We have some good news...and some bad news...

Hello! Jenny here!

Been a while since I chatted to you guys as I do more and more stuff behind the scenes now - you’ll be used to reading this in Colettes voice haha! I wanted to give you a little update on what’s been happening at Sew Confident.

First of all I really want to thank each and every one of you for your support over the past 7 and a half years! I can’t believe we’ve been on the go for that long! As you know we’ve started replicating the Sew Confident studio vibe via franchising with the lovely Sandra in Dundee and Dawn in Chorley. We’ve got another one in the pipeline but it’s top secret SORRY - ask me in person and I might crack though! I love what the business has become, I love meeting you all and befriending most of you, and I love that we’re managing to share the sewing bug with so many new people all over the UK!

With growth comes challenges of course. Every business has them and unless you’re Colette, Rosey or my long suffering partner Steve, you won’t know about most of them( I am a problem solver by nature so I’m hard wired to find creative solutions, that’s basically my job! No complaints here!). Our biggest one is a bit of a double edged sword called VAT. Vat is a 20% tax the government put on to goods and services. To most businesses it makes no difference because you claim back the VAT on the goods that you buy in and then you pay it on the goods you sell but for service based businesses like ours it’s a bit tricky because we don’t buy in very much to claim anything back!

In the UK you only start paying VAT once your turnover tips over a certain amount. So in essence every Sew Confident Class up until now has been VAT free you lucky things! However now that we’re approaching the VAT threshold we have no choice but to start charging VAT on all our classes. I’m going to blame the big bad government for this as it’s their tax rules not mine(and in my opinion the system doesn’t work at all for service based businesses like mine but hey that’s a blog post for another day)!

The only positive I can take from this is that growth is good. This may be a hurdle that has been playing on my mind for months but I know we’ll be able to get right over it and hopefully you guys will understand how this is something we just can’t avoid. With growth of course means things like new job creation, better service offering, more classes and better chocolate biscuits haha! I thought the best thing to do here was to be completely transparent and give you a sneaky peak of the serious business side of Sew Confident.

It’s not all bad though as we have decided to give you all mega advance warning of the price increase. We’ve also scheduled classes waaaaay into the future (2020 here we come!) so that you can still bag yourself a class at VAT free pricing even into next year (Can’t see what you’re looking for? Email us). So get your calendar out and take advantage of VAT free prices before they increase on 1st October.

I should add this is only in the Glasgow Studio so Dundee and Chorley are still footloose and VAT-free!

New Year, Same Fabulous You.

Hopefully by now you have, sadly, gotten back into the swing of things at work/uni and recovered from the festive holidays! If like me you are probably sick of people asking the same questions; “How was your Christmas?”, “Do much for New Year?” and the worst of all… “What’s your New Year Resolutions?”

PERSONALLY, I don’t set life changing goals at New Year. I’m not going to tell folk I’m going to lose a stone and run a marathon because the chances are I’ll go to the gym twice this year, maybe three times if I’m lucky…then I’ll feel horrible about myself at the end of the year for not achieving my goals and it’ll be an endless cycle. I also feel that a lot of peoples (not everyone) goals focus too much on the ‘negative’ things about them rather than realising how great they already are! “I want to lose weight”, “I want to get my teeth done”, “I want to get a boyfriend because I’m lonely and bored on my own” …to quote just a few of my friends ‘New Year Resolutions’, and within the first few days of the new year people beat themselves up and feel they have failed for already giving into a slice of cake etc etc. (In response to the boyfriend ‘goal’ - YOU ARE A STRONG, INDEPENDENT GIRL/MAN THAT DON’T NEED NO MAN/GIRL.)

What we SHOULD all be doing this year, may it not be the start of this year…maybe not even next month over even this year, is to learn all about SELF LOVE. Focus on the things you are already interested in or good at, or even things you are bad at but enjoy & LOOK FORWARD to improving. In this case, being crafty.

