What goes on round the back of the shop?

a bird made this blog in wales carmarthen craft dressmaking fabric found and seek hand sewn handmade janome made in wales maker nick verreos sewing wales

Customers visiting our shop (Found and Seek in King Street Carmarthen) are always met with warm greetings. That face to face contact is something we love and its something often commented on in our customer reviews

“This shop is full of wonderful finds, lovely local crafts and beautiful vintage goodies. It is rare to find such a warm welcome, a family run business and that is clear from the welcome you receive when you enter the shop. Nothing is too much trouble.”……… “It is my favourite shop in West Wales”. 


One person in often singled out for her cheerful demeanor is Pearl whose smiling face many of our customers are used to seeing, albeit behind a screen these days. In this blog she’s going to tell you what she gets up to behind the scenes.

The backroom is where the making happens. This is where Pearl and Lou make the many fabulous facemasks that you’ve seen on social media.

wearing an artistic face mask

It’s also where Lou teaches Pearl to sew.

pearl sewing at found and seek

“Learning to sew has been important to me – its been good for my confidence and its given me new skills. I’m learning all the time. I love that I can take just a piece of material and make something beautiful and useful that I am proud of. Lou is a brilliant teacher, she explains things well and is patient.” (Pearl)

Louise points out that its not all up to her, Pearl has a natural ability with textiles and an eye for design which makes teaching and learning enjoyable. One of the things that lockdown triggered was a surge in cut price online courses. Taking advantage of this we bought a couple of online fashion design and sewing courses. One of these was an online diploma in dressmaking and fashion design by Online City Training https://www.onlinecitytraining.com/business-work/fashion-culture/dress-making-and-fashion-design-diploma

It has been great. It’s a really detailed course with 11 modules, ranging from how to take measurements to understanding body shapes, to fashion drawing to understanding how a pattern works to how to roll a hem, to health and safety and marketing – just about everything you could want.  The course is well designed and delivered very effectively. Each week Pearl and Lou work through another section. Lou’s training in art and experience in textiles is useful in helping the course come alive whilst her years of experience in teaching complement the course materials.

“We also watch a lot of Nick Verreos fashion school videos on you tube. He is just fab, inspirational and fun……"faSH…ON!" (you need to watch one of his videos to get that) here’s the link” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpibEOJGM0c

Actually we watch a lot! of Nick Verreos, we love him to bits.

Pearl says, “I would really like to be able to design my own range of clothing with my own designs one day.” This is something she’s working towards. In the meantime she is focusing on sewing her own clothes and making a number of fabric accessories.

She really needs a good industrial or semi industrial machine now to take it further. We’ve got our eye on a Janome HD9 at the moment and are hoping we will be in a position to buy one early next year.

Theres always something going on in the workshop, this might be a design session using hand drawn croquis (that’s the name for those fashion drawing figures that designers use as a base). It may be an exploration of colour and shape through collage, cutting out, fitting, stitching, pressing………..It hums with the buzz of the machines and chat. “We have such a laugh” says Lou and there is always music, often this results in impromptu sing alongs – in case any customers are wondering what they can hear at the back of the shop its probably Pearl and Lou singing along to the soundtrack of the Rocky Horror Show and doing in the timewarp in between hemming and topstitching.





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