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Meet our teachers: Joe Dixon, bookbinding

We are so excited to have Joe Dixon joining our teaching team with his bookbinding classes at our West Hampstead shop. Joe is a London-based bookbinding tutor, book restorer and producer of bespoke hand bound products. Read on to find out more about Joe and his upcoming classes!

Joe Dixon teaches bookbinding classes

Q: How did you first discover your love for bookbinding and who taught you the art?

A: I studied art at University and afterwards started to work at a fine paper shop, it also sold bookbinding materials. I got the bug and simply taught myself from books, making a lot of mistakes along the way. In the ten years I have been teaching bookbinding I have been able to meet some fantastic binders and learn from them along the way. I find bookbinding very creative as I feel it is a fine balance of both construction and design.

Bookbinding classes at The Village Haberdashery

Q: What are your preferred materials to work with and why?

A: The huge selection of decorative papers available now means you can create some beautiful bindings at a very reasonable price. I enjoy finding different patterns and designs to use in my own bindings and workshops. The most rewarding material would be leather as it is difficult to work with but gives the book a great feel and look.

Meet our teachers Joe Dixon, Bookbinding

Q: We are really looking forward to your upcoming classes. Tell us a bit about what students can expect.

A: Students will leave with the skills needed to create their own small single signature hard back binding with a quarter bound cover using cloth and decorative paper. All steps are completed by the students including sewing, trimming and gluing all materials. Notes will be sent out via email after the course.

Bookbinding classes at The Village Haberdashery

Q: What is your favourite book you have worked on and why?

A: I have been able to restore a great deal of fantastic binding over the year and it been a privilege to handle some of these books. I have recently worked on a first edition of Lord of the Rings which was a great project to work on.

Bookbinding classes at The Village Haberdashery

Q: What one craft tool could you not live without?

A: I use a teflon folder which is used in the same way as a traditional bone folder, but does not burnish and is non stick. Such a brilliant tool to work with.

Bookbinding classes at The Village Haberdashery

Q: Describe your style in 5 words.

A: Simple, Affective, Bold, Contemporary, Traditional

Bookbinding classes at The Village Haberdashery

Thanks Joe!

You can find out more about Joe on his website and book his classes here.

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Let’s get to know Marie-Emilienne and I AM Patterns!

We are so happy to be stocking the super cool patterns by I AM PATTERNS and we invited the lovely Marie-Emilienne to join us for a quick Q&A so you could find out all about her pattern company.

I AM Patterns

Q: Tell us about I AM PATTERNS!

A: I AM PATTERNS is a French indie pattern company that started 2 years ago. I was very surprised of it’s instant great success and I would like to thank our great sewing community for this. Currently, there is Marie-Emilienne, that designs, creates, drapes and makes the patterns. Blandine and Juliette are part time to help with everything else: answering your emails, posting your patterns, up-dating the website and so much more. Delia is our amazing mannequin. We are doing our best to offer you a range of contemporary, trendy and comfortable patterns.

I Am Patterns

Q: Describe the style of your garments in three words.

A: Casual Chic Urban

I AM Patterns

Q: Tell us about the person you design for.

A: My patterns appeal to a wide range of people but it seems that modern urban women are those who cherish our patterns the most.

I AM Patterns

Q: What body shapes work best with your patterns?

A: There are a wide range of body shapes that work with our patterns. It depends on each pattern.

I AM Patterns

Q: What should home dressmakers know about using your patterns?

A: The greatest thing is that the seam allowances are included in the patterns. You can print PDF patterns either on A4, US and A0 paper. On PDF, the patterns do not overlap. Also, on top of the printed sewing instructions, we also have step by step photo instructions on our website.

I am patterns

You can find out more about I AM PATTERNS on their website and find our selection of their awesome patterns in our shop here.

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Meet our Teachers: Kate Guy, linocut printing

We are delighted to have Kate Guy of Cardabelle Designs join our line up of excellent teachers! Kate had one of our most popular pop ups in our Makers Market and is a very talented printmaker. She’ll be teaching lino printing classes for beginners in our studio and you can still grab a spot to tonight’s class! You’ll learn the principles of relief printing and create your own linocut print to take home. Read on to find out more about Kate and her business…

Kate Guy Lino Printing classes

Question: Tell us a bit about your background. Have you always been a printmaker?

