Learning freehand machine embroidery with The Makery


I’ve always been interested in machine embroidery ever since I went with my mum to a class in Malaysia to learn embroidery for a kebaya (that’s a traditional style shirt for ladies worn with a sarong). Of course using those skills over here is being a bit trickier since a) I don’t have a treadle sewing machine and b) well, the experience to use it… But I was sure there would be a way for me to use the idea of it with a regular machine. And that’s when I came across these free machine embroidery classes.

There does seem to be a lot of these classes around at the moment. Maybe it’s a trendy thing to do? Anyway, I chose to do one run by The Makery in the John Lewis on Oxford St mostly because it fit in with my day off…

It was only a short course from 10.30am to 1pm costing £40 and we spent the time getting to grips with the feel of the machine without the feed dogs and the movement needed to achieve the designs we wanted.

My test piece looked like this…


Not the prettiest thing in the world but it takes time to get used to moving the embroidery hoop around!

After the practice round we got to start from scratch and do another piece of any design we wanted. They showed us how to use fabric cut outs to kind of ‘colour in’ areas which was pretty easy. It just involves plenty of forward planning and bondaweb!

I went for an ice cream design. I don’t know why. I must have subconsciously been craving some because it was all I could think of doing!


This is everybody’s final pieces!

 I’m planning to use this machine embroidery technique on some new dressmaking projects I’ve got planned. It’s not quite up to kebaya standard but it’s something to keep working towards.

Hopefully they’ll turn out well and you’ll see them on here soon!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. You did really well for your first time in your class. I know firsthand it’s a lot harder than it looks, and getting the feel of how to move your hoop takes LOADS of practice. I found a cutwork embroidery technique I really want to do but I stopped practicing. (I know… slap my fingers with a ruler….) You inspired me to find time to practice again. It’s frustrating to have my work look terrible even though I know it’s going to suck before it gets better! Best wishes!

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