Now i’m no life coach, I probably have a cheek to be talking about self love as I know I can be very hard on myself…BUT one ‘goal’ I do have for 2019 is to sew more. GROUND BREAKING, I KNOW, This isn’t even learning something new! I’ve had more downs than ups over last year, but the one thing that really helps is being creative and sewing, yet when people ask the last thing i’ve made I can barely remember. I’m so guilty for ‘knowing what’s good for me but ignoring it.’ I think that’s why I love the whole idea of Sew Confident so much. I can already hear everyone reading this saying I’m being biased haha - maybe I slightly am. Although class after class after class, the one thing that is always said is how people love that they have dedicated time to coming along and being crafty. That they are the same as me and often get distracted at home or feel guilty for taking time out of their busy lives to get creative.

Yes our classes cost money, which especially in the longgggggggg, poooor month that is January you might not have the disposable income. BUT, if you think about it long term, one of our knitting or crochet classes costs £40 (this is less than a normal night out for me - but i do go a bit OTT) and in one evening you learn a new skill that you can continue to use and improve for LIFE. I mention knitting and crochet as that is the only new skills I would like to hopefully master in the next year or two (See, again, no pressure to be a crochet queen by the end of 2019). As I also mentioned earlier, for me, using my creativity or learning a new creative skill is all about the positive effect it has on my mental state. Good Mental State = Positive Self Loving. Making things from scratch whether it be a quilt, a dress or evening a weaved wall hanging…getting to meet knew creative friends…or guilt free time to hang with current crafty friends -

IT HELPS MAKE THE SAME FABULOUS YOU, EVEN MORE FABULOUS.

Lots of loving and positive vibes,

Sew Confident Colette


A New Year, A New Sew Confident Employee. . .

Now that everyone is sadly back to work…We hope you all had an amazing Christmas and New Year!

Has anyone got any New Years ReSEWlutions? (See what we done there)! It is always good to set yourself a goal, whether its personal, work or relationship related! Want to be featured in our New Years ReSEWlutions blog? Send in your Christmas makes and ideas for 2019 to hello@sewconfident.co.uk , by the 14th of Jan.

THE IMPORTANT BIT…

There has been some changes already this year in the Glasgow studio…starting with a new staff member! Everyone say a big hello to Rosey, who has joined the team and is taking over from Colette as our new official studio manager -EXCITING!

Before Rosey introduces herself, if you were lucky enough to get any Sew Confident Gift Vouchers over Christmas make sure to book up soon as classes are filling up fast!


INTRODUCING… ROSEY

An outfit from my graduate collection!

An outfit from my graduate collection!

Hi everyone, I’m Rosey! I learnt to sew in high school and have been mad for it ever since! I recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art from a fashion design course. Whilst there I learnt how to machine knit, which proved to be crazy addictive! I knitted the majority of my final collection there as well! Creating my own patterns and making the clothes for that had to be the hardest things I’ve ever made!

I’ve always loved being surrounded by creative people so will be excited to meet all of you sewers, knitters and crafters and see your amazing projects! I’m still on my knitting craze so that's what I’ll be making at the moment, and whizzing everything together on the overlocker! I also like to make recycled outdoors wear, this is me in a recycled parachute windbreaker.

March Sew-er of the Month - JANE

Say a Big Hello to Sew Confident Loyal - Jane!

1. So Jane, How long have you been sewing?

I’ve always wanted to learn to sew and I took a short beginners class about 2 years ago.  I loved it but wanted to do more and I wanted to make things that I’d actually wear/use. About a year ago I found Sew Confident and haven’t looked back since!!

2. Why did you start sewing?

I’ve always wanted to sew my own clothes.  You know when you see that ‘almost’ perfect outfit but wish the sleeves were a bit different, the length was longer/shorter  or it was in a different material. I just think it is amazing to be able to alter or make your own clothes to be exactly what you personally want.

3. Sounds like we could have a future fashion designer in our classes... What sewing project are you most proud of?

I love my wee 2 piece suit from Colette’s Co-ord class.  The material is so nice and it’s fleecy on the inside so keeps me nice and cosy!!  Colette taught me how to incorporate the fringing detail from the edge of the fabric and I think it looks really fab!  My own version of a Channel jacket!! I also like my coat I made at the pattern class – it was a bit adventurous and the 1st time I’ve done something that is lined, but I think it turned out ok.

4. Both your co-ord and jacket look AMAZING! You will be giving Channel a run for their money in no time. What do your friends and family think about your sewing skills, are they impressed or do they use you as a free alterations service?

