Meet our teachers: Rachel Pinheiro, dressmaking

I’m so proud of the quality of instructors we have lined up to teach our classes at The Village Haberdashery! Many of them are a little bit famous in certain circles, but since they may be new to you I thought I’d make introductions in a little series called Meet our teachers.

Rachel Pinheiro is the creative goddess known round the web for her blog House of Pinheiro. Followers of her blog read in awe as she sews up garment after garment, always with a perfect fit and a Brazilian flare! Rachel’s first class at The Village Haberdashery is this Saturday (10 August, 10am – 4pm). She’ll be teaching us how to sew the lovely Deer & Doe Airelle Blouse. This is an intermediate dressmaking class and as of this moment there is just one place left! Read on to find out more about Rachel or just skip to the class page and sign up here.

Rachel Pinheiro, House of Pinheiro

The Village Haberdashery: You said recently on your blog that in the past three years you’ve gone from not knowing how to sew on a button to making an outfit a week! Yet you are so knowledgeable about fit and so confident about customising patterns. How did you learn so much in such a short period of time?

Rachel Pinheiro: Two ways: Through classes and practice. There is only one way of really learn something and it’s to practice what you learned in the classroom and expand your knowledge by trying new techniques at home. I had the pleasure to only come across encouraging teachers that built my confidence by showing me that there are many ways to achieve the desired effect and I should explore them. I always been very curious too so I would read every book available, take every live and online class, participate of forum discussions. Learning how to sew is as pleasurable to me as sewing. Knowing how to draft patterns really helps to understand fitting and I had the pleasure to study the OILE Method in Brazil that uses personalised body measurements for drafting as traditional couturiers do. That way my patterns move away from ‘standard’ and focus on fit.

Rachel Pinheiro, House of Pinheiro

TVH: You’re very involved in the social side of sewing. The meet-ups, retreats and other events. Tell us about this cool sewing scene happening in the UK!

RP: That’s another great advantage of sewing, you get to meet so many kindred souls and have a conversation about your passions with people that have so much to offer. This recent movements is facilitated though the existence of blogs, and use of social media like Twitter. My advice, put yourself out there, follow people you admire and just say ‘Hello’ or comment on something interesting you read. You will be surprise how friendly everyone is and soon you will be joining the many meet ups that appear online.

Rachel Pinheiro, House of Pinheiro

TVH: How would you describe your personal style? How has sewing your own clothes impacted your style?

RP: I like elegant clothes in classic shapes with a fashion twist. For example, a classic 50’s silhouette with interesting shape collar, pocket, fabric combination. My fashion taste influenced my sewing on my fabric preferences and designs. Sewing has helped me mould my closet by challenging me to try things I wouldn’t necessary try before because I wanted to learn a certain technique.

Rachel Pinheiro, House of Pinheiro

TVH: What will students learn in your first class at The Village Haberdashery, the Airelle Blouse class?

RP: The Airelle is a great pattern to learn new skills. As it’s loose, the fitting isn’t challenging so you get to learn the basics of blouse construction. I will teach you how to sew set-in sleeve flat, which is a lot less challenging. We will sew a beautiful chelsea collar using interfacing that will give you confidence to try other collars like peter pan. You will learn how to apply piping and we will talk about a few ideas to customise your pattern at home.

Rachel Pinheiro, House of Pinheiro

Thanks Rachel!

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