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April Classes at The Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead!

We are all loving our new studio in our lovely West Hampstead shop! Its is the perfect place to work! Our April schedule is jam packed with a huge range of classes, for every level, interest, and schedule!

New this month we have our first Make Like a Boss event with with the lovely ladies from The Fold Line! Make Like a Boss is a networking series for creative small businesses. Each free event will feature a Q&A with a small business owner followed by drinks and time to hang out, chat and meet new people! Our first event is on Wednesday, 26 April at 7pm. You can find out more about Make Like a Boss here, and sign up for the event in our shop here or on Eventbrite!

Make Like a Boss with the Fold Line

Our Knit Nights on Thursdays are proving very popular too. Come along with your knitting or handwork project and have a good natter! Need a little extra help with a knitting project? Why not join us on Thursday 27 April, 6:30pm – 9pm where our teacher Renee Callahan will be joining us for a free drop in clinic. She will spend an hour talking about knitting in the round followed by a clinic where you’ll be able to get expert help with your knitting challenges!

Thursday Knit Night

Read on to find out what else we have planned for April or browse all of our classes here.

Fitting for Beginners with Charlotte Newland
Saturday, 1 April, and Sunday, 2 April, 10am – 5pm (£195)

Have your previous attempts at dressmaking been disappointing? Patterns are designed to fit an imaginary woman, but we are real people with different body types and shapes. We will use the Emery pattern to make a beautiful, well-fitting dress in the fabric of your choice. Taught over two full days, you will learn to make clothes that fit and flatter your body by taking accurate measurements and altering the pattern before even cutting the fabric. You will make a test garment (muslin) to check and adjust fit, before finally sewing a gorgeous dress made to fit and flatter your body. This class will cover taking accurate measurements, basic pattern adjustments (blending between sizes, bust adjustments, lengthening/shortening), evaluating fit, sewing a garment. Find out more and sign up here

Fitting for Beginners with Charlotte Newland

Paper Flower Making with Nancy Straughan
Monday, 3 April, 6:30pm – 9pm (£40)

Learn how to make three types of flowers completely from paper in this special paper craft workshop. Nancy Straughan will teach you everything there is to know about crafting paper flowers and how to manipulate a simple piece of paper into the prettiest bouquet. Find out more and sign up here.

Paper Flower Making with Nancy Straughan

Sew a Tote Bag with Judith Dahmen
Tuesday, 4 April, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

In this class you’ll learn to sew a simple tote bag that can be used as a shopping tote or beach bag! You’ll learn to sew a bag with a lining or french seams (your choice!), how to box corners and how to make and attach bag straps and will leave with a fun and handy tote bag. A perfect for class for first-time-sewers or those who want a sewing machine refresher! Find out more and sign up here.

Sew a Tote Bag with Judith Dahmen

Learn to Knit with Renée Callahan
Wednesday, 5 April, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45) or
Wednesday, 26 April, 10:30am – 1:30pm (£45)

Do you want to learn to knit or need a refresher on the basics? This class is for you! In this class, experienced knitting teacher and knitwear pattern designer Renée Callahan will start from the very beginning and cover everything you need to know to get started knitting: knit stitch, purl stitch, casting on and off. All materials are included. Find our more and sign up here.

Learn to Knit with Renee Callahan

This is a Sewing Machine with Lisa Falconer
Wednesday, 5 April, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45) or
Tuesday, 18 April, 10am – 1pm (£45)

This class will introduce aspiring stitchers – or those who need a refresher – how to use a sewing machine! In this comprehensive three hour class, you’ll get sewing machine-savvy and leave with enough knowledge and confidence to start making your own projects at home! Find out more and sign up here.

This is a Sewing Machine with Lisa Falconer

English Paper Piecing with Jenny Haynes
Friday, 7 April, 6pm – 9pm (£45)

Learn how to hand-piece beautifully using an English Paper Piecing technique. In this class our teacher Jenny Haynes will teach you the basics of English Paper Piecing and how to sew pieced shapes, both straight and curved, by hand whilst creating a beautiful little pin cushion or pouch to show off your new skills! Find out more and sign up here.

English Paper Piecing with Jenny Haynes

Sunflower Cushion with Jenny Haynes
Sunday, 9 April, 10am – 4pm (£95)

Conquer curved piecing and learn to machine-sew beautiful curves in this inspiring class! Our teacher, Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten, will teach you how to cut, sew and press curves and create your own curvy quilted Sunflower Cushion by using her no-pin technique and custom Drunkards Path templates. Find out more and sign up here.

Sunflower Cushion with Jenny Haynes

Block Printing for Beginners with Nancy Straughan
Monday, 10 April, 6:30pm – 9pm (£45)

You will learn the art of block printing using professional printmaking tools in this special printmaking class. Block printing has been practiced for hundreds of years and Nancy will make it easy for you to achieve a set of traditionally printed napkins, tea towel or tote bag for you to take home with you. You will have a chance to mix your own professional fabric paint and learn how to build a beautiful printing block that will achieve a similar look to Indian block printed fabrics. This really is a fantastic class where you learn skills that will really inspire you to get creative with printing. Find out more and sign up here.

Block Printing for Beginners with Nancy Straughan

Japanese Bookbinding with Nancy Straughan
Tuesday, 11 April, 6:30pm – 8:30pm (£35)

This class will guide you through the beautiful art of Japanese binding stitch techniques so you can create your very own book to take home.  All materials will be supplied so you can create your own soft cover book to take home with you. Find out more and sign up here.

Japanese Bookbinding with Nancy Straughan

Guided Studio Time with Charlotte Newland
Thursday, 13 April, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£50)

Want help with a dressmaking or quilting project or just want to sew in a social setting and pick up a few tips along the way? Our Guided Studio Time sessions were created for you to work on the project of your choice with the help of our talented instructor. You’re welcome to bring a project at any stage of completion for help. Find our more and sign up here.

Guided Studio Time with Charlotte Newland

Brush Lettering Workshop with Emma Block
Wednesday, 19 April, 6:30pm – 9pm (£60)

Taught by illustrator Emma Block, this contemporary brush lettering workshop will focus on developing skills and learning techniques allowing you to grow in confidence and start to develop your own brush lettering style. We’ll start with exercises to practice making shapes, creating lines of different thicknesses and using different brushstrokes. You’ll then practice writing the alphabet, words and phrases with plenty of help and guidance on hand. You will be given a complete set of materials which you can take away after class, including guide sheets, a brush and a pot of indian ink. Plus you’ll learn how to photograph your brush lettering using just your iPhone to create a unique piece of digital artwork! Find our more and sign up here.

Brush Lettering Workshop with Emma Block

Introduction to Free Motion Quilting with Trudi Wood
Saturday, 22 April, 10am – 4pm (£80)

Join experienced Free Motion Quilter Trudi Wood in a hands on class to learn (or build on your) free motion quilting skills. Focussing on technique, this class will show you how to set yourself up for success by sharing tips and simple designs which will enable you to finish a project without unpicking or throwing it out of the window! Find our more and sign up here.

Introduction to Free Motion Quilting with Trudi Wood

Sew a Pair of Ginger Jeans with Charlotte Newland
Sunday, April 23, Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, 10am – 5pm (£295)

Have you ever dreamed of sewing yourself a pair of great-fitting jeans? The idea of sewing jeans can be intimidating for even the most experienced dressmakers, but in this class our talented teacher will guide you through every step, from trouser-fitting to inserting a zip-fly to top-stitching to installing jeans hardware. Find out more and sign up here.

Sew a Pair of Ginger Jeans with Charlotte Newland

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy with Suzie Dicker
Tuesday, 25 April, 6:30pm – 9pm (£60)

Modern calligraphy is perfect for all; its relaxed approach enhances your natural hand writing style to create a unique and beautiful lettering form that is totally individual. Led by Suzie Dicker, founder of luxury stationery brand A L’aise, this beginner’s workshop will guide you through making your first stroke to writing beautiful quotes that will be lovely enough to hang on your wall at home! Whether you are a bride-to-be wanting to learn so you can address your wedding invitation envelopes, or you are the creative sort wanting to learn a new skill; this class is the one for you! Find our more and sign up here.

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy with Suzie Dicker

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Meet our Teachers: Elspeth Jackson, rag rugging

We are so excited to welcome Elspeth Jackson to our West Hampstead shop with her rag rugging classes! Elspeth is an avid crafter and she teaches craft-lovers all across the UK how to make beautiful rag rugs and upcycled pieces for the home. She is a regular in craft magazines at home and abroad.

Her first class with us is on Saturday, 20 May, 10am – 4pm and you can find out more and sign up here!

Rag Rugging with Elspeth Jackson

For those who haven’t heard about rag rugging before could you tell us a little about how it works?

Rag rugging is a very old British craft that involves turning old clothing and fabric offcuts into cosy rugs and other homeware. Absolutely any material can be used which means finding fabric is as easy as rummaging through your wardrobe or fabric hoard (it’s the ultimate thrifty craft!). Crafters who try rag rugging are always astounded by how easy it is to do – it’s done using a latch hook and hessian base and is extremely easy to pick up. Try it and you’ll soon be hooked.

Rag Rugging Class with Elspeth Jackson at The Village Haberdashery

I believe you have been rag rugging from a young age, how did you first discover this fun craft?

Every year my school used to put on a “Recycled Fashion Show” where thestudents had to make costumes out of recycled materials. My mum had been making beautiful rag rugs out of old clothing for years and I thought it would be a great medium for my outfit. My masterpiece took hours to make, weighed a tonne and was baking hot under the catwalk spotlights but won me a prize. By then I had caught the rag rug bug! Afterwards I began making rag rugs for myself and eventually for other people. My core rag rug pieces are for sale on my website (www.raggedlife.com) but I also undertake commissions for custom-made pieces. My mother is the original rag rug guru. I’ve learned new techniques, tips and tricks over the years but without my mum’s patience when I was learning as a youngster, Ragged Life would not exist today.

