Creative Arts


The Stitch Room SEWcial 2020 is here!

13th and 14th June 2020

Last years highlights

The Stitch Room SEWcial is a truly unique two-day opportunity for dressmaking enthusiasts, hosted in Loughborough University’s Textiles Department. Bring your own self-directed project(s) and enjoy on-hand expert advice from New_Vintage_Sewing (Anne), should you need it.


Please email Anne if you have any further questions about the event.

Your ticket includes:

  • One domestic sewing machine per person;
  • Optional demonstrations and guided use of our specialist industrial sewing equipment, such as steam irons, overlockers, a coverseam machine, and an industrial binding machine (to name a few!);
  • One 2-hour taster workshop of your choice. (Get in quick to get the one you want!);
  • A goody bag;
  • An optional tour of the Loughborough University Arts Degree Show 2019, plus browsing time;
  • An optional fabric and pattern swap;
  • A special guest speaker - Heather Jacks - winner of the Great British Sewing Bee series 2. 

The University boasts several on site cafes, pop into town or bring lunch with you. We will book a table for an evening meal for anyone who wants to continue the sewing chatter over dinner on the Friday night at a local pub/restaurant (extra cost).

The weekend runs from 10am until 5pm each day, meet at 9:30am on the Friday, 14th June, for registration.

The cost of the weekend (event only) is £95.00



As part of your ticket price, you may choose to enrol in one of the following 2 hour workshops.

Please be aware that workshop spaces are limited so book early to get your first choice!


Weave Workshop

Rosy Chetwynd-Appleton – Technical Staff, Loughborough University Textiles   

8 spaces (2 x 4- person workshops)

During this workshop you will learn how to operate a 4-shaft table loom. The looms will already be set up for you with black, white or clear warps to maximise your weaving time.

You will learn how to wind a bobbin in your choice of yarn to be able to start creating your unique piece of handwoven fabric. All yarns will be included in the workshop, but you are welcome to bring anything from home to weave through the warp. As well as yarn you could bring strips of fabric, sewing/embroidery thread, or even strips of plastic or paper.

You will learn some basic patterns that you can explore to combine with different combinations of colour, texture and thicknesses.  

The warps are approximately 8inchs wide, and you can weave as a long length as you can in the time allocated. Your fabrics will be given back to you at the end of the day.

Digital Embroidery Workshop

Bee King – Technical Staff, Loughborough University Textiles   

5 spaces 

In this workshop you will get a basic introduction to Wilcom digitising software. There will be pre-digitised designs to choose from and customise, in order to maximise the number of designs you can stitch out in the time.

You will see how an industrial embroidery machine is set up, and how designs go from computer to fabric and thread.

Plain calico and machine embroidery threads will be provided; However, if you wish to bring a piece of fabric to use with a later project (pockets, uncut pattern pieces, etc), then please feel free to do so.

By the end of the workshop, you should end up with 1-3 digitally-embroidered designs. (Max. size 15x15cm).

Print Workshop

Emily Bull & Ria Matheison – Technical Staff, Loughborough University Textiles   

8 spaces 

After a brief tour of the workshop you will be shown how to do a heat transfer technique using disperse dyes to colour polyester fabric. The process involves painting the dye solutions onto paper, followed by using heat to transfer the image onto fabric. You will have full instruction on how to use the flat bed, and a full demonstration in experimenting with our pre-mixed dyes.

We have aprons to protect clothes but would advise you not to wear your best clothes in this workshop.

Fabric will be provided, but you are welcome to bring along your own fabrics to test. This process works best with polyester, but other fabrics can be tested. Suggested fabrics: Coloured polyesters, something with texture, nylons/acrylics might work. Natural/synthetic mixes will work too but may result in a weaker transfer. 

Photography Workshop 

Jagjit Samra – Technical Staff, Loughborough University Digital Hub   

6 spaces 

This is a hands-on workshop which will allow you to use either your own, or a selection of our equipment. Expert advice will be on-hand to help you get the best out of your phone, a camera, or one of your/our DSLR cameras. This workshop would be especially useful to those wishing to produce high-quality images for web use. 

Free Machine Embroidery Workshop

Sue Trevor – Textile Designer

5 spaces

During this workshop you will be shown the fascinating textile technique of Free Machine Embroidery. Using a mixture of silks, hand dyed fabric, and thread you will produce a sample/ samples of jewel like embroidery. This technique could inspire future makes, or even a new interest.  All materials will be supplied, but you are welcome to bring any interesting machine sewing threads.

Sue is a practicing Artist / Designer, please see her work on Instagram @suetrevortextiles (

Please be aware that for all workshops, as well as in the stitch room, shoes that cover your toes must be worn.


