Whether you’ve never touched a sewing machine before or need a refresher after a long break, this workshop can help get you going!
In this workshop you will learn:
- Basic sewing vocabulary
- Helpful tools you’ll need to sew at home
- Sewing machine parts and functions
- How to wind a bobbin and thread the machine
- How to sew in a straight line and pivot around corners
- How to sew in reverse
- You’ll make a simple tote bag
Skill requirements: No previous sewing experience required.
Material requirements: We will provide all materials needed to complete the project.
Equipment requirements: Please note that we provide a sewing machine for you to use in the studio, but you are more than welcome to bring your machine from home. If you’d like to bring your home machine, please remember to bring the manual (and foot pedal/power cord) and arrive 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time.
Group size: We like to keep our workshops cozy and fun, so attendance is limited to 6 guests.
Cost includes all materials and use of equipment.
Sewing Tool Kit Guide
Below is a list of tools that you may want to start collecting so that you can continue your sewing journey from home. We provide the tools for your workshop, so there’s no need to bring anything to the class!
Invest in a nice pair of long scissors that you feel comfortable using. Classic tailor’s shears look super slick, but we find a lighter pair of dressmakers scissors with a soft grip more comfortable to use. Use them to cut fabric only (not paper) so they stay nice and sharp!
Not an essential, but we do like to keep a small pair of scissors next to the machines for snipping threads.
Not an essential, but pinking shears are great for finishing the edges of your fabric in lieu of a serger or zigzag stitch.
Not an essential, but a rotary cutter can really save time (and your wrists) if you have a lot of cutting to do. Bear in mind, you cannot sharpen the blades, so replacing blades can add extra costs to your projects.
If you don’t want to scratch your kitchen table – or if you’re cutting out on the floor and need a smooth surface – a cutting mat is a great investment. Our tip would be to get the biggest one you can afford so you don’t have to move it around so much when marking or cutting out larger pieces. A cutting mat is a necessity if you are working with a rotary cutter or tracing wheel.
You’ll need something to transfer pattern markings onto your fabric. Options include; dressmakers carbon paper and a tracing wheel, tailor’s chalk, chalk pencils, roller chalk, washable felt pens or disappearing pens. We use a combination of different markers depending on the task and type of fabric that we’re working with.
Get the flexible kind so you can accurately measure your curves and the curves on a garment or pattern.
Pins and pin holder
We like to use coloured plastic or glass head pins so you can spot them easily. Plastic pin heads could melt if ironed, but glass pins are iron safe! Any pin cushion will do, whether store bought or handmade. There are also handy options which can be strapped to your wrist and large magnets are popular in sewing as they also help with clean up!
A seam ripper is your best friend in the sewing room. These come in all shapes and sizes, and they all generally get the job done. The seam zipper is the white eraser of the sewing world! Always take care in pulling out stitches as sometimes it’s easy to catch the fabric instead of the sewing thread.
You can get different types of needles for your sewing machine, from size 60/8 for fine fabrics to size 110/18 for heavier materials, and ballpoint or stretch needles for knit fabric. A pack of universal assorted needles in a variety of sizes should cover your first projects. Depending on what you’re making, you might also need hand sewing needles for sewing on buttons or hand hemming. (see our detailed page about needles)
Paper, pencil, ruler and tape or glue
These tools will come in handy for tracing patterns in order to make adjustments and write notes.
Steam iron and ironing board
Last but not least, ironing (pressing) your garments as you go is essential for creating a neat-looking finish. Even if you don’t iron your ready-made wardrobe, be sure to use an iron as you sew your handmade clothes!