About the School

The school is owned by Emma Hawkins, a qualified primary school teacher who wanted to combine her love of teaching with her passion for sewing and creativity. Emma has been dressmaking for over 20 years and has run a successful ballgown hire business designing and making ballgowns and wedding dresses from home. She has also worked as an assistant costumier with Teresa Gale making period costumes for the Bristol Light Opera Company and The Bristol Hippodrome.

“I wanted to inspire people to express themselves creatively through a range of sewing and craft projects. The sewing school provides a whole range of courses including; all aspects of sewing, willow weaving and needlecrafts. Whether you are an experienced sewer or complete beginner, or would just like to try something new, the school has lots to offer. I also work as a visiting artist in schools, teaching children the art of willow, giving them the opportunity to create a wonderful willow sculpture to display in their school”.

Though Emma is the main full-time tutor at the school, she also employs experienced professionals specialising in specific areas, who can pass their knowledge onto others wishing to develop their skills. There will also be opportunity to attend charity workshops and meet guest speakers who can share their knowledge and experience.

Meet the Teachers

Gael

Gael has been a professional curtain maker for 25 years creating curtains, roman blinds, cushions and accessories for clients. She started sewing at the age of 14 when she made all her own clothes for a school trip to Denmark, including a fetching trouser suit in a nautical fabric! She especially enjoys upcycling vintage fabrics and giving them a new lease of life.

Anna

Anna has always been a creative individual with a passion for art and design across the board. She developed this passion through a Foundation in Fashion & Textiles, followed by a Degree in Surface Pattern Design. Anna currently creates prints and patterns for bespoke fabrics and wallpapers, selling through boutique fabric and art shops. She is keen to share her passion and skills in print and design with others, helping them master the beauty of print.

Julie

Julie has always had a great enthusiasm for Sewing & Fashion, creating patterns and making her own clothes from the age of 12. After studying Fashion & Knitwear Design she worked in the fashion industry, as a Designer/Pattern Cutter , then over the years set up a small lingerie business. Julie has also done freelance work, making costumes for the Bristol Old Vic. Since qualifying as a teacher she has been delivering fashion courses for almost 12 years these include; Pattern Cutting, Bra, Corset and Lingerie making.

Laura

Laura is a passionate knitter who has knitted since she was 5, mainly knitting for family and friends. Since doing  a textiles course at a local college five years ago Laura has been making a variety of lovely things to sell at craft fairs. She enjoys taking on challenges and is always willing to help, advise and pass on her skills.

Sian

Sian has been interested in sewing and crafts since school. Following an NCFE course in Creative Textiles 3 years ago she fell in love with felting! A wonderful journey has since followed, learning new techniques and skills especially needle felting. She has gone on the undertake commissions, create pictures, make brooches and sculpt animals selling items through local craft outlets and developing and giving workshops to pass on her love and enthusiasm for this craft.

Alison

Alison has always designed and made things from an early age. After studying fashion, knitwear & product design she completed a further degree in Design teaching. She has spent the last 26 years teaching a wide range of design subjects to GCSE & A’ level standard. Whilst teaching Alison also completed a City & Guilds Millinery and has for the past 6 years been creating bespoke couture hats, fascinators and accessories for clients, selling work through bridal shops and craft fairs. She has also run fascinator classes locally.

Emma G

After finishing her degree in Art & Craft specialising in Textiles, Emma fell into working in Natural History television production.  Emma decided to take a break from the media two years ago, and went back to looking at Textile processes.  She is now a full time artist creating freehand machine embroidered pieces that reflect the natural world around us.  Emma’s workshops let everyone join her in her sewing adventures and take home their own piece of textile wildlife.

Whan Tothill

Whan is the founder of The Happy Felt Club, a needle felting social club based in Wells. She studied Industrial Design at University and worked as a product/graphic designer before taking an MSc in Business Management. Whan spent 10 years  in design management until she left her job in 2012 to move to the UK. She is now working from home and, in her spare time, enjoys designing and making her needle felted jewellery, ornaments and needle felting kits which she sells online and at craft fairs. She loves to share her passion and techniques in needle felting to others at her workshops in and around Somerset.

Julie Bryan

Julie is an Interior Designer specialising in soft furnishings and has a small retail shop in Wedmore, Somerset.  She is City & Guilds trained and creates hand finished curtains, blinds and cushions for her clients, mainly using the French and Spanish fabrics she imports and sells.  Julie has been running workshops since 2006 and enjoys helping others create beautiful window dressings to enhance their homes.