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!

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.


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.


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.

What’s cooking for Jubilee?

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


  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!

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.


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!


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.