Tuesday, 20 May 2014

A new venture...

I am so sorry it's been so long since my last blog post!! *slaps wrist*

I guess the reason for this is that I have been so busy exploring new avenues...

For a number of years now I have been really tempted to start doing some workshops. But lots of things have put me off, mainly my confidence! But also, the logistics of setting up sewing workshops - what ability must people have? Should they have their own machine? Or should/could I hire some? What projects are suitable for beginners? Or should I do a more intermediate class? As you can see, lots of questions, and so it was easier to just put it on the back burner for a while.

And then, since making my lampshades, I had an idea. A workshop where everyone is at the same level, a class where everyone is starting from the same place, no-one needs a sewing machine, no-one needs to be particularly artistic or creative but can come away with something very professional looking that they have created with their own hands! A seed was sown...

I decided that before I committed to the workshops, I needed a trial run. So I got my best girls together (or those who were willing and available!) to try out my lesson. And I am pleased to say it was an enormous success. It was a beautiful sunny evening and I had the use of a friends barn, a few bottles of wine and half a dozen enthusiastic participants! 


They all completed a beautiful shade which they were so proud of, and each one was totally unique. They thought beforehand about what room they wanted it to go in, whether it was to fit on a base or a ceiling. None of them are particularly creative, and would admit themselves to being 'completely useless' at anything like that, and were all gobsmacked at what they managed to produce. One friend even said 'I wouldn't have ever thought I would want to make a lampshade, but now I want to make more!'

I was decided. This was happening. I was starting to get really excited by this! 

Next stop - venue. Where would I put these on? I wanted Honiton. It's a beautiful town, I spend a lot of time there and it has a good footfall of people going through. It's also full of independent shops and there is a lot of creativity within it.

I put the feelers out and finally got in touch with Joe, who runs The Holt, a gorgeous bar & restaurant which I find any excuse to go and eat or drink in. If you haven't been, you really should. It's stunning. So I was over the moon when Joe seemed as keen as I was about the workshops! He even said he would provide lunch for my customers - a wonderful added extra. 

And so that is where I am right now. Just about to dip my toe in the world of teaching! I am very nervous but really hoping they are a success as I am so excited about this. I can picture intermediate and advanced workshops as well as beginners. I can picture house parties, hen parties and more. I am determined to make this work, and would love you to join me on my journey.

You can book into my very first workshop (I still have two spaces left) which is being held on Monday 26th May. You will be spoilt with reams of fabric, rolls of wallpaper and piles of trims to create your very own lampshade (even if you didn't realise you wanted one!) There will be tea and coffee on tap and at the end of the morning a delicious lunch. What could be better?! Please let me know if you would like to book. I am asking £40 per person which includes absolutely everything and you come away proud as punch able to say 'I made that!'

And please watch this space as I have more booked - at my local village hall and also at INC - a gorgeous little gem of a shop in Exmouth. 

I would love it if you could help me spread the word. Thank you so much!!

Helen x


  1. Aw, Helen! I wish you all the luck in the world (not that you need it!) - such a wonderful venture! Wish I lived in Devon! But to you lucky lot who do-Enjoy spending creative & fun time with this lovely lady xx

  2. Good luck Helen. I'm sure you will make a great success of it xxxx

  3. What a lovely idea. I hope you do very well. Good luck! x