Wednesday, 22 January 2014

When things don't go to plan... new gorgeous workshop... and news...

I ran a sewing machine workshop last weekend.  I don't know why but way back when I booked the date last year something told me that it wasn't all going to quite go to plan.  Funny that!

I ran a class to make a fabric wall organiser and it was a fully booked class which I was so thrilled about but a couple of people had to cancel which was disappointing (for them as well as for me as they had paid for the class).

The class got off to a flying start, there were lots of fabrics to choose from.

The morning which flew by was dedicated to choosing, measuring, cutting out, creating pockets and then the afternoon was to be dedicated to sewing everything together.

That is where everything went wrong!!

I made the awful mistake of letting time run away, for not keeping my eye on the clock.  I don't think I anticipated the choosing of the fabrics in the morning taking quite as long and I know for next time to plan better for a bigger class.  I think I may also have created a project that was too big to re-create in a day.  It made me realise that just because I am a super speedy sewer, not everyone else is.  And also, my classes are not about rushing along, its about being relaxed, having fun and an opportunity to escape from the world to create something beautiful.

Come 4pm we were told that they were locking the gates so we needed to pack away swiftly... aaaargh!!! Everyone had their pockets and bits and bobs sewn on but the whole thing hadn't been sewn together yet.  I panicked, took charge getting everyone to pin their pieces together and get everything sewn up as quickly as possible so they could take a finished project home.  Well, that was simply disaster!  Because I panicked and got overwhelmed by it all I somehow managed to get everyone to sew it the WRONG WAY which meant that when their project was turned the right way out, the wadding that was supposed to be in the middle of the two pieces of fabric was on the outside!!  I could have died!!

Everyone was incredibly kind and understanding and were more than happy to take their project with them to finish off at home.  It was a bit of a mad dash then to get everything packed up and my ladies were even so kind as to help me carry everything back to the car!  Despite all of this I really did have such a fun day and loved every minute of it.

I have been running workshops for almost a year now and majority have been near perfect.  I guess it was only time before something went wrong!!  BUT, I am trying not to let it get to me and I just know to simplify and plan a little better next time.  I am only human and we all make mistakes from time to time as embarrassing as it is...

This is the finished project of one of my ladies' creations.  LOVE the pop of colour.

I still had wonderful feedback which was lovely and much appreciated.


This Saturday (25th January 2014) I am running my next class at Port Talbot Library.  It is an 11am start and will run for around an hour and a half to two hours.  I promise this will be a better organised class!!  I am used to running my library events and am confident that this one will be just perfect.

Just wait until you see what we are making:

The MOST GORGEOUS pin cushion.  We started the year by making a needle book which every sewer needs.  The other thing every sewer needs is a pin cushion just like this...

Isn't it just the cutest thing ever?

And you will be able to make your very own at this Saturday's class.

This class is at the very low price of just £5 per person.

Speaking of prices, lots of you will be aware that my business is going through a bit of a change this year - well behind the scenes its actually a massive change and there are going to be so many new things, especially when I launch my new website which will include an online sewing membership club which will be available worldwide!  From July my prices for these mini hand sewing workshops classes will be increasing .  From May I will have been running these classes a year and have become much more confident with them and its been fantastic to trial them, to get feedback etc.  I am sure many of you will agree that at the present time £5 for two hours of sewing where absolutely everything is provided, the fabric, felt, scissors, templates, patterns, sewing expertise, chit chat, lovely venue, refreshments, sweet treats and a linked book club all for just £5 is exceptional and you won't find that anywhere else.  I will be creating new and exciting classes from July onwards with a new pricing structure. These will be called taster sessions.  Again, as many of you are already aware this is now my full time job (it is a dream come true) but it also needs to put food on the table and support my family which is my reasoning behind this (and the fact that they are silly madness prices anyway).  Classes will continue as advertised at the rate of £5 per person per class (unless otherwise stated) up until July as planned so if you want to come along and try out a Sweet Williams Sewing Workshop to see if its for you, now's the time to do it!

Will be fabulous if you can make it to Saturday's class to make the pin cushion (its even cuter in real life)!

Emma xxx

Friday, 10 January 2014

New year : Get Organised!

I am super excited about my first BIG sewing machine workshop of 2014.  Even complete beginners can attend.

I ran a sewing machine workshop last year at Neath Food and Drink Festival where took two classes making vintage style aprons.  Following the success of this event I have been busy planning further machine workshops for 2014.

The first one is going to be held on Saturday 18th January 2014.  The class is a full day and will run from 10am until 4pm.  It is being held at the fab new fresh and modern community building at Victoria Gardens, Neath.

I wanted to start the year on the right foot and I am hoping to be better organised this year.  That's where the idea came from for this workshop - New Year : Get Organised.

This is what we are going to be making:

And this is a sample of it when filled:


NOW, the really exciting part of this workshop is that you are going to be able to tailor your gorgeous fabric organiser to what you would like to use it for.  Not only that but you will have a very large choice of colours to choose from too.

