Claire's Threads

  • Sewing Update

    I am back from teaching at Olympia and enjoying running lots of lovely workshops in Midhurst.

    A bit of a catch up since I last wrote - we had a lovely Open Day when Frances Tobin of The Maker's Atelier gave an inspiring talk about how she started her brand.   We then had a chance to look at (and try on) lots of samples from The Maker's Atelier book, The Essential Collection - here are a few pictures from the day, click on the picture to find out about The Maker's Atelier workshops that I will be running.


    The Knitting & Stitching Show was great fun, I ran lots of workshops and met lots of lovely people.  It was really nice to see so many familiar faces and thank you to everyone who came along to be an Angel, your help was greatly appreciated and I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did.  I didn't have time to do any shopping but did come away with lots of inspiration for new workshops - look out for these fab patterns


    Congratulations to Sue Cotten who many of you know from Midhurst - Sue had to stand in for a tutor who couldn't make it to Olympia and had to learn a whole new skill to teach a full workshop.  As well as this Sue did a demonstration to 30 people in the Creative Theatre for the first time!

    I am now getting ready to teach at a lovely sewing retreat in a couple of weeks then I will be off to The Knitting and Stitching Show in Edinburgh - you can find out about where I will be teaching on the Out and About page, including details of The Great British Sewing Bee Live - click below for more details.


    There are lots of workshops coming up at The Midhurst Sewing Room this month, this week you can make a Pencil Skirt & Top from The Maker's Atelier Book, on Saturday Sue will be running her popular workshop on how to make Fabric Covered Coiled Pots. You can also add to your Sample Portfolio with Tailoring Techniques which includes bound buttonholes and pattern matching.


    Next week is the Seam Detail Dress and there is a day for Beginners where you can gain confidence with your sewing machine and make a Simple Kimono Jacket.  Jenni will be teaching a workshop on how to make Beautiful Fabric Flowers on the 29th March, learn to work with different fabrics, bonding and manipulating to create corsages, broaches or head pieces.


    More News Soon, Happy Sewing

  • Sewing For Spring

    I hope you have had a lovely weekend.  We had and inspiring talk by Frances Tobin of The Maker's Atelier at the Sewing Room last weekend - It was a great afternoon with lots of sewing chat and we got to try on samples of garments from The Essential Collection - the fabulous new book by Frances

    There have been some busy workshops at The Sewing Room recently with lovely Origami & Wrap dresses and Tokyo Jackets being made as well as shirts,dresses & coats made by students on Evening Classes.  By popular demand I will be running the Tokyo Jacket again on 15th July, to see details click on the image 

    I will be heading up to London next week to teach at The Knitting & Stitching Show, do come and say hello if you are visiting the show - I will be in the Dressmaking Studio most of the time :)

    There are still workshops at the Sewing Room next week - with a few places on A Taste of Colour which will be run by Sam, learn how to combine colours as well as how to wear this years Pantone Colour of the Year - Greenery.  Sam will also be teaching a short course on how to Crochet the week after.  If you would like to learn how to make Beautiful Fabric Flowers have a look at this new workshop by Jenni - For details of these three exciting workshop click on the images below


    There are lots of NEW workshops on the website - dresses, trousers, a duster coat and even swimwear as well as new dates for Evening Classes and Summer Sewing Schools - to see all that is coming up click on the images below


    More News Soon, Happy Sewing

  • Book Signing & Open Day

    Just a quick reminder that next Saturday (18th February) Frances Tobin creator of The Maker's Atelier will be giving a talk about her inspirational brand and her new book The Essential Collection.


    I was lucky enough to go to the launch of this beautiful book last week, and I have to admit to making up a couple of the garments already.  If you would like to hear how Frances started her brand as well as having a chance see samples of the garments from the book then come along next week. Signed copies of the book will also be available.  Tickets are limited and are available HERE

    After the talk, from 3pm - 5.30pm, it will be Open House so if you can't make it before do come and join us for tea and cake and see what else will be coming up.  Lots of NEW WORKSHOPS including some from The Maker's Atelier book.

    Online fabric store - Bloomsbury Square Fabrics - who are in the same building, will also be open with lots of lovely dress fabrics to browse

    Lastly, thank you to all of those who applied to be Angels at The Knitting and Stitching Show - I will look forward to seeing you there

  • News & How to be a Sewing Angel

    February has started off as busy as ever :) as well as running workshops at the Midhurst Sewing Room I am getting ready to teach at The Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia at the beginning of March.  If you are thinking of coming along to the show why not be a class Angel.

    These are volunteers who get a VIP pass in return for helping out in the classes.  In return for helping set up classes for 15-20 mins each time, for half a day, you will get the rest of the day to do what you like at the show. The VIP pass entitles you to quicker access, a dedicated cloakroom and lounge with easy access to coffee/sandwich station plus a little VIP gift and free catalogue.  If you would like to be an Angel let me know asap and I will let the organiser know.

