Beginner sewers – What do I do next?

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OK, so if you now know where your machine’s flywheel is and know what a bobbin looks like, how to fill it and where it goes…. and perhaps getting to grips with how to sew a straight-ish line… then you might want to find a few projects that are not too hard and build some confidence using the skills you’ve learnt.

Tip: Don’t jump straight to a dress pattern as it’s important that you don’t get demotivated and throw your machine out the window!

Check out these 2 boards below on pinterest – I have gathered projects that are at the right level for beginners to sew a few projects from so that you can get a few wins under your belt:

Keeping motivated and doing smaller projects is best. Have fun!

99-year-old Woman sews a dress a day

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Lillian Weber is 99-years-old and makes a dress for a small girl in Africa every single day.

By next May 6, when Lillian Weber celebrates her 100th birthday, her tally will reach 1,000 handmade dresses donated. In the past two years she’s finished more than 840 of them.

Lilian_WeberShe may use just a single pattern but adorns each one with special decoration, ribbon or ruffle that makes the dress one-of-a-kind.

Purposeful sewing that makes a difference – love it!

Watch her video.

Christmas sewing

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Join us in the run-up to Christmas to get your home ready for this beautiful time of year.

At the ‘Christmas housewarming sewing‘ sessions we’ll be sewing fun (or chic if you prefer): fabric wreaths, advent bunting, fabric ball-balls, reindeer head cushions, tea towels, placemats or table runners.

Check dates and book a session online to join us here.

We’ll also be making home-made Christmas gifts – easy but beautiful gifts for family and friends. From iPad stands, baby booties, stocking for every family member, lace cape for the celebration season and any of the above home warming makes from the too.

Bring your chosen fabric and top your colour scheme up with some fabric or buttons on sale from my haberdashery.

Check out the items that we’ll be making below on my Christmas Housewarming Sewing pinterest board.

 

Kids Summer Sewing 9+yrs

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Summer sewing for kids

School is out… Sewing machine classes are both fun and useful.

 

only 4 spaces available per session.
£40 (for 2 sessions)
£60 (for 4 sessions)
£80 (for 6 sessions)

 

Kids Holiday Club sessions are sold in pairs, so that all projects started are completed across the 2 days. All classes are 2-5pm Wednesday & Thursday every week in August
Choose from these date pairs:
29 & 30 July

5 & 6 August 
12 & 13 August
19 & 20 August
26 & 27 August 


Please note that the session fee does not include sewing machine hire – children are encouraged to bring their own machine or hire one for £5 per session. A basic sewing machine skills are required prior to this class. Please also book the introduction session if your child cannot thread a sewing machine.
Happy holidays!

Sewing Bee Series 5

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So my mother-in-law gets the TV listings sent to her monthly – she then peruses it with great care and calls me with enthusiasm if she sees anything of interest.

So with excitement – I announce that there’s another series of (drumroll)
‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ which starts THIS coming Thursday on BBC2 at 8pm.

So stick it in the diary or set to record it – there’s always something to learn or even simply interesting to see how others tackle projects and sewing challenges and great to get the creative juices flowing!

Buying a sewing machine – points to ponder

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Sew what?

Buying a new machine should be fun – after all, you’re excited about all the beautiful things you see yourself making once you have it! But making a decision can be rather daunting.

New vs 2nd hand: I find my clients are usually surprised how affordable a new sewing machine is and often consider buying 2nd hand before looking at the prices of a new machine. Currently, you can buy a new machine for the same price as a sewing machine service would cost. So I suggest buying a new machine as you just don’t know which parts are worn and may conk out at any time (this might not be the case for industrial machines and overlockers).

But please DO save any sewing machines your family might not be using anymore – a good clean and oil can do wonders for an ol’ gal.

Function: You only need 3 stitches on your machine…

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Christmas Glitz Swish Event

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Christmas Swish Event

Ealing Town Hall, W5
Wednesday 26 November
12 – 6.30pm

 
Bring and swap your pre-loved clothing, shoes and accessories at this free local event. 

“Swishing extends the life of clothes and accessories, increasing value for money and reducing the impact of textiles ending up in landfill. According to research, an average of 30% of clothes in households, equating to roughly 1.7billion items, are not worn over the course of a year. That’s a startling figure.”

Fab for getting a new outfit for the work Christmas party. See you there!

