Chris’s Story

How it all began………..

Must be at least 100 years ago now.  Whilst at senior school, a modicum of talent revealed itself and I often found myself in the needlework room during free periods. My own work was always finished pretty quickly, so I used to help get other’s work completed in time for the annual fashion show. (Oh how us girls used to love having the chance to model our creations on the catwalk when we were gawky, angst-ridden, self-conscious teenagers)  😦
Then, of course, there were the costumes for the school play and curtains for the staff room and it just seemed natural that I would go into the fashion industry for a living.

I went into the top end of the market, into haute couture, making dresses that would cost six times as much as I would earn in a week, and I have worked with many of Britain’s top designers.  I started with Jean Muir in her hey-day in the early seventies.  A wonderful time for me, in a wonderful place where I learnt so much and glimpsed a world I didn’t even know existed.  Miss Muir’s catwalk was graced by the most elegant models, including our own Joanna Lumley, who was anything but gawky, angst-ridden and self-conscious!

My career was interspersed with travel, having babies and raising my family, but I worked with many different designers before finishing goodness knows how many years later in Stewart Parvin’s Knightsbridge salon.  I also made many wedding gowns and evening dresses privately, amongst countless other things too numerous to mention here.

I started teaching some twenty years ago, whilst I was still working in the fashion industry.  I achieved a City and Guilds 7307 teaching qualification, followed by the full Certificate in Education.  I taught evening classes with Enfield College for many years, as well as running monthly Saturday Schools privately.  I decided to expand my horizons by taking a City and Guilds course in soft furnishings, which I followed up with several specialist courses with Merrick and Day, one of the country’s leading curtain manufactures.

I then joined forces with Paul at Rona Sewing Machines in Waltham Cross, where I taught dressmaking and soft furnishings for more than twelve years.

Changes are afoot, however, and the time is right for me to move my classes to the stunningly beautiful surroundings of Warlies Park House.  Do come and join me. It’ll be fun.  🙂