Why I Created the Sewing Studio Now

A peep into the Sewing Studio In-Depth Course for the Cressida Jumpsuit

It was our eighth birthday last week. A bit of a milestone really as most businesses fail after the first three years and few make it to six, and here we are eight years later. 

I’m not used to reflecting much, a habit I’ve rather gotten out of over the years as I prefer to deal with what is happening now and in the future.  But as a lecturer it was something I did on a daily basis – how did that lecture go? Could I have expressed that idea better? How can I help a particular student to understand and improve their work etc.

But I have looked back over where we started and what we’ve achieved. I say ‘we’ because although this is my business it is very much a team operation. (The current Team are doing an amazing job in really difficult circumstances too). I certainly couldn’t do all this by myself now. The shop opened in May 2012 with literally about a dozen rolls of fabrics. I had reps coming to see me at home because we were frantically painting the shop and building furniture getting ready for the first workshop, which if I remember correctly was ‘How to make Bunting.’

The old Shop in the Minories Courtyard Stratford upon Avon

We’ve come a long way since then. I’ve had some lovely people helping me out in the shop over the years and they have all added their own special ingredient to the Sew Me Something flavour. Some have stayed with me for years and to them I am immensely grateful. They have stuck by my vision for what we were all about and helped me ride through the ups and down of running a business. And there have been some downs as well as ups. In our first couple of years we won several awards, local business ones and sewing industry ones too. Then nearly three years ago Charlie had a major accident and it made me really step up to the plate with how I was actually running the business. I wish it really was all about sewing your own clothes and designing new patterns. But as any other business owner knows all too well the other stuff tales priority most of the time; accounts, marketing VAT, employment issues the list could go on and I had to conscientiously make the decision to take the business up a notch in order to keep us all afloat. Which was what I did.  

I let go of the shop when the lease had run its course and we moved to the new Studio. As we were in the throes of actually moving I had my first show in the Sewing Quarter which was amazing. It brought us to a whole new audience. More people were able to join us for workshops where they could learn and enjoy the whole experience of sewing and making your own clothes that actually fit.

A bit of a helping hand in the Studio

Through all of this we have stuck to our core value of helping as many people as we can to learn and improve their sewing skills in a friendly, inclusive and supportive way. This is fundamentally why Sew Me Something exists. Apart from the fact I am probably unemployable now, I really don’t think I could go back to having a boss!

Helping people is at the heart of what we do and why we do it. So although the idea for The Sewing Studio has been bubbling away at the back of my mind for over two years, now was the opportune moment to actually create it. Firstly, I actually had a bit more time on my hands with no teaching and no shows. You would be amazed at how long it physically takes to create all the content videos, and most of it I can do in one take! We have spent hours and hours filming and then editing, (mainly Charlie I have to say), to get the tutorials and courses absolutely right. I have had to raise my technical game hugely, even my son is impressed with my sorting out the website for the Sewing Studio. No web builder here I’m afraid. 

Secondly, and most importantly, I felt this was the best way we could help you. If you can’t come to the Studio then let us come to you in your own home. You can join in with the In-depth Courses, have a go at the Projects, learn from the Tutorials and Technical Library and hang out with other sewing nerds enthusiasts in our Community. 

I realise we are just starting out on this new road. Online is the way forward for us and so many others now and for the foreseeable future. There is so much I want to add in terms of content and courses, new patterns and  – well just so much it makes my brain ache to think about it sometimes. I really want to find out from you what you’d like to see in the Sewing Studio too. So do have a look at The Sewing Studio and let me know

I realise it’s not perfect, but then done is way better than perfect in my book. 

Jules x

Looking back over Lockdown

Keeping my head down and ploughing on through the tough times

We are living through some very strange times indeed, shuttered in at home only venturing out early morning or after dusk just to avoid other human beings. It feels a little like I’m living in one of the dystopian post apocalyptic books I like to lose myself in. Only this is real and it is having quite an impact on a rather lot of people. 

The first week of Lockdown sent me into a bit of a tailspin, I won’t lie. When I realised we were going to have to postpone all of our workshops and retreats and that the upcoming shows we had planned on attending were not going ahead, I had a brief but rather intense meltdown sitting in my garden gazing at the chickens. I wondered if I was going to be able to afford to buy chicken food, or what I was going to feed the chickens if I couldn’t, could I even bring myself to dispatch them if this really was the end of the world and could I use the chickens to feed my children? But I decided that there is not a lot of meat on an egg-laying chicken!

