Adult Classes

Sewing, Patchwork and Quilting are not only creative, fun ways to spend time, they are also brilliant activities that provide me with relaxation and an escape from the day to day strains. When sewing,  you are completely focused on your project – you don’t have time to think about other things.

The GillyMac Classes are always relaxed and informative. Support is available after the class, by phone or email, or even just drop back to get some help.

Classes included endless teas, coffee, and juices and more often than not, freshly baked cakes. I have a range of the latest sewing machines, overlockers and a sit down long arm sewing machine for quilting. All of my machines are available for you to use if you don’t have your own or if you don’t want to bring your machine to the class. Just let me know at the time of booking.

For more information, to book classes or for extra dates contact Gill Towell on 07818 551232 or via email at mail@gillymacdesigns.com

Class Terms and Conditions can be found here. 

I teach at home in Maidenhead, at the Liberty Sewing School in London.

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Weekly/Regular Group Lessons

Each week (during the school term) there are a number of regular adults classes running. They are on

  • Thursday Morning (10am-1pm),
  • Thursday Evening (7pm-10pm)
  • Friday Mornings (10am-1pm) 

These classes have become wonderful Modern Sewing Bee communities.

The classes decide if they would like to follow a GillyMac Project or if they would prefer to bring their own projects to work on.  In the past, the classes have worked on quilts, bags, tuffets, dresses, cushions, and wall hangings.

Every class is accompanied by lots of tea, coffee, and homemade cakes. The cost of the class is £15 paid 1/2 termly in advance.

If you are interested in being made aware availability for these clases  please drop me an email on mail@gillymacdesigns.com

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Single Classes or Short Series Classes


Sewing Machine Basics – Evening Class

Bring along your machine for a relaxed evening getting to know your own machine and learning some of the things you can do with it.  This packed evening will cover The Parts of Your Machine, Sewing Machine Needles – Getting Started, Threading Your Machine (top & bobbin threads), Your own machine stitches explained, Stitch Length and Width and why and when to change them ?, Sewing Basic Seams inc. blind hemming (we’ll even have a practice !), Essential Sewing Machine Feet, Why is ‘Needle Position’ as important as machine feet ? & Sewing Machine Care Essentials.. and we will finish off putting a zip into a small purse !! (Full notes are provided !)

….And if there is time, we will talk about some useful websites and shops (for the best deals around)

Wednesday 16th January 7pm-10pm – Price £40 (inc. all materials)


Get To Know Your Overlocker – Evening Class (over two evenings), 

Overlockers look extremely tricky beasts, but this two evening class will demystify your overlocker and get you using it in your everyday sewing. The class will cover:-

  • The parts of the overlocker and what it’s function and stitch is
  • Threading and rethreading the overlocker
  • Working with stitch length
  • Understanding differential feed
  • Sewing corners and curved edges
  • Creating rolled hems
  • Making two projects completely with your overlocker

I have two overlockers and so if you don’t have an overlocker and would like to use mine to see if you like them, then that is possible – just let me know at the time of booking.

Tuesdays 5th & 12th February 7pm-10pm £65


Free Motion Applique – Evening Class

Taking simple designs and scraps of fabric this class will teach you how to create wonderful decorative pieces in a very free way. You will be provided with a selection of my own templates for you to follow,  and we will use marking tools that you may not have used before, however the essence of this class is to learn how to use your sewing machine in a more versatile manner to create bespoke small panels that could be made into bunting, bags, pouches, small quilts and many items of homeware.  You will have the use of all my oodles of scraps a well as wadding and other stabilisers for you to try out. Have a look at my web gallery for some of the other free motion picture we could sew on the night.