I think they’re just astonished I can do it!!  Haha. I remember showing my Mum some fabric I got one day.  I was so excited about it that I went ahead and cut a wrap dress out that night and sewed it up.  She couldn’t believe it when she saw the finished dress the very next day!! No one has really asked me to hem anything yet – maybe they’re waiting for me to build my skills up!!

5. That is so nice, there really is no better feeling than saying you made something yourself! SO, What sewing accessory could you not live without?

Jenny and Colette on speed dial!! ☺ haha! Actually – this is a bit silly, but since Jenny taught me how to use the needle threader on my machine, I can’t live without it!!  I don’t think I can actually thread the machine needle by myself anymore!

 

6. You know you are more than welcome to drop us a message or e-mail whenever you need!! Next question, If you could go back to your beginner days and give yourself one sewing tip or piece of advice what would it be?

Probably a bit predictable but...Just keep sewing and don’t worry too much about mistakes.  No-one else notices them! I think I put myself under pressure to make everything absolutely perfect but you’ll never get any better unless you keep practising.

7. Since your beginner days, have you had any sewing disasters?

Yes! Loads!  I can be a bit slap dash so end up unpicking things all the time!!

8. Sadly I think the unpick is most sew-ers best friend!! How many classes have you attended?

I’m a bit addicted to attending classes!!  My first was the shirt dress class which was amazing.  Lovely people on it (looking at you Amanda and Amrit!) and it was the first time I’d been able to make something I actually wanted to wear!  I’ve done the overlocker for beginners, underwear class, Advent Calendar class, 5 week Pattern class (with another amazing bunch of people) , 121’s and Colette’s Co-ord class.  I’ve got the Initial hand embroidery class coming up which looks amazing. I adore the ‘Sewcial’s’ too and get to as many as possible. One of the best things about every class is the lovely people you meet – we’ve had some great chat and interesting stories.

9. That is a LOT of classes, You really are a Sew Confident Loyal!! What would you like to be able to sew in the future, what is the dream?

My dream is to be able to draft my own patterns – just think up a design and be able to draft a pattern and make it.  I’d also like to become more skilled in altering bought patterns to fit me the way I want. At my last 121 with Jenny we drafted a pattern for a jersey skirt (I have a new obsession with the pattern master – what a piece of kit!!) and it’s fab – I’d like to do more of that.

10. **Takes note of future pattern drafting class idea**...What projects do you have on the go right now?

I’m so naughty for starting loads of projects at one time!!  I tried to focus myself this year with the ‘make 9 in 2018’ challenge.  I’ve already finished some – next one to finish is the Sew Over It Eve dress – I’m taking that one to the next Sewcial for a bit of help!

11. We are excited to see you & your project along at the Sewcial! Last question, What would you say to someone who was thinking of taking up sewing?

DO IT!  It is so relaxing and de-stressing, it’s an amazing skill to have and you’ll meet some really lovely people.

December sew-er of the Month!

Everyone say a big hello to our December sew-ew of the month:

Amrit !

IMG_6520.JPG

So Amrit, how long have you been doing the BEST hobby ever (IE sewing)?

Maybe about 3 years .... when you had your shop at Yorkhill and came for a beginners class.....I thought they know how to thread a machine and sew straight lines already ....I didn't know I was an hour late until someone asked if I was stuck in traffic lol!

Haha! Don't worry, we have all been there!! Why did you decide to start sewing?

Well really it was my husbands fault. After baby number 3 I really felt like I had nothing for me. I was a full time mum with 3 babies aged 3,1 and a newborn. I didn't feel good about myself or about my clothes. I was stuck in a rut. My friends were all working and I felt like my only purpose was to nurse and change nappies...so he nagged me to get out the house and get a hobby. Perhaps he was thinking I would take up running but it was sewing. 

I remember both my grannies sewing all their own Indian clothes and fitting perfectly. I have a weird body shape. I'm just 5ft. With quite long legs but short body. A sway back and sloping shoulders. And one boob bigger than the other! Ready to wear clothes didn't sit right and always need altered.....so that's where it all began!

What sewing project are you most proud of?

