Visit London Blog » sewing machines Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:06:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sewing in London: A Guide to Sewing Classes, Shops and Museums Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:48:45 +0000 Are you a fan of the BBC TV series The Great British Sewing Bee? Here are some ideas for sewing themed fun in London:

Geffrye Museum

The first series of The Great British Sewing Bee was filmed in Dalston; you can plan your next sewing project with tea and cake at The Other Café and Gallery where the contestants had lunch. From there it’s easy to hop on a bus down to the Geffrye Museum to see the vintage interiors, and then visit the area around Spitalfields market, where you’ll find a hive of independent designers/makers selling beautiful things.

Don’t miss the Sunday Upmarket near Brick Lane, which homes 140 stalls selling crafts, interiors and accessories. Cavernous fabric shop Crescent Trading in Shoreditch also merits exploration.

London Sewing Machine Museum

One episode of the second series included a short film made at the London Sewing Machine Museum. The Tooting-based museum is open on the first Sunday of the month and includes three rooms of gorgeous antique sewing machines and sewing memorabilia. It’s sited above a huge sewing machine shop where you can get your machine repaired or buy a reconditioned one. You’ll also find a big craft shop next door selling fabric, patterns and haberdashery.

One of the finest collection of fashion and textiles in the world can be found at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. As well as the fashion galleries, there are regular fashion exhibitions and you’ll discover beautiful textile items displayed throughout the museum.

If you were inspired by the patternless draping in the second series semi-finals, the V&A has some Vionnet dresses in its collection, but none are currently on display. If you want to see them, you might want to consider a visit to the Clothworkers Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles where you can make an appointment to study items from the national collection of textiles and fashion.

London’s amazing Fashion and Textile Museum has also been featured on the show and has a full schedule of classes and exhibitions devoted to sewing, design and creativity.

Savile Row

Find out more about London’s history of traditional tailoring at Savile Row. Dishy Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant is the creative director of Norton & Sons (established 1821) at Number 16 Savile Row.

You’ll find many sewing classes in London. Some of the best places to take a class include Liberty, Fabrications, Ray Stitch, Sew Over It and The Thrifty Stitcher (where you can take masterclasses run by the Great British Sewing Bee’s sewing producer!).

A shop in Southall

If the modification challenge is more your thing, head to Sew Good in Kilburn. Run by the charity Traid, you can learn to mend and upcycle your valued clothes. If vintage techniques inspire you, check out the classes at The School of Historical Dress. If you’re looking for amazing embroidered trims, have a hunt around the shops in Southall.

Learn how to decorate your projects with goldwork embroidery with a weekend class at Hand & Lock or The Royal School of Embroidery at Hampton Court Palace.

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Sewing Classes at Homemade London Fri, 10 Sep 2010 12:05:25 +0000

A gorgeous new craft workshop space called Homemade London has just opened in Portman Village. Last night I popped along and learned how to make a fully lined designer tote bag, made new friends, and did a vanishing trick with a piece of gooey chocolate cake.

Everyone was having so much fun that friendly passers by kept popping in to see what we were up to, admire our bags and find out how they could sign up for the next class!

The class includes tuition, fabric (vintage and designer – my bag above is made from a Marimekko print) and, bliss, a light supper, which is very welcome when you’ve just dashed from work to a class and won’t get home till late.

Homemade London has plenty of sewing machines and space for creating. You can learn how to sew bags and lingerie, make jewellery or sniff out your perfect perfume.

As well as classes, Homemade London also offer a sewing café – you can rent a sewing machine or overlocker from £10 an hour during the day or evening and work on your own projects. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s worth a visit just to see the astonishing sewing machine wallpaper!

Even the location is perfect, if you’ve been shopping on Oxford Street all day and found nothing but inspiration, you can pop round the corner and whip up your perfect accessory!

Classes from £99, Sewing Cafe from £10.

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London Sewing Machine Museum Thu, 03 Sep 2009 14:06:42 +0000 London Sewing Machine Museum

One of London’s best kept secrets, the London Sewing Machine Museum in Tooting Bec is open this weekend and you can visit for free! There’s always something thrilling about exploring a small specialist museum.

If you’re obsessed with sewing or machinery or both, you’ll be rubbing your knees with glee when you see this collection. The museum has two rooms packed with vintage machines, funny shaped bobbins, original packaging and sewing machine themed statues. You can see a sewing machine which was presented to Queen Victoria’s daughter as well as one shaped like a clown sitting at a table!

Local sewing machine experts from the sewing machine warehouse downstairs are on hand to tell you fascinating facts about the collection.

The museum is free and open between 2pm and 5pm on the first Saturday of the month. You have to be over 16 years old to visit because there’s lots of machinery about.

If your visit inspires you to get sewing, you can pop downstairs and buy your own machine.

And next door to the museum is a big haberdashery shop where you can pick up yarn, fabric and notions. On my recent visit, the haberdashery shop staff were knowledgeable and friendly, and weren’t even fazed when a customer popped in for craft supplies while walking her ferret on a lead.

For information about the London Sewing Machine Museum and shops, visit

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