I have written about Lydia before on this blog (you can see links to the earlier posts listed at the end of this one).
Lydia spent two years living in Bristol and working in a studio in the Textiles Quarter alongside other makers. She began with a ‘year of making’ in which she totally replaced her wardrobe, making all the items of clothing she needed and throwing away all her previous clothes at the year’s end. Then she began to teach, beginning with a lingerie workshop (on Valentine’s Day), followed by others including corset-making and bomber jacket classes.
After that, Lydia lived for a while in Cambridge in a houseboat on the river, delivering courses in Bristol, Cambridge and London.
I talked to Lydia last week about her latest adventures. She is now living in London. She was looking for studio space to rent recently. She went to a viewing in a particular building (spotted on Gumtree), only to find that she was too late, the place had gone. However, the landlord then mentioned the floor above, which turned out to be a wonderful light, fourth-floor location with great views.
Lydia wants to share the space with other makers and is actively looking for fashion and textiles practitioners (such as weavers, knitters, dressmakers, costume-makers etc) to join her. At the weekends, the space will be used for classes: Lydia will be teaching how to make dresses, jackets, jumpers, bras, knickers and dungarees. If you want to take a class or if you are a maker looking for space in Clerkenwell, London, you can contact Lydia using the information below. This is also the link to use if you would like to support Lydia’s venture via her Crowdfunder campaign.
Lydia is also involved in a theatre production called ‘Dressed’ which tells the story of her ‘year of making’ and why this was so important to her. This is currently in development by a company called ThisEgg (further details below). Lydia herself will be sewing on-stage during the production.
I finished our interview by asking Lydia, who is trained in tailoring and costume-making, as well as experienced in the creation of couture garments, what her top tip would be or what her top sewing gadget was. Her reply was to only use very sharp scissors and that you should therefore get your scissors sharpened often. When I asked what brand of scissors, she laughed and said: ‘I’ve got about EIGHT different pairs!’.
Speaking of scissors, there’s a sewing paraphenalia tea-towel in my Spoonflower studio, designed to fit onto a fat quarter of linen-cotton fabric for you to hem yourself. You can find it here.
For Lydia’s blog about her year of making, go to www.mademywardrobe.com.
For more about the theatre production ‘Dressed’ by ThisEgg, go to www.thisegg.co.uk/in-development