Tuesday 4th December    – 7pm-10pm – Price £45 (inc. all materials to create three applique panels) ** Inc. 8 new Christmas designs **

Tuesday 2nd April   – 7pm-10pm – Price £45 (inc. all materials to create three applique panels) ** Inc. 8 new Easter designs **


Patchwork for Beginners – Series of Four Evening Classes

Lovely Liberty Runner

This is one of the classes I teach at Liberty, but we will go on and complete the project by not only making the table runner top (or mini/baby quilt if you would prefer), you will also go on and learn how to quilt and bind your work.  During the four weeks, you will learn many of the fundamentals of patchwork

  • How to cut fabric successfully every time using a rotary cutter,
  • How to sew a consistent 1/4″ seam
  • How to create 1/2 square triangles
  • What stitch and flip sewing is
  • How to frame your piece (and what fabric value is)
  • How to set your machine up for quilting
  • The difference between walking foot and free motion quilting
  • How to create your own bias binding

Included in the price of the class is a 158 page Patchwork and Quilting book to support your learning.  All classes come with cakes and laughter … have a go .. once you have learnt the basics you won’t look back .


GillyMac Magic Squares – Day Class

This modern pattern will look amazing with whichever pallet you choose. Why not change out some of the plain fabric for patterned fabric to create a very different look. I really enjoyed making this quilt. It comes together quickly and each pattern comes with a bonus quilting plan suggestion for the quilt.

The quilt comes in lap/baby, single and twin sizes.

This quilt is not difficult and is beginner friendly.

Tuesday 11th December, 10am-3.30pm £55 (full)


Metro Rings Quilt by Sew Kind of Wonderful

You can make this jelly-roll-friendly quilt as either a lap/baby quilt 33″x44″  or a single sized quilt 57″x76″. You will use either the Sew Kind of Wonderful Quick Curve Rule or the Mini Quick Curve Ruler to create this smashing quilt. Cutting out is made very easy using the guide slot in the ruler to cut out the pieces. If you have never pieced curves – don’t be concerned, as this is easy and there is no need for excessive pinning, a few tips and you will have it nailed. I have no doubt you will love piecing this quilt – and for afterward, I will also give you my own quilting plans for you to use should you wish to.

Drop in classes will be available for finishing off support if you need it. Rulers will be available to borrow after the class to complete the cutting out if needed.

Tuesday 6th November 10am-3,30pm – £58 (inc. Sew Kind of Wonderful Pattern worth £8)


Introduction to Ruler Quilting  – Day Class

Ruler quilting on a domestic machine turns quilting on its head. Now you can divide up space to be quilted using sewn ruled lines without the need to turn bulky quilts through the throat of your machine.  In this class you make a quilters tote bag front and back whilst you learn;

  • how to set up your machine ready for ruler quilting and protect it from damage
  • how to hold the ruler and move the quilt and ruler together whilst sewing
  • practise 8 simple designs using rulers on key cards for you to take away
  • how to apply these designs to real patchwork spaces and borders that aren’t going to fit a complete number of repeats of patterns.
  • how to manage corners with the linear design tips on the best rulers to buy

The tote back pattern will be supplied to complete the bag after the class.

To facilitate this class, I have 4 domestic machines and one sit down long arm machine set up for ruler quilting, each with a complete set Angela Walters of rulers. Should you wish to use your own machine, I can help you ahead of time purchase a foot to use on the day.

It is very useful to also take the Quilt-As-You-Go Class to learn how to combine your beautifully ruler quilted small pieces into a much larger quilt.

Day Class – Wednesday 10th October 10am-3.30pm -£60 (full)

Day Class – Wednesday 30th January 10am-3.30pm -£60 (5 places left)

Maximum of 5 pupils per classes


Progress Your Ruler Quilting  – Day Classes

Continue with your journey with ruler quilting on this next class. This class will use both the Angela Walters rulers and a set of Hand Quilter rulers, tested for used with domestic machines. In this class you will create a small lap or baby quilt whilst;

  • building up your repertoire of designs with an additional 10 more complex designs, delivered on key cards for you to take away
  • applying these designs to difficult spaces and borders of any size
  • learning how to divide ‘blank space’ on a quilt and apply ruler designs and free motion quilting to this space
  • using the Angela Walters rulers and graduate to using long arm Handi Quilter rulers appropriate for a domestic machine as well.
  • practising easy fillers for within your ruler work

The quilt pattern will be supplied to complete after the class.

