Craft Courses at Crafts Bee

Crafts Bee is the home of craft courses in London and Kent.  We provide a wide range of craft classes and craft courses in Sewing, Jewellery Making, Cake Decorating, Stained Glass, Knitting, Crochet, Silk Painting, Lino Cutting, Paper Cutting and more.

Our crafts studio offers a wide variety of  creative crafts courses.  Discover your creative talents attending our classes. Classes cover all skill levels from those starting out on their crafting skills journey through to intermediate and advanced level classes to finely hone your creative talents. Whether you are attending a class on your own or with a group of friends. You will find our workshops  a lively, stimulating and fun environment to learn  your crafts skills in. Book a course & join in today.

Click on the menu tab above to find out more about the range of craft courses we offer.

 

How to Find Us

We are located in Beckenham which is on the borders of South London and Kent. We are easily accessible from Central London, South London, Kent and the surrounding areas.  Check out our Find Us page for details of public transport and parking.

 

Bee Insipred!  Bee Creative ! Bee Crafting! Our Crafts Studio offers a wide variety of  Creative Crafts Courses.  Discover your creative talents attending our classes. Classes cover all skill levels from those starting out on their crafting skills journey through to intermediate and advanced level classes to finely hone your creative talents Whether you are attending a class on your own or with a group of friends. You will find our workshops  a lively, stimulating and fun environment to learn  your crafts skills in. Book a course & join in today Bee Insipred!  Bee Creative ! Bee Craftin – See more at: http://www.craftsbee.com/#sthash.N3Lw8Nri.dpuf

 

Bee Insipred!  Bee Creative ! Bee Crafting! Our Crafts Studio offers a wide variety of  Creative Crafts Courses.  Discover your creative talents attending our classes. Classes cover all skill levels from those starting out on their crafting skills journey through to intermediate and advanced level classes to finely hone your creative talents Whether you are attending a class on your own or with a group of friends. You will find our workshops  a lively, stimulating and fun environment to learn  your crafts skills in. Book a course & join in today Bee Insipred!  Bee Creative ! Bee Craftin – See more at: http://www.craftsbee.com/#sthash.N3Lw8Nri.dpuf

 

Our Recent Blog Posts

What did we transform this into?

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 in blog | Comments Off on What did we transform this into?

Take a piece of 1980’s reproduction furniture. Well built and with years of life left in it but outdated. Use a few simple steps to transform it. First we removed the doors and filled and sanded the holes left by the hinges. Then we glued some mouldings to the cupboard door and took off the drawer handles. Next we used some sugar soap to clean it and remove an old dirt or grease. Then, to cover up the dark wood, we gave it three coats of chalk paint. Cream on the outside and red on the inside. Gold leaf was applied to the mouldings and drawer handles and the drawer handles were reattached. The paint was protected by applying a layer of wax and dark wax was applied to the red paint only to darken it. No sanding and minimal preparation and the piece was finished. To find out more about chalk paint click here....

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Hiding Ugly Wiring

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in blog | Comments Off on Hiding Ugly Wiring

Wiring, extension leads and  plugs. We can’t do without them but they don’t look good.  Use our simple method of covering a box in fabric and transform this     Into this   Here is how we did it. Double click on any of the photos for a better, bigger view of them. Collect together the materials you will need. These are a box with lid to cover, fabric, scissors to cut the fabric and a glue gun or other glue. If you don’t have a sewing machine or overlocker choose a fabric that does not fray. Your will also need a hacksaw or strong scissors and a tape measure.   Choose a box that has handles in the side for holding it and use the hacksaw or strong scissors to cut a channel from the top of the box to the handle.       The channel is so you can pass the wires from the top through to the handle.         You now need to take some measurements. Measure the width of the lid. Include the length of the edge of the lid at both sides. Click on the photo to enlarge it and see where the tape measure is.  This is measurement A.         Measure across the length of the lid and again include length of the edge on both sides. This is measurement B.           Turn the lid over and measure the inside of the edge.  This is Measurement C.     Cut out the fabric for your lid. The width will be A+C+C. The length will be B+C+C. This will give you a piece of fabric big enough to completely cover the outside of the lid plus the lip on the inside.     Measure around the whole width of the box. If your box, like mine, is wider around the top than the bottom, measure around the widest part. This is measurement D.     Measure the height of the box. This is measurement E.       Cut out your fabric for the box.  The length will be D plus 5cm. The height will be E plus 9cm.   If you have a sewing machine or overlocker either zigzag or overlock the edges of both pieces to stop them fraying. If you don’t have access to a sewing machine pick a fabric that does not fray.     Iron both pieces of fabric to ensure there are no creases.         Place your lid onto the wrong side of the lid fabric. Make sure the lid is correctly placed onto the fabric so you have sufficient fabric on all side to cover the lid and the inside lid.     Fold over the fabric to cover the inside of the lid and use glue to stick it into place. Before sticking a corner play around with the fabric to work out the neatest  way to attach it.  You will not see the inside of the lid so make sure it is the outside that looks neat.         A close up of the inside on the corner. As the corner is curved I had to make a small pleat on the outside of the lid.           The outside...

