May & Summer Holiday Fun!

May Half Term 

30th May – 2nd June

Summer Holiday Dates:

Week 1 – 10th – 14th July

Week 2 17th- 21st July

Week 3 – 24th – 28th July

Week 4 – 31st July – 4th August

29th August – 1st September (4 day week)


Class Times & Fees:

9am-4pm / 9am-12pm / PM 1-4pm

£225 Mo-Fri 9-4pm (full week)

or £120 Mo-Fri 9-12 noon or 1-4pm (half week)

or £180 for 4-full days / £96 for 4-half days

(materials included)

Ages: 6-8 years and 8-18 years

Call 02074310573  or email to book!

 Summer 2017 is fast approaching! Our May half term and Summer Holiday Courses are the hottest ticket in town! They get booked up in a flash so don’t delay, book your child in today!

The Little Hands Summer 2017 theme is Festival and Beachwear, so amongst other projects we’ve got a whole host to really celebrate the most enjoyable time of year. (Let’s hope the weather is on our side too!)


Join the Little Hands Design Summer Camps for that unique designer summer that you are craving! We have everything that is required to provide your kids, tweens and teens with the fashion forward quirky experience that fits into all the current events that are happening in London right now.


The LHD teachers are a team of fashion and textile industry experts- the perfect people to introduce you to technical techniques and making ideas. It is an experience that is truly hands-on where students are able to design at their level and collaborate with everyone working on individual projects!

There are sewing machines, hardware tools, computer aided design and much more! Whether you are a starter, have sewn before or need to learn some new techniques, we have just the right thing for you! Imagine saying to your friends: ‘Yeah, I made this myself!’

Happy Unpicking

There will also be a chance to enter our termly design and skills competition if you create your own festival or beachwear style item.

Looking forward to a holiday camp of buzzing creativity, busy hands, loads of giggles and new friends – join the Little Hands Community today!!


Don’t just take our word for it here’s what other parents have to say:

“My son loves going to Little Hands. He made great projects and enjoyed his time there. He immediately picked up tips and tricks about pinning, cutting and sewing that he kept talking about, at home. He learnt about not wasting fabric, recycling it into new projects, looking after the sewing machines,etc. The fact that he gets to use the sewing machines is the coolest thing ever for a 7yrs old boy!!!!  According to him:  “it is real fun and the scissors go ‘snip snip’ and I love the sound!!!”He gets to choose the fabric for his projects and even the colour of the thread for his hand sewing. He really feels that the projects are his own creation from the beginning to the end.”
(Parent of 7 year old.)

“Astrid and her team have created an exhilarating, enjoyable, and edifying little world, where my daughter aged 8 has been inspired and illuminated with every visit. Currently enjoying a week-long course during the school holidays, she skips home in new clothes and accessories that she has both designed and made. I would totally recommend this amazing microcosm, located in Belsize Park NW3 to anyone looking for activities for their kids during the school holidays.”
(Parent of 8 year old.)

Frequently Asked Questions

What will my child learn?

Tailor Tacks Teaching

We teach everyone how to thread and use a sewing machine, as well as cutting. pinning and ironing skills and a whole host of sewing and design tips and tricks!  These will vary in complexity depending on the age and ability of the individual child. We have projects and exercises to suit 6 to 18 year olds! We prepare a different ‘Collection’ every term so there is always a new and exciting wide range of projects to choose from!

Projects might also include, printing, embroidery, hardware, computer aided design. Our fashion fun holiday camps are a great place to get immersed in the art of fashion and clothes making.

Why choose a whole week?


Getting immersed in our world of sewing for a whole week has great benefits, we see a great sense of achievement in those who have the time to work on longer projects and improve their skills from Monday to Friday. Having a full week with us will open your eyes to all the amazing creations that are possible within our ‘set programme’ and you will have the choice of simple or advanced projects dependent on your level!!