New Sewing Café in Ealing

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Sew what cafe

Sewing Café launch event

Saturday 5 July, 11am – 3pm

Pop in for a cup of tea with your family to see the café and meet other local sewing bees.

We now have space for a new sewing café that has all you need to get away from home chores so that you can get some sewing done or practice your new skills.

151 Brunswick road W5 1AH. No appointment is necessary for this event but please note that sessions are usually pre-booked online or by appointment.

I look forward to see you at the launch event.

 

The Great British Sewing Bee

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It’s here again! Tune in or record The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC2, Tuesdays at 8pm. Fab way to pick up tips and get inspiration.

Watch the previous 2 episodes of this series online to catch up and check out their ‘How to‘ section British Sewing Bee Judge May Martin posts videos to share some tips.

Why not join a local sewing group in Ealing W5:

Sewing Bee Series 2

Happy sewing!

Sewing piling up? Get sewing THIS year

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Here are some tips to help you to get sewing between chores, after work, whilst your baby sleeps or when that strap breaks!

Get your machine out and leave it out. If your machine is easy to get to, then pulling up a chair and getting those trousers hemmed will be more achievable. This will help even if the spot where it stays is not where you will use it. Rather use the time it would have taken to find the machine to sew instead. Tip: Pop a cover or towel over it to keep it dust free.

Join a sewing ‘meeting’. Set time and money aside just like you would for a meeting, school run or coffee with a friend. Once a week/ month or even every second month will help develop your skills, wardrobe and sewing is wonderfully therapeutic. Groups are starting in W5 and W13 now so tell me when and how often you want to meet.

Keep all your thread in one place, close by – even if it’s a messy box of threads. If they’re in one place you’ll instantly know if you have the colour or not. It’s obvious but you can’t sew without thread.

Keep a little note book at your machine. Write down the name of each project and list the steps involved to get it done as you work it out mentally. This way you’ll immediately know what needs doing – even if you’ve only got a few minutes to do a bit of unpicking, pinning etc. Getting you sewing instead of using your precious sewing time to figure it out (again and again) and never actually getting it done!

More bobbins equals less bobbin filling. Don’t run small quantities of different colours over each other. Rather get a stock of empty bobbins and run the bobbin full. This way you’re more likely to have a bobbin with the colour you need for those quick sewing jobs.

Happy sewing 2014!

Santa paid for my sewing classes

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Ho ho ho! Why not put a few sewing classes onto your Christmas wish list this year? That way you’ve one New Years resolution already sorted.

  1. Choose which new 2014 classes you’d like to attend,
  2. then add the booking page URL’s to your wish list for friends & family.

Classes are £25 to £35 and a sewing group or two helps build confidence and are only £15 for a session. That’s £50 for a class and a sewing session! But hurry, before they’re booked up.

Or buy a new sewing machine to use in the classes if you don’t have one! You can rent a machine for £5 if you don’t have one but suggest you have your own.

Merry Christmas! I’ll be away in a warm country this Christmas til mid Jan!

Get creative: Freehand Machine Embroidery Class

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Know how to use your sewing machine but want to get creative? Learn how to do decorative freehand embroidery designs with your sewing machine.

Great for card making, gifts picture in a frame, fun appliqué on a dress or pillowcase, customise an old item of clothing with these techniques.  So get started: book online – Freehand Sewing Machine Embroidery class with teacher Katie (pics of her creations!). Class includes sewing machine set up, different techniques, ideas to get you designing and practice your technique.

Don’t know how to use your sewing machine yet? Book online – Sewing Machine Skills class.

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New dates: Machine Sewing Skills class

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Never touched a sewing machine before or a bit rusty and need to get your machine out the loft? Beginners & returners welcome.

Machine Sewing Skills class:

Tuesday, 16 July  9.30am-12.30pm
Thursday, 25 July  9.45am-12.45pm
Saturday, 3 August  3pm-6pm

Book classes & get details online>

 

Learn how to:

  • thread a sewing machine
  • sew in a straight line
  • which stitches to use when
  • troubleshooting
  • understand the basic concepts of making things
  • technique
  • make something to take home too!

Dates for other classes on the way soon… let me know if there is any class your are particularly looking out for.

No machine, don’t worry, just hire a machine when you book online.

