Episode 10 : A life in dressmaking with Dorcas Hammond

Dorcas in her workshop in Gibraltar

Hello and welcome to the tenth and final episode in the first series of Making Stitches. This week I’m sharing a story which is very special to me, that of my sewing teacher Dorcas Hammond.

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Dorcas Hammond is a well-known name in Gibraltar. Her dressmaking workshop has created gowns for many brides and beauty queens ahead of their big events – none more so than when Kaiane Aldorino was crowned Miss World in 2009 wearing a beautiful dress created by Dorcas.

Miss World 2009, Kaiane Aldorino, wearing the Gibraltar National costume designed by Dorcas

Dorcas has held fashion shows in London, Marbella, Madrid and Portugal, and has won several designers competitions, including the Agulha de Ouro (Golden Needle) in Portugal back in 2004. Dorcas not only creates beautiful clothes, she also teaches students to create their own garments at her fashion academy. She teaches everything from the basics of using a sewing machine, through to home furnishings and finally elegant evening wear.

This week we hear how she began sewing as a young child and how she turned her passion into her profession (Dorcas also shares a trick of the trade which involves coffee!).

You can listen to Dorcas’ episode here.

You can find Dorcas here:

https://dorcasfashiondesigns.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu5dkQ52RvguLxlf58AyDGA

There’s also a couple of blog posts about Dorcas’ work from my blog; Postcard from Gibraltar, which you can see here and here.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops

Episode 9 : Crocheting Under Lockdown with Esther of Essie Birdies

Esther from Essie Birdies

This week on Making Stitches I’m sharing my first international interview – it’s with Esther from Essiebirdies. I spoke to her from her home in the Netherlands on her first day in an empty house after 10 weeks of lockdown.

Esther’s latest ‘Close to You’ shawl design

Esther is a crochet designer who creates beautiful patterns for amigurumi toys, shawls, bags and home furnishings. Her passion for crochet came relatively recently when her daughter asked her to make an amigurumi toy. Once she had started, Esther was hooked.

Esther’s Frida Kahlo cushions & hand sanitizer covers

Esther designs in both English and Dutch and has followers from around the world making her beautiful designs.

Esther’s ‘Miss you’ shawl

You can hear Esther’s episode here.

You can find Esther at Essie Birdies.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops

Episode 8 : Stranded knitting with Phil from The Twisted Yarn

This week, Phil from The Twisted Yarn shares her story on Making Stitches. A knitter and crocheter in her spare time, Phil works as a clinical psychologist in her day job and is a mother of twin boys.

Known as ‘The Modern Knitter’ in her quarterly column in Simply Knitting magazine, Phil has also appeared on BBC TV with her imaginatively reupholstered chair which was reborn as a yarny country cottage complete with a front garden, pond and vegetable patch!

Phil’s real love though, is her own take on modern stranded knitting rather than the more traditional Fair Isle style. She says she’s inspired by nature and is hoping to have her first book on the technique published next year.

You can listen to Phil’s episode here.

You can find Phil’s blog The Twisted Yarn, here.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops

Episode 7 : Sewing for family & fun with Victoria Peat

Sewing teacher, dressmaker and patchwork quilter Victoria Peat this week shares her story. From getting a sewing machine for her 18th birthday and designing patchwork quilts to studying at the London College of Fashion and giving sewing lessons on live television, Victoria has a true love of making.

Victoria moved to Gibraltar last year and thanks to the recent relaxation of the lockdown rules here, we were able to meet in person and have a socially instanced chat about everything from making World Book Day costumes to how on earth the contestants on the Great British Sewing Bee cope with the challenges they face.

You can find Victoria on social media by searching ‘Victoria Peat’ as well as on her website.

You can hear Victoria’s episode of Making Stitches here.

The competition winning fox pinafore dress mentioned in the episode

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.