Over the years I’ve made curtains, done alterations and run up fancy dress creations for my daughter – but always tentatively. Borrowing my mother’s sewing machine, I always felt I would lose control, but thanks to Helen Mackenzie and Sew School I’ve been able to finesse these skills and even now have a machine of my own. It was surprisingly satisfying and you’re left with a great sense of achievement. What’s more, Helen has a fun, relaxed manner and is very good at dealing with a range of confidence levels. She is patient, happy to repeat things and demonstrate personally and Helen’s useful reference booklet is well laid out and clearly worded and includes a comprehensive list of recommended suppliers. Lucy at 'High Living Barnet'
I cannot recommend Helen and Sew School highly enough. I was a very nervous sewer before I did the 'Sew Basic' course, and was also finding it difficult using my old sewing machine, which was rather temperamental! Now I know though that I wasn't helping matters as I was getting the basics wrong, even threading the bobbin etc. I've already grown in confidence in just 5 weeks, and have loved every minute of Sew school. I think it's great that we only have small classes, as it means we get a lot of individual attention. We learn so many techniques, which you can then go onto apply to many different projects. If you get the basics right, who knows what you might go on to achieve! I've already made a teddy bear, and a tote bag in my own time and want to make more things. I've now also just joined the monthly Sew Club, and with Helen's help and encouragement, have made a little handbag, perfect for a night out! Helen herself is so kind, caring, ever patient and encouraging, has a great sense of humour, and she is SO knowledgeable. You know you are in safe hands when you are in her company!. Going to Helen's sew school is one of the best and smartest things I've ever done, thank you so very much Helen. I can't wait until next month's Sew club! Ruth x
Amazing course, which gives you an excellent foundation to get to know your sewing machine and complete simple projects. Two years on and I am sewing regularly: making clothes for children and adults as a hobby! I still refer back to my really useful course text book! Belinda
Thank you so much for teaching me how to sew. The technique you used made it easier for me to understand everything. The warm atmosphere made it very relaxing and you had time for each one of us. You never rushed us. Francisca
I can't think of anything that would have improved the sessions, other than it would be nice to have had a half time break but time didn't always allow. I think your teaching is excellent, the way you explained "how and why" and providing the booklet to refer back to. I really enjoyed it. Thank you. And I have made a bag! Sandra
What can I say about the course other than brilliant? "When I came to my first lesson I didn't know how to turn on a sewing machine. After the Sew Basic course I could actually make things! A great introduction to machine sewing and very good value."
"The Sew Basic course has given me the skills and confidence I needed to use my sewing machine and begin projects. Since finishing the course I have made gifts for friends and a basic costume for my children." Lucy
Thank you very much for your help. I would like to say how much I have enjoyed doing the sewing course with you. I would definitely recommend your sew class to my friends
You are a lovely lady, friendly and you go round to all your students when they need your help and most of all you treat all your students equal.
Thanks so much for a really enjoyable and extremely helpful course. Having been completely put off sewing machines by a scary teacher back in the day I'm so pleased to be able to mend and make things after all these years! Miranda
Helen has set a nice learning environment for all of us, clearly explained and demonstrated each step and guided us along the way at our own pace. From threading the needle and getting to know the machine to sewing in a zip and making buttonholes - we have covered a lot. I can certainly recommend this course and have done so already.... Sabine
"I would highly recommend your Sew Club. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was great to put the skills I had learnt previously with you into practice knowing you were there to help - it also means you do actually sit down and do something productive with your skills instead of forgetting them. I also thought it was a lovely, sociable way to enjoy a hobby and be creative - always very rewarding." - Jane
"Helens Sew Club is fun, friendly and inspiring. I'm so surprised that even I can use a sewing machine - its all in the teaching!" - Sarah
"I am thrilled with the little handbag that I produced on Helen's Sew Club - I never ever thought that I would be able to make something like that! After the class I bought some different material to see if I could make one on my own and with Helen's clear written instructions as backup I did it! Your classes are great Helen - you are truly inspirational, thank-you! :o)" - Julie
"I loved the cushion making Sew Club and feel very proud of the cover that I completed in one morning which I have to say looks very professional." - Ruth
"Just a little note to thank you so much for all your patient tuition on the sew basic course. I didn't realise there was so much to learn about sewing, and I'm so pleased to have found someone to teach all the techniques properly. Now I feel inspired to start making things and improve my confidence with practice." - Caroline
"Before I started at Helen's Sew School, I had no idea about threading a sewing machine needle, or how to sew anything. However, before the end of the first lesson, I so impressed with the progress that had been made. Helen is a good and very patient teacher, and I will recommend her again and again. I am actually looking forward to more classes!" - Bunmi
"I thought Sew Basic was an extremely comprehensive course, which has proved to be very inspiring. Your instruction and accompanying booklet was very clear and concise and great to have at home as a point of reference. Since doing the course I have made several things, which I'm extremely pleased with and never thought possible! I've definitely got the sewing bug! I would (and do) highly recommend Sew Basic." Jane Xx
"I really enjoyed the Sew basic course. My confidence grew hugely and things that had once looked impossible became completely "do-able"! Thanks Helen
"i actually missed our classes on Tuesdays once they were finished! you made learning how to sew a lot of fun and gave patient and individual attention when ever requested. I was completely new to sewing and it was great to have a machine provided and your advice on which one to buy as well as the sewing bibles. i have since bought both! You packed the classes with lots of stitch practice and little tasks to help us progress quickly. Hope to see you and engage your services soon again." - Gisela x
" I loved your course - it was very well organized. I never felt bored or lost. You were always on hand and you made
things very clear. I also appreciated having the file that you gave me. It has all the things I have learnt on your course
