THE Sewing Shed in Ilkley is set to welcome back sewers and crafters following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

And for anyone who has been inspired by BBC1’s ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’, especially the bit where they rework garments into something new, Ilkley-based artist Susan Oliver, will be leading a new class called Creative Textiles.

Business owner, Leonie Pratt said the new creative textiles course was perfect for anyone wanting a hobby that is both relaxing, mindful and creates beautiful pieces by hand and machine.

She said: “Don’t worry if you’re not a confident sewer though. This class is mixed ability, so it doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced sewer or new to sewing, all will be very welcome. Susan will be on hand to give you individual tuition. She’ll also share her considerable technical knowledge and offer creative advice.

“During the six-week course, each student will create their own stitching journal by hand as well as a piece they’ve made themselves out of fabric and materials they’ve chosen. Who knows, this could be a future heirloom or a simple bookmark. These classes are also an opportunity to slow down and take a break from day-to-day life.

“Susan is particularly interested in ‘slow stitching’ a meditative practice which allows for reflection and a way to escape from our busy daily lives.

“This past year has shown many of us how important tapping into our creativity can be, especially as a way to relax. In this weekly class your creative side will be nurtured through individual tuition but in a group setting of no more than eight students.”

Susan added: “There is something special about sitting with someone sewing. Just being and doing creates a real connection.”

The creative textiles course which starts in June is one of many sewing and crafting courses offered at The Sewing Shed for adults and children alike and Leonie said she was delighted to be open again after lockdown.

“I am delighted to welcome Susan to The Sewing Shed and I’m really excited to see what her creative textiles students create,” she said.

“It has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone, and I am thrilled that The Sewing Shed is able to open its doors again and welcome sewers and crafters back into the studio.

“We are lucky to have a large, airy space so that we can comfortably welcome very small groups and keep everyone safe.”

Leonie founded the business in 2010 initially from a posh shed in her Ilkley back garden, before relocating four years ago to The North Chapel on Ashlands Road, just a short distance from Ilkley town centre, where she offers sewing, making and crafting classes for all abilities including upholstery, embroidery, papercraft and patchwork classes along with private tuition and parties. The small team of hand picked tutors are all professionally trained. To sign up to classes visit or email