Meet our Teachers: Suzie Kemner, sewing
Suzie is a Dutch-Australian designer, maker and illustrator based in London. She creates fresh and modern fabric, clothing and accessories for her label Suzie London. We are really looking forward to her upcoming Make Your Own Espadrilles classes at our West Hampstead Store.
Lovely photography here by www.jonaarongreen.com
Q: How did you first discover your creative talents?
A: I’ve always been very creative, and loved going to after school craft clubs when I was very young. I was always making things, like my own magazines with games and puzzle, and pictures to colour in! I studied Graphic Design at Art School in Australia, which eventually led to web design and then mobile app design.
Q: Tell us about your brand Suzie London and how it all came about.
A: I was starting to get disillusioned with just staring at a computer screen all day, moving pixels around for corporate clients. So I started taking evening classes in textile design. From screen printing and block printing lino cuts onto fabric, though to digital textile design, and pattern cutting and dressmaking, I was loving using my graphic design skills to design and create my own fabrics, and applying these to clothing and accessories. I love having an idea, doing a sketch, and then being able to make it happen. It’s the most amazing feeling in the world!
I officially launched Suzie London on the 18th of June in 2015, with a collection of espadrilles, screen printed t-shirts and tote bags, as well as some hand-made jewellery. The plan is to launch dresses and even a sewing pattern later this year, so watch this space.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I was born in The Netherlands (my family moved to Australia when I was nine), and grew up on Miffy books (called Nijntje, or ‘Little Rabbit’ in Dutch). I love bold, minimalist design, in bright, cheerful colours. I’ve also always loved vintage clothing and textiles, especially form the 50s, 60s and 70s. So my style is definitely inspired by vintage design, but with a clean, modern edge.
Q: What are your favourite fabrics to work with and why?
A: I love working with natural, breathable fabrics. My new fabric collection includes beautiful cotton twills, a wonderful unbleached organic cotton canvas, and crisp organic cotton poplin. I’ll be introducing some silks later this year too! All my fabrics are responsibly sourced and digitally printed right here in London, England.
Q: We are super excited for your Make your own Espadrilles class, what can students expect?
A: I love teaching complete beginners how to sew! So not only will they be learning how to use a sewing machine, they will also learn how to make one complete shoe, with all the knowledge and skills to finish the second one at home. There is definitely an ‘a-ha’ moment in the workshop, when everyone’s fabrics start to resemble a shoe, which is very exciting. And making espadrilles is pretty addictive, once you know how to make one pair, you’ll be wanting to make many more!
Q: What sewing gadget could you not live without?!
A: Definitely my magnetic pin cushion. I have a retro one in red, but there are several on the market today. So handy to chuck pins in as you’re sewing, and even more useful at collecting any pins you accidentally drop on the floor!