and is a good to refer back to. My daughter didn't receive any info on her course and I know that at times she forgot
things and it was hard to get the teachers attention, as the class was so big. The small classes you take are exactly what
a novice needs!" -Kristy
"I joined the Sew Basic Course a complete novice, and through Helen's clear and simple instructions, I feel I've come out, five classes later, able to do all the things I used to think of as advanced skills! From making pleats to putting in a zip it all seems sew (!) much easier than I thought it was! And great fun too." See you soon. J xx
"Hello Helen, I just want to let you know how much I enjoyed my sewing lessons with you. I looked forward to my Tuesday morning lesson every week. Having a small class made it so much more personal and any problems that I had were quickly answered." Regards Imelda
" I am really glad I signed up to the Sew Basic course and couldn't recommend it highly enough - Helen is an excellent
teacher, very patient, thorough and accommodating. The set up was very relaxed and friendly, a great environment to learn a new skill. I genuinely feel that I have conquered what seemed like an impossible challenge in the form of the
sewing machine and now look forward to building on what I've learnt - I'm getting the machine out regularly! Many
thanks for everything Helen!" - Fran
" The basic course was exactly what id been looking for - it taught me the basics and how to build onto each new skill learnt, using practical examples to show how something is created using the various steps which i found really encouraging as i was able to put my new skills into practice after only a few lessons. The course didn't over complicate things, which has motivated me to now try new projects. Helens teaching style is relaxed and she manages to share a huge amount of knowledge and skills without it being overwhelming. I would definitely recommend this course as its given me the confidence to attempt all sorts of projects and has sparked a real interest in sewing for me which I know ill keep up over the years. It also proved to be a good giggle each week, as the ladies in our group were lovely! Thanks very much Helen and ill be back!" - Jessica, St Albans
I went along to Helen's Sew basic course after not getting my sewing machine out for several years and seeing it as the enemy as it would always eat up my material. I had a very basic knowledge of how to thread the machine and make a simple garment but everything that I have ever made looked very botched and amateurish. After going on Helen's course, with her calm manner, patience, clear instructions and fabulous reference book, I now feel that I have the confidence to be able to produce professional looking items using a variety of techniques. Every week I wanted to go home and make something new using the new skills that Helen taught me. My friends have seen some of my work and have even put in orders for me to make them things too! For the first time, with thanks to Helen, I am proud of something I have produced on my sewing machine." - Julie
"A really big thank you for taking the scariness out of sewing for me! I have wanted to be creative with the sewing
machine for such a long time and your course has really given me the confidence and skills to help me do this. You have
such a flexible approach and friendly teaching manner that made learning such fun. A resounding thumbs up for a
course that exceeded my expectations and I shall definitely be booking for the Sew Club!" - Kate
Thank you so much for finally introducing me to my sewing machine!! Your course was fantastic fun and has equipped me with all the basic skills needed to produce my own lovely creations at home. I couldn't wait to get started and have already made a couple of very professional-looking cushions, so there's no stopping me now! I'm loving being creative and having the confidence to turn all my ideas into real products. X
I found the course very informative. The first lesson for me was a little slow for me but it was good to practice and also realise that the way the bobbin went into the machine did in fact matter! It was also helpful to have a little time to talk to the others in the class. The rest of the course was good and the notes have been an excellent reference source. It has given me more confidence when trying to sew/mend items at home. I particularly like the way you teach all the different types of seams/stitches and then get the class to use these techniques to make little samples. It really helps to break down the complexities, real or imagined, being able to make/sew projects.
I had a wonderful time on the sewing course,
it has given me the confidence to finally try the patterns In my many sewing books.
I would love a place in your sewing club if there is one available.
I really feel that this is the beginning of my sewing career!!!
Hope to see you soon.
Love Stephanie x
I absolutely loved Helen's Sew Basic Course. She is a fantastic teacher. Friendly, highly knowledgeable and very patient. The classes are small so Helen has plenty of time to help everyone no matter what speed you learn at. As a complete novice to a sewing machine I was amazed at what I was able to achieve after a few lessons. After my second lesson I made two envelope pillow cases and after my third I made my daughter a pair of leggings. I cannot recommend Helen highly enough and am eagerly awaiting the start of her new sewing club. Louise
The sew basic course was absolutely brilliant. The content taught me enough skills to make a simple shopping bag on my own and I have made a pencil case too since the course. Each session taught us different skills and techniques and your explanations were very easy to follow during the sessions. Your written information for each session has proved very useful.
I thoroughly enjoyed your Sew Basic Course and would definitely recommend it. I came to it a bit of a novice but have built up so much more confidence in my sewing. Thank you!
Regarding your sew school, I thought it was fantastic. The small class sizes are just perfect for beginners like myself who have never used a sewing machine before. Your teaching skills are just brilliant; you go at the right pace to ensure that everyone gets the attention they need. I never expected to learn so much. The folder of written information you provided was just brilliant as it gives you something to refer to when at home, along with all the examples that we created in class. I learnt a great deal and not just from the practical aspect of the course but also from the verbal information that you provided with regards to topics not covered in the 5 weeks, such as pattern cutting. I found the course very inspirational, and just after 5 weeks I attempted to sew an alien outfit for my son's nursery party. The outfit consisted of trousers, a basic top with velcro fastening at the back, and a sequined body and I even made my own bias binding. My next project is to make both my boys a bedding set and so will put my button hole technique to good use. Thank you once again Helen, your course was just what I was looking for. I just wish I could attend your sew club. I definitely recommend Sew Basic.