Seamstress Sally says ‘sew long’ to ailing industry

Sally Sallett is closing her shop after 17 years'.
Sally Sallett is closing her shop after 17 years'.

A seamstress who joked that she has stuck pins in some of the north’s most famous people is to pull the plug on her sewing career.

Sally Sallett, also known locally as ‘Sewing Sally’, is due to shut her business, The Fashion Workroom in Pontefract at the end of the month.

The 67-year-old has decided the time has come to retire and spend more time with her husband on their narrowboat and concentrate on her other passion - photography.

She said: “I have always sewn since I was younger, my mum showed me what to do and it was always a hobby.

“But it has run its course now, and there’s not many of us about and recruiting skilled staff is almost impossible.

“It’s difficult to find people who can do a good job.

“I’ve had the business 17 years now and I think I’m probably passed my sell-by-date anyway.

“It’s changed so much over the years that people just don’t need someone to alter their clothes anymore.

“It was always manic in the run up to Christmas but everything has got a lot more casual these days, people don’t dress up as much and everything has become a lot more casual.

“People wear much cheaper clothes which they can just throw away, which I completely understand because I do it myself.”

Having moved to Yorkshire in 1980, she worked at home for years before securing at job in 1996 at the famous fashion store Harvey Nichols, in Leeds city centre, where she spent four years.

During her time there, she would work altering clothes for a number of VIP customers.

These included former boxer Prince Naseem Ahmed, rock star Liam Gallagher and wife of supermarket mogul Ken Morrison, Lady Morrison, as well as numerous Coronation Street stars.

She added; “It was before there was a Harvey Nichols shop in Manchester so they all used to come to Leeds, most of them were very pleasant.”

Speaking about her decision to retire, she added: “I’ve got mixed feelings.

“I shall miss the people and I have done this for so long it seems like I have been ‘Sewing Sally’ forever, so I will need to get a new identity!”

Mr Sallett’s shop on Gillygate is due to close at the end of March.