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After I’ve made up my mind that I wanted to give sewing a try, the research part began. I was looking for…
- …a sewing course for total beginners in London
- …a weekend course or alternatively an evening class due to work
- …a place which provided everything needed like a sewing machine and fabric
There were a few results coming up but the one which convinced me the most was the Intro to Sewing class by Sew Over It. It not only fulfilled all the above criteria but also looked like a lovely place to do my first stitches. And so I enrolled.
Let’s dive deeper into the course itself. It was a sunny summer day and upon arrival, I was warmly welcomed. Luckily, I arrived a bit too early (classic me) which gave me enough time to admire the pretty studio in Islington.
The display windows were beautifully decorated and the mannequins dressed in the most lovely summer garments – all handmade of course. The shelves and tables were full of fabrics in all shapes and sizes; really everything your heart might desire. What a motivation to get started! Additionally, the carefully chosen decorations and painted walls created a cosy atmosphere.
In the back of the store is a lovely, spacious classroom in a purple design equipped with everything you need for your projects: sewing machines, rulers, scissors, threads etc.
The Cushion Cover
Once all course participants arrived – around 8 in total – Suzie, our lovely sewing teacher, asked us to choose the fabric for the first sewing project: a cushion cover. It was not easy to make a decision as they have a choice of a wide selection of fabrics in the store but I eventually decided to go with a lovely leave print which would match perfectly with our sofa in terms of the colour scheme.
From there we progressed step by step: we ironed the fabric, analysed the pattern, pinned it on to the fabric, cut out the different pieces, prepared the workstation, thread the sewing machine and…finally started sewing! By the way, if you’re interested to learn more about the different steps I’ve mentioned here, stay tuned as a blog post with my top tips how to tackle your sewing project as a beginner will follow soon.
What can I say, I immediately loved sewing and knew that I have found my perfect match. Helpful for the first stitches was the speed controller which enabled me to adjust how fast the machine goes. We used a Janome CXL301 Sewing Machine. I started off slowly and carefully with the turtle speed (there really is a small turtle imprinted) but quickly moved upwards in direction rabbit! So much fun.
Following the instructions from Suzie, we finished the cushion cover in no time and learned how to sew in a straight line. To celebrate this milestone, we treated ourselves with tea, cookies and brownies – all provided by Sew Over It. I don’t know why but if you ask me, tea and cookies just fit perfectly into the sewing word.
The Toiletry Bag
After a well-deserved lunch break, it was time to start the second project: a toiletry bag. The successful completion of my first project gave me confidence and I was ready to tackle this next challenge. I chose a dusky pink fabric with white dots for my toiletry bag and a matching white zip. We again followed the classic preparation steps and started sewing. While sewing, I’ve learned the importance of working cleanly as you go, mainly by following those 4 tricks:
- Prepare your workstation
- Reverse at the beginning and the end.
- Trim your threads.
- Zigzag the seams.
Everything went well and I was highly motivated until…the zip challenge arrived! Inserting my first zip didn’t go as smooth as I was hoping for. Somehow my thread always disappeared when I wanted to sew on the zip. It was super weird and I still don’t know what I’ve done wrong but Suzie managed to solve the issue by turning the sewing machine off and on again and by newly threading the machine.
I’ve practised some more zip inserting since then and will create a guide about this soon. The remaining sewing steps went trouble-free and we finished off the day by taking our handmade cushion and toiletry bag back home with us – what a great feeling 🙂
The Pyjama Shorts
Day 2 of the weekend class was all about the pyjama shorts and with that our start into dressmaking! I was so excited. First of all, we measured ourselves to find out how much fabric we would need for the project. Next step was to choose and prepare the fabric. I’ve chosen a cute succulents print – in my opinion, your pyjama shorts fabric can be a bit unusual 😉
Step 3 was to cut the pattern following the right line for your size and to pin the different pieces on the fabric based on a laying plan that we received as part of the instruction booklet. The laying plan explains how to best place your pattern pieces onto the fabric and usually depends on a) your size and b) the width of the fabric. Once this has been done, we cut out the fabric, prepared our workstation and started sewing up our shorts 🙂 Following the instructions from Suzie, we progress quickly.
After the lunch break, it was time to tackle down some of the more challenging parts of this sewing projects like constructing a waistband, sewing a buttonhole for the ribbon, inserting an elastic and sewing hemmings. More about the different steps mentioned here will follow in separate blog posts in due course. In the end, I was the proud owner of my first handmade piece of clothing and couldn’t wait to wear my new pyjama shorts that very night!
I fully enjoyed the Intro to Sewing Weekend Class from Sew Over It and highly recommend it to any sewing beginner. It is just great to have a sewing teacher around to guide you through your first stitches and to answer all your questions. Additionally, the lovely sewing environment was highly motivating and the free tea and treats invite you to have a catch with the other course participants. It’s a great place to meet like-minded people.
Last but not least, I would like to mention that free video support is also included in the course fee. Especially at the beginning, you might feel a bit overwhelmed with all the information but thanks to the video tutorials, you can always repeat each step at home at your own speed. I’ve made use of this a few times and think it’s a great benefit.
Thank you Sew Over It for opening up this new wonderful sewing world for me.