Team

Meet the Sew Over It team!

Amy Bushill

I am currently studying BA Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins specialising in advertising. Always been more creative than academic doing Textiles all through school and A level as well as Art and Photography and Film. I’m still in the process of deciding where I want to take my work in the future, but take a peak at my website to get a little taste of what I’ve been up to!

Amy is our Workshop Assistant and works in Islington on Sundays.

Leah Das

I started sewing in my childhood, and spent my teen years dabbling in fashion as a peculiar hobby, from blogging to making my own clothes. I then went to study Fashion Design in Bristol, where I learnt more about the industry – everything from the practical of design and making, to the social, environmental and ethical side of fashion. After working in a range of roles for various small designers and grassroots arts projects, I decided to go back to school to explore different directions for fashion practice.

I am now finishing the MA Fashion Futures course at London College of Fashion, and realising that learning to make is one thing that changed my relationship to fashion and indeed, myself. Joining the Sew Over It team has been a lovely (harmless!) way to infect others with that bug! You can see all my work on my portfolio, or find me tinkering and musing about dress on Odyle.

Leah is our Operations Assistant and is based in Islington on Wednesdays and Clapham on Sundays.

Lisa (LJ) Gaunt 

After graduating with a BA in Costume Design from Wimbledon College of Art, I went on to do some more intensive pattern cutting courses at Kensington and Chelsea College. With two BTECs under my belt, I worked on various fringe productions for a while before deciding to take some time out. I’m now back flexing my creative muscles at Sew Over It. I’m always on a quest to learn a new skill. I knit, crochet, sew and embroider and I’m currently contemplating trying my hand at patchwork – because you can never have enough projects on the go at once! You can read about my adventures on my blog, Tiny Stitcher.

LJ works alongside Lisa to create samples for upcoming classes and patterns, and takes the step-by-step photographs for our PDF pattern releases. You will also find her in the Clapham shop on Saturdays.

Louise King

Ever since I can remember I’ve always enjoyed making all sorts of things. I studied BA Fine Art but once I graduated ended up working administration and doing very little making. I bought a basic sewing machine to help me make some elaborate Halloween costumes and I was hooked! It gave me the creative outlet I had been craving. After I had my two girls I didn’t want to leave them for just any old job, it had to be something special. Working at Sew Over It was the job I was looking for. And I am so happy to be part of the team and have an opportunity to meet, work and learn from so many talented people.

Louise is Wholesale Operations Assistant and works alongside Rosie in our Islington branch on Tuesdays.

Mollie Lloyd

From as far back as I can remember, I have been passionate about arts and craft and making things. I grew up in North London and I am heavily influenced by the mix of different cultures, races and identities that I was surrounded by. I set up my own jewellery brand in 2013, BethanJoy London and I really enjoy creating my own pieces and seeing them come together to help create different looks and styles. I am really excited about being part of the team at Sew Over It to help our customers create their own ideas and encourage more people to get involved in making their own clothing.

Mollie is our Clapham Coordinator, and is in charge of our online shop. She processes all of your online shop orders, making sure they are sent out speedily! You will also see her in the Clapham shop if you pop in for a browse or an evening class. Mollie is based in Clapham, Tuesday-Saturdays.

Holly Macedo

I’ve gained a variety of creative experience since graduating from The Arts University Bournemouth in 2012. An imaginative, multidisciplinary designer with a determined and diligent nature and passion for crafts, I’ve worked as a costume designer for film and theatre productions in the UK and abroad; set the stage for various brands as an in-store visual stylist; produced unique festival accessories for Soho’s infamous costume shop and worked with ITV and Skinnydip London as a freelance illustrator.

My role at Sew Over It is just as wonderfully varied, supporting the business through creative, customer-facing and administrative (!) means. I enjoy managing the visual merchandising for both stores and am excited by the potential of these bright and beautiful spaces! I also ensure that lots of new products are added every week to the site to inspire our talented SOI community!

Follow Holly’s Instagram for snippets of her design work and processes, haphazard embroidery, bespoke unicorn horns and cats!

Eleanor McDonald

I am a London based Menswear Designer, specialising in outerwear. For the past year I have been studying on the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins, but I’m currently taking a year out to focus on freelance commissions. I got into sewing at a young age and have never really stopped; making my own prom dress has turned into designing and making luxury menswear. Follow me on Instagram to see some of my work and daily inspiration images.

Ellie is our Pattern Production Assistant, working alongside Rachel to prepare our class patterns for commercial release. She is based in our Clapham branch and works on Monday and Tuesday.

