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July 2019 Newsletter

July  2019 Newsletter

40 Coutts Street,
Kilbirnie, Wellington 6022 
(04) 387 4505
jo@sewingdirect.co.nz

Our new shop is a big hit!

We’ve been at 40 Coutts Street for 3 months now and we love it! The words customers use most often to describe the new shop are “cosy” “warm” “welcoming” “happy” and “nice vibe”. We agree. It was hard work getting here, and there’s more to do before we’re truly settled and organised but we’re delighted with our more compact and easier to manage premises and with our customers’ reactions to the new space.

Tell your friends!

Not everyone got the message that we’ve shifted, although we did our best to publicise it.  Every day at least one person comes in and says they went to our old shop and were shocked to find us gone! Luckily our neighbours at the old shop tell people where we are now.  Please tell your friends that we haven’t closed and that we’re just up around the corner.  Word of mouth is still the best way to spread news.  And not everyone knows the name of Coutts Street so we’re getting very used to saying “beside Westpac bank” and “just along from Burkes cycles towards Rita Angus retirement village”. 

Tailormade Eclipse Sewing Cabinet draw.

The competition for the Tailormade Eclipse cabinet (RRP $1399) ended on Sunday 30 June.  That afternoon Jo put all the entries in a large bucket, stirred them around and  drew out one ticket under the watchful gaze of 4 very experienced sewists who’d hired the classroom for the day.  The lucky winner is Tracey Bell who is very excited to know she’ll be taking delivery of her lovely cabinet within the next week or so.  

Staff news

Our long-serving staff person Prue Hurndell left at the end of May to prepare for the birth of her daughter Josephine - but she promises to come back to teach crochet classes as soon as the baby lets her!  

We’ve been very lucky to hire Marianna Peltonen in Prue’s place. Marianna is Finnish, has a post graduate Fine Arts degree from the University of London, speaks 4 languages and is a sculptor and needlefelter extraordinaire!  She‘ll be teaching a kids’ needlefelting class in the July holidays and the foxes she’s made as samples are so popular with grownups as well that we’ll have to add an adult class to the schedule!  Marianna and her husband hope to be in NZ for several years - and we hope she stays with us for as long as possible.  

The other new face you’ll see in the shop, especially from late July, belongs to Robyn Hambleton, who will be newly retired from her longstanding role in the Community Education programme at Wellington High School.  Robyn is creative, clever, organised, and lovely - and will be standing in for Jo during Jo’s holiday in August and early September. After that, Robyn and Jo will work out a job sharing arrangement so that each gets some time on and time off!  (Perfect!)  Robyn and Jo have been friends for a very long time  - having been classmates at intermediate and high school in Napier.  Robyn’s already done some on-the-job training and loves the shop and its staff and customers! She’ll be a tremendous addition to our small team. 

New stock

Yarn 
We’re constantly updating our extensive yarn collection - adding interesting new ones (eg. Rowan Baby Merino Silk 8 ply, Naturally Exotic Crazy Days 12 ply and Fiddlesticks Oslo 8 ply) and culling slower-moving ones.
There are so many yarns to choose from and we can’t have them all but, even if we don’t normally stock a particular yarn from one of our suppliers, we can always order in a bag for you, or multiples of a bag. (Usually a bag has 10 x 50 gm balls or 5 x 100gm balls). 
As for knitting and crochet patterns - again there are so many out there and we keep adding to our very good selection. (A range of Rowan yarn booklets - very reasonably priced - are our latest faves!) Some customers come in with patterns they’ve downloaded from the internet or have found in an op shop and want us to advise them how to achieve the result in the pattern’s picture but with totally different yarn! We’re great at translating yarn quantities and sizes from one similar yarn to another but it’s always best to use a pattern that’s been designed for the very yarn you’re working with. It’s also best to do a tension square before beginning a garment with yarn or a needle size that’s new to you. It only takes a few minutes but can prevent the expensive mistake of creating a garment that’s the wrong size. (Yes mum!) 

Fabrics
We refresh our 100% cottons regularly, keeping a particular eye out for prints that are great for dressmaking as well as for quilting and other crafts. We also have a lovely range of dressmaking rayons/viscoses, linens, merinos, wool blends, cotton knits and sweatshirting - and linings and interlinings galore. One of the best parts of Jo’s job is travelling to Auckland for a day of visiting wholesalers and choosing fabrics that we can’t get otherwise. With the next trip planned for early July, there’ll be more gorgeous fabrics in store soon. 

