The Makery in Bath

I would like to design and make a range of aprons, tote bags, tea towels and carriers for The Foodie Bugle Shop, and so today I enrolled in a sewing course at The Makery in Bath.

Currently based in Walcot Street and Northumberland Place, the business is moving to a “Mega Makery” in the centre of the city, at 19 Union Passage, bringing together their haberdashery and textiles shop as well as their workshops and classes under one big craft temple roof, in addition to their e-commerce shop.

The business was set up four years ago by Kate and Nigel Smith to empower and inspire crafters of all ages and experience levels, to learn, create and make in a communal, friendly environment. There is also a book, showcasing 30 simple projects to make at home, as well as branded “Make-Away” craft boxes that you can give as gifts to aspiring sewers.

You can learn so many different crafts and skills there ~ from making your own cushions, to creating skirts, lampshade covers, embroidery, upholstery, patchwork quilting and knitting. It is a veritable community hub, celebrating the make-your-own obsession that is sweeping the country by storm, since the start of the recession and launch of The Great British Sewing Bee series that holds even non-crafters in its thrall.

The course I booked begins the learning curve at the very beginning, teaching you how to use an electric sewing machine to make your own fold-over cushion cover. Teachers Carys and Katie are very good at welcoming students and making everyone feel at home and comfortable in the workshop.

You are surrounded by jars of bright buttons, piles of patterned textiles and shelves of ribbons, scissors, tapes and bunting ~ everywhere the eye rests there is colour and interest. You could spend all day here, it passes in minutes. The big wooden classroom table seats eight students, and over tea and coffee everyone is soon chatting and discovering common passions for creative crafts. Bath gossip, business recommendations and creative ideas are swapped throughout.

During my course I learned all about the essential tools of the trade, hints and tips for professional standard sewing and how to correct errors. At the controls of the sewing machine I learned how to thread a machine needle, install a bobbin, straight stitch, reverse stitch, zig–zag stitch and pivot.

The end result was amazingly neat ~ I even learned how to make a covered button and button-hole. Warps, wefts, bias, seam rippers, seam allowances ~ ask me any technical question you like, Carys has explained everything to me!

The most important thing I took away with me after my three hour workshop {costing me only £40} was self-confidence: the belief that I could do this project neatly and efficiently.

I could not recommend The Makery more ~ it is an investment in how to make, mend and manufacture. When I stepped out of the building I was already plotting my next project and course.

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