About Gill Arnold


I live and work in Solihull and am married with two boys. I have an obsessive love of sewing, which has driven my career through a wide range of sewing related experiences. I came from a family of sewers and from a very early age was encouraged to be creative. My love of embroidery and needlework led me to pursue a career in teaching. I attended a specialist needlework and home economics teacher training College in Liverpool. I always enjoyed "hands on work" and gained experience working with an expert team of fitting and alteration seamstresses at an exclusive dress shop the summer I finished at Liverpool.

I wanted a creative career, so I applied for the position of wardrobe assistant at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. This was a wonderful work experience, sewing fabulous fabrics and making a diverse range of costumes. The theatre wardrobe mistress encouraged me to continue studying and I enrolled for a City and Guilds course. Although theatre working hours were long, they were flexible and I could study and work full time. I achieved merit for City and Guilds Creative Studies; two years later I received a distinction in Fashion and Design and won the year prize.

My qualifications and experience opened another career opportunity in the fashion industry. I wanted to work fewer hours and the job I was offered provided training in production planning and buying. Working regular hours I decided to think again about the teaching career I had abandoned. I was employed by Birmingham Adult Education Department to work in evenings teaching Embroidery and Needlework. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching, so when I married and the family arrived I gave up full time work in industry. I returned to college, updated my teaching qualifications and became a part time teacher

In the early 90's I wrote the Tailoring Programme for the West Midlands Access Foundation, later used by Open College Network.

By 1996 I was determined to offer my own courses, now known as Gill Arnold Dressmaking Training.

In 1997 I became Sewing World magazine's pattern specialist. Over 20 years teaching has given me a wealth of experience and knowledge to produce articles on patterns and fitting. I have also written for Sew Today and American publications.

With the support of the sewing industry I enjoy being a regular exhibitor at shows all over the country including the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. My yearly programme provides a full range of sewing events, exhibitions, seminars, cloth sales, trips and courses.