More machine sewing classes in Ealing

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I’m excited to give you a run down of the latest classes.. doing the class timetable right now.. we have small classes of 4-6 people and offer classes on Saturdays, Tuesday & Thursday mornings and weekday evenings for the 2 hour classes. Why not spend the holiday making some beautiful things. Let me know which you’d like to join us for!

2 hour classes cost £25 – Tuesday/ Thursday evenings
3 hour classes cost £35 – Tuesday/ Thursday 10am-1pm or Saturday 10.30am-1.30pm / 3am-6pm
(Current prices expiring 30 Sept 2013)

…for all levels

Supervised Sewing Groups – 3 hour session, £15 bring own project

Know how to use your machine but lack confidence to start (or finish) a project on your own? Join us for cake, tea and most importantly advice and guidance at hand.       

…for beginners:

  • Machine sewing skills – 3 hour class, £35  (Skill: Beginners/ Refreshers)

Threading the machine, sewing in a straight line, which stitches to use when, technique, troubleshooting, basic concepts of making things.  Hire a machine for £5 or dust yours off and get back into the swing of things again.

  • Cutting & choosing fabrics – 2 hour class, £25 (Skill: Beginners)

Understanding different fabrics: characteristics, buying, cutting, how much to buy. Which needles, thread, foot pressure to use. (Related class: Following a pattern for intermediate)

  • Alterations – 2 hour class, £25

All skill levels. Find out how to tackle those repairs & alterations you didn’t think you could do yourself! Take garments in/out, hemming, darning, broken zips, etc.

  • PJ bottoms – 3 hour class, £35 bring own fabric
 (Skill: Beginners)

Make a pair of comfy, chilling-out-on-the-couch PJ bottoms.

  • Zips & button holes – 2 hour class, £25 (Skill: Beginners)

Zips made easy! Make neat buttonholes on your machine easily.             

  • Make a little girl’s dress – 3 hour class, £35 bring own fabric

Make a little girl’s dress pillowcase dress or pinafore including button hole.

 …for intermediates:

  • Following a pattern – 3 hour class, £35 bring own fabric

Learn what all the abbreviations and terms mean. How to cut the fabric out and steps in using a clothing pattern. Including basics of sizing a pattern to your measurements.

  • Curtains – 2 hour class, £25

Learn and practice the basics of making your own lined hanging curtains and save hundreds of pounds. Fabric calculations also included.

  • Little girl’s dress theory only – 2 hour class, £25

Learn the basics of making little girl’s dresses which are size adjustable ideas and tricks to make them fit for longer.

See you soon for a cuppa tea and some sewing!

Buying a sewing machine – points to ponder

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Buying a new machine should be fun – after all, you’re excited about all the beautiful things you see yourself making once you have it! But making a decision can be rather daunting.

New vs 2nd hand: I find my clients are usually surprised how affordable a new sewing machine is and often consider buying 2nd hand before looking at the prices of a new machine. Currently, you can buy a new machine for the same price as a sewing machine service would cost. So I suggest buying a new machine as you just don’t know which parts are worn and may conk out at any time (this might not be the case for industrial machines and overlockers).

But please DO save any sewing machines your family might not be using anymore – a good clean and oil can do wonders for an ol’ gal.

Function: You only need 3 stitches on your machine to do basic and even intermediate sewing – clothing repairs, alteration, making garments and interiors (not upholstery which requires an industrial sewing machine due to the thicknesses of fabrics):

  • Straight stitch: Basic stich used to sew
  • Zig-zag stitch: is used to sew around the edge of fabric (to prevent fraying) if you do not have an overlockering machine. You don’t need an overlocker – it simply looks neater and more professional and saves time by combining the straight stitch and anti-fraying stitch into one, so saves time.
  • Button hole stitch: At some point you will need to make button holes (not as daunting as it might seem) so good to have.
  • Adjustable stitch length: This allows you to set your machine to any variation of stitch length – machines without this can only be set to specified lengths: usually small, medium or long stitches. It is definitely a benefit to have complete control of the length, especially for appliqué. If possible stitch width adjustment on all stitches (not only on zig zag) is also preferable but not necessary.

Bobbin position: Top-loading vs front loading: Generally speaking, if you can afford a machine with a top-loading bobbin slot, then get it. Front loading bobbins are more fiddly and there is more chance of getting thread jammed with a front loading machine. If you have one of these – it’ll work perfectly fine so don’t worry.

