SEWING FOR BEGINNERS
// COURSE LENGTH //
Two Days or 4 weeks (12 hours total).
// TOPICS COVERED //
Sewing machine basics, stitches & seams, fabric terms, simple hems, basic seam finishes, zippers, buttonholes, bias binding, appliqué.
// OUTCOMES //
Students will use learned techniques to complete a project or projects from a choice of tote bag, cushion cover, zipped purse or apron.
What Do I Need to Bring?
For the Sewing for Beginners Course you will need:
- A basic sewing kit (see below)
- Fabric & Thread - You will need to bring enough fabric to make ONE of the projects above. The information on fabric is below. The cushion with an envelope back is the easiest project and recommended for complete beginners.
Do I Need To Bring a Sewing Machine?
No, but you are welcome to if you wish. We have a Janome CXL301 sewing machine available for each student to use. We also sell a range of Janome machines, and offer discounts on these to our students.
If you're planning on bringing your own machine, please contact us and let us know the make and model.
How Do I Pay My Balance?
If you booked your place with a deposit, you're balance is due no less than 14 days before your course begins. For instructions on how to pay please visit our balance payments page.
If you're thinking of cancelling your booking, for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible, so that we can offer your place to someone on the waiting list. And also please have a look at our Cancellations & Refunds Policy on the FAQs page before doing this. Merci.
The Basic Sewing Kit
It is helpful to have a basic sewing kit for this course, but not essential. We have equipment in our studio you are welcome to use during the weekend. If you're purchasing kit items separately, we've listed some essentials below. You can read more about these in our blog post and we'll be going over them during class. We have all these items for sale in our studio, which you are welcome to purchase on the course.
- Fabric scissors
- Seam ripper (you can use embroidery scissors if the tip is sharp)
- Dressmaking pins
- Hand sewing needles
- Thread (Gutermann Sew-all thread recommended)
- Tape measure (not the kind Tradesmen use!)
- Sewing gauge
- Bobbins (Janome compatible, sold at The Stitchery, 50p each)
- Temporary markers - this could be tailor's chalk, fade or wash-away pen, or tracing paper & wheel.
Fabrics & Haberdashery
Your fabric and thread requirements will depend on what project or projects you decide to tackle during this course. We recommend a medium to heavy weight cotton fabric for beginners. Quilting cottons are suitable, and cottons you might find in the home decor section in fabric shops. Wool and linen are also options.
Please avoid slippy / silky synthetic fabrics, viscose fabrics, silk, satin, knit fabrics (stretchy) and velvet.
// FABRIC FORMATS //
When you do come to purhase your fabrics, you'll notice that they generally come in two widths: 44" (115cm) or 60" (150cm). With some projects the length of fabric required will depend on what width the fabric is supplied in.
Another well known fabric format is FAT QUARTERS. These tend to be quilting fabrics and come in pre-cut rectangles of 18" x 21". These can be used with some of the projects in this course.
// THREADS //
Although the all-in-one kits mentioned above do include some basic threads, these tend to be a little flimsy and can create unwanted fluff. For general sewing projects we recommend Gutermann Polyester Sew-all thread or an equivalent product. This can be a complimentary colour or, if you're a little more daring, why not try contrasting.
SHOPPING FOR FABRICS
But if you're looking for a little help choosing fabric types for your chosen pattern, we happily recommend The Splendid Stitch; a fabulous online store based here in the city. The Stitchery has our own dedicated section on their site, with a handy course-by-course guide on what fabrics are suitable for each pattern. Access this by going to the sewing schools section and entering THESTITCHERY (capitalised and no space) in the box; then click 'Go'.
Note that Stitchery students can receive 10% off their first purchase at The Splendid Stitch by simply entering THESTITCHERY again in the discount code box at the checkout. And if you do wish to see any of the fabrics in person, please contact Amy at the Splendid Stitch directly.
If you're unsure about your fabric choice, then you can always purchase a sample and arrange to bring it in to the studio for us to look at before your course begins.
There are four projects to choose from for the Sewing for Beginners course. Please select a project from below.
// TOTE BAG //
Make a fabric bag with contrasting panel and lining. Optional extras you can apply include:
- Button pocket on exterior or interior
- Lined or bias finished pocket
- Appliqué embellishments
Light to medium-weight cotton is suitable for this project. Fabric requirements depend on whether you're using 44" (115cm) wide or 60" (150cm) wide fabric, and also if you're adding lining or a pocket:
- Base / Main fabric – 1m of fabric
- Contrast Panel – 50cm of fabric
- Lining fabric - 1m of fabric
- Pocket - 80cm (alternative to contrast panel)
// CUSHION COVER //
Make your own cushion cover. Closure options include:
- Envelope back (easiest project)
- Zip closure
The fabric & haberdashery requirements for this project will depend on what closure option you choose and the width of your fabric.
For an envelope back closure:
- 44" wide (115cm) - 70cm of fabric
- 60" wide (150cm) - 50cm of fabric
For zip closure:
- 1 x 18" (45cm) normal zipper, in a colour of your choice
- Please note zip is normal dress zip not an open zip as you would get in coats or a concealed or invisible zip.
- 44" (115cm) - 70cm of fabric
- 60" wide (150cm) - 50cm of fabric
// APRON //
Medium-weight cotton or dressmaking linen works for the apron project. You will need 1.5m of fabric, regardless of the width.
You can make the ties from fabric, or buy 3 metres of cotton tape or ribbon.
If you would like to make an adjustable strap you can buy 2 'D' rings from haberdashery departments. These can be purchased in metal or plastic and should be wide enough to fit your tape or ribbon through.
// MAKE-UP PURSE //
You will need half a metre (50cm) of medium to heavy weight cotton for the zipped purse and half a metre (50cm) of light to medium weight cotton for the lining.
Alternatively, quilting fat quarters are big enough to make a purse - you will need one for the main fabric and one for the lining fabric.
25cm/10” zip (this should ideally bit a little longer than the top of the purse)