Sewing for Home Schoolers

I am excited to announce I now have a sewing program for those children who are home schooled in Perth, Western Australia. I am coming into my 15th year of teaching children and as my own children are growing up, I now have the time to add some extra classes.

Classes for 2024 will start on Wednesday, 31 January and run for 6 weeks. I can only offer one day at the moment as I have enrolled myself into a full time course. This means places are limited!

On offer is an Absolute Beginners Sewing Machine Course for kids where they will learn all the basics to get started and complete a bunting and quilted pouch by the end of their 6 weeks.

Beginners Sewing Machine Course for kids is for those who have sewn a bit and are confident with threading their machine and winding a bobbin. We will make a lined quilted fabric basket (so I can see they can sew straight) before we start on making garments. The project will be a skirt with elastic waist and patch pockets. There are so many skills they will be learning to get them on their sewing journey.

Hand Sewing & Absolute Beginner Sewing Machine Course for the after school kids! We will learn the basic hand sewing stitches before we head to the machine and finish with a bunting.

I have also arranged a Meet Miss Mary Day on Saturday, 6 January 9:30am – 11am. This day is for you and your child to pop in, see my creative space, say hello and for me to answer any questions that you or your child may have.

To register your attendance and for full details on the courses including prices, click here.

10 Best Stocking Fillers for Sewists

Listed are some favourite notions that we can never get enough of. As sewists we treasure our sewing kit.

  1. Clover Seam Ripper – one of our most used tools in our kit, yet we often forget to replace them. The blades do get blunt and a new one of these will bring the job of unpicking more joy!

2. LDH Thread Snips – I have a pair of small snips beside my sewing machine, overlocker and also on my ironing board. I love these because they are super sharp and great quality.

3. Gutermann Thread Bundle – Having a small bundle of our most used colours is convenient to have in the sewing kit.

4. Sewing Labels – There are so many sewing labels available on the market. These Kylie and The Machine labels are just one of my favourites!

5. Pins – we looove pins! We use them all the time and we love all sorts because it depends on what fabric we are using as to what is the best pin. Love Heart pins are long and great for heavy fabrics.

6. Hand Sewing Needles – Keep grandma’s needles in your sewing box for nostalgia but use the fresh ones for your work. Needles do go rusty! These Clover Embroidery needles contain different sizes and run through your fabric so smoothly.

7. Quilting Clips – used for sewing and quilting, these are a great addition to the sewing kit, especially when working with heavy weight fabrics and denim.

8. Magnetic Pin Wand – the only way to clean up your pins at the end of your day. Also great for any accidental pin box spillages and boy have I seen many!

9. Fabric Bundle – Moonlit Garden by Patty Sloniger for Andover Fabrics. 8 prints available in a Fat Quarter Bundle or a 1/2 metre Bundle.

10. Mini Iron – You may hate ironing but when sewing pressing is a must! This mini iron just makes it all so much easier. This light weight, small iron packs a punch and gets mighty hot. You can even add water for a bit of steam.

All items can be purchased at the Miss Mary Shop with a pickup from the studio in Glendalough or choose the mail option.

What to Look for When Buying a Sewing Machine


Vintage Kids Sewing Machine

Here are some important things to look at when buying your first sewing machine.

  1. User Friendly – is it easy to use & handle

These are some of the features that make using your machine easy;

Speed control, automatic threading, automatic thread cutter, needle up/down

2. Performance – performs well with no weakness

This one can really only be tested when doing a demo. I highly recommend going to your local dealer to try as many as you can. Does it sew through three layers of denim? Does the bobbin jam and make that funny noise? Does the thread get caught around the spool pin?

3. Flexibility & Creativity – has room for you to grow

How many stitches are included? Can you lower the feed dogs? How many presser feet are included? Can you quilt on this machine as well as sew?

4. Maintenance & Support – is easy to look after

You want to be able to get into the bobbin area and dust it out. It gets more dusty than you probably think! You want to be able to have someone on hand to ask questions when you get stuck. Of course this is a service I provide when machines are purchased through me.

5. Appeal – looks attractive

Who doesn’t want something that looks lovely?! Don’t get sucked in purely by this, as often they look great but all of the above is forgotten!

6. Budget

A cheap machine is cheap for a reason. In our throw away society I have never seen so many cheap models out there! The metals they use are weak. There is a lot of plastic! These machines are not balanced, so how can we ever get precise sewing. They are designed to throw away and buy another one as they are too expensive to fix. These days, you can even buy machines in supermarkets and furniture shops. All I can say is…please don’t.

My advice is to borrow someone’s machine for a period of time until you figure out sewing is for you and what you need in a machine based on the projects you would like to sew.

I hope this blog post helps you with sewing machine shopping. You can see other posts on my blog about Sewing Machines.

Best Sewing Machine for Kids

The Bernette B37

This is one of my favourite machine for kids and absolute beginners. My views are based on having used this machine, as well as feed back from many of my students who have purchased this machine.

What to look for when choosing a machine…

  1. User Friendly – is it easy to use & handle
  2. Performance – performs well with no weakness
  3. Flexibility & Creativity – has room for you to grow
  4. Maintenance – is easy to look after
  5. Appeal – look attractive
  6. Budget


The B37 is a computerised machine.

It has Speed Control. This is my number one priority for children! To sew a seam, this is what the children are concentrating on…

  1. sewing with a straight seam allowance, following the line
  2. sliding pins out as they go
  3. reverse stitching
  4. hand position
  5. posture

To have speed control allows the children to slow right down and perfect these skills. I have noticed that children using speed control gain far more confidence and move forward with their sewing alot quicker than those who don’t.

The layout of this machine is attractive, simple and easy to flick through the different stitch options.

All stitches are built in and at the press of a button the stitch length and stitch width are set for you. They are also easy to change.

This machine sews a variety of fabrics including denim.

It is light weight, yet solid and will not jump around or sound tinny when you are sewing.

It is fairly easy to clean. You can remove the needle plate with the mini screwdriver included and dust out the machine.

50 stitches included. You are able to sew decoratively and with stretch fabrics. Buttonholes are automatic and what a lovely feature this is! There is room to grow with this machine if you are an absolute beginner or child.

In summary I believe this machine is easy to use and handle because of the above mentioned features. It definitely performs well with no weakness. There is room to grow if you are an absolute beginner or young child. This machine looks good and has great LED lighting. It is easy to look after, do this and you won’t be needing services. As for budget. This is a standard price for those number one features I mentioned. It is a bit of an investment but this should last you for at least 10 years.

This machine is available to purchase through me. Please drop me an email to arrange. I can have a machine available within a day or two. Please note that by purchasing through me I will sit with you to go through the functions and I am always available to troubleshoot with you, I am a phone call away or you can pop in to see me if you were stuck with something.

As at 28 November 2023, this machine retails at Miss Mary for $690. To purchase, please email your details to

You can see the full brochure here.

Another favourite machine is the Bernette B38.

There is also a cheaper range that is not computerised. Please contact me for information.