Work With us – We are looking for a Summer Temp

DMCG 11th Shoot-10448

Summer Temporary Retail Assistant.

Required to work Saturdays from beginning of May through to the end of August and weekdays throughout August.

We are looking for a temporary addition to our team to help us out in the store over the Summer months.

If you:

Love working with fabrics yarn and haberdashery

Enjoy helping people and problem solving

Are good at working independently and using your initiative

Have a sense of humour and a ‘can do’ attitude

Then you may be just the person to fit right in.

Please send us your CV and a covering letter to Closing date for applications is Sunday 16th April 2016. We will be inviting people for interview week commencing 24th April with a view to the position starting Saturday 6th May.

Generational Sewing


As I was writing the last blog about my Mum I was also thinking about the stuff she had passed down to me. Poor eyesite, a loathing of physical exercise and a love of reading being just three. However, it was she and my Nanna that taught me to sew.

Like a lot of children of my generation I had ‘sewing lessons’ in primary school where we were taught how to sew embroidery stitches onto large square holed fabric called binka.

I loved this!

But even before then I remember sewing bits of cloth together just for the joy of holding a needle and thread and weaving it through the pieces of fabric. My dollies had hand gathered Dirndl skirts that had to be sewn onto them as I hadn’t figured out elastic yet.


Before making your own presents was cool my mum was doing this out of necessity and I loved watching her magically create things on her old, pale blue Singer sewing machine. It was a 21st birthday present and was still going up until a few years ago!

All sorts of things emerged from that machine – quilted jewellery rolls and make up bags, soft toys, rag dolls, a denim trouser suit for me! While the sewing went on we would chat about all kinds of things.

Maybe it is the act of doing something else that diffuses the intensity of the conversation. I have had discussions with my friends about this and several have mentioned fishing has the same effect. The focus on a fishing rod or sewing machine while chatting about other stuff paves the way for the quiet correction in the way to hold a needle or the flick of a wrist to launch a fly.

However, sometimes as a parent it isn’t easy to teach your own child. I have had this with my own daughter, who when she was much younger was really interested in making things for herself, hairbands, scrunchies and little purses, but now she is older and a teenager, what mum does is definitely NOT cool! So I hope she will come back to making things later in her life, for now though horses take priority.

But we don’t just have to share our knowledge with our own offspring if other peoples are more interested in what we are doing. We see this a lot in our workshops both with the children and some adults too who were frustrated with learning from a parent, but would happily sit with a Grandparent or Auntie and sew, bake or make things.

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I and the other tutors we have really enjoy running the kids workshops. We usually end up chatting about all kinds of stuff from who said what to whom at school to “why do cats meow?”, and everything in between. All the while helping them to safely sew something they can take home and be proud of.

Children, teenagers and adults can seem quite segregated at times, but by sharing activities and hobbies the generations can come together and learn from each other. The Great British Sewing Bee and The Great British Bake Off TV programmes have shown this clearly with the age ranges of both their contestants, as well as the viewers that sit at home together enjoying them.

One of the things I love to share is how to tie a magic knot! (Those that have been to some of our workshops will know exactly what I mean). And I learnt the other day from my daughter that the only month that sometimes doesn’t have a full moon is February.

Who knew?!

Our Kids Summer Holiday Workshops are available to book online now. If it’s not working at home send the kids our way and we’ll teach them the joy of sewing!

Is It Just ‘Mother’s’ Day?

Nanna, Mum, Me and Jet the Black Labrador

Sunday the 26th March is not only the day British Summer Time begins (a weird quirk of the British and something to do with ‘saving daylight hours’ although why we can‘t just get up an hour earlier I don’t know), but it is also Mother’s Day, or as my Dad often calls it “Smothering Sunday”!

It always falls on the third Sunday of Lent, so like Easter itself the date moves. Traditionally it was the day of Saint John Climacus and people went back to their Mother Church, or the main church in their area, to celebrate. It is also said to have been a day of focus on Mary the Mother of Jesus. Later our Mother’s Day became entwined with the American version although we in the UK still hold to the original date.

However, whatever the date, mothers do have a lot to answer for

I am slowly morphing into my own mother. I find myself using the same phrases, calling my everyone ‘my love’, her mannerisms are now mine, I talk to inanimate objects – and answer for them, I nag my son about eating properly. Whether this is more about nurture rather than nature I’m not sure.

Mum and Dad circa 1984

On some issues though we are diametrically opposed, politics being the main one. But even though our views differ I’m really pleased to have noticed that my mum is more confident now in expressing her opinions than she was when we were growing up. Mum is in her 70’s now and maybe that has come with age. I respect her immensely, she has had to deal with far more than I’ve ever had to and has come out of it all with incredible dignity.

I come from a long line of strong women on both sides of my family – publicans, suffragettes, nursery maids, factory workers, homemakers. All of them inspirational in their own quiet ways. Both my Mum and Grandmothers were doers, capable and un-flappable grafters in whatever they set themselves.

Florence my Mum’s Mum a demon baker!


Isobel My Dad’s Mum holding my son the day after he was born.

I hope their legacy will follow through me to my daughter. In fact I know it is. She at 14 is more self assured and practical than I ever was. She is bright and funny and hardworking and a pain in the arse, but I only see good things for her future. If I can be as good a Mum to her as mine has been to me I will consider that as a job well done!


But maybe it isn’t just our mum’s we should be celebrating but all the women in our lives that have shown us wisdom, empathy, humour, perseverance and tenderness;  aunts, grandmothers, friends, teachers, daughters. These qualities are not just confined to our mothers but can be found in the wider group of women that have influenced us and helped to shape us into the people we are.

Are there women in your life you’ve been inspired by?