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I’m a complete beginner; which course is suitable for me?
Classes and workshops are a maximum of 6 students of mixed ability, so beginners are most welcome in any session. Don’t be scared: many of our regular students started off as beginners. We do also have classes for Beginners on a Wednesday evening run by Becky and hope to add more in 2018.
What will I make in my first class?
If attending a 6-week course for Beginners Sewing with Becky or Sewing with Leonie we recommend that you make a cushion which you’ll complete in your first class, covering many of the basics well and creating an excellent foundation for the course. Or you can make an excellent start on a basic garment. We can make suggestions.
What will I need to bring?
For sewing with Leonie or Becky – please bring fabric for your first project, you’ll need a basic sewing kit which should include the following. Everything on the list is available from Boyes in Ilkley or Skipton). However, if you get caught short you can also buy from our small store of haberdashery essentials during class time. On request, we can even prepare a basic starter pack for you. You will need:
– bent-handled dressmaking scissors
– small embroidery scissors for cutting threads
– a mixed pack of hand-sewing needles
– bead-headed dressmaking pins
– Gutterman ‘sew all’ polyester thread
– a small retractable tape measure (where you can easily read the numbers below 2cms)
– a water-soluble magic-marker pen or dressmaker’s chalk
– a pack of squared pattern paper.
For the ten week Patchwork Course with Denise you will need – 
– rotary cutter
– sewing thread ( a mid colour such as cream that could be used for all colours)
– fabric. This will depend on how big you want your quilt.You dont have to buy it all at once, you can build on the colours you like – just start with colours you like or that would match your decor.
To start with you will need 1m of a light colour, 1m of a dark colour and 2 different mid colours. Do ensure the fabric is 100% cotton quilting fabric NOT poly cotton or furnishing fabric.
– sewing kit to include pins, scissors, Frixion pen, 30cm rule
– a loose leaf folder with plastic pockets to put your handouts in
You will need other things and more fabric later (for binding, backing and wadding) but these can be bought as you go and as you need them.
What if I don’t want to make items for the home, and would rather make clothes?
If you really don’t want to make a cushion in your first class, you’d be welcome to make a simple garment. We can make pattern recommendations for you.
I’ve made clothes before, but they never fit and I’m not happy with the finish. Will you be able to help?
Yes! Careful measuring and understanding the pattern are both crucial. For example, we often measure 3 sizes larger than our usual high-street size. Leonie and Becky can give you top tips for making sure you come to your first class fully prepared and confident.
Can I bring my own sewing machine?
We have enough lovely Janome sewing machines for every student, so you don’t need to lug yours along if you don’t want to. Plus, you’ll always have access to an overlocker. But if you’d rather bring your own sewing machine, please bring the instruction manual as well, and ensure your machine is in working order. We recommend Mark Rainworth to service your machine – please contact him direct on 07400 629114
Can you recommend local fabric shops?
The Design Mill at Crossflatts Industrial Estate in Bingley, The Fent Shop Skipton, and The Little Fabric Shop Skipton are excellent for interiors fabrics. The Shuttle, on Otley Road in Shipley, is great for dress and interior bargains and has proven to be a real favourite among our regular students. B&M in Leeds Market is also very helpful and don’t forget Eme on the main carpark in Ilkley for beautiful designer cottons and wools.
Which days do you do private tuition, and can you come to me?
Leonie offers private tuition on a Tuesday and Saturday from 10.30-12.30. Other mutually convenient times can be arranged.
Do you sell gift vouchers?
Yes; we offer gift vouchers for either sewing classes or private tuition. They’re available in any amount, with a 12-month expiry. £90 has proven to be the most popular value purchased.
I’ve paid for a course, but can no longer attend. What should I do?
Unfortunately, anything you’ve already paid for is non-refundable and the dates are non-transferable. Because we’re a small business, we’re sure you’ll understand. However, we do want to be accommodating, so you’re most welcome to send someone else in your place.
Where are you?
The Sewing Shed is at The North Chapel, Ashlands Road, Ilkley LS29 8JT. At the end of the road turn left through the cemetery gates and The North Chapel is the one on the right. Ample parking outside.
Can you service my sewing machine?
I do not service sewing machines, you do need to ensure if you bring your own to class that it is in good working order. I can however recommend Marc Rainford please contact him direct on 01943 874734 / 07400 629114.