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Sewing Workshops: Using Your Own Fabrics

This is a new initiative to help make our sewing workshops more affordable for you. As inflation hits us worldwide, we have no choice but to adjust our fees to cover increased costs of materials, utility bills, manpower and more. As much as we'll like to provide a convenient workshop experience by preparing and pre-cutting all your materials, the preparation takes up a lot of time and costs. Without having to compromise the learning experience in the workshop, we now offer the cost-saving option of you bringing and preparing your own cut fabrics. Below are the commonly asked questions about this option. 

1. What do I have to prepare on my own if I opt to use my own fabric?

You only have to buy and cut the exterior and lining fabrics; and its corresponding polyester sewing thread colours based on the given amount and pattern required for your workshop. We'll provide you instructions, measurements, digital or paper patterns if applicable, recommended types of fabrics and local fabric shops we frequent. It is advisable to buy an extra half metre or yard in case you make any cutting mistakes. 

2. How do I know how to cut my purchased fabrics for the workshop I registered for?

We would recommend this option only for crafters who have some basic knowledge of fabric types, fabric cutting and pattern matching (print direction, print alignment e.g. stripes or borders). Upon payment for your workshop, we will send you the pattern and PDF sewing instructions for you to purchase and cut your own fabric. Our patterns come in 3 different types:

  • Digital patterns: They will be emailed to you. You will need to print them in 100% size and piece them together for your cutting purposes.
  • Paper patterns: They will be mailed to you. You can use them directly for cutting purposes.
  • Projects with cutting measurements but not patterns: You usually just cut square or rectangular blocks of fabrics based on the given, written measurements e.g. 30cmW by 10cmH. 

3. What kind of assistance will I get in the preparation process leading up to my workshop?

Firstly, there should be at least a lead time of 3 weeks prior to your workshop before you select this option. A summary of the preparation process is as such:

  • After making payment for workshop based on "Your Own Fabric": Receive instructions
  • 3 weeks before your workshop: Begin selecting and purchasing your fabric and its colour-matching polyester sewing thread(s)
  • 2 weeks before your workshop: We'll check in with you to ensure that the correct fabrics and thread(s) were purchased. You also have to select the accessories if applicable (e.g. zips, straps) based on your fabric choice. We will prepare them for your class; colours or designs are while stocks last.
  • 1 week before your workshop: You should start preparing and cutting your own fabrics based on the instructions and pattern which have been emailed or mailed to you by now. You can WhatsApp us if you need any quick clarifications during this stage. 
  • Actual day of workshop: Arrive 10 minutes before the class so that we can do one last check on your cut exterior and lining fabrics, and wind bobbins for your threads. 

4. What do I need to take note of when purchasing fabrics? 

We usually use medium, lightweight materials such as Oxford cotton, cotton canvas and baby canvas in our workshops. They can be sewn on home sewing machines. After interfacing or batting, these materials also give better shape and structure to the finished bag or pouch. To help, we will share with you some recommended fabric types and shops we usually go to. 

Using thinner materials like cotton or lawn will craft a softer or more limp bag or pouch. We will only advise you to use such materials if the project is suitable for it.

Do avoid overly thick canvases that are not suitable for sewing on home sewing machines. They are more suited to semi-industrial or industrial machines with a stronger feed. You must not forget that any slight thickness adds significantly to the total amount of layers of the final project. 

Lastly, please avoid waterproof materials unless it is specified for the project. Most waterproof materials are harder to work with e.g. cannot iron, cannot pin, require special footers and unpicking will leave permanent holes in the fabric (which will definitely happen during your first try of any project). 

5. Do I have to take note of anything when buying the threads for my fabrics? Can you just prepare the threads for me?

Please only use polyester sewing threads e.g. Rinata threads. You should not be using poor quality threads (with paper cones), threads of other materials like cotton or metallic threads, or thick threads for denim sewing which are not suited to use on most home sewing machines.

We also recommend that you use matching and not contrasting colour threads. Contrasting colour threads will make any uneven stitching more obvious, especially on home sewing machines.

We do not prepare the threads for you as you're using your own fabric and is the best judge of its actual colour to select colour-matching threads for your sewing. It is risky for us to judge the colour of your fabric from your photos. They will look different under varying light conditions, phone cameras and/or lenses. 

6. Can I choose to prepare some or all of my other non-fabric materials such as my own interfacing, batting and/or sewing accessories e.g. zip, strap, snaps?

You can only use your own fabrics. We'll prepare all other non-fabric materials such as interfacing, batting and/or accessories required for your project. Firstly, we have sourced, tested and ensure the quality of what are needed, alternative products might not be usable on the project or our sewing machines. Secondly, it can be quite hard for you to source for some notions locally as they have to be ordered from overseas.

We seek your understanding that we'll not be able to accommodate any "special requests" to only prepare required accessories in part e.g. use my zip but I will use your strap. It is a lot of coordination work amongst our many students and this process should be streamlined to keep costs low. 

7. What if I bought the wrong type of fabric or have cut them wrongly, realising it only when I arrived at the workshop? 

If the mistake can be rectified quickly in a few extra minutes, you can still proceed with the workshop. It will be good for you to bring extra fabric in the case of just 1-2 pieces that need to be re-cut. If it is a major issue like a wrong type of fabric, or too many pieces of wrong sizes to re-cut, you will not be able to proceed with the workshop. You will need to book and pay for a new workshop session, come back again with the correct materials and sizes to craft the project. Therefore, you have to be responsible for correctly preparing your own materials if you choose this option. So always check with us if in doubt. 

8. What if I find that preparing my own materials is too difficult/time-consuming or that I am not confident halfway into the process?

We're always here to help! You can top up your workshop fee to include pre-selected and pre-cut materials for a complete, convenient experience. But we need at least 2 weeks before your class date to take over the preparations from you.