Lydia Higginson


What is your name and what do you do for a living?

My name is Lydia Higginson and I am a seamstress and tailor. I make costumes for theatre and bespoke private commissions.

What makes you a colourful woman?

Last year I decided to give away all the clothes I had ever bought from shops and make my entire wardrobe from scratch. I now only wear clothes I have made, except my accessories which come from artists and designers I work alongside. I love wearing Lou's silk scarves next to my bespoke silk dresses because she has taught me so much about the power of stitch.

How do you know Lou?

Lou has been my mentor for the last 4 years. I have worked as her assistant in the studio, at shows and during exhibitions.

How has the super stitchers workshop influenced your creativity / attitude? 

When I first saw Lou's work it inspired me to go home and make a big quilt using free machine embroidery techniques for the first time. I had no idea what I was doing, but making that quilt allowed me to fall in love with driving a sewing machine. I sent Lou a photo when I had finished it and told her how much it had helped me process a trauma I was experiencing, which was stopping me from sleeping. Lou generously invited me on one of her workshops, and has been employing me to assist her ever since. She was the first woman who taught me that you could make a living using a sewing machine and I haven't stopped trying to do that since. The more I assist her, the more I realise how hard she works and how revolutionary she is with thread and fabric.

Do you own a Lou Gardiner scarf, if so which one?

Yes, Lou used to pay me with them! I wish I didn't have to pay rent so that she still could. I own 5 scarves and 2 cushions, they fill my life with colour and femininity. I never leave the house without a scarf round my neck or in my bag, just in case I need to wrap myself in some feathery, floral, silky luxury.


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