Where to shop: In store or online is fine. I suggest you buy your machine from a sewing machine specialist (as opposed to online 2nd hand websites or a department store or your cousin Vinny) who has after sales support, technical advice and helpline, parts and sometimes offer a free session to get-to-know-your-machine once purchased.  You may never need these services but if you do you’ll probably get them free in many instances.

Machine supplier prices are not more expensive so it’s a bargain to have this peace of mind and support at hand and you might even speak to the technician directly in some cases whereas a department store is more likely to send their product away for repair etc.

Happy shopping!

Great British Sewing Bee on BBC Two

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Spring is on it’s way – or is it? Well, snuggle up in front of the telly with some sewing inspiration on BBC Two – Great British Sewing Bee. Starts this Tuesday evening at 8pm.

Get sewing yourself this Saturday 6 April – Supervised Sewing Group – get those projects done (or started!)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s award  – your teenager looking for a skill to learn this summer term? 14 group sewing classes for £150-£180 depending on group size. Contact me for details. Download a flier>

Happy sewing!

Get your (sewing) ideas together

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I remember clipping pretty things out of magazines since I was in primary school. Beautiful interiors, funky fashion, party ideas – inspiration for almost everything.

But now… there’s a way to create electronic mood boards on ‘Pinterest’. Check out my mood boards and why not create your own account and simply ‘pin’ any pretty photos you see on any website to your (mood)boards – gathering all your ideas in mobile format.

These boards are great to share with others too – eg. gift ideas are great to share with the husband to get what you want or gather photos of things you’d like to sew. Tip: You’re more likely to keep sewing if you always have a sewing project in mind or on the go.

Happy pinning.

Let’s get sewing – it’s almost … Christmas!

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Many of you have said that you haven’t sewn for years and would like to get back into it – so I have added a Machine sewing refresher session to the list of classes. Perhaps you could sew new Christmas stockings for the family or even make a few gifts for friends.

Here’s a list of classes before Christmas but the dates aren’t set in stone so do let me know if you’d like to do a class on a different date.

 

Supervised Sewing Groups– 3 hour session, £15 bring own project
Know how to use your machine but lack confidence to start (or finish) a project on your own? Join us for cake, tea and most importantly advice and guidance at hand.         

…for all levels           Saturdays 13 October, 10 November, 1 December – 10-1pm

Group sewing classes:

Machine sewing refresher session – 3 hour class, £30 bring own fabric
Can sew, but not touched your machine for many moons? How to thread your machine and make a cushion to get you back into the swing of things again. 13 October or 10 November – 2-5pm 

…for beginners:

Alterations – 2 hour class, £25 (Skill: Beginners)
All skill levels. Find out how to tackle those repairs & alterations you didn’t think you could do yourself! Take garments in/out, hemming, darning, broken zips, etc. 17 November – 2.30-4.30pm

PJ bottoms – 3 hour class, £25 bring own fabric
 (Skill: Beginners)
Make a pair of comfy, chilling-out-on-the-couch PJ bottoms. 20 Oct 2-5pm or 15 Dec 10-1pm

Short fur cape – 2.5 hour class, £25 bring own fabric
 (Skill: Beginners)
Look totally glam this winter! Easy-to-make pattern. 24 Nov 10-12.30pm or 8 Dec 2.30-5pm

Zips & button holes – 2 hour class, £25 (Skill: Beginners)
Zips made easy! Make neat buttonholes on your machine easily. 20 Oct 11-1pm or 15 Dec 2-4pm
…for intermediates:

Little girl’s dresses – 2.5 hour class, £25 bring own fabric
Learn the basics of making little dresses with size adjustable ideas and tricks. Start making a one of the designs you like. 24 November 2-4.30pm

Curtains and cushions – 2.5 hour class, £25 bring own fabric
Save hundreds by learning to make your own lined hanging curtains. Fabric calculations explained. Make a cushion and learn about trimmings. 8 December 10.30-1pm

Following a pattern – 3 hour class, £25 bring own fabric (and pattern is optional)
Learn what all the abbreviations and terms mean. How to cut the fabric out and general ‘how-to’ follow a clothing pattern. 1 December 2-5pm

 

Refresher session & cushion

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Can sew, but not touched your sewing machine in many moons? 3 hours away from the chores – remember how to thread your machine and make a cushion to get you back into the swing of things again. Tea, cake and lots of tips at hand. Book now for Saturday 13 October, 2-5pm @W13 8JE

Road trip! The Knitting and Stitching Show

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Why don’t you and a few friends go on a road trip to The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace on 11-14 October, 10am-5.30pm. 4 ‘Mini’ tickets cost £38 for 4 instead of £15 on the door – advanced individual tickets are £12. (Pre-book tickets online before 5 October at noon.) There are heaps of amazing workshops to get you making and trying new skills.

