Hi, I’m Jo and I own a gallery business with my artist husband in Wells-next-the-Sea on the beautiful North Norfolk Coast. I’ve always loved great design and use of colour and pattern (particularly mid-century themes), but I’d never had any interest whatsoever in sewing, until I happened to watch the The Great British Sewing Bee in 2014 and found myself thinking ‘I fancy doing that!’. So the following February, I had three lessons locally and made not one, but two skirts; I couldn’t believe it! By that point I’d learned the basics of reading a pattern; cutting out; transferring markings; adding darts, a waist band, and lining; inserting a zip; adding a button and button hole; and hemming… and I was addicted!

My sewing has gone from the basics through to more intermediate makes, in both woven and jersey fabrics, with adaptations to achieve a better fit than I can get on the high street – I’m rather hourglassy! I simply love the whole process, from matching a pattern to fabric (or vice versa), deciding the style, working out the fit, the actual sewing and problem-solving as I go along, and of course there’s nothing quite like that sense of achievement when you sew that final stitch and share your make with others. Even now I still surprise myself every time I finish making something. I’ve sewn several patterns from the ‘big 4’, but prefer inde patterns, such as Deer & Doe, Itch to Stitch, Sew Over It, and La Maison Victor. I prefer their styles, the fact that they give finished measurements, and the reliable instructions.

Fabric temptation can hit at any time! Living out in the sticks in North Norfolk, I mostly shop for fabrics online – from Fabworks, Sew Over It, Stitchy Bee, Guthrie Ghani, Sewisfaction, Fabric Godmother, Dragonfly Fabrics, Minerva Crafts, Seasalt, Liberty, to name a few – but I also have a local haberdashery shop that’s good for all the bits and bobs you need. 

Now that I’ve conquered sewing, I’ve decided I need to slow down a bit (my wardrobe’s bursting!) so I’m hoping to learn to knit this year, so watch this space!

I hope you enjoy my blog – please always feel free to comment and ask questions, and do let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see. You can also follow me on Instagram @jowoods11

P.S. If you’re wondering where Daphne came from, it was my nannie’s name. Sadly she passed away before I learned to sew, but she was a keen knitter and I know she’d be super-proud of me. When I bought my mannequin I, tongue-in-cheek, named her Daphne so she’d be watching over me… and it kinda stuck!  🙂