Sewing party inspiration

A sewing party is a great idea for a traditional stay at home party, no matter what the weather. Theming your party adds to the experience and creates one that people will talk about and try to replicate. Kids love party games and they love prizes too. If you organise a little treasure hunt and some guessing games around a sewing based party you’ll find you have all the right ingredients for the perfect crafty girls party.

This weekend Betty Buttons were invited to Mabel’s 8th birthday party. If you were on the guest list, you were going to be in for a real treat. Both Mabel’s mum and grandmother had helped Mabel set the scene for her guests, as you will see. There are some wonderfully creative ideas that you could use for your sewing themed party here, so let me walk you through what Mabel and her mum Tasha did.

The theme for the party was cupcakes. With this in mind Tasha found some pretty plastic sprinkle cups with safety lids to prevent spills, a great idea around sewing projects! Mabel carefully worked out the seating arrangements and stuck a named package label, decorated with a button, to the table so everyone knew where to sit. In between little baskets of sweets were big cognac glasses full of multi-coloured buttons which the girls just loved.

Tasha and Mabel’s Grandma make artwork with buttons – it’s all about knowing the right people! For Mabel’s party they made two special posters using a selective colour palette which complimented the room’s pretty aqua weatherboarding. Choose your decorations to suit your theme and surroundings. If you would like to commission a bespoke button poster or other artwork you could get in touch with Tasha.



The sewing theme was continued throughout with Button biscuits and chocolate buttons. We liked the signage, “Sew hungry?” on the buffet table and “Sew desperate?” on the cloakroom door. Tasha and Mabel chose most of their party goodies from Tiger, see in store for the latest products.

Having those name tags to hand was an excellent way to identify the finished projects which were packaged up with ribbon in cello bags to take home. So we waved goodbye to the girls and left them to play party games in the garden. We think they all had a great time.

‘Both Mabel and I loved having Betty Buttons to host her 8th birthday party.  Stella and Annmarie were great fun and brilliant at teaching the kids sewing in a fun and engaging way.  Everyone was very proud of their creations and each one makes a perfect going home present! I’d highly recommend them.’

Betty Buttons offer Sewing parties for Children aged 7-12. If you would like to book us for your child’s next birthday party, you can email us at

Talking of Sprinkles…

I stumbled across another beautifully themed Sprinkle party here: . Kirstin and Jordan have lots of inspirational ideas on their blog and quite a few DIY sewing projects for young children, my favourite is yesterdays Unicorn doll tutorial – This would be a lovely Party favour to give to your guests.



We’ve updated our website

But that’s not the only change around here!


Due to our professional jobs and family life Ann-Marie and Stella have decided to concentrate on Sewing PartiesBespoke workshops for groups of 10 or more and One-one Sewing Tuition. We will offer occasional holiday workshops for those on our mailing list, but there will be no term-time sewing skills workshops after August 2016.

Ann-Marie and Stella have been running creative sewing workshops for children for almost 5 years. We’ve seen the children’s skills advance at rapid rates. We’ve stood back and admired how our regular stitchers skills have blossomed and become proficient and confident sewers. It’s been a pleasure to be involved in the development of their skills. And from the feedback you’ve given us, we know many of our early members who have joined secondary schools, feel proud that they are so advanced in comparison to their piers at school.

We’ve done so many workshops and met loads of lovely, charming kids from all sorts of schools in the area. Here are some of our favourite workshops, see below.

We do have spaces on our Queens Birthday Celebration workshops on the 31st May so do book on for those last remaining seats! As always booking is by email:

