Introduction to Machine Sewing Part 1 - Make a Tote Bag

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Introduction to Machine Sewing Part 1 - Make a Tote Bag

Saturday 12 October 2019

Session: 1


Time: 10.30am - 1.30pm

Level: Complete Beginner

Maximum Class Size:6

If you have never used a sewing machine before or you’re feeling a bit rusty, this is the class for you. We will familiarise you with the machine itself and teach you all the basic skills of machine sewing to give to the confidence to start simple projects on your own.

In this class you will cover the following techniques:

  • Thread up your machine

  • Wind on a bobbin

  • Understand stitch tension, length and width

  • Sew straight lines, corners and curves using a seam allowance

  • Cut from a pattern template

  • The art of pressing

  • Hemming

  • During this 3 hour session you will use your new found skills to make a Tote Bag using Ray Stitch fabric that is yours to keep and use forever! Once you have mastered the basics you could enrol onto our 'The Next Step - Essential Skills for Beyond Beginners' class where you can learn the techniques that are unique to dressmaking projects.

    All materials, tools and refreshments are provided. Instructions on how to make a Tote bag (including the paper pattern) we also be available for you to take home.

    If you would like to learn to sew on your own machine, please bring it along - providing it is less than 10 years old.


    “I attended Introduction to Machine Sewing in the morning then The Next Step in the afternoon and time passed very quickly, both teachers were very helpful and instructions were easy to follow, will definitely book another class” - Milly

    “A really great introduction class, will be back for the follow up class!” - Sian

    “An excellent introduction to sewing on a machine. We covered so much in such a short period of time and great to have made something to take home” - Laura


    Moyna Hamilton studied clothing technology at London College of Fashion before going straight into the fashion industry and working as a pattern cutter. For over 18 years she worked for a wide range of companies from designers to high street suppliers and, after having children, she also successfully set up and ran her own children’s bed linen and accessories company called Eazy-Tiger. More recently she has been teaching in primary and secondary schools and is pleased to be combining her experience in schools with her years of experience in fashion to teach others the art of sewing, pattern cutting and making their own clothes.

    Luisa Tobitt began to develop her interest in stitch and textiles whilst studying for a BA in Sculpture at Brighton University. Much of her work involved taking garments apart, reworking them and stitching onto them. On completion of her degree, Luisa returned to London and studied a Diploma in Theatrical Costume at Kensington & Chelsea College. She spent the next two years studying design, pattern cutting, construction and decoration for 18th Century dress and the Victorian era. Gaining a Diploma in Handcraft Tailoring at London College of Fashion closely followed this and three years later Luisa also gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Pattern Cutting & Garment Technology, also at London College of Fashion. With a strong love for vintage fashion, Luisa enjoys using vintage patterns, reworking vintage garments and studying traditional sewing techniques.

    Penny Follows has sewn since an early age, indeed she does not remember a time when she didn’t sew! She was fortunate enough to have a mother who was a skilled needlewoman and who created all sorts of stylish clothes for herself and Penny. Penny was encouraged to sew for herself by her mother and two grandmothers, one of whom was a tailoress. Penny worked with Janome as a sewing consultant at John Lewis and taught machine sewing at their flagship store in Oxford Street for a number of years. Penny joined our team of teachers at Ray Stitch in 2016 and leads a variety of workshops, sharing her passion and enthusiasm for sewing and making clothes. She combines teaching with running her own business called The Village Seamstress taking most pleasure in creating bespoke garments for clients.

    Jess Radley had been sewing for several decades having taught herself on an old hand-turned Singer machine, taking apart old clothes and making patterns from them. She's more recently had formal training in Men's Tailoring at City Lit London and in producing digital drafts of her hand drawn patterns on CAD software at London College of Fashion. Her current sewing passions range from made-to-measure men's shirts to baby clothes and quilts, she's also designing a range of sewing patterns.