Sew much fun!

White room flyer front

Looking for something unusual for my styling shoot the other week (see two posts ago), I decided I wanted handmade cushions. In theory, it’s incredibly easy if you make ones where the back tucks into itself like a pillowcase, rather than having to fit a zip.

But with a sewing machine still in it’s box and no idea how on earth to start, I turned to my local sewing cafe, The White Room SE4 ( for help. Popping up all over the country, sewing cafes are a place where you can hire sewing machines by the hour, take courses in everything from beginner’s basics and pattern cutting, to making skirts to winter capes… plus enjoy a cake and a cuppa at the same time. The White Room also sells gorgeous clothes too, designed by the lovely Nicky, a fashion designer who’s sold her range everywhere from ASOS to Top Shop and Warehouse over the years.

Anyhow, Nicky kindly ran up a couple of cushions and some blinds for me using the amazing Woodland fabric – covered in little squirrels, birds acorns and leaves – from Scion ( The results were better than I could have expected – and completely unique!

Flat Shots

Handmade cushion in Scion Woodland fabric

I’m now determined to master sewing myself, and am planning to sign up for one of Nicky’s “How to use a sewing machine” beginners’ courses. For ¬£30, over two hours, they’ll teach me all the basics, and hopefully give me a skill I’ll keep and use for life. In fact, I even took my craft-oholic friend Emma there as her pre-wedding present (I made a slightly wonky bag; she had a go at machine embroidery and took to it immediately, as you can see below).

Sewing at the White Room 2

Sewing at the White Room 7

So, if you’re in London and want to have a go yourself – or want to give a session to a friend as a gift – I thoroughly recommend it. Don’t live near the capital? Google ‘sewing cafe’ or ‘sewing workshop’ and see what comes up. I’ve found them everywhere, including Harrogate (; Hinckley, Leicestershire (;¬†Bristol (; Durham (; Bath ( and Glasgow (Make It – 07597 122 809).

Sew why not give it a try?!

Sewing at the White Room 4

1 Comment

  1. Angela Cain
    October 29, 2013 / 1:25 pm

    Love this. Not only lots of lovely info, but pics of my two favourite grown-up girls! xx

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