New Courses

This morning Debs has been putting together details of some classes for the end of this year and thinking ahead to the New Year and what might be useful. She’s thinking of Christmas presents for her family, so presumes that it’s on other people’s minds too. 🙂

First up is the brand new Reindeer textile taxidermy course. This is the chance to make a beautiful, unique item to decorate your home over the festive period, or beyond if you prefer.

Festive or not, a stuffed reindeer head is a fab addition to any decor.

Next up is a patchwork cup and saucer. Debs has had one for years, by the side of her bed to put her jewellery in overnight when she takes it off. She made one for her mum who has it next to her chair in the lounge so she can store her rings safely when she puts on hand cream. They can be made in a variety of fabric to suit your decor or in a mix so they will go anywhere. Debs (some of you will NOT be surprised to hear) has a purple one!

Multi-patterned patchwork cup and saucer. Perfect for keeping bits and pieces safe. We can’t promise that it will stop your cat going fishing for them though …

Another course coming up is to make reusable fabric bags for your holiday gifting and beyond. Debs first started making these when her family decided to gift local gins one Christmas. She thought that whilst they were beautiful bottles of fantastic gin, they didn’t look very nice when wrapped up so she decided to make these. They best thing is that you can make them in a variety of sizes so will make even the most oddly shaped bottles look special (Chambourd and Galiano, we’re looking at you … )

Any size bottle beautifully wrapped to make that gift look as special as the thought behind it.

And finally Debs is planning her Memory Creatures classes. She will be helping you to take the fabric items of your loved ones and make them into something you can display and enjoy. Over the years she has made a variety of these, most recently a pair of memory bears from a mother-in-law’s wedding dress. Whilst Debs is happy to take on commissions she knows that many people will want to be able to create their own creature to make it extra special.

How gorgeous is this bear? What a fantastic way to remember a loved one.
An old rugby top made into a bear.
Another sports top given a new lease of life as a seal. Clever use of the original top’s features reinforces the connection between it and the new creature..

Details of pricing and dates will be added to the website over the next day or two. Feel free to tap in if you want to confirm a date sooner, or if you want to chat to Debs about commissioning her to create one for you. Memory creatures start at £45. If you want one for Christmas you’ll need to be quick as Debs’ order book is filling up.

deborah@wizardmakes.com

… and relax …

What a fantastic first week we’ve had at our new HQ!

After a massively busy week moving into our new workshop we have really enjoyed being able to get on with what we’re actually here for.

Monday started with a new daytime Come and Sew session. 13:30-16:00 followed by our usual 19:00-21:30. Both had plenty of attendees. We even had someone come along after a meeting they couldn’t get out of, just to see the new workshop! 🙂

Tuesday saw our inaugural Knit and Natter which was really well attended. There’s still space for more knitters, crocheters and other yarn enthusiasts, so do come along this week if you can knit/crochet/weave or want to learn to. Lots of experience and patience sat around our table.

Wednesday sessions started first thing at 09:00. We welcomed our first patchworker to this. She arrived with a stack of blocks and left with a fully sashed cushion top. Take a look …

What great progress! Left with the skills to have a go at another at home with other already made blocks.

We took our first deliveries on Wednesday. First one was blind header rails via a courier and then even more excitement came through the post in the form of technology! iZettle has come to WizardMakes so we can now take card payments. Woo! Hoo!

Thursday was a quieter day with just one session in the afternoon. Quiet but productive.

Debs then went up to Hazel Grove to do some private tuition; two hours spent helping a lady perfect some finishing techniques. We focussed on zips, buttons, buttonholes and hemming of stretch knits. I can’t wait to see what comes out of that sewing room next!

The rest of Thursday daytime and all of Friday, Debs worked on commissions in her new, HUGE, pristine studio. It’s safe to say that we have found our happy place. Hope to see you join us soon.

New Venue

Having spent last week relocating, this week has seen us start our new range of drop-in sessions..

We have managed to bring all our activities together into a beautiful, newly refurbished space on New Road in Whaley Bridge, up above Trusted IT and it is amazing!

The space has loads of light and plenty of space to allow the sewing school to be set up as well as giving Debs the room to complete her commissions.

The sewing school is equipped with new Janome 230DC machines which have been added to in the form of a brand new Janome overlocker, which we are loving.

We use Janome sewing machines exclusively. All have an electronic foot pedal which means they have speed control. We also have a 4-thread Janome overlocker.

We have expanded the number of Come and Sew sessions that a we offer as well as putting in a Knit and natter evening. With all these session on offer w hope you can join us.

Monday 
Sewing £6 per hour – £15 per session 
13:30 – 16:00
19:00 – 21:30

Tuesday
Knit and natter £4
19:00 – 21:00

Wednesday
Sewing £6 per hour – £15 per session
09:00 – 11:30
13;30 – 16:00
19:30 – 22:00

Thursday
Sewing £6 per hour – £15 per session
12:30 – 15:00

Next week we’ll be finalising some day classes. Watch this space for dates, times and content.