Answer: My father was a graphic designer and he loved traditional printmaking and typography, my mother is an artist and so I was very lucky to grow up in a creative environment.

I made my very first linocut when I was about 6, it is of a cat and I also used some letterpress typography blocks. I did not realise you have to reverse the words as well as the letters to make them come out the right way around and so my print said ‘EREH SI A TAC’ which became a family saying!

I did a degree in Graphic Design and have worked as a designer, illustrator, in an animation studio, as an architectural glass designer and as an Art teacher. In the past couple of years, I have returned to my first loves; printmaking and typography

Kate Guy Lino Printing Classes

Q: Your designs are stunning! Where do you find your inspiration?

A: Currently my work is mostly inspired by food and cooking, I love to cook and to eat and to draw the ingredients!

I am also inspired by my surroundings, I love London and have lived here all my life, but I am also very lucky to have family in the South of France where I spend as much time as possible.

Kate Guy Lino Printing classes

Q: What is your favourite part of the process?

A: The reveal! When you pull back the paper after printing and you see the image for the first time, there is always an element of surprise – you are never sure exactly what it will look like.

Kate Guy Lino Printing classes

Q: We are super excited for your upcoming classes. What can students expect?

A: I always start a class by demonstrating the end of the process – printing, I find this gives a very good idea of what a student needs to understand at the beginning of the process to have a successful end! (Hope that makes sense)

Each student will then design and cut their own design into a of piece of lino and print it using my portable press. I also demonstrate how it is possible to print with no specialist equipment – just a wooden spoon! That is one of the things I love about the linocut technique; you really can do it at home on the kitchen table with no expensive equipment.

Kate Guy Lino Printing classes

Q: What would your dream commission print project be?

A: I would like to do more illustration work, with my fixation on food and cooking the moment probably a recipe book or gardening or anything to do with food – even the interior of a restaurant!

Kate Guy Lino Printing classes

Thanks Kate!

You can find out more about Kate on her website and Instagram and book her classes here.

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Meet the Maker: Wool Couture

Welcome to our latest edition of Meet the Maker! We are so happy to stock so many great products from small businesses in the UK and we really want to show them off. We will be creating features on different designers, companies and crafters so you can find out more about them and their fantastic products. This time we have been chatting to the lovely Claire from Wool Couture!

Wool Couture

Kym: Thanks so much for chatting to me Claire, so how did Wool Couture begin?

Claire: I have been crafting since I was 8 and I decided to leave my job as an NHS Director and follow my real passion which is everything from knitting, crochet, macrame and weaving.

Wool Couture

Kym: We love hearing about people who have left their day job to follow their crafty passion, it’s just great! Tell us a little about your company ethos.

Claire: I have suffered with depression since I was 18 and crafting has been my salvation. We want to spread our love and passion for handmade crafts.

Wool Couture

Kym: That is so inspirational! We are so excited to be stocking your macrame rope in our store. What makes yours different from the other macrame products out there?

Claire: Its 100% cotton and so smooth to work with, so no sore hands :).

Wool Couture

Kym: Yes, no more macrame sore hands, brilliant! I believe you craft all of your knitting needles and crochet hooks in house. This is so cool. How do you make this happen?

Claire: We manufacture our giant knitting and crochet tools, plus all of our weaving looms. Whilst I may love wool and fibre, Ali – who also owns the business loves wood and she designs all of our wooden tools.

Wool Couture

Kym: Fantastic! Tell us about the wonderful people, other than yourself, in the Wool Couture Team.

Claire: Small and sweet and we all love crafting. There’s less than 10 of us and I have to say they are the best team I have ever been part of.

Wool Couture

Kym: What would you say the typical day-to-day activities at the Wool Couture HQ are?

Claire: Customers are our number one priority. Queries come first, getting orders out next, tea break at 11am and Harriet or Tom tend to bring in the cakes. Then once we have looked after our customers we can do anything from developing new products, spending time on social media, meeting with suppliers, stock takes – it can be a little bit crazy at times :).

