursing career, I have realised my long standing dream of running a sewing school, and now invite others to share in my new SewShed Studio at Cavalry Park in the beautiful Border town of Peebles.  I hope to pass on the skills and enthusiasm to eager would be sewers, old and young, and to teach advanced skills to those who already share the passion.

Enjoy looking through the classes which are added to and updated frequently, then come learn with me at SewShed, join our Growing in Sewing Club and sew happily ever after!

Helen