Looking back now that seems a bit ridiculous and rather melodramatic, and after I had given myself a rather good talking to, more rational thinking resumed. I am, by nature, not really a panicker so the last few weeks have been more about “Right!” *stands hands on hips in the middle of the kitchen.* “This shit thing has happened – how are we going to deal with it?!” 

Make videos – was how we dealt with it in the first instance.

The first show we were due to attend that had been cancelled was the Sewing for Pleasure Show at the NEC. So I decided that if we couldn’t be at the show we could do a Live Video for each of the days we should have been at the show. It was a bit of an experiment as I wasn’t really sure if it would work and we would get many views, or even if it was what our lovely customers wanted to see. However, we quickly realised that if we were not able to go out to see our customers and if they were not able to come to see us in the studio the only way to connect with you/them was by video. So we popped it up on our YouTube channel and have been recording Live twice a week since then. This has been a team effort. I am lucky enough to be married to a videographer and my son is blessed with the inherent tech knowledge only the young were born with and I couldn’t have done this without them. 

Charlie and Seamus Checking the Tech

Just before Easter I was tagged into a Facebook post, sorry I can’t remember by whom, from the Warwickshire Scrubbers and it got Charlie and I thinking. We have several friends working in the NHS and other care professions and after asking them if this really was a thing, I quickly realised it very much was a thing and that yes I could make scrubs but, at Charlie’s suggestion, would I not be better making a pattern that included what my friends were looking for in a set of scrubs to help others make more scrubs. I freely admit the pattern is not perfect. I bashed it out over a weekend and would happily go back and alter things. But it’s there, and it exists to help people make scrubs for their local community, and for that I am a little bit proud. I have even been sent a letter from a local MP thanking me for my help during the crisis. Being a slightly left leaning, tax paying egalitarian this has left me with mixed emotions as you can imagine.

It was a team effort and we also made a little video on how to make a set of scrubs that has now been watched by tens of thousands of people across the globe! I never imagined it would take off as it did. We have had thousands of orders for the pattern and it took us a good few of weeks working flat out and roping in the SMS team and all my family members to get those orders sent out. I am so grateful for the patience of everyone who placed orders and were chomping at the bit to get going with their sewing. We had no idea so many people would want to use the pattern or indeed want to help. 

Our Free to Download Scrubs Pattern is still available.

Designing, printing, packing and sending out the scrubs pattern really took up the first few weeks of lockdown. We did it all ‘not for profit’ and just about covered our costs, but it gave us all something to focus our thoughts and energy on and for that I am truly grateful.

Once the initial shock of what had happened had receded and we had responded to the immediate crisis of the lack of PPE and created the Scrubs pattern, we quickly came to a level of normality in our new working lives. We are incredibly fortunate to have the studio in a rural location away from the town centre which has allowed us more freedom than we would have had before at the shop. 

Normally I would be teaching and running workshops over the weekends or be exhibiting at a show away from home for several days.  But without this level of activity I have been able to step back and give myself some headspace. I have managed to have weekends away from the studio and work and have been able to focus my energies into re-juvinating our garden. It got totally flattened six years ago when Charlie and I got married and we covered it entirely with a marquee to hold our wedding reception and it hasn’t really recovered since. Now with weekends at home we have been able to lavish our care and attention upon it. While working in the garden our minds have been free to roam and be creative in our ponderings about how the business is going to continue to move onwards. 

The Veg beds are filling up nicely with all the wonderful little plants we’ve grown on from seed.

A couple of weeks ago a long term project finally came to fruition and we launched the online Sewing Studio. The extra time both Charlie and I have had has meant we could focus our efforts and headspace into creating the content for the Sewing Studio Subscription Club. This is something I have been dreaming about creating for a couple of years now. Without us being able to teach workshops for the foreseeable future we needed to think of other ways to reach out to our customers to support them in their sewing and online, it appears, is the way forward. Whether I like being in front of a camera or not. So with an ever increasing range of video tutorials, PDF patterns, in-depth courses and pattern adaptations we hope to be able to help more people now with their sewing. 

