Tuesday, April 23, 2019

What's trending this season?

In South Africa we have entered that awkard time of the year where you don't really know how to dress, because the day starts off cold, but by lunch it's hot again and next thing you know the chill is back in the air. That's why I decided to have a look at what is and will be trending for this season. I have rounded it off to my 6 favourites.

1. Layering

This trend is great for the current weather we are experiencing, because you can just take off or add an item as the weather changes. We are talking jumpers over shirts, jackets over jumpers and even coats over jackets. A good tip, is to invest in items like coats, because they keep you warm while making you look super chic. Why not join us at our studio, Create.Hobby and learn how to sew this easy to wear, wrap coat. The statement fabric we used is also available at Create.sewing shop.

2. Shimmer and shine

Silver, especially, is having a moment and it is not just limited to evening wear. Think silver pleated skirts and tops, casual chic slip dresses and my favourite, combining sequins with other fabrics for those that are not brave enough to go full on silver. At Create.sewing shop they have the most stunning reversible sequins in a silver/blue colourway.

3. Jazzy jumpers

The easy to wear winter item, jumpers, get a quirky cool update with embellished details like pearls, embroidery and sequins.Our favourite take on this trend is a raglan, sequined sleeve jumper. You can learn how to sew your own, when you join us for a project class in the upcoming months. Contact us at info@createhobby.co.za for more info. We used the reversible sequins and a super soft grey melange knit from Create.sewing shop to make this one.

4. Leather

Or in our case pleather (faux leather) is back with a vengeance. This fabric was spotted on the runways in everything from skirts to leggings. If you would like to add a bit of this trend to your wardrobe, you can learn how to sew your own quilted pleather, panelled leggings at the Create.Hobby studio. Get more info about this by mailing us at info@createhobby.co.za. If you have something else in mind, you can also purchase this quilted pleather at Create.sewing shop.

5. Pink hues

The most loved colour this season is pink in all it's glory. From softer shades of blush to the brightest fuschia. We spotted a few trims and accessories in this colour over at Create.sewing shop.

6. Cardi's

Who can live without a cosy cardigan. An easy to wear item that goes with just about anything. We reckon sewing up one of your own in this embellished navy/cream stripe knit from Create.sewing shop would be a great idea. On the other hand if knitting is more your thing, the shop also stock stunning wool in a variety of trendy colours from Cowgirl Blues and Yama yarn.

There you have it. 6 Trends that can instantly update your winter wardrobe.

To book a sewing lesson you can contact us at info@createhobby.co.za. You can also find us at  www.createhobby.co.za | www.facebook.com/CreateHobby | www.instagram.com/create.hobby/

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Is sewing is for everyone? (a past student’s sewing experience)

Damn right, sewing is for everyone! (Just to dive right into answering that question). Now I know you’re probably thinking, because this post is on a blog promoting sewing lessons that has to be the answer, right? I can’t deny that and I won’t; but for a second let’s go beyond that and let me give you a look into what I actually learnt at Create. Hobby.
The first day I walked in honestly not knowing what to expect at all. I was clueless on how to even thread a machine or what any of the many knobs and numbers were for, but my reason for venturing into this unknown territory was my desire to make my own clothes. See, I’m unbelievably short and petite, and I feel like the stores out there are designing clothes for those giraffe size models they’ve got on their runways. I just wanted to make exactly what I like, in exactly my size without all the crazy costs.
Simple enough right? NOT.
I spent ages on YouTube trying to teach myself these skills before I attended lessons at Create. Hobby and I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get it right. I looked at my clothes and I could mathematically string together the composure of it (which I think anyone with a fairly logical brain can do), yet every time I tried to make something it came out rather lopsided or too untidy to be deemed wearable. Frustrated and having way too many holes in my body that should not be there, I attacked my laptop keyboard with my plaster-covered fingers in search of some sewing lessons and alas, Create. Hobby and I’s relationship began.