    This week I have been making samples for the Vintage Sewing Weekend in June.  The patterns are The Lane Tea Dress and Ritz Pleat Dress by Til the Sun Goes down.  Both dresses have lovely bodices and bias cut skirts - click on  the images for details about the weekend.


    There are a few places left on workshops next week.  If you have ever wondered what all those different sewing machine feet are for then book onto Friday's workshop for lots of tips on getting the most from your machine and its accessories.  You will get to practice with about 20 different feet all together and take home lots of samples.

    If you you have been practicing with you overlocker and would like to learn what else you can use it for then Overlocker Part 2 would be perfect. On the workshop you will learn decorative stitches including using wool, fishing line and wire as well as inserting a zip and making this lovely box bag

  • Sewing Room News & Show Tickets

    I hope you are having a good January.  Over the last couple of weeks I have been busy making samples for workshops, A Big Easy Top and Wrap Dress using patterns from The Maker's Atelier, a Tokyo Jacket with a Tessuti pattern and I am just finishing off a Lana Tea Dress using a Now & Then Pattern from Til The Sun Goes Down - you can click on the pictures for workshop details


    There are now workshops on the website right up to the end of June, to see all that is NEW click here

    There are still a few places on workshops in the next couple of weeks - Learn to Crochet with Sam, starting on Wednesday morning and continuing on the following two Wednesdays.  There are also spaces on Copy It Make It next weekend - bring along a garment that you love and I will show you how to make a pattern from it.  There are a few places left on Frances Tobin from The Maker's Atelier's talk and book signing on 18th February - an exciting chance to hear Frances's story, see samples from the book and find out what workshops we will be running


    I have to apologise if you have had problems when trying to book a workshop - some students told me last week that they keep getting a Sage Pay error message at checkout.  I am so sorry about this, it is a glitch which my website guys are sorting out - you can close this error message and still pay with a debit or credit card or with paypal.  Alternatively give me a call and I can take your booking.

    Technology is great when it is working :)

    I am now getting ready to to teach at the Knitting and Stitching Shows at Olympia and Edinburgh - if you are planning to book tickets I have a discount code that you can use - quote WS17 at checkout and you will save a couple of pounds on the ticket price. Click on the image below to go the Knitting & Stitching Show website

  • Sewing Room News

    I hope you had a very happy New Year and are now ready to start sewing - unless, if like me, you have been sewing all through the holidays :)

    The Sewing Room is all ready for workshops starting this week and there are a few spaces on next weekends classes.  On Saturday you could make the Designer Daisy Tunic using a pattern from StyleArc.  This independant pattern company from Australia design some lovely garments and this one was very popular last year - here are some images of tunics made by students


    On Sunday you could make the Perfect Skirt - a great workshop for all levels. Choose to make your skirt A Line or Pencil, learn to alter a commercial pattern to fit, cut out and consturct your skirt including a lining and concealed zip.  At the end of the day you will take home your skirt and the pattern so you can make many more - here a some examples of skirts, inside and out

    The following week you can learn to insert Zips on one of the Sample Portfolio workshops or if you have received an Overlocker for Christmas and are not confident with how to use it come along to Overlocker 1 to learn how much you can do with your new machine

    I am still working on the Summer Timetable but in the meantime here are some NEW workshops that have just been added.  If you are looking to brighten up you home with some new cushions or learn a new skill making pots or a designer bag then these workshops are perfect - All of these workshops will be taught by the lovely Sue Cotten - for more details click on the images below

    More News Soon, Happy Sewing

  • Happy New Sewing Year

    I hope you had a lovely Christmas - I thought, in this quieter time between Christmas and New Year I would tell you about a few of the exciting things coming up.

    Firstly, I am really excited to tell you that Frances Tobin, creator of The Maker's Atelier will be coming to give a talk on Saturday 18th February.  Frances has written her first book, which is published on 9th February. Frances will be coming along to talk about this and how she started her inspirational brand.  

    After the talk there will be an opportunity to purchase The Maker's Atelier Essential Collection and have it signed by Frances.  I will be running a series of workshops using patterns from the book and you will be able to see samples and have a chat about workshops.  There will be lots of tea and cake too.

    For more details and how to book just click on one of the pictures


    I have added a few NEW workshops to the website including two which will be run by Sam Larby.  In January Sam will be running a short course teaching how to Crochet - perfect for beginners or those wishing to refresh their skills. A Taste of Colour Design will take place in March - this workshop combines practical skills and theory and is the perfect way to kick start your knowledge and be inspired to redesign your wardrobe.  For details of everything that is NEW click on one of the pictures below.