Rosie Stirling

Whilst undertaking research in physical geography, sewing became my much needed creative outlet to clear my head after a day of science. It was a challenge from my sister that made me take the leap from quilting to dressmaking and I’ve never looked back! I love using the online resources shared by the fantastic sewing community to learn new skills and I’m always up for a bit of a sewing challenge. After leaving the academic life behind me I began my biggest challenge so far and started the tricky task of finding a role that combined my two great loves: sewing and spreadsheets. I’ve been lucky enough to find that role at Sew Over It and thoroughly enjoy putting my spreadsheet skills to work (whilst being surrounded by fabric of course!).

Our General Manager, Rosie manages both the classes and wholesale sides of Sew Over It, and is based across both Clapham and Islington, Monday-Friday.

Rachel Walker

After a number of years studying biology in research roles at Imperial College, Cambridge University and the Natural History Museum, I decided to have a change in career and pursue my creative dreams. Since then I haven’t looked back and retrained in pattern cutting and creative product design and development. I spend one day a week working for Sew Over It and the rest of my time working on The Fold Line, an online sewing community that I co-founded in 2015, as well as other freelance commissions. 

Rachel works with us on a freelance basis assisting our Pattern Development team in bringing our range of commercial patterns to life.

Alex Whatley

Alex is our Content Manager, and with Lisa coordinates our marketing strategies, as well as managing all our social media channels (Instagram, Twitter, FacebookPinterest, vlog and blog). She liaises with press and creates all artwork for our advertising campaigns. Alex is also our resident website troubleshooter! As well as this, she works with the Pattern Development team on our range of commercial patterns, co-writing the instructions and managing the online releases. Follow her on Instagram!

Poppy

Poppy 530

Poppy is Lisa’s 4 year old Tibetan terrier/poodle cross and a regular at Sew Over It. If you pop into the shops you might find her napping on Lisa’s knee, sneaking a ball of wool to play with, or barking at the postman!

 

Meet The Teachers

Kangan Arora

I run a London-based contemporary design studio, specialising in vivid print and interior-fashion textiles. My recent work includes partnerships with Urban Outfitters, REN Skincare and Heal’s, as well as producing my own collections; while photography has given me the opportunity to work with Getty Images, Secret Cinema, Eleanor Pritchard, plus the lovely team at Sew Over It – see some of my images throughout the website!

My approach is typified by a celebratory use of colour, pattern and abstraction, while rooted in an appreciation of contrasting cultures and a rich tradition of visual storytelling, informed by my Indian heritage. See more of my work on my website or follow me on Instagram.

As well as taking most of the Sew Over It photographs, Kangan teaches the Beginners Taster Drawstring Bag class.

Ellen Bartels 

At the age of eight I declared to my mum I was going to work in fashion and she would need to send me to fashion school! After announcing my intended career path so boldly I went back to my room and kept gluing all my pictures together to create my seasonal ‘mood board’ and ever since that day creating, sewing and fashion has been my world!

I studied fashion design in Sydney & after graduating worked for well known Australian fashion designers, Collette Dinnigan & Johanna Johnson working on designs for high profile celebrities & red carpet events. I started teaching fashion design and fashion business at Sydney’s Design Centre at Sydney Institute, TAFE whilst continuing to freelance in the fashion industry; you can never give it up entirely!

In 2014 I made the exciting leap to move to London & into the British fashion world, which has always been a source of inspiration for my own work. I worked for Emilia Wickstead whilst completing a Post Graduate in Creative Pattern Cutting and Garment Technology, which allowed me to explore my creative tendencies whilst honing skills in garment construction. I am now currently a Garment Technologist for Roland Mouret and enjoy balancing the luxury fashion world with teaching sewing at Sew Over It and passing on my skills and knowledge in a wonderful creative environment.

Ellen teaches our beginner sewing classes.

Dominique Davant 

My passions revolve around craft, textiles and illustration. I love creating and customising objects from tablecloths to mirrors. I started sewing and making my own clothes when I was 13 and I always used textiles as a way to express my creativity. At the age of 18, I studied Fashion design in France and learnt a great deal about sewing and pattern cutting. I followed up this degree with an MA in Textile at Chelsea college of Art and then worked at Liberty fabrics for 2 years and became an expert in Liberty designs!

Dominique teaches our beginner sewing and dressmaking classes. She also works on our commercial pattern range with Lisa.

Autumn Green

My approach to sewing is perhaps a bit more wayward than most. A passionate quilter from a young age, I became interested in the history of crafts and other textiles, which I used writing a master’s in Art History at Oxford University. I have since worked at the Ashmolean Museum and Smith College Museum of Art, as well as the odd London art gallery. I currently teach a sewing club for 8+ at a local primary school, and do freelance quilting and sewing projects.

Autumn teaches our quilting classes.

