Meet the Team

The Thrifty Stitcher offers friendly sewing classes for aspiring DIY seamstresses and crafters. This small school in Stoke Newington is run by Claire-Louise Hardie, Author of “The Great British Sewing Bee- Fashion with Fabric” and an experienced Theatrical Costumier

Claire-Louise Hardie – Founder & Teacher

Companies i've worked for

Claire-Louise Hardie
Originally trained as a Costume Designer at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Claire-Louise has worked in all aspects of Costume for Theatre, and also worked as on set for Film and TV.
In 2009 Claire-Louise began teaching sewing in Stoke Newington and through her teaching has regained a love of dressmaking for herself.

Most recently Claire-Louise has combined her teaching and costume skills with her work as the Sewing Producer for BBC2’s ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’

Whilst  touring the world with the Royal Shakespeare Company,Claire-louise pressed togas for Sir Patrick Stewart, fixed trousers for  Sir Ian McKellen and re-hemmed frocks for Vanessa Redgrave

Touring shows

Sophie walkerSophie Walker- Teacher

Sophie teaches some of the beginner classes and the appliqué classes. Sophie was inspired at very young age by her Mum and  Grandma to sew and be creative. She studied printed textiles at Manchester Metropolitan University and after various creative jobs is am now devoting more and more time to her business Sew far Sew Good


Melissa FehrMelissa Fehr- Teacher

Melissa teaches the Knit fabric dressmaking courses. A self taught seamstress who is crazy about running, Melissa launched her own range of exercise patterns in 2013. Melissa loves all things stretch, and particularly enjoys de-nystifying sewing with knit fabric and using an overlocker. She Blogs about her adventures in dressmaking over on Fehr Trade


Rosie Smith- TeacherRosie Smith

Rosie teaches some of the beginner classes and  dressmaking classes.Rosie trained as a costume maker at the Bournemouth Arts Institute. After graduating she has worked in wardrobe departments on several smash hit west end shows, including Arcadia, The Railway Children and The audience. Since leaving the theatre life she has being working in london as a dress maker and alterations specialist in her own business Night Feather Designs


Watch this video to discover how just a few sewing skills will help you transform your wardrobe

Want to know what it’s like to work backstage in London’s West End? Watch this day in the life of a Wardrobe Department on Million Dollar Quartet

Think of a sewing art you fancy learning and we”ll know a person who does it!

We de-mystify the art of sewing, and want to show you how easy it really is to make wonderful things!

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