As the first guy blogger allow me to give you a very quick synopsis of my background. I come from an old coal mining area, Cinderford in the Royal Forest of Dean in Glousestershire. Went to a secondary school and gained a CSE Grade 1 in Needlecraft (the first guy ever in the schools 90 year history). I moved to Nailsea Nr Bristol where I was a manager for the gentleman’s outfitters, Hodges Menswear. After about 7 yrs I moved to Birmingham where I started a 3 year City and Guilds course, Hand craft Tailoring and Pattern Cutting. This only lasted about 18 months as I was too busy sewing for several school wear companies in and around Birmingham offering garment alterations and making hundreds if not thousands of small items like cookery basket covers, cookery aprons and PE bags, (the things we have to do to pay the rent…..) before finally moving to the Fylde Coast about 20 years ago.
I have always sewn, be it for a hobby or my job of work. On moving to Blackpool in Oct 1998 I started working in a Bridal wear shop making anything from a wedding gown, bridesmaid dresses right down to a simple tie for the men. After about 18 months I started working for a theatrical costume company based in Blackpool. Just imagine the first job I was asked to do was to be flown out to Montego Bay Jamaica, to board a cruise ship and alter costumes for the new dancers joining there. What a job that was, on average being flown around the world for about 12 weeks of the year and being paid to doing so. You can imagine the looks I used to get when checking in for my flight with a sewing machine and a suitcase full of fabrics and sewing notions/trimmings. It was certainly a fabulous ‘busman’s holiday’ sort of job to have.
In March 2001 I opened my first shop offering haberdashery and garment alterations. Over the years the shop has had many changes, it’s gone from me making and offering fancy dress costume to hire, to moving to much bigger premises and launching my own Bridal wear collections under the name of ‘Cinderella Gowns by Jonathan Scott’ ( Scott being my middle name ). Everything got very hectic and it was nothing to be working 15 hr days for weeks on end. After all you can’t say to a bride to come back next week as your dress isn’t quite finished. Basically I have always worked alone so about 7 years ago I decided enough was enough and I needed to rain everything back in a little. The stress and workload was getting way out of control. One morning I woke up and decided to donate all my stock dresses etc to the British Heart Foundation who had a wedding show coming up. I went back to grass roots by simply offering garment alterations and haberdashery. This meant I could downsize and move back across the road next door to where it all started. After a while I decided I wanted to do some sewing for me for a change, that’s where the obsession with patchwork and quilting was born, and as they say ‘ the rest is history’……….
It was 4 years ago that I moved into the current location, as we needed a bigger and brighter premises to extend the classes and workshops I was teaching which have become very popular. Changing the shops name to ‘Jonathan’s Alterations and Crafts’ and stocking lots more patchwork and quilting related items and fabric’s.
To be honest I’ve never been the greatest ‘computer whiz’ although some of the members of UKQU Facebook group may in the past have seen several posts and pictures I’ve shared. My last post is what led me becoming a ‘blogger’ for this fabulous and very informative website. I’m hoping you will enjoy reading my blogs with hints and tips I’ve picked up along the way from both my dressmaking background and more recently attending some fabulous workshops and quilting retreats. More about that to come.
Until the next time when I will mention Millie my sewing companion who comes to the shop every day with me and always has a waggy tail greeting for all. If you’re ever in the area do call in where the kettle is always on.