 

Then join us with your new found sewing ideas and projects for a Supervised Sewing Group session in Ealing on 13 October, 10am – 1pm. Enjoy cake and someone at hand to guide you if you get stuck or a few gals to help you brainstorm how to upcycle your favourite (now torn) dress into a bag! Get away from home – come and sew that project you’ve still not got to – yes, it’s almost Christmas!

Book now – still spaces in the ‘Alterations‘ and also the ‘Zips & Button holes‘ classes on 29 September.

Sewtember class dates

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Supervised Sewing Groups:

Wanna get back into sewing or build confidence working on a project on your own? Bring your own project and machine, I’m around to guide you if you get stuck – and of course there’s tea and cake!

              Saturdays – 10am-1pm – 3 hour session, £15 @ W13 8JE
              1 September13 October10 November

Group sewing classes:

Can sew but wanna learn a specific skill? These pay-as-you-go style classes teach a specific skill. Feel free to suggest other classes which I’ll include in the schedule in the next few months.

Sewing refresher session –  Get back into sewing – 3 hour class, £30 fabric provided (or bring your own)
Can sew, but not touched your machine for many moons? How to thread your machine and make a cushion to get you back into the swing of things again.
              Saturday 1 September – 2-5pm  @ W13 8JE

Zips & button holes – 2 hour class, £25
Zips made easy! Make neat button holes on your machine. Discover different ways to insert a zip – bring one to have a try on.
              Saturday 29 September – 11am-1pm @ W13 8JE

Alterations – 2 hour class, £25
All skill levels. Find out how to tackle those repairs & alterations you didn’t think you could do yourself! Take garments in/out, hemming, darning, broken zips, etc.
            Saturday 29 September – 2.30-4.30pm @ W13 8JE

Classes in the (possible) mix for the next few months:
(Please register interest so I can schedule classes you’d like to attend.)

PJ bottoms – 3 hour class, £25 bring own fabric
Make a pair of comfy, chilling-out-on-the-couch PJ bottoms. Easy pattern so join us!

Short fur cape – 2.5 hour class, £25 bring own fabric
Look totally glam this winter! Easy to make pattern.

Following a pattern – 3 hour class, £25 bring own fabric (and pattern is optional)
Learn what all the abbreviations and terms mean. How to cut the fabric out and general ‘how-to’ follow a clothing pattern.

Little girl’s dresses – 3 hour class, £25 bring own fabric
Learn the basics of making little dresses with size adjustable ideas and tricks. Start making one of the designs you like.

Curtains and cushions – 2.5 hour class, £25 bring own fabric
Save hundreds by learning to make your own lined hanging curtains. Fabric calculations explained. Make a cushion and learn about trimmings.

Look fwd to hearing from you!

Sign up and win – quick, before you forget

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Sign up to my emails (to the right under ‘email subscription‘) and stand a chance to win a free
1 hour sewing class or £15 alterations
.

I’ll not be in your inbox more than once a week. That way you’ll stay up to date with my latest tips, projects and most importantly the latest class dates and details.

Also, check out easy sewing projects and other beautiful ideas on my pinterest boards.
Enjoy the rest of beautiful August!

Zips & button holes class: Pull over now a zip up!

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Zips & button holes class THIS Saturday 2-4pm – book in now.

I simply don’t wear pull overs as much as I wear cardigans and zip up jumpers. So when I saw this pull over I almost didn’t buy it BUT instead, I sliced it open up the centre front and sewed a zip in – using my zipper foot on my machine to get right in as close next to the zip as possible.

 I wear it all the time so I plan on chopping all my old pull overs open as well… beware, snip snip snip!

Handbag compartmentalisation

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Check out group class dates and book or express interest. Classes start this weekend.

Classes: Zips & button holes, Cushions and curtains, Alterations, Little girl’s dresses. 