The sample I have made has been hand embroidered saying "Emma's Sewing Room", but you my choose to make one for the kitchen with pockets for recipes, to do lists, baking tools etc.  Another good one could be for a child's bedroom with space to keep special toys nice and safe.

The background fabric will be a thick cream cotton from John Lewis so it is of high quality.  The rest is up to you.  You can choose as many different colours as you fancy for the pockets.

You will be able to choose from a selection of gorgeous ribbons, lace and button to decorate your organiser.

I can only take 6 people on this class as it is going to be a busy day and I want to be able to dedicate as much of my time to everyone as possible to make sure that all 6 people take a fully completed project home.

The class is suitable for beginners right through to those who are competent at sewing.  We will be hand embroidering, but if you don't fancy that I can teach you applique instead.  The rest of the work is done by machine.  There will be 3 machines and there will be two people to a machine.

You do not have to bring anything to this class.  Everything you need is included in the price.

HOW MUCH does it cost?  It is at a BARGAIN price of just £65.  Not only does it include all of the above but it also includes a lunch bag from Tres Bien (which has sandwiches, Real crisps, bottled water and fruit).  There will be unlimited refreshments - tea, coffee and water throughout the day plus lots of sweet treats.


ALSO included in this amazing price of just £65 is a sewing goodie bag to take home with you.

Each person who books this sewing workshop will get the following:

A mini roll of felt.

A mini roll of fabrics.

A pin wheel.

A selection of brooch bags, bells and split rings.

A selection of gorgeous buttons.


Some pre made bows.

Some gorgeous ribbon.

And also included in the FREE sewing goodie bag when you book this class will be a pack of needles, a tape measure and some thread.

You will not find this sewing workshop at this fantastic price again so its not one to be missed.

If you would like to book your place please email me at  Payment is required in advance.  There are several ways to pay - I can send you an invoice to pay by credit / debit card or Paypal, bank transfer or cheque.

Here are the essential details again:

Saturday 18th January 2014 10am - 4pm
Community Building, Victoria Gardens, Neath
Includes lunch, refreshments and sweet treats
Everyone who attends will get a gorgeous Free sewing goodie bag
£65 per person payable in advance.
Email to book your place and arrange payment.

For further information about Sweet Williams please take a peek at the website

Emma x

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

First Sewing Workshop of 2014

After a well deserved break over Christmas and New Year I am so excited to get back into a routine and kick the year off with some fab sewing workshops.  Oh how I have missed it!

Another thing you are going to notice is that blog posts are going to be a regular thing to keep you up to date with at least one a week.  I’ll have a newsletter coming soon too filled with sewing tips and behind the scenes gossip so stay tuned if you want to hear more.


The first workshop is happening this forthcoming weekend, Saturday 11th January 2014.  It starts at 11am at Port Talbot Library and runs until around 1pm.  It is a bargain price of just £5 per person.  All of my library classes are just £5 per person which makes it a really affordable way to learn a new skill.  It is a really fun class with a bunch of wonderful people and there are different people each time.  That is the beauty with these mini taster sessions, there is no pressure to sign up to them all.  You can check out the events page on our website at and pick and choose whichever ones you fancy.  The added bonus with these library sessions is that there is no need to pre-book.  Lovely if you can sling me a message to tell me you will be coming along but not essential as you can simply turn up on the day, pay on the day and have some sewing fun.  The classes are growing all the time ranging from between 8 - 12 people each session.
The classes are aimed at adults of any sewing ability.  From those who have never sewn before right through to regular sewers who like the social aspect of getting together with a hot cuppa, some fabric and lots of chatting.  On special occasions you’ll get to use my very treasured vintage Singer too, so look out for those.


So, this is what we are making this Saturday (11/01/2014):


A gorgeous needle book using super soft wool blend felt.  I thought if you are going to start the New Year off with learning a new skill or brushing up on a skill you already have then what better way than to start with something beautiful to store all of your needles.

You will have a wide choice of felt colours to choose from and you will also have a choice of design for the front cover.

You could choose to cover it with lashings of buttons like this one here:


Or you may choose a pretty heart shape (which because of its raised feature can be used as a mini pin cushion too):

Or how about a star:


Or a flower:


And if none of those take your fancy and you are feeling adventurous then go freestyle and design your own!  The beauty of my classes is that there are no strict rules.  It is all about learning how to sew in a fun way using on trend products in a really friendly no pressure atmosphere.

I always have lots of sewing related goodies available to purchase at the end of each session too. Again, no pressure to look or purchase but are there if you need them.  As type this I am waiting for the courier to deliver several hundred pounds worth of new stock which I can’t wait to show you including new colour / style buttons and rolls of ribbon including one with bunnies on!!

So will I be seeing you Saturday?  11am start at Port Talbot Library.  Will be wonderful if you can make it.

Emma x