Dressmaking patterns
In addition to our selection of Papercut (NZ), SewOverit (UK) and Little Kiwis Closet (NZ) patterns, we have a growing range of the Australian Style Arc patterns. Jo learned a lesson recently, however, by getting carried away and ordering more than the GST- exempt number of patterns - with the result that they were impounded by Customs and cost quite a lot to retrieve. Oops. We won’t be doing such a big order again. But right now there are new Style Arc patterns in store as well as more of the best sellers.

Sewing machines and overlockers
We still sell 7 brands of sewing machine and overlocker - Janome, Elna, Babylock, Singer, Pfaff, Husqvarna Viking and HandiQuilter . We have less display room so have reduced our stock of demo machines to those that are the most popular and not too big! 
Prices for some machines have risen lately  - eg  our best-selling digital Janome,  the DC 2150,  has gone up from $499 to $569 (though we still one left at the original price).   To compensate, Janome has introduced a new entry level digital machine - the Juno DC 1030 - for $449.  We have sewing machines in store from $239 (mechanical Singer) to $12,000  (Janome Quiltmaker 15000) and a good range of overlockers and coverstitch machines too.  Come and talk  to us when you’re looking for a new machine!  

Classes

Samples for 4 of our classes!

We have a good number of adult classes scheduled between now and October - with more yet to be added. Keep checking our website for the latest list of classes.  The schedule (so far) is attached, after the schedule for our 7 kids’ classes in the July school holidays.  Enrol tojo@sewingdirect.co.nz or phone/ text Jo on 0274 264 870

FYI - when Jo has confirmed there’s space in your chosen class, please pay the class fee asap to secure your place. You can pay in the shop or by internet banking to Wellington Sewing Services’ account  06 0574 0304687 00.

We’re a bit light on experienced tutors right now as some of our regulars in past years are no longer available or are available only on a limited basis (eg Shirley, Prue).  Also our overlocker queen Gemma has been working so hard in the new shop that we daren’t wear her out with too many evening classes.  And new part-timer Maria - who’s always ready and willing to teach anything to do with garment construction and kids’ sewing and handcraft classes, has just had surgery on her foot and is out of action for a few weeks.

If you know great people who could be tutors here, or if you have ideas for new classes, please let us know.  We have a separate classroom building (and a 5 car customer carpark behind the shop) so could be running classes 24 / 7.  We’re also open to  hiring out the space for meetings, craft workshops  or other sober gatherings!  

KIDS’ JULY SCHOOL HOLIDAY CLASSES

1    Monday 8 July    10.30am - 3.30pm  (BYO lunch)  $60
Beginners’ Machine sew (9 years old and over)  
 
Sew and decorate a totebag  All materials provided.  BYO machine if you have one that works well (if in doubt, get us to check it well in advance of class please) or arrange to borrow one of ours.     Tutor Marina Collott

2    Tuesday  9  July   10.30am  - 3pm   (BYO lunch)   $60  
(FULL but see new class added on Tuesday 16 July) 

Needlefelt a cute fox (9 years old and older)  All materials provided plus you’ll get a kit to take home.     Tutor Marianna Peltonen  

3    Wednesday  10  July and Thursday 11 July, 10am to 12 noon both days.  $60 for the 2 sessions 

Machine sew a monster (9 years old and older, not for absolute beginner machinists).   All materials provided.  BYO machine if you have one or arrange to borrow one of ours.    Tutor Gemma Crouch-Gatehouse.   

4    Saturday 13 July - 10.30 am to 3.30pm  (BYO lunch)   $60   

Beginners’ machine sew (9 years and older) 
Sew and decorate a tote bag  All materials provided.  BYO machine if you have one that works well (if in doubt, get us to check it well in advance of class please) or arrange to borrow one of ours.  Tutor Maria French 

2  REPEATED     Tuesday  16  July   10.30am  - 3pm   (BYO lunch)   $60  

Needlefelt a cute fox  (9 years old and older)  All materials provided plus you’ll get a kit to take home.     Tutor Marianna Peltonen  

5.    Thursday 18 July - 10am - noon    $35

Younger kids’ handcraft class (7 years and older)   
Make a picture with fabric and fibres!  All materials provided.  Tutor Maria French 

6.     Saturday 20 July  - 10.30am to 2.30pm (BYO lunch)  $60

One-step-up from beginners machine sewing.    Machine sew an apron with bib  (9 years and older) All materials provided.   BYO machine or arrange to borrow one of ours.    Tutor Maria French

ADULT CLASSES

BEGINNER KNITTING (FULL -  new class to be scheduled soon!)

