I’d like to sew but I’m not creative. I hear that quite a bit, people have been squashed into boxes, someone a parent, a teacher told them they aren’t creative & they never try again.
Quietly I suppose I have always been a bit of a non-conformist (not so quiet now I’ve got older & don’t worry about what people think.) Someone tells me I’m not able to do something, it is like a red rag to a bull – I have to prove them wrong. I may get battered & bruised along the way & it may take years, but I will do it!
Creativity is like a muscle, the more you use it the more it will grow. Start off with simple projects & gradually the more you do the more you will want to add personal touches to your sewing. You won’t want another plain cushion cover – the next one might have piping/appliqué/patchwork slowly that muscle is building.
You might not be ready for Free Motion Embroidery or Free Hand Cutting, but over time you could. Start by learning to sew.
So you have booked your class after months of just thinking about it, you even took the sewing machine out of the box, took one look at the instructions & put it all away again. You are a little excited about the whole new creative world that’s opening up. But a bit apprehensive as well, will I like it? Will I make a fool of myself in front of everyone, will they be friendly, do they all know more than me? In fact, you almost feel it’s like going back to school.
I teach in small groups so it’s a fun friendly atmosphere, there is no such thing as a silly question. We have tea or coffee & chat about the best places to buy fabric, haberdashery or if you haven’t already bought a sewing machine what type might suit you.
At ‘Beginners Sewing Machine Skills’ everyone is a complete beginner, so you are starting from the same place. I’ll show you how to thread your sewing machine & thread a bobbin, then you will have a go yourself – if you haven’t got a machine you can use one of mine.
Then we go onto making samples of different types of seam, their uses, how to neaten the fabric so it doesn’t fray.
Next needles & feet! Which type of needle you need to use for different types & weight of fabric. When you use the correct needle for each project you will get a much better finish. The aim is for a project to always look handmade not homemade! Then how to change a presser foot & what jobs the different ones do.
Different types of hem, which is the best for different types of fabric.
You will take loads of notes, so bring plenty of pens & paper, you will take home your samples to help to remind you what you have learnt. All you need to bring is your sewing machine as well as the pen & paper, I supply all the fabrics you need for the samples.
Testimonials from previous clients
Sewing made easy by Sally – September 2016 (Beginners Sewing Machine Skills)
Great tuition, I was a complete beginner and I have come away feeling confident that I can begin some basic projects and feeling enthusiastic, I will certainly be booking further workshops to get some more fabulous tuition.
Beginners Sewing Machine Skills
by KRIS_DEBLOCK – April 2016
Mary Anne is an experienced teacher who managed to show us quite a lot about sewing in this three-hour session. Very relaxed atmosphere, great little venue, hands-on learning and good fun!
Just had to say that I really enjoyed your sewing class
Mandy July 29th 2015
Just had to say that I really enjoyed your sewing class, I learnt a great deal in such a fun and relaxed way. You are the knowledge in all sewing matters and will be coming back to make that garment very soon. Thanks again Mandy x
This bag always gets lots of compliments whenever I use it! All you need is an old pair of jeans, something to line the bag, a sheet/duvet cover/curtain and thread. You don’t need to buy material unless you want to and it is a great way to use a favouite pair of jeans that no longer fit or have gone out of fashion.
This bag is listed in Sewing Seams Easy Online Sewing Bee in the facebook group as an extra free video. I am always adding extra videos & tips in there to help your sewing experience. The monthly fee of £12 or £100 for 12 months is worth it just for all the extras & access to me!
I am looking for a guinea pig or 2 to help me test Skype to see if it would be a good way for me to help even more of you with your sewing. Please get in touch if you are interested and tell me what you would like help with.
To find out more about the Online Sewing Bee check out www.sewingseamseasy.co.uk/join-us
I am so excited, it is finally happening – Launching Sewing Seams Easy Online Sewing Bee, sewing classes & support that fits around you & your busy life. Think how great you will feel when someone compliments something you have made. No more panicing when your kids need fancy dress costumes, with your new skills it will be a breeze!
www.sewingseamseasy.co.uk/online-sewing-bee Register now & be 1st in line when we launch.