Rag Rugging Class with Elspeth Jackson at The Village Haberdashery

Is it just rugs that you can create with the technique or is it possible to create other items also?

One of the things I love most about rag rugging is how versatile it is. You don’t need to start out by making something large like a rug. Pretty much anything can be rag rugged… bunting, cushions, jam jar covers, pouffes, shopping bags… you name it, I’ve probably rag rugged it. I recommend that beginners start with a smaller project to get their confidence up before jumping into one of the large projects and I’ve got plenty of smaller projects in my new book “Rag Rugs, Pillows & More”.

Rag Rugging Class with Elspeth Jackson at The Village Haberdashery

Your book ‘Rag Rugs, Pillows & More’ looks great! How did you find the writing process?

I really enjoyed making the rag rug projects for “Rag Rugs, Pillows & More” but the writing process took a little getting used to. Generally when I embark on a new project I make up the steps and design as I go along (I’m self-taught and I’m pretty sure I’m the first person to ever try rag rugging certain items) so it was a bit of a learning curve remembering to write down exactly what I was doing as and when I did it. Once I got into the rhythm I found the writing really flowed. In many ways, it was easy to write the technique and design sections of the book because I knew what questions people would ask from the many workshops I’ve run. I’m already thinking about what projects I would put into my next book!

Rag Rugging Class with Elspeth Jackson at The Village Haberdashery

A lot of crafters dream of turning their hobby into a full time job. How did you know the time was right for you to take that step?

Although I’ve always made rag rugs, it wasn’t until 2014 that I took theleap of faith to make my passion, my work. In fact, most people are very surprised when they learn that I did Geography at university, not an art or textile degree. After university, I went straight to work for Unilever in London. I worked in Marketing for three years, working on incredible brands, including Persil, Flora and Lynx. Although I enjoyed what I did, I knew deep down that working for a large company just wasn’t for me. I knew the time was right to launch Ragged Life after noticing how many people wereinterested in learning how to rag rug. There were very few rag rug “experts” out there to teach and lots of crafty people looking to learn. I’d been looking for a creative outlet for a while so it was the perfect opportunity and timing.

Rag Rugging Class with Elspeth Jackson at The Village Haberdashery

Other than rag rugging what other crafts do you enjoy? Do you find time to craft for yourself as well as work?

Like most crafty people, I just love making things. I flit from one craft to another and have tried everything from modern calligraphy and pottery to cross stitch and lampshade making over the years. Aside from rag rugging, I love to crochet – I’m not the most competent at it but I do love hoarding wool and making snoods. I’m lucky that I still really enjoy rag rugging. I’ve come across some people who have fallen out of love with their craft after making it their career. Fortunately that’s no the case with me and there’s nothing I’d rather do on a lazy sunday afternoon.

Rag Rugging Class with Elspeth Jackson at The Village Haberdashery

We are so excited for your classes in our new shop…what can the students expect?

Most of all students can expect to have lots of fun! We’ll be learning both the main rag rug techniques (loopy and shaggy) before applying them to one of a number of projects (a cushion, rug, shopping bag or wreath, for example). They’ll be plenty of 1-2-1 help and useful sections on designing for rag rug, hemming of hessian and finishing your pieces properly. I can’t wait to teach you!

Rag Rugging Class with Elspeth Jackson at The Village Habershashery

Thank you Elspeth!

You can also find Elspeth on on Instagram, find her website and check out her upcoming classes here!

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March classes at The Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead

Our March schedule is filled with such a fun range of classes, for every level, interest, and schedule! The studio in our new shop at West Hampstead Square is filled with natural light and is such an inspiring place to learn. Plus, we’re now just steps from the West Hampstead underground, overground and Thameslink stations.

Plus, we started up our Knit Night last Thursday, so you can come in with your knitting or handwork project and work on it in a social setting. Last week kicked this event off with these super fun ladies and we’re hoping the group will continue to grow!

Knit Night at The Village Haberdashery

And on Thursday evenings after 6pm when we don’t have Guided Studio Time with Charlotte Newland or one of our upcoming Free Knitting Clinics with Renee Callahan scheduled, you’ll also be able to book a place in our sewing studio and sew for half price (£4 per hour)!

Read on to find out what we have planned for March or browse all of our classes here.

Zippered Pouches with Judith Dahmen

One evening: Tuesday, 7 March, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

In this class we’ll take the fear out of sewing zips by making handy flat bottom pouches! In under three hours you’ll be sewing zips like a pro and addicted to making these cute bags. Find out more and sign up here.

Zip Pouches with Judith Dahmen

Create Your Own Stationery with Nancy Straughan

One evening: Wednesday, 8 March, 6:30pm – 9pm (£35)

In this special paper craft workshop you will be taught two techniques so you can learn how to personalise your own greetings cards, envelopes and paper to create a beautiful collection of designed stationery. In this class you will take away a collection of handmade greetings cards, envelopes, gift tags and loose paper sheets to give to loved ones or decorate your home. Specifically, this class will cover dip-dying and paper embossing techniques. Find out more and sign up here.

Create Your Own Stationery with Nancy Straughan

Sew a T-Shirt with Rachel Pinheiro

One morning: Saturday, 11 March, 10am – 1:30pm (£60)

In this essential class, you’ll learn to sew a t-shirt in your choice of style using a knit fabric! The class will cover everything you need to know about sewing knits on a home sewing machine, including tricks for getting professional-looking necklines, sleeves and hems. You will also have the opportunity to try out an overlocker and use a twin needle to finish your t-shirt. For this class you get to choose from the Grainline Lark (pictured), the Megan Nielsen Briar and the Cashmerette Concord. Find out more and sign up here.

Sew a T-Shirt with Rachel Pinheiro

 

Dressmaking 101 with Charlotte Newland

One day: Sunday, 12 March, 10am – 5pm (£95)

Would you love to make clothes but find patterns impossible to understand? This one-day class will demystify the dressmaking process, using the Zinnia pattern to make a beautiful skirt in the fabric of your choice. You will learn standard sewing terms and techniques that you can apply to other patterns and gain the confidence to sew your own clothes. This class will cover taking accurate measurements, accurate cutting and invisible zip insertion. Find out more and sign up here.

Dressmaking 101 with Charlotte Newland

Screen Printing for Beginners with Nancy Straughan

One evening: Wednesday, 15 March, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

In this workshop you will learn how to print and make your own silk screen from scratch! Using silk organza fabric and embroidery hoops you will be taught all the ins and outs of the screen printing process. You will have a chance to mix your own professional fabric paint to print a personalised tea towel, set of napkins or tote bag to take home with you! This really is a fantastic class where you learn not one but three skills that will really inspire you to get creative. Find out more and sign up here.

Screen Printing for Beginners with Nancy Straughan

Introduction to Bias Tape Appliqué

One evening: Friday, 17 March, 6pm – 9pm (£45)

Bias tape appliqué is an easy way to create curves without piecing! In this fun one-evening class, Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten will talk you through how to cut, shape and machine-sew curves using bias tape and sew a handy zip pouch in the process. Find out more and sign up here

Introduction to Bias Appliqué with Jenny Haynes

Improvisational Patchwork with Jenny Haynes

Saturday, 18 March, 10am – 4pm (£95)

In this exciting class we will explore different ways to use pieced strips in improvised patchwork, how to cut and assemble strips of fabric and different effects you can achieve with stripes. Depending on your level and pace, you’ll finish a quilt top for a lap or baby-sized quilt or you can use your work as the start of a bigger quilt to finish at home. Plus, you’ll leave class full of inspiration and with a new foundation for bringing your own unique style into your quilting. Find out more and sign up here.

Improvisational Patchwork with Jenny Haynes

Circles Four Ways with Jenny Haynes

One day: Sunday, 19 March, 10am – 4pm (£95)

Take your quilting to the next level with four new techniques for machine and hand-piecing curves! In this class we’ll cover needle applique, bias binding, EPP and the six-minute circle. Students can choose to make four different blocks of follow our teacher Jenny Haynes’ pattern for using all four techniques in one block! Find out more and sign up here.

Circles Four Ways with Jenny Haynes

This is a Sewing Machine with Lisa Falconer

One morning: Tues, 21 March, 10am – 1pm (£45)
OR One evening: Weds, 5 April, 6:45pm – 9:45pm (£45)

This class will introduce aspiring stitchers – or those who need a refresher – how to use a sewing machine! In this comprehensive three hour class, you’ll get sewing machine-savvy and leave with enough knowledge and confidence to start making your own projects at home! You’ll learn everything there is to know about owning, operating and maintaining a sewing machine and we’ll practise each element to ensure that the methods stay in your mind after the class. Find out more and sign up here.

This is a Sewing Machine with Lisa Falconer

Introduction to Macrame: Wall-Hanging with Susana Cunha

One morning: Saturday, 25 March, 10:30am – 12:30pm (£45)

Macrame is a form of textile-making that uses knots rather than weaving or knitting. In this class you’ll learn macrame basics, including how to get started, how to create square knots, how to use knots to create a pattern and how to customise or design your own pattern for future projects. You’ll leave class with a beautiful wall-hanging made from recycled t-shirt yarn and hand-collected local wood…and an addictive new hobby! Find out more and sign up here.

Introduction to Modern Macrame with Susana Cunha

A Special Event with Cloud9 Fabrics

One morning: Sunday, 26 March, 11am – 12:30pm (Free!)

