Six of the Best… Back to School Classes

Sewing class, Sew over it

BYLINE: Libby Page

Sewing

In a cafe in Clapham sewing machines and scissors sit next to cupcakes and pots of tea. Sew Over It is a sewing cafe and studio space that runs over 25 different classes. Whether you are a nimble-fingered needle-worker or complete amateur, this is the place to come. New for September is a class that uses Liberty print fabrics to create a traditional quilt and a Mum’s Sewing Course. Other favourite classes will teach you how to make a 1940s tea frock or a Mad Men-inspired dress. Prices range from £25 for a 2-hour ‘mini-class’, to £165 for a course consisting of four three hour sessions.

Sew Over It, 78 Landor Road, SW9 9PH, 02073260376

Flower Arranging

For budding florists the Pesh Flower School in Camberwell offers a range of flower-arranging workshops. Each class can be bought as a half day or full day, the full day including lunch amongst the flowers. With a maximum class size of 10 these classes offer a hands-on experience that will introduce you to the basics of flower arranging or expand on existing skills. As well as seasonal classes and basic workshops a wedding course is available on request and will teach you how to make button holes and table centres. £75 for half day classes and £160 for full day, flowers and equipment included.

Pesh Flowers, 31 Denmark Hill, SE5 8RS, 02077039124

Italian Cooking

When in Rome… Cook like a Roman. So, Brixton Village may not technically be in Rome, but you will certainly feel like you are in Italy whilst being taught to make homemade pasta by Chef Dario of Bellantoni’s. This Italian restaurant offers classes in bread-making, pasta-making and authentic Italian meals. There is no minimum class size so lessons promise to be intimate. If you live locally Dario also offers courses in your home. Prices are per hour: £15 for children under 15, £35 for adults and £25 for adults over 50. Dario is currently away on holiday so courses start again after September 24th.

Bellantoni’s, 81 Granville Arcade, Brixton Village, SW9 8PS, 07872945675 or email bellantonis@yahoo.co.uk after 24th September

Swing Dancing

Swing, Charleston and Lindy Hop your way to fitness with beginner swing classes. Swing Patrol is a community of dancers that teach weekly classes in several locations across London (and Lambeth). Classes are £8 but a class card is available that offers a discount of £10 if you buy 10 classes, £25 if you buy 20 classes and £45 off 30 classes. On the 28th September head to the Ritzy for the first of their monthly Blues nights. For £10 experience a beginner’s class from 8pm until 9pm and then practice your moves on the dancefloor (open until 2am).

Swing Patrol, Blues at the Ritzy, Upstairs at the Ritzy, Coldharbour Lane, SW2 1JG, Weekly classes: Stockwell: Las Brasas Tapas Bar and Restaurant, 273A Clapham Road, SW9 9BQ, Streatham (opens September 20th): Brixton Art House, 130 Brixton Hil, SW2 1RS, Waterloo: The Living Space, 1 Coral Street, SE1 7BE, http://www.swingpatrol.co.uk, info@swingpatrol.co.uk, 02031511750

DIY

Next time you need to unblock a sink save the plumbing bill and fix it yourself. The Good Life Centre offers a range of practical DIY courses that include plumbing, electrics and tiling, as well as upholstery and carpentry. From £50 for a two and a half hour basic class to £295 for an eight week intense course.

The Goodlife Centre, 122 Webber Street, SE1 0QL, 02077607613

Singing

Have you ever felt embarrassed by your voice when caught singing in the shower? (Who hasn’t?) The Cant’t Sing Choir at Morley College provided the inspiration for the BBC show The Can’t Sing Singers. The 12 week evening course promises to give you the confidence to sing in a group through vocal tuition, breathing and stretching exercises and regular feedback. A new course commences on September 12th, Wednesdays 5:30 – 7. £90 for the course or £63 for concessions, £70 for seniors.

Morley College, 61 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7HT, enquiries@morleycollege.ac.uk, 02074501889

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