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Can you hear that noise? That’s me blowing my own trumpet. Why? Well, today I went along to a sewing machine lesson. Ok, no big deal you might think. Well for me it was. For seven years I have owned a sewing machine but had never put on my L Plates…

the seamstress singer
Picture: pereztonella @

I saw an advert on Groupon for a 2.5 hour sewing machine lesson for beginners in London and knew it had been put there with the sole intention of attracting me. You see, my Grandma was a seamstress and I inherited one of her sewing machines over seven years ago. Sadly, however, I did not inherit her talent for using one and so mine has been gathering dust in our dresser. I have to say at this point that I don’t think this is entirely my fault. Yes, I’d been given a lovely machine but I had never been taught any basics either at home or at school. (Not content with trumpet I’m now onto my violin!)

So today I made my way to The Sewing Rooms in Putney, SW15 for my lesson. There were five of us on the course and we ranged from slightly experienced to never having sat behind a machine before.

Bags of inspiration: my bag by Michelle @
We were each given a machine and a package containing pre-cut cloth and told we were going to make a bag. ‘Mmmmmm’ I thought, ‘let’s see about that’ but sure enough 2.5 hours later I walked out with a very nice denin bag (with a nautical button to boot) over my shoulder.

There were two tutors on hand to talk you through each step. I quickly realised where my previous attempts at making anything that barely resembled what it was supposed to had gone wrong, namely: Practise, using pins, ironing seams and generally taking some care. I must admit though that without assistance I would never have been able to complete such a challenge and to such a high quality (there she blows again!)

Not only did I come out of the experience with a lovely bag I was also full of inspiration and felt curiously creative – a bit like how Stella McCartney must feel after a long day behind a Singer. In fact, so much so, that I’ve already found a few very basic patterns that I think I may, I say may be able to do. If in doubt, I’ll head back to The Sewing Rooms for more assistance (they do plenty of courses and there’s also a sewing club!)

If you’ve got a dusty machine why not dust it off? Or, if you have any great sewing tips, posts or patterns drop me a comment and share your knowledge.

Happy sewing!


More on sewing: Five Sewing Blogs We Love


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(2) Readers Comments

  1. That bag looks great. My nan was also a seamstress (in Nottingham) and my mum is great with a machine and needlework is the only Olevel I failed! :( I also own a fab machine and never, ever use it and alas, probably never, ever will, but good for you! I’ll definitely give it some thought X

  2. I just felt that it was such a shame to have this ‘inheritance’ and never use it – both the machine and the family heritage. Every time I open our dresser and I see it sitting there unused I get a stab. Hey, maybe I need therapy and not sewing machine classes! ha ha xx
    Hope you’re feeling better. xx

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