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Angela Pressley

Angela Pressley is a self-confessed fabricaholic and founder of The Sewing Club, where she teaches inspirational classes for children and adults. Her brand new book, Simple Machine Sewing, features 30 stunning accessories, garments and home furnishings, each of which will help you to practice different techniques. Angela is also the author of Sewing Machine Basics for Children.


Do you have a favourite project from the new book?

Fabrics are my passion so the two projects that stand out to me are the cross-back apron and the plush tote. The vivid red linen I chose for the apron really pops and the fibre will wear well and become beautifully soft over time. The faux fur for the plush tote makes me smile! the fabric (upcycled from a cushion cover) is so soft to touch you can't stop feeling it! Soft touch fabrics are popular now because they give us a sense of cosiness and reassurance; you know how lovely it is to stroke a cat, well, with this bag you can always have that sensation! Don't forget to add a fabulous lining inside, too!

Simple Machine Sewing


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.


Where are your go-tos 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,, @organic_textile_company.

Simple Machine Sewing


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!


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.


Are you working on anything new that we should be excited about?

As well as teaching in my sewing school and introducing all the new projects from my latest book Simple Machine Sewing to my lessons, I'm putting together my next book which will be another children's book.  Week in, week out, my students inspire me with the ideas and projects they want to sew so it won't be hard compiling another book.  In my children's classes we have tackled complex techniques it's often surprising but we take it step-by-step and nothing seems to faze them.  Toys are always popular, we must have made most soft toys by now from walruses to hyenas, if I get the request for an animal, I do the research and come up with a pattern!


Simple Machine Sewing by Angela Pressley is out now. To get more free projects like this one - direct to your inbox - sign up to our mailing list here.

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