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Meet the Team

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

Claire-Louise Hardie
Owner and Head Tutor

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, Film and TV with an impressive CV of employers that includes-
The RSC:The Royal National Theatre:Regent’s Park open air Theatre and “The Audience” with Dame Helen Mirren.
Her diverse professional experience made her the perfect candidate for the role of Sewing Producer for TV's ``Great British Sewing Bee`` A role she's done since 2012 when the show was first developed.
In 2009 Claire-Louise began teaching sewing in Stoke Newington and through her teaching has regained a love of dressmaking for herself.
When not teaching at The Thrifty Studio she's also a Love sewing Magazine columnist: A Sewing Bee Author, and the occasional guest presenter on Create and Craft TV
Her first book: ``The Great British Sewing Bee- Fashion with Fabric`` was a best seller in 2015, winning Best sewing book 2015 in the British Sewing Awards. The book accompanied the third series of the hit TV show

Companies i've worked for
Layla Totah

Layla has been teaching for over 15 years and sewing for 10 years. She started as a secondary school English teacher in London and later moved to Beirut, Lebanon where she set up a small school teaching sewing to ex pats and locals.
Since moving back to London Layla has taught sewing across the UK and loves to teach dressmaking!

She sews almost all her own clothes and those of her husband but draws the line at her cats! As well as sewing (pretty much all the time) she also teaches English at a secondary school and knits

Suzie Kemner

Suzie Kemner is a Dutch-Australian designer who studied Graphic Design at The West Australian School of Art and Design. She moved to London in 2000 with the idea of ``only staying a year``, but fell in love with the city. She studied an introductory course in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins and later Professional Sewing Techniques at the London College of Fashion, alongside working as a freelance graphic designer. In June 2015 she launched her clothing and accessories label Suzie London creating ‘wearable pieces of joy’, selling on Etsy and popping up at various designer-maker markets throughout London.

Want to know what it’s like to work backstage in London’s West End? Watch Claire-Louise’s “Day in the life of a Wardrobe Mistress” on Million Dollar Quartet

Watch this video to discover how becoming a teacher re-ignited my passion for sewing for myself, plus a sneaky peek inside my sewing studio!