Thursday 17 September 2020: Di believes that everyone should feel able to sew regardless of their background, ability and especially income. Di makes 99% of her clothes and quite a few for her husband, son and wider family.
During the Covid crisis Di made 40 sets of scrubs for her local intensive care unit and then designed a face mask with a ‘see through’ visor to assist with lip reading and enabling people seeing facial expressions. This community need brought together her passion for sewing and understanding the challenges faced by those with additional needs. Di’s smile mask pattern and tutorial are free.
Although Di’s mum sewed and knitted, but it was going to school in 1966 that really inspired her love of making clothes, by the time Di left school in 1973 she had a good grounding in design and pattern cutting as well as a traditional education in techniques and fibres and fabrics.
Di trained to teach Physical Education (PE) and Textiles was her support subject. She taught 11-16 years olds for 38 years during which time the Arts and Technology subjects changed significantly. Di discovered the many uses of textiles both within the Arts and across industry. For 8 years Di specialised in teaching literacy to 11 year olds and was responsible for young people with additional needs.
When Di ‘retired’ 6 years ago she knew she would use sewing to give me a sense of purpose. Social media has been an amazing way of connecting, especially SewOver50. Her passion is teaching so she’s organised some of her blog posts into a tutorials page on her website. Di truly believe that everyone should be able to sew, there’s no single way to do anything, people need to be happy with what they make, wear what they’re comfortable with, buy fabrics that suit their budget, use paper or pdf, trace or cut their patterns.
‘Sew it with Di’ is her website of tutorials.
You’ll find Di on Instagram.
Here’s a link to the Savile Row Jacket tutorials that Di talked about. Here’s the link to Maurice Sedwell and his Savile Row Bespoke Academy.
You’ll also hear how Di continues to contribute to the sewing community by writing guest posts for Sewover50 and well researched articles for sewing magazines including Threads.