Meet the Sew Over It team!
Photographer: Andy Donohoe
Lisa Comfort – Founder and Director
I fell in love with sewing aged 11 when I made my first skirt. A year later my parents gave me a sewing machine and I have never looked back since. Despite being teased for my “uncool” hobby, I persevered and carried on sewing. After studying at the London College of Fashion I worked for British designer Bruce Oldfield and then bridal couture designer Phillipa Lepley. I set up Sew Over It in a response to the growing feeling that sewing was becoming a lost skill. I hope that I can pass on my passion for sewing through Sew Over It and encourage more people in London and around the world to pick up a needle and thread!
Lisa manages the vision of the company, financial direction and most importantly creative direction.
Nicola Jell – Marketing and Content Manager
As a Fine Art graduate, I can usually be found making something creative, or at least pinning endless ideas on Pinterest with the best of intentions! After a love-hate relationship with sewing at school, I decided to give it try go a few years ago and bought a sewing machine. After making lots of handmade Christmas presents (apologies to the recipients of my early attempts!) and attending a couple of Sew Over It classes, my biggest dressmaking achievement was making my daughter’s blessing dress. I now have grand plans to sew through my fabric stash using Poppy & Jazz patterns, so watch this space!
Nicola is responsible for our marketing and content strategy, incorporating online marketing, advertising and PR. She creates engaging content for our website and non-social media channels, working closely with Hannah and Lisa to inspire as many new sewers as possible!
Julie Johnston – Pattern Cutter and Teacher
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 is our primary pattern cutter, alongside teaching Sew Over It classes where she passes on her wealth of knowledge from years in costume and couture.
Eleanor McDonald – Customer Services Assistant
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 has taught many of our beginner and intermediate classes, and you may recognise her name from answering lots of your emailed questions.
Sojourner McKenzie – Operations Assistant
My grandad retrained as a tailor after WW2, so sewing has always been a part of my life in various forms. I didn’t get super into making full clothes for myself until lockdown, but even though I’m a relative newbie to sewing, I love making fitted trousers and jumping into really complicated and really rewarding makes, like jackets!
Hannah Mendelsohn – Social Media Executive
I’ve been sewing since I was 15. On a quiet day in an art class, my teacher decided to show me how the school’s new sewing machine worked. I fell in love instantly and have been hooked ever since! My Grandma and my Aunty then took up the challenge of teaching me how to make clothes and to this day sewing is my absolute favourite hobby. These days you’ll find me spending far too much money on fabric and obsessing over my current make. I’m so excited to combine my social media experience and love of sewing for Sew Over It and am already loving seeing all your projects.
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. 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!
Rosie Stirling – Managing Director
Whilst undertaking research in physical geography, sewing became my much needed creative outlet to clear my head after a day of science. I soon fell in love with dressmaking and began to look for a career that was more suited to what quickly felt like a lifelong passion. After almost five years at Sew Over It, the shine of sewing still hasn’t worn off and I regularly sew to relax at the weekends. I enjoy interacting with the amazing sewing community online and love nothing more than ogling everyone’s new makes. The sewing world never fails to amaze me! Most importantly, managing Sew Over It allows me to combine my two great loves: sewing and spreadsheets!
Our Managing Director, Rosie, manages all aspects of Sew Over It. You’ll find her doing everything from packing online shop orders, managing our online learning platform Stitch School or driving round with too many fabric rolls squished into her car!
Nicole Wells – Production Manager
I began sewing when I was about seven, 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.
Poppy is Lisa’s Tibetan terrier/poodle cross and a regular at Sew Over It. You will usually find her either napping on Lisa’s knee, sneaking a ball of wool to play with, or barking at the postman!