Hello, I’m Sam, and I produce handmade and upcycled clothing, using vintage, reclaimed and sustainable fabrics and yarns, under the name Grandma Chic.
How I got into sewing: I first started sewing when I was a teenager and went on to study textiles and fashion at college. At university I studied knitted textiles, specialising in knitwear design, a skill I had always wanted to learn and one that was a great challenge for me.
Inspirations/Muse: Having spent some time working for pioneering ethical fashion brand From Somewhere, I decided to pursue my dream of having my own clothing line and set up Grandma Chic. Orsola de Castro, founder of From Somewhere, has remained a great inspiration to me and I am always eager to see her latest collections and collaborations.
When I started sewing, I had no real interest in contemporary fashion, but I was fascinated by garment construction and very keen to learn the skills needed to produce well made and beautifully finished garments, just like the ones I’d seen in museum collections (I always loved fashions of the past). Discovering the world of ethical fashion was very exciting, opening up new challenges and gave fashion a purpose for me.
What I love and don't love about sewing: It’s very hard to make the same garment more than once, which I really like. Though when you come across a beautiful fabric or yarn and you’ve only got a certain amount it can be frustrating knowing that your mistakes will be hard to fix and the design requires alot more thought. On the other hand, it makes that item more precious and valuable, and made with a little more love too.
Favourite garment I have made/designed: My favourite garment I’ve made is an a-line skirt made from a fabric offcut that belonged to my Grandma. It has an extra panel added as the fabric was only just big enough and I believe it was once the hem of a dress worn by her. It was made more special by the discovery of a photograph of her wearing the dress from which the offcut came, and I will always treasure it for this reason. Grandma Chic was partly inspired by her and her unique style.
Where to find me: