Overlocker/Serger 101

Overlockers can seem terrifying but we promise they’re not! Once you’ve got to grips with an overlocker, we find most people never want to be without one. This is a great class for people who have an overlocker and want to get the best out of it, or those trying to decide whether to invest in one.

This one day class covers lots of tips and techniques for overlocking and working with stretch fabrics.

We have two different types of overlockers (4 machines) which you can use, or if you have an overlocker of your own you are welcome to bring it and we’ll help you get to grips with it.*

The first part of the class will focus on getting to grips with your overlocker and during the second part you’ll sew up a simple t-shirt using the overlocker.

Our sewing classes are relaxed and friendly, taking place at our beautiful studio at Holme Grange Craft Village in Wokingham, Berkshire.

You will learn

  • Threading and rethreading the overlocker
  • Understanding the different parts of the overlocker
  • Finishing seams
  • Sewing with the overlocker
  • Gathering
  • Rolled Hems

What’s included

The class includes expert instruction, use of the machines, tools, threads etc, a copy of the t-shirt pattern plus tea, coffee and biscuits!

What you need to bring

1.5m of light to medium weight jersey/knit fabric (If you aren’t sure, please contact us)

*IMPORTANT – If you have your own overlocker we encourage you to bring it but it must be in good working order, with the correct power cable and instruction manual. You’ll also need 4 cones of overlocking thread. Our classes are held upstairs, so you will need to be happy carrying your overlocker from the car park and up one flight of stairs. 

Experience Level

Intermediate (4) 

This class is not suitable for beginners to sewing, although of course you can be a beginner to overlocking! You can see our other classes here.

Who’s teaching?

Sheona McMahon, Barbara Ruis

More questions? Take a look at our Class FAQs, these also cover our Class Cancellation Policy.



Introduction to Sewing Course

Have you recently got a sewing machine or been thinking about purchasing one? Perhaps you’ve got a machine languishing in the loft somewhere but just don’t know how to get started. Our Introduction to Sewing Course is the perfect way to get started. We’ll get you feeling comfortable will your machine, learning the basics and stitching up so great beginner projects to built your confidence and learn new techniques. Once you’ve completed this course, you could go on to complete our Introduction to Dressmaking Course, take one of our other beginner dressmaking, quilting or improver sewing classes.

Our sewing classes are relaxed and friendly, taking place at our beautiful studio at Holme Grange Craft Village in Wokingham, Berkshire. Students get to use our brand new digital Janome sewing machines and class sizes are capped at eight to ensure everyone gets the time and attention they need.

If you’d prefer to use your own machine you are very welcome to bring it with you. Please see the notes below for full information.*

Each course is 5 weeks long and covers the following:

Week 1: Understand the Sewing Machine

Understanding how to use the machine and which stitches to use for what. Practising sewing in straight lines, corners and curves and general machine usage such as winding a bobbin and changing the machine needle.

Week 2: Envelope Cushion

During your second class you’ll learn how to cut and pin fabric accurately, sew in straight lines, create neat corners and finish your seams, and you’ll get to take home your completed cushion cover!

Week 3: Boxy Zippered Pouch

This week will reinforce all the skills you’ve learnt so far, plus you’ll learn how to insert a zip – a very valuable skill! Your pouch will be lined and make the perfect wash bag or pencil case!

Week 4: Eyemask

By your forth week you’re ready to move onto a project with more curves than straight lines! You’ll also learn how to make an elastic casing and work with wadding, sewing through multiple layers of fabric and applying bias binding.

Week 5: Lined Tote Bag with button closure

Your final week will show you how to make a lined tote bag, building on the skills you’ve learnt so far, plus adding in new ones such as lining, turning tubes of fabric and making a machined button hole.



The class includes expert instruction, use of the Janome machines, tools, threads etc, your pattern so that you can make again at home, plus tea, coffee and biscuits!


You just need to provide your fabric for each project from week 2 onward. Each project only uses a small amount of fabric, usually no more than 0.5m. You’ll be given detailed information on which types of fabric to use and how much you need for each project. We provide everything else; sewing machines, notions, cushion pad, zips etc.


Complete Beginner (1)


Sheona McMahon, Gillian Payne, Barbra Ruis

More questions? Take a look at our Class FAQs – these also include our Class Cancellation Policy.

*Bringing Your Own Machine: You will need to ensure it is good working order, with a working foot cable, power pedal and a copy of your instructions (if you don’t have the original instructions, you can usually Google the make & model and download a copy). You will need to carry your machine from the car park and up one flight of stairs to our studio. Please note we may not have accessories to fit your own machine, such as a buttonhole foot, but we can work with what you do have and show you the options on the studio machines. If your machine is not deemed electrically safe, we’re sorry but you will not be able to use it.

Posted on

Meet the Highly Commended Makers: Catherine Middleton

Over the next few weeks, we promised, we’ll be getting you inspired all over again with the winners of our Highly Commended award which was part of The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Along.

Next up on the blog is the amazing Catherine (@catherinemakesstuff) who wowed us every week with her makes but she really wowed both us and the lovely Kate and Rachel from The Fold Line with her quilted Tilly and the Buttons Stevie top. Catherine is the lucky winner of 3 day Jeans Sewing Weekender taught by Sewing Bee Winner, Charlotte here at Sewisfaction HQ.

Tell us a bit about your sewing journey?

I’ve always loved making things, with varying degrees of success – but it’s good for the soul having an output for creative energy wherever the medium, and enthusiasm is more important than competence!
My Mum taught me to knit and sew as a child, she always made everything by hand which, I confess I never had the patience for and then my Aunt taught me how to use a sewing machine as a teenager, I made a couple of bits but wasn’t that interested. Although my career as a fashion design got off to a flying start – then abrupt end – with a spectacularly ill-fitting, gold glittery, reversible denim, bucket hat with insane topstiching and a ginger kitten applique!
15 years went by and I didn’t really think anything more about it. Then in March 2018 I rediscovered my sewing machine in the attic, bought my first pattern on a whim and dived right in!
I’ve become more than a bit obsessed, and have been quite prolific ever since, steadily building a me-made wardrobe, and sewing presents for everyone I know – whether they want them or not. I can’t throw anything away, and hated seeing all these beautiful scraps of fabric going to waste, so a love of quilting developed in tandem.

Tell us about your winning make and what inspired you?

I’m not a very precise person but there’s something so pleasing about the precision required for quilting. The joy in cutting tiny squares or triangles and assembling them into something larger. I hate waste, and I love the opportunity to use up scraps – so the sustainability week sew-a-long challenge was the perfect marriage of the two.

My previous attempt at making something out of scraps was made from crowd sourced cast offs for a novelty sound of music hen do scrapbook dress! This time I wanted to make something a bit more sophisticated. The fabric was all scraps from other projects, with a bit of a bed sheet thrown in their for good measure. I didn’t have any elastic for the button loop either so cut up a hair bobble – did the trick nicely.

Because there were so many pieces I was worried it would be quite bulky when finished, to combat this I went for a cropped Stevie top as it’s got a great boxy fit.  Once I’d pieced together the front panel I cut an additional front bodice out of some leftover lining fabric to encase all those seems and stitched the rest as normal. Top stitching the neckline was a bit of a pain. There were so many seems with the chevron pieces it was a bit of a fight to get it to lay flat.

What was your highlight from The Great British Sewing Bee?

That red dress Juliet made in the final… just wow! Oh and that black and white monochrome tutu Leah made in children’s week – impeccable. And just Ricardo generally. Also the speed in which those guys can sew, it’s phenomenal.

What’s next in your sewing pile? 

Currently dragging my heels on a Sew Over It 1940s wrap dress for a friend using vintage lace from a charity shop – the lace is very fiddly and annoying so I’ve been procrastinating! Have also been having a blast making a sea side quilt for a friend’s son – complete with a pieced crab Emoji and lighthouse.

For more about the amazing Charlotte, follow her on Instagram – @catherinemakesstuff

Did you enjoy reading this? Keep an eye out on the blog for our other two amazing sewists and their stories over the next few weeks.


Work With Us


Website & Class Coordinator (Part Time)

We’re recruiting for an outgoing, organised and professional administration coordinator for our friendly Wokingham-based team.

This is a busy and varied role which will be predominantly focused on assisting with the online side of our business, as well as organising and coordinating our studio classes. You’ll be responsible for getting our beautiful fabrics and patterns onto our website, as well as ensuring our studio timetable is up-to-date and that we have all the necessary equipment for classes. Plus you’ll be the main point of contact for our incoming customer emails, ensuring queries are dealt with quickly and efficiently. 

Duties will include:

  • Receiving, photographing and adding new fabric, patterns and other stock to our website. 
  • Updating class information, dates and bookings on our website.
  • Ordering necessary class supplies.
  • Sending class reminders and feedback forms and following up any actions. 
  • Responding to customer email queries quickly and efficiently.
  • Working closely with the shop team to ensure stock is up-to-date and customer service is always at a high standard. 
  • Supporting with event preparation.

The right person will be proactive, hardworking and have a positive attitude. Being organised with a good eye for detail is essential and a love of sewing would be an advantage. 

You will need good IT skills and be happy using various web-based systems such as email and customer management systems as well as Word, Excel etc. Good communication skills both written and verbal are also essential. 

This is a key holding position so suitable for over 18’s only.

Hours: The position will be for 16 hours per week, Monday – Thursday 10am – 2pm (there is some flexibility on days which can be discussed at interview).

Salary: £9 per hour

Benefits: 20 days holiday (pro rata), pension scheme (if applicable) generous staff discount, plus the option to attend lots of our classes free of charge when there are available spaces.

Apply: Please email sheona@sewisfaction.co.uk with your CV and a brief covering letter telling us why you think you’d be right for this role. Please put Web & Class Coordinator in your email subject line.

Sewisfaction fabric shop sewing studio Wokingham Berkshire

Freelance Dressmaking Sewing Tutors

We are  increasing the range of classes on offer at our Wokingham studio and are looking for freelance sewing teachers to join the team.

Our customers are friendly and keen to learn, and our sewing studio has everything needed to run sewing and dressmaking classes. If you are a sewing tutor currently teaching, or looking to return to teaching, then please get in touch.

You will need to have strong experience in home sewing; including following sewing patterns, techniques and terminology and fitting for various body shapes.

You’ll have a confident, friendly teaching style and be used to teaching groups of 6-8 people, we like our students to learn lots and have fun whilst doing so!

We run classes during weekdays, evenings and weekends and are looking for tutors who have evenings and weekend availability as a priority.

Please email info@sewisfaction.co.uk with your CV and a brief covering letter tell us why you’d like to teach at Sewisfaction. Please put Tutor Application in your email subject line.

Closing Date: Ongoing

children's sewing classes

Freelance Children’s Sewing Teachers

We love teaching the next generation of sewing lovers and are looking for experienced sewing teachers to help with our classes for children aged 8+.

You’ll need to be experienced in home sewing and comfortable with using a machine, teaching others to sew basic projects and comfortable with a group of up to eight 8-14 year olds. There will always be another member of staff with you to help with cutting, ironing and needle threading etc!

You will be friendly, approachable, calm and used to being around children. You may work with children already in a different capacity, and want to share your sewing skills or are already a sewing tutor.

Our Children’s classes & parties are 2 – 2.5 hours long and are run during school holidays, sometimes after school and some Sundays so we are looking for teachers with flexibility during those times.

Please email info@sewisfaction.co.uk with your CV and a brief covering letter tell us why you’d like to teach at Sewisfaction. Please put Children’s Tutor Application in your email subject line.






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