    In March the Knitting and Stitching Shows start and I will be off to Olympia to run workshops, to find more information about the shows and where I will be in March and April click here


    On 24th March I will be running the popular Copy It, Make It workshop at a Creative Sewing Weekend at Dunford House which is near Midhurst..  

    Get away for a weekend of sewing pleasure during which you learn new skills, meet new friends and enjoy a relaxing break away from it all.  These Creative Sewing weekends are great fun and a fabulous way to share sewing. The two-day workshops, are run by three expert tutors. The whole event is hosted by Wendy Gardiner and Jennie Rayment who are on-hand throughout the weekend to ensure everyone has a relaxing and trouble-free time.  For more information click below

    There are still spaces on workshops in January and February - I will be working on Summer workshops this week so more news soon,

    Happy New Year and Happy Sewing

  • News From The Midhurst Sewing Room

    It has been a while since I last wrote, lots has been happening since. Two Knitting and Stitchings Shows, lots of workshops as well as writing articles for a couple of Magazines.

    At the Dublin Show I was asked to do a bit of PR by going along to Dublin Radio Station Today FM and teaching the presenter Anton Savage how to make Lace Knickers live on air - it was great fun and you can hear how we got on by clicking on one of the pictures


    I have just got back from the Show in Harrogate which was really great - I met so many lovely ladies and hopefully some may come down to Midhurst for a workshop.  To help promote this show I was asked to write a blog post for Simply Sewing Magazine about altering patterns for fuller busts - you can read it by clicking on the image below.  (Fabric available from

    Workshops at the Sewing Room have been busy with lots of lovely garments being made

    There are a few spaces on workshops coming up in December including Making Knickers and Ties (perfect for Christmas Gifts).  This seasons must have The Sports Luxe Bomber Jacket and there are two half day Peg Loom Weaving workshops with the lovely Sue Cotten.  For more information and to book a workshop click on the picture.


    Workshops for the New Year are also on the website with lots of exciting sewing projects as well as evening classes and sewing schools, something for everyone.  If there is anything that you would like me to include please let me know - I am currently working on the timetable for April to August.


    Many of you know the lovely Sam who I worked with at The Textile Space - Sam has started up Sew Delicious and is providing lunches for those of you who book onto whole day workshops - to book your lunch just contact Sam and she will bring it along on the day.  For more information and to see the fantastic menu Sam is offering click below

    More News Soon, Happy Sewing

  • News and New Workshops

    Last time I wrote I was heading off to Goodwood to work at the Revival, it was a great weekend spent in the sewing room backstage - making and repairing costumes, here are a few images from the event

    Autumn workshops have been really busy with lots of lovely garments made

    The Autumn Knitting and Stitching Shows are well under way and I will be teaching at them again this year, last week was Alexandra Palace, next week is Dublin then a few weeks later I will be in Harrogate.  The shows are really good, it is well worth a visit if you get a chance - lots of lovely things to see, and buy :)

    There are still a few spaces available on the Autumn workshops - Half Term and December Sewing Schools and Courture Sewing School have a couple of places, build your portfolio of techniques on half day workshops or come along and learn to make tailored trousers or a sequin skirt

    The lovely Sue Cotton (who has also been teaching at the shows) will be running some workshops this Autumn, learn peg loom weaving and make a cushion cover or get ready for Christmas by making Sue's Adult Advent Calendar.


    Looking ahead I have now put the timetable up to April 2017 on the website - lots of new workshops like Know Your Fabrics as well as more independent pattern company classes including jeans using the popular Ginger Jeans pattern

    Please let me know if there is a technique you would like to learn that I haven't included in the new timetable - I love to hear your feedback

    More news soon

  • New Season Sewing

    It has been a busy few weeks at The Midhurst Sewing Room, the Summer seems to have flown by!

    I last wrote just before heading off to the Festival of Quilts - this was a great exhibition, I was teaching some dressmaking classes and they went down very well so I hope to be doing more next year. Here are some of the beautiful fabrics students made and turned into Gilets

    Summer workshops have been busy with students making lots of lovely garments - here are just a few

    If you are looking to sew a wardrobe of clothes for the new season - there are lots of workshops coming up, learn to work with stretch fabrics on the Lark T Shirt or Slip on Susie Dress workshops, Knit fabrics are used on the Driftless Cardigan and woven fabric in the Daisy Tunic, Seline Skirt & Factory Dress


    There are still a few spaces on the Autumn evening classes and October sewing schools where you can make a garment of your choice or build a portfolio of techniques on the sample workshops.

    I am currently working with my fab Dream Team on garments for The Goodwood Revival which is next weekend - Here is some of our work from last year


    I will be at the event working backstage in wardrobe - if you are attending it would be lovely to see you, I try to get over to the Veuve Cliquot Lawn at about 1pm each day to meet up so do come and say hello if you are there. Its lovely to see everyone dressed up in things they have made


    More news very soon,

    Happy Sewing

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