Ready, Steady, Sew

614 TUTOR: Claire Salmon (BA (Hons))

Have you bought a new sewing machine, or rediscovered one that was hiding in the loft? Maybe it's your plan to start a new hobby or expand your skills? This course is designed for you. It will include setting up the machine, adjusting the settings such as tension and stitch controls, and essential tasks such as changing needles and cleaning the machine. You will then explore a range of useful techniques for garment making and crafts, including zig-zag and overcasting, buttonholes, zips, bias binding and piping, quilting, free motion work and tips for sewing sticky fabrics such as oil cloth, faux leather and PVC.

1 PM
PM course

Course Notes

This course is all about building familiarity and confidence with your sewing machine, so most students will prefer bring their own machine. This can be any make or model, but it does need to be in working order and preferably PAT tested. There will also be a limited number of machines available to borrow from the Tutor, so if you are not able to bring your own machine, please book early and contact Claire at the email below to help with planning. Along with your machine, please bring the machine manual (instruction book) if you have it. If you don't have the manual, please contact Claire and she will endeavour to provide one for you. You will also need to bring the power cable, foot pedal and tools that came with your machine, as well as any attachments you may have (for example: zip foot, buttonhole foot, spare needles and bobbins). Claire will provide generic attachments for students to borrow if required, but it is usually best to use the attachments which came with the machine to ensure compatibility. All materials and fabric will be included.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions:

Each session will include a practical 'making' exercise using the techniques learned, so you will have five items to take home at the end of the course, along with all the new skills you have learned.

Day 1

·Types of Sewing Machine

·Parts of the Machine

·Threading the machine - top thread and bobbins

·Needles and Feet- types, purposes and how to change them

·Basic Maintenance- cleaning and oiling

·Making: Phone case or spectacle case

Day 2

·Stitch controls and stitch selection

·Tension setting and trouble-shooting

·Zig zag and overcasting

·Using the zip foot

·Making: Zip bag

Day 3

·Making buttonholes

·Bias binding


·Making: Cushion cover

Day 4

·Walking foot for quilting and working on thick fabrics

·Non-stick foot- and techniques for working with 'sticky' fabrics

·Making: Quilted potholder or oven glove

Day 5

·Exploring decorative stitching:

·Traditional and Raw edge applique

·Free machine embroidery

·Making: Stitched art picture, greetings card or embroidery hoop

Course Tutor

Claire Salmon

BA (Hons)

About Claire


Claire has over 25 years' experience in higher education and crafting. In her craft work, Claire specialises in encouraging those who are new to sewing, or would like to refresh existing skills, to build their confidence through a range of structured classes and achievable craft projects. When not teaching, she is busy making bespoke gifts and commissions, and her work has appeared in 'WI Life', 'Crafts Beautiful' and 'Cotswold Life'.

In her higher education career, she has worked for University Business Schools in the UK, Europe and Asia, as Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, as well as working as a Principle External Examiner for the Open University. She has also advised the UK Government on the vocational curriculum for the 14-19 age group.


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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 11 Jul - 15 Jul

WK 2 18 Jul - 22 Jul

WK 3 25 Jul - 29 Jul

WK 4 1 Aug - 5 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM