Lauren shows you how to make thermal curtains
Lauren Guthrie, finalist of the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee and Sew Magazine columnist, presents the our 'How To' video, in partnership with Good Energy, for creating stylish money and energy-saving thermal curtains.
The 29-year-old recently ditched a career in physiotherapy to open her dream fabric and haberdashery shop, Guthrie & Ghani, wihth her husband, Ayaz. We caught up with her to find out more.
Where did you get your passion for sewing and knitting?
Sewing runs in our family My mum’s mum was a home economics teacher, so she taught my mum who went on to become a dressmaker. She’d work from home making wedding dresses for people and anything else they wanted doing.
As I was growing up there was always a sewing machine out, threads and pins everywhere. I can’t think of a time when I wouldn’t have known how to pick up a needle and sew something.
Being creative has always been my passion, however when I was at school I took an academic route instead and went into physiotherapy. It’s a great career but I just wasn’t enjoying it and craved creativity. It’s always been my dream to open my own sewing shop, so last year I decided to go for it.
You were great on the Sewing Bee
Thanks, I didn’t expect to get as far as I did! Looking back on it, it was really tough but I loved every minute of it.
Because of the nature of the competition you didn’t have much time to work things out like you would have at home, so there were a few instances that were frustrating! It put me in a position where I had to try out things I’d never done before – making trousers, shirts and other things – and have no choice but to get on with it. The Christmas special was much more relaxing.
The show ended up being brilliant timing for me. We launched our shop soon after and it really helped to get my name known.
What’s it like running your own business?
The shop is really challenging, but that’s what I love about it. There’s always something new to buy, something new people are asking for; like a new event to plan for, new workshops, new ideas that people come in with. Although a new business is really hard work, it’s a really exciting time.
Where do you get inspiration for your own clothes?
Most days I’ve got at least one thing on that I’ve sewn or knitted myself, maybe a top, a dress, or a cardigan. Sometimes I go to the shops and see what’s popular. I’ll look at how it’s made and see if I can copy it. Or sometimes just a nice fabric, or a trim or a colour will spark an idea.
I like to collect fabric, and have quite a large stash to dip into. I often go to my favourite fabric shops, and if I go somewhere new I’m always on the lookout for new fabric shops to see if I can find something I like.
What can people expect to find on your blog?
My blog is a mixture of things that I’ve been making, ideas that I’ve had and new things that are coming up at the shop. It’s almost like a diary of things that I do, which are all related to sewing and being creative, so I hope it brings inspiration to people.
What advice would you give to the sewing scaredy-cats out there?
I’d just say to people, don’t be scared just give it a try – what have you got to lose? You just need the confidence to have a try and if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t matter, just try again.
Click on the tab at the top of the page to watch the first part of Lauren's video guide to making your own thermal curtains, and then watch part two, part three, part four and part five to complete your curtains.
You can download an instruction guide (PDF) to help make your own thermal curtains. You can also take a look at Lauren’s blog for more creative ideas, and you can also find out more about our energy work and partnership with Good Energy.