Eh I'm quite fickle. It's usually my last garment I've made haha. BUT if you force me it's actually the projects from the beginners class because that's what started me off. Recently though, my By Hand London holly trousers - They are sooooooo sexy. And I always get a bonus compliment. Colette Moneta dress I've made 4 and plans for more. The Sew Over It Nancy dress is a staple in workwear. I'm not a shirt person but I made a Grainline Archer Shirt. I loved that as I learned new skills like button holes, placket, collar stand.

IMG_6521.JPG

That is a LOT of pattern making! What do you friends and family think about your sewing skills, are they impressed or do they use you as a free alterations service?

Ok. So as a rule don't ask me to hem anything. Aaaaaaargh. I only do my mums trousers (she's even shorter than me)... Friends and colleagues are always impressed and flattering me with questions of what I'm sewing up for them (I can't sew for anyone either I'm too scared I'll do a botch job - it's ok if that happens for me). I feel so smug when someone says nice dress and I'm like thanks I made it ...family are bored with me I'm afraid. They are always scared incase I ask them to take 100 pictures of me lol.

Your sewing skills are amazing you shouldn't be scared to create great things for others Amrit! What sewing accessory could you not live without?

To be honest I don't have a favourite thing or a must buy this item. But I do like my magnetic pin holder. It's a bit boring but it's so easy to take pins out when your sewing and flick it on to the dish 

My 2 favourite sewing thing are:

  1. Where I store my threads. It's my grandmas thread box and it still has her threads in them. I don't think I can bring myself to use them! She lined these wee drawers with newspaper aswell. It's soooo cute. 
  2. And another thing is her tiny pin cushion with her pins in it. I think she likes that I'm into sewing I only wish I could have shared it with her. My other gran gives me fabric that she's had since she was married-vintage!!!! I'm too scared to cut into it and ruin it. I want to do it justice....any ideas what to make?? We were so lucky to have her. I always feel blessed that my children had 4 great grandparents.

If you could go back to your beginner days and give yourself one sewing tip or piece of advice what would it be?

Don't worry about squiggly lines or pattern matching. Have fun. It's supposed to de stress not stress you out......And drink lots of tea!

IMG_8541.JPG

 

Yup you definitely need a good cuppa when sewing! Have you had any sewing disasters?

All the time!!! Today I was making a top and it said sew right sides together...Easy right? NOT. I twisted the front piece sewed right sides together and ended up with a big knot in the front. I don't think I've ever made something without getting stuck at instruction or unpicking. But it's the learning. Something I learnt I'll never do again.... like that DP floral top you helped me with. The instructions were hopeless but the top looked amazing on someone else lol...it's also an achievement when you finished and got through that disaster. Another thing i've learned is what suits my body shape and what doesn't.

Sewing is all about the learning, as they say, every day is a school day, and boy was that DP pattern a school day for us! How many classes have you attended?  What was your favourite and why?

I have done lots...I even followed you to Kirkintilloch! I like the classes and love the social aspect. Their was:

  • The beginners
  • Sew far sew good (advanced beginner)
  • Christmas Advent Calendar 
  • Christmas things
  • Walk away dress from Great British Sewing Bee
  • The dress pattern class
  • The shirt dress

And probably 100s more!! All the classes are great and recommend people to go along. I loved the learning but I've made great friends and have eaten a fair amount of fabulous cake 

 

IMG_6512.JPG

What would you like to be able to sew in the future, what is the dream?

A coat! I really want to make one but think I should have started in July to have one ready for the colder months. The dream is to have a 100% handmade wardrobe and my style sorted out....the latter you think I might have done that by the time I hit 40, my still finding my style 

 

What projects do you have on the go right now?

I'm cutting a closet case ebony dress. In black knit with large florals on it.  Dresses and black tights are my wardrobe staple. I have plans to make another in a dusky pink ... In my head there are so many things I want to make

  • Victory Jackie dress
  • Another Tilly button cleo dress
  • Sew over it Erin skirt in denim or burgundy cord
  • A sewaholic sweatshirt
  • Everything from named patterns lol 

 

What would you say to someone who was thinking of taking up sewing?

Do it!!!! It's a great hobby. You'll pick up skills for life, make lots of friends, and you might get great fitting clothes out of it!

IMG_8548.JPG