A woman and her dog
Charlotte Pearson meets up with a sewing teacher to talk dogs and dresses.
We all have different ways to relax and reduce stress. For some people it is shopping, while others enjoy exercise.
“I find sewing very therapeutic,” Hope Scrivener reveals. “For some people it stresses them out, but I love it.
“However baking…”she starts. “Ask me to bake and I can’t do it, I don’t know how to.
“But ask me to make you a coat? I’ll take your measurements, get the fabric and have it done in a few hours.”
It is this passion for sewing she aims to pass on to those attending her Hope to Sew workshops.
“Anyone can come to my classes,” Hope smiles. “I get people who want only a pattern and others that want me to walk through each stage.”
Hope adds that although she can supply items for people to make she enjoys it when people bring their own ideas.
“If people have something in particular they want to do that is fine,” Hope enthuses. “I can help them make it.
“I always feel really proud when I see them come in with no confidence and they leave with something they have made.
“I had one woman who didn’t feel confident enough to cut her own fabric so we took small steps, and she ended up with something she loved and grew in confidence that she came back again and again.”
Set up in April, Hope & Ted is the umbrella which the Hope to Sew workshops falls under – so who is Ted?
“My dog,” she laughs, “I just looked at him one day and thought ‘I want to go into business with you’.
“Everyone loves a dog, and I think it really works as a name.”
Hope admits her teaching style has evolved, changing to suit each class.
“At the end of the day I’m only 24,” she smiles.
“I have to remind myself it is still fairly new and maybe on the first anniversary I will assess how I do things, but at the moment I am just going with the flow.”
A huge influence on Hope was tutor Simon Seivewright who sadly died in 2013.
“He was my mentor,” she says, “and not being able to go him for advice or show him how I am getting on is really hard.”
Hope undertook a fashion design course at Northbrook College, but had no intention of being a teacher.
“During the course I wanted to do a number of different things – a tailor, pattern cutter and a buyer,” recalls the 24 year old.
“When you graduate you have this degree and most of the time no idea what you want to do.”
After graduating with a first class degree Hope got a job in London as a buyer’s admin assistant, but the long days and commute meant she started to dislike it.
Following encouragement from those around her Hope decided to leave the London job behind and advertised her first class at the Wool Bar in Warwick Street, Worthing.
“I was worried that no one would turn up,” Hope laughs. “It was a small class but I really enjoyed it.
“I show people what they are going to make in the three hours and most people look at me and think ‘no way’.
“They are so surprised when they have a finished product at the end.”
And teaching others has been a bit of a learning curve for Hope.
“I can see a pattern and in my head I know how it goes from 2D to 3D,” she reveals.
“I have had to teach myself how to tell other people how to do it.”
As well as teaching others Hope also undertakes alterations and creates made to measure clothing.
“I love the high street and can look at something in a shop and know how to make it,” she explains. “What I make is obviously more expensive than buying a skirt or dress in a shop but it will be made to fit only you.
“My mum is my guinea pig though for new designs, I am always making her things.”
However Hope is aware sewing does not come naturally to everyone.
“You should never be frightened to sew,” she insists. “You never know what creative talents you have until you give it a go.
“I always say in my classes if you make a mistake we can rectify it.
“At school I made a skirt which I couldn’t get over my bottom and my GCSE teacher just said ‘it’s fine we can put in a panel and sort it out’.
“Obviously if you don’t cut the pattern properly there is an issue there, but when it comes to stitching we can unpick something or add a panel,” Hope reassures. “It is ok to make mistakes, everyone does it.”
Who knows, after taking a class with Hope you could find yourself signing up for the Great British Sewing Bee.
For more information, visit www.hopeandted.co.uk
January 15, 2015 Fashion and Beauty