2 Thursday evenings, July 4 and 11, 6.15 to 8.15pm, $50

Make cotton washcloths / dishcloths 
Our patient and expert knitting tutor Katharine Gebbie will teach you the foundations of knitting in this 4 hour class - casting on, knit and purl stitches, increasing and decreasing, and casting off! And you’ll have cotton wash or dish cloths to use or give away as a result! BYO DK cotton yarn and 4mm knitting needles - available from the shop!

OVERLOCKER BOOTCAMP (now full - see August class) 
2 Thursday evenings, July 4 & 11, 6.15 to 8.15pm, 
$90 (includes fabric for wee t shirt and hoodie) 


In this very popular class our resident expert Gemma Crouch-Gatehouse will guide you to make 2 wee garments - a t-shirt and a hoodie - entirely on a 4 thread overlocker. We provide all fabric, you BYO overlocker (or arrange to borrow one of ours) and threads. Samples in store. 

BEGINNER MACHINE SEWING  (July class now full - see August class)

3 Tuesday evenings, July 16, 23 and 30, 
6.15 to 8.30pm each evening,   $100 includes all materials 


This popular class will take you from zero/hardly any machine sewing experience to being confident threading and using a sewing machine, sewing straight and curved pieces together neatly, and putting in a zip! We provide all fabrics and other bits you need to make a lined patchwork tote bag with an internal pocket, and a cushion in the shape of an owl face. (These make great gifts as well as being great teaching aids.) Tutor Maria French. Class fee $100 (includes all materials). BYO machine in good working order - or arrange to borrow one of ours. Samples in store. 

PATCHWORK FOR BEGINNERS
3 Wednesday evenings, July 17, 24 and 31,
6.15 to 8.45pm each evening, $120


In this class, you’ll make a quilt top under the expert guidance of Marjorie Thomas who will teach the basics of quilting (cutting and piecing) using a variety of popular blocks. (There will be a follow-up class for those who want to bind and quilt their work.) BYO fabrics, threads, and sewing machine (or arrange to borrow one of ours). Sample in store! Needs list available on enrolment. 

EXPLORE YOUR BIG COMPUTERISED MACHINE!
2 Thursday evenings, July 18 and 25,  6.15 to 8.45pm both evenings  $80


Have you traded up recently to a Janome Skyline S7, Skyline S9, Memory Craft 9400 or 9450?? Come and learn how to get the most from your amazing machine! Shirley Mooney will take you through the various features of your machine so you’ll be confident to use them in your future fabric creations. The class fee includes a kit of materials. 

TRADE SECRETS CLASSES - PROFESSIONAL SEWING TECHNIQUES FOR ZIPS, POCKETS, COLLARS, CUFFS AND HEMS!
July 27 (Zips), August 3 (pockets) and August 10 (collars, cuffs, seams and hems),
(3 Saturdays) 10.30am to 3.30pm each day
1 class $70, 2 classes $100, 3 classes $120 (plus $15 for zip kit for the zip class)
If you want to finish your garments like a professional these are the classes for you! Maria French will teach different ways of doing those difficult sewing tasks that we try to avoid. Never be scared of a zip, inset pocket or bound buttonhole again!. Do 1, 2 or all 3 classes. Needs list available soon!

SOCK KNITTING
2 Thursday evenings,  August 8 and 15,  6 15 to 8.15pm both evenings     $60 
plus you need 100 gms of 4 ply sock yarn and 5 dp needles 2.25, 2.5 or 2.75 mm (depending on your tension) plus 1 x 3.5mm dp needle 

So you can knit and want to extend your skills to something a bit different and very useful? Sock knitting is fun : there are so many colourful sock yarns to choose from, including self-patterning fairisle yarns. Tutor Katharine Gebbie is an expert knitter and will teach you the top down, flap heel method of knitting socks.

