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Claire's Threads

News and New Workshops

  • Workshop News

    Lots has happened in Midhurst since I last wrote, students have been making fabulous garments on workshops, dresses, coats, tunics and anoraks (ready for the British Summer) , you can see more pictures from these workshops on our facebook page


    We also had a fabulous time at The Maker's Atelier Sewing Retreat in Brighton, lots of sewing and fun, ladies from Canada, Germany and USA joined our creative group to make some wonderful garments


    Now is the perfect time to add to your Summer Wardrobe.  There are some great workshops coming up at The Midhurst Sewing Room

    A shirt dress or classic white Shirt, perfect for any season, simple summer Trousers or even Swimwear.  Work with stretch fabrics making a Wrap Dress that suits every figure and the Sports Luxe Jacket finishes off any outfit.


    There is also another chance to make the popular Kelly Anorak in August - here are a few more pictures of happy students in their jackets - click on the pictures for workshop details


    Lots of garments to make and techniques to learn.  For more specific skills there is the Sample Portfolio, half day workshops to practice seam finishes, zips, collars and pockets, learn how to use all those sewing machine feet, the importance of pressing and different fastening ideas - click on the pictures below to see all the workshops in this series


    We now have all of our haberdashery on the website, all of the tools we use in the workshops plus a few other useful gadgets - click here to see the whole range

    Enjoy the sunshine and sewing

    More News Soon, Happy Sewing

  • New York, New York

    We are very excited to share more details and booking information for our New York Tour and Cruise.

    We will fly to New York, and stay in a hotel near Time Square in the centre of the city.  There will be a tour of the famous Garment District, where we will visit our favourite fabric shops and, as there is no baggage allowance on the return journey, we can shop, shop, shop    There will be a chance to see the sights in this fabulous city, a guest speaker and a visit to the Met Museum

    We will then join the Queen Mary 2 Cruise Ship where we will have set up aSewing Room for you to use on the return trip.  Make anything you wish - day wear or a glamorous evening gown for one of the dinners on board - I will be on hand to help with your project as well as giving daily masterclasses.  There will be lots of opportunity to enjoy the fabulous facilities on board the ship

    For information just click on the images below


    If you have any questions contact Amy on - I hope you can join us 

    More News Soon, Happy Sewing

  • A Whole Year of Sewing

    I hope you have had a lovely Summer and enjoyed the amazing weather. We have had a really busy time at The Midhurst Sewing Room since the last Newsletter.

    The Open Day & Exhibition was really successful, congratulations to all the Dressmakers Portfolio  students for creating such a great showcase of your work and thank you to all who came along on the day.

    We visited a couple of amazing exhibitions in the Summer, Orla Kiely at the Fashion & Textile Museum and Azzedine Alaia - The Couturier at The Design Museum, both were really inspiring. There are still a few days left of the Couture exhibition so if you haven't had a chance to catch it I would highly recommend it. Click here for details


    Students made fab garments on Workshops and Sewing Schools this Summer, here are just a few


    Throughout the Summer I was working with my fab Dream Team of seamstresses on projects for The Goodwood Revival and in September I worked backstage at the event creating and repairing costumes for the 150 actors who add to the atmosphere at Revival.  We also made costumes for the Steampunk party on the Saturday Night, for actors, waiting staff and The Duke of Steampunk himself


    The following week I was off to The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court to teach students how to make a Simple Kimono in a marquee - this is a great event with lots of inspiring things to see and do, hopefully I will be able to take part again next year.


    Then there was our Autumn Sewing Retreat in Brighton at Jurys Inn Waterfront Hotel.  Three days of fun with lovely ladies.  There were lots of laughs, beautiful garments were made, Frances Tobin of The Maker's Atelier gave an inspiring talk and we watched the film about Iconic designer Viviene Westood.  We also held a Silent Auction for donated fabrics which raised £400 for the Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation Sewing Initiative which helps women in the refugee camps in Iraq.  If you would like to know more about this worthwhile cause click here


    My lovely daughter Amy is now helping with the events side of the business and we are busy getting ready for The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace which is next week!  This year I will be teaching lots of workshops and Amy will be running a stand talking about workshops and selling haberdashery.  Do come and say hello if you are at the show our stand number is RCK5.  If you haven't already got your ticket you can use code tutor66 to receive a discount.