New location: The Old Corn Mill, New Road, Whaley Bridge, High Peak SK23 7JG

Making in Tideswell

Samples to inspire the students

Last weekend saw the most recent pair of courses running at the gorgeous Peak District Yarns studio in Tideswell. There were two different courses running consecutively teaching some very different, yet immensely useful, skills.

The morning saw us embark on learning how to make a machine stitched roman blind. It covered the theory of how to measure them, how to calculate the amount of fabric and lining needed, where to place the rod pockets and ultimately shared a number of tips as to how to achieve a professional finish.

Pinning the rod tape in place prior to stitching – accuracy is everything to ensure a professional finish.

Everyone worked really hard to ensure that the completed items were very well finished so they could refer to them along with their comprehensive notes when they want to make them again. Another skill that will help our students save themselves money whilst giving them a home to be proud of.

Beautifully finished blinds.

After lunch the second course began, this time teaching a couple of different ways to insert a zip. The students learnt the tricks of the trade behind putting in a lapped and invisible zip, leaving with a pair of samples to help them remember how to do it when they need it in their own projects.

Tricks of the trade for successful zip insertion …

Another fab day with brilliant outcomes. Hope to see you again soon.

Update

Now that the crisis stage of the dam here in Whaley Bridge is over we are getting back to normal, slowly but surely. We weren’t evacuated but the mental anguish caused by the possibility of our town being destroyed, along with the homes of many friends, made it difficult to concentrate.
After this week of upset we have now finished and delivered another pair of roman blinds. These were another Upcycle, taking a customer’s unused curtains and making them into two new blinds for her lounge, not only saving her money, but saving the fabric from ending up in landfill. Win! Win! we say.
If you have any curtains that you want remade into blinds then get in touch. We also make curtains and blinds from new fabric and currently have two sets on our cutting table.

Upcycled a disused curtain into a pair of roman blinds. 2-4-1. We love a “bargain!”

Alongside drapery and soft furnishings we also do upholstery to commission and run a sewing school.

A new lease of life to a family piece. Looking stylish in Linwood herringbone wool.

We have a weekly sewing group that meets on Monday at The Uniting Church from 7-9:30. It works out at £6 per hour, as it is £15 for the session. A discount is available for block booking, “buy 5, get one free”.

We also run day courses. The next couple are in Tideswell, just a 15 minute drive away from Whaley Bridge, at the beginning of September and cover how to make machine stitched Roman blinds and how to insert a couple different zips.
We hope to see you soon.


Sorry for the gap in posting – we’ve been busy.

Those of you who follow us on FaceBook or Instagram will know that despite the lack of action here on the WizardMakes.com web site, we have been really busy; so get your brew made, pull a chair up and we’ll fill you in with the highlights.

Since we last updated here we have been busy with our Come and Sew group at The Uniting Church in Whaley Bridge every Monday evening from 7:00–9:30pm. the session continue to grow, and we have a solid core of keen ‘sewists’ that come week after week, learning new skills and consolidating recently learnt ones.

Second use of a paper pattern – pyjama shorts

We’ve also been teaching a couple of day classes, namely Box Cushions and Roman Blinds. As often happens, we get so engrossed in the class that we forget to take photos. Luckily our pupils were better than us and are kind enough to share their learning. 🙂 Here’s an Instagram post from one of them.



We’ve also been busy with commissions of both upholstery and soft furnishings.

One commission was a beautiful French lion-head chair which was traditionally upholstered, with springs, hessian and coir topped off with a classic green herringbone from Linwood Fabric and Wallpaper. We loved it so much that we really wanted to keep this one.

Classic, renaissance style chair, traditionally upholstered, then herringbone wool by Linwood Fabrics and Wallpaper.

Blinds have kept us busy too. We’ve delivered several sets and are working on a couple more.

A tricky fabric, but definitely worth the effort.

We’ve finished a few samples, trying out different techniques, including a recliner that a former colleague gave Debs when she first went full-time into WizardMakes. It was rather tired and tatty when she received it, but saw the challenge, was grateful of the support and got on with it.

Before …
After … It’s already at home in WizardMakes Jnr’s bedroom. It is much harder to get him down for his evening meal now.

Not content with fabric crafts we have also turned our hand to woodwork. Don’t worry nothing serious, just an IKEA Hack that we found on Pinterest that has resulted in the most humungous cutting table ever that, as well as being able to be shunted around the workshop, has the most amazing amount of storage under it.