The Sewing Studio can be found at www.sewmesomethingcourses.com

Looking back over the last 8 weeks or so of lockdown, (to be honest I have forgotten which week we are on now!) has forced me to completely rethink my working life. I am fully aware that a lot of people have been knocked sideways by the whole Covid 19 nightmare and many have lost friends and loved ones. Levels of anxiety and depression have risen hugely and taken their toll on the Nation’s mental health. Which is why I do feel rather guilty when I admit to rather enjoying elements of Lockdown. 

Time is a gift so precious, and one we have been given in spades during this time of uncertainty.  BC – Before Covid I was forever bemoaning my lack of it. I was “so busy all the time” rarely taking time off and constantly on the hamster wheel of life running a business, trying to be creative, looking after my family etc. Now I have had TIME to just BE.

I have sat in the garden with a cup of coffee doing absolutely nothing and not feeling guilty that I should be doing something else or be somewhere else. I have had time to plan and create a garden, a work in progress admittedly, but progress nonetheless. I have had time to step away and readjust my priorities. Both my kids are at home, much to their disappointment. Seamus has had to return from Uni in Cornwall and is desperately missing his new found independence. Orla’s summer has been totally cancelled. No A levels, no prom, no holiday with her friends and is facing an uncertain future regarding attending Uni in September at all. But I’m very selfishly pleased, because never again will I get to spend this much time with the fledgeling young adults that are my babies. Let’s face it would you hangout with your parents drinking gin and lemon playing Scrabble of an evening given the choice? Of course not neither would I, but the conversations and laughter that we’ve all shared is something I will treasure to the end of my days. 

Orla’s 18th Birthday in Lockdown
Seamus created a YouTube channel to help him share and improve his music.

So although this is a terrible situation and something I sincerely hope ends soon, I am looking at it in a positive light. I am so very fortunate to have my husband and family with me and that my extended family are all safe and well but my heart goes out to those who are not. 

Lockdown has given me all manner of positive things, not least of all hope for the future. The world over the last few weeks has changed irrevocably and that can be seen as a positive thing. Our values have changed, we have made do with less, after home educating, teachers will be given the respect they are due, (hopefully). There are things I miss like popping into town for a coffee and seeing my friends, we do that via Zoom at the moment, so it is still happening but in a different way. And therein lies the crux – life will go on just in a different way. We have adapted to new surroundings and situations and that has kept us going for millennia. 

Adapting and changing our perspectives are what enables us to keep going onwards in a generally forward motion. And that is what I shall be doing to keep Sew Me Something moving forward. I’m not sure quite in what direction yet but we are taking each day at a time planning and readjusting as we go. We will be hosting workshops again in the future but they may be run in a slightly different way, who knows.  

As long as we keep putting one foot in front of the other and counting our blessings the journey continues. 

Keep sewing and stay safe

Jules x

Five Tips for Getting Started

Like a lot of lucky people, you may well have received a sewing machine or even an overlocker for Christmas. Or perhaps you might have just treated yourself? But have you got it out of the box yet?  And do you know what you’re going to make? 

Sometimes it can be a bit daunting with a new bit of kit sitting in front of you and you’re not sure quite what to do with it. So here are 5 things to help:

Make friends with your machine

I would thoroughly recommend having a play with your new machine and just go through the instruction manual. It sounds terribly boring and something your mother would say but seriously just getting to know your machine and what it can do will set up on the right track. 
Even if you’ve been sewing for years and new machine, will always mean new stuff to learn. Work out what the settings are, where the tension controls are and most importantly how to change the needle! You will invariably go through a few.

Sew a Creative Reference library

The kids in our holiday or after-school clubs just adore playing around with all the stitches. And you can even create your own works of art with the different embroidery or zigzag stitches.
They can make a great reference library when you go to work on a project too and maybe need something a little different to add a bit of detail, like I did on my red Viola Skirt

My machine embroidered red-work circles just using the stitches form our Janome machines

Start with something simple

Again at the risk of sounding like your Mother, I’d recommend keeping it simple to start with. Working on a straightforward project from start to finish that’s quick and relatively easy to make will give you that instant sense of gratification and the ‘I can do this feeling’ you want to keep you going onto the next one.  Even if it’s just a pincushion or a needle book. They don’t use up much fabric, are incredibly useful and will give you that sense of achievement you deserve for all your efforts. 