 For students that can only attend odd days, we will have a list of ‘LHD Specials’- these are projects that we feel are achievable in the shorter amount of time, that will provide satisfaction, fun and learning. Unfortunately we cannot offer as wide a range as the full week, as our main aim is that all are left with products that are complete whilst having fun and not rushing leading to a ‘fast fashion’ atmosphere.

Can they bring in their own designs?


We love to see young minds being creative and coming up with their own designs!  The best thing to do is pop us an email with details before the course to give us a little time to prepare ourselves for how we can help!

We do need to manage expectations that if it’s someone’s first time sewing they won’t be able to make a ball gown! As they say, you need to walk before you can run. If we think something is too tricky we will of course explain our reasoning. Sometimes it’s best to practise basic skills with easier projects and build up to that dream item!

How is the week Structured?


Day One is all about getting to grips with the machine and health and safety in the room! We provide a small selection of simple introductory projects that take half or a  full day to complete. (Depending on ability) This means we can get something fun and quick done and the teachers can assess the level of each child. They will also take this day to choose what they want to make for the rest of the week, we will send them home with fabric if it needs to washed to prevent shrinkage!

The Middle of the week everyone works on their own chosen project, adding their own individual flair!

The Last Day we call our Hands On Designer Day! We have a number of set quick and simple but effective projects on offer, (which the children vote on earlier in the week). If they are there for the full day they choose 2 or 1 for half a day! A great and refreshing end to the week! (Not in weeks with Bank Holidays!)  Kids (and teachers!) are also asked to wear what they’ve made to celebrate the amazing achievements of the week!

Mindfulness and Handiness for Teen Mental Health

Mental health, especially of the younger generation, has become an important concern. Mental health professionals often recommended mindfulness to help patients’ connect their bodies and minds and focus on the present.


Piece Astrid Jacoby made in tribute to her grandmother

“Mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment,” and “reconnecting with our bodies” (NHS). It’s used to treat anxiety and depression because it “can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better” (NHS). Furthermore, by making people more aware of their thought processes, it highlights “[streams] of thoughts…that are not helpful” (NHS). “Research also shows positive effects on several aspects of whole-person health, including the mind, the brain, the body, and behaviour, as well as a person’s relationships with others” (Be Mindful).


Hand made pillow decor created at Little Hands

There’s a variety of different ways to practice mindfulness, including several creative outlets. Mindfulness through creative outlets that involve having people use their hands “provides psychological benefits” (Barron). For example, “research has shown that hand activity from knitting to woodworking…are useful for decreasing stress, relieving anxiety, and modifying depression” (Barron). “More than half of the brain’s cortex is mapped to the hand,” so “our hands need to be engaged for our brains to be healthy” (Gupta).


Students working with their hands

Everyone can benefit from practicing mindfulness, but it’s particularly “deeply beneficial for” teens (Youth Mindfulness). “One in 10 people aged 16 and under has a mental health problem in the UK, with nearly 80,000 young people suffering from depression” (Wright). Mindfulness “[helps] them cultivate empathy, as well as skills for concentration and impulse control,” which helps teens “navigate the challenges of adolescence”(Beach).

In 2014, two former Little Hands students, Sophia Parvizi Wayne and Amber Van Dam, campaigned “to have mental health taught as part of the national curriculum…after the pair saw first-hand the effects of anorexia” (Wright). As a result of their “almost year-long battle…mental health will be taught in PSHE lessons” (Wright). Schools will also be advised “on how to make the lessons ‘a place where mental health needs are identified and support is provided sympathetically’” (Wright).

shoulder embroidery.jpg

Hand stitched embroidery created at Little Hands Design

Creating something with their hands can be therapeutic for teens overcoming mental health challenges. Lola, a fourteen-year-old LHD student recovering from anorexia, “struggles with body image, mood swings and the constant feeling of judgment” (Little Hands). “Around 1 in 250 women and 1 in 2,000 men will experience anorexia nervosa at some point,” so practices like mindfulness are incredibly beneficial for young people like Lola (NHS). For example, Lola says she feels “at peace” when she is at Little Hands because “it’s a space for her to focus on herself and no one around her” (Little Hands).