Here is a quick alteration – handbag compartmentalisation!

So this bag was simply a big hole and everything just bundled into a mess at the bottom. Need some dividers here!

I simply laid the bag flat, removed the lining (as show in the picture) and pinned a similar sized, edged piece of fabric onto the seamed edges of the lining. I sewed all round the edge and voilà!

 

I now have a bag with 2 big divisions and I have more options to put the contents.

PS. You could add little phone pockets etc into the ‘divider’ insert before sewing to the lining for more compartments.
PPS. If the top edge of the divider seems too wide (or droopy) once you turn it the right way around, simply pleat (and sew) the top edge of the dividing fabric to keep the capacity at the bottom.

Get your sewing class on!

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At last – here’s the list of classes I’ve spoken to you all about. Get your bookings in by email.

Supervised Sewing Groups:

Wanna get back into sewing or build confidence working on a project on your own? Bring your own project and machine, I’m around to guide you if you get stuck – and of course there’s tea and cake!

              Saturdays – 10am-1pm – 3 hour session, £15 @ W13 8JE
              14 July, 4 August, 1 September

Group classes:

Can sew but wanna learn a specific skill? These pay-as-you-go style classes teach a specific skill. Feel free to suggest other classes which I’ll include in the schedule in the next few months.

Alterations – 2 hour class, £25
All skill levels. Find out how to tackle those repairs & alterations you didn’t think you could do yourself!
Take garments in/out, hemming, darning, broken zips, etc.
             Monday 16 July – 7-9pm  (possibly 7.45 – 9.45 depending on venue, W13 8JE or W13 9SS)

Zips & button holes – 2 hour class, £25
Zips made easy! Make neat button holes on your machine easily.
             Saturday 28 July – 2-4pm @ W13 8JE

Little girl’s dresses – 2.5 hour class, £25 bring own fabric
Learn the basics of making little dresses with size adjustable ideas and tricks. Start making one of the designs you like.
              Saturday 14 July – 2-4.30pm  @ W13 8JE

Curtains and cushions – 2.5 hour class, £25 bring own fabric
Save hundreds by learning to make your own lined hanging curtains. Fabric calculations explained. Make a cushion and learn about trimmings.
              Saturday 28 July – 10.30am-1pm @ W13 8JE

Look fwd to hearing from you!

What’s cooking for Jubilee?

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Ingredients:
1x Dish cloth (with a fun design or colour)
2-4 meters Ribbon to match1 reel Thread to match

Method:

  1. Hold the dish cloth to up to your body as you would like the apron to be positioned when finished.
  2. Pin the desired positions for the waist ties and measure the desired length.
  3. Measure the length of the neck strap at the correct height. If you making a gift you could add neck ties to be tied instead of a neck strap. Pin the position of the neck strap/ties.
    [Optional: if the dish cloth is too wide across the bust you could add a pleat to the top left and right, under the neck strap positions.]
  4. Cut the ribbon to the measured lengths and pin and sew in place.
  5. Remember to edge the ends of the ties to prevent fraying.

Ta daaaa! Have a fun weekend!

What a beauty!

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Well done Joshny. ‘A’ looks great in her new dress mommy made – especially as this was your first sewing project! Just in time for the spring sun that’s just appeared.

Sew on your own project with guidance, advice and a slice of cake at hand – join us for monthly Supervised Sewing Groups in Ealing.

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Show much craft @ London, Olympia

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Demonstrations and workshops for almost anything: bookbinding, jewellery (beaded, wire and fabric),  knittingsewing, felting, embroidery, crochet, papercrafts and more… enjoy!

Stitch & Craft show – London Olympia
15th – 18th March 2012
10am – 5.30pm (closes 5pm Sunday)
http://www.stitchandcraft.co.uk/

What do you want to learn to sew?

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I’m excited as it’s another Supervised Sewing Group tomorrow morning but am wondering what to bake –  naughty lemon meringues or beautifully healthy muffins?!

I am looking to offer short 2 hour group classes where you learn specific techniques or skills. A bit like pay-as-you-go learn to sew, I guess.

Group classes

These group classes will be £20 or £25 per class and thought these classes would be useful:

  • zips and button holes
  • costumes
  • interiors – curtains & cushions
  • upcycle your clothes
  • alterations
  • understand the planning and constructing of a sewing project

Be great to get feedback please – what do you want to learn?
Watch this space as these classes will be starting in the next few months – probably in a Saturday afternoon or mid-week evening class.