Pace yourself

Once you get to grips with your machine and you’ve made a couple of quick and easy projects it can be tempting to race into the next bigger one. But you’re not on the Great British Sewing Bee so you don’t have to worry about how long it’s going to take you. Just pace yourself and enjoy the process. I know plenty of people who really dislike the cutting out stage and want to rush through that and get on to the sewing. But each stage has its own merits and deserves your care and attention to enable you to get the best results you can. Trying planning out what and when you can manage and take your time.

Remember to finish it

This sounds obvious I know but I’m speaking from personal experience here. You’ve worked so hard on your sewing project, whether its a cushion, a bag or a piece of clothing and the temptation is to get to a point where you – only just have to. . . sew the hem, add the buttons on or whatever. GET IT FINISHED! Even if you don’t like it once you’ve made it. If it’s finished you can gift it, or even wear it or use it as you intended.  But it won’t be sitting in your pile of UFP’s – unfinished projects, providing that mental block preventing you from moving on and starting something new. 

As a bit of an extra incentive you can download and use our Sewing Project Planner to help you get started. 

Happy sewing!

We’re Hiring!

Organised paperclips mug and pencil on a desk

Workshop/ Online Administrator

Are you always the ‘organised one’ in your friendship circle or at work? Are you always sorting out every detail of your life, from booking dinners, sorting out travel arrangements? And do you find yourself secretly enjoying it?

Then we need you!

Sew Me Something is seeking a reliable Workshop/ Online  Administrator. Someone who is motivated and highly organised to help coordinate and maintain the smooth running of everything behind the scenes. 

Continue reading “We’re Hiring!”

Meet Cressida – the pattern I never thought I would make!

Our latest pattern is a jumpsuit!

Those are words I never thought I would utter. After all I am a lady entering her middling years, more into comfort and style rather than ‘high fashion’.

There have been plenty of pictures floating around on social media this Spring/Summer of people wearing jumpsuits and looking amazing – but it really wasn’t for me!

Or so I thought!

After playing around in the studio with different shapes and trying to adapt existing patterns I was encouraged to “let go of your prejudice Jules, and just stick some trousers on it.” At first I wasn’t sure about the neckline, and it needed some kind of a sleeve, but in the end I got there and I have to say I am totally in love with this pattern. I spotted a lady at a show wearing something similar and she looked amazing so she became my inspiration. Shows are a fabulous opportunity for ‘style spotting’ and I love watching how people put together their own individual looks. (But that is a whole other blog.)

My initial concern about having to take everything off just to go to the loo were unfounded. I tested out the toile for a day wearing it around the studio to see for myself. It really isn’t that much hassle – I promise!

I chose one of our new Linen/Tencel mix fabrics as it had just the right amount of drape to it but was also substantial enough for trousers, that part gets a fair bit of wear and tear, and I just love the way it feels next to your skin. It’s so soft!

Navy can be a tricky colour to photograph so I used some top stitching to emphasise the style lines of the collar and pockets. I used white for this one for a slightly nautical air, but the next one will probably be in a soft denim with some yellow top stitching.

Pockets have to feature in more or less everything I make and Cressida is no exception. Cut-away pockets on the side seams and patch pockets on the back, mean you can go the whole pocket hog or just choose what’s right for you and the style and fabric you’re making your Cressida up in.

Someone has already called this pattern ‘Secret pyjamas’ and I think they could be right. This pattern is so comfortable to wear you might as well be wearing your PJs. It’s also very simple to alter too, if you need to shorten or add length to the body or trousers sections and I will be doing some tutorials to show you how easy that is.

I would strongly urge you to have a go and make your own Cressida Jumpsuit, especially if you’ve thought jumpsuits weren’t for you. You might surprise yourself.

Order your Cressida Jumpsuit today.

Our competition winner’s VIP Day

Yesterday we had the pleasure of hosting Tracey, the winner of our VIP Day competition at the Sew Me Something studio .

Our VIP Days allow you to spend the entire day with Jules, picking her brain on whatever subjects you want to cover, whether it be fitting, pattern cutting or just general techniques. Tracey wanted to spend the day working on our Hero Trousers pattern and achieving the perfect fit.

