Heart of Huddersfield ’21 Garment Makes - Totally addicted to Tarnside Teal!
This week we’re talking to the makers who chose ‘Tarnside Teal - Twill Melton’ from our new 'Jewels of Yorkshire Collection' for their makes; our very special, Mill Shop Manager, Tara, Jen Legg, a creator we’re constantly in awe of on Instagram and Laura Casey, the brilliant owner and designer behind Sew Different!
Tara let’s speak with you first, what’s your sewing history, how did you get into it originally?
"I’m Tara, I have been sewing for about 30 plus years now. I started making clothes for my little dolls with scrap fabrics, my nan used to sew around me so I guess I was inspired by her and whatever she was working on.
Although I specialized in Fashion Design for my degree and gained a BA Hons, I realized I didn’t want to work in the fashion industry so I used my skills for my own wardrobe so I could sew for fun! Instead I set up my own bag business which you can find under the username @taralovehandlesbags
Which colours caught your eye for this project?
"I used the 'Tarnside Teal – Twill Melton' from the new HOH ’21 collection because it’s a colour that ties in with my wardrobe. It is an out of my comfort zone colour for me, which is (another reason) why I wanted to use it as I like push myself."
"I used the 'Demoiselle Teal – Thistledown Marl' from the HOH’20 Collection alongside 'Tarnside Teal' for a little pleated detail at the bottom of the skirt because it pleats much neater than the 'Tarnside Teal'."
Did you have any inspiration for this project?
"My inspiration for this project was comfort in what I wear, I’m a big lover of the ‘skirts, boots and tights’ look, I’m definitely a skirt girl so it was always going to be a skirt as soon as I was asked if I wanted to make a garment!"
Which Pattern did you use for your skirt?
"I used the 'Fallowfield Pencil Skirt – Wendy Ward pattern' from 'The Beginner's Guide to Making Skirts' as a base, but I put my own spin on it by shortening it and adding the pleats. I wanted to add that small detail at the bottom as a standout feature, to add that little something extra."
Did you choose to line your skirt?
"Yes I did, I used ‘Nouveau Nights – Jewel Jacquard’ to line the skirt, as it matches the teal really well.”
Did you enjoy working with the fabrics?
"It's a very stable wool to work with, I would definitely love to use it again! It’s a super nice, versatile fabric! It's very warm and has lovely structure making it fantastic for Winter."
We love your miniskirt Tara, it really is so cute, especially the pleated detail at the bottom in a contrasting colour! That’s definitely our favourite bit.
To see our original Instagram post on Tara's skirt, click here!
Jen, tell us about yourself to begin with!
"Hi, I’m Jen, a hairdresser from Middlesbrough. Sewing and fabric has always been in my life.
My mum was a seamstress by trade, both her and my Aunty ran fabric shops back in the day. I was only interested in her making for me until the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee inspired me and then I wanted to start sewing for myself.
I thought ‘I can do that!’ and I’ve never looked back.
My enormous wardrobe is not only full of my beautiful makes, but it’s a showcase for the collection of the skills that I’ve learnt whilst curating it. I’ve also been lucky to combine both my passions under one roof. My hair salon of 30 years, The Edge Hair and Beauty on the ground floor and sewing school Tees Creatives on the upper."
And what about your jacket that you’ve made? Which colours did you go for?
"I used the ‘Tarnside Teal’ and 'Autumn Citrine’ together as a colour way and mixed it with the original HOH’19 collection, I chose to bring ‘Honeycomb Harvest - Birdseye’ into the mix as well. I’ve never used any fabrics from the previous HOH collections but I’ve always admired them so I wanted to use a bit of that too."
Before making, did you choose to pre-wash any of your fabrics?
"I didn’t pre-wash and I wouldn’t recommend, although you could steam shrink with a steam iron."
Can you tell us about the pattern you used and how the fabric was to sew?
"I made the Sorrento Jacket from @sewoveritlondon's Sew over It Capsule Wardrobe EBook. I had made it 3 times previously and I wear them regularly. At first, I wanted to make everything I see but as I’ve evolved, I want my wardrobe working for me.
The fabrics were beautiful to sew with. It also feels so amazing to wear. They feel supper snugly and warm to touch. Easy to handle and sew up like a dream. I really loved working with them."
What motivates you to keep creating? We're constantly in awe of your makes that you post on Instagram, you create some fabulous pieces!
"Colour motivates me so it motivates me to keep sewing as I love how the individual pattern pieces magically transform into a finished garment."
We really love how you’ve used three fabrics together Jen, its so unique! Would you give any advice to those wanting to use our Heart of Huddersfield fabrics?
"Yes definitely. It’s too precious to make mistakes with so make sure that
you’re using a tried and tested pattern. Then enjoy your stunning make.
