23 December 2010

A fabulous book for new year sewing

Post Christmas often leaves us with lots more time on our hands. Why not fill that spare time with some great new sewing projects....

Stitch by Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston third book "Stitch" is a great successor to her previous books, "Sew", and "Make" Cath Kidston has become a british icon, making florals chic again, and popularising kitsch culture.
Stitch is a fabulous project book for fans of needle-point, or indeed for anyone interested in getting started with needlepoint/cross stitch. There are a great selection of projects from simple pincushions, to elaborate cushion covers, All the designs are classic Cath Kitson, and the book is a real treat for anyone waating to dip into contemporary surface decoration, or for experienced cross stitcher looking for inspiration. Not only is the book full of contemporary ideas, but you get a free zipper purse too! My personal favourite is the stanley dog pencil case- a really iconic Kidston design. Given my schedule, i am foing to start with a stanley dog motif badge.

If you're hoping for some book tokens this christmas, go pick up a copy of Stitch. It's readily available on the high street and is published by Quadrille publishing limited.

stitch book cover

29 September 2010

New gorgeous girl's dress class

Make a gorgeous girl's dress
Held on mid-week days from 9.30 am till 3.30 pm

  • Little girl's slip over dresses are both gorgeous and practical- and often expensive!
  • These dresses are really simple to make and are a great project for mums that can use a sewing machine- if you are an absolute beginner try our half day beginner's class first
  • Once you've mastered the pattern, the possibilities are endless.
  • These dresses can be layered with t shirts and long sleeved jumpers to make them wearable all year round
First class date TBC click for more info
Cost £75

22 September 2010

New class schedule

Hello Blog,

Sorry to have neglected my blogging. Just never enough time to get everything done!

I have changed my blog background a little- the fabric was boring me a bit!

We have new sewing classes especially for mums launching this autumn. Held on weekday mornings they are perfect for mums that want to get to grips with buttons and labels

Check out all our new class dates here


well this was a short and sweet posting! i will be back soon.....

15 June 2010

Meet up group

Many of our beginners students have been interested in learning how to adjust/customize and re-vamp their clothes, but often couldn't afford justify paying for another private class at the school. We are now offering low cost meet up sessions focusing just on altering clothes. The venue is the book club, which is a fantastic space in hoxton. The session includes a demo on how to adjust clothes, a handout, refreshments and expert advice on hand.
Why not check it out?

4 June 2010

next fascinator class date

The next fascinator & corsage class is on Sunday July 11th. Come along for an afternoon of inspired creativity, fun and a delicious cocktail. classes held in a great bar in hoxton London, and are only £50 per person.

What are you waiting for- book now.....

1 June 2010

a little facebook experiment

am hoping i can link to facebook. testing testing....

spring competition winner

Our spring 'win a sewing kit' competition was won by Karen who attended a beginners day, and then went home and made this cute dress for her little girl. She used a library book we recommended to make the project, and is so pleased with the dress she has now bought the book! Another sewing addict is born.....

First day on Prima Donna In Toronto

Having arrived late on sunday from NYC, i only got a brief glimpse of the city, but i did marvel at Niagra falls when we flew over it. i have been but nature just astounds me- think i will pop over on my day off on sunday and see it again.

This is the view from my room, i am on 35th floor!

Had a fab veggie meal in a great veggie restaurant- only down side- they don't sell booze! Veggies drink, i am veggie and i love a cheeky beer on a sunday evening.....

Cost of living is pretty high in Toronto, think i will be spending all my pd's just on food! Pd's are the daily cash allowance we receive when touring abroad- if you're clever it is a great way to avoid spending your salary. We often refer to it as "free money"

Finished off my evening last night in a bar having some cheeky cocktails with my pal vicky. Rudely awoken at 4 am by the sound of a fire evacuation. When you are in a high rise building that is pretty scarey. It was called off so we all got back to sleep eventually!!

Checked out the theatre today, then headed on the subway to rehearsals. Subway was so busy, but not quite as organized as London or NYC. Am looking forward to taking the tram soon! Ended the day fitting the new cast members we have on the show.

Our tips of the month

Website of the month
This website is the online version of cloth magazine, and  is dedicated to complete beginners.It has fantastic clear photo tutorials on all things cloth related. One of the editors is a Costumier like us, and there is a lot of passion in this magazine. It also has a great round up of events all over the UK, and competitions!

