Sew Over It, Clapham

As an obsessive sewer for both work and play, I couldn’t help but notice the recent explosion of sewing classes and sewing cafes around the country. It’s an interesting phenomenon and I’m pleased to see a growing trend towards a DIY mentality and the increased desire to learn the skills our grandmothers relied on (if that is what this represents).  

Of course, there are a couple right here in Brighton and Hove, but I ended up spending some of last Sunday in one slightly further afield in Clapham, South London. Sew Over It seems to provide the best range of classes that I’ve seen, including mini-courses of around two hours focussing on specific skills like making button holes or inserting zips. I could see those being really useful for sewers who want to flesh out their skill-set without having to sign-up to make an entire blouse or skirt making course. They also run a mens’ survival sewing class, which is SUCH a great idea. Plus, Sew Over It offers a drop-in option where you can use the space and machinery for £5 an hour and includes free tea and coffee.

Normally, I wouldn’t usually be interested in forking out to use a sewing space when I’m lucky enough to have that at work and home, but I was heading up to London to see Michelle (pictured above) and we’ve never really sewn/crafted together before AND she may be moving to that area and was pleased for the opportunity to explore a little more, so it all kind of made sense to go and pay Sew Over It a visit.

The downstairs area was being used for a class so we stayed in the light-filled upstairs area which serves as the cafe, shop and drop-in sewing area. All around were examples of the garments and products that you can learn to make in their classes, or make at home using their pre-prepared kits and packs.  On the whole the decor is very feminine, cute, clean and tidy. But I do fear that this look may put off some people who don’t relate to this aesthetic or don’t want to make things that are very girlie in style. And I’d be surprised if many guys turn up for their mens’ survival sewing class and feel entirely comfortable sitting there surrounded by so much pink! 

So, did I buy?! Yep. Personally, I only sew from secondhand and reclaimed fabric, but I do indulge in new patterns and notions from time to time. Sew Over It stock a decent selection of the newer Colette Patterns. I bought the Violet blouse pattern for Michelle for Christmas (don’t worry about her reading this, she knows!) and the Clover trousers for myself. I’ve been eyeing this pattern up on the internet for a while, but with shipping from the US to UK, it was pricier than I could justify so I treated myself when I saw it for sale without the postage. And these leopard buttons! They are shell and so awesome that I’m sure they’d make the plainest garment special. I think I’ll save them for when a thrifted solid colour cardigan comes my way and needs jazzing up.

Zoe xxx


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