    Now onto other exciting things - there are workshops on the website for the whole of 2019!  Hopefully there is something for everyone, from trousers to jackets, corsets to swimwear - to see all of the workshops just click on one of the pictures below.


    Also next year there will be several events, the first of which is our March Brighton Sewing Retreat - there are only a couple of spaces left on this so if you would like to join the fun click on the image below to find out more.

    In June next year we are planning a Couture Techniques Retreat to Carlisle, the home of Linton Tweeds.  Places are limited so I thought I would give you a chance to reserve your place early.

    The dates are 17th - 21st June 2019 and the price will include 4 nights accommodation in a 4 star Hotel, breakfast, lunch and a three course dinner each day, 1 day making a toille and planning a couture garment, 1 day out including a visit to Linton Tweeds and 1 day practising couture techniques for your garment so that you can return home confident in how to finish.

    The price of this retreat will be £895, if you would like to reserve your place with a £100 non refundable deposit do let me know asap and I will send a PayPal invoice.  If you have any questions about this Retreat or if there is anything in particular you would like me to cover please do let me know.

    Amy & I will be away for a few weeks in October, we are heading to the USA - part of the trip will be in New York were I will be attending a workshop with Kenneth D King - I am very excited about this and will tell you all about it on our return - you will also be able to follow our adventure on Instagram, including our visit to the famous Mood Fabrics :)

    More News Soon, Happy Sewing

  • News & New Workshops

    If you are looking for some inspiration for your sewing this year then I hope you will find some on the website.  From dresses to skirts, trousers to cardigans there are lots of workshops to choose from.

    There are Couture Techniques in March, Jackets & Coats in April, Dresses & Trousers in May, Techniques & dresses in June, Shirts & Skirts in July & Summer Sewing Schools in August.


    There are also dates for Evening Classes and Sewing Schools all the way up to the Summer.  You can see all the workshops here

    There are several workshops using patterns by The Maker's Atelier, you can see them all by clicking the pictures below.


    The Maker's Atelier have recently published a magazine, The stylish bi-annual sewing magazine will inspire you to make more and take your sewing to a new level.  Each issue opens with a round up the season's colour and fabric trends, inspiring you with what's new.  There are in-depth articles on sewing techniques, (the first one is on sewing with stretch fabric and was written by me).  There are fascinating interviews with people who make, as well as fashion stories for women of all ages.  The magazine includes a simple versatile pattern. In this issue - The Boxy T-shirt, a wardrobe essential for Spring / Summer 18.   You can order the magazine here

    There are lots more exciting things going on,  I will be running workshops at The Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia in March - tickets are available now and you can use code KS10 to receive a discount on the ticket price.

    A few students mentioned going to Sewing for Pleasure at the NEC on March 15th - I was thinking of organising transport from Midhurst - if you would like to join us please let me know asap - the cost will be £53 for the transport and ticket for the show.

    This month sees the release of Phantom Thread, the new movie staring Daniel Day Lews as a coutureier working in London in the 1950's - if you are in the Midhurst area you can see the film from 16th to 21st February at The New Park Cinema in Chichester, a few of us from here are going on Friday 16th - Click below to see the trailer

    More News Soon, Happy Sewing

  • Happy New Sewing Year

    I hope you had a lovely Christmas and are looking forward to the New Sewing Year as much as I am.

    I began the year with a trip to Paris to visit the amazing Christian Dior exhibition before it finished.  It was fantastic, so much to see - designs, toilles, garments and the work of Dior, the six artistic directors who followed him as well as designers who have been inspired by his work - here are just a few pictures, there are more on my facebook page (follow the link below)


    While in Paris I also got to visit the Yves Saint Lauraint Museum and the Fortuny exhibition and have come back full of inspiration for the new year.


    Workshops are starting this week and there are still a few places available.  On Wednesday there is Peg Loom Weaving with the lovely Sue Cotten and on Sunday you can learn to make a Perfect Fitting Skirt.  Next week you can create a Shirt or Shirt Dress - lots of techniques to learn in the two days, then Sue is teaching how to make a Coiled Pot with fabric covered cord.  Later in the month find out what all those Machine Feet are for and there is a one day workshop where you can make a Wrap Dress using the great pattern from The Maker's Atelier.


