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Buying a sewing machine – points to ponder

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Sew what? Cafe

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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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!

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.

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.

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!