Gallery from the last 5 years

Sewing Workshops Summer 2016

We have decided to postpone our Rag Doll Workshop that we were due to hold this April.  Despite a lot of interest in the course, we now realise that after school hours are already very busy for many people.  So we will now hold the Rag Doll Course during the Summer holidays;
Rag Doll Workshop
Monday 1st, Tuesday 2nd, Wednesday 3rd August
10.30am – 12.30pm
£50 per child
Age 8+
Sew a Rag doll with Betty Buttons
We will be using both machine and hand stitching and using a Simplicity pattern to make our doll.  There will be some homework to do inbetween sessions (for example finishing embroidering the face or stuffing the doll).  All materials included.
We have also decided to postpone the Tote Bag workshop that we were also due to hold after school in June.  This will now also be held in the Summer Holidays:
Lined Tote Bag Workshop
Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd August
1.30pm – 3.30pm
£30 (bring own materials)
Age 8+
We will be making a fashionable tote bag and request that pupils bring their own outer fabric and lining of their choice. (We will give the amounts of material needed upon booking) There will be some home stitching to do in between the two sessions.
Half Term Workshops – Tuesday 31st May
To celebrate the Queen’s 90th, we will be holding a couple of  ‘Red, White and Blue’ workshops on Tuesday 31st May.
Tuesday 31st May
10am – 12.30pm
Age 7+
We will be making some fun, festive red, white and blue bunting with lots of different fabrics ready to hang out at all the parties to mark our Monarch’s 90th birthday.
Union Jack Cushion
Tuesday 31st May
1.30pm – 4pm
Age 7+
Using ribbon and patterned fabric, we will be making a medium size Union Jack cushion in red white and blue (if you would like to make a Union Jack cushion in different colours, please let us know at time of booking).  All materials, including cushion insert, are included in this workshop.
It will also be possible to attend the full day on Tuesday 31st May 10am – 4pm, and take part in both workshops for a total of £40.
To make a booking on our workshops, please email us to check availability as places are limited on our workshops.

Half term workshops

Next week we will be enjoying a half term break but not before we complete two days of workshops which we’ve laid on for our budding stitchers.

Monday 15th February – Make a fun skirt

We are going to show the children how easy it is to make their own patterns. They will take their measurements and make a simple gathered skirt with bound edge patch pocket. The pockets will take the best part of the session believe it or not! We are not lining this skirt, but it can be easily lined using a lightweight cotton, sewing it along the long edge of the waistband before we make the channel for the elastic.

We have 3 places left – so get booking! Workshop at Orford Gardens, Strawberry Hill TW1
email: betty to book your place.

Tuesday 16th February – Fashion Accessories Day

We have a morning and afternoon session available – You can make any accessory from the 4 versions we have available that day. For ease we’ve split it into necklaces and headbands but you can make either in the morning or afternoon – just incase you are busy at one time or another!

We have 6 places left on both the morning and afternoon – book soon!
Email: to reserve your place

See our New workshops page for upcoming events including Mother’s day gifts and Easter Bunnies.

Back by popular demand

Sew a Rag doll with Betty Buttons

Hello Betty!

This summer will see the return of Betty, our friendly rag doll. We will be running a series of after school workshops in April and May to make a few more friends. The sewing class will be on 4 consecutive Mondays when we will cut out a commercial pattern and follow the instructions step by step. This gives the children an idea of what to expect when buying professional patterns. Sometimes we have to make alterations and we’ll show the children what we have done to make the project easier.

See workshop dates here.

Suitable for intermediate sewers

The bulk of the sewing will be with a machine so the age group for this project is 9+. We now have 3 sewing machines for the girls to use. Children can bring their own machines as long as it is in good working order and threaded correctly.

At the end of the 4 weeks we will line up the finished dolls and the children will have a chance to discuss how they found the project. Everyone receives a Betty Buttons Sewing Skills Certificate.

If your children have not used a sewing machine before, we do offer 1-1 and 1-2 sessions which will give the girls more confidence with the machine. See details here.

Festival Fashion

Twelve children came to our specially requested Festival Fashion Workshop at The Art Class Sunbury. Betty Buttons took over Lynette’s fabulous Art Workshop room for two days over the Summer break earlier this week. The second day was about customising a standard T-shirt into a t-shirt you might want to wear at a music festival. The children had free-rein and could do anything they wanted. We gave them some easy customisation techniques using appliqué, reverse appliqué, embroidery, slashing, plaiting and cutting. With a little help 12 very original designs were made up within around 3 and a half hours. We finished off the day making plaited wristbands and finally a catwalk for show and tell.

We hope our gallery of images here inspire you little stitchers to give sewing a go. All you need is a standard boys plain T-shirt, scissors, spare T-shirt material, lace or other fabrics and some inspiration.

Kids Fashion Workshop at The Art Class in Sunbury upon Thames

Betty Buttons is running a Sewing Workshop over May Half term at The Art Class in Sunbury. The Girls Fashion Workshop will show how, with a few clever modifications, we can jazz up a plain t-shirt or basic bag into something much more unique and stylish.

Morning : techniques to customise a plain t-shirt including appliqué, reverse appliqué, inserting fabrics & cutting away fabric making new shapes. We supply a plain t-shirt & selection of fabrics to make each one individual. Afternoon : have fun designing or tracing a Pop Art inspired typographic motif & applying it to a large shopper bag which will be perfect for summer holidays & the beach.
Suitable for ages 8-12 & involving some machine stitching. Less confident children will have 1-1 guidance on the machines or hand stitch a simpler appliqué motif.

