If you are considering learning to sew, and are looking into courses then you need to think about this. Tilly Walnes from Tilly and the Buttons has released two new online classes, specifically for people who want to learn to sew. The whole point of these classes is that you don't need to travel anywhere, and you will be guided through everything you need to know to get started as a dressmaker. Level 1 is titled 'Make Friends with a Sewing Machine' and costs £25. It covers the basics of setting up and operating a machine, as well as giving some troubleshooting tips and advice. Level 2 'Learn to Sew Skirts' costs £45 and includes a downloadable skirt pattern with step by step tutorials in constructing one of two possible garments. Both courses are based on those run in the London workshops, with the advantage of being able to be completed anywhere, at any time.
Have you been inspired to start sewing but aren't sure where to start? I really wanted to take up dress making as a hobby for a long time but wasn't sure how to go about getting started. I didn't want to invest in a machine if I was awful at it... and wouldn't know want to do with it in any case. I wanted someone to show me how to use a machine and how to understand patterns so that I could make my own clothes. I did a lot of searching on the internet and finally found the classes that The Thrifty Stitcher runs in North London. I signed up for the Ultimate Beginners Day Sewing Package which combines two half day workshops into one day's learning (10.30am - 6pm) for £94.
The Bettine Dress is perfect for beginner sewists like me...it's easy enough to put together that you can produce a very wearable garment fairly quickly. The dress features a tulip skirt and options to add sleeve tabs or pockets. It doesn't have any fastenings like zips or darts to worry about either! I bought the pattern on sale ages ago (subscribing to the TATB newsletter) and have been waiting for some summer like weather to inspire me in what to make it with. I was actually set off by a sponsored ad on Facebook that popped up for an online store. I saw their dresses and realised that I could make something similar (or better even!) using the Bettine pattern...I did alter it a little to get there but it was worth it. This is definitely in the success story category!!
[taking a lead from Bridget Jones]
(classes attended 4,cushions made 8, projects started 20, projects completed 17, blog posts 13, patterns in stash 20, patterns used from stash 12, hours spent unpicking poor seams and mistakes 30 (feels like), metres of fabric purchased 1000 (looks like), hours looking at fabric online 100)
It is one year ago now that I began my adventures in sewing....and this is most of what I have made in that time! In my opinion not bad at all, and I have really enjoyed learning a new skill. I have attended four workshops over the year (one was online from the comfort of my home), bought three sewing books and acres of fabric. There have been times when I've been confused or frustrated but along with my unpicker I have found a brilliant community of crafty sewists who love to share advice and inspiration, helping to guide me along the way. Here's my year in review: what I've loved, loathed, learned, and would tell anyone starting out themselves...
In honour of this year's Me Made May I pledge the following:
I, Laura from http://www.thepetitepassions.com and @petitepassions, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear at least one me made item every week for the duration of May 2016, from my small but growing handmade wardrobe. I will be devoting my blog to solely sewing related posts throughout May too.
This month also sees the start of the new series of the Great British Sewing Bee, and marks my first whole year of dressmaking, so be prepared to see lots of posts about learning to sew and beginning this journey, as well as joining in all this May makery. I'm looking forward to seeing what everybody creates and shares in this time so give me a shout out on social media to share yours too!
Looking at the recipes from this blog it's pretty obvious that I like things that are fast and easy...the least amount of fiddling and washing up the better! That's one of the reasons I love this prawn linguine. It literally takes as long as pasta needs to cook from start to finish, and it tastes so good too. Now, unusually I've written this recipe for one person. That's because I only ever make this for myself if I happen to be eating alone (other half hates prawns but I love them). You may think the bacon is odd but it's one of those ingredients that you don't notice but gives a deep salty undertone to the sweetness of the other elements. I see this dish a lot in the ready meal aisles but seriously this is so quick and simple I don't see why you would need to buy it ready done (and it's cheaper this way too). You can obviously make this for more than one by multiplying up the quantities!