I wanted to do private lessons as I felt I would get more done with personal training but to be honest, I feel like I should have started with the beginners course. Having known nothing I feel like it would’ve been better to interact with other newbies so that I didn’t feel so alone in my cluelessness and then later on, use the private lessons to specialize in the garments I would really like to make. However, I am glad as I grew a much more personal relationship with my instructor who in fact emailed me the other day asking how my sewing was going.
This wonderful instructor I speak of, Gailene, emailed me before the first lesson giving me a rundown of what I would need and asked me to right a list of things I wanted to learn. I ended up pitching with an empty notepad and 5 various sized buttons, thinking “Oh God, I have no idea what I want to do and the lesson is going to be a sloppy mess of random information”, which really was not something I was keen on paying for. 
I arrived and Gailene was extremely understanding once she figured out that I was a complete dummie when it came to sewing and where to start. Basically, she guided me throughout the entire process. I figured out the reason those YouTube videos weren’t helping me was because they did not teach me the basics or intricacies which I learnt are truly the most essential parts of making any garment. All those little hems and piping were things I’d never even heard of or known exist, but she introduced me to a whole new world of knowledge. By the second lesson I felt super excited, like an upcoming Louis Vuitton! What I was creating was for the first time store-bought quality.
She made each lesson simple and was extremely patient with my clumsy ways. By the end I was able to insert all kinds of zips, do various kinds of hemming, piping, reading patterns and eventually assemble a shirt which I was making as a gift for a guy friend (you know what I mean) for his upcoming birthday. 
I left with this simple knowledge, and use it to create many garments which I am very proud of and wear all the time. More importantly, I now have clothes that actually fit me, thank goodness!
The lessons weren’t at all time consuming, I did one hour lessons twice a week (although you can set them up in any way to suit your schedule) and had enough knowledge each time to go home and practice what I had learnt. The time ranges are super accommodating, ranging from 9am – 8pm on Mondays and Tuesdays leaving time after work to do some calming, rhythmic learning, 9am – 5pm Wednesday to Friday, perhaps these afternoon classes better suited for future young entrepreneurs looking to start their own clothing line or adolescents wanting to learn something in their gap year (like me). There is even a Saturday morning class from 9am – 2pm accommodating all those completely swamped in the week.
Another perk is the sewing shop, Create.sewing shop, which is right opposite the road from the studio. Being the complete loskop I am, this was perfect for me as before each lesson I could just pop in and find all the things I needed for the lesson from the list I received approximately a week before (don’t judge, okay). Not only that, they are also stocked with all the latest Singer machines ranging from the simplest machine for all your home stitching and simple creations to heavy duty industrial machines for more entrepreneurial seamstresses and have the most informed, helpful and friendly staff.
So to go back to the topic at hand, is sewing for everyone? With Create. Hobby it sure is! They cater for literally all ages (even those hyper active kids) who have a skill set or knowledge of sewing equaling zero and really,  I feel like you don’t even need to have some deep desire to become a fashion designer, just a set of hands (clumsy or not), a little bit of time to learn something new and wah lah! No more spending hundreds of Rands on birthday gifts for that special someone, no more going to a party and running into someone wearing the same shirt as you (those episodes of who wore it best? are personally something I never win) and my personal favorite, having someone come up to you and ask where you got those awesome pair of pants from and with a gleaming smile being able to (finally) say “I made them myself.” Believe me, the amazement of people hearing that in the 21st century there are still people out there with such rare, independent skills is truly the most satisfying result and is definitely worth your time and money.

Written by Zoё Dolph

To book a sewing lesson you can contact us at info@createhobby.co.za. You can also find us at  www.createhobby.co.za | www.facebook.com/CreateHobby | www.twitter.com/createhobby  | www.instagram.com/create.hobby/

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

It's time to tick something off your New Year's Resolution list!

Every year on 31 December we tend to vow to let go of the bad and do better as the new year rolls in. A new year is often seen as a new beginning, fresh start and an opportunity to kick off on a clean slate. Eat healthier, go to gym and take steps towards a better future are generally on top of the list. I am sure this year has been no different.
Here we are just over a month into 2019 and chances are about 70% of people have already given up on their resolutions and goals, but NOT you!!!
If learning how to sew is on your list this year, you still have 11 more months to make this happen and Create.Hobby is here to help.

Create.Hobby offers sewing courses for beginner’s, intermediate and advance students.

In our level 1 course you will learn all the basics of sewing. We will teach you from scratch how to use a sewing machine, attach and insert elastic, zips, buttonholes and hems. You will also learn how to read a store bought pattern and to practice what you have learned during the 6 weeks, you will also complete 2 projects.

If you already know the basics, join us for our level 2 or 3 course. During these courses we focus more on the techniques that goes into the construction of clothes. In Level 2 you will sew up a stretch skirt, dress with invisible zip, darts and facings, pants with waistband, hip pockets and fly front, as well as a shirt with collar, yoke, button stand, placket and cuffs.

In level 3 you will learn how to trace a pattern for an already made garment, sew leggings, a lined tailored jacket and a handbag.

For those who would like to learn how to create their own patterns, we also have a pattern making course that runs over 8 weeks starting 4 and 8 May 2019. During this course we will teach you how to draft basic blocks from a pattern making book and how to adapt them.

