Hi, Hello, Bonjour, Hola ….
I get asked a lot about how I go into making clothes so I thought it was about time that I wrote a little post about the maker (me) behind Born to Thread and how my skills have led me to pay the bills.
Ever since I was little I was always draping fabric around everything, drawing pretty dresses and even cutting holes in the middle of the fabric to make something! (sorry mum, at least I know how to cut out properly now)!
I always admired my mum and grandma making clothes and every opportunity I got to help I would, so I guess my passion stated young.
My one memory of sewing was sitting with my grandma on a rainy Saturday afternoon creating little craft pieces, its something she loved to do and I was always excited when she suggested making something and nothing was a problem.
I think it also gave her an excuse to watch kids tv and films too!
It was always exciting going to visit fabric shops too there is nothing better than getting to see and touch fabric in real, which is quite annoying that most fabric is online now as much as they have an amazing selection it’s just not the same as visiting a fabric shop.
I started my fashion journey at Harrogate college where I did a year of art and then went on to do an ND in fashion and textiles.
Through the 2 years I learnt how to work on different briefs and design collections around them. I also had my first try at pattern cutting which was very confusing when I first started and many mistake was made! I wasn’t amazing at maths but I persevered and the more I did it the more it got easier.
Here is one of my first creations! I’ve struggled to find photos of these as it was such a long time ago.
Insert cringe face…
My next venture was to University, I wasn’t all that keen on going to be honest but my teacher pushed me to go and I’m so glad that I did because my I got to advance on my skills so much.
I studied at Cleveland college of Art and Design for 3 years, I did a 2 year FDA Fashion production where I learnt advanced pattern cutting and sewing techniques.
This course was mainly about the making of the clothing so you focused on all the production techniques used to make and finish off a garment.
I absolutely loved the making side so I found this course really interesting and really helped that I had amazing teaches with incredible skills to push me.
We also worked on live briefs with fashion companies which was a real eye opener and the timescale had to be spot on. I actually won a placement with Tesco’s childrenswear through one of these briefs which I was super proud of myself.
I created a final collection for this course, at the time I was obsessed with couture and always have been inspired by vintage fashion. This collection was inspired by Marie Antoinette, French Frou Frou and the costumes from the film Sweeney Todd.
An array of mixed culture all rolled into one collection.
I then went on to do a 1 year BA Fashion enterprise which was hardcore I’m not going to lie!
In this year I had a dissertation to do which when you’re not a writing type of person was HARD, lots of all nighters and early morning starts were involved in this. A business plan to create and a whole collection to go alongside of this, so many things to think about!
But it was great organisation skills and learning how to keep a good time schedule especially when making clothes.
My advice to anyone on there 3rd year of uni… get organised and get prepared.
Also side note the fashion industry is not at all glamorous, it s gruelling, hard work, stressful but if you can push through all of that then your reap the benefits. Just keep going!
I had taken a year off in-between this so I when I went back it was amazing how much my inspiration had changed and style of collection I wanted to create. I fell in love with tailoring, British heritage and suits from the victorian era, especially the dandy influence.
For this collection I also took inspiration from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland film because I just think the costume skills that are used in these films are blummin amazing. You can get so much inspiration from the details and colours that are used.
The fabric I worked with was Harris Tweed to push the boundaries of the typical tweed jacket, I was obsessed with all the bright colours that they did and why weren’t people wearing them and just sticking to the boring green tweed!
Yes, I’m a sucker for colour, but I mean life’s better in colour isn’t it?
I was super proud of this collection and I really pushed my skills with tailoring, it was no walk in the park but it was totally worth it.
Im kinda going back to that now with my jackets, I’ve always loved making them and I find it really satisfying creating a good fit and style to them.
I’m so grateful for all these skills I’ve learnt from the amazing teachers I had because their knowledge was incredible . I always knew that I wanted to start my own business creating fabulous clothes for people to make them feel empowered by what they wear, so that’s where BTT started
Which brings me to today I’m 32 and I’m still loving creating, I’m also still learning in fact I’ve probably learnt more running my own business than what I did learning at college and uni?
Education can give you the skills but nothing can prepare for going out there on your own and trying to make it, in whichever way you choose.
All you’ve got to do is keep upping your game especially when it comes to business, You’ve got to keep on top as its forever changing.
It’s not easy and self employed life can be very stressful lonely place at times but the one thing that gets me through all of this is my amazing customers. When I see your face light up wearing something I’ve created for you, it feels incredible and thats what success is for me.
Want to know more about my services or interested in starting out in fashion and would like some advice please contact me here.