Frill making

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Check out this easy method of making a strip of your favourite fabric or ribbon into a 3D creation that you can attach to a boring t-shirt or cardi to give it new life. Send me a pic of your creations.

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Sewing projects for beginners

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Making something you can use or simply something beautiful is very satisfying. But getting half way through a sewing project that is taking A LOT longer than anticipated is horrible – it takes a long time to get the motivation to finish the project or start a new one.

So… make sure the project you start is one that is mostly within your skill but is still a bit of a challenge and allow enough time as I find sewing takes longer than you think. I’d much rather have too many items that are completed than a heap of uncompleted projects starring you in the face! (Having said that – I think of the heap of my own alterations that I never seem to get to!)

Here are a few easy sewing project ideas for beginners:

  • Bunting is perfect accessory or gift this year – with the Olympics and Queen’s Jubilee. Fabulous in different brightly coloured fabrics stitched onto ribbon or bias (binding).
  • Scatter cushions for the lounge or your bedroom – you can add pretty lace, frills or piping as you advance too.
  • Tote bags are handy and practical – fold the bottom of the bag in a few inches before stitching to create a wider base. (Your mum said she’d like one for Mother’s day.)

Tote bags

Cats on doors

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I just fell in love with this character I came across in a friends house- look how his tail is wrapped around the door handle(below). He’s really easy to make for yourself or a gift – and would look fab in many different patterned fabrics you probably have around the house. You could even stuff him with a bit of dried lavender if you want a smelly cat like the one Phoebe sang about on Friends!

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Old school, now… skinny-ish!

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Transform your wardrobe out of the naughties. Why buy more when you have great sewing projects at home. Make a skirt from an old pair of jeans or make a wide pair of trousers skinny and ‘in’. Check out the web for fab ideas like a T-shirt tote bag or mittens made from an old jumper!

Before and after alterations

From bedroom to dinner table

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I am such a hoarder! So I am rather relieved and chuffed when I can upcycle something instead of throw it away. This was a quick job that I managed to get some time to stitch before this old duvet found its way into my cupboard of STUFF waiting to be transformed – some items in there I have trekked from South Africa 10 years ago!

Table runner
After - now a new table runner
Old bedspread
Before - a bedspread

Floral up an old T-shirt or cardi

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This is a pic of a bought cardi but can easily be replicated on an old cardi or T-shirt – would look great with a pencil skirt this season.

Don’t like floral print? Why not try contrasting colours or add a few pearls/ beads.

Watch this space for other ideas on how to upcycle your wardrobe.

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And we’re off… (stitch, stitch, stitch)

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Well done to Shilpa for beautifully making a hot water bottle cover as her first sewing project at the first of our Supervised Sewing Groups.

If you are not confident sewing on your own and need some guidance or just want to get away from – why not join us for the next Supervised Sewing Group on 3 December. Call me to book a spot!

It’s great to see people getting excited about sewing and getting right stuck into projects. It’s not too late to make some bespoke Christmas presents! Contact me for some fab ideas. 

Supervised Sewing Groups
Girls sewing away at the Supervised Sewing Group
Learn to sew
'Bespoke' hot water bottle cover by Shilpa

It’s been a long time…

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…but I’ve been busy developing another way to get more confidence in sewing as I find it takes people a while. So you can now join other creative people in a group setting and sew on your own projects with me at hand to advise (whilst feeding you cake).

Really experience working on a variety of projects gives you the confidence to regularly take on (and finish) projects on your own. Also getting out of the house and away from chores and responsibilities helps to get those projects done and you learning from others in the group too.

Why not pop along to Supervised Sewing Groups – only £5 for your 1st session!
Currently 1st Saturday each month, 10am – 1pm @ £15 (discounts when you bring a friend)
Let me know when would suit you as we may have others interested too.

1st day out

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Yay, so I’ve been very busy getting Sewwhat? looking a bit more professional…
check out Sewwhat? chilling on the couch before the Easter Fair in Ealing tomorrow.
How exciting – sun, shades, jumping castle and hopefully there will be some mums
who wanna learn to sew!
Sewwhat? chillin' on the couch before tomorrows fair.

Sewwhat? chillin’ on the couch before tomorrow’s fair.