Meet The 2019 Spring Knitting & Stitching Show Ambassadors
The Knitting & Stitching Shows are all about bringing together textile enthusiasts from all over the world and this year’s show ambassadors reflected that. Our ambassadors are the very best in their field spanning a wide range of textile disciplines including crochet, dressmaking, cross-stitch and textile art, but their common denemoenator is that they are all very, very passionate about creativity.
Meet the faces of the 2019 Spring Knitting & Stitching Show…
Dame Zandra Rhodes DBE is an acclaimed British Designer. Born in Kent Zandra was introduced to the world of fashion by her mother who was a fitter for the Paris fashion House of Worth. In 1969 she opened her eponymous fashion house with a small collection. Her prints were Pop Art-infused commentaries on the world of Sixties Britain; the designer felt that there was an inherent structure within the pattern that could work with and enhance the shape and construction of a dress. With this concept as a starting point and with her distinctive approach to cut and form, the house of Zandra Rhodes soon became one of the most recognisable labels in London.
In her distinguished career Zandra has designed clothes for Diana, Princess of Wales, Jackie Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Freddie Mercury.
The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show will be able to see a selection of rare Zandra Rhodes knitwear pieces, designed in her studios in London, and seldom seen by the public.
Kate Underdown and Rachel Walker
Kate and Rachel are co-founders of The Fold Line, an online sewing community and sewing pattern shop. Championing independent pattern designers, they are the one stop shop for all your dressmaking pattern needs. Founded in 2015 they are the home for people who love sewing and making their own clothes. You can expect to find lots of inspiration for your next make and catch up on all the latest sewing news on their sewing blog and vlog. They also have an extensive sewing pattern database where you can use a pattern finder tool to search over 10,000 patterns plus read lots of sewing pattern reviews from the community.
Q: How did the idea for the Foldline come about?
A: As avid makers ourselves, we’ve struggled to keep up with all the sewing pattern releases and growing number of bloggers sharing their makes and tips. We were inspired by the flourishing online sewing community to build a home for everyone interested in dressmaking. From this The Fold Line was born, a place you can meet other makers, share tips and ideas and get lots of inspiration for your next make while keeping up-to-date with the latest sewing news and pattern releases.
Q: What can visitors expect from you at The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show?
A: At the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show we will be bringing with us lots of dressmaking patterns from independent designers all over the world. We’ll also be on hand to help make pattern suggestions for your next project, so you can create a handmade wardrobe you love.
Tilly Walnes is the founder of dressmaking blog and store Tilly and The Buttons. Tilly made a name for herself in the sewing world back in 2010 when she started blogging about her sewing escapades. Since then, Tilly and her growing team have been developing patterns, books, and tutorials with the aim of demystifying dressmaking for the new wave maker. They have won ‘Independent Sewing Pattern House’ and ‘Sewing Designer of the Year’ 2018, and Tilly has been featured in The Guardian and The New York Times. Tilly was a contestant on the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee and has one of the most popular Instagram accounts for dressmakers in the UK.
Tilly will be launching a brand new sewing pattern at The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show. Meet Tilly and co. on stand G60.
Q: What are you most looking forward to at the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show?
A: We always love meeting our customers, and chatting to people who might be thinking about taking up sewing, but aren’t sure where to start. The whole team just love to sew and seeing what other people make with our patterns – it is just so inspiring!
Catherine Kaufman is a textile artist. She mixes the mediums of yarn spinning and sculpture to create large-scale soft sculptures and sculptural garments. She will be showcasing her gallery ‘Woolly Queen’ at The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show.
The gallery is a collection of needle felted sculptural garments, figures and tapestry. Working with the female figure, Catherine retells tales from nature, myth, legend and literature with a female perspective. She believes passionately in the importance of keeping traditional craft skills alive, particularly in the digital age, and her aim is to promote female craft skills as high art. She values wool for its environmentally friendly, natural and organic qualities.
Q: Do you think that textile art is taken less seriously than other forms of art? If so, is it because many textile artists are women?
A: Yes I do think textile art is taken less seriously than other forms of art. This maybe because textile work was in the past know as traditional women’s craft work and a necessity for women to work at these traditional skills at home or in factories to make a living. The women were very low paid and this was their only way to earn a hard and meagre living. It is therefore important for women through education to challenge the world on this and promote textile art as high art.
Q: What can visitors to The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show expect from your Woolly Queen exhibition?
A: Visitors can expect to see my collection of needle felted sculptural garments and figures and tapestry. I work with literature, myth and legend for my inspiration and ideas. I work with the female and try and take her story and revisit her … I portray my feelings and ideas on the character I choose to make. I try to repair or renew in some way that is personal to me, so my work is ambiguous and somewhat autobiographical.
Katie Jones is an inspirational knitwear designer who teams playful aesthetics with serious ethics. Katie’s self named brand was launched by the British Fashion Councils Estethica in 2016. The brand has always focused on sustainable practice embracing Katie’s Granny’s vision of making something beautiful from nothing and consciously addressing issues of over-consumerism. She creates wearable, artisanal collections that are big on colour and texture. But more than just creating beautiful garments, the brand creates playful experiences that encourage and champion social and environmental change. By running and participating in a wide range of workshops and events Katie wants people to interact and engage with the brand, sharing her skills and knowledge on textile crafts and sustainable Fashion.
Her love for textiles and fashion combined with her passion to spread the important message of sustainability made her the perfect Spring Knitting & Stitching Show ambassador.
How can the everyday person be more eco-conscious with their fashion choices?
Over consumption is one of the biggest issues in sustainability, by crafting our own clothes we can understand their true value and consume at a slower rate. Knowing how to knit and sew extends a garments life as we are equipped to fix them and we have more emotional attachment with handmade pieces so we hold on to them longer which drastically reduces landfill! A big really easy step into being more eco- conscious is just that, being conscious and actively being involved with our clothing!
What can visitors expect from you at The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show?
I will be displaying a vibrant collection of my MIY patterns including a new collection launching during the show! The exhibition will aim to inspire and demonstrate how you can approach sustainability in fun and colourful way!
Tree is the Creative Director and Content Producer for Stitchless TV. Stitchless TV is a Youtube sewing channel with an audience of over 7 million people. It is dedicated to people that want to make clothes but don’t have the time or the skills to do complicated dressmaking. You can watch Tree in action here.
Tree will be demonstrating her famous sewing tutorials live at The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show in The Creative Living Theatre.
Q: You have coined your own sewing technique the ‘Stitchless Speed Sewing’ how would you best describe this to others?
A: People often ask me about ‘Stitchless Speed Sewing and why I so rarely use pins and why I like to sew standing up? Well, the Speed Sewing is I suppose part of the whole pinless thing, in that I find that using notches can not only speed up the whole sewing process but often provide more accurately. In industry when they are mass producing clothes, they are not pinning all their simple seams I explain more in this video filmed at a previous Knitting and Stitching Show.
But of course, sometimes nothing else will do the job as well as pins, for e.g.. fittings or complicated TR Cutting projects.
Q: What will you be up to at the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show?
A: At this year’s show, I’ll be running 5 workshops spread over the, Fri – Sun. In addition to this I will be participating in the Upcycle T Shirt Challenge Fri Sat and Sun where we have 45mins to transform 2 men’s T Shirts into something, hopefully more wearable and beautiful!