Clothing not your main focus? We can also completely customize a course for you that will suit your individual needs. This we can be done through project classes or if your prefer focused attention, private lessons.

Also keep an eye out for our series of workshops this year, where we will focus on more specialized items.
Contact us today at info@createhobby.co.za  to book a course and tick something off your new year resolution list.

Monday, March 19, 2018

NEW Sewing Shop #Createsewingshop

New Venture - Our very own Create. Sewing Shop

We have finally managed to take the next step and expand Create. Hobby. We have now opened up Create. Sewing Shop.

We will be stock specialised sewing & craft accessories and a range of Singer sewing machines!

We had our soft launch this past Saturday 17 March 2018 and were happy show off our new set-up.

Swing by at 187 Lower Main Road Observatory, Cape Town and come check out our new shop!!!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Success stories and advice to future entrepreneurs/projects #1 Elise Sormani Founder & Designer of WeAllShareRoots


One of Create. Hobby's biggest motivations is hearing the success stories after students have completed our courses. It brings so much joy to see the difference we have made in someone's life!

Here is one of recent success stories, we thought we'd share with you.

The success story is of  Elise Sormani, Founder & Designer of WeAllShareRoots, who has created her own incredible handbag range and is now selling them in Paris and all around South Africa.

Here is a summary of our interview with Elise on how she came up with the idea, the background of the product and the process she went through and what her motivation was.

Elise knew she wanted to try start a line of products, but when she originally came in for sewing classes it was more of a test to see if she even enjoyed sewing.

Elise did our Level 1 course in 2015 and then followed it up with some project sewing classes and now has completed also our Level 2 sewing program.

After Level 1, Elise approached us with a whole list of items she wanted to create. The list included bags, dresses, jackets, pants and many more items.
I looked over the list and suggested we start with a bag.

For a few sewing lessons we worked on a bag, Elise carefully planning every little design detail.
As she was working on it, I could see that she had a true eye for design.
The bag turned out so nice that it ended up being the prototype that traveled the world. The big tote bag on the brochure is the bag we created in class.

In our interview Elise mentioned that she had so much fun putting the fabric combinations together. Playing with colour and prints.

The thing that surprised her when doing the tote shopping bag was she had rather randomly put the fabrics together, but had received such great responses. From fellow class mates comments would be made as she was sewing saying: "oh, I love the bag"
Also, when she finished one of her first clutch bags she had worn it out to a bar. While she was sitting at the bar someone had commented, asking where she had bought it.
All the questions coming in were, "where did you buy your bag?" and "I love your bag", "I love the combination of the fabrics". This gave her the idea that creating a range would maybe definitely be something to try and get started and present to the world.

After the idea of creating a bag range, Elise started putting more thought into the whole product and motivation.

Her inspiration was to bring African products to Europe. She was really in love with african crafts. She loves the african fabrics, the general craft and how innovative many african artist are. She also saw more and more that people love african things. They just sometimes aren't sure how to incorporate them. Her range idea is to bring these small african elements in. So for example taking some of the african printed fabric and accessorising clothing, i.e attaching a pocket in shwe-shwe fabrics or creating bow tie to wear with your day to day clothing. Small tasteful elements.

The second idea was to give something back to South Africa somehow.
Being French and enjoying Cape Town so much she felt she needed to give back to the community as a thanks.
She also saw that people living in comfort were so disconnected from the problems in South Africa.
She felt she needed to find local providers to assist with her production.
She wanted to work with people who weren't in the economic main stream and help uplift communities.
This thought inspired her to try and work with local communities.

From there on she went into local townships to meet up with people and search for people who could help with the production of the range. The aim is to have an ethical production.
She said that it was such an amazing experience meeting so many lovely people.
People seemed so grateful and happy to be involved. She would receive responses like "Thank you for coming to us".
She could see there is a huge problem where people have skills, but just don't have the right contacts or outlets where they can advertise their services.

Going through the process of finding people to manufacture her bags, she did stumble upon a few problems. She realised it's not easy just working with anyone, but one carefully has to select people to work with. The manufacturing process has been a fun experience, but challenging.

The third idea behind her brand and name was, it was very powerful to be based in a country where humanity was born in human kind.
While she was working on her first product idea, there were the terrible attacks on tourists in France, there were racial tension issues in South Africa, there just seemed to be racial tensions all over the world. The true message in "We all share roots" is that human kind was born in Africa. "Remember guys, we all originate from the same place.We are all one.
We are all African. This should bring us together."

