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Sewing Courses in London

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published May 16th 2011
There's nothing like fashion gluttony to make you feel good, the thrill of the find, the additional thrill when you try on your prospective new garment and it looks fantastic and you think it's going to change you life a little, then the thrill of the purchase and the thrill of un-packaging it at home and the thrill of the first time you take it for a spin. But at the end of this thrilling road lies a closet full of clothes you don't wear very often. They lurk there admonishing you for not appreciating them more. But help is at hand: one of the best ways off this road to guilt and a bulging wardrobe is to take a sewing class.


Being able to sew is a wonderful and empowering thing. And there are three main reasons for this:
1. In the early stages of a course you'll learn the basics which will empower you to adapt and update what you already own, thus breathing fresh life into some of those glowering garments and increasing the chance that you'll move them back into the 'frequently worn' section of your wardrobe.
Lesson 1: This is a Sewing Machine
Lesson 1: This is a Sewing Machine
2. In the next stage of your sewing schooling you'll learn how to make clothes from a pattern, so you can choose your fabric and choose your pattern and create things that suit you, or compliment missing sections of your wardrobe that perfect navy pencil skirt you can never find in the shops for example.
3. In the final stage of your progress you'll learn how to adapt patterns to your own shape and specifications, meaning that you'll end up with totally fresh, bespoke outfits, that will be the envy of fashionistas everywhere.
Most importantly it will teach you the valuable lesson to look after your things when something takes a while to make you're going to want to make it last, and you'll feel incredibly smug about being able to say: "Oh, this little thing, why I put it together myself."

There are all sorts of sewing courses on offer throughout London, from the very basic to the vocational, so there's definitely something to suit your starting ability. The main question to ask yourself at the offset is whether you want to start off with machine sewing or if you should brush up on your hand sewing first.

Bags don't grown on trees but you can make them
Bags don't grown on trees but you can make them
If you think you need the brush up, or you're more interested in learning to customise your clothing, try the Fashion Retail Academy, Fashion Retail Academy City Of Westminster, W1T 1QL, Southwark Adult Learning Services, Southwark Adult Learning Services, Southwark, SE15 4NX, St. Martin's College, Central Saint Martins College Of Art And Design, Westminister, WC2H 0DU, or the London College of Fashion, London College Of Fashion, Curtain Road, Islington, EC2A 3AA.

The LFC and St. Martins also do basic machine courses, following on to more advanced classes, so it's easy to progress up the seamstress-ing ladder with them right up to couture standard. City Lit also run a basic machine course and they run weekend sessions as well, City Lit, London, WC2B 4BA.
Sewing cafe
Sewing cafe
But if you're after something that puts the social into sewing then try one of the sewing courses at Homemade London, where, as well as offering sewing courses they also have a sewing cafe where you can rent their machines and overlockers by the hour, if you're inspired but not enough to buy your own machine, 21 Seymour Place, Portman Village, London, W1H 5BH.
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Why? Nothing makes you feel more gorgeous than bespoke fashion
When: Take a regular weekend or evening course
Where: There are courses all over town
Cost: Fees depend on how long the course lasts, but from 30
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