The Pinworks in Oxford, the craft school arm of fab haberdashery shop ‘Darn It & Stitch’ recently invited one of Live Oxfordshire’s representatives, Rosie, along to one of their courses so she could review it for us. Read on to find out what Rosie had to say about “Little Stitches: Sewing for your baby” which was aimed at beginners wanting to learn how to sew things for their little ones. The course ran over two afternoon sessions over two weeks in the workroom above the shop in central Oxford.
Spending a dedicated afternoon with other sewing enthusiasts, a friendly and knowledgeable teacher and without any children? What bliss was this?! I love my crafts and jumped at the opportunity to develop my sewing skills, especially at such a conveniently located class.
The workroom is above the shop. It is small, but light and airy with lots of good natural light. As we went in there were examples of projects from the various courses scattered about and some shelves packed with interesting looking craft books. There were three of us doing the course and we had plenty of room but I was told that the course could have held up to six people and I’m not sure how cramped it might have felt at full capacity. We were also offered lots of tea or coffee and delicious biscuits which really enhanced the overall atmosphere.
Verity, the course leader, was really friendly and approachable and I thought she was an excellent teacher. She was very clear in her directions and able to help people at the level they were at. I thought she achieved a good balance of showing us formal techniques combined with short cuts where appropriate. The projects that we attempted had been thoroughly planned and worked really well. I also learned several invaluable tips of a more general nature as we went through the course
Everything we needed was provided and we were able to choose fabric from the gorgeous stash in the shop – that might even have been the best bit ! All tools we could possibly want were available and we had a sewing machine each. We were given copies of the pattern pieces to take home, and also worksheets detailing step by step instructions for each project
The timing of the course seemed well-judged. I never felt rushed and we completed three projects and had discussed the other two so I felt I could confidently attempt them on my own at home.
Verity had planned five projects and we decided between ourselves which ones we would prioritise. The course was aimed at novices and the level felt very appropriate. We were all able to complete the items to a good standard and learn a lot in the making. I was thrilled with the things I made and have already made some more. I would sign up to another course without hesitation – it would be nice to try some more advanced techniques next and maybe make something for a toddler – or even myself! I think the only thing that I might have concerns about was the size of the workroom. It was fine for the three of us but I do wonder if it might have felt cramped with more people.
I learned lots of general tricks and techniques that I could apply to anything I want to make, which really improved my confidence. Spending a dedicated afternoon with other sewing enthusiasts, a friendly and knowledgeable teacher and without any children was bliss, as I mentioned already and the cherry on the icing on the cake was getting to choose from all the lovely fabric that was available.
Rosie was the guest of The Pinworks for the purpose of this review. If you’d like to find out more about what courses are available, or to book a course, you can visit the website here: www.pinworks.co.uk