Janet Strickland grew up making her own clothes because she couldn’t buy fashions she liked in Spalding.
Since then she has graduated in Clothing and travelled all over the world, working in the fashion industry in a variety of roles.
After having children, she moved back to Spalding and is now encouraging the people of South Holland to become creative at her new sewing cafe in the town, Sew What.
It’s at the club house of the South Lincs Competitive Swimming Club near the Castle Swimming Pool .
Each weekday between 10am and 3pm Janet is helping people make something for Christmas.
It might be Christmas decorations, Christmas stockings, a fabric advent calendar with pockets, or even giving an old jumper a festive face lift with some seasonal embellishments.
The sewing cafe is free to attend, although hot drinks and mince pies are available and donations will go to the swimming club that Janet’s children Atticus (10) and Anya (7) attend.
The sewing cafe is open during school term times – other than January 7.
However, from January 14 onwards Janet will also be offering more formal classes for everyone from beginners to advanced sewers.
For beginners, this might mean becoming familiar with a sewing machine that was a Christmas gift, or learning how to maintain it. For people with some experience, Janet can help them become confident with using commercial patterns to make their own clothes. Advanced stitchers could be making their own coats and jackets, or learning how to adapt patterns, or even make their own, thanks to Janet’s post-graduate studies in creative pattern cutting.
She says: “Obviously, it’s very cheap to buy from supermarkets now, but if you want something special and something that will fit nicely, then you make your own.”
Her interest in fashion and clothing generally has taken her to Turkey, Dubai, Egypt, Bangladesh and Singapore, where she was looking after production for the whole of south east Asia – about 15 countries.
Janet says: “It was an exciting career and extremely interesting. It was a management position in Singapore but I have been very hands on.
“I haven’t done much making for myself because I have been busy working, but I am looking forward to making clothes for myself again.”