Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Happy Christmas!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
 to all my readers.

End of Term - Show and Tell

Last week the Learn to Sew students I teach (with Kent Adult Education Service) completed their first 10 week course.
Diane surrounded by her handiwork. 

I have been so pleased with their progress, and couldn't wait to photograph them with all their 'makes'.
Seven ladies enrolled, all with no, or limited sewing experience. Some had borrowed machines, others had their own, but were unsure how to use them, and one bought in a 80 year old hand operated singer to do her sewing on.
Jackie at her sewing machine.

I usually like to run my classes like a workshop, with students choosing what they want to make, but with beginners a little more structure is needed. So I started the course by showing how to wind a bobbin and how to thread the machine, then a little sewing practice on scrap fabric. Not too much of this though, it's much better to learn by making something useful. 
We started with lined shoulder bags - lots of straight sewing and a buttonhole; moved onto simple cushion covers with a zipped opening across the centre back; then a cushion with a frill and instructions to follow (click for a link to my other blog and a tutorial for this cushion); a piped cushion cover, with a hidden zip in the piped seam and some machine appliqué on a lavender bag.
Nicole, ready to sew.

A few of the students wanted to try other things. Appliqué on a wash bag; aprons, shopping bags - and Kate, a complete beginner wanted to make boxed and piped cushion covers for a rocking chair (yikes!!)  - but hey! look at her achievement.....
Didn't Kate do well?

Two students made a lined bag with a flat, stiffened bottom and another finished the course by making an apron with a curved pocket on the front.

Their enthusiasm was great and all the students made other items at home, using the patterns and instructions used in class. 
Some more pictures of all their work:
Diane's cushions made from vintage and re-used fabrics, and a tweed bag from an old skirt.
Diane, using her hand operated singer to attach piping to a cushion front. She has done really well to produce  more items at home.

Nicole, showing off her frilled cushion.

Alison, with her roomy, flat bottomed shopping bag.

Jackie's cushions, bag, shoe bag and appliquéd lavender sachet.

Kate, at her new Janome, with all her makes.
Kate really got into applique - her daughters now have some fab T-shirts decorated by mummy!
Kate's cushion matches her box cushions.

I'm so pleased with all their achievements, and looking forward to them returning next term, along with some new beginners. 

Well Done Ladies!!

My soft furnishing students also completed the first term of a 30 week course, and here are a couple of my long term students with their fabulous cushions.

A trio of Union Jacks by Rose. Aren't they fabulous?
Rose, with her cushions.

Jill loves using this gorgeous linen fabric from Ada and Ina, and combined it with some pretty cotton she brought back from a holiday in Japan.
The printed fabric strip conceals a zip opening!
The other side of Jill's cushion.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Whether the Weather.....

.........we still have to take the pooch for a walk!
The very fetching cagoule I made Purdy last year still fits her, unlike some of my own winter clothes, and she very happily wore it for her walk this morning.

So we took a long stroll, receiving some wry smiles and some lovely compliments along the way, and all I had to do when we got home was to break the snowballs off her feet then wipe them dry. 
Without the cagoule she would have collected hard balls of snow all over her chest, tummy and legs, which she finds quite painful; frequently stopping and trying to bite them off. She doesn't have to be thawed out and blown dry with the hair dryer either!

Seasonal berries in the garden.

We really must get that leaking gutter repaired on the conservatory!

How have you coped with the first snow of this winter?