“An absolutely amazing day with Jules learning how to make a pair of Hero Trousers that fit me. I’ve learnt so many tips and tricks, how to get a good finish and had some laughs along the way. Lovely stocked shop, beautiful location and a goody bag with two more patterns and haberdashery items. If you are thinking of doing a VIP Day – stop thinking and do it!”

We run VIP Days every month so if you’d like a taste of what Tracey has experienced find out more and book yourself a day (TIP: they are great for birthday and Christmas present lists!)

NEW PATTERN ALERT…Introducing Regan

Say Hello to Regan our brand new pattern.

Regan Top Sewing pattern
Version 1 Regan in Flower Glory Rayon and Blue Striped Ribbing

Regan is a simple but classic sweatshirt shape. A great all rounder and a pattern to make dressy or more casual depending on your fabric choices. It works brilliantly in both sweatshirt knits and in silky viscose rayon.

Version 1 Regan in Blue Birds Organic Cotton French Terry and Blue Striped Ribbing

It has an open crew neck and the finished top sits just on your high hip. It is a slimmer fit than a lot of our patterns and will give you more of a paired down silhouette. This makes it perfect to wear with the Desdemona skirt or anything else that needs a shorter top for more balanced proportions.

The sleeves fall straight from the shoulders giving it a tapered more streamline look. But they are sewn in flat like a shirt sleeve making it a wonderfully quick and satisfying make.

All the openings are finished with a knit or rib band again making it a clean, neat finish and quick to sew as well.

Version 1 has a full length sleeve, and narrow band at the waist.

Version 2 has shorter sleeves with the ribbing band ending just above the elbow. The length in the body is slightly shorter to allow for a deeper waistband giving it a slightly retro look.

Our pattern testers have loved this pattern for its quick and easy sew and its versatility.

‘Construction wise this went together very easily and quickly and the fit is relaxed and comfortable. I made view one but am already planning my next one using view two’


I hope you enjoy making up your own Regan and do remember to share your pictures with us on social media. You can use the hashtag #SMSRegantop and we’ll be sure to comment and share.

Purchase your Regan Top from our online store

Happy Sewing Jules

How to Sew a Circular Patch Pocket

Patch pockets are traditionally square-ish or rectangular in shape, but that doesn’t have to be so!

You can make a real feature of a pocket by making it circular.

Where you want to place your pocket will determine the size you want to make it. It could look very sweet as a small top pocket on a blouse or larger as a proper hand-sized pocket if you wanted to add your own twist to the Viola Skirt.

This is how we made ours:

We wanted a hand sized pocket so used a side plate as a template. You could use anything circular as your own template or even a pair of compasses (from your old school geometry set).

Draw around the template on some paper to create your pattern. To find the grain line just fold the circle in half, and the crease will be your grain line. You can then decide the angle you would like for the faux flap and draw that in too.

Make sure the interfacing extend over the fold line for the faux flap.

Cut out a pair of circles using the template and also a small piece of interfacing the size of the faux flap but just extended past the fold line slightly. This will help to support the folded over flap when you sew on the button later.

Attach the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the circles over the flap area. And then pin the two circles with the right sides together.

Remember to leave a gap at the bottom!

Sew around the circles starting and finishing at the bottom, but remember to leave a gap so you can turn the pocket through to the right side.

The closer the V shapes the better curve you’ll get

Snip out small V shapes all around the seam allowance. Leave the seam allowance  un-snipped across the gap to make sure the snips don’t go too far.

You’ll sew the gap closed when you sew around the pocket on the garment.

Turn the pocket through to the right side and carefully press out the circle shape. Tucking in the seam allowance across the gap.

Fold over the faux flap and attach a button as decoration.

Edge stitch the pocket in place onto your garment making sure to secure the top corners.

This would look great as a hack on the Viola Skirt or Kate Dress.

Have a look at our Pinterest Board for some more Patch Pocket Inspiration.

Our First Retreat Away from Home

Sewing Retreat main image.jpg

We are taking our Retreats on the road in the hope that more people will be able to enjoy a weekend away and some time for themselves just sewing and chilling.

Cornwall here we come!

We have been trying to find a venue for our first retreat away from home and I think we have really come up with a humdinger!