Mindfulness is a handy tool for people who want to improve their mental health through creative outlets that involve using their hands. At Little Hands Design, the benefits of mindfulness are represented in the emotional growth of our students.

Uniformity and Creativity: Can Schools with Uniforms Still Have Both?

The importance of self expression is paramount: it’s the way people identify who they are to the world and create a sense of self. Individuality, however, can be difficult to promote in educational environments where students are required to wear uniforms. School uniform policies do have understandable reasons, but it doesn’t excuse the negative impacts on children’s development of personal identity and self expression through fashion.


Clothing design sketch created by an LHD student

Those who argue in favor of school uniforms claim “wearing a uniform improves pupils’ behaviour both inside and outside school” and “helps to reduce bullying” (Clark). A deputy headmaster at Harrow School said students at well established private schools whose histories date back centuries build a “connection to the rich history of the school and…its distinguished community” by wearing uniforms (Metcalf). Many schools say “school uniforms are designed to help kids focus…diminish peer pressure,” and enhance the learning environment (PBS). Another rationale for uniforms is “to create a level playing field. So…no one is teased for not following the latest trends” because they can’t afford it (Jacobs).


Clothing production tools

Despite the supposed benefits, school uniforms are still stifling overall. Furthermore, uniforms aren’t “going to replace good teaching, good principals, small classrooms” (PBS). School uniform designs can also send a subconscious messages about education being work, which implies learning isn’t fun. Furthermore, having to wear a “uniform suppresses [students’] right to express [themselves] through clothes” (Jacobs).

“Students flourish when they’re treated as free-range individuals, rather than battery-hen units that must conform” (Whitehead). Uniforms are supposed to equalize students for discipline purposes, but “kids customise whatever they wear,” so “no two of them ever look the same” (Whitehead). Schools also start focussing on enforcing strict adherence to the established uniform, which distracts from education.

“Serious discipline and academic issues are unlikely to be solved by” uniforms (Brownlow). “Uniform rules can be taken too far,” and students can become frustrated and rebel (Metcalf). This results in further discipline issues, which makes uniforms counterproductive. “If the rules weren’t there, kids wouldn’t try to break them” (Whitehead).


LHD students show off their handiwork

As with most controversies, compromise is possible, even with school uniforms. Instead of continuing outdated traditional English standards of uniform dress, schools who wish to maintain a uniform policy can involve their students in the uniform design process. This would further design education and teach students more about clothing production. It also provides students with the opportunity to express their unique sense of style while still wearing a uniform.


A plaid piece made by an LHD student; Similar to uniforms, but still shows off the students individuality

Little Hands Design students are taught to value their individuality and ability to express themselves. Designing and making clothes is an excellent medium for self expression because students can create clothing no one else will have. We’ve seen how much this boosts students’ self confidence, which is why involving students in the school uniform creation process would be a beneficial compromise. This solution harmonizes self expression with the positive aspects of school uniforms. Because at the end of the day, self expression does not need to be sacrificed for discipline and community.


High Heeled and High Powered: The Influence of Women’s Fashion in the Political Realm

Clothes make the man, or in this case, the woman. From Theresa May’s iconic leopard print heels to the infamous pant suit ensemble donned by Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel, there’s no doubt people notice more than female politician’s political choices. However, while fashion can be used to influence and empower, some say it’s distracting and antifeminist. After all, how often do you see major media outlets discussing what male politicians wear? 

“Women have always been judged on their appearance” and are “expected to dress for whichever ‘part’ it is that [they] want to play” (Walden). However, female politicians dress style often varies depending on the woman and her political message. The perfect example is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose “uniform of choice a sensible, boxy, three-button pantsuit” (Foreman). Merkel isn’t the only one who adores a sensible pantsuit: American politician Hillary Clinton is also well known for wearing this ensemble. Although it’s often mocked, the pantsuit helps Merkel and Clinton clearly convey their message: they may be women in a man’s world, but they’re strong and there to stay.