The most amazing thing about having these skills is being able to
transfer your creative imagination into something that’s totally your own style."
We've loved having you take part in this project Jenn!
"Thank you so much for approaching me to do this it’s been a great collaboration."
Find more of Jenn's makes over on her Instagram at @jenlegg_teescreatives
Laura, last but not least, let’s have a chat with you! I know our customers would love to know more about you; Especially as your patterns are available in our Millshop! Please tell us how Sew Different came about?
"Hello, my name is Laura, I am based up in the North of England in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, not far from Fabworks. I founded the pattern design company Sew Different seven years ago. It all started when my passion for sewing, fabric and clothes was starting to consume every moment of my life, so I decided to share my designs with the world. My background is originally in art – I have an honours degree in Fine Art & Textiles.
Sew Different has grown quickly and, as well as a large range of sewing patterns, we now also provide regular events such as our immensely popular 3 day sewing retreats (that include a visit to the fabulous Fabworks Mill Shop) and Frocktails, an annual evening of handmade frocks and cocktails.”
“Sew Different also exhibit regularly at the major British sewing shows such as the Knitting & Stitching Show, Festival of Quilts and Sewing for Pleasure in London, Birmingham and Harrogate; Please call in and see us on our stand if you are coming this year!”
It’s great to have you involved in this project with us, what was it about our HOH Collection that made you want to be involved?
“I am thrilled to be part of the launch of the new HOH’21 range of fabrics. It is wonderful to know that these beautifully crafted fabrics were designed and created just a stone's throw away from where I live. I was drawn the fabulous, bold colour range of the new HOH '21 fabrics - they are truly jewel-like! In fact, I loved these amazingly vibrant shades so much that I have included them in my own new collection of sewing patterns - Layer Up"
We know that ‘Layer Up’ is your latest collection, only announced just recently! Can you tell us more about the collection?
“Layer Up is a collection of patterns designed to work together for a layered look. Mix and match as you like – wear a smock over trousers, an apron over a dress, a tunic over a maxi dress and top it all off with a jacket! It’s all about mixing colour and pattern. The collection includes 9 brand new patterns and I have used the HOH ‘Miraculous Magenta – Twill Melton’ and ‘Tarnside Teal - Twill Melton’ to make two versions of one of the jackets in my showcase.”
Which jacket did you decide to make with our HOH fabrics? Can you tell us a little about the pattern?
“The Aurora Jacket is a boxy, unlined jacket ideal for wearing over a long dress. It has a slanted lower hemline that drops down at the back for a great silhouette. There are darts at the bust, generous facings, and the option of full or 3/4 length sleeves. The pattern is also available as a paper pattern or as a downloadable PDF."
"You will see on my own website that I have used a couple of different fabrics to make the Aurora Jacket and it is worth noting that when you are using a thicker fabric, such as the HOH Twill Melton’s, the sizing will feel smaller than if you are using a lightweight linen. “
Did you find the fabrics easy to sew with? What was your experience like?
“While I was using the HOH fabrics, I found it really useful to have a tailors ham. If you don’t have one, it is worth investing a few pounds, or even making your own. Due to the bulk of the fabric, you will never get a sharply pressed edge and so a lot of your finishing and shaping will need to be achieved by steaming it into place. Wool is quite straight forward to steam using a standard iron and a tailor’s ham as support for the curved edges. I use a damp cloth over the top of the wool. This works to prevent the wool going shiny (which can happen if the hot plate is pressed too long onto the fabric) and the dampness of the cloth sends steam right into the wool.”
What are your final thoughts on our Heart of Huddersfield range?
“The Jewels of Yorkshire – Twill Melton’s are a pleasure to work with and will add a pop of colour to your wardrobe.
The range is full of high quality, dense wool that gives quite a structured feel to your finished garment; It is unbelievably warm to wear and works well as a final throw-on for that extra layer of cosiness. “
Do you have any advice to using our HOH range?
“Due to the nature of the wool, it is always better to line this fabric if it is going to sit next to your skin. However, I have left both of my Aurora Jackets unlined as they are designed to be used as an outer layer.”
Finally, do you have any plans to use our HOH fabrics again? And if so, what’s on the list next?
I look forward to seeing what people make from both the Layer Up and the HOH collections.
Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram (@laura_sewdifferent) when you are posting your photos. Start sewing and Layer Up for ultimate cosiness! “
For more information about Laura’s Layer Up collection see: sewdifferent.co.uk
It’s been great hearing about all of your makes, they really are so different too even though all three of you have chosen to use the same colour! It really proves how versatile our Heart of Huddersfield fabrics are and we can’t thank you all enough for being involved!
If you want to know more about our Heart of Huddersfield Fabrics, head to our 'Sustainability Deep-Rooted in our Heritage' blog post!