Sew Darn Sassy are a crafty pair of friends: Polly Blewett (tlfw Brighton member) & Clair Mckinney-Williams.
The pair originally met through their day jobs, as footwear designers at Irregular Choice’s sister brand, Poetic Licence: a lovely British vintage-style label. Quite quickly, it became clear that they were vintage, colour and craft kindred spirits: owning the same charming patterned teapot; loving the same bright floral vintage clothes; or spookily buying the same obscure lipstick (only days apart and in the same colour). Oh, and they love the same black and white film: ‘Some Like it Hot’!
Much as it’s great working for companies, like the majority of artistic people, the friends hankered after making their own creations. They both love making pieces at home, whether it’s Phillip Treacy trained, millinery master Clair’s wonderful headpieces, or Polly whipping out her sewing machine to embroider and customise a vintage fabric find, or create some jewellery.
Last year, Polly and Clair hit on an idea to share some of the knowledge that they’ve garnered from all their experience: art and design degrees, jobs and courses they’ve done on the way.
Polly told us, “There’s been a lot of momentum behind, and enthusiasm towards, the whole ‘make do and mend’ ethos. I think people are realising it’s not just thrifty, it’s also a lot of fun to make your own clothes or biscuits and so on, and there’s so many skills and crafts people can learn.”
The pair started Sew Darn Sassy last year, with a seasonal bang, by collecting tree decorations from the 1950/60s and making pompoms, to create Christmas wreaths and headpieces that are different from the norm: a little kitsch and bright and fun. They taught three wreath-making workshops in Brighton, Hove and Worthing, which were all great successes. Everyone’s wreaths were one of a kind, and there were lots of smiling faces from ladies who didn’t realise what creative flair or undiscovered talent they had hidden before attending the workshop. (Some of our Brighton League of Fabulous Women went along and absolutely loved it, btw).
It’s now coming up to 2015’s festive time, and Sew Darn Sassy have more wreath workshops planned, plus some new table decoration sessions up their creative sleeves.
Throughout 2016, they plan to do other workshops, as they have such fun planning, collecting and teaching other people, and doing their quirky unique thing.