We are delighted to welcome Cloud9 co-founders Gina Pantastico and Michelle Bencsko back to the shop! Cloud9 is one of the fastest growing organic fabric companies in the industry. Have you ever wondered what it means to buy organic fabric? Gina will give a talk on the difference between organic and conventional fabric manufacturing and its impact on the environment and your health. Plus, Michelle will share a preview of all of the upcoming collections and there will be drinks and nibbles and a 10% discount on Cloud9 fabrics. The event is free but please RSVP online or to [email protected]

Gina and Michelle from Cloud9 Fabrics

Make a Leather (or Vegan Leather) Keychain or Wallet with Nancy Straughan

One evening: Tuesday, 28 March, 6:30pm – 9pm (£40)

Join designer Nancy Straughan to learn how to work with leather and make your own beautiful accessories! In just a few hours, you’ll walk away with an enviable wallet or keyring that will look as though you bought them from your favourite fancy store. Learn to work with leather and metal hardware to leave with skills that will make it simple for you to make your own leather goods at home. A selection of high quality beautiful coloured leathers and faux leather will be provided and no experience is necessary. Find out more and sign up here.

Make a Leather Key Chain or Wallet with Nancy Straughan

Stencil Printing for Beginners with Nancy Straughan

One evening: Wednesday, 29 March, 6:30pm – 9pm (£45)

In this workshop you will learn how to design, cut and print with your very own stencils from scratch. You will learn how to design a motif suitable for printing and use that design to create a repeat pattern. You will also be taught how to correctly cut out professional stencils to hand print your own beautiful tea towel, set of napkins or tote bag to take home with you! Plus, you’ll have a chance to blend your own professional fabric paint. Find out more and sign up here.

stencilled-cushion

Crochet Basket Workshop with Rachel Rogers

One evening: Wednesday, 29 March, 6:30pm – 9:00pm (£45)

Learn to crochet while creating a fun and endlessly useful crochet basket out of recycled t-shirt yarn! This class will introduce you to the basics of crochet, how to follow a crochet pattern, how to change colours and how to finish a crochet project. All materials are included in the class fee.

Crochet Basket Workshop

Guided Studio Time with Charlotte Newland

One evening: Thurs, 30 March, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£50)

Want help with a dressmaking or quilting project or just want to sew in a social setting and pick up a few tips along the way? Our Guided Studio Time sessions were created for you to work on the project of your choice with the help of our talented instructor. You’re welcome to bring a project at any stage of completion for help. Find out more and sign up here.

Guided Studio Time with Charlotte Newland

Learn to Knit with Renee Callahan

One evening: Wednesday, 5 April, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

Do you want to learn to knit or need a refresher on the basics? This class is for you! In this class, experienced knitting teacher and knitwear pattern designer Renée Callahan will start from the very beginning and cover everything you need to know to get started knitting: knit stitch, purl stitch, casting on and off. All materials are included.

Learn to Knit with Renee Callahan

For kids!

After School Craft Club with Caroline Garcia

Six Thursday afternoons: Spring Term B runs 23 February to 30 March, 4:30-5:30pm, (£75)

In our After School Craft Club for kids age 6+ we’ll experiment with a different craft activity each week! We will cover crafts like embroidery, stamping, card making, fabric painting, mask-making (for Halloween!) and more. Class fee includes all materials. No need to bring anything except your creativity! Find out more and sign up here.

Craft Club with Caroline Garcia

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Meet our teachers: Nancy Straughan, printmaking, paper crafts and more

Nancy Straughan is teaching so many exciting classes in our new shop in March and April, from screen printing to leatherwork to stationery design! We are thrilled to have her on our team and to be able to offer you loads of new ways to inspire your creativity in fun, beginner-friendly, one-evening classes. Nancy spends her days producing beautiful homewear and accessories crafted from her own range of organic printed fabrics inspired by the motifs seen in Scandinavian and 1960s textiles. Read on to find out more about Nancy and browse all of her upcoming classes here.

Nancy Straughan

Tell us about yourself and your business!

Well I live in lovely North London and I’m a pattern designer. I work as a freelance designer but I also design for my own homeware business too.

Nancy Straughan

Have you always wanted to work for yourself and how did you make that happen?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do until I graduated university. I thought I wanted to work in the fashion industry but after doing a few internships I realised it wasn’t for me. I organically set up my own business which started with me selling my fabrics on Etsy and it’s grown from there. I have been running my brand for the past five years and It has taken a lot of trial and error, however I feel now that I have finally cracked It and I know exactly what I want my brand to be!

Nancy Straughan

Your textiles are gorgeous. How would you describe your aesthetic and your design process? Is textile design the main part of your business?

Thank you! I’m very inspired by the 1960s and Scandinavian design. My work has a lot of texture which is important as I don’t like my designs to feel flat and lifeless. I always start my work with some sketches or paper cutouts which I will then scan into my computer and edit on photoshop. I’ve recently been exploring more painterly textures and I have become obsessed with watercolours!

Nancy Straughan

You’ve worked with some really well-known clients, including Marks and Spencer, Tommy Hilfiger, Debenhams and Graham & Brown wallpapers. Do you have any advice for designers who are trying to strike up collaborations with major brands?

Working with brands is a real mix of hard work and luck. I recommend having a really good and diverse portfolio online, so on a blog or a more professional website. Social media has been a really important part of my business too and I’m lucky that my Instagram following has been rapidly growing over the past few years. I find that Instagram in particular is a great free resource to show your work and also get feedback from potential customers too. Some designers have an agent who will send work to clients but I prefer to do all that work myself as I’m quite a control freak!

Nancy Straughan

When your work is creative, do you find any time for creative projects that aren’t for your business or do you pursue other hobbies in your down time? And do you have down time?!

I try to paint and draw something at least twice a week. I regularly meet up with my fiance in the pub after work to do a little bit of writing, reading or drawing which really helps to separate my mind from all the other creative work I have going on with clients. Whenever I get stressed from all the admin work I grab a sketchbook and some paints and spend 10 or 15 minutes doing something creative.

Nancy Straughan

You are going to be teaching so many different projects at The Village Haberdashery. Where did you learn to do all of these crafts?

I used to manage a creative events company, It was my job to organise a lot of the creative events for the V&A and Natural History museums so I had to be skilled in a lot of different crafts. I’ve always been very creative and I would much rather try and make something myself rather than buying it. Crafting is all about trying something new and having fun, even if it fails at least you’ve done something creative for yourself!

Nancy Straughan

Are there any crafts you’re dying to try, but haven’t had a chance yet?

I would absolutely love to learn more about leathercraft and more professional bookbinding techniques. I also really interested in traditional paper marbelling, It looks like magic!

Nancy Straughan

Who do you love to follow on Instagram? Do you have any favourite podcasts?

I tend to follow a lot of other bloggers and creative people on Instagram a view of my favourite people are @hanbullivant, @thelovelydrawer and @peggyandkate . With regards to your podcasts I am hugely into true crime so at the moment I am listening to Criminal and In The Dark which are both beautifully produced if not a little creepy!

Want more Nancy? You can follow her on Instagram, find her website and take a class with her!

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February and March classes at The Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead!

In case you missed it, we moved our shop to a bigger, brighter new space at West Hampstead Square! Our new shop is just steps from the West Hampstead underground, overground and Thameslink stations and we have a beautiful new studio for our classes. And wow, do we have a packed class schedule for you! We’ve added new classes in print making, paper crafts, book binding, leather work and so much more.

Plus, we’ll be starting up our Knit Night again on Thursdays starting 2 March, so you can come in with your knitting or handwork project and work on it in a social setting. And on the Thursday evenings after 6pm when we don’t have Guided Studio Time with Charlotte Newland scheduled, you’ll also be able to book a place in our sewing studio and sew for half price (£4 per hour)!

Have a look at what we’ve got on the calendar! What will you learn? Read on or browse all of our classes here.

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy with Suzie Dicker

One evening: Tuesday, 7 February, 6:30pm – 9pm (£60)

Modern calligraphy is perfect for all; its relaxed approach enhances your natural hand writing style to create a unique and beautiful lettering form that is totally individual. Led by Suzie Dicker, founder of luxury stationery brand A L’aise, this beginner’s workshop will guide you through making your first stroke to writing beautiful quotes that will be lovely enough to hang on your wall at home! Whether you are a bride-to-be wanting to learn so you can address your wedding invitation envelopes, or you are the creative sort wanting to learn a new skill; this class is the one for you! Find out more and sign up here.

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy with Suzie Dicker

Free Motion Quilting with Trudi Woods

One day: Saturday, 11 February, 10am – 4pm (£80)

Join experienced Free Motion Quilter Trudi Wood in a hands on class to learn (or build on your) free motion quilting skills. Focussing on technique, this class will show you how to set yourself up for success by sharing tips and simple designs which will enable you to finish a project without unpicking or throwing it out of the window! Find out more and sign up here.

Free Motion Quilting with Trudi Woods

February Half Term Craft Club with Caroline Garcia

Runs daily from 13 – 17 February, 10:30am – 11:30am (£50)

In our Half Term Craft Club we’ll experiment with a different craft activity each day! We will cover crafts like embroidery, stamping, card making, fabric painting, seasonal decorations and more. Class fee includes all materials. No need to bring anything except your creativity! There is a 10% discount for sibling bookings. Please drop in or contact us to book siblings, or contact us after booking online to request the discount as a refund. It is possible to drop in for a single class, but we need to know at least 24 hours in advance in order to prepare materials. Find out more and sign up here.

Craft Club with Caroline Garcia

Introduction to Modern Weaving with Amy Ilić

One morning: Wednesday, 15 February, 10:30am – 2:30pm (£75)

In this inspiring workshop, experienced weaver Amy Ilić will teach you how to make your own woven wall hanging using a table/lap loom! You will learn how to set up your loom, make knots to start and end your weaving and use weaving tools. You will play with texture and colour through different techniques including Rya knots (tassels), twining, soumak, and learn how to add a 3D sculptural element to your weaving. You will leave class confident to set up and weave on your own and with your own gorgeous hand-woven wall hanging that you can put up in your home or give away as a generous handmade gift! Find out more and sign up here.

