She’s the behind the scenes sewing producer on The Great British Sewing Bee, but did you know Claire-Louise Hardie also teaches sewing, and offers technique guides on her blog too?
What role do you play on The Great British Sewing Bee and how does being a teacher and blogger help you perform it?
On the Bee, viewers will see my contribution to the show on screen in the patterns etc, but I never make an appearance on screen. As the sewing producer on the show, I run a team that covers every aspect of the show requiring sewing expertise. It’s a job that is tailor made for me, as my work in theatre costume requires a big skill base including pattern cutting, styling, design, organisational skills, and my teaching and blogging requires writing skills, patience and a knowledge of current sewing trends.
If readers can make it to one of your courses what can they expect to learn?
I teach various classes, from beginners to alterations to one on one tuition. That way, people can be amongst others who have a similar level of skill, so they don’t have to worry about falling behind. If you took one of my courses you could expect to learn all sorts of things such as sewing a button, threading a machine and cutting out patterns. I try to cover as many sewing techniques as possible so people go away with more confidence in their abilities than before.
Why did you start your blog?
I started the blog in 2009 when I first began teaching sewing, as a way of sharing resources, tips and sewing advice to a greater audience than the attendees of my classes. In the early stages of my blog I also used it as a personal journal, documenting the experiences I had transitioning into the world of the online sewing community, as none of my work previously had required any kind of online presence.
What do you mainly write about?
I try to blog about topics that will help people either new to sewing, or improving sewers. I get asked lots of questions in classes and via e mails, about specific areas that people struggle with, and I blog around those topics. The most common question I’m asked, for example, is how to get a better fit when using patterns, so that was a blog post last month.
What are the benefits of following your blog?
It’s not always possible for someone to come along in person to one of my classes, or indeed to sewing classes at all, so following my blog allows anyone around the globe to access some of the tips I share with my students. In fact, there are posts and advice I’ve shared online, that even my students haven’t received! Writing for my blog allows me to react quickly to hot topics, or content that’s specifically requested. I’m passionate about sewing, and having worked professionally as a costumer for 25 years, I love to be able to share some of what I’ve picked up along the way.
What are some of your highlights since you have been blogging?
Coming from working behind the scenes in theatre costume, I’d always been very private about my work, and going public online was a massive leap! The first time someone commented on my blog was a huge highlight, and made me grateful that somebody out there was reading it! In the five and a half years since, I’ve been blessed with so many great moments, including meeting other bloggers I respect from all over the globe, connecting with some of my readers in person and having my posts shared by others on social media.
Find out more at www.thethriftystitcher.co.uk
Claire-Louise will be joining Sew in June, answering all your dressmaking questions on our Q&A pages each month!
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