While Merkel and Clinton attempt to blend in with their male counterparts, women like British Prime Minister Theresa May and Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, choose to embrace their femininity. By “resisting the trap of conforming to the ‘uniform’ corporate suit or dress,” they “[acknowledge] the power that clothing can have in the game that is politics” (Holt). Lagarde and May are both able to wield their political power through subtle fashion statements. Lagarde, for example, “was able to signal a turning point” during “a particularly gruelling session at one of the emergency summits held to keep the Eurozone from falling apart” by simply loosening her “watercolour scarf” (Young). May’s fashion choices also make a bold statement: “I know I have a brain and I’m serious so I can wear pretty shoes” (Holt).


Female politicians aren’t the only ones who find power and influence in fashion: wives of male political figures frequently use their sense of style to convey their point of view, as well as their husband’s. Michelle Obama, wife of former American president Barack Obama, strategically turned the tables on Tonight Show host Jay Leno when she said her outfit was from J. Crew (Friedman). Leno was expecting “sixty, seventy thousand for [her one] outfit” because the opposition party’s Vice Presidential candidate, former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, had a $150,000 clothing budget for the campaign (Friedman). Obama understood she “could plant subliminal cues” about her and her husband’s political message “with her clothes” (Friedman). Fashion icon Princess Diana also utilized this method: she often “paid homage to the host nation” when visiting foreign countries for diplomatic reasons (Tashjian). American First Lady Melania Trump also followed this practice when “she accompanied her husband from Saudi Arabia through Israel to Italy, Brussels and Sicily” (Friedman). princess-diana-397649_1920

While women in politics have proved fashion can be an excellent tool of political expression, many believe fashion should have no place in politics. Opponents argue people “should focus [their] attention exclusively on what [politicians] say and do” and nothing else (Mangan). Furthermore, male politicians are typically under less scrutiny for their fashion choices. For example, “few people blinked over [Barack Obama’s] new $1,500 suit” or former presidential candidate “John McCain’s $520 Ferragamo shoes” (Givhan). However, it some argue the typical male politician’s “wardrobe of a half-dozen virtually indistinguishable suits” simply can’t wield as much power as women’s fashion because it lacks individuality and distinction (Givhan).

“Visual communication of our identities through dress and/or fashion is ubiquitous and a fundamental tool that proclaims who we are, both to ourselves and to people around us” (Sika). Whether it’s being used to convey political messages or individual style, there’s no doubt that fashion has power and influence. However, there are still many who insist fashion should be “as relevant as politicians being judged on their ability to swim” (Mangan). Who knows? Maybe women in politics wear heels to stay a step above the men. 

The Importance of Embracing and Enhancing Your Natural Features


The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.

Hubert de Givenchy

Modern society’s ideal physical features tarnishes how people view themselves today, which is why it’s essential for people to learn to embrace their natural features.Society also needs to learn to encourage people to enhance their natural beauty instead of focussing on weight loss to conform to an unrealistic ideal.

“Mass media provides a significantly influential context for people to learn about body ideals” (NEDA). Advertising agencies create a nearly impossible ideal appearance that society constantly perpetuates. Because of this distortion, many struggle with low self esteem. People who have low self esteem “often interpret non critical comments as critical,” which further extends a negative cycle of harsh self criticism (McLeod).


Illustrations by @evedoesart,one of our talented teenaged Little Hands students

To counteract the media’s superficial standards of beauty, model Tess Holliday started an internet campaign titled #effyourbeautystandards. Holliday is “the first woman over a size 20 to be signed to a major modelling agency” (Telegraph). She encourages her followers to reject traditional beauty standards and embrace and enhance their natural beauty. She shows “women…they don’t have to hide in their home wearing a tunic” and “shows that we are all different and that’s OK.’” (Telegraph).

When working towards a higher self esteem, it’s important to “develop a critical eye through which to decode and filter media messages” (Garey). Embracing natural beauty is much easier for people once they understand the image the media produces isn’t the ultimate ideal.

Fashion is an excellent