Introduction to Modern Weaving with Amy Ilić

Sew a Handmade Wardrobe with Rachel Pinheiro

Six evenings: Mondays, 20 and 27 February and 6, 13, 20, 27 March, 6pm – 9pm (£265)

In this exciting class you’ll learn all the skills you need to begin sewing your own clothes! Over the six week course, we’ll make three wardrobe staples – a top, a skirt and a shift dress – in your choice of style. We’ll cover fabric selection, working with a commercial pattern, cutting your fabric, fitting, construction and finishing techniques. This class is designed for competent sewers who are ready to dive into garment sewing. Find out more and sign up here.

Sew a Handmade Wardrobe with Rachel Pinheiro

This is a Sewing Machine with Lisa Falconer

One morning: Tues, 21 February, 10am – 1pm (£45)
One evening: Weds, 1 March, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)
One morning: Tues, 21 March, 10am – 1pm (£45)

This class will introduce aspiring stitchers – or those who need a refresher – how to use a sewing machine! In this comprehensive three hour class, you’ll get sewing machine-savvy and leave with enough knowledge and confidence to start making your own projects at home! You’ll learn everything there is to know about owning, operating and maintaining a sewing machine and we’ll practise each element to ensure that the methods stay in your mind after the class. Find out more and sign up here.

This is a Sewing Machine with Lisa Falconer

Learn to Make a Quilt with Judith Dahmen

Four evenings: Tuesdays, 21 and 28 February and 14 and 21 March, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£165)

In this four-evening course you will learn all the techniques that are required to make a quilt starting from the design process to piecing, machine or hand quilting and finishing with the all important binding that gives the quilt its frame. At the end of the course, you’ll leave with a gorgeous finished lap or baby-sized quilt. Find out more and sign up here.

Learn to Make a Quilt with Judith Dahmen

After School Craft Club with Caroline Garcia

Six Thursday afternoons: Spring Term B runs 23 February to 30 March, 4:30-5:30pm, (£75)

In our After School Craft Club for kids age 6+ we’ll experiment with a different craft activity each week! We will cover crafts like embroidery, stamping, card making, fabric painting, mask-making (for Halloween!) and more. Class fee includes all materials. No need to bring anything except your creativity! Find out more and sign up here.

Craft Club with Caroline Garcia

Introduction to Foundation Paper Piecing with Jenny Haynes

One evening: Friday, 24 February, 6pm – 9pm (£45)

This one-evening course is an introduction into the mystery called Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP)! This technique is used to piece precise shapes by sewing your fabric onto a printed paper template which is removed when your block is completed. In this class your teacher Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten will talk you through how to make her curved FPP boulders and give you the knowledge and confidence to explore other FPP patterns and maybe even design your very own FPP pattern! Find out more and sign up here.

Introduction to Foundation Paper Piecing with Jenny Haynes

Slalom Quilt with Jenny Haynes

One day: Saturday, 25 February, 10am – 4pm (£95)

Learn how to cut, shape and machine-sew curves with bias tape! In this class Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten will talk you through three different ways of using bias tape, discussing which technique works best for what project and how to get a neat finish. Plus, you’ll get to put your techniques to work by making a start on The Slalom Quilt. This is a quick and fun pattern that offers an easy way to create curves without piecing. Find out more and sign up here.

Slalom Quilt with Jenny Haynes

Clamshell Quilt with Jenny Haynes

One day: Sunday, 26 February, 10am – 5pm (£95)

Feeling adventurous or looking for a challenge? Learn to machine-piece beautiful curves by making a clamshell quilt! Our teacher, Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten, will teach you how to cut, sew and press curves and get you started making your own clamshell quilt top. This fun pattern is perfect for showing off favourite fabrics and looks great in solids too! Find out more and sign up here.

Clamshell Quilt with Jenny Haynes

Guided Studio Time with Charlotte Newland

One evening: Thurs, 2 March, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£50)
One evening: Thurs, 30 March, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£50)

Want help with a dressmaking or quilting project or just want to sew in a social setting and pick up a few tips along the way? Our Guided Studio Time sessions were created for you to work on the project of your choice with the help of our talented instructor. You’re welcome to bring a project at any stage of completion for help. Find out more and sign up here.

Guided Studio Time with Charlotte Newland

Zippered Pouches with Judith Dahmen

One evening: Tuesday, 7 March, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

In this class we’ll take the fear out of sewing zips by making two handy zippered pouches. One will be a simple, small flat pouch and one will be a bigger flat bottom pouch. In under three hours you’ll be sewing zips like a pro and addicted to making pouches! Find out more and sign up here.

Zip Pouches with Judith Dahmen

Create Your Own Stationery with Nancy Straughan

One evening: Wednesday, 8 March, 6:30pm – 9pm (£35)

In this special paper craft workshop you will be taught two techniques so you can learn how to personalise your own greetings cards, envelopes and paper to create a beautiful collection of designed stationery. In this class you will take away a collection of handmade greetings cards, envelopes, gift tags and loose paper sheets to give to loved ones or decorate your home. Specifically, this class will cover dip-dying and paper embossing techniques. Find out more and sign up here.

Create Your Own Stationery with Nancy Straughan

Sew a T-Shirt with Rachel Pinheiro

One morning: Saturday, 11 March, 10am – 1:30pm (£60)

In this essential class, you’ll learn to sew a t-shirt in your choice of style using a knit fabric! The class will cover everything you need to know about sewing knits on a home sewing machine, including tricks for getting professional-looking necklines, sleeves and hems. You will also have the opportunity to try out an overlocker and use a twin needle to finish your t-shirt. For this class you get to choose from the Grainline Lark (pictured), the Megan Nielsen Briar and the Cashmerette Concord. Find out more and sign up here.

Sew a T-Shirt with Rachel Pinheiro

Introduction to Macrame: Wall-Hanging with Susana Cunha

One morning: Saturday, 25 March, 10:30am – 12:30pm (£45)

Macrame is a form of textile-making that uses knots rather than weaving or knitting. In this class you’ll learn macrame basics, including how to get started, how to create square knots, how to use knots to create a pattern and how to customise or design your own pattern for future projects. You’ll leave class with a beautiful wall-hanging made from recycled t-shirt yarn and hand-collected local wood…and an addictive new hobby! Find out more and sign up here.

Introduction to Modern Macrame with Susana Cunha

Dressmaking 101 with Charlotte Newland

One day: Sunday, 12 March, 10am – 5pm (£95)

Would you love to make clothes but find patterns impossible to understand? This one-day class will demystify the dressmaking process, using the Zinnia pattern to make a beautiful skirt in the fabric of your choice. You will learn standard sewing terms and techniques that you can apply to other patterns and gain the confidence to sew your own clothes. This class will cover taking accurate measurements, accurate cutting and invisible zip insertion. Find out more and sign up here.

Dressmaking 101 with Charlotte Newland

Screen Printing for Beginners with Nancy Straughan

One evening: Wednesday, 15 March, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

In this workshop you will learn how to print and make your own silk screen from scratch! Using silk organza fabric and embroidery hoops you will be taught all the ins and outs of the screen printing process. You will have a chance to mix your own professional fabric paint to print a personalised tea towel, set of napkins or tote bag to take home with you! This really is a fantastic class where you learn not one but three skills that will really inspire you to get creative. Find out more and sign up here.

Screen Printing for Beginners with Nancy Straughan

Introduction to Bias Tape Appliqué

One evening: Friday, 17 March, 6pm – 9pm (£45)

Bias tape appliqué is an easy way to create curves without piecing! In this fun one-evening class, Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten will talk you through how to cut, shape and machine-sew curves using bias tape and sew a handy zip pouch in the process. Find out more and sign up here

Introduction to Bias Appliqué with Jenny Haynes

Improvisational Patchwork with Jenny Haynes

Saturday, 18 March, 10am – 4pm (£95)

In this exciting class we will explore different ways to use pieced strips in improvised patchwork, how to cut and assemble strips of fabric and different effects you can achieve with stripes. Depending on your level and pace, you’ll finish a quilt top for a lap or baby-sized quilt or you can use your work as the start of a bigger quilt to finish at home. Plus, you’ll leave class full of inspiration and with a new foundation for bringing your own unique style into your quilting. Find out more and sign up here.

Improvisational Patchwork with Jenny Haynes

Circles Four Ways with Jenny Haynes

One day: Sunday, 19 March, 10am – 4pm (£95)

Take your quilting to the next level with four new techniques for machine and hand-piecing curves! In this class we’ll cover needle applique, bias binding, EPP and the six-minute circle. Students can choose to make four different blocks of follow our teacher Jenny Haynes’ pattern for using all four techniques in one block! Find out more and sign up here.

Circles Four Ways with Jenny Haynes

Make a Leather (or Vegan Leather) Keychain or Wallet with Nancy Straughan

One evening: Tuesday, 28 March, 6:30pm – 9pm (£40)

Join designer Nancy Straughan to learn how to work with leather and make your own beautiful accessories! In just a few hours, you’ll walk away with an enviable wallet or keyring that will look as though you bought them from your favourite fancy store. Learn to work with leather and metal hardware to leave with skills that will make it simple for you to make your own leather goods at home. A selection of high quality beautiful coloured leathers and faux leather will be provided and no experience is necessary. Find out more and sign up here.