The work to follow the idea has been an adventure for Elise.
Once she came up with the idea and samples she had to look over the production process and how she would get her product out to the world.

She had to do costings, try find the best prices for her supplies and finalising the supplier list.
She also started playing around with more colour and style variations.

To get the ball rolling , a huge step was to jump on a plane back to Paris and present her bags to shops.
She wanted to see what the responses was."The French can be tricky" she says.

She was scared and nervous to show off her first bags, she felt like she might be laughed at.
But the response from shops was good. People were very interested and wanted to place orders.
One of the responses was that people thought the bags were good quality.
She felt proud of this comment, as she had made the samples herself.
She also felt surprised to see people liked the product so much.

Elise says shops in Paris get so many people trying to show them products and one can easily be turned away. "They will easily turn you away and they are not even polite about it. So receiving the positive feedback was a great compliment."

"Just the fact that they spent time with me showed that there was interest. They loved the idea behind the product."

Elise was well prepared for her shop visits.
She had brochures which were well laid out and looked professional, she had a great story, and she had great samples to show.

Before she did the trip she had done all her re-search.
She knew if the trip was successful she would go ahead with production.

Before she went , she contacted shops in different ways. She first e-mailed shops and then came in to visit them.

A huge tip is to visit the shops you would like to supply and create a relationship with them.  Also, stay in contact and keep them updated with your product.

A few more challenges have cropped up with planning a range according to seasons as seasons differ between Europe and South Africa.

Advice for people who want to start their own business:

When she first started, she thought you need a business plan. So she first opened her computer and spent weeks looking at a white page. She felt blank.
"Actually starting with the sewing class and the product, it was the best way to get started, because you go into the product and into the details. You see the feedback of friends and get a test for the market. You realise the cost and the time."
The company has been running now for almost a year. 
She recommends you adapt as you go along.

Second advice, take it step by step
The whole process seems intimidating and nearly too big to accomplish, but if you only take one step at a time the task doesn't seem so huge.
Try not to anticipate things that are too far away.
First get the fabric, then get the zip and then just get started. The rest will follow.
When she looks back, it looks like a lot has been done, but each step was just a small step which adds up to the big picture.
every day one task.
small steps.

She did stumble upon problems registering the name as there is a brand in France that has the word roots, but she is in the process of sorting it out. Again just tackling each problem as they arise.
This problem felt like the end of the world when it came up, but then she took a step back and just tackled it as far as she could and is making progress. "You find solutions when taking small steps."

"Try be organised.
When you produce, you need to know exactly what you need.
When you start to order, everything needs to be there so production can run smooth.
You can't stop producing because you realised you forgot the zip.
Understand timelines in production.
Keep lists of where you have placed what orders and how many units.
Let people sign off things when they have accepted products. i.e. delivery receipt.
Anticipate, and have a little foresight"

"You need a good support system.
Keep track off all your costs.
You have to be adaptable with your ideas.
And keep in mind its not always glamorous."

She would recommend people to start their own business, but says don't underestimate it, it comes with many challenges. It looks easy, but you have to put the work and time behind it.

We can't wait to see what Elise will developed next for her range.

Here is a photo of Elise with one of her very first sewing projects she completed in our Level 1 program.

If you would like to place an order for a Handbag please feel free to contact Elise at:

   +27 714 97 51 08 (ligne directe)
   +33 753 037 585 (message)

To book a sewing lesson you can contact us at andrea@createhobby.co.za. You can also find us at  www.createhobby.co.za | www.facebook.com/CreateHobby | www.twitter.com/createhobby  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Tutorial - Sew your own nappy stacker

Here is a fun tutorial on how to make a nappy stacker.
My Sister-in-law kindly asked me to make her a nappy stacker as she could not find a single shop in Pretoria ( South Africa ) that stocked them. Of course I was more than happy to make her one!

- 50 cm of white cotton twill ( 150cm wide)
- 40cm of grey checked gingham (I used a pollycotton)
- 50cm batting
-50cm of medium weight fusing
- 21cm x 46cm hard board
- 1 x clothing hanger

Trace outline of your hanger (The width of my hanger was 46,5cm) and extend the height to 21cm. Remember to add on 1cm seam allowance.
Base rectangle: 23,5cm x 48,5cm
Front binding: 6cm x 46cm
Body: 135cm x 46cm
Draw up a heart that will fit the center of the hanger

2 x hanger cover in check fabric
2x Hanger cover in fusing
1 x Body in white cotton twill.
2 x Front binding of checked fabric  (You can fuse these strips if you would like a stiffer look)
2x Base in check fabric and fusing
1 x Base in batting
1 x Heart in fabric and in fusing

Step 1) Iron fusing to matching panels.