Details: Wednesday 27 May 10am-3:30pm

Book here: Betty Buttons Fashion Workshops

Betty Buttons is 4 years old this year!

This year will celebrate our 4th year running Betty Buttons. What started off as a bit of a hobby has grown into regular termly workshops for children running both hand stitching and machine stitching projects. We teamed up with Simplicity Patterns and delivered sewing skills courses which incorporated sewing machine skills for the over eights, more of that to come later this year. We’ve also worked with the Girl Guides in Twickenham to add to their group skills and we are returning this February for a special Valentines workshop.

Last year we started our Betty Buttons Parties which is picking up momentum now through referrals. We have a growing selection of themes for our parties but also offer bespoke themes tailored to the preferences of the party girl for a small additional fee of £10. We can also run a version of these for adults so do get in touch if that sounds like something you might like to do.

We’d like to thank the children who have grown with us and continued to come to nearly every workshop. We feel so proud of their achievements. As the years went by, and their competence grew, we knew that we’d made a small difference and that feels good. So while we pat ourselves on the back here are a few of our project highlights from the last few years.

We will be publishing a new list of workshops soon. If you would like to join our mailing list for workshop information, please get in touch. Have you liked us on Facebook? This is a good way to keep up to date with us.


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Teacher gift ideas

New – Teacher gift workshop

We have two Teacher gift workshops coming up. We’ve designed these cute fridge magnets that children can attach to their thank you cards. It’s always nice to give something useful I think and with these designs there is something for male and female teachers. Choose from a flower, a sun or a lion and tell your teacher they’re GRReat!


Friday 27 June, 4pm – 5:30pm
Tuesday 1st July, 4pm – 5:30pm


If you can’t make the workshop then we are also selling these as kits for just £6 so if you wanted to place an order email the design you prefer and your address and we can post it to you. Email betty


We have some other ideas for teacher’s gifts. How about a pretty corsage? It’s always thoughtful to give a special teacher something that the children have spent time making themselves. We put up a tutorial for this corsage for last years Mother’s Day, follow the tutorial here.

Or the children could make a set of lavender pillows to thank the teacher on teacher appreciation day or the start of a new term – get in the good books early eh! We made these sets of three pillows for Mother’s day this year but they can be used for your teachers just as well. All you need to do is cut out 8, 5cm squares with zig zag scissors (or plain) and stitch a seam 1cm in from the edge using running stitch or backstitch. Remember to leave a gap to stuff with poly fiber filling and a spoonful of lavender. Sew on three little buttons to the top pillow and tie all three together with a ribbon. Attach a craft label to the pillow set with a grateful message for the teacher.

For a male teachers, you could make one of our cedar wardrobe hangers and make it look like the teacher. Cut out bits of scrap fabric and felt and make an uncannily similar version of your teacher. Our wardrobe hangers were 14cm x 4cm so make a paper template and add 1cm seam allowance to the sides of your pattern. If you would like to buy kits for any of these projects you can email your requests to

BB Fashion Bag Sewing Bee

Sewing Skills – Week 4

All there was left to do in our final workshop was sew the lining to the outer bag and this is when the transformation really takes place.

It seemed utter madness to the girls to put the outer bag into the lining and sew the two together at the top, but once sewn together and trimmed we reminded the girls that they left a small hole in the bottom of the lining through which they could now pull the outer bag through. “Ooh! Now that’s clever,” they all chime.

So within an hour and a half; the girls had attached the strap, pinned and sewn in the lining, pressed the bag, completed the top stitching and sewn up the hole in the lining. Job done and everyone was very happy with their new bags. The girls all received their Betty Buttons Sewing Skills level 2 certificate. Well done girls you have worked very hard.


You can see the pattern that we used here: Simplicity 2164 and we made up bag C. I thought this cross body bag would make an excellent gift for my best friends teenager, in year 7 at school, so I made one too. It took me two evenings, 1.5hrs per evening to complete it. Ann-Marie and I would recommend this pattern for girls aged 10+ as a first machine project. The hardest bit will be the pivot corners, but with some adult guidance and strategic pinning it should not present a problem at all.

It’s great to be able to make your own fashion accessories and generally so much cheaper too. We hope we’ve inspired you to try to make something yourself now.

S & AM xx