Guest blog by Hannah Clayton-Peck



Along with the biscuits, tea and vast amounts of moral support, this has to be up there with one of my favourite learning experiences.  

My mother-in-law bought me a sewing machine about two years ago for Christmas as I have always wanted to learn to sew. After spending that couple of years watching Kirsty's Homemade Home, staring longingly at Pinterest and Instagram and worrying about breaking the sewing machine, I wandered into Emporia and found out they ran courses. Clair was a dream, as soon as I booked and after telling my own Mum (who had also spent a lot of time pontificating on her sewing machine) we had the date in the diary.     

The beginner’s course really does what it says on the tin, it is literally for people who have never opened the box of their shiny new sewing machine. We went through everything it did, and then spent about half an hour just sewing all of the different stitches and learning basic techniques (make the machine do the sewing).  

Positioned at the back of this lovely shop (which boasts A MILLION fabrics which are all AMAZING) people were wandering in and out, but Clair was super focussed on helping us and trust me, we needed it. We then chose the fabric to make a cushion and a make-up bag - this was the hardest part, they were all too good. Once the decision was made we were topped up with tea, stocked up with shortbread and on our way. Clair talked us through each and every step, including inserting a zip!!! I still can't believe as total novices we made two things in three hours, alongside breaking machines, needles and generally messing up a fair amount.


As soon as I got home I felt confident enough to give this a go on my own - Clair has bespoke workshops to make dresses trousers and if making the creations yourself isn't an option, she even creates made to measure pieces from £45! Barg.   

It really was money well spent - £40 and I got a new make-up bag, a cushion (which my husband's thrilled about), a new skill and the confidence to be creative. Money can't buy that.

Find out more about Emporia's upcoming sewing courses and workshops by visiting the Emporia Facebook page.

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