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Free Craft Workshops at the Country Living Spring Fair!

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in blog | Comments Off on Free Craft Workshops at the Country Living Spring Fair!

The Country Living Magazine Spring Fair is offering free craft workshops and lots more! The Fair takes place from 18-22nd March in the Business Design Centre, London and is the perfect way to start the new season and get inspired with lots of ideas for your home and garden with an array of carefully selected exhibitors, from small producers to craftspeople from across the British Isles. Alongside a unique shopping experience, you’ll be able to see the pages of the magazine come to life in a range of seasonal features. From lively talks and hands on workshops, to lamb feeding and a beautiful Spring Garden with experts on hand to give you advice, this year’s Spring Fair promises to be a wonderful celebration of the season. Craft Workshops: Get the chance to get interactive with the ‘Craft and Create Rooms’. The classes involve everything from needle felting fairy tales, kite wall decorations, block printing a tea towel to patchwork, quilting and textiles. Learn from the experts, such as Hilary Jane, Ellen Clarke and Sarah Peel, who are just a few examples of our range of tutors for the classes. These sessions from talented craftspeople will bring out your imaginative side and leads you to taking your final creation home with you. To book your ticket in advance click here and quote discount code  S15C03  at the online checkout to get £1 off standard ticket price.  Garden Feature and Theatre: See the garden masterpiece created by Lucy Summers, this glorious display of explosion of colour from beautiful spring florals with give you inspiration for your own garden, as well as show you how to plant flowers and edible produce including tomatoes, aubergines and beans. Green and Black’s Taste Experience: Try up to 20 unique flavoursome organic products, also hear the In-house celebrities reveal how Green and Black’s is not just a chocolate bar. Spring Bunting Competition: Fancy a challenge? The winning entry will receive £100 and the runner up will receive a pair of complimentary tickets for the 2015 Christmas Fair. Gala Evening: Perfect if you’re looking for the relaxed shopping experience. Gala Evening will be on Thursday 19th March and will be serving complimentary wine, so it’s a perfect end to the working day....

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Understitching

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in blog | Comments Off on Understitching

Understitching

Understitching Understitching is a technique used to get a facing to lie flat. It is important technique to understand to help you get a good finish when making clothes. To finish off a neckline or armhole you need to add a facing. If you do not understitch you will have trouble getting the facing to lie flat and parts of it will show on the right side of the garment. Below we explain how to understitch. When you are applying it to a neck or arm facing it is exactly the same technique but you may need to clip or notch the seam to help them lie flat.     Take two pieces of fabric. One piece will be the top fabric and the other, when finished will be the bottom piece, or the facing if making a garment.             Sew the two pieces of fabric together.             If you now place the bottom fabric behind the top fabric you can see that it does not lie flat and you can see the bottom fabric.             Turn the fabric over and use your fingers or an iron to press the seam towards the bottom fabric.         Turn the fabric back to the right side and sew a line of stitches, on the bottom fabric, as close as possible to the seam.             Because you have pressed the seam allowance towards the bottom fabric your line of stitching will be though the bottom fabric and the seam allowance.           Turn the bottom fabric behind the top fabric and press the seam. The bottom fabric will now lie flat behind the top fabric.               The back view showing a neat, flat...

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What is Pattern Cutting?

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in blog | Comments Off on What is Pattern Cutting?

What is Pattern Cutting?

