Teacher Feature | Alison Balchin March 29, 2017 16:58 1 Comment
Tell us about you and what you do?
I am Alison. I am a mother, a sewing teacher a maker and freelancer. My passion lies within the realms of dress making, pattern making, kids costume making or enhancing my house with hand made unique items. Sewing is my therapy and a borderline obsession. I am definitely at my happiest whilst bent over my latest creation, carefully stitching it together with my trusty machine!
How long have you been sewing and how did you get in to it?
I have been sewing since I was around eight or nine years old. My mum was a keen sewer and I learnt the basics from her. One of my best friends at school was very creative and so we spurred each other on with our mutual love of making things. We were a couple of sewing geeks!
You were an Industry Pattern Maker in the UK. What can you tell us about that?
I studied fashion in the UK and had quite a few jobs in the rag trade as a Pattern Maker. Initially I loved the buzz of the busy city but after a while I questioned what I was doing mass producing patterns under time constraints. It really took the love away as on top of this you were often required to make patterns for things you would never wear yourself.
I hear you love kids costume making. What are some of the stand out costumes that come to mind that you have made?!
I have made quite a few kids costumes mainly for my own children. My favourite makes were a teal, velvet Shakespearian frock coat for my daughter who was playing a man character in a play and a tailored Dr.Who jacket for my son. Unfortunately they grew out of them!
Can you tell us about the courses you will be teaching at Bobbin and Ink?
I will be teaching Clothes Making for Beginners which I am delighted to be doing. I love sharing my passion and knowledge of sewing to those that want to learn. There is nothing like getting people hooked by showing how easy it can be to do! I will also be doing a Teen Sewcial. This is a very creative course where you start with something basic and then let your imaginations run wild!
Have you had any memorable teaching experiences?
One of my most memorable teaching experiences was back in the UK where I was helping to teach some immigrant ladies how to sew in order for them to move on and find employment. It was a very humbling and rewarding experience as they were so willing to learn and so grateful of my time. It's amazing how language barriers can be overcome and you learn to bond and communicate over the sewing machine.
What Projects are you working on right now?
Right now I have lots off different irons in the fire! Along with my teaching and freelance work I am a workshopaholic!! I have tried Upholstery, Felting, Screen Printing and Leather Work to name a few! I have also taught myself to knit and crochet using YouTube. I have a blog and website although I don't have much content yet. I also hope one day to create and sell some of my own patterns.
Alison, a self confessed "workshopaholic" pictured above attending one of our recent Screen Printing for Beginners Classes. Of course, holding the sewing themed tote bag she printed on the day.
Upcoming courses with Alison:
Clothes Making for Beginners *SOLD OUT*
April 1 to May 13, 10am to 1pm
(No class Easter Weekend)
Teen Sewcial: After School Sewing Programme
8 Weeks x 2hr Wednesday afternoon sessions
May 3 to June 21, 4pm to 6pm
Are you a Workshopaholic like Alison?
We were thrilled to have been recently included in a list of some of the best creative courses by Bupa Life Insurance: http://www.bupa.com.au/life-insurance/best-creative-courses-to-express-yourself/
Check out all the fab courses Bupa have compiled, and also check out all the sewing and screen printing classes we having coming up soon here at Bobbin and Ink!