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The Beginners Sewing summit 2021

We are teaching at the 2021 Beginner Sewing Summit, which is our first ever online sewing class! Come and sew an easy midi skirt with myself and Eve, it’s a great beginner project or take a look at one of the other classes – there are over 40 to choose from! Best of all the classes are FREE to watch May 3rd- 7th, you could learn the basics and new skills while completing fun projects like fashion, home decor, and cute accessories.

CLASS DESCRIPTION | In this class you will learn to make a simple jersey midi-skirt with an elasticated waistband.

You will learn how to take your measurements, cut your fabric and create an easy to wear skirt to fit you and that you’ll love wearing. As sewing with knits can sometimes be a bit daunting, we’ll talk you through the whole process!

All of this information is in the class video but we thought it would be nice to have somewhere to refer to!


Any knit fabric! We recommend using a cotton or modal knit fabric with at least a 5% elastane content. The elastane will help your skirt retain its shape.


The skirt doesn’t need a pattern! It’s just a rectangle that we can mark directly on the fabric and cut. The amount of fabric to buy will be based on your overall length of the skirt.

  • For simplicity we’ve used inches in the video but have added metric conversions below (we’ve rounded them up to make sensible measurements rather than exact conversions!)
  • SIDE SEAM ALLOWANCES | INCHES: we have allowed ½” seam allowance to join the side seams (so add 1″ seam allowances extra to width). METRIC: if you are team metric allow 1.5cm to join the side seams (so add 3cm seam allowances extra to width).

To work out your fabric requirement follow the guides below.

The amount of fabric to buy will be based on your overall length of the skirt plus some allowances.

When purchasing your fabric it’s a good idea to purchase extra fabric to allow room for cutting out and any shrinkage as you will need to prewash your fabric before before you begin.

LENGTH: Take your ideal skirt length and add 5″ (13cm)  to calculate the length of your fabric required. Not sure how long you want your skirt? Measure something you already own or allow a little extra and it can always be cut to length later.

WIDTH: Take your hip measurement, at your widest part, and add 1″ (3cm) for seam allowances to calculate the width of your rectangle.

  • For example – if you have a 40″ hip – you will need 1 rectangle measuring 41″ wide (40″ + 1″ seam allowance).
  • And in metric – 105cm wide rectangle (102cm wide + 3cm seam allowances)


Not covered in the video but…should your hip measurement be more than the width of your fabric you will need to cut 2 rectangles so buy twice the skirt length. Your skirt will have 2 side seams, just use the same method we describe in the video to join your seams. As you have 2 seams that’ll give you the option to have a split in each seam or on just one seam, whichever you prefer! The formula to calculate the width of each of  your rectangles will be – half your full hip measurement and add 1″ (3cm) extra as seam allowances.

  • For example – if you have a 66″ hip – you will need 2 rectangles measuring 34″ wide (33″ + 1″ seam allowance).
  • And in metric – if you have a 168cm hip – 87cm wide rectangle (84cm wide + 3cm seam allowances)

You will also need |

  • Polyester sewing thread.
  • Ballpoint, stretch or jersey machine needle.
  • 1″ (2.5cm) wide elastic – enough to wrap around your waist with an overlap (any width between ¾″ – 1½” (2-4 cm) will be fine if you have it in your stash!)
  • Safety pin
  • Marking tool – chalk or fabric pen
  • Ruler
  • Plus, the usual sewing equipment – sewing machine, scissors, tape measure, pins, iron

Looking for some tips on sewing with knit fabrics? Check out our tutorial here!

Best of all the classes are all FREE to watch May 3rd- 7th. The free pass will allow you access during the live event and each day’s classes will be live for 24 hours and with an option for a VIP All Access Pass ($59) that includes all the classes for one year. Click the link below to register for free!

AD/AFFILIATE LINK: If you decide to purchase the All-access pass (a year’s access to the classes) through our link, we receive a commission. Thank you!

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the Apron in a Day Workshop

The Workshop:

The Maria Apron is one of our most popular patterns, and named after Maria Thomas herself!

Join us for a fun day of sewing, with expert tuition and make your own Japanese inspired Makers apron.

Our apron has large pockets & cross-over back straps, she is so perfectly practical!

The Details:

10 – 4 pm, Sunday 9th September 2018, Leek Wootton, Warwickshire.


Skill Level:

Advanced Beginner.

You should be familiar with your machine and have completed a couple of simple projects.

The workshop includes:

You will need to bring:

  • your own choice of fabric*  (pre-washed!)
  • FABRIC REQUIRED for VERSION A apron: 150cm wide fabric x 1.6m / 115cm wide fabric x 1.9m
  • Recommended fabrics are light to medium weight denim, linens, chambrays.
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine and basic sewing equipment
  • You may want to bring along a spot of lunch!

*We will have a small, but very lovely, selection of fabric on the day to purchase.



Maria Thomas and Mrs Maven have been longtime friends, after bonding over a love of denim and making.

Maria Thomas Textiles –

Maria’s work focuses on rehousing everyday objects that have a specific association or meaning to her.  Notions of motherhood, shopping lists, food wrappers and graphic packaging – offering assistance to domestic chores – are carefully sourced, cut out and stitched before being absorbed into the fabric by patchwork and quilting techniques.  Shaping memories and experiences into her own visual language Maria’s work is a response to the events of her daily life.

A love of fashion and sewing lead Maria to taking an ND in Printed Textiles at Mid-Warwickshire College, Leamington Spa in the late 1980’s.  Keeping her connection with stitch she went on to Study BA Embroidery at Manchester School of Art and in turn completed an MA Textiles at the UCE in Birmingham.

Since graduating Maria has taught drawing, embroidery and printed textile design at degree and FE level.  She has designed freelance for fashion, exhibited regularly and has work in public and private collections in the UK & overseas.


Mrs Maven –

Sharon is the founder of Maven Patterns

Mrs M is old school, drafting each pattern by hand to create a balanced and considered garment – so you will want to re-use and re-create them again and again.

With a background as a professional ladieswear pattern cutter, creating clothes for many a high street store, Mrs M became slightly disillusioned with the high turn over of said fashions and the endless need to buy new. What was being lost, she felt, was the art of fitting and construction, and of clothes that made your heart sing, not just for a second, but every time you saw them. So she rebelled, quietly because she’s like that, but rebelled nonetheless and quit the rat race, deciding instead to make clothes that she loved to wear, that reflected her life rather than those generic fashions of the day. So she has dedicated herself to working at Granny’s table, to cracking open the spot and cross* and sharing her knowledge with you in the form of Maven Pattern


All workshops require payment in advance to confirm your place


In the event of a cancellation, payments are non-refundable. If we can fill your place we will give you a credit for future workshops.

Our workshops are subject to a minimum number of bookings. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel or postpone your workshop due not have the minimum number of participants, or due to unavoidable circumstances we will give you as much notice as possible and an offer of an alternative date or a full refund will be made. We will not be liable for other costs, expenses disappointment that you may incur.