Below are just a few of the social media reactions to last year’s SEWcial:

Sew Essential’s blog post

Dream.Cut.Sew’s blog post

Susan Young Sewing’s blog post

Sew Dainty’s blog posts

Marilla Walker’s blog post

Red W Sews blog post

Saturday Night Stitch’s Vlog post

You can find more posts using the Instagram hashtags #stitchroomsewcial and #thestitchroomsewcial

(Don’t forget to follow @new_vintage_sewing, @sewessentialUK, and @so_sew_beejeu for updates and teasers!)

Social media 2018 ‘anticipation’ articles:

Stitchers Brew podcast

BBC radio Leicester interview 

Loughborough Echo

Leicester Mercury

Loughborough University:

School News

University News

Anne Acosta

Anne is a Technical Tutor in Stitch at Loughborough University, and manages ‘The Stitch Room’. With expertise in Fashion, Textiles and Costume, Anne has over 30 years’ experience; Some past projects include costumes for BBC Drama, design and patterns for high street shops, and teaching pattern drafting and garment construction to fashion students. Anne makes most of her own clothes and loves to encourage others to get into dressmaking as a hobby.

Anne’s instgram is @new_vintage_sewing


Lucy Regan


Lucy is one of the directors of Sew Essential,  an online sewing superstore. Sew Essential is a family run business of sewing enthusiasts. Lucy loves to make her own clothes and tells us about her sewing experiences through her sewing blog, helping home dressmakers with sewing tips and tricks.

Sew Essential’s Instagram is @sewessentialuk


Bee King


Bee is the Technical Tutor in Digital Embroidery at Loughborough University, managing the embroidery room, also known as ‘Threadquarters’. She works with Textile degree students to produce innovative digital embroidery designs. Bee enjoys working with students to push the boundaries within her field.

An avid dressmaker and fabric collector Bee especially loves working with jersey, making clothes for herself and her family.

Bee goes by @so_sew_beejeu on instagram


Heather Jacks - Visiting Speaker


Winner of the second “Great British Sewing Bee” (a BBC 2 program), Heather has been sewing from a young age and has lots of dressmaking experience. She won the coveted award in 2014 and still loves sewing. Heather will talk about her Sewing Bee experiences and show us some of the items she made on the show.

Heather is on Twitter as @heatherjacks9

Burleigh Court 

Burleigh Court, Ashby Road, Loughborough University,

Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TD 

Phone number 01509 633030

Imago at Burleigh Court, 4-star hotel, offers 225 luxury en-suite bedrooms, luxurious leisure club and wonderful food without having to step off campus.

Executive Double – Bed and Breakfast £106.80 per room (if the guest is settling on departure).

Single Lodge Bedroom – Bed and Breakfast £73.20 per room (if the guest is settling on departure).


Premier Inn

Southfields Road, Loughborough LE11 9SA

Phone: 0871 527 9314

In Loughborough city centre, this modern budget hotel is a 6-minute walk from leafy Queen’s Park and bowling green and 2 miles from Loughborough University campus.

The Stitch Room SEWcial is being held in the Textiles department of Loughborough University, but we will meet in the Cope Auditorium foyer (next to the café) on the first day, between 9:30am and 10:00am.

For SAT NAV users, please use postcode LE11 3BT.

The Cope Auditorium appears on Google Maps, here:

Getting here by Car:

Loughborough University is less than two miles away from junction 23 of the M1 motorway.

Directions from the M1

At the Junction 23 exit, take the first exit off the roundabout, signposted A512 LOUGHBOROUGH.

In 1 mile, take the first exit on the roundabout to stay on the A512.

In 1 mile, take the third exit, onto the A6004, Epinal Way.

In a third of a mile, just after the pedestrian crossing lights, take the first left onto Radmoor Road, signposted Loughborough College / Loughborough University School of the Arts.

Follow the road around to the right, and take the first road on the right, past the (open barriers). Our car park is on the right, opposite the Cope Auditorium.


Getting here by Rail and bus:

London is one-and-a-half hours away by train, Birmingham one hour and Manchester and Leeds around two hours.

Live bus departures from the train station to the university can be found here:

Alternatively, search for Kinch Bus, Sprint service.

The SEWcial is based near the ‘Loughborough Colleges’ stop.

Burleigh Court Hotel is near the ‘Pilkington Library’ stop.

The nearest National Express stop is here (LE11 3AD): 

The Megabus stops on Ashby Road (LE11 3TF), less than ½ mile from Burleigh Court, or at Loughborough Train Station.