Tag Archives: sewing machine

Love your Sewing Machine and get familiar with it!


A little whistlestop tour of some of the main features of most sewing machines and some tips on what some of them actually do!

Get familiar with your machine and get the best out of it…..

Sunday Workshop Dates

Four dates for Sunday workshops to plan before Christmas, not so difficult you might think.  Well, I’ve been ummming and ahhhing and talking to students and friends and here’s the end result; an assortment of popular workshops which have run before and some new ones.  I’m sure I won’t please everyone with this selection but hey, there’s always 2012!

Sunday 30th October – Pattern Cutting Workshop

Suitable for beginners and students who have previously drafted skirt or trouser patterns.  At this workshop beginners will draft a skirt block and pattern and make a skirt toile (sample).  Students who have done some pattern cutting before will draft a trouser block and make a trouser toile.  Students who have previously drafted a trouser block with me will draft a one-piece dress block.
•    Class size limited to 4 people.
•    11am to 4pm.
•    £40 payable in advance to confirm your space.

Sunday 20th November – How to use your Sewing Machine Workshop

Another date for this popular workshop.  The day is aimed at beginners to find your way around a sewing machine including; different stitches, changing the tension, the different settings, cleaning, changing needles, changing feet, threads, using different fabrics and of course threading and sewing!
•    Class size limited to 5 people.
•    11am to 3pm.
•    £35 payable in advance to confirm your space.

Sunday 4th December – Sewing with Knits Winter Workshop

A winter version of the workshop I ran for the first time in August.  Sewing with stretchy jersey fabrics can be tricky on a domestic sewing machine, so at this workshop I’ll show you the best ways to cut and sew knitted fabrics.  I’ll provide you with a choice of long sleeved winter patterns specifically designed for jersey fabrics for you to whip up something to wear by the end of the day. All you need to bring is some jersey fabric of your choice and matching thread.  This workshop is not suitable for complete beginners.
•    Class size limited to 5 people.
•    10.30am to 4.30pm.
•    £45 payable in advance to confirm your space.

Sunday 11th December – Make your own Christmas Gifts Workshop

Everyone loves a handmade gift.  At this workshop you will be able to make a choice of gifts and stocking fillers ranging from soft toys to make-up bags and aprons.  I’ll provide all the patterns, you just need to bring the fabric.  Suitable for all levels of ability, but you need to be able to use a sewing machine to get the most out of the day.
•    Class size limited to 5 people.
•    10.30am to 4.30pm.
•    £45 payable in advance to confirm your space.

As always, if you need more info or would like to discuss in more detail, email me at thiswasmadeby[at]gmail.com or give me a ring on 01273 775951.  Look forward to hearing from you.

How to use your sewing machine workshop

Look at that for focused concentration!!  Heads down working hard, that’s what I like to see in my workshops!

I think sewing machines as well as students must like these workshops as yesterday saw more machines back from the brink of lonely lives of neglect.  One machine had been in its box in a cupboard for a few years, another had almost ended up being dumped.  By the end of the day they were whirring happily.

Their owners had the following feedback on the workshop:

What did you enjoy most?
“Hands on machine knowledge.”
“Gaining a good all round knowledge.”
“Learning more about how the machine works.”

And about the workshop overall:
“Really clear concise info, friendly and fun.  Learned a lot!”

The funniest part for me were the squeals of disgust when we had a go at cleaning the machines…yep sewing machines need a bit of TLC every now and again and these students now know why!

I’ll be running this workshop again before Christmas, date to be confirmed soon.

Workshops – what would you like?

I’m starting to plan Sunday workshops until Christmas.  Already booked for September are “How to use your Sewing Machine” on the 11th and “Skirt Making Workshop” on the 25th.

What would you like to see for October, November and December?

Here’s a list of my existing workshops:

Pattern Cutting – Skirts – make your own skirt pattern
Pattern Cutting – Trousers – make your own trouser pattern
Sewing with Knits – learn how to sew stretch jersey fabrics & make a garment
Customising – revamp and repair old clothes & charity shop finds
Sewing Workshop – a day of sewing what you want
How to use your Sewing Machine – get to grips with your sewing machine
Skirt Making – make an A-line skirt

Or would you like to see something new?

I wait with open ears…

109 year old sewing machine finds a new home with me!

This lovely old lady found her way to me yesterday after being left out on the streets of Brighton.  She’s a beauty, in need of a little TLC but working just fine despite being 109 years old!

Can you imagine today’s machines lasting 109 years?  I’d be surprised if some of them last 9 years.  I love old sewing machines, they’re such beautiful pieces of fine engineering which were built to last.  I can’t bear to see them neglected, abandoned and unloved.  Just as soon as I’ve got this exhibition out of the way I’m going to give her a good old pampering and I’m sure she’ll soon settle in nicely with some other old friends at my place.

The Singer website is excellent – you can actually date your old sewing machine and even find out where it was made (this old lady was made in 1902 in Clydebank, Scotland).  Armed with that knowledge I might name her Morna, which apparently loosely translated from Gaelic means beloved.  That’s what she’ll be again now.  No more pavements for you Morna.

First ‘How to use your sewing machine’ workshop

I thought this would be a good workshop and I was right!  Three happy sewing machines and owners and two people now on the hunt for a sewing machine of their own.  Today we had a 1970′s lovely old Singer in its own work table happily whirring away beside a brand new all singing, all dancing Bernina.  No matter how old or how high spec, they all have the same parts and they all do the same thing and we had them sewing a treat today.
Here’s what some of my students thought of the workshop:
“Fantastically helpful and inspiring, very patient and clear teaching.”
“Really good and useful workshop.”
What did you enjoy most?
“Having time to ‘play’ with my machine and find what it could do.”

More Sunday workshop dates

I’ve planned all my Sunday workshops now until September.  Where does the time go?!

There are 5 of them and among some popular ones that you’ll have seen before there is a new one hiding – Sewing with Knits: how to sew stretch fabrics.  Covers all you need to know to sew stretch (jersey) fabrics on a domestic sewing machine and the price includes a pack of jersey needles for your machine and a choice of pattern to make yourself something on the day.

Here’s a full list of dates:

26th June – Pattern Cutting Workshop
17th July – Sewing Workshop
14th August – Sewing with Knits
11th September – How to use your Sewing Machine
25th September – Skirt Making Workshop

Full details of all the workshops can be found here.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to book a place please contact me via email at thiswasmadeby[at]gmail.com or give me a ring on 01273 775951.