Hendra Barns is not only beautiful it’s easy to find, and has everything we were looking for in a venue. It is set in the stunning Cornish countryside halfway between Newquay and Truro so you get the best of all worlds.

The accommodation is split into 3 areas, Hendra Barn, The Old Coach House and Little Hendra. All the rooms are different, some are have an en suite and some shared bathrooms, so they are all priced accordingly. Hendra Barn is the largest so we will all eat there together, but all of the other locations have their own kitchens so you can make your own coffee or tea just how you like, and relaxing lounge spaces too.

Hendra Barn
The Old Coach House
Little Hendra

Hendra Barn has 3 double rooms (one with an en suite) and that is also where CL and I will be based. The Old Coach House has 2 double (one with an en suite) and a Twin room. And Little Hendra has one double and a twin room.

It is just the perfect place to relax and surround your self with nature and sewing machines!

Looking after yourself

In a hectic and busy world we often end up at the bottom of the list of people we look after. But if you’ve ever been on a plane and listened to the safety talk from the cabin crew we are told to put on our own oxygen masks first before helping anyone else. Having some time just for you, to re-energise yourself and find your focus is incredibly precious. And doing it with like-minded people who enjoy sewing as much as you do makes a huge difference.

Grief can take care if itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.

Mark Twain

Not only can we share what we know we can learn from each other too. We have written more about why we have chosen to make it a residential retreat and what you can hopefully gain from it in another blog.

What to look forward to

Well apart from the stunning location and the fabulous accommodation and catering what can you look forward to when joining us?

Hendra Barns has provided us with an excellent sewing studio space in their function Barn that we will fully equip with sewing machines, overlockers, cutting tables and pressing stations. You can choose to bring your own machines if you prefer to work on something more familiar. Sometimes it’s just easier to use your own machines and we can help you set those up when you arrive on the Thursday evening.

Making what you want to wear

One of the things I really love about our Retreats is the freedom you have to make exactly what you want to. Unlike some who give a prescriptive list of what you are allowed to make, we are happy for you to bring along whatever project you want to work on. We will give you an idea of the types of things you’ll be able to achieve during the time we have together to give you an idea as to the projects you may wish to bring.

The wealth of expertise and experience Claire-Louise and I have means you can ask us anything. You can bring any project you are working on for help and advice. Obviously there are particular patterns that are more suited to a Retreat than others. You may want to consider bringing something that you can make up fairly quickly so you have that sense of achievement in getting something finished. Equally feel free to bring along something a bit more complex that you might need help and support with on particular techniques or the fit, but you’re not worried about finishing.

Making the Clothes you want to wear

Helping YOU make the clothes YOU want to wear.

But really it’s all about helping you to make the clothes you want to wear. If you need help fitting or with specific techniques or processes, you’ll have the time and space to work through any issues or projects with expert help and tuition on hand if you need it. So you may want to nail the fit on that pair of trousers you’ve been wanting to make for ages. Or have a go on an overlocker and whizz up a Bianca coat before working on a couple of other projects. Or perhaps you want some space to cut a few projects out and then decide which to make – the choice is yours!

Take your sewing up to the next level.

There will be help and guidance on the machines when required and also we will be running a  few Masterclass Demonstrations on some key processes we know are the ones people find tricky. If there is something you are really keen to cover, just let us know and we can include it in the Retreat. We will even be bringing some of the Sew Me Something Haberdashery with us in case you need any emergency supplies. But if you would like any of our fabrics for the projects you want to make up over the weekend you can always place an order online and we will bring it with us for you. So it’ll be at the Retreat ready and waiting for you.

This Retreat really will give you time to focus and relax.

There will be plenty of tea coffee and cakes to keep you sewing throughout the weekend and a fabulous wholesome and delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner each day too.

This time around we are introducing a more meditative element to the Retreats with Amy Williams from Next Wave Yoga. Amy is based in Cornwall and runs retreats herself. In fact Claire-Louise and I went on one last May and it was amazing! Amy will be leading a guided contemplation walk in the peaceful and calming countryside and some gentle yoga to help stretch out those tired muscles at the end of a day sewing. Both are purely optional of course but will certainly add to your whole sense of well being over the weekend.

What’s included in the Sewing Retreat….

