Make it a handmade Christmas and come shopping at my studio building, Makers’ Yard, where you can buy from the other tenants in the studio building as well as me. I’ll have a lot of samples for sale (cushions, bags, scarves, brooches etc), as well as discounts on books, fabrics, sewing tools and gift vouchers for sewing enthusiasts.
Please come along to the exclusive evening event with mince pies and mulled wine on Friday 15th 6-9pm or any time on Saturday 16th November 10-4pm when there will be additional artists and makers selling their work too.
Just a brief outline of the new workshops to come in 2014, full details soon!
All workshops are 10am-4pm on Saturdays at Ruth Singer Studio, Leicester. £55 each or book 3 for £150
Shadow Embroidery. 23rd February
Cut-surface quilting. 22nd March
Family Stories. 26th April
Handmade fabrics. 31st May
Smocking, Shirring & Gathering.
28th June Rescheduled for 21st June
Found objects and amulets . 19th July
28th September Rescheduled for 20th September
Trapunto Quilting. 1st November
6th December. Rescheduled for 13th December
New dressmaking class starting in August
(content of workshops TBC but suitable for all levels)
I’ve been asked many times over the last year why there is has been such a growth in people wanting to learn to sew. I can’t tell you what everyone’s motivation is, but I know at first hand just how excited people are when they make something for the first time. The sense of satisfaction is huge.
It is like baking a difficult cake and getting to eat it EVERY DAY. You make something amazing then it lasts forever. You learn a skill that will grow with you and enable you to carry on making amazing things that you are enormously proud of and that you loved making.
You learn a skill for life that you can pass on.
You get to wear something totally unique like a skirt made from 1960s curtains.
Or an apron for your husband with skulls and roses on.
Or a gorgeous handbag. (This really was her first time sewing).
You might want to learn to sew to make your own curtains, to make fabulous cushions, to make your own clothes, to make quilts for new babies, to make lovely handbags, to make your own wedding dress. All these things, and more, are possible with a little bit of knowledge, some new-found confidence in using a sewing machine and a little bit of fabric (although I recommend a LOT of fabric).
My Learn To Sew workshops get you set up and ready to sew with confidence. The groups are small (no more than 6) so you get plenty of help and also have a nice social time with other equally-scared-but-excited new sewists while you share tea and biscuits. I use a variety of machines (old and older) and there is nothing scary about them at all – they won’t whizz away without you and unless you try very hard, you won’t break them. I will tell you all about the kind of fabrics you are best to start sewing with, so you won’t end up having any polyester-satin-related tears when you are sewing on your own. During the class you will learn how to prepare, measure and cut fabric properly so your sewing isn’t wonky and you will – I PROMISE – come out with a finished cushion cover at the end of the session. In just 2.5 hours you will learn how to sew and the world will be your oyster. Or fabric shop.
Learn to Sew workshops are suitable for anyone who has never sewn before or has used a sewing machine a little and wants more tuition. This class is also good for those who are very rusty but if you can already sew in a straight line, try one of my other classes such as dressmaking or bags. Anyone over 12 is welcome to come to my workshops. You don’t need to bring a sewing machine or anything else – you can buy fabric from me; either some cheap and cheerful upcycled curtains, or maybe organic cotton or a special vintage fabric.
What you say:
“I recently attended an afternoon group course at the Ruth Singer Studio & came away with not only a gorgeous cushion cover, but much sought after new skills! Ruth is organised, friendly & clear and was on hand throughout the whole sewing process to ensure I fully understood what I was doing. I really enjoyed myself & would definitely attend another – today cushion covers, tomorrow the world!”
Top tips for starting to sew
3. Use good tools. It is worth spending a bit of money on good scissors rather than trying to cut fabric out with blunt kitchen scissors! Ruth Singer Studio sells carefully-selected haberdashery and tools that are just right for all levels of sewing skills. Sewing scissors are just £10. Other shops in the city are listed on my Leicester sewing resources guide here,
4. Go to a class or buy a book. I would say this of course! But I do speak from experience as a self-taught stitcher, I have learned an awful lot over the years from other professionals and from good books. Everyone needs some guidance, although you will learn a lot by making it up as you go along too! My sewing techniques book Sew It Up is a comprehensive manual of techniques and gets pretty rave reviews on Amazon and on Good Reads (The Sewing Bible is the American version but it is the same book). You can buy a copy direct from me or from any good book shop.
But what next?
Confidence is the next step to developing your sewing skills, and you only develop confidence by practice! The workshops listed below are perfect for improvers to move on to. Full details and booking information on all the workshop is here.
Tuesday 25th June, 6.30-8.30pm
£25 including materials
Learn how to make a gorgeous pleated purse with a traditional clasp.
Taught by Heather French
6 places only
Creative, enjoyable and stress‐free hen parties at Ruth Singer’s beautiful studio
From £25 per person for half a day, £50 for a full day
Parties for 6‐15 people available for evenings or weekends
We can come to you too if you have a suitable space
Activities include Corsages and fabric flowers, textile jewellery, pincushions, tea cosies, lampshade restyle, embellished undies or garments, bag‐making and more.
Contact me for more information
CRUNCH ::: CRAFT LUNCH
Makers’ Yard, new designer-maker studios in Leicester. FINALLY.
It has been a long wait from this:
Almost 2 years ago, I heard about the conversion of an old hosiery factory in Leicester’s cultural quarter that would become dedicated designer-maker studio space. I signed up immediately. It has taken rather a lot longer than anticipated & I’ve had two temporary studios in between (not fun) but finally, it is ready. I dropped off a load of furniture that I just collected from my Grandad’s house and one of the builders commented that it looked like it belonged there. And so it does.
I’ve got the ground floor, front studio with windows onto the street, so people can find me easily but the other studio spaces are perhaps even better; the rest are mostly bigger and the upstairs ones have fantastic light. I have to say that I am looking forward to a ground floor studio, for the first time ever, in 7 years… no more lugging teaching and exhibition stuff up and down lifts, stairs and corridors to the car! If you fancy a bit of studio space at Makers’s Yard, the details are here. I’m sure photos of the finished spaces will be up on the website soon.
Makers’ Yard is going to change Leicester’s craft landscape. We’ve long needed a dedicated space for makers and I am delighted to be part of it. I’ve helped specify the fit out in some of the spaces, including my own (very pleased about my extra door!) and was involved in the naming and brand identity of the building. I’ve been on several visits and had my face plastered all over the local papers several times. Sorry folks.
I’m running a craft social on Saturday 2nd March where you can come along with your sewing, knitting, beading, origami or whatever, and enjoy a nice afternoon with like-minded people, with tea & cake. And guess what….the heating is really effective! A studio-dream-come-true.
If you want to see the whole building, you’ll have to wait until 20th April when there is a full open studios with the whole building, plus events and fun stuff.