Nina Murden - The Lewes Seamstress
Goblet Pleat Pelmet

Goblet Pleat Pelmet

June 7th, 2019

Making a set of goblet pleat headed pelmets for gentleman's country house bedroom. He chose Markham's Warwick Delft, and I suggested that we add an Ian Mankin cotton stripe, the 'Ticking o1 Sky', this being a good contemporary contrast to the formality of the Markham fabric.  Here are some photos of[...]

Machine Sewing Pinch Pleat Curtain Tops - tutorial
Whole House Curtains for 1930's Friston House

Whole House Curtains for 1930's Friston House

January 3rd, 2019

Won a contract to supply material and make curtains for a whole house project in Friston on the Sussex Coast. The house built in 1930 had quirky eyebrow windows and very wide but shallow drops upstairs; for these my client wanted the look and the softness of  curtains. These were lined, and were loo[...]

The Swiss Job...

The Swiss Job...

August 1st, 2017

The Swiss Job has started.... an ongoing large project , making all the curtains, blinds and other window treatments for a client living in a house in Küsnacht. Beautiful materials chosen for the first of three part project, and I have taken delivery of a Villa Nova fabric, @ £1042. It's of a [...]

Roman Blinds for Edwardian Bay

Roman Blinds for Edwardian Bay

July 27th, 2017

Completed set of Roman Blinds for this Lewes Edwardian home. For a 11 year old's bedroom, so blackout deemed necessary! Also because these houses can be pretty chilly and draughty in the winter, this blackout was combined with a combination blackout insulated lining. The finish is akin to a three la[...]

Deep Pencil Pleat Heading for Wool Interlined Door Curtains

Deep Pencil Pleat Heading for Wool Interlined Door Curtains

February 3rd, 2017

Lovely quality Tinsmiths herringbone wool in Moss, used for a door curtain project in a lovely brick paved but draughty old farmhouse hallway in Kingston.  This  type of heading works well as it controls the fullness really neatly Fullness for a door that has limited opening space for a curtain to p[...]

Me and the Team - Pre Christmas

Me and the Team - Pre Christmas

December 23rd, 2016

Some of what we have done..... as well as the silk curtains and the velvet curtains that is. Two friends who have been coming to sewing workshops with me have nearly finished their retro 1940’s dresses-  and yes it was a very difficult pattern which has been trying but we have almost got there gi[...]

SILK CURTAINS

SILK CURTAINS

December 23rd, 2016

I have been making some 3m high beautiful silk interlined curtains for a Victorian house in Lewes.  Sumptuous and fab to work with if a little scary @ !!$$££ per metre fabric. (These– James Hare silks, can be bought via me and the sample books are to be found at Foam and Fabrics Seaford - I have a g[...]

BOAT CUSHIONS

BOAT CUSHIONS

October 17th, 2016

  Recovering of some long wide boat cushions. (Only one half in the pic) Fabric bought from new-ish cut price curtain fabric shop called 'Expectations', on A22 at Holmes hill. The man who runs it used to be with Crowson's out at Buxted, which closed a couple of years ago. Bases were made[...]

Roman Blinds for Bay Window

Roman Blinds for Bay Window

October 13th, 2016

  Roman blinds in an light aqua/duck egg coloured Italian linen fabric for this light and airy bedroom. These replaced some others that came with the house buy, but they were stained, the cords were broken and the cleats were incorrectly placed and interfered with the blinds pulling up.  M[...]

Repairs to tent

Repairs to tent

October 13th, 2016

          Yes, I repair tents too, not often, but worthwhile considering the price of this quality tent and considering the environmental impact of plastics dumped.[...]

ALTERATIONS TO 'MASCOT/OEKO-TEX' TROUSERS

ALTERATIONS TO 'MASCOT/OEKO-TEX' TROUSERS

May 19th, 2016

Working on alterations to a pair of trousers for an electrical engineer soon to be working on the wind farms being built off Brighton .  Interesting very tough cotton drill fabric, registered as 'Cordura fabric', and registered as an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 - a uniform standard of testing and certific[...]

Vintage Givenchy fabric - upcycling old curtains

Vintage Givenchy fabric - upcycling old curtains

April 11th, 2016

I have a wonderfully creative and very stylish customer who happens to be French, I think this can be no coincidence...!  Over the last few years we have worked together to adapt, alter, upcycle and re-engineer some of her older beautiful curtains and blinds, many made with  outstandingly lovely Giv[...]

SECOND HAND CLOTHES IMPORT BAN IN EAST AFRICA

SECOND HAND CLOTHES IMPORT BAN IN EAST AFRICA

April 1st, 2016

People believe that the clothes donated to charity will be given to those in need or sold in those charity shops to raise funds and don't realise that their donations will be traded abroad for profit. http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21695877-government-takes-aim-well-meaning-[...]