Make a Leather Key Chain or Wallet with Nancy Straughan

Stencil Printing for Beginners with Nancy Straughan

One evening: Wednesday, 29 March, 6:30pm – 9pm (£45)

In this workshop you will learn how to design, cut and print with your very own stencils from scratch. You will learn how to design a motif suitable for printing and use that design to create a repeat pattern. You will also be taught how to correctly cut out professional stencils to hand print your own beautiful tea towel, set of napkins or tote bag to take home with you! Plus, you’ll have a chance to blend your own professional fabric paint. Find out more and sign up here.

stencilled-cushion

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Awesome January classes that still have spaces left!

We are so thrilled with our January class schedule and there are still some awesome classes with space left in them. There are lots of new classes, including weaving, macrame, calligraphy and jeans-making! Read on to find out about all the things you can learn or browse all of our classes in the shop here.

 

English Paper Piecing: Hand Pieced Curves with Jenny Haynes
One evening: Saturday, Friday, 13 January, 6pm – 9pm (£45)

Learn how to hand-piece curves beautifully using an English Paper Piecing technique. In this class our teacher Jenny Haynes will teach you the basics of English Paper Piecing and how to sew pieced curves by hand whilst creating a beautiful little pin cushion or pouch to show off your new skills! Find out more and sign up here.

Hand-Pieced Curves with Jenny Haynes

Sunflower Cushion with Jenny Haynes
One day: Saturday, 14 January, 10am – 4pm (£95)

Conquer curved piecing and learn to machine-sew beautiful curves in this inspiring class! Our teacher, Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten, will teach you how to cut, sew and press curves and create your own curvy quilted Sunflower Cushion by using her no-pin technique and custom Drunkards Path templates. Find out more and sign up here.

Sunflower Cushion with Jenny Haynes

Improvisational Patchwork with Jenny Haynes
One day: Sunday, 15 January, 10am – 4pm (£95)

In this exciting class we will explore different ways to use pieced strips in improvised patchwork, how to cut and assemble strips of fabric and different effects you can achieve with stripes. Depending on your level and pace, you’ll finish a quilt top for a lap or baby-sized quilt or you can use your work as the start of a bigger quilt to finish at home. Plus, you’ll leave class full of inspiration and with a new foundation for bringing your own unique style into your quilting. Find out more and sign up here.

Improvisational Patchwork with jenny Haynes

Sew a T-Shirt with Rachel Pinheiro
One evening: Monday, 16 January, 6pm – 9:30pm (£60)

In this essential class, you’ll learn to sew a t-shirt in your choice of style using a knit fabric! The class will cover everything you need to know about sewing knits on a home sewing machine, including tricks for getting professional-looking necklines, sleeves and hems. You will also have the opportunity to try out an overlocker and use a twin needle to finish your t-shirt. For this class you get to choose from the Grainline Lark (pictured), the Megan Nielsen Briar and the Cashmerette Concord. Find out more and sign up here.

Grainline Lark Tee

This is a Sewing Machine with Lisa Falconer
One morning: Tuesday, 17 January, 10am – 1pm (£45)
One evening: Wednesday, 1 February, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

This class will introduce aspiring stitchers – or those who need a refresher – how to use a sewing machine! In this comprehensive three hour class, you’ll get sewing machine-savvy and leave with enough knowledge and confidence to start making your own projects at home! You’ll learn everything there is to know about owning, operating and maintaining a sewing machine and we’ll practise each element to ensure that the methods stay in your mind after the class. Find out more and sign up here.

Janome Sewing Machine

Fitting for Beginners with Charlotte Newland
Two days: Saturday, 21 January, and Sunday, 22 January, 10am – 5pm (£195)

Have your previous attempts at dressmaking been disappointing? Patterns are designed to fit an imaginary woman, but we are real people with different body types and shapes. We will use the Colette Emery pattern to make a beautiful, well-fitting summer dress in the fabric of your choice. Taught over two full days, you will learn to make clothes that fit and flatter your body by taking accurate measurements and altering the pattern before even cutting the fabric. You will make a test garment (muslin) to check and adjust fit, before finally sewing a gorgeous dress made to fit and flatter your body. This class will cover taking accurate measurements, basic pattern adjustments (blending between sizes, bust adjustments, lengthening/shortening), evaluating fit, sewing a garment. Find out more and sign up here.

Emery Dress by Christine Haynes

Introduction to Modern Weaving with Amy Ilić
One day: Saturday, 21 January, 10:30am – 2:30pm (£75) Note: Due to the popularity of this class we’ve added a weekday daytime class too, on Wednesday, 15 February, 10:30am – 2:30pm. Find it here.

Have you been coveting the gorgeous woven wall-hangings in your Instagram feed and are dying to try your hand at this beautiful craft? In this inspiring workshop, experienced weaver Amy Ilić will teach you how to make your own woven wall hanging using a table/lap loom! You will learn how to set up your loom, make knots to start and end your weaving and use weaving tools. You will play with texture and colour through different techniques including Rya knots (tassels), twining, soumak, and learn how to add a 3D sculptural element to your weaving. You will leave class confident to set up and weave on your own and with your own gorgeous hand-woven wall hanging that you can put up in your home or give away as a generous handmade gift! Find out more and sign up here.

Introduction to Modern Weaving

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy with Suzie Dicker
One evening: Tuesday, 24 January, 6:30pm – 9pm (£60)

Modern calligraphy is perfect for all; its relaxed approach enhances your natural hand writing style to create a unique and beautiful lettering form that is totally individual. Led by Suzie Dicker, founder of luxury stationery brand A L’aise, this beginner’s workshop will guide you through making your first stroke to writing beautiful quotes that will be lovely enough to hang on your wall at home! Whether you are a bride-to-be wanting to learn so you can address your wedding invitation envelopes, or you are the creative sort wanting to learn a new skill; this class is the one for you! Find out more and sign up here.

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy

Make a Baby Mobile out of Felt with Laura Howard
One day: Saturday, 28 January, 10am – 2:30pm (£55)

If you’ve ever found an awesome felt project in Mollie Makes, there is a good chance it was designed by Laura! We’re thrilled she’s joined our teaching team with some new projects designed just for our students. Make an adorable mobile for a new baby in this fun and creative class! With the help of our felt-obsessed teacher, we’ll learn to make a smiling sun, puffy clouds, rainbows and raindrops. This class does not involve sewing on a machine, so students at all levels are welcome. Find out more and sign up here.

Weather Baby Mobile with Laura Howard

Introduction to Macrame: Wall Hanging with Susana Cunha
Saturday, 28 January, 3pm – 5pm (£45)

Macrame is a form of textile-making that uses knots rather than weaving or knitting. In this class you’ll learn macrame basics, including how to get started, how to create square knots, how to use knots to create a pattern and how to customise or design your own pattern for future projects. You’ll leave class with a beautiful wall-hanging made from recycled t-shirt yarn and hand-collected local wood…and an addictive new hobby! Find out more and sign up here.

Learn Macrame

Dressmaking 101 with Charlotte Newland
One day: Sunday, 29 January, 10am – 5pm (£95)

Would you love to make clothes but find patterns impossible to understand? This one-day class will demystify the dressmaking process, using the Zinnia pattern to make a beautiful skirt in the fabric of your choice. You will learn standard sewing terms and techniques that you can apply to other patterns and gain the confidence to sew your own clothes. This class will cover taking accurate measurements, accurate cutting and invisible zip insertion. Find out more and sign up here.

Colette Zinnia Skirt

Sew an Everyday Blouse with Rachel Pinheiro
Two Evenings: Monday, 30 January and Tuesday, 31 January, 6pm – 9pm (£95)

The Everyday Blouse by Rachel Pinheiro is a modern and flattering blouse you’ll reach for again and again! It features fun details like an optional exposed side zip and a pretty neckline with subtle elastic gathers. ln this fun one-day class, Rachel, the pattern’s designer will teach you the ins and outs of blouse construction. You will learn fitting methods and step by step construction techniques, including how to set sleeves, insert a zipper and more! Find out more and sign up here.

Everyday Blouse with Rachel Pinhiero

Learn to Knit with Renée Callahan
One evening: Wednesday, 1 February, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

Do you want to learn to knit or need a refresher on the basics? This class is for you! In this one-evening class, offered monthly, experienced knitting teacher and knitwear pattern designer Renée Callahan will start from the very beginning and cover everything you need to know to get started knitting: knit stitch, purl stitch, casting on and off. Find out more and sign up here.

Yarn and Needles

Sew a Pair of Ginger Jeans with Charlotte Newland
Three days: Saturday, February 4, and Sundays, February 5 and 12, 10am – 5pm (£295)

Have you ever dreamed of sewing yourself a pair of great-fitting jeans? The idea of sewing jeans can be intimidating for even the most experienced dressmakers, but in this class our talented teacher will guide you through every step, from trouser-fitting to inserting a zip-fly to top-stitching to installing jeans hardware. The Ginger Jeans pattern from Closet Case Files is a classic 5-pocket jeans sewing pattern with a modern and flattering cut designed for stretch denim. You can choose from a comfortable low rise fit with narrow stovepipe legs or a sexy and high-waisted pair with skinny legs and a tummy-slimming pocket stay. Find out more and sign up here.

Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files

After School Craft Club with Caroline Garcia
Six Thursday afternoons: Spring Term A runs from 5 January to 9 February, 4:30-5:30pm (£75)

In our After School Craft Club for kids age 6+ we’ll experiment with a different craft activity each week! We will cover crafts like embroidery, stamping, card making, fabric painting, mask-making (for Halloween!) and more. Class fee includes all materials. No need to bring anything except your creativity! Find out more and sign up here.

Craft Club with Caroline Garcia

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January Classes at The Village Haberdashery

We are so thrilled with our January class schedule! We have lots of new classes, including weaving, macrame, calligraphy and jeans-making! Plus if all goes to plan, all of our January classes will take place in our glorious new West Hampstead Square shop. Read on to find out about all the awesome things you can learn or browse all of our classes in the shop here.

