Hello and thank you so much for taking the time to read up a little bit about me! My name is Helen Mackenzie and I am the founder and sole teacher at Sew School. I haven’t always been a teacher; in fact I trained and worked as a costume maker for many years before setting up Sew School.
A brief description of what I did before Sew School…
After my degree at Wimbledon School of Art in Costume Interpretation, where I learnt the art of taking a drawing, drafting up the pattern and constructing the costume, I went on to make many costumes for TV, theatre and film. I was employed for 10 years at the huge, professional costume house Angels when it was in Camden. It was here that I had the privilege to work on numerous impressive productions such as Shakespeare in Love, Little Voice and Spiceworld the Movie. But my absolute favourite claim to fame is making the Batman & Robin costumes for the Only Fools and Horses Christmas special.
I left Angels to start my lovely family in 2001 and then took a few years off. Feeling ready for another challenge, I went back to work at the costume department of Eastenders, as well as putting together lots of private commissions from home. I also worked as part of the creative costume team on various films, including, James Bond, Harry Potter and Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, which was an amazing experience but the hours were very long.
Sew School started in 2009. I really wanted a job that involved my love of sewing and being creative but allowed me to spend more time with my wonderful family. Sew School was the perfect solution. I absolutely love teaching, inspiring people to sew and be creative is hugely fulfilling.
Having worked previously teaching sewing to mental health students at Barnet College and running a lunchtime sewing club at my children’s old primary school, I have been CRB checked several times. I also have liability insurance.
Sew School is a happy little sewing community, run from my home in High Barnet. It’s not about building a big money making business; for me it’s about passing on a wonderfully rewarding and useful skill, while having lots of fun with other creative people.
Sew school gives me the great pleasure of working part time, alongside being a mum, and teaching something that I love and know quite a lot about!