FullSizeRender

A BIT MORE ABOUT THE SEW BASIC COURSE

There is a Sew Basic Course starting soon so I thought it would be a good idea for me to tell you a little more about it.

Sew Basic is a five week course designed to leave the student confident on a sewing machine and with enough skills to get going on some exciting sewing projects. Each class lasts two and a half hours.

Though it sounds like a course just for beginners, I’ve actually had more experienced sewers attend this course who’ve felt that it has really improved their technique and finish. They’ve also found out the reasons for those annoying little things can go wrong when you’re sewing!

All the way through this course I will give you the information you need to get the best finish to your work. The costumes I used to make for film and TV always had to look as good on the inside as they did on the outside in case they got ripped off in a passionate scene!!

I encourage all students to work at their own pace so nobody feels rushed or held back. There will be lots of individual attention… I’ll give extra support to those who need it and extra challenges and information to those who want it. I am happy to answer any questions you may have so no one should ever feel unsure in my classes.

I have everything here that you may need, though if you would like to learn on your own machine that’s absolutely fine and probably quite sensible. You will receive a course book of all the techniques we are going to cover, which also has lots of instructions to remind you how to do the techniques and plenty of room to make extra notes of your own.

Sew School London

FullSizeRender

WHAT IS COVERED…

The first 2.5 hour class is all about the sewing machine… threading up the correct way, when and how to change the tension, how to get better foot control. You will learn about different stitch lengths and types and when to use which one. We also cover a basic seam and how to finish off the seam allowance so it doesn’t fray.

FullSizeRender_2

The second class is all about enclosed seams, hems and bias binding. Enclosed seams are really useful if you want what your making to look great on the inside but don’t want to line it. And having a variety of different hems to choose from means you will always be able to choose the best type of hem for what you are making.

FullSizeRender_3                FullSizeRender

In week three we cover lots of very useful sewing techniques…  How to sew a perfect curve, bagging out, facings and understitching, darts, and piping. It’s a busy 2.5 hours!

In fourth class you will learn all about gathering as well as putting much of what you’ve learnt so far into practice by making a sweet little (doll sized) tiered skirt.

Sew Basic London

The fifth and final class is about openings – buttonholes and a simple zip. You will learn these techniques in a practical way by turning your buttonhole sample into a teeny cushion and the zip sample into a pencil case… both very pleasing techniques to master!

FullSizeRender

 

 

DATES AND BOOKING

Please have a look at the BOOKINGS page for dates of the next Sew Basic courses

Each Basic Course has five classes in total.  All classes are on Thursday Mornings from 10.30am till 1:00pm

 

The total cost of this course is £140.00 

£80.00 must be paid to book your place.

The balance of £60.00 is due on the first lesson.

Only six places available so please book your place early.

To do this go to the Bookings page.

1044927_1556169301374465_4404116571356363610_n

Sew School Students in Business

I feel so proud whenever one of my Sew School students emails me a picture of something they’ve made or brings it to a sewing session to show me, some Sew Clubbers have even done craft fairs selling various things they’ve made (mainly to fund their sewing habit!), but when a student goes into business using  skills they have learnt from Sew School then I could almost burst with pride!!

Kelly did the Sew Basic Course  in February 2014. She then joined Sew Club and came along every month full of enthusiasm, a big bag of projects from home and a list of questions! A serious collector of fabrics, it made total sense when Kelly started Fabric Love, an online fabric store, in January 2015.  This is all very impressive considering that Kelly is a mum of three boys all of primary school age! Fabric Love is a great place to find gorgeous, quality fabrics for your next crafting or dressmaking project and to share your beautiful makes with others. After a year in business Fabric Love has gone from strength to strength but with Kelly in the sewing seat I’m not at all surprised.  http://www.fabriclove.co.uk

12419373_555173767966838_4550624084318540755_o      11056069_543720245778857_2293827431463402770_o

 

Sian completed the Sew Basic Course in 2014 whilst on maternity leave and after returning to work still manages to fit Sew Club in once a month.  Sian always has a challenging project on the go and I really enjoy helping her develop her ideas.  With another baby on the way, Sian invested in a very clever sewing machine and launched her business making and selling beautiful personalised sewn gifts in December 2015. It’s Sew Personal is collection of personalised gifts, made from high quality materials all handmade to order.  Sian has been super busy this Christmas and received some fantastic reviews, nearly all commenting on the quality of her products  which doesn’t surprise me as when it come to sewing Sian is a perfectionist! http://itssewpersonal.co.uk

It's Sew PersonalSew Personal    12592697_1564234260567969_1419069252193719064_n

 

Emma had private lessons with me for quite some time several years ago.  Full of fabulous creative ideas and big plans, she needed help turning her ideas into garments. She was already pretty good on the sewing machine but wanted to develop her dressmaking skills to progress her passion of becoming an established designer. With a natural eye for pattern and colour, Emma learnt to create her own printed fabrics and these became the basis of her clothing designs.  It’s an incredibly difficult industry to break into but Lucy Peach Slice has been nominated for several design awards and has received lots of exciting reviews.  “Eclectic, adorable, original, amazing. That’s how we’re describing the stunning fashions for girls from UK label Lucy Peach Slice.” babyolgy.com.au  I still assist Emma with her samples and love being involved in the creative process from fabric to garment. http://lucypeachslice.com

