Monday, 24 November 2014

Children's Parties: Frozen theme capes and snowmen

A few weeks ago we had a very sweet themed party at The Old School Club.

The party had a Frozen theme and the birthday boy liked superhero capes, so we made Frozen themed capes! Children decorated their silver/blue & white velvet capes with felt shapes, which included their initials, snowflakes and glitter stars.

Our most popular themes for boys are superhero and pirates, but I must say this one was a success too.

Oh and we also made these delightful Olaf's with model magic.

If you would like to find out more about our parties, please check our website or just contact us if you would like to discuss how we can make your party super special!


Thursday, 6 November 2014

New dressmaking classes and new teacher, Rachel from House of Pinheiro.

The new season starts and I am super excited about our new dressmaking classes. Rachel, the talented creative behind the blog, House of Pinheiro will be teaching how to sew to fabulous garments, from beginners to advanced, to suit a wide range of skills and abilities.

If you would like to learn how to read and follow a commercial pattern, how to choose the right fabrics - type and prints, how to sew a garment so it flatters your figure and how to add your own touches to make it your own, these are the classes for you.

I started following Rachel (I mean in the social media world .. ) several months ago, feeling a bit jealous of all her beautiful.projects. And then we met, we talked and we discussed the possibility of running some classes here at The Old School Club.

I really like her style, I see it as modern, adventurous, challenging. She is able to add a personal & fun touch to common patterns, with a great eye for fabric and prints. If you would like to see her projects, please pop over to her blog. I bet you will be booking a class with her soon. I am!

Rachel has lots of teaching experience, providing top sewing classes in London. Over 3800 blog followers are the proof that she is doing something right! She also participates in sewing make along's, reviews patterns and gets mentioned in many of my favorite blogs. As Jane, from Handmade Jane, says:

Rachel is an excellent seamstress/teacher, super organiser of sewing blogger meet-ups and a wonderful friend to boot. She ALWAYS looks fab, whatever she's wearing and I've learnt a lot from her over the years. 

Back to the classes.

Our classes are fun and relaxed, although Rachel will make sure your learn all the technical tips too. They are usually over two sessions or a one day class, where we will include a light lunch. The pattern is included, so you can take it home and make other versions, use other fabrics or just frame it for future reference .. saying, oh, I made this one!!

These are the two classes currently scheduled (more to come soon). You will get a 10% on the second class, if you book a third one, you will get a 15% discount and we could go on .. but we will stop at 20%.

Let's have a close look ..


This chic and simple shift dress is easy to sew, astoundingly versatile, and comfortable to wear year-round. Making a simple dress is an ideal way to begin dress making and learn new skills and you'll come away with an elegant dress made to your measurements. Ideal for those with some sewing experience but new to pattern reading or dressmaking. 

In this class you'll learn:

- how to read, follow and alter a basic sewing pattern,
- how to sew darts and pleats,
- how to set in a sleeve. 

Why Laurel? 

Uses almost any fabric: from stripes and plaid to huge florals and vintage novelty prints. Because it has so few seams and darts (particularly in front), your fabric is really allowed to sing.

Flattering: How to make a loose style work well on different body types?

Quick and easy: The most basic version of this dress has three pattern pieces. It’s fast!

Stash-buster: Because you can use so many fabrics, because it doesn't require a ton of yardage, and because it’s so easy to make, this is the ultimate stash busting dress (or blouse). 

Comfortable: the best sewing projects are the ones you actually wear. 


Semi-fitted sleeveless blouse with triangle cut-out neckline and buttoned lower back. The pattern includes a Peter Pan collar variation.

The pattern is Advanced, but the class can be taken by someone who has made a few dresses before. Not for total beginners, although for those Rachel will cover the Tallis collar. It's her most popular class!

Why Datura?

- Versatility: a perfect fit for shorts of jeans, or more formal if tucked in with a high waisted skirt. 

- Challenging! if you are have an intermediate level in dressmaking, this blouse has several features that will make the sewing quite interesting, like the buttoned back or the neckline variations.

For more information about these classes, dates and how to book, please check our website. 

We hope to see you soon! 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

My sewing month: the Laurel dress, a new cape, a colourful poncho .. and knickers!

I am not a dressmaker - I can follow patterns and make a few garments for myself, but I am not good enough at fitting. So a few weeks ago, when Rachel Pinheiro from House of Pinheiro was teaching the Laurel dress at the club, I decided to pick up some of the tips and made myself a Laurel dress. Aren't I lucky?
Have a look at our Dressmaking classes for this season.

I love Colette patterns. They are simple but super stylish and they are easy to make. I made the Ginger skirt for the summer holidays and I really like how it looks!

It was obviously my sewing week. Two days before I had made a beautiful and super easy cape - which now I wear non-stop!. I bought this great wool blend from Fabrics Galore , which is only 2 MINUTES from here! (oh and a few other fabrics too) and I applied a faux suede me-made bias tape around the neck. I also managed to make a fringe at the bottom of the sides. Success.

Just check out my hand drawn pattern :-)
Ended up with a squared version, top right corner.

And then I bought this beautiful wool/cashmere blanket. I wore it on a Sunday to go out for lunch with my two kids and a dog and it just kept falling off all the time, not comfortable for a busy mum. So I just made a hole, with a hidden bias, and now I use it as a poncho. Another great success.

I was sooooo delighted with all these, that I am now dedicated to make myself one piece of clothing a month. Yes, yes. Although I have very little time left after providing classes, running the club, painting and looking after my kids, I am determined to make myself more garments. Given that I like modern & simple lines, it can't be that difficult!

This month I am going to make myself a pair of knickers and a camisole. Emma is teaching these two classes at the club next week and I just LOVE the style. Made from upcycled materials (an old t-shirt, jersey or stretch fabric) she teaches how to cut the pattern and sew super comfortable knickers using a domestic sewing machine. We have done a few knicker classes with her before, but the camisole is a new one .. sooo excited.

And then the next pattern, which will be in December! Definitely something for Christmas  .. sooo many options out there, any suggestions?

We will have to wait and see ... lets make the knickers and the camisole first!

For more information about our classes, please check our website:

My Laurel dress:

My Cape:

My Poncho!! see the blanket style?

Happy sewing.