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Sewing Machine Skills Course Revives Learner's Passion

Sharon, 62, is learning with us on a Sewing Machine Skills course at Poole Adult Learning Centre.  

Sharon started sewing during lockdown during the pandemic when her husband bought her a machine. She bought some sewing patterns, materials, and an encyclopedia she started to self-teach with. While Sharon had base knowledge of sewing from previous years, she felt like this was a fresh start with an amazing hobby.   

“I had an adult learning brochure come through my door with my post. The advert for sewing machine skills caught my eye, so I sat down and investigated it, and saw it was a new center. So I came along to the open day, found out a bit more and paid for it, and started a few weeks later.” 

Being retired and caring for her mum, sewing seemed like it could be a great hobby for Sharon. She said she has always loved to sew, and always kept her hand in it, but felt this course could be a good opportunity to take it to a new level. Sharon had goals of making her own clothes and accessories, such as dresses and jewellery. “I like to be sat doing something, I get a bit bored just sitting watching tv”. So her new machine and this new course gave Sharon an opportunity to do just that! 

Tutor, Rachel, with Sharon, showing her a new stitch on the machine.

At first, Sharon said she ‘wasn’t sure’ what she would get out of it, but said since starting she has learnt more in 9 weeks than all her base knowledge put together.  

“It is nice, I’ve met really nice people and to be honest it’s got to a stage where I look forward to coming in on Monday mornings now and seeing everybody“ 

Within a few weeks of the course starting, Sharon had signed up for the step 2 & 3 classes so she could continue learning and gain more sewing skills and said she is “really enjoying it”. The classes are welcoming and informal, and a great way to meet like-minded people. The small class sizes ensure individual attention. 

Since starting Sharon has successfully made some beautiful creations including dresses and bags. “You can make what you want, and how you want to make it. One of the best parts is that you know if you’ve made something, someone’s not going to turn up in the same thing!” 

Sharon’s tutor, Rachel Aldridge, said: “Nothing gives me greater pleasure than helping my students and seeing them progress on their sewing journey”. 

Sharon with a new bag, just one of the crafts she has made since starting the course.

Sewing Machine Skill classes are available at different ability levels from beginner to advanced and are held across Dorset in Poole, Blandford, Dorchester, and more. You can view our latest sewing machine and textiles courses on our course search.  

Sharon’s course, Sewing Machine Skills 1, is not just a course for complete beginners, but also those who may have sewn at school and maybe just need to brush up their skills. During this practical course, students learn about stitch tension, how to trouble shoot problems and really get to know their particular machine and its capabilities. They also learn about many different useful techniques, such as hems, seams, fastenings and pattern cutting. They are then able to complete their own projects using the various techniques. 

We also offer other sewing and textiles courses, teaching embroidery techniques, pattern cutting, and how to turn old clothes into cozy cushions. Throughout the year there are also seasonal courses, such as teaching you how to create a beautiful beach bag in the summer, or festive Christmas scene in the winter.  

Our Arts & Crafts courses can help you to gain new skills to use in your personal time for a hobby, like Sharon. They can be a great way to make new friends, re-gain old skills, or find new ones. You can also use our Arts & Crafts courses to discover new talents which you could then use for work or to start your own business. Discover more information about our Arts & Crafts learning opportunities.