CURTAIN QUALITY = CURTAIN LONGEVITY, WWII CURTAINS STILL IN USE

CURTAIN QUALITY = CURTAIN LONGEVITY, WWII CURTAINS STILL IN USE

March 31st, 2016

I can and do make curtains of quality that will last. The relationship between buying quality and the likelihood that such curtains will last is still attainable.    With other items such as white goods, the ability of actually finding something that is designed to last is actually really diffic[...]

Unalterable trousers: Glued hems

Unalterable trousers: Glued hems

March 30th, 2016

A customer brought me a pair of trousers to do a perfectly normal and many times done, hem shortening.  This entails,of course undoing the invisible machine stitching, however, this pair of trousers from Marks and Spencer were virtually undo-able. Why? Because their supplier (in Vietnam)  had pu[...]

THE JUMPER THAT WOULD NOT ROT

THE JUMPER THAT WOULD NOT ROT

March 15th, 2016

  Indestructible petroleum based clothing...  why it's a problem not a boon. I wash my clothes and when the weather is ok dry it outside,- I live in a windy spot. My son had a polyester jumper – a cheap thing bought when he was a student.  It got hung on the line one day, but unbeknow[...]

Laura Ashley Fabric an amazing 50% until March 11th!

Laura Ashley Fabric an amazing 50% until March 11th!

March 4th, 2016

I quite often work with Laura Ashley fabrics, but always recommend to my customers that they wait for one of Laura Ashley's regular 'sales'.  There's one on now and most of their fabrics are now a brilliant 50% off!  This particular offer expires on the 11 March. Just bought some of this one to make[...]

While I work .....

While I work .....

March 3rd, 2016

Following on from my Meditative sewing post, whilst I work on curtains and when calculations and thinking about various stages abate, I can relax and listen to various things... Radio 4 is a staple, (excepting some programmes). Then there is the music, quite often I prefer  instrumentals, but this w[...]

PAY PARITY: THE SEAMSTRESS AND THE CARPENTER ?

PAY PARITY: THE SEAMSTRESS AND THE CARPENTER ?

February 24th, 2016

 I am passionate about equal pay for equal work – but more than that am very interested in pay parity… historically for thousands of years, patriarchy has ensured that whatever women do or have traditionally done, is not treated as valuable – either in cultural terms or monetarily. Think ‘housew[...]

Hand Sewing Curtains - Meditative work

Hand Sewing Curtains - Meditative work

February 19th, 2016

I  have been very fortunate in having a fair few curtain and blinds orders and have been working on some of these this week.   I work in a very calm space - here in my wooden workshop backed up onto the downs.  I can at times look out on the hill, watch the sheep coming and going across the fiel[...]

Toxic Fabric Conditioners

Toxic Fabric Conditioners

February 8th, 2016

Some of the clothes that I get to work with can be heavily scented with fabric conditioners/washing powders.  I have to say that I have to open the windows to get some fresh air circulating when working on them, as I consider these products harmful.  The overpowering perfumes used in fabric cond[...]

What kind of things do I repair and alter?

What kind of things do I repair and alter?

February 4th, 2016

People are often unsure what sort of things I can alter and repair. So here's a list of some of what's been brought to my workshop[ in the last month or so weeks, includes curtain and blind makes too: A very cute teddy bear - poor teddie's neck was hanging off, he's now got a fetching scarf. S[...]

February 1st, 2016

Working with some lovely fabric at the moment, which is being used for some floor length hand made curtains for a returning client,  Dawn Stacey. Being an artist herself, Dawn  has I think, wonderful taste and has chosen 'Foxglove' by the talented English designer Louise Body who works out of St Leo[...]

My Workshop on the Downs

My Workshop on the Downs

September 14th, 2015

My 'She Shed' was mentioned on Gardener's Question Time , Radio 4 this last week. Here is a link to the programme, my letter is read out in minute 24 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06810q5    [...]

Magic Roundabout Vintage material

Magic Roundabout Vintage material

July 3rd, 2015

I am currently working with some vintage cloth - Magic Roundabout fabric for a client in Kingston. There was not enough length for the curtains required so some fabric was bought from the 'Lilly Loray' range to coordinate and to match some fuller length curtains for a patio door area. http://www.[...]

Priory Prom Dresses

Priory Prom Dresses

June 26th, 2015

Have been brought a number of prom dresses these last few weeks by Priory students for alterations, repairs and adjustments.  This one stood out as being really exceptionally made,  being sequinned and beaded silk, and it looked like this was hand done.  It had a fabulous cut and was bought from[...]

Ian Mankin fabrics

Ian Mankin fabrics

June 19th, 2015

Lovely choice of fabric from the Ian Mankin range for this Roman Blind.  A beautiful Linen and Cotton fabric, handled well, made up beautifully. Currently £34.50 per metre, but because it's a Roman blind we only needed 1.5  metres. http://www.ianmankin.co.uk/hopsack-stripe-sage-761-p.asp &[...]