A few Kallax shelf units, a couple of pieces of 19mm MDF, some straight and bent brackets, a few hours with a power drill et voila! New multi purpose cutting table at a height that Debs’ physio approves of. 🙂

In amongst all that, we have found time to support a community initiative. Tracey of Handmade at Horwich End (https://handmadeinhorwichend.com) has organised a Bunting Factory the last two years and we have been happy to help out. We’ve just seen it being put up ready for the Whaley Bridge Carnival this Saturday, June 29 and it looks fab. Much better than the plastic stuff that used to adorn the village. It doesn’t stretch along the whole of the route, but to quote from a very old advert, “We’re getting there …”

And finally, last week we were delighted to be able to support a local fundraiser for Breast Cancer Now, which is a charity close to our hearts. We are currently waiting with bated breath to find out who was the lucky winner of the 2-hour private lesson gift voucher.

We promise to try not to leave it so long next time as TBH it’s taken ages to type all this up, and we’ve probably missed out some fun/interesting stuff! Check out our FaceBook page for more regular updates. https://www.facebook.com/wizardmakes/

Using paper patterns, from a standing start

How fantastic! First attempt at using a paper pattern. Love the top stitching. It really adds a professional finish.

As you know, on March 15 WizardMakes opened its pop-up sewing group in the Uniting Church in Whaley Bridge, giving local sewers the chance to come along and spend two and a half hours cutting, pressing, stitching and chatting. There has been a wide variety of projects undertaken and completed during that time with items from Roman blinds to dog beds to children’s clothing and everything in between being made. It has been amazing to see.

Some of our members had never used a paper pattern before and were keen to use these sessions to have a go, knowing that Debs would be there to guide them through the process.

One lady has already completed a kimono style jacket for herself and is now working on pyjama bottoms for her daughters, whilst another has made dresses and leggings for her daughter and a variety of garments for herself. We were blown away by their enthusiasm and determination. Well done ladies!

Daughters’ request. Mum’s next task. Pyjama bottoms, or are they summer shorts?

Another pair of workshops in March

Refresher course for one learner

Last Sunday saw our most recent Absolute Beginners’ workshop up at Peak District Yarns, and what a day it was. The students were keen to learn whether it be from a standing start or from a distant memory and enthusiasm came in spade loads.

Everyone managed to complete both their reusable shopper and their zipped pouch, which for a beginner is some feat. Zips can have even the most experienced sewer in a tizz, as my Gran would say.

Excellent machine control lead to success with Clever Corners

As always we were using the brand new Janome machines which have a speed control to give students the ability to speed up as their confidence grows over the day, or to slow down if they feel they want to.

Their next step could be the Scatter Cushions workshop this Sunday, 24 March, Bring Your Own Project in May or even Roman Blinds later in the year. Loads of options available, including the new Monday evening drop-in sessions in Whaley Bridge, Uniting Church where you can bring whatever you want and use our equipment, small and large. You could even join them.

Some of the fabrics to choose from this weekend

… and we’re off …


All set up, ready to go.

Tonight saw the inaugural session of Come and Sew, the weekly, Monday evening sewing group at The Uniting Church in Whaley Bridge.

We set up nice and early and then waited …

Debs didn’t have to wait too long for a bunch of keen sewers to come through the door. There was a mix of projects from roman blinds, to children clothes to adults clothing. There was a range of experience levels too, but that didn’t phase Debs who, having worked in secondary education with mixed ability classes for the last 15 years, can deal with most things.

Pinning and cutting out “oh so tricky” jersey. Fantastic work for a novice.

What’s that you’ve given me Debs? A magnetic seam guide? To quote Peter Kay “It’s the future.”
Quiet concentration whilst using a paper pattern for the first time. Trying really hard to remember the notches.

We had a great evening with loads achieved, blinds realigned, kimono cut out, jersey dress cut out and stitched together. Amazing work! Well done ladies. See you all again next week. Thanks for coming. x

… and all too quickly, it was over. Can’t wait to do it all again next Monday.

Come and Sew

Unless you have been away since the beginning of February you can’t have failed to notice that The Great British Sewing Bee is back, and what a fab few first weeks we’ve had.

So far, our favourite has been 70s week. The maxi dresses were stunning! We particularly liked the one made by Alexi. Dare we say it, the tasteful face of the 70s.

Alexi impresses with his maxi dress, conquering the twelve darts with great skill.

Tonight’s episode did not disappoint either, with discarded tents being remodelled into raincoats for dogs. What fun!

The contestants’ creativity never ceases to amaze us.

Practical features, either for real or in the contestant’s head, there were some brilliant ideas on show.

If you are now desperate to get stitching yourself, why not join us at our Come and Sew sessions starting next Monday 11 March 2019 from 7:00-9:30pm at The Uniting Church, Buxton Road, Whaley Bridge? All you need to bring is your fabric and pattern. We’ll have our brand new Janome machines available to use along with the usual scissors, needles, unpickers etc.

It would be lovely to see you there.