Sew a Moneta Dress with Charlotte Newland
One day: Saturday, 7 January, 10:30am – 3:30pm (£85) Our January class is now full. The next available date for this class is Saturday, 4 March, 10:30am – 3:30pm

Learn to sew with knits whilst making yourself the stylish and comfy Colette Moneta Dress! In this class we’ll cover key skills for sewing with knits on a home sewing machine, from fitting to finishing, plus you’ll learn handy techniques like how to use clear elastic for gathering. You’ll also have the opportunity to try sewing knits on an an overlocker! Find out more and sign up here.

Colette Moneta Dress

English Paper Piecing: Hand Pieced Curves with Jenny Haynes
One evening: Saturday, Friday, 13 January, 6pm – 9pm (£45)

Learn how to hand-piece curves beautifully using an English Paper Piecing technique. In this class our teacher Jenny Haynes will teach you the basics of English Paper Piecing and how to sew pieced curves by hand whilst creating a beautiful little pin cushion or pouch to show off your new skills! Find out more and sign up here.

Hand-Pieced Curves with Jenny Haynes

Sunflower Cushion with Jenny Haynes
One day: Saturday, 14 January, 10am – 4pm (£95)

Conquer curved piecing and learn to machine-sew beautiful curves in this inspiring class! Our teacher, Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten, will teach you how to cut, sew and press curves and create your own curvy quilted Sunflower Cushion by using her no-pin technique and custom Drunkards Path templates. Find out more and sign up here.

Sunflower Cushion with Jenny Haynes

Improvisational Patchwork with Jenny Haynes
One day: Sunday, 15 January, 10am – 4pm (£95)

In this exciting class we will explore different ways to use pieced strips in improvised patchwork, how to cut and assemble strips of fabric and different effects you can achieve with stripes. Depending on your level and pace, you’ll finish a quilt top for a lap or baby-sized quilt or you can use your work as the start of a bigger quilt to finish at home. Plus, you’ll leave class full of inspiration and with a new foundation for bringing your own unique style into your quilting. Find out more and sign up here.

Improvisational Patchwork with jenny Haynes

Sew a T-Shirt with Rachel Pinheiro
One evening: Monday, 16 January, 6pm – 9:30pm (£60)

In this essential class, you’ll learn to sew a t-shirt in your choice of style using a knit fabric! The class will cover everything you need to know about sewing knits on a home sewing machine, including tricks for getting professional-looking necklines, sleeves and hems. You will also have the opportunity to try out an overlocker and use a twin needle to finish your t-shirt. For this class you get to choose from the Grainline Lark (pictured), the Megan Nielsen Briar and the Cashmerette Concord. Find out more and sign up here.

Grainline Lark Tee

This is a Sewing Machine with Lisa Falconer
One morning: Tuesday, 17 January, 10am – 1pm (£45)
One evening: Wednesday, 1 February, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

This class will introduce aspiring stitchers – or those who need a refresher – how to use a sewing machine! In this comprehensive three hour class, you’ll get sewing machine-savvy and leave with enough knowledge and confidence to start making your own projects at home! You’ll learn everything there is to know about owning, operating and maintaining a sewing machine and we’ll practise each element to ensure that the methods stay in your mind after the class. Find out more and sign up here.

Janome Sewing Machine

Fitting for Beginners with Charlotte Newland
Two days: Saturday, 21 January, and Sunday, 22 January, 10am – 5pm (£195)

Have your previous attempts at dressmaking been disappointing? Patterns are designed to fit an imaginary woman, but we are real people with different body types and shapes. We will use the Colette Emery pattern to make a beautiful, well-fitting summer dress in the fabric of your choice. Taught over two full days, you will learn to make clothes that fit and flatter your body by taking accurate measurements and altering the pattern before even cutting the fabric. You will make a test garment (muslin) to check and adjust fit, before finally sewing a gorgeous dress made to fit and flatter your body. This class will cover taking accurate measurements, basic pattern adjustments (blending between sizes, bust adjustments, lengthening/shortening), evaluating fit, sewing a garment. Find out more and sign up here.

Emery Dress by Christine Haynes

Introduction to Modern Weaving with Amy Ilić
One day: Saturday, 21 January, 10:30am – 2:30pm (£75) Note: Due to the popularity of this class we’ve added a weekday daytime class too, on Wednesday, 15 February, 10:30am – 2:30pm. Find it here.

Have you been coveting the gorgeous woven wall-hangings in your Instagram feed and are dying to try your hand at this beautiful craft? In this inspiring workshop, experienced weaver Amy Ilić will teach you how to make your own woven wall hanging using a table/lap loom! You will learn how to set up your loom, make knots to start and end your weaving and use weaving tools. You will play with texture and colour through different techniques including Rya knots (tassels), twining, soumak, and learn how to add a 3D sculptural element to your weaving. You will leave class confident to set up and weave on your own and with your own gorgeous hand-woven wall hanging that you can put up in your home or give away as a generous handmade gift! Find out more and sign up here.

Introduction to Modern Weaving

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy with Suzie Dicker
One evening: Tuesday, 24 January, 6:30pm – 9pm (£60)

Modern calligraphy is perfect for all; its relaxed approach enhances your natural hand writing style to create a unique and beautiful lettering form that is totally individual. Led by Suzie Dicker, founder of luxury stationery brand A L’aise, this beginner’s workshop will guide you through making your first stroke to writing beautiful quotes that will be lovely enough to hang on your wall at home! Whether you are a bride-to-be wanting to learn so you can address your wedding invitation envelopes, or you are the creative sort wanting to learn a new skill; this class is the one for you! Find out more and sign up here.

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy

Make a Baby Mobile out of Felt with Laura Howard
One day: Saturday, 28 January, 10am – 2:30pm (£55)

If you’ve ever found an awesome felt project in Mollie Makes, there is a good chance it was designed by Laura! We’re thrilled she’s joined our teaching team with some new projects designed just for our students. Make an adorable mobile for a new baby in this fun and creative class! With the help of our felt-obsessed teacher, we’ll learn to make a smiling sun, puffy clouds, rainbows and raindrops. This class does not involve sewing on a machine, so students at all levels are welcome. Find out more and sign up here.

Weather Baby Mobile with Laura Howard

Introduction to Macrame: Wall Hanging with Susana Cunha
Saturday, 28 January, 3pm – 5pm (£45)

Macrame is a form of textile-making that uses knots rather than weaving or knitting. In this class you’ll learn macrame basics, including how to get started, how to create square knots, how to use knots to create a pattern and how to customise or design your own pattern for future projects. You’ll leave class with a beautiful wall-hanging made from recycled t-shirt yarn and hand-collected local wood…and an addictive new hobby! Find out more and sign up here.

Introduction to Macrame: Wall Hanging with Susana Cunha

Dressmaking 101 with Charlotte Newland
One day: Sunday, 29 January, 10am – 5pm (£95)

Would you love to make clothes but find patterns impossible to understand? This one-day class will demystify the dressmaking process, using the Zinnia pattern to make a beautiful skirt in the fabric of your choice. You will learn standard sewing terms and techniques that you can apply to other patterns and gain the confidence to sew your own clothes. This class will cover taking accurate measurements, accurate cutting and invisible zip insertion. Find out more and sign up here.

Colette Zinnia Skirt

Sew an Everyday Blouse with Rachel Pinheiro
Two Evenings: Monday, 30 January and Tuesday, 31 January, 6pm – 9pm (£95)

The Everyday Blouse by Rachel Pinheiro is a modern and flattering blouse you’ll reach for again and again! It features fun details like an optional exposed side zip and a pretty neckline with subtle elastic gathers. ln this fun one-day class, Rachel, the pattern’s designer will teach you the ins and outs of blouse construction. You will learn fitting methods and step by step construction techniques, including how to set sleeves, insert a zipper and more! Find out more and sign up here.

Everyday Blouse with Rachel Pinhiero

Learn to Knit with Renée Callahan
One evening: Wednesday, 1 February, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

Do you want to learn to knit or need a refresher on the basics? This class is for you! In this one-evening class, offered monthly, experienced knitting teacher and knitwear pattern designer Renée Callahan will start from the very beginning and cover everything you need to know to get started knitting: knit stitch, purl stitch, casting on and off. Find out more and sign up here.

Yarn and Needles

Sew a Pair of Ginger Jeans with Charlotte Newland
Three days: Saturday, February 4, and Sundays, February 5 and 12, 10am – 5pm (£295)

Have you ever dreamed of sewing yourself a pair of great-fitting jeans? The idea of sewing jeans can be intimidating for even the most experienced dressmakers, but in this class our talented teacher will guide you through every step, from trouser-fitting to inserting a zip-fly to top-stitching to installing jeans hardware. The Ginger Jeans pattern from Closet Case Files is a classic 5-pocket jeans sewing pattern with a modern and flattering cut designed for stretch denim. You can choose from a comfortable low rise fit with narrow stovepipe legs or a sexy and high-waisted pair with skinny legs and a tummy-slimming pocket stay. Find out more and sign up here.

Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files

After School Craft Club with Caroline Garcia
Six Thursday afternoons: Spring Term A runs from 5 January to 9 February, 4:30-5:30pm (£75)

In our After School Craft Club for kids age 6+ we’ll experiment with a different craft activity each week! We will cover crafts like embroidery, stamping, card making, fabric painting, mask-making (for Halloween!) and more. Class fee includes all materials. No need to bring anything except your creativity! Find out more and sign up here.

Craft Club with Caroline Garcia

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Christmas classes at The Village Haberdashery

We have lots of festive classes planned for both adults and kids at our West Hampstead shop in the coming weeks and we hope you’ll join us for Christmas crafting! Scroll on to browse or click here to see all of our classes in one place and book.

