Angela Pressley is a self-confessed fabricaholic and owner of The Sewing Club, where she teaches inspirational classes for children and adults. Her brand new book, Sewing Machine Basics for Children, showcases the basic skills and equipment needed to sew, plus fun and colourful makes that put those skills into practice.
What is your top tip for encouraging children to sew?
I always start new children off with something that will inspire them and get them looking and thinking about fabrics. In class we do have to learn about how the machine works and how to sew safely but it works well if children have a goal in sight. My studio is full of projects and samples to look at so when they enter, they can see what they can aspire to and choosing really fabulous fabric adds to their enthusiasm.
Do you have a favourite project from the book?
It’s very difficult to choose! There are lots of useful projects in the book like the reversible skirt, luggage tag and ear buds buddy but the one I do like, in particular, is the Care Eating Bear. He has such character with his wide zippy mouth and by making it, you learn how to insert a zip with a lining so there are lots of skills involved and he’s cute too!
What are some of your favourite craft Instagram accounts to follow?
I love following fashion and interior stylists, but I’m also inspired by @sfrobcurry, @guthrieghani, @barji, @virgin_honey and @kennethdking.
Who/where’s your go-to for sewing supplies?
I’m often gifted fabrics for my classes but I like to use local charity shops and Freecycle groups. When buying new supplies, I look for sustainable fabric choices such as surplus and deadstock fabric and I choose linen, organic cotton and Ecovero viscose where I can: @FabricsGalore, @dragonfly_fabrics, @thefabricshopwhitstable, @rainbowfabrickilburn, @sewmesunshine.uk, @organic_textile_company.
Crafting aside, what is your favourite way to pass the time?
As my life revolves around creating, I am constantly looking for new ideas for my sewing and appreciating new crafts that I’ll never have time to do! But I do enjoy looking after my pets, Pilates, reading novels with a bit of history or based in Italy, watching TV detective series and of course, The Great British Sewing Bee and any programme to do with interior design and George Clarke!
Are you working on anything new that we should be excited about?
I’m busy preparing for my first workshop and live theatre demo at The Knitting & Stitching Show in October, they will both be projects from my book, so I’m really looking forward to it! I’m also working on more sewing patterns that I hope to launch in the new year. I love to make dress patterns which are easy to wear, easy to adjust to your body-shape and make the wearer feel wonderful and I also love following handbag trends–so watch this space for bowling ball styles, oversized totes and quilted clutches!