Julie Johnston

I have always loved sewing, can’t remember not sewing. I first started working in a repertory theatre and went on to complete a three year course in Theatre Costume. I worked at Scottish Opera as the Ladies Costume Cutter, working with designers, making patterns,  cutting out and overseeing the making of costumes for all productions. Although I loved the world of theatre, I could not see the intensity and time involved working well with having a family and so applied to work with Catherine Walker, who at the time was making clothes for Princess Diana.  There I learned couture techniques and worked on her bridal gowns. While my two sons were small I worked freelance for three of the leading bridal designers in London, Anneliese Sharp, Allison Blake and latterly Phillipa Lepley where I met Lisa.  I still make wedding dresses for my own customers. I love the revival of interest in sewing and I love passing on my skills to a new generation.

Julie teaches our intermediate to advanced sewing classes where she passes on her wealth of knowledge from years in costume and couture.

Alice Kornicki

I am a freelance costume maker based in North London. I started sewing as a way to boost my wardrobe as a teenager and never stopped! Through making my own clothes, I developed an interest in creative pattern cutting and period costume. A graduate of Wimbledon College of Art I particularly enjoy making pieces for theatre and circus.

Find out more about Alice on her website.

Bevelee Regan

I am a freelance designer maker and soft furnisher. My journey on this path started as young girl watching my grandmother and mother make do and mend. I have since, always had a keen interest in all things handmade. I am self taught, driven to create by my love/obsession with fabrics and fascination of how things are made! I have worn many a hat within the industry but over the years I have come to specialise in soft furnishing and have recently completed an advanced course in soft furnishing accredited to The Association of Masters Upholsterers. I work from my lovely studio creating bespoke cushions, blinds, handmade curtains and swags. I also create functional bags from the beautiful fabrics that I find and kits to inspire you to sew.

I am inspired by the environment around me. Shape, form and simple structure are evident in my bag designs whereas colour and print directs my interior choices. Whilst there is fabric, let there be love!

Bevelee teaches all our soft furnishing classes.

Kate Sherman

I am a textiles designer based in South East London. After completing my degree in textiles at Central St Martins, I have continued to explore all aspects of fabrics, and fibres. My work particularly focuses around machine and hand knitting methods, patch-working, quilting, embroidery and graphic design. Colour and patterns are my major focus while my inspiration comes from fusing classic designs with contemporary colours. View some of my work online here.

Kate teaches our Intro to quilting class.

Kate Underwood

My love of fashion began early, with my Grandma teaching me to sew as a child, and continues to this day! I moved to London at 19 to study Womenswear Design Technology at London College of Fashion, focusing on pattern cutting and garment technology, before starting my career as a pattern cutter and sample machinist for high end labels Future Classics and Pam Hogg.

I went on to complete a specialist Leatherwork course a few years later as i’ve always had a love for working with leather, learning to use specialist machinery and experiment with hand stitching techniques. This enabled me to move on to work as studio manager and leatherwork specialist at Peekaboo Vintage, focusing on their premium ranges, and creating patterns for their new pieces from specialist vintage fabrics including leather, plastics and antique silk and lace.

I have always been passionate about the technical side of fashion, and this is what drove me to set up my own small pattern cutting and leatherwork studio, helping designers bring their creations to life! My love of the technical side of design is also why I decided to begin teaching, to help others learn the skills they need to make their designs into finished garments!

Kate teaches our beginner and intermediate dressmaking classes.

Natalie Warner

Needles, thread, fabric and yarn have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mum, grandma and aunties were all keen knitters, crocheters, dressmakers and embroiderers and introduced me to the wonders of haberdashery at a tender age. My very first sewing box and pink Tomy knitting machine are still in the attic! I can’t remember how old I was when I first picked up crafts; they have always been there.

On the other hand, my education took a very different route and I studied English Literature and medieval literary and visual culture before working as a research assistant for the University of London. After six years I realised I ought to be doing something far more creative with my life, gave over to my passions and made a big career switch. That was in 2009. Since then I have been teaching and designing nonstop! I am thrilled to be creating beautiful handmade items, teaching others how to do the same, and calling it ‘work’. I am never bored of making and teaching, and can’t see that changing anytime soon.

You can find out more about my projects and my musings on my blog and follow me on Instagram for more snappy snippets.

Natalie teaches our Knitting and Crochet classes.

Laurel Waldron

I’ve been hooked on stitching ever since my Mum taught me as a child. Haphazardly made Barbie dresses quickly gave way to the real thing, and an amazingly inspiring teacher led me to GCSE and A Level Textiles before embarking on DeMontfort Univesity’s Fashion Design & Contour Fashion degree. After wonderful work placements at Jenny Packham and the Royal Opera House costume department I established very quickly I was never going to be a designer; I work in PR and journalism though I manage to satisfy my sewing needs in my spare time! I’ve been teaching the tricks of my trade to others for the last four years, as well as creating my own lingerie line called Love Laurel and stitching everything from wedding dresses to baby quilts.

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