What is Pattern Cutting Have you tried dressmaking and are wondering what to try next? Then pattern cutting may be your next step. Pattern cutting is making a basic pattern, to your specific measurements, that you can adapt to make different styles or trousers, skirts or bodices. Because they are based on your own measurements the fit will be much better than with a commercial pattern that you buy. Here are some of the questions we are often asked about pattern cutting. How much experience do I need before I try pattern cutting? This depends on what type of pattern you want to cut but starting with a simple A line or straight skirt requires very little previous experience. Feeling confident using a sewing machine is all you need but previous experience of making a skirt will help. Trousers are slightly more complicated. An understanding of how the pattern pieces fit together helps but is not essential. Bodice patterns are best left till you are a competent dressmaker with an understanding of dart manipulation. Where sort of pattern do I start with? This will depend on how much experience of dressmaking you have and how confident you feel but we would suggest start with skirts or trousers. Once you have your basic skirt pattern is a simple process to alter the edge of the pattern outwards to create an A line or flared skirt or move it inwards to make a straight skirt. The choice is yours. The pattern for trousers is slightly more complicated but still very achievable. Like skirts the basic pattern can be easily altered for a straight cut, bootleg, flared or shorts to name a few. What is the actual process of pattern cutting? The first step is to take your measurements. The more accurate you are with these the better the fit you will get. Using a large piece of pattern paper you then start to draw your pattern. You follow a set of instructions which will guide you step by step in how to do this. This pattern is known as a “Block” which is a template that is personal to you. You can adjust your block to make the style you want. Use your block to make a “toile”. This means is a garment made up in cheap material so that the design can be tested and perfected. After you have made any adjustments you want to your block and you are ready to make your finished item. Do I need to be good at maths or drawing for pattern cutting? No the maths involved is very simple and we all have calculators on our phones these days! The drawing is mainly straight lines using a ruler or curves which you use a template for. What equipment do you need for Pattern Cutting? You will need a tape measure, pattern paper, pencils and coloured pencils, a calculator, ruler, rubber, scissors and a French or plastic curve. If this has whet your appetite for pattern cutting and would like to try it have a look at our skirt class or our trouser...

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Understanding the Notches on Patterns

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 in blog | Comments Off on Understanding the Notches on Patterns

Understanding the Notches on Patterns

Understanding Pattern Notches When you first start using paper patterns it is like trying to learn a new language. They are covered in lines, words, odd symbols and lots of little black triangles which known as notches. Notches are also sometimes shown as a small line perpendicular to the cutting line. The purpose of notches is to help you join pieces of the pattern together correctly.  If a pattern piece has a notch on it there will be a corresponding notch on the pattern piece that it joins to. By making sure that the notches match up you will be joining the two seams together correctly and in the right place. Sometimes you will see two notches together.  Where you have this you are always matching two notches up with two notches on the corresponding pattern piece.  One place where you will see two notches is on a sleeve.  One notch indicates the front of the sleeve and there are two notches on the back.  This means you know which side is the back of the sleeve and it will prevent you from putting the sleeve in backwards. When you cut your fabric out you need to mark the notches onto the fabric. One way is that when you get to the notch you cut a small triangle into the waste fabric so that it stands out from the edge of your pattern piece.  The advantage of this method is that it is probably the easiest way to see where the notches are so that they can be matched.  The disadvantage is it will slow you down when cutting out your fabric and it is easy to accidentally go past the notch without cutting the triangle. A quicker and more popular way is to make a small cut into the seam allowance where the notch is. However make sure your cut is shorter than your seam allowance or it will show on your finished garment! The important thing to remember is that notches must match up. If they don’t check again that you are sewing the correct pieces of the pattern...

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Sewing Newsletter

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in blog | Comments Off on Sewing Newsletter

Sewing Newsletter

Out today full of tips and techniques and a list of fabric shops! Click here to see the newsletter and to sign up for future editions.

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Where to Buy Fabric

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in blog | Comments Off on Where to Buy Fabric

