Meet the Tutor – Sophia from Jessalli Handmade

Millie FurbyNews

Meet the Tutor – Sophia from Jessalli Handmade



This week in our blog we interviewed Sophia from Jessalli Handmade. Sophia is teaching our sewing workshops this year – Machine Embroidery and Piped Cushions. Her first workshop on machine embroidery is on Saturday 24th February 10am – 12.30noon. 

  • Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Sophia Palmer and I am a handmade blogger, small business owner and sewing tutor.

  • Can you tell us a bit more about your craft?

I mainly do free motion embroidery in my work, which is a free flowing artistic form of machine sewing. It’s a hugely expressive craft and I love using it for personalised products for my business, portraits and even adding embellishment to my dressmaking.

  • How long have you had an interest in what you teach?

I’ve probably been doing free motion embroidery for 6 years now. My first designed pieces were a bit of an ‘expressive mess’ but now my designs are much more refined.

  • How long have you been teaching your craft?

I’ve only been teaching adult classes for the last 3 years. Before that I was only teaching 4-16 year olds. It was a nerve-racking experience to go from children to adults, but I love it. And now I teach all ages, which is so much fun.

  • Who was the first person to show you this craft?

Mum and I actually saw someone doing it on a TV programme. We both thought it looked fun, so the next day I just had a go. I’ve taught myself really and have never looked back.

  • What do you enjoy most about your craft?

Freedom, it’s so nice to just be 100% in control of something. The machine needle only goes up and down, the rest is totally your movements and control. It’s hugely expressive and there really is no end to what you can achieve with it.

  • Where do you get their ideas/inspiration?

My inspiration comes from things I see around me. I’m lucky to live in a beautiful county (Dorset) and the variations in people, animals, colours and places is so inspiring. I am a bit of a secret child, so I see something, sketch it, then add more colours, bold lines and playfulness. And there you have my designs.

  • How long will it take a beginner to make something they’ll be pleased with?

30 minutes! Honestly it’s a craft with instant gratification. Once you start sewing, everything falls into place and you realise you can do anything you want to. Another reason why I love it so much.

  • Can you teach your craft to someone left handed?

Of course. Free motion embroidery is a very personal craft, no two pieces will look the same. So anyone who has movement in their hands can do this.

  • What has been your personal favourite make?

I love doing unique pieces for customers, portraits and character pieces are my favourite to make. Each one is individual.

  • What is a good starting project for someone who is new to your craft?

Just ‘drawing’ pictures on scraps of canvas is a great place to practice your control.

  • What secret tip can you give us?

Relax and just go for it!

And now for some fun ones!

  • Favourite hobby outside of work

Have tea and cake dates with friends and walking.

  • Favourite food

Pasta dishes – I love them!

  • favourite book

To be honest, I read more craft magazines than I do books, and my favourite has to be Mollie Makes.

You can join Sophia in one of her workshops by clicking on our workshop tab above or here.