As a little girl Jo watched in awe as her Mum would work miracles with a piece of fabric, gradually turning it into pretty dresses for her and her sister. Even back then Jo knew that this was what she wanted to do.
As she progressed, she learnt how to use a sewing machine and created her own dresses, some prettier than others!
Jo’s vintage and retro style is influenced by 50’s and 60’s icons including Audrey Hepburn.
Jo formalised her sewing career by graduating with a BA in Fashion & Textiles at UCE in Birmingham.
She then broadened her design and stitching expertise by becoming an assistant at a couture fashion house in Liverpool, where she worked on a wide variety of projects including stage costumes for pop bands, before setting up her own company on the famous Penny Lane.
Jo predominantly created bridal wear and ball gowns, gaining an extensive understanding of couture dressmaking, as well as building fantastic relationships with her clients.
More recently, since moving to Yorkshire Jo has taught dressmaking at evening classes, passing on her knowledge and skills, so that sewing and dressmaking continues its current renaissance.
Jo is looking forward to seeing School of Sew grow and help as many people discover their own hidden sewing talents.
Making dolls clothes was Nicola’s first venture into sewing, fascinated and inspired by her Great Grandma Emily’s ability to turn her hand to all things stitched.
After a decade working in banking, and whilst on maternity leave, Nicola’s soft furnishing business was founded quite by chance. A friend asked Nicola to alter some curtains after seeing the costumes she’d made for a children’s nursery show.
It was after this Nicola decided to take the plunge, converting her garage into a workroom, which later became the setting for Cross Park Curtains. Nicola now runs a hugely successful company, which includes an e-commerce website that takes orders nationally.
Being self-taught Nicola decided to acquire a recognised qualification in order to develop the business further. She obtained a Diploma in Professional Curtain Making and a Diploma in Interior Design from the National Design Academy, which proved invaluable allowing her to take the business to the next level. This allowed her to expand into retail premises.
Nicola believes the success of any business is down to great customer service and professionalism. Qualities she’s passionate about instilling into the ethos at School of Sew.
Nicola looks forward to new challenges, and is eager to share her love of all things fabric. She’s excited to be helping other sewing enthusiasts realise their textile dreams at School of Sew.
0113 418 2718
No 1 The Spinning Mill
Sunny Bank Mills