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  1. Susumu Logo

    When Rachata Powell first came to learn to sew with us at Sew In Brighton she had no previous sewing experience. Fast forward a year later and she’s now running her own business making and selling her own clothes! We caught up with her to quiz her on what inspired her to start sewing, build her own business and how she’s getting on.

    Rachata Powell

    When & why did you learn to sew?
    I was a complete beginner when I first started in April last year. I had an idea of selling some trousers inspired by the traditional clothing worn by villagers in Thailand, but, in hiring someone to make these I wouldn't make any profit. So I decided to learn how to sew so I could make them myself.

    What was your inspiration to start up a clothing brand?
    At first I wanted to try and see if I could sew, then I started having fun making various things from trousers and dresses, to bags and hats. The more things I made, the more inspired I got. So I thought it would be great to make my own brand of clothing and start selling them because I now I had made so many items, I had enough to fill a shelf.

                    Susumu Apron                    Dog Kimono Susumu                  Samurai Trousers Susumu

    Who makes the clothes you sell?
    I still make all the clothes myself. My unique selling point is that everything is a "handmade product".

  2. We interview our Overlocking and Alterations teacher, professional machinist Carrie White...   

    carrie white Love Your Overlocker workshop - Sew In Brighton overlocker workshop resized

    How did you get into sewing for a living, how long have you been doing it?
    I've been sewing for about 15 years and doing it professionally for around 6 years. It took quite some time for me to realise I could do it for a living. I was working in an office and making things in my spare time, and at some point I figured out that I was happier sewing than I was at my job. I studied Costume Production at a theatre school in London and when I left I decided to go into the wedding dress industry. I contacted various bridal shops in my area, got some experience with them and have been making and altering dresses ever since.

    What do you do in your sewing jobs?  What sort of garment alterations do you do in your usual working week?
    The main bulk of my work is altering dresses, all sorts of dresses! Cotton, chiffon, jersey, velvet, silk, I've altered them all. Every now and again I'll make a dress but I like the quick turn around with alterations. The most common alteration is taking up hems - ladies come in all different heights and prefer all different shoe heights too so about 75% of all long dresses will need shortening. The next most common alteration is lifting the shoulders, this can make such a difference to the fit of a dress but is not always the most obvious change to make. 

    How do you use overlockers in your job?