Wool Couture

Kym: I think all small businesses can relate to that! What do you consider to be the company’s biggest achievement to date?

Claire: We have customers that like what we do and this is the biggest achievement of all. Also the gaining investment on Dragon’s Den and getting contracts with John Lewis.

Wool Couture

Kym: Those are amazing achievements, you were super brave to face the Dragons! Finally, just for fun, how would you describe your style in just three words.

Claire: Fun, Rich and Eclectic.

Kym: Thanks so much, Claire!

Wool Couture

You can purchase Wool Couture macrame yarn and find all of our macrame products in our West Hampstead shop or shop online here

Let us know in the comments below who you would like to see featured in Meet the Maker next time!

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Meet our teachers: Rob Jones, Shibori

We are so excited to now have Shibori classes on our class timetable! Rob Jones is a London-based shibori textiles designer and natural dyer. He is the founder of Romor Designs was formed in the autumn of 2015. Rob’s passion is in finding the new in the old, building on the tradition and centuries of skill that shibori has behind it. He believes in taking work in new directions by combining techniques and inventing his own forms.

We are super happy to welcome him to our teaching team with his Beginner Shibori classes.

Rob Jones

Question: How would you describe your style in 5 words?

Answer: Traditional with a modern twist

Q: We are super excited to have your Beginners Shibori classes on our timetable! For those who do not know, what is Shibori?

A: Shibori is the ancient Japanese craft of shaped resist dyeing fabric, often with indigo. It comprises of hundreds of techniques including binding, stitching, clamping and folding and pole binding. The word shibori is actually derived from the Japanese verb “shiboru” which means to squeeze or to wring, something any indigo dyer is all too familiar with!

Rob Jones

Q: When did you first discover this art and what made you fall in love with it?

A: I came across shibori through West Dean college just outside Chichester. Its a residential college offering short courses from 1 day up to a whole week set in a lovely mansion house in extensive grounds. I’ve been there many times to do jewellery classes (my other passion!) I was looking through their brochure and spotted Shibori and indigo dyeing back in 2011 and fancied trying something new. As soon as I started dyeing things in the indigo I was hooked! There’s something so magical about taking a piece of fabric out of the vat and seeing it change colour in front of your eyes. (Indigo vats have reduced oxygen and this makes the fabric yellow/green. The indigo catches the oxygen in the air on contact and turns blue).

Rob Jones

Q: Tell us a little about your business, Romor Designs. How did it come to be?

A: Having fallen in love with indigo and shibori a while back and being a big Pinterest fan, I came across a pin linked to an amazing blog by Bryan Whitehead, a silk farmer and Japanese textiles specialist based in a little mountain village just outside Tokyo. His blog mentioned that he ran classes and the lure of a trip to Japan and the chance to learn was too much for me and I went to study in October 2014. Bryan is a really inspirational guy and encouraged me to set up my business (many of his ex-students have!) A year after coming back from Japan I was made redundant from my job at Anthropologie and it just felt like the universe ws aligning for me to become a textiles designer and indigo dyer.

Rob Jones

Q: We are always interested to hear about people’s working methods, describe your typical day at work?

A: I will often spend the morning at home doing admin, emails and marketing and then go down to my studio in Hackney to make. Its a very inspirational space under an old railway arch and crammed full of odd objects and with other makers to bounce ideas off. I’ll usually spend some time deisgning, stitching and binding and then dye my work with indigo or natural plant dyes.

Q: Do you enjoy any other crafts in your spare time?

A: I’ve been an amateur jeweller since 2000 and go to Morley college in Lambeth for an evening class once a week to carry on this interest. I particularly like forging leaves from copper and silver.

Ron Jones

Q: What crafting gadget or tool could you not live without?

A: Tricky! Its rather dull but I’d actually have to say my iron! Its an industrial one where the water tank is connected directly to the iron by a cable and is used every day to prepare fabric and iron completed work.

Rob Jones

Thanks Rob!

Find out more about and book Rob’s upcoming classes here.

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