Monday, 14 April 2014

Meet our talented tutors - Alison Leese - Dressmaking and sewing


Alison Leese, our ever talented dressmaking and sewing tutor, knows more about the technical side of sewing than all of the staff put together! She's never without an idea for a new course and has a love of very stylish fabrics.

Alison has been working at Ministry as a tutor since 2010 and has developed our range of
Beginners Sewing
courses, making sure there is a sewing course to suit everyone, including folk who have never used a sewing machine in their lives!  Since 2011 she's been working as Operations Supervisor in the Ministry of Craft office as well. She may be super efficient on a sewing machine, but she's damn fine with a spreadsheet too!

What first drew you to your craft?
Being a typical teenager wanting all the latest clothes but not having the funds to access them, I decided the only other option was to make them or alter what I did have.
Having a wonderful ‘needlework’ teacher (Mrs Boden) at school inspired me to work hard at the subject so I was always designing and making things in my spare time.

What’s your crafting background?
I am not so much a crafter but a sewer; I have always worked in product design and development in both the clothing industry and event merchandise and then I gained a PGCE to teach Design and Technology

Made in Alison's son's nap time!
Did you train professionally or are you self taught?
I took a clothing design and production management degree at Manchester Metropolitan University but most of my experience has been through my working career in the clothing industry and working hands on in product development and manufacture.

What are your main sources of inspiration?
Scanning the internet, Pinterest is one of my favourites, looking at any products that can be sewn and made at home without the need for ‘industrial type’ processes. I usually start with a fabric as the fabric design itself can be very inspirational.

Foxy tunic dress
Who’s been the biggest influence on your career so far?
I think I have to say my needlework teacher as I may have never sewn if it was not for her knowledge and ability to teach the subject well and enthusiastically.

What’s the best thing about being a crafter?
The satisfaction you get from making something yourself that looks good, is functional and may have even saved you some money in the process!

Best make - boned bridesmade dress
Do you do any other crafts in your spare time, apart from what you specialise in?
Taste wine?

What’s the best thing you’ve ever made?
I was a bridesmaid for a friend and made a quite complicated boned dress when I was still a fairly inexperienced sewer, probably the best thing I made at the time

Sew a gorgeous girls dress
Have you ever made a creative mistake?
Yes lots, but less as I have become more experience. The worst was on an overlocker, I cut a hole in the front of my final degree project and there was no going back!

And your favourite tool or material?
My quick unpick is my most useful tool, I love my Janome sewing machine, as do all the customers that come on our courses, and I love Amy Butler fabric.

Is there a plaster in this pouf?
What’s you favourite crafty anecdote / story?
Losing a plaster off my finger inside a customer's patchwork pouf when I was stuffing it, I only realised after she had left ……..should I say that? Also making a typo on my course ‘Sew your own knickers’ and I called it ‘Sew your own knockers’!

Where can we see / buy your work?
Come to one of my courses!

What have you got coming up in the future?
Lots more courses and I'm in the process of researching a few new ideas for the autumn.

No comments:

Post a Comment