Meet the Sew Over It team!

Sew Over It Hackney Team PortraitPhotographer: Andy Donohoe

Rosie Stirling  – General Manager

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 our Islington shop and Hackney office, Monday to Friday.


Alex Whatley – Content Manager

Since I was a child I’ve always enjoyed indulging in creative pursuits – whether that was making my own jewellery at primary school, decorating (and constantly rearranging) my bedroom, or spending time writing. I taught myself to sew in 2011 with the help of the blogging community, which eventually led to my job at Sew Over It. My role now combines my love of being creative with words and pictures with my passion for sewing; both together I hope to be able to use to inspire others to create their own handmade wardrobe.

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! Alex is based in our Hackney office, Monday to Friday.


Nicole Wells – Production Manager

I began sewing when I was about 7, when my mother taught me so that I could sew tiny clothes for my bear collection and I haven’t really stopped since! Sewing is very much a skill passed down through the women of my family – my mother and both grandmas have all been keen sewers and knitters. I taught myself to knit following my degree and I rarely leave the house without a project in my bag! I completed a BA Fashion Studies degree at the University of Derby and specialised in Menswear in my final year, after completing menswear internships in London. After graduating, I moved back to London and have worked in garment production and freelanced in menswear pattern cutting.

Nicole is our Production Manager, and oversees the process of bringing our patterns, kits and online classes to life. Nicole is based in our Hackney office, Monday to Friday.


Becca Porter – Wholesale Coordinator

Sewing genes run in my family and I was taught to sew from an early age by my Mum and Nana. I spent my childhood crafting (and painting anything that didn’t move) but sewing eventually won out as my favourite craft when I learnt how to sew my own clothes about 10 years ago. Since then I’ve given most sewing projects a go – from jeans to quilts and t-shirts to coats – and just love the endless possibilities of fabric when you have a needle and thread. I love that working at Sew Over It means I can chat about sewing all day and help customers who are either just beginning their sewing journeys, or are already well down that road.

Becca coordinates the wholesale side of Sew Over It, making sure our lovely stockists are kept topped up with our patterns. She’s primarily based in our Islington shop, with Tuesdays in Hackney. Most customer emails are answered by Becca, so you’ll quickly come across her if you drop us a question. You might also recognise her from the Sewing Quarter!


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 teaches many of our beginner and intermediate classes, and runs our Islington shop on Sundays.



Poppy 530

Poppy is Lisa’s 6 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


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.


Kate Owen

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.


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