  • A cuppa and cake on arrival
  • Help to set up your sewing machines if you’ve brought your own
  • Help to make your sewing plans for the weekend using our sewing planner
  • Use of all the sewing machines, overlockers and equipment from 9am to 6pm over the 3 days of the retreat
  • Hand delivered Sew Me Something orders of fabric and haberdashery
  • Expert help and advice on all your sewing projects
  • Expert help and advice on fitting and pattern alterations
  • Masterclass demonstrations
  • All your meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as plenty or tea coffee and cakes to keep you going
  • Comfortable bedrooms for four nights
  • Guided contemplation walks and a yoga session each day

I am so excited about what a fantastic weekend this is going to be. I have tried to create the type of retreat I would love to go on myself. Don’t worry if you are thinking of coming on your own you will soon make friends and we will do all we can to look after you and make you welcome.

This is what some of our past Retreat Attendees have said about joining us. . . .

“Very enjoyable. Venue excellent. 
Jules and CL were fantastic. So patient, attentive and professional. As well and warm fun and friendly.
Have left with a pattern block that fits!!
Invaluable! I’m delighted!” Susan

“Great weekend! Learned loads! The trousers I made were great and fit perfectly. I just wish I’d had time to finish the Agnes top too. 
CL and Jules were so calm and knowledgeable – amazing mentors! Thank you for a great weekend.” Ruth

“There was a great atmosphere and the venue was lovely. Excellent support from both Jules and CL, and huge thanks to both. I learnt a lot of techniques which I wanted to learn. Thank you both for your calm expertise and generosity.” Kate

Join us for a fabulous weekend

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The are a very limited number of places on the Cornish Retreat. this time

Only 10 places

are available, so that means plenty of 1:1 time with CL and me.

So I can guarantee you will leave the Sewing Retreat knowing more than you did when you arrived.  

We can’t wait to host the next Retreat, it is going to be wonderful and I can’t wait to see you there.

Jules x

Book your place on The September Sewing Retreat HERE. And the Cornish Retreat in October HERE

My Own Sewing Space

Some people may think that because I run a sewing business my space for sewing must be amazing!

Well I have to dispel any thoughts of a superbly designed sewing room with neatly stacked fabrics and everything I might need to hand. Painted in beautiful restful colours with gorgeous twinkling lights…. Well you get the picture. The image above is not my sewing space but from Andrea’s Notebook  and is an image I found on Pinterest. But I love the colours and simple quirkiness of the furnishings.

No – my sewing space is certainly not like that. I don’t actually have anywhere to sew at home. Unbelievable I know, but my house is rather on the small side, so I have to do any sewing I want to do at work. And it is more practical and by necessity than Instagram perfect that’s for sure.

Granted we do have a beautiful fully equipped studio where we run the workshops, and it can be very handy to have umpteen machines threaded up in different colours so I don’t have to stop and re-thread for top-stitching etc. But since moving to the new studio I’m finding that I need to have a corner of my own set up for sewing.

This is where I work at the moment. It’s not glamorous but it is basic and mostly practical.

This is the tidiest corner!
Patterns and Toiles
This is where I slave over my hot computers.
I need a bigger table

I have a cutting table, desk for my computer, some shelves and boxes of fabrics and I can shut the door.  But I am not by nature a tidy person. This may not come as a particular revelation to those that know and work with me! But I am hoping that by creating more of a personal creative space here in our new studio space I will inherently want to keep it tidier.

Hmmm…Maybe I need more boxes?
Yes definitely more boxes!

So, I have a wish list!

  • Enough table space to have my machine, overlocker and coverstitch machine out and available.
  • A system for storing all the tools I need making them close to hand but easy to tidy away.
  • Enough storage for all the fabric and old patterns I have. Yet stored in a system that means I can see and find everything easily.
  • Display space to have up images and inspiration for new patterns. Rather than storing them all in scrap books and folders.
  • A designated pressing area – sounds grander than it will actually be. Just a space to have the ironing board up and all the pressing paraphernalia close to hand.

I even have a Pinterest Board full of other people’s beautiful and practical sewing spaces. So I am making a plan and by telling you all about it, it means I really have to do it. And not make the usual excuses of being too busy!

Now you’ve seen my space maybe you have some ideas you can share with me on how to organise my sewing stuff and I’ll keep you posted on how the transformation goes.

Happy sorting