If you have seen me at all in May you will know that all my chat has been about my Tuesday nights spent at Sew Over It. If you haven’t heard of them you should check out their Instagram as it is a thing of beauty: https://www.instagram.com/sewoveritlondon/ Founded by Lisa Comfort they have two London locations (Clapham and Islington), books, patterns, an online shop and vlogs on all things sewing.
The course I took was called ‘Intro to Sewing’ and although I have made bunting before I realised that I could only really sew in straight lines. I have been wanting to do a course with them for some time and with a tempting 20% off Instagram offer I went for it.
I loved it.
We spent three hours over four Tuesday nights in May learning the basics and getting to grips with how to make a bit of fabric into an actual functional item. There were five of us in our class which was the perfect size for a lot of individual attention (read: ‘rescue from total sewing disasters’) from our amazing teacher Kate. The course was held in their lovely Islington branch which is divided into an area for classes and then a wonderful fabric shop/haberdashery. It is also bright purple which means you can’t really miss it!
All the materials were included in the price of the course (as was tea and cake!) so it was brilliant fun choosing what fabric you wanted for each project. The course was organised into projects, which was perfect. The fact that we turned up with nothing and left with something (that we had made from scratch with the fabric of our choosing) was such a morale boost. We all felt like we were really getting somewhere and learning how to sew!
The first night we made an envelope cushion cover. I chose this teal lobster fabric – why not?! I thought I would set myself a challenge with a directional print and it worked really well.
The second night we made a tote bag – it’s such a good project to master as you can change the size and shape to fit whatever you want. I have already made a mini one (with green stripes) for my niece and a bigger one to take food shopping. Again I used a directional print – this zig zag fabric was actually infuriating as it wasn’t printed exactly straight (so I couldn’t match the stripes the whole way around the bag) but I am pleased with how it came out in the end.
Night three we made a lined makeup bag with a zip. Zips are tricky. Kate was really patient though and talked us through the whole project. (Also I should say we got written instructions to take home after each weeks project).
The last night was all about learning skills we would find useful for our future sewing adventures. We covered: hemming a skirt, inserting invisible zips, how to read patterns (and in my case lengthen them!), buttonholes, gathering and probably more. I think the size of the class really worked here – we were able to cover everything we had individually wanted to in the three hours.
I was so encouraged by the whole experience that I have bought some patterns and am venturing into basic dressmaking. The ladies who work in the shop were super helpful recommending pattern-appropriate fabrics easy for a beginner to get started on. Good timing too with the Sewing Bee on BBC to keep up the momentum!
First on my list is ‘The Ultimate Wrap Dress’ – wish me luck!