Recycle & Sew



Recycle & Sew

Sewing, dressmaking, pattern-cutting & soft furnishing. Group classes & private tuition.

Small group specialist classes

Run regularly (approx fortnightly) from either Botley or Twyford. Timings are usually 10am to 3pm and the cost of the class is £60. These specialist classes are ideal for learning:

  • The perfect fitting trouser, skirt or dress
  • Mastering your overlocker
  • Sewing for the complete beginner
  • Working with stretch fabrics
  • Make a corset
  • Pattern cutting from your own measurements
  • Designing from a commercial pattern
  • Project of personal choice

What to expect from a specialist class?

These classes are designed to be perfect for individual learning. You choose your specific project and you will then work with expert tuition and guidance in a space in the studio where everything you need is ready and to hand. June is careful to ensure that each individual receives lots her time and help to ensure you get the most from your learning experience.

You will be encouraged to save the notes and any samples you make in class, together with the handouts June provides, in a learning folder so you can refer back to them later when working at home. Students in these classes are inspired from the other in the group as each individual may be working on someting different. For example you could be making a pair of trousers, while your neighbour learns to master their over-locker! A detailed course programme for each of the topics is availabe on request.

Check availability and book

Perfect fitting trouser, skirt or dress

perfect trouser

A good fitting garment is great to have in your wardrobe, and when you realize how easy it is to achieve, there will be no stopping you. Making the garment will incorporate a range of sewing skills that will enhance all your sewing projects.

Understanding your pattern, getting correct measurements and transferring them to your pattern, as well as pinning and cutting all have special techniques to master. Depending on the garment you will learn to make darts, insert an invisible or fly zip, apply a waistband, sew a blind hem on the machine, attach buttons and make button holes. Simple steps to get a perfect finish!


Mastering your overlocker


Whatever overlocker you have, this course will help you to sew a range of materials and learn new techniques, building your confidence to use your overlocker to achieve seams, hems, and much more.

Practice threading and re-threading, adjusting tensions and stitch width and length. Understand differential feed, what it’s for and when to change it, and vary the cutting width. You will work with a variety of fabrics from chiffon to jersey and learn to use the correct needles and thread required for different applications to create decorative and functional finishes. Seams will include three and four thread, basic flat locking and securing; hems will include rolled, lettuce leaf and decorative. And most of all the confidence to really use your machine.

Sewing for the complete beginner

sewing for beginners

Get started with a practice session creating samples to help you sew in a straight line, understand seam allowances and set stitch length and tension for the fabric type. You will then make a cushion cover.

This will give you the opportunity to pin and cut the pattern, learn about warp and weft (important in all sewing projects) and use a variety of stitches for seams and neatening edges. There will also be the opportunity to master the decorative stitches on the machine. You will learn to put in an invisible zip for professional finish to your cushion cover. The skills learned are transferable to many projects.

Working with stretch fabrics


This course will get you started with all the most relevant information you need to help you on the road to happy uncomplicated sewing with stretch materials.

We all wear a great deal of jersey and stretch clothing, but most people are daunted with the thought of sewing with it.

It much easier than you think, follow a few rules and you will be making a dress or top in just a couple of hours.

Sewing knitwear can be a challenge, but whether you use an overlocker or a regular sewing machine with the right formula it is a doddle.

Learn the difference between a two-way stretch and a knitted fabric.

Select the correct needle and stitches to enable you achieve the best results.

Learn about different types of seam and the best stitches to use, how to insert a zip, sew button holes, put on a neck band and cuffs, and the variety of hem finishes.

Learn the tricks of the trade to master cutting and pinning awkward stretch fabrics.

adapt your pattern to allow for the amount of stretch in your fabric, as it varies a great deal.

Make a corset


There is nothing like a corset to give you an hour glass figure. Popular for evening, day and bridal wear. Making a single-layer Victorian style corset with boning and front busk, back eyelets and laces, binding top and bottom is a great way to start learning the skills and knowledge required to sew a whole range of corsets.

You will learn how to take the right measurements, to cut and mark the fabric, do fitting, pressing and shaping. You will be shown easing and stretching to get the shapes required, how to make binding, create the channels for boning and mark the fabric for the eyelets and the bask.

Pattern cutting to your size

pattern cutting

This course holds the secrets of great design and caters for those who want to gain a understanding of patterns, and design perfect fitting clothing that will stand out from the crowd with their beautiful fit or unique style.

Pattern cutting is the building block for designers. Learn to take accuate measurements and transfer to make full body blocks. Construct a toil from the block to ensure a perfect fit and transfer any alterations back to the blocks ready for design.


Designing from a commercial pattern

adapting commercial pattern2

How to use and adapt from a shop-brought pattern. Using a commercial multi-size pattern in your favorite style eg. princess seams/empress line/A-line/Tulip as the basis of your garment you will learn to design for look you want to achieve with a perfect fit. Understanding the information in a commercial pattern will enable you to alter the pattern.

Movie darts to create a better fit and remove or add fullness. Converti a dart to a seam to change the style or elongate your body. Change the neck line and sleeves to create a completely different look. The choices are endless.

Project of personal choice

own projects

Designed to help you with the problems that you can come across when working on your own project. Learn tips and tricks to achieve a professional finish and the perfect fit.

Master inserting zips, machine-sewn buttons and button holes as well as blind hems and finishing techniques.
Whether you are a complete beginner or very experienced, help is often needed for complicated finishes or to get the perfect fit - very tricky on your own.