    The four lovely ladies on the Dressmakers Portfolio are halfway through their course and have been creating some wonderful garments.  There is is still space on the Dressmaker's Portfolio Level 3 which starts in April - click on the image for more information


    The dates for this years Dressmaker's Portfolio Level 1&2 starting in October have been set and you can see details here

    You can find details of all upcoming workshops by clicking here

    More News Soon, Happy Sewing

  • Exciting New From The Midhurst Sewing Room

    Since I last wrote so much has happened!!  Lots of workshops in Midhurst and 4 shows starting with The Great British Sewing Bee Live then Knitting & Stitching Shows at Alexandra Palace and in Dublin and finally Harrogate.  Below you can see the lovely Sue Cotten and I dressed for the Cocktail Hour - an event organised at some of the shows by McCalls Pattern Company to raise funds for The Eve Apeal


    It's been a really busy Autumn, there have been some beautiful garments made and I have met so many lovely people.


    There are still a few spaces on Workshops before Christmas including The Swing Jacket using the new pattern from The Maker's Atelier - bring along your own fabric or choose beautiful cashmere/wool, click on the picture below for more details


    On the website you can find lots of workshops for the New Year  right up to Easter


    I also have some very exciting news -

    The Brighton Sewing Retreat
    21st, 22nd & 23rd March 2018
    Three days of sewing, relaxing and socialising at the Beautiful Harbour Hotel in Brighton
    I will be creating a lovely sewing space in the Marine Room at the Hotel which is light and airy with plenty of room for you to make a project of your choice.
    I will be on hand to help with lots of tips and techniques; there will also be demonstrations and talks from myself and Frances Tobin of The Maker’s Atelier.
    Refreshments and a buffet lunch will be provided each day with afternoon tea on Friday before you head home.
    You can choose to stay at the Harbour Hotel and enjoy breakfast and use of the wonderful Spa (there will be a discount on room rates)
    Places are limited, for more information and booking click here

    Finally, if you are looking for last minute Christmas presents I have Gift Vouchers available and lots of lovely haberdashery including beautiful hand crafted wooden pressing tools


    I would like to wish you all a Merry Chirstmas and a Happy New Year

    More News Soon, Happy Sewing

  • Anniversary Open Day

    This Friday (15th July) I will be celebrating one year since opening The Midhurst Sewing Room.  Time has flown by and it has been lovely to see so many people coming along to workshops and so many beautiful clothes being made.


    I will be holding an Open Day on Friday between 1pm and 6pm and it would be lovely if you could come along, there will be lots of tea and cake and you will be able to find out about NEW workshops.


    I will also be launching the Dressmakers Portfolio, a 6 month foundation for those wishing to focus on making a handmade wardrobe.

    Bloomsbury Square Fabrics who are next to the sewing room will also be open on the day with lots of beautiful dressmaking fabrics for you to browse.

    Hope to see you on Friday :)

  • Exciting New Workshops & Open Day

    Thank you if you came along to the Cocktails & Couture talk a couple of weeks ago, It was lovely to see so many of you keen to learn about Couture Sewing. Several people have mentioned they were sorry to have missed it - I would be very happy to do it again, I love talking about Couture, so if you did miss the talk and would like to hear about my trip and learn a bit about Couture sewing (and have a cocktail or two) please do let me know.  There are several dates on the website for one day workshops Introduction to Couture Sewing and a 4 day workshop in October to make a Couture Jacket.


    I have also added lots of NEW workshops to the website - right up to the end of the year - click here to have a look.

    The lovely Sue Cotten has been working on some new bag workshops and there are two dates for the Orla Kiely Bag.  On this workshop you can chose to make a tote bag, town bag or big bag.  All the materials are included in the cost of the workshop and everything will be cut out so you can just come along and sew.


    In July there are still spaces on a few workshops, come along and make a T Shirt Dress, a Linen Dress or a Tokyo Jacket or recreate your favorite garment on Copy It, Make It.


    Work Experience
    This Autumn I will be teaching at 4 shows and I am looking for some help putting kits together and getting organised.  This will be an unpaid roll, 1-2 days a week through the Summer.  As a thank you there would be an opportunity to attend a couple of workshops where space is available.  Lunch and lots of tea and biscuits would also be provided as well as tickets to the shows.  If you or someone you know would be interested please send me an email with your details and availability. Applicants will need to be over 18 and have there own transport.

