Dyane is an Award Winning Dressmaker, Textile Artist and Tutor.
She holds a B’tec in Art and Design – focussing on Textile Art in particular Fashion Design and Batik, then trained in Clothing Manufacture & Management at Jacob Kranmer Collage (Now Leeds College of Art) in Leeds more than 30 years ago. Eight years later she took time out to gain a BA(hons) in Environmental Ethics at Wolverhampton University. In recent years she took her PGCE for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector at University of Sunderland.
Over the years she has stitched costumes, cushions and curtains for numerous projects / shows in England, Wales, India & Canada; becoming a company director of Eco-Babes – a cloth nappy company in 1998 until 2006 and Arts Director for Gaunless Valley Creatives CIC 2015 – 2018. As an artist some of her Batiks with freestyle embroidery have been exhibited in Art Galleries.
Dyane’s Stitch in Time was set up in Norfolk in 2008 and moved back to County Durham in 2012.
By focussing on Repairs & Alterations, she blends her skill in sewing with her interest in the environment with particular focus on waste minimisation. She also uses a vintage hand wheel Singer during power cuts and for repairs to vintage clothing.
Over the years Dyane has enjoyed combining her textile skills with her environmental concerns & community spirit with others of all ages. Of particular success is the Stitch Kidz Club held for KS2 & KS3 Children, originally in Norfolk with kids becoming skilled enough to make their own trousers, skirts and tops, this has now been revived succesfully in this area. Stitch Kidz don’t just make items for themselves they get involved with the community, making dresses from pillowcases for a local Trashion show which were then sent to Dress a Girl around the world. Plus some of the accesories hats, bags and belts for National Show Kynryn for their community certificate :-). Many in Sew Social help make washable cloth sanitary pads for women in Syria and Pakistan.
On moving to Durham she has become involved with holding a variety of Textile and Art Workshops for children, teens and Adults in the local Community via Lot 64 in Darlington The Bowes Museum, The Hub, Witham, NeST – Barnard Castle, Evenwood Family Programme, Gaunless Valley Creatives in Cockfield, Colour Your Life, The POD – Bishop Auckland, Auckland Castle, The Forum – Northalerton, UK Sewing Shop – Darlington, Durham Crafty Mums and several schools.
Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in learning more practical life skills, folk dusting down their sewing machines and wanting to learn how to sew. I enjoy working with individuals helping them to learn these essentials, working on personal projects.
In 2020 during the first Lockdown of the pandemic Dyane’s Stitch in Time had to temporarily close the business for three months, however Dyane got very busy volunteering with the Sewing for the Front Line North East project, started by Zoe Worrell & Alison Mathews instead, becoming one of their area co-ordinators, networking with other co-ordinators and personally ensuring around 35 home sewers had the patterns, donated fabric (including a lot of bedding to be upcycled 🙂 and the haberdashery they needed to create the Scrubs, Gowns, washbags & ear defenders that our NHS staff desperately needed. Stitch Kidz got involved too from their homes, making wash bags and heart pairs for families of covid patients in intensive care.
Through all the amazing efforts of the local home sewers she was able to covid safely deliver thousands of items including hundreds of scrub sets and gowns to Auckland, Durham, Darlington Memorial General Hospitals, West Park, Auckland Park and Lanchester Mental Health Hospitals, some fun childrens’ character themed ones even reached paediatric teams in hospitals further afield and the local community teams of Midwives and Health visitors. Towards the end of lockdown we were also able to give 150 gowns to Premier Care for their large team of local Carers in Bishop. All in all between all the incredible volunteers – donating time and skills the Area Co-ordinators and their home Sewing ladies (and children) we were able to supply thousands of scrubs, gowns and washbags to help protect our NHS and Care home workers from the corona virus all across Northumbria, Durham and Teesside.
Although later lockdowns have not meant the business has had to close, as we have adapted to the constantly changing ‘new normal’, it has severely limited the service that can be offered. So in early 2021 Dyane is using the quieter business time to complete a course in Direct Method Construction for high end dressmaking. She hopes these enhanced pattern construction skills will serve her customers well and add to the skills she can share in workshops when such activities can resume 🙂