Monday, 2 February 2015

Top 10 tips to decorate a room the easy way

I have decided to make more and buy less (or if I need to buy something I can’t make myself, it has to be a pretty good deal!). So when trying to decorate a room, there are a few things you can plan and do yourself without having to spend a fortune ..

Here my top 10 tips to how to decorate a room the easy way:

1. Choose your room paint colour last – how many people have painted a room with "Elephant Breath" and then they realised that the lilac tone does not go with anything? Don’t get tracked by the trend .. make sure you choose the right tones for the size, light and use of the room. 

2. Give your furniture some space – remove clutter and keep it simple. Pick the pieces that are high value, put aside those things you don’t want to get rid of but you don’t like as they are, and remove the cheap stuff. This includes inherited, given and terribly tacky items. Just because you inherited it doesn’t mean it is an antique, find a new home for it. No mercy. Next time your mother in law comes to visit just say that the lamp fell off and landed on it and it broke, or got wood worms, or your kids painted a cave mural on it .. 

3. Do you have carpet, wooden floors, other? If the carpet is in good condition but you don’t like it much, leave it, you need to find a way to divert your eyes from the carpet, like an XL rug. If the carpet is so horrendous you can’t live with it .. you may want to check what is underneath. Maybe the boards are in good condition and only need sanding, painting or staining. Otherwise just get on with it and change the carpet – this time get a neutral colour please. 

4. Rugs - There are many ways to place a rug: XL size so all the furniture stays on it, small to define the main areas or at the front of some pieces. 

5. Decide what things you can make – you will be surprised how a pair of new cushions, new lined curtains or just changing those rolling roman blinds can transform a room. Make the room comfortable.

6. From the pot of pieces that you don’t want to get rid of but you are not too sure about, how many can be painted? Or reupholstered? Can they be used in another room? Make sure you find a specific purpose for that piece, do not just move it! Can it be transformed? 

7. Create a focal point - the sofa, the bed, the sideboard, the kitchen table, the lamp, a beautiful piece of art. Make sure the sight line is clear so you can see your focal point. 

8. Don’t follow a theme .. take some risks and be bold. Personality is what makes a room stand out.

9. Find inspiration on magazines, pinterest or follow some blogs, start collecting some ideas.

10. Make a moodboard. Make a list of your preferred suppliers of fabrics, paint, art, rugs, lamps, etc, visit them and get some samples. 

We run a wide variety of classes to help you with these projects, from Upcycling to furniture painting, sewing and how to create a handmade home


Jewellery making class with Charlotte - the statement necklace

I am delighted to have Charlotte from Lotts and Lots, teaching this class at the club. She has a real passion for Jewellery making which she writes about in her blog with a combination of great style, inspiration and lots of beautiful projects for you to make.

The class covers how to make a beautiful & unique statement necklace. She brings a selection of stones, jewels and silver & gold links to suit your style. It is a great session for you to learn the basics of jewellery and also to make something you will want to wear!
To find out more about this class and how to book, please go to our website

Charlotte studied at London College of Fashion and everything she does is influenced by her love of style, beautiful fabrics and jewels. She also loves sharing ways of creating your own accessories or personalising simple pieces into something really special and unique to you.

oh! and she also writes for Liberty & Mollie Makes...

Check out her beautiful designs, DIY projects and loads of inspiring posts in her blog.

I hope you love this class as much as I do!!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Dressmaking Tuesdays with Sandesh, Bedlam + Bird

The new season starts and I am super excited about our new dressmaking classes. Sandesh, the talent behind the sewing blog Bedlam and Bird, will be teaching how to sew these 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 met Sandesh almost a year ago, being a local mum she came to the craft club and we talked about teaching and working together at The Old School Club. Time flies and we have now managed to set up the dates!

Her style is modern, with simple but stylish lines. Her passion is to sew for herself, 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!

We have set Tuesdays for our Dressmaking classes, fun and relaxed, although Sandesh will make sure your learn all the technical tips too. 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 classes currently scheduled (more to come soon). You will get a 10% when you book a second dressmaking class, 15% when you book a third dressmaking class, and a 20% when you book your fourth dressmaking class with us. 

Let's have a close look ..


Making an skirt is ideal class for those new to dressmaking but with some experience of using a sewing machine and ready to get started making their own clothes. You'll finish the class with a new set of skills and a unique skirt, made to your measurements.

In this class you'll learn:
  • to read, follow and alter a basic sewing pattern,
  • how to sew darts,
  • how to attach an invisible zip.


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. 


An effortless dress featuring double pleats at the bust, kimono sleeves and a panelled a-line skirt. Variations include both slash and v-neck options, plus midi and maxi skirt possibilities and a dramatic thigh high split. Super quick and simple to make, cut it short for the perfect festival dress, or make it worthy of the red carpet with a maxi skirt and thigh high split.
The pattern is Intermediates to Advanced, the class can be taken by someone who has made a few dresses before. 

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

We hope to see you soon!