OVERLOCKER BOOTCAMP
August 8 and 15, 2 Thursdays, 6.15 to 8.15pm both evenings 
$90 (includes fabric for wee t shirt and hoodie) 


In this very popular class our resident expert Gemma Crouch-Gatehouse will guide you to make 2 wee garments - a t-shirt and a hoodie - entirely on a 4 thread overlocker. We provide all fabric, you BYO overlocker (or arrange to borrow one of ours) and threads. Samples in store. 

BEGINNER MACHINE SEWING
3 Monday,  August 12,19 and 26 
6.15 to 8.30pm each evening,   $100 includes all materials 

This popular class will take you from zero/hardly any machine sewing experience to being confident threading and using a sewing machine, sewing straight and curved pieces together neatly, and putting in a zip! We provide all fabrics and other bits you need to make a lined patchwork tote bag with an internal pocket, and a cushion in the shape of an owl face. (These make great gifts as well as being great teaching aids.) Tutor Maria French. Class fee $100 (includes all materials). BYO machine in good working order - or arrange to borrow one of ours. Samples in store. 

QUILT AS YOU GO
2 Tuesday evenings, August 20 and 27,  6.15 to 8.30 pm both evenings,  $60


In this class Marjorie Thomas will guide you in the cutting, piecing, quilting, binding and finishing of a log cabin design runner or (with a fold and a few more stitches) ipad cover. BYO machine, fabric and thread etc. Needs list available on enrolment. Sample in store! 

MACHINE SEW THE STYLE-ARC ROSIE TOP 
AUGUST 24 & 31, 2 Saturdays,  10.30am to 4pm both days,  $100 includes pattern


This elegant, easy-to-wear top (sample in store) will be an excellent addition to any woman’s wardrobe. Maria French will guide you to make it in the fabric of your choice (we have lots of suitable options!). Class fee $100 includes the Style Arc Rose pattern (RRP $21.90). BYO machine fabric and thread. 

BEGINNER EMBROIDERY
3 Thursday evenings, September 5, 12 &  26,  6.15 to 8.15pm each evening,  $75


Want to try your hand at embroidery? Marjorie Thomas will teach you how to prepare your base fabric, transfer your design to it and create different stitches to outline and fill out the design. BYO hoop, base fabric, threads, needles, scissors etc. Sample in store. Needs list available on enrolment. 

EXPLORE YOUR MEDIUM SIZED COMPUTERISED MACHINE!
2 Thursday evenings, September 12 & 19,  6.15 to 8.45pm both evenings, $75


If you’re keen to get the best out of your modern sewing machine but need a kickstart to try its bells and whistles, come to this class! Shirley Mooney will guide you to understand and practice using many of your machine’s special features. By the end of class you’ll be more knowledgeable about the dos and don’ts of modern machine sewing and way more confident to take on new sewing projects. 

WEAVING FOR BEGINNERS
September 15th and 22nd, $100 plus you need 200 gms of DK wool


Weaving provides a different way of working with colour! Learn how to warp up a loom and then weave a scarf. Tutor Sally Munro took up weaving not so long ago and, like a duck to water, has made some gorgeous creations and learned many valuable tips since. BYO rigid heddle loom or borrow one from a mate - or from us. 

SEW (BY MACHINE AND HAND) AN HEIRLOOM SOFT TOY
2 Saturdays, November  2 and 9,  10.30am to 4pm both days

Sample dolls and animals instore! 

Jenny Sutton has designed a range of beautiful dolls and animals and is happy to teach either the doll or an animal (or several animals that share the same basic pattern (eg deer, giraffe, donkey) depending on the preferences of those who are keen to enrol. 

BEGINNER KNITTING 

2 Wednesday evenings, Sept 11 and 18, 6.15 to 8.15pm, $50
Make cotton washcloths / dishcloths Our patient and expert knitting tutor Katharine Gebbie will teach you the foundations of knitting in this 4 hour class - casting on, knit and purl stitches, increasing and decreasing, and casting off! And you’ll have cotton wash or dish cloths to use or give away as a result! BYO DK cotton yarn and 4mm knitting needles - available from the shop!

Best wishes from Jo, Gemma, Mariana, Maria, Trish, and Robyn


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