As with the ‘Introduction Class’,  I have 4 domestic machines and one sit down long arm machine set up for ruler quilting, each with a complete set Angela Walters of rulers. Should you wish to use your own machine, I can help you ahead of time purchase a foot to use on the day.

It is very useful to also take the Quilt-As-You-Go Class to learn how to combine your beautifully ruler quilted small pieces into a much larger quilt.

Wednesday 17th October – 10am-3.30pm £60  (1 place left)

Wednesday 27th February – 10am-3.30pm £60  (5 places left)

Maximum of 5 pupils per day or set of evening classes


Quilt-As-You-Go, Day Class

Quilt-As-You-Go is an ideal way to quilt smaller pieces of a quilt and then join them AFTER the quilting is done. Many modern machines have a small ‘throat’ and so manipulating larger projects through this space can be troublesome. In this class, we will make up a number of fun wonky log cabin blocks by preparing them with the wadding and backing already incorporated. In this way,  once we have pieced them, they are already quilted and ready to join together. I will then demonstrate three different methods of joining the pieces together and after lunch, you will go on to practise all or some of the methods by joining your own blocks.  We will finish by looking at techniques for reducing bulk and adding borders and binding.

Wednesday 13th March – 10am-3.30pm £60  (6 places left)


Zipped and Piped Cushions for Everyone – Evening Class

Cushions are sooooooooo expensive but are really easy to make. In this class you will come with fabric and walk out with a wonderful cushion – with a zip and piping – I promise! Creating your own piping (the yellow edging in the photo) makes for a really professional look and once you know how to make it, you will be able to make piping for any project and turn that item from having home-make look into having a professional finish.

This class is suitable for beginners.

Tuesday 26th February  – 7pm-10pm – £40 (inc. piping cord) – 6 places available


Boxed Cushions for Everyone – Evening Class

Come and make a Boxed Cushion – maybe for the blanket box you have been meaning to sort out for ages, or the garden seats or maybe the boot of the car for the dog! Whatever the case, a small boxed cushion can be made in an evening and one you understand my method you will be able to go on and create a set or scale it up for the garden bench !

Wednesday 24th October 7pm -10pm – £40 (inc. piping cord (full)

Tuesday 26th March 7pm -10pm – £40 (inc. piping cord (full)


Dressmaking  – Series of  Four Evening Classes 

Join me for four weeks of dressmaking. Bring along a dressmaking pattern for yourself or someone else. If you have sewing before but just want to sew with company and someone to help with the tricky bits, then this is perfect for you. If you are a complete novice, we will cover how to read the pattern sleeve and pattern itself, as well as learning about material weave and how it impacts the garment construction and fit. During the sessions we will cover cutting out the pattern, pinning, cutting and transferring markings. As you make up the garment we will learn about seam allowance, machine operation, and useful feet. Depending on the patterns you bring we can also talk through inserting zips, setting in sleeves, sewing dart etc. Finally, we will finish the garments with hems, and fastenings. It will be a packed class, setting you up for many hours of dressmaking! You will receive my full teaching notes which will help you through many years of sewing.

“Escape Christmas” Dressmaking  Mondays 26th November, 3rd, 10th & 17th December £105 (2 places left)

Spring Dressmaking  – 7pm-10pm £105 (inc. Swedish Tracing Paper as needed) 

**NOTE: Dressmaking classes are limited to 5 people per course**



City Trousers by the Avid Seamstress – Sets of 3 Evening Classes

 
 
 
Effortlessly stylish, the City Trousers reimagine the contemporary, cigarette fit with a minimalist chic flair. A narrow waistband with an invisible zip at the back creates the ultimate body-slimming silhouette. With easy to insert side pockets and optional side slits at the hem, this astoundingly versatile pattern is fit for any level of sewing experience

UK sizes 6 – 22

Suggested Fabrics

Medium weight and fabrics with a slight stretch work well with these trousers.

Autumn Set – 2nd, 9th & 16th July  7pm -10pm £85 (inc. City Trousers Pattern worth £16, Swedish Tracing Paper and 9 hours tuition) (2 places left)

**NOTE: Dressmaking classes are limited to 5 people per course*