  1492681_274568366029192_1917880990_o   10548037_399619260190768_3975864450068374095_o

 

Although Caroline has not gone into a sewing related business I am still very proud of her as she was one of my first ever Sew Basic students and still comes to Sew Club every month where she creates her own style of clothes to match her stunning jewellery. https://www.facebook.com/mybeautifulgothic

10537032_1660046647604591_8670804712425648102_n 12118661_1662447284031194_2187949051104479619_n

 

IMG_3466

BEST DOOR STOPPER FILLING TO USE

This month’s Sew Club project was a cube shaped Door Stopper. Of course we worked on getting nice corners and so on but mostly we chatted about what’s the best door stopper filling to use.  The ones you buy in the shops have something heavy at the bottom to give it the necessary weight and polyester filling on top to push out the shape.  When I last did this project  I used dried beans as they were on special offer but some of my students were concerned that beans or rice could attract mice!!  Thinking this was a very good point, I decided to look into an alternative.

Whilst browsing the internet I soon discovered ‘weighted plastic beads’ designed for the job.  They are advertised specifically to weight down toys, door stoppers and blankets for Autistic children.  Unfortunately these beads would work out too expensive as I needed enough for 15 doorstops and like to keep costs to a minimum for my students. I also thought of using marbles but again they would be too expensive. And another idea was bags of sand, something I’d seen used so much in shop bought stoppers.  Although this would be much more affordable, I was worried I’d end up with sand all over my floor!

After looking at lots of options, I decided to go for a 10mm pebble gravel, which was a bargain from my local garden centre and gave a lovely crunchy beach sound!  The added bonus was that our garden path would be getting the left overs! The gravel was put in little plastic bags to keep it all together at the bottom of the doorstop and then the rest of the door stop was filled with polyester stuffing.

Another great tip is to use cushion inners/pads  for the polyester stuffing.  It’s much cheaper than buying specific stuffing.  I always stock up on these when I have to go to Ikea…  as well as calico which they sell at about £2 per metre.  It makes a very stressful experience feel a bit more worth while!!

IMG_3466 IMG_3489

IMG_1084

SEW CLUB – Level 2

My level 2 Sew Club students have produced some impressive work over the past few months. I feeling very proud to be their teacher!

 

Sian's beautiful bear was made out of old baby grows just in time for her daughters 1st birthday. It was a real challenge for Sian but definitely worth the effort. We've all loved watching it come together at Sew Club!

IMG_1131

Sian’s beautiful bear was made out of her daughters old baby grows.  It was finished just in time for her daughters 1st birthday. It was a challenging project but definitely worth the effort. We’ve all loved watching it come together at Sew Club!

IMG_1089  Sew Club London

Above Left – Bindi did a fantastic job at copying a favourite pair of trousers.  She made her own pattern, and perfected the technique of shirring with elastic on the bobbin.  I love the fabric she choose which was thin but weighty so it hung down rather than puffed out! It’s so important to choose the right fabric when you’re copying a garment. It must feel and drape the same way as the original or else however perfect your pattern is, your copied pair won’t look the same.

Above Right – Maxine is making a fashionable shift dress in a gorgeous Liberty print.  Liberty print is a beautiful quality fabric… it’s light and floaty but not see through! It is a bit pricey, especially if you need a lot but I think it’s definitely worth the cost for a special occasion.

 

IMG_1074  IMG_1145

 

Above Left – Kate has made a sweet summer dress for her daughter based on an old favourite.  You don’t need much fabric for this style of dress so it’s a great way to use up any odd lengths that are too small to do much with.

Above Right – Sarah wanted to make a pair of pyjama bottoms similar to some Boden ones she had worn to threads!  She found a really lovely cotton print from John Lewis and a simple pattern with clear instructions.  In Sew Club we have found some pattern instructions to be too wordy and confusing so if you’re relatively new to dress making it’s worth looking around for one with less information rather than too much!

 

Sew Club London

SEW CLUB – Summer 2015

PEG BAGS
IMG_1140IMG_1142

In May my monthly Sew Club students made some striking peg bags. They were all edged with bias binding, which is very affordable by the roll from Ebay. The small wooden hangers are from the children’s department in Ikea.

The more projects we do with bias binding the better and more confident my students get at it! We always sew our bias binding on in two stages to get a better finish. Remember… the first stitch line that attaches the bias binding to the edge marks where to fold the bias over to on the other side. Sewing slowly and accurately is the key!

 

FABRIC STORAGE ROLLS

IMG_1092           IMG_1090 IMG_1079     IMG_1097

In June my Sew Club students made a pretty and useful fabric storage roll to practice inserting a zip. Based on a jewellery roll, these cotton versions can be used to store all sorts of things, not just jewellery. I use mine to hold an ‘out and about’ first aid kit!

They were so popular that all the spare ones I had cut out were bought! I always hand out a printed instruction sheet with details on what to buy, measurements to cut out and reminder steps on how to sew it all together so my students can make another one at home if they want to.