MY mother was a fantastic seamstress and always wanted to pass those make do and mend skills over to her girls. I, on the other hand, never saw the point. That was until now, at five and a half months pregnant, when I’m realising everything from booties to blankets is just so expensive.
We each had our own reasons for wanting to learn how to sew, including one gentleman - a retired architect - who simply wanted to be able to make his own bow ties.
Realising my mum’s good intentions, 30 years too late I set about trying to make up for lost time with the help of the Ministry of Craft – the hub of craft courses at Fred Aldous in Manchester city centre.
The shop is very easy to find, located on Stevenson Square. The place is like a tardis with three floors of endless art and craft materials setting the scene for the sewing class perfectly. Although I did end up buying half of the shop before the class had even kicked off.
Once in there, I sat down with six other sewing novices, each of us facing our very own sewing machine which had been provided by the Ministry of Craft. We each had our own reasons for wanting to learn how to sew, including one gentleman - a retired architect - who simply wanted to be able to make his own bow ties.
But before bow ties, it was clear we’d all need to know the basics and our teacher, Sam Sterken, didn’t waste any time letting us know how much we were going to pack into our three hour session:
- Connecting the power supply
- Controlling sewing speed
- Winding the bobbin
- Threading for the bobbin winding
- Inserting the bobbin
- Threading the machine
- Basic stitching
- Variety of overcasting stitching
- Raising and lowering the pressure foot
- Balancing thread tension
- Using the seam guide line
- Decorative stitches
From start to finish, Sam was on hand, nothing was too hard or too easy and with her thorough explanations, each one of us managed to pick it up quickly. It was a great way to meet new people as well as learning how to use a sewing machine, and I went away thinking about purchasing my own machine (which Sam said she would help me with) to start using my new found skills straight away ready to pass on to my daughter. That’s if she’ll listen of course.
Tanzir attended the ‘Conquer Your Sewing Machine’ course at Ministry of Craft. The next course starts on Sunday 28 October. Click here for more information.
Ministry of Craft also offer a full range of craft courses from Christmas Gift Making to Paper Craft and Printing. To view all the courses available click here.
Fred Aldous - Art, Craft & Design
Art, Craft & Design Materials
37 Lever Street