I love, love, love upcycling! It is a really fun part of sewing, I get a real kick out of taking something that is unloved, worn out, out of fashion and turning it into something that turns heads!
When I wear something I have made through upcycling total strangers come up to me and say they love what I’m wearing, where did I get it. The feeling of being able to say I made it is a real confidence boost, even after all my years of sewing. This jacket is my latest upcycle, my partner brought home an old pair of curtains that he had been given. I stored them away for a while, then needing a warm winter jacket I got them out and played around with ideas, I drew a paper pattern on newspaper then got going with the scissors. The fabric wasn’t thick enough for the jacket to be very warm, so I interlined it with some woolen fabric that I had been given. The wool was scratchy and horrible, but sandwiched between the curtain fabric and a lining it’s fine.
It is funny how the universe puts things in your path, I had an email the other day from The Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products. They invited me to come along to an upcycling workshop, they want to ask me about my experiences of commercialisation in terms of barriers, problems, or difficulties as well as your opinions on what interventions (e.g. policy) may be required to help my business to become mainstream. My little business that I run from a narrowboat is going to be mixing with the bigwigs! I’ll let you know what happens!
A year ago I succumbed! After many years of saying I don’t need one, I’ll never use it etc. etc. But I wouldn’t have made this dress without one!
Drum roll, I bought an overlocker!! Well Lidl had them on offer, a machine that was selling on Amazon for £250 was £139, and well it would have been rude to refuse! The reason I’m telling you this now, they are running the offer again (the overlocker will be £129, so even cheaper) not sure of the date so look it up, but if you do decide to come over to the dark side it is amazing, but get to the shop before it opens, there will be a queue.
It will never take the place of a sewing machine but it can do loads of things with practise, must admit I’m still learning (but I’m still learning new sewing ideas, more things come on the market to make things easier or more creative and that is after more years than I care to remember.)
loads of different classes & workshops available
I was lucky enough to have a stay at home mum, she made all our clothes and hers. Everything from the usual dresses and skirts, she made jackets and coats, cocktail dresses. She had her own sewing room, it was a little box room where she had her old singer sewing machine set up on a foldable card table with the green felt top. All cutting out was done in the kitchen downstairs on an enormous (well it seemed to me) kitchen table. I wanted her to make clothes for my dolls, but when I was 5 years old she had a better idea, she started teaching me to sew by hand. My stitches were enormous but it was a start, mainly I just tied bits of offcut fabric round the dolls!
By the time I was 9, she had taught me to use her electric machine. We had moved to live on Dartmoor which I loved, but long winter evenings were spent sewing and creating designs out of newspaper, which I then cut out in fabric and sewed together. Along with moving house I had to change school a couple of times, I ended up at a convent school in Plymouth being taught by nuns. They didn’t like my freestyle approach to life in general, let alone my sewing.
At age 10, I was expected to make a shift dress in back stitch. My mother asked if I could do something else because she knew it would be a waste of fabric as I would never wear it, out of school uniform I lived in jeans. But that wasn’t allowed, nor would they let me use a sewing machine as they didn’t want anyone using them till they were 11 and didn’t believe that I could.
Well I took the hated dress home one day & stitched it up on mum’s machine! When the needlework class came round, I brought out my finished dress complete with zip. They were horrified that I had finished it, it was meant to last the year! But I was then allowed to use the only electric sewing machine they had, it was a Bernina, all the rest were hand machines. Think I was marked down as wilful and a disruptive influence, no praise for using my initiative!
I have a totally different view to sewing than my school teachers! It should be fun, creative and a chance to try new things, a way of expressing who you are away from a stressful world. Some of my clients were put off sewing at school, but they find that my sewing classes and sewing workshops are relaxing and fun.
I wanted to make myself a summery dress, most sensible people would look at some pattern books or see a style they like in the shops and find a similar pattern. They would choose some fabric and buy any thread, zip, interfacing and anything else the pattern required, probably all from the same shop. Not me (that would make my life too easy!) also I love upcycling!
I am going to make another dress, video it to put on the online membership club. This dress is very easy to make, the hard bit is the techy stuff to get it on the membership club!
Hope to see you soon
Mary Anne x