Step 2) Using a zig-zag stitch with a buttonhole stitch length, stitch the fabric heart to the center of the hanger cover. The sitches should cover the raw edge of the heart.

Step 3) Lay the hanger cover panels right side on top of right side and pin them together. Mark a 3cm gap where the hanger hook will pass through on the top of the cover. Now stitch the side seam together,but leave the 3cm marked space open (We need this hole for the hanger hook). Remember to back-tack at the start and at the end of your stitching. Leaving the base open. 
Around the curved edges, nip the the seamallowance into small joints and trim the fabric around the curves. This will make the curves look more smooth once turned inside-out. 
Turn the hanger cover to the right side and press it with an iron. Once pressed, insert your clothing hanger. The hook of the hanger needs to be pushed through the top gap of the cover. 

Step 4) To create the base, lay your first fused base panel on top of your batting. Based these two layers together. (Stitch the layers together with a long stitch length.) 
Your second checked base panel will be the inside layer of the stacker. Roll one of the long edges in twice by 1cm and stitch down creating a hem. 

Step 5) Attach the binding to the centre front (CF) of your body panel. 
Step 6) Pin you base to the body. (1. Fused base, 2. Body, 3. base with hemmed edge) Start by placing the centre front body to the centre point of the long side of the rectangle. Right sides should be pinned on top of each other. Sew around the edge joining the seam. 

Step 7) Fold the side edges in as shown. Once folded in, it should be the same length as the width of the hanger cover. 

Step 8) Place the hanger cover base edge against the body. Right sides to right sides. Only pin one side to the body. Sew together. 
Flip the seams into the hanger cover and cover the seams with the second hanger cover layer. Top stitch closed. 

Step 9) If you would like to make the base more sturdy, you can cut thick cardboard to size and slip it into the base.

Step 10) You have a nappy stacker.:)

To book a sewing lesson you can contact us at andrea@createhobby.co.za. You can also find us at  www.createhobby.co.za | www.facebook.com/CreateHobby | www.twitter.com/createhobby  

Friday, October 9, 2015

Make your own panties - This one is for our Level 1's:)

This blog post is specially written up for our Level 1's who did undies as your first project in your Level 1 sewing class. You are welcome to trace the pattern in class. For those of you who don't have the pattern you can download it here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0By-CojxPQZ31QUVSMWdYZk90YWc&usp=sharing_eid&invite=CNapof4J&ts=5617b080

For each size up, add 12mm on the side seam and 6mm to the waist and crotch.

Please check that the pattern comes out with these measurement:

This project is great to use up all your off-cuts from past projects.

1) Cut the front once on the fold and the back once the on fold. Gusset cut one.

 2) Overlock or zig zag gusset front.

3) Place the front onto the back, with right sides onto rights sides so that the crotch seam lines up. Place the right side of the gusset onto the back. Pin all 3 edges together at the crotch. Ensure edges are lining up. 

4) Sew seam with a 1cm seam allowance. Use a straight stitch, 2 1/2 stitch length and back-tack at the beginning and at the end.

5) Flip the gusset to the front and tack the sides down to prevent the gusset from slipping around. For tacking, use stitch length 4.



6) Cut 3 strips of lace. For size medium: 2x 51cm and 1x 77cm.

7) Pin the lace onto the printed side of the fabric along the edge of the panties. The lace and fabric should overlap by about 1cm. 


8) Use a zig zag stitch to stitch the lace down. The zig zag allows for more stretch. Stitch length should be 1 1/2 and stitch width 5. 

9) Place right sides onto right sides and pin one side seam closed. Leave the other side seam open for now. Stitch with a straight stitch first and then overlock or zig zag the edge. (Straight stitch 2 1/2 stitch length). Remember to back tack at the beginning and at the end to avoid seams from coming loose. 


10) Use the lace elastic piece which measures 77cm and pin it along the waist edge. Starting at one side seam and ending again at the other side seam. Repeat stitching as you did in step 7. 

11) Place right sides onto right sides and pin the second side seam together. Stitch with a 1cm seam allowance and overlock or zig zag the edges. 


12) To finish off your overlocking threads pull them back into the stitching with a large hand sewing needle as demonstrated in the picture.

Your panties are now complete.

Happy Sewing!!!:)

To book a sewing lesson you can contact us at andrea@createhobby.co.za. You can also find us at  www.createhobby.co.za | www.facebook.com/CreateHobby | www.twitter.com/createhobby