All of our workshops are taught in our workshop space in Nailsea, North Somerset, a short drive from Clevedon, Weston Super Mare, Portishead, Bristol and the Chew Valley.
Scroll through our calendar to see what’s available, or click on the drop down menu above if you’re looking for a particular craft.
- This event has passed.
Beginners Machine Sewing (age 14+)
January 20 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
One event on February 6, 2018 at 10:30am
One event on March 3, 2018 at 10:00am
One event on April 21, 2018 at 2:00pm
One event on May 5, 2018 at 10:30am
Get to grips with the basics of your sewing machine in one of our beginners machine sewing workshops. You’ll be shown how to thread the machine, wind a bobbin, and have some of the other basic functions explained to you. Then you get to make your own unique project to take home and show off your new skills. These workshops are suitable for complete beginners, or those whose skills may be a little rusty from lack of use. We recommend you bring your own machine, or one you have access to, but we do have a machine available for hire if necessary (subject to availability). Please see below for more information about suitability of your sewing machine.
These workshops are taught by either Rachel Millener or Deb Lord. Rachel is a local dressmaker, and Deb used to be a teacher. Both have been sewing for too many years to count, and love sharing their skills with other people. A maximum of 4 people on any workshop means there’s enough time to give you individual attention and make sure you get the most from the time you spend with us. Not to mention the delicious tea/coffee and homemade cake tasters from our Tea Room, which is included in the price of your workshop.
We have a variety of beginner projects available for you to choose from. Each one covers the same basic skills, plus other skills relevant to the project. You can make some simple double sided bunting; a tote bag with applique decoration; an envelope cushion cover with a buttonhole closing; or a drawstring style backpack with applique. You will need to provide the relevant materials for the project you book for. Dates, times, and prices for the different projects are shown below in the ticket listing.
Materials and equipment
For all workshops you need to bring:
- a modern sewing machine in full working order, all cables, foot pedal, and instruction book. In our experience machines over 20 years old, that have not been used regularly and recently, are rarely fit for purpose. If your machine does not function properly on the day you may not be able to take part and no refund will be given.
- machine sewing thread (we recommend and sell Gutermann Sew All)
- required fabric (see below)
- pins and fabric scissors if you have them
Sew Some Bunting
You need 2 fat quarters or 1/2 metre of cotton fabric and 2 metres of bias binding. This workshop lasts 2 hours.
Sew a Tote Bag
You need 1/2 metre of medium weight plain cotton fabric (you’ll be appliqueing with patterned scraps, so plain fabric works best). Scraps for the applique supplied, bondaweb and webbing (in a neutral colour) for the handle will be available to purchase on the day. This workshop lasts approx. 3 hours.
Sew a Buttonhole Cushion Cover
You need 1/2 metre of light/medium weight fabric, 2 or 3 buttons, approx 2cms in diameter. The cover will fit an 18″/46cm cushion pad (not provided) You must also bring the buttonhole foot for your machine. For this workshop you machine must have a buttonhole function which is standard on most modern machines, although the degree of automation varies. If you do not have the buttonhole foot you’ll need to purchase it in advance of the workshop. This workshop lasts approx 2 hours.
Sew a Drawstring Backpack
You need 1/2 metre of main fabric, one fat quarter of contrast fabric, 3.5m nylon/polypropylene cord for straps, 20cm of 2.5cm wide cotton tape/bias binding or ribbon, matching thread. All of these can be purchased from The Blue Room. This workshop lasts approx 2 hours.
What do our customers say about our workshops?
What was the best thing about the workshop?
Really helpful teaching and nice small group. Loved it! (Claire, Beginners Machine Sewing January 2018)
Very enjoyable relaxed atmosphere, learning new techniques. (Jan, Weave Pattern and Texture on a Peg Loom, January 2018)
Making something I’m proud of, learning new skills, and the social side. Cheese scone recommended! (Jan, January 2018, Beginners Patchwork)
A good way to spend time with friends; the finished product; swishing around with my new skirt; learning how to use my sewing machine. (Mar, Darcy, Lizzie, and Isabella. January 2018, Children’s private group sewing)
Lovely relaxing thing to do in the build up to Christmas. (Claire, Fused Glass, December 2017)
Very relaxing and enjoyable, will definitely do more at home. (Sharon, Needle Felting, December 2017)