Garment Labels

Garment Labels

June 19th, 2015

I've been more and more surprised at how large and how big the garment/care advice labels are becoming, there are sometimes 4 layers of them.  Often they are bulky and visible from the outside of the garment - like this one.  This would look really rubbish - an expensive garment but seeing the print[...]

Working with Vintage Linens

Working with Vintage Linens

January 5th, 2015

Working with vintage fabrics I have a lovely job to start this New Year working week  - a Roman blind being made with gorgeous vintage French linen – original a bed sheet, and bought on ebay, by a discerning and resourceful client.  This sort of material requires careful handling , has to be pres[...]

March 3rd, 2014

Roman Blinds - A popular Choice Have been making another set of Roman Blinds this time for a Lewes artist, Dawn Stacey: She is currently exhibiting at The Hop Gallery until March 13th with her photographer husband David. http://www.dawnstacey.co.uk/ She is renowned for her paintings [...]

No thumbnail available

Fast Fashion Radio 4 phone in

February 25th, 2014

I've just taken part this morning in an interesting debate about 'fast fashion, affordable or exploitative?' on Radio 4's You and Yours programme. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03w0gwd I highlighted how my customers seem to be really uncomfortable with this throwaway culture, and this is wh[...]

No thumbnail available

AUTUMN OFFER - 10% discount

September 13th, 2013

I am running an offer until 16th October on alterations and repairs - 10% off for all repairs and alterations, this includes curtains for those who have moved or have new off the shelf bought curtains that are not the right length.  Give me a call to arrange a visit or to discuss.    [...]

Moved and your curtains don't fit?

Moved and your curtains don't fit?

September 10th, 2013

   Now that the summer is coming to an end customers are  thinking about their  curtains and I currently I have two  curtain alterations jobs  as well as a full make of double  pinch pleat handmade  curtains for  a customer in Brighton.   How many of us move and end up taking the curtain[...]

Cushions and Jacket

Cushions and Jacket

August 14th, 2013

During the last few days I have made two cushions and a seat cushion out of material and foam sourced from a great upholstery shop in Seaford called Foam and Fabrics.  Really helpful staff and some lovely curtain fabrics.   and finished off a copy of a much worn , much loved man's sho[...]

Weaving in....

Weaving in....

August 14th, 2013

Weaving in …. This place where I work. My workshop is situated in a pretty beautiful spot, backed up to the downs to the west of Lewes (known counter-intuitively as Landport Bottom).     Everyone who comes up here to the workshop remarks upon its situation and how lucky I a[...]

Sewing Workshop

Sewing Workshop

August 13th, 2013

Two lovely girls, aged 7 and 9 and their Mum came to me last week to do a two day/4 hour sewing workshop.  Mum and one daughter made  envelope cushions, with button backs (each with fabrics sourced from the Stitchery in the Riverside,Lewes)  and the other daughter made a little shoulder bag using a [...]

Working week

Working week

August 5th, 2013

Last week’s work - Completed a fun, blue striped 4” deep window seat cushion with sky blue piped edgings  made with striped ticking - bought from the Stitchery http://www.the-stitchery.co.uk/blog/about for Peter Messer. http://www.petermesser.co.uk/ Have finished a remake of a beauti[...]

No thumbnail available

Sewing workshops

June 28th, 2013

Sewing Workshops Since the screening of the Great British Sewing Bee there’s been huge renewed interest in sewing. I currently am giving quite a few one to one workshops. Some people have previously done other group workshops in town but found they need and like the one to one attention I can giv[...]

No thumbnail available

Natural Cool

June 11th, 2013

My customers are starting to go on their summer holidays and bringing me items such as maxi dresses to alter before they go away.  (Not many women seem to be tall enough to wear maxi dresses without having to have them shortened)!  So when shopping for summer clothes what should you look for to stay[...]

No thumbnail available

Wardrobe Tinker

June 4th, 2013

Now that the weather is improving I have a number of customers bringing me items from their existing summer wardrobe that they like but which are not quite right… perhaps a top is a little bit too wide and needs taking in on the side seams; a sleeve needs a change, from a set-in style to a cap sleev[...]

No thumbnail available

Daylight robbery

May 30th, 2013

I have been busy making blackout lined curtains and roman blinds for customers this month.   We are creatures of the seasons our circadian rhythms keeping us aligned and in tune with the sun.  Yet our modern  lifestyles and work patterns are often at odds with this natural rhythm.  There is a way to[...]

No thumbnail available

Repairing Possibilities

May 3rd, 2013

Why repair clothes?  Especially when some are so cheap to buy new?  There are environmental and ethical reasons to get the most wear out of your existing clothes but for now just think -  you have already invested time and money  in choosing these garments -you like them!  Why not make them last a b[...]