Thrifty’s Book of the month-

This book is from the american domestic goddess Martha Stewart. She has pioneered so many domestic crafts, and the internet is littered with her wonderful sewing tutorials. I am going to buy some of her time saving sewing gadgets whilst in the states this month, and i can't wait to tuck into this delightful book.

29 May 2010

Day 2 in NYC

Today was really about catching up with pals. I have done a few shows in New York and made friends with the american crews that I met. I also have some really great american actor friends that I worked with in London, and I try to see them all whenever I can.

I love central park, but almost avoid it as I always get lost, today was no exception.....
I had arranged to meet my friend Jeremy and his wife south of the turtle pond, another pal Matt was gonna swing by too. Central park has no signs inside it, and although it's a lovely place to wander through aimlessly, that's not so good for meeting people! After 15 mins of aimless wandering i called matt, who started to look for me. I had wandered into an area called the rambles, and got lots of differing advice on where to go! Needless to say, i had to retrace my steps and get back to the street, and matt had already left. I finally hooked up with Jeremy and Linda, and was excited to see that they are expecting. We went into the park and met with some of their friends who were picnicing, really lovely to hang out in the blazing sunshine with pals.

My next meeting was almost 100 yards away at the open air theatre in the park. Kimberley and i got some lunch and caught up on the lawn. She only had an hour dinner break, but it was so good to see her, it's been 2 years since i saw my american chums!

I caught the subway downtown to 50th street, and did a quick stop off at 2 theatres to say hi to other Costume pals who were working. Jessica is on 'La Cage' and we had a really brief, lovely chat. Robert is on 'Rock of ages' and we had an even briefer chat, but so good to see him. As i was leaving the theatre i ran into a Stage manager that i'd worked with in London- small small world.

I hot footed back onto the subway to meet Matt and Jason on 14th street and 8th avenue. We spent a really fun evening bar hopping in the village, starting in the stunning bar at the Jane hotel. Really glad i came to new york just for the opportunity to catch up with my friends- facebook is just not the same as sitting down together!

A little tipsy i got on the NJ transit and almost missed my stop! Luckily for me, another passenger woke me up......

28 May 2010

Day 1 in NYC

I took the NJ Transit into the city- journey time door to door from hotel to penn station around 1 hour. Not too bad considering i got lost on the newark airport mono rail system.- a round trip into the city is $30, so reasonable

The early part of the afternoon was spent at a knitting session in Purl Soho with the amazing Jeremy. I used to be a knitter until I discovered chopping up big pieces of fabric rather than making them. In 1992 i began knitting a cute jumper, which has been in my cupboard ever since, Jeremy refreshed my knowledge with some advice on cabling, increasing and decreasing, and i felt like it hadn't been so long since i knitted! I love the shop in broome street SoHo and wish i could have bought everything!

I moved onto a shop called sew fast, sew easy that also teaches sewing. It is a small shop inside a large building, and although i was hoping to browse the selection of gadgets i was rather rushed into making my purchases which were some nifty magnetic seam allowance guides , flexi rulers , and a couple of books. It's a shame i couldn't have stayed longer, but the owner had a student she needed to get back to.

I strolled about 20 blocks up to central park, and sat enjoying some rays, i was joined by a really colourful rickshaw driver called garth, who wanted to chew the fat a little.

My next stop was MOMA- a museum i have meant to visit on every one of new york trips. Luckily for me on friday evening it's free- so it was really buzzing. great photographic exhibition by female photographers.

On leaving Moma, i had a great cheap mexican in Chipotle- a sort of fast food mexican place, so it was pretty cheap and really tasty. I left the restaurant and strolled through the manic hustle bustle of times square, which never fails to delight me. there are several ships in port this weekend, so the city is teeming with sailors in crisp uniforms.........

Caught a double decker NJ transit train back to the airport and my hotel. Train full of colourful characters

27 May 2010

On tour!

I have been lucky enough with my theatrical career to have come to NYC every year between 2003, and 2008. However my last visit was march '08, so when i got a tour with Prima Donna to Canada i jumped at the offer to have a few days in NYC before i started.