Sew a Quilted Winter Cushion with Judith Dahmen

One day: Saturday, 26 November, 10am – 4pm (£85)

In this festive one-day class you’ll learn to make a Christmas-tree inspired quilted cushion! The class covers foundation paper piecing the block, basic quilting techniques, cushion construction and zip insertion. Find out more and sign up here.

Christmas Tree Cushion

Make Vintage-Style Felt Christmas Ornaments with Laura Howard

One morning: Sunday, 27 November, 10am – 1pm (£45)

We’ll be making a trio of vintage-style felt baubles to decorate your home or Christmas tree in this fun and festive class! This class does not involve sewing on a machine, so students at all levels are welcome. It is designed for adults, but it is open to older kids (12+). Find out more and sign up here.

Felt Christmas Baubles

Gifts Workshop with Judith Dahmen

One evening: Tuesday, 29 November, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

Make like Santa’s little helper in our fun Christmas gifts workshop! Choose from five projects – a Christmas stocking, a frame purse, an iPad, Kindle or laptop cover, a fabric bucket or a drawstring bag – to make with the guidance of our experienced instructor. Find out more and sign up here.

Frame purses

Needle Felted Christmas Tree with Gretel Parker

One day: Saturday, 3 December 10:30am – 5pm (£85)

Needle felting is the simple art of hand-sculpting objects with wool roving by stabbing it with a barbed needle. You can make almost anything with needle felting – the only limit is your imagination! In this class, our expert teacher will guide us through the equipment and techniques involved with needle felting while teaching us how to make a delightful little felt Christmas Tree. Beads and threads will be provided for decorating your tree, too! Find out more and sign up here.

Needle felted Christmas tree with Gretel Parker

Make a Quilted Christmas Stocking with Judith Dahmen

One evening: Tuesday, 6 December, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

Make a Christmas stocking for someone you love! In this fun one-evening class we’ll make a big quilted stocking using simple patchwork and sewing techniques. You’ll leave with a festive Christmas decoration and a handful of new skills! This class is great for beginners. Find out more and sign up here.

Christmas Stockings with Judith Dahmen

Hand-Sew Christmas Ornaments with Caroline Garcia (for kids)

Drop in – Monday, 19 December, 10:30am – 12:30pm (£5 per person)

Drop in any time between 10:30am and 12:30pm on Monday, 19 December and sew a felt Christmas ornament! Children age 6+ and adults accompanying children are welcome. No booking necessary unless you are a group of three or more. Materials fee of £5 per person. Find out more and sign up here.

Sew a Christmas Ornament with Caroline

Gift Wrapping Workshop with Caroline Garcia (for kids)

Drop in – Tuesday, 20 December, 10:30am – 12:30pm (£5 per person)

Drop in any time between 10:30am and 12:30pm on Tuesday, 20 December with a gift to wrap and use our stash of paper and craft supplies to wrap it! Children age 6+ and adults accompanying children are welcome. No booking necessary unless you are a group of three or more. Materials fee of £5 per person. Find out more and sign up here.

Gift Wrap Workshop

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November and December classes at The Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead

We have so many exciting classes happening between now and the end of the year at our West Hampstead shop! There is still time to make 2016 the year you learned to quilt, felt, sew, make your own clothes and more. Plus, we’ve got loads of fun Christmas classes to help you dec the halls handmade style! Read on to find out more about our upcoming classes or click here to browse them all on our website.

Fitting for Beginners with Charlotte Newland

Two days: Saturday, 22 October, and Sunday, 23 October, 10am – 5pm (£195)

Have your previous attempts at dressmaking been disappointing? Patterns are designed to fit an imaginary woman, but we are real people with different body types and shapes. We will use the Sylvie pattern to make a beautiful, well-fitting summer dress in the fabric of your choice. Taught over two full days, you will learn to make clothes that fit and flatter your body by taking accurate measurements and altering the pattern before even cutting the fabric. You will make a test garment (muslin) to check and adjust fit, before finally sewing a gorgeous dress made to fit and flatter your body. This class will cover taking accurate measurements, basic pattern adjustments (blending between sizes, bust adjustments, lengthening/shortening), evaluating fit, sewing a garment. Find out more and sign up here.

Fitting for Beginners with Charlotte Newland

Sew a Capsule Wardrobe with Rachel Pinheiro

Six evenings: Mondays, 24 and 31 October and 7, 14, 21 and 28 November, 6pm – 9pm (£265)

In this exciting class you’ll learn all the skills you need to begin sewing your own clothes! Over the six week course, we’ll make three wardrobe staples – a top, a skirt and a shift dress – in your choice of style. We’ll cover fabric selection, working with a commercial pattern, cutting your fabric, fitting, construction and finishing techniques. This class is designed for competent sewers who are ready to dive into garment sewing. You’ll be able to choose from a selection of patterns, and after you sign up we’ll work with you to plan your patterns and supplies list. Ready to get started sewing yourself a handmade wardrobe? Find out more and sign up here.

Colette Selene Skirt

Make a Baby Mobile out of Felt with Laura Howard

One day: Saturday, 29 October, 10am – 2:30pm (£55)

If you’ve ever found an awesome felt project in Mollie Makes, there is a good chance it was designed by Laura! We’re thrilled she’s joined our teaching team with some new projects designed just for our students. Make an adorable mobile for a new baby in this fun and creative class! With the help of our felt-obsessed teacher, we’ll learn to make a smiling sun, puffy clouds, rainbows and raindrops. This class does not involve sewing on a machine, so students at all levels are welcome. Find out more and sign up here.

Weather Baby Mobile with Laura Howard

Make an Autumn Wreath out of Felt with Laura Howard

One day: Sunday, 30 October, 10am – 2:30pm (£55)

In this fun and creative one day class you’ll learn how to create a beautiful autumn wreath using wool felt! With the help of our felt-obsessed teacher, we’ll learn how to wrap a wreath, create leaves and mushrooms, work with a glue gun and more! This class does not involve sewing on a machine, so students at all levels are welcome. It is designed for adults, but it is open to older kids (12+). Find out more and sign up here.

Felt Autumn Wreath with Laura Howard

Foundation-Pieced Kaleidoscope Quilt with Judith Dahmen

Two evenings: Tuesdays, 1 and 15 November, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£85)

Foundation piecing is an addictive patchwork technique that enables you to sew intricate shapes accurately and achieve precise points perfectly! In this two-evening class you’ll learn how to follow a foundation piecing pattern and create the colourful Kaleidoscope quilt block and then how to piece the blocks together to create the quilt top. The quilt pictured is 54″ x 63″ throw size quilt but you can work toward creating a quilt in any size you wish. Find out more and sign up here.

Kaleidoscope Quilt with Judith Dahmen

This is a Sewing Machine with Lisa Falconer

One evening: Wednesday, 2 November, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

One morning: Tuesday, 22 November, 10am – 1pm (£45)

One evening: Wednesday, 7 December, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

This class will introduce aspiring stitchers – or those who need a refresher – how to use a sewing machine! In this comprehensive three hour class, you’ll get sewing machine-savvy and leave with enough knowledge and confidence to start making your own projects at home! You’ll learn everything there is to know about owning, operating and maintaining a sewing machine and we’ll practise each element to ensure that the methods stay in your mind after the class. Find out more and sign up here.

Janome Sewing Machine

After School Craft Club with Caroline Garcia

Six afternoons: Autumn Term B runs from 3 Nov to 8 Dec, 4:30-5:30pm on Thursdays (£75)

In our new After School Craft Club for kids age 6+ we’ll experiment with a different craft activity each week! We will cover crafts like embroidery, stamping, card making, fabric painting, mask-making (for Halloween!) and more. Class fee includes all materials. No need to bring anything except your creativity! Find out more and sign up here.

Craft Club with Caroline Garcia

Dressmaking 101 with Charlotte Newland

Two mornings: Thursday, 3 November, and Friday, 4 November, 10am – 1pm (£95)

Would you love to make clothes but find patterns impossible to understand? This one-day class will demystify the dressmaking process, using the Zinnia pattern to make a beautiful skirt in the fabric of your choice. You will learn standard sewing terms and techniques that you can apply to other patterns and gain the confidence to sew your own clothes. This class will cover taking accurate measurements, accurate cutting and invisible zip insertion. Find out more and sign up here.

Colette Zinnia Skirt

Sew an Everyday Blouse with Rachel Pinheiro

One day: Saturday, November 5, 10am – 4pm (£95)

The Everyday Blouse by Rachel Pinheiro is a modern and flattering blouse you’ll reach for again and again! It features fun details like an optional exposed side zip and a pretty neckline with subtle elastic gathers. ln this fun one-day class, Rachel, the pattern’s designer will teach you the ins and outs of blouse construction. You will learn fitting methods and step by step construction techniques, including how to set sleeves, insert a zipper and more! Find out more and sign up here.

Everyday Blouse with Rachel Pinhiero

Patchwork Techniques: Bias Appliqué with Jenny Haynes

One evening: Friday, 11 November, 6pm – 9pm (£45)

Learn how to cut, shape and machine-sew curves with bias tape! In this class Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten will talk you through three different ways of using bias tape, discussing which technique works best for what project and how to get a neat finish. Plus, you’ll get to put your techniques to work by making a start on The Slalom Quilt. This is a quick and fun pattern that offers an easy way to create curves without piecing. Find out more and sign up here.

