One of the Modista brands this month is the fabulous Rag Shop. Based in the North of England (coincidentally where I hail from too), The Rag Shop is a new business that has made a BIG impact. Stephanie stocks the most amazing range of fabrics at a wide range of prices and they’re impossible to resist in my opinion. This month I asked Steph the key questions about her business….
How did you learn to sew?
I started sewing as a little kid, taught hand stitching by my Mum and learnt further at school and college. My understanding of garment construction really kicked in when I started studying Fashion Design at University- this was when I found my comfort zone sat at a sewing machine for hours on end!
What would you say is your sewing style?
I would say feminine wardrobe staples are my go- to. I’m a sucker for florals, takes only a quick glance at our stock to guess this, but I love loose and easy- fitting garments above all else! Things I can throw on and still feel stylish are my greatest love!
When, how and why did you start your business?
So the foundation for The Rag Shop started years ago! I worked in a Pattern Room for a high street brand and I fell in love with fabric.
A lot of the job there was similar to what I do now, deciding appropriate fabrics for the job, ordering stock, keeping track of what we had, and I loved the practical aspect of the job!
My business was developed slowly over time, I went back to University to study Fashion Promotion, this helped with branding, a few years later I started sourcing and then eventually found the bottle to set up the website and get going.
The Rag Shop is still a young business, we kicked off in March with the aim to bring contemporary dressmaking fabrics to the sewing community.
What is your favourite thing about running a small sewing business?
Every single order that is places bring an insane amount of joy to me! It’s absolutely fantastic seeing where these fabrics go and seeing what they get turned into. Along with this, the flexibility of working around my life and knowing the more I put in, the more I get out is extremely fulfilling!
What are the next steps for you and your business?
It has always been the plan to have a brick and mortar shop, I’m hoping this is on the cards very soon- this would mean my pooch can come to work with me! I’m also hoping I will be able to hire my first staff members to share the workload. It can be quite a stretch trying to keep on top of everything going on!
What inspires you in your sewing style?
I gain a lot of inspiration from vintage fashion and the catwalk. I absolutely love seeing something elsewhere and creating my own version!
Finally, what is your favourite thing you have made, and what’s next on your machine?
What a tricky question! I am super happy with my Made My Wardrobe Greta Dungaree’s that I made this Summer, they are super comfy and easy to wear as well as being a super flattering silhouette. I have probably 10 things cut out ready to hit the machine but I’m incredibly indecisive and get super distracted, so I have a half sewn Liberty Tea Dress that needs finishing and some super comfy Juno Pyjamas I’m desperate to wear!