    Finally - it has been nearly a year since I started The Midhust Sewing Room - time has flown by!!  To celebrate I will be having an Open Day on Friday 14th July from 1pm - 6pm.  Come along for tea and cake and find out about new workshops.  I will also be launching The Dressmakers Portfolio - a six month foundation for students wishing to build a portfolio of techniques and a handmade wardrobe.

    One last thing - if you follow me on Facebook and you have enjoyed a workshop with me it would be great if you could leave a review - just click on the link here

    Thank you so much :)

    Enjoy the sunshine and sewing

  • Cocktails & Couture

    I have just returned from a fantastic week of Couture Sewing in Palm Springs with Claire Shaeffer.  I have come back inspired with lots of ideas for Couture Sewing Projects and Workshops.

    If you would like to hear more about my Californian Adventure, as well as plans for future workshops, I will be giving a talk, Cocktails & Couture, on Tuesday 30th May.  For more details and to book a place click on one of the pictures below


    I have already added two dates for Introduction to Couture Sewing - click herefor more details.

    Three more workshops that have been added are are The Linen DressThe Margo Playsuit and The Raw Edge Jacket (only 2 places left) - click on the picture for more details


    For May there is just one space left on the Half Term Sewing School, In June there are a few spaces left on Monday Evening ClassSummer TrousersDuster Coat Shirt Dress - for details of these and other workshops click on pictures below


    On the 3rd of June I will be heading to Brighton as I have a stand at Sewmance Festival, this is an Independent Community Sewing Festival with lots of stands, demonstrations and talks.  Bloomsbury Square Fabrics will also be there - for more details click below.

    Just a reminder that the SPECIAL OFFER on Janome Sewing Machines ends on 4th June - if you would like any more information please let me know

    I am now busy writing Autumn workshops and will hopefully have it all together by the talk on 30th May, lots of exciting plans

  • May In Midhurst

    I have just returned from teaching at The Knitting & Stitching Show in Edinburgh, which was great fun, I taught lots of workshops and met so many lovely people.  Now I am back I thought I should update you with all the news and what is coming up.


    Before I went up to Scotland there were lots of workshops at The Midhurst Sewing Room including two weeks of Sewing Schools where students made many beautiful garments, from dresses to trousers, tops to jackets.  There was also a workshop making a Leather Jacket.  The pattern was The Raw Edge Jacket from The Maker's Atelier book The Essential Collection.  Students chose leather from a wide range of colours from GH Leathers and made wonderful jackets as you can see here


    The next Raw Edge Jacket workshop, in May,is now fully booked so if you would like to make this jacket in Leather or Boiled Wool let me know and I will put in another workshop date

    On Thursday  I will be heading off to Palm Springs to attend a sewing workshop with Claire Schaeffer. The workshop is called Chanel and That Jacket and focuses on Chanel, her life and contributions to fashion: the House of Chanel and the Chanel suit. I am really excited and look forward to learning lots of new techniques and bringing back ideas for future workshops

    While I am away the lovely Sue Cotten will be running some workshops.  The first is Creative Textile Techniques where you can learn to manipulate fabric, fabric origami. applique and perfect piping, after making samples you can turn your pieces into a bag or cushion cover.


    Sue will also be running a Stash Busting Day, use up some of your fabric stash and make a fabric tub, metal frame bag and fabric covered note book with hand stitched spine


    On 13th May Jenni will be teaching how to make Beautiful Fabric Flowers - these could be used in a corsage, bouquet, to decorate a hat or make a fascinator - click on the pictures below for more information.


    The SPECIAL OFFER on Janome Sewing Machines will continue until the end of May - if you are thinking of upgrading your machine now is a really good time - the offer includes £70 off of the Sewing Machine and includes an accessories kit worth £119. I will also give you an hour tuition on how to set up and use your new machine.

    You may remember that earlier this year Frances Tobin from The Maker's Atelier gave an inspiring talk here in Midhurst, you can read all about it in the May edition of Etc Magazine

    Other Workshops in May are The Linen Dress on 16th & 17th May, Favorite Machine Feet on 20th May and Fitting & Finishing on 24th May - for more details on these workshops click on the pictures below


    There are also some new workshop dates on the website to see all workshops coming up click here

    I am off to pack for my trip - you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram while I am away, click on the links at the bottom of this newsletter

    More News when I return, until then Happy Sewing

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