Bias Appliqué with Jenny Haynes

Sunflower Quilt with Jenny Haynes

Two days: Saturday, 12 November and Sunday, 13 November, 10am – 4pm (£165)

Conquer curved piecing and learn to machine-sew beautiful curves in this exciting two-day class! Our teacher, Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten, will teach you how to cut, sew and press curves and create your own curvy Sunflower Quilt by using her no-pin technique and custom Drunkards Path templates. A few of Jenny’s favourite finishes will also be covered: quilt basting, binding and facing to mention a few. Find out more and sign up here.

Sunflower Quilt with Jenny Haynes

Sew a Woman’s Button Down Shirt with Rachel Pinheiro

Three evenings: Thursdays, 17 and 24 November and 1 December, 6pm – 9pm (£145)

In this class, you’ll learn to sew a woman’s button down shirt in your choice of style! With the help of our experienced teacher, we’ll tackle all of the tricky construction details, from collars to cuffs to button plackets to buttonholes and more! Find out more and sign up here.

Archer Button Down Shirt with Rachel Pinhiero

Sew a Tote Bag with Judith Dahmen

One evening: Tuesday, 22 November, 6:30pm – 9:30pm

In this class you’ll learn to sew a simple tote bag that can be used as a shopping tote or beach bag! You’ll learn to sew a bag with a lining or french seams (your choice!), how to box corners and how to make and attach bag straps and will leave with a fun and handy tote bag. A perfect for class for first-time-sewers or those who want a sewing machine refresher! Find out more and sign up here.

Sew a Tote Bag

Zippered Pouches with Judith Dahmen

One evening: Tuesday, 22 November, 6:30pm – 9pm. (£45)

In this class we’ll take the fear out of sewing zips by making two handy zippered pouches. One will be a simple, small flat pouch and one will be a bigger flat bottom pouch. In under three hours you’ll be sewing zips like a pro and addicted to making pouches! Find out more and sign up here.

Zippered Pouch with Judith Dahmen

Sew a Quilted Winter Cushion with Judith Dahmen

One day: Saturday, 26 November, 10am – 4pm (£85)

In this festive one-day class you’ll learn to make a Christmas-tree inspired quilted cushion! The class covers foundation paper piecing the block, basic quilting techniques, cushion construction and zip insertion. Find out more and sign up here.

Christmas Tree Cushion

Make Vintage-Style Felt Christmas Ornaments with Laura Howard

One morning: Sunday, 27 November, 10am – 1pm (£45)

We’ll be making a trio of vintage-style felt baubles to decorate your home or Christmas tree in this fun and festive class! This class does not involve sewing on a machine, so students at all levels are welcome. It is designed for adults, but it is open to older kids (12+). Find out more and sign up here.

Felt Christmas Baubles

Gifts Workshop with Judith Dahmen

One evening: Tuesday, 29 November, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (£45)

Make like Santa’s little helper in our fun Christmas gifts workshop! Choose from five projects – a Christmas stocking, a frame purse, an iPad, Kindle or laptop cover, a fabric bucket or a drawstring bag – to make with the guidance of our experienced instructor. Find out more and sign up here.

Frame purses

Needle Felted Christmas Tree with Gretel Parker

One day: Saturday, 3 December 10:30am – 5pm (£85)

Needle felting is the simple art of hand-sculpting objects with wool roving by stabbing it with a barbed needle. You can make almost anything with needle felting – the only limit is your imagination! In this class, our expert teacher will guide us through the equipment and techniques involved with needle felting while teaching us how to make a delightful little felt Christmas Tree. Beads and threads will be provided for decorating your tree, too! Find out more and sign up here.

Needle felted Christmas tree with Gretel Parker

Make a Quilted Christmas Stocking with Judith Dahmen

One evening: Tuesday, 6 December, 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Make a Christmas stocking for someone you love! In this fun one-evening class we’ll make a big quilted stocking using simple patchwork and sewing techniques. You’ll leave with a festive Christmas decoration and a handful of new skills! This class is great for beginners. Find out more and sign up here.

Christmas Stockings with Judith Dahmen

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Meet our teachers: Laura “Lupin” Howard of Bugs & Fishes, sewing with felt

We are delighted to have Laura Howard on our teaching team this autumn! Her hand-sewn felt projects often grace the covers of craft bible Mollie Makes and she is the author of two books, Super-Cute Felt and Super-Cute Felt Animals and a contributor to many more. We are crazy about her style, which is both whimsical and modern and always fresh and fun! Read on to find out more about Laura and browse all of her upcoming classes here.

Laura Lupin Howard

Have you always been crafty or did you discover your love of making things as an adult?

I was definitely a crafty kid! I was very much an “indoor child” and loved reading and drawing and making stuff. I had a big box in the bottom of my wardrobe that I filled with anything interesting I came across that I thought might be useful for making things – empty matchboxes, scraps of fabric, bits of shiny paper, etc – and spent many, many happy hours crafting.

Later, as a teenager and a student, I discovered the joys of knitting, started an ugly (and still un-finished) patchwork quilt, and made lots of cards for birthdays and Christmas (everyone loves a handmade card!).

Laura Lupin Howard loves felt

You describe yourself as ‘completely obsessed with felt’. What drew you to felt and how do you keep coming up with new projects for it?

I first started making things with felt when I was a kid. My mum bought me a little sewing machine but it sat gathering dust as I much preferred hand sewing. Because the edges don’t fray you can just cut out a shape and go, which makes it easy and quick to work with but also easy to use to design things. I loved using it to make things like little outfits for my sisters’ Sylvanian Families.

I got back into felt crafting in 2006, after University. I was looking for things to make for my friends and neighbours for Christmas and thought “ooh, I could make some felt ornaments!” I went online and found that people were making some really wonderful things from felt – it was very inspiring.

It turns out that nowadays you can buy so many different types of felt, and in so many gorgeous colours. It’s a material people often associate with bright primary colours and simple kids crafts, but you can get some really subtle shades and the possibilities for what you can make with it are pretty much endless.

If something exists (even just as an idea in your head) you can probably make a little felt version of it. I find coming up with new ideas less of a problem than finding time to make them all!

Mollie Makes Cassette Tape iPhone Case by Laura Lupin Howard

Laura’s retro iPhone case was featured on the cover of Mollie Makes issue 41

You’ve been blogging since the very early days of blogs! What was it like to start a craft blog nearly a decade ago?

My New Year’s resolution in 2007 was to open an Etsy shop and see how it went, and it turned out that lots of people on Etsy had blogs so I thought “oh, I should start one of those too!”. I’d never really read a craft blog before and definitely didn’t know what I was going to do with mine, so I just sort of made it up as I went along. I definitely didn’t expect to still be blogging (and loving it) almost 10 years later.

There was such a wonderful blogging community in those early days. Everyone read everyone else’s blogs, commented regularly and had a list of links to their friends and their fave reads in their blog sidebar so it was easy to find new bloggers to follow. All over the world, people who had previously just been making things in the privacy of their own home could connect with all these people who loved to make things, share their projects with them, get inspired by what other people were making, get tips and advice and find tutorials to try. It was very exciting!

Felt Autumn Wreath

Learn to make an autumn wreath out of felt with Laura on Sunday, 30 October

When and how did you go about turning making things from a hobby into a full-time job?

I was picked to be a “Featured Seller” on Etsy in October of 2007. After just selling a few things a month, suddenly my shop was on the front page of Etsy and I had a huge flurry of sales. The exposure boosted my sales in the run up to Christmas, too, and made me wonder if I could turn my shop into a proper, full-time business.

I eventually became a full time crafty lady in the spring of 2009. To get there I designed loads of new things and tested them out in my shop to see which would be popular, gradually expanding my range of brooches, ornaments and masks. I hung out in the Etsy forums to pick up tips and read as many craft-business-related blogs as I could (though there weren’t that many in those days!). I sold my work on Etsy, Folksy and DaWanda (with listings translated into German by my kind sister!) and set up a shop on my own website. I worked to improve my photos and my packaging, and to always have the best possible customer service. I blogged a lot and sold ads on my blog to supplement my income. I also expanded my business into selling craft supplies (felt squares and other crafty things) and designing things for craft books and magazines.

Running an online shop solo – and hand stitching so many things to keep it stocked – was fun but kind of intense, especially in the months running up to Christmas. I relied on my then-boyfriend to help out in the busy times, taking things to the Post Office for me or cooking dinner every night when I was busy sewing and packing parcels.

When I was single again I realised that I couldn’t continue to juggle making and selling and designing and writing and still have a sensible work/life balance so I decided to re-focus. I sold off my stock and shuttered some of my online shops, and now mostly design things for craft books and magazines. I’m also currently working on some printable patterns, which I’m very excited about – the first ones will be added to my Etsy shop this autumn/winter.

Baby Weather Mobile

Make a weather baby mobile with Laura on Saturday, 29 October

How much of your days do you get to spend making things, as opposed to other parts of running your business?

It depends! Some weeks are all about the making, and others are filled with things like emailing and photo editing and blogging. There is a LOT of “other stuff” you have to do than just craft if you want to have a crafty business.

I try to write focused To Do lists and to work as efficiently as possible. For example, social media is really important when you’re running a business but it can eat into your day. I schedule lots of my Facebook and Twitter posts in advance and use apps to auto-post on multiple accounts to save time. I also try to have a “no internet after 7pm” rule which I don’t always manage to stick too, but which helps keep my evenings just for me… which means I have time to work on my personal crafty projects.

Make vintage-style felt Christmas ornaments with Laura on Saturday, 26 November

Any advice for makers who want to turn their hobby into a career?

Work hard, be nice to people, be original, pay attention to the money side of things, connect with your peers, read as much as you can about running a crafty business (there are so many great resources out there and there’s always more to learn), and no matter how busy you are don’t forget to eat lunch.

Laura sells her work and patterns online on Etsy, blogs regularly at Bugs & Fishes and fills up our IG feed with colourful things at @lauralupinhoward.

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