So here I am, attempting to have a 'Thrifty' trip to NYC as I am skint, any money saving tips I glean in the next 3 days, shall  be passed on. My first money saving idea was to stay out of Manhattan itself as hotels this weekend are really expensive due to it being a holiday. For half the price I am at the renaissance newark airport, and I will commute into the city.

Never really having explored new jersey before, i am off in a moment to Jersey garden's outlet mall- a massive 200 discount shops! Banana republic factory stock too, which could be dangerous......

3 April 2010

updated courses and info on our website

Our Website of the month

This blog is dedicated to all making and mending all kinds of stuff. It has great tutorials on not just sewing, but cooking and gardening. All the tutorials are clear and some are videos. A great place to get some free advice

Thrifty’s Book of the month-
This book is aimed at anyone who wants to start sewing. Even an experienced sewer like me still dips into my copy of this book for some advice once in a while. My copy is almost 20 years old, but the information is still very valid today. They have recently updated the book, but that is the first major update in a couple of decades. Only the graphics give away how old the book is.
I had to refresh myself on inserting a particular type of zip, as i hadn't done one in ages, and there is a fantastic chapter devoted to zips.
It can be a little daunting for a novice sewer, but it really will prove a great resource as your sewing develops.
The readers Digest complete guide to sewing

27 March 2010

Fascinator workshops

We are very excited about collaborating with a hat designer-Holly Dench for our new Fascinator class. This workshop will be held at a fantastic new bar venue The book club in Leonard street, London EC2A 4RH. At the end of the workshop we will all enjoy a fab cocktail together, admiring each others unique creations.

Fascinator workshop info

26 March 2010

Great video tutorial

As Thrifty Stitchers we hoard everything, and our students have access at our studio to a massive selection of fabric, ribbon, trims, haberdashery and buttons to make their projects during a class.
I have just discovered this great website- Make it and mend it, which has incredible tutorials. this one is a video showing how to create stylish 'designer' cushions with scraps and bits and bobs you already have. We love it.......


24 March 2010

Recent students

We have been super busy in March, and have met some fantastic students, all of whom astound us with their individual creativity. here is a little selection of some of our fabulous students with the projects they completed at a Thrifty Stitcher class

Our tips of the month

Our Blog of the month
This blog is dedicated to all things retro. sewers from all over the world contribute with pattern reviews, and project ideas

Thrifty’s Book of the month-
This book is aimed at anyone who wants to start making clothes, and who doesn't want to have to fiddle about with patterns. There are several projects to make, all with instructions on how to cut out directly from the fabric. A really good starting point for beginners wanting to progress quickly into making garments. Spring is now here so why not rustle up a simple wrap skirt- no tricky fastenings.......

Sew What! Skirts by Francesca DenHartog 

Penny saver tip of the month-

At this time of year many of us are thinking about spring cleaning. Don't spend lots of money on products to refresh your clothes. Buy a really cheap,non branded bottle of vodka, put into a water spray bottle, and spritz it under the armpits of your clothes. The alcohol evaporates and takes odour particles with it! It is a good idea to test a small hidden area first, as sometimes it can make colours run. 
Honestly this really is one of the best ways to get odours out of clothes, we use it all the time in the theatre, it is more natural than many chemical products. Dry cleaning only cleans your clothes, often trapping the odours into the fibres

6 February 2010

our website update

February’s fav blog
I found this site last year, and regularly dip in for a browse at all their lovely ideas, products and tips. They are based in new york, my fav city after London, and I dream that i am there in SoHo NYC
Thrifty’s Book of the month-
Although I don’t have children, many of our students do. Often that is why they want to learn about sewing. Children’s clothes are exorbitantly expensive, and have such a short life. 
We are developing some workshops on making children’s clothes, and I stumbled upon this book. It is totally delicious and has not only some great projects, but all the patterns too!
Making Children’s clothes by Emma Hardy

1 February 2010

vintage patterns and websites

Hello again blog, so sorry to have neglected you.......

We had a returning student yesterday at our 'Starting from scratch beginners day' who is interested in all things vintage, i have been looking for some resources for her, and found this fantastic site

I have also read some reviews for a modern pattern company creating vintage inspired patterns which fit our generation. Yummy..

We will be ordering some patterns soon and trying them out