Where to Buy Fabric

Where to Buy Fabric The following is a list of places you have told us you have bought fabric. Do remember when you are buying online it is worth asking for a sample first. Pictures on the internet can be misleading and there is no substitute for seeing and feeling the fabric before you buy. If you have a gem of a place you buy your fabric do let us know so we can spread the word. Rolls and Rems 111 High Street, Lewisham, London, SE13 6AT, Tel. 020 8852 8686. A tardis of a shop. They have a wide selection of materials including curtain material in the upstairs area. They also have many ribbons and buttons etc. and patterns. Swanley Market in Kent The market is on a Wednesday and sells some lovely fabric. Hayes Village Hall, Hayes Kent There is a fabric sale on the last Friday of the month. Plush Addict http://www.plushaddict.co.uk/ Based in Edenbridge, Kent, they are mostly mail order but do have ‘open days’ which are great. As well as fabric they stock haberdashery and are very quick to send orders out and are very helpful. Frumble www.frumble.co.uk/ A mail order site which is based in Birmingham. They have some lovely fabric and are very helpful. Bromley Market On a Thursday there are two fabric stalls, Friday and Saturday there is one, both very good value and on Thursday and Saturday there is the most wonderful and reasonably priced HABERDASHERY STALL. Denis has an excellent range if ribbons, zips, cottons etc and will always do his best to help and give advice (if you need it!). World of Sewing The main branch is in Tunbridge Wells and is a great shop which as well as fabric etc sells and will repair sewing machines. They also have an outlet in Pratts Bottom. Abakhan Fabrics. http://www.abakhan.co.uk/ An amazing fabric warehouse in North Wales which also has an online shop. Belle Fabrics. 6-12 Elm road, Leigh on Sea, Essex. This does not have an online shop but has a lovely range of fabric and worth a visit if you are in the area. Fabricland . http://www.fabricland.co.uk/ Fabricland has a number of shops, although none of them are very local to South London. They do have an website with a huge range of fabric on it. The website is not easy to navigate but if you are looking for a larger quantity of fabric at a very reasonable cost it is worth a look. Dragonfly Fabrics http://www.dragonflyfabrics.co.uk/ An easy to navigate website with a great range of fabric. Do you have something to add to this list? Email us and let us...

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What is Stay Stitching and Why do we need it?

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in blog | Comments Off on What is Stay Stitching and Why do we need it?

What is Stay Stitching and Why do we need it?

What is Stay Stitching and Why do we need it? When you read through or follow dressmaking patterns you will often see references to the phrase “stay stitching” but what actually is it, why do we need it and are there any ways that we can skip using it when we are stitching?  What is stay stitching? Stay Stitching is the term given to a row of stitches which are placed inside the seam allowance. The purpose of stay stitch is to ensure the fabric that you are using keeps its shape. When do we need it? When you cut out your chosen fabric you are normally cutting either parallel or vertical to the fabric selvedge.  This process is called straight of grain. However there are also times that you will need to cut at an angle to the selvedge. This is called cutting across the grain or on the “bias”. When you make these cuts on the bias you will be exposing the stretchiest part of the fabric. In doing this you will find that the fabric is now more likely to stretch and ultimately lose its shape. Stay Stitching is the best way to offer stabilisation and protect your fabric against this occurring. How do you stay stitch? When working through your pattern you will find that there are parts that tell you which of the pattern pieces need to be stay stitched.  These will normally be neck and armhole edges. In order to complete the Stay Stitch you will need to carefully sew a line of stitches around the curved edge, close to it but always within the seam allowance. Sewing within the seam allowance will mean that you will not be able to see the stitches on the finished garment once you have sewn the seam. It is important at this stage to be careful not to stretch the fabric as you sew it. Stay stitching is often removed after the seam is sewn. Your pattern will guide you with this. Can we skip it? Ultimately the answer is no as it is important to have some sort of stabilising stitch when completing a project of this type. After all, marking a garment is hard work and something that will take you time and effort.  Should you choose to not Stay Stitch then you will risk the fabric stretching and your finished garment looking out of shape- meaning that your efforts will be wasted. As well as this if you are sewing together two pieces of fabric, one cut on the bias (also known as “off straight of grain”) and one cut on the straight of grain they will be easier to sew together if you have stabilised the fabric and stopped is stretching. We believe that as it doesn’t take long to stay stitch is well worth using it. However opinion is divided on the benefits of stay stitching and some people prefer other methods of stabilising the fabric. These include using interfacing or sewing tape around the edge to stop it stretching. Still thinking of skipping the stay stitching? Before you decide that Stay Stitching isn’t for you, why not try it for yourself. It’s easy to do. Take some offcuts of fabric, cut curved shapes out of it and pull them in...

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Our new newsletter dedicated to sewing has arrived!

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in blog | Comments Off on Our new newsletter dedicated to sewing has arrived!

Our new newsletter dedicated to sewing has arrived!

Issue 1 is out today!  We have tried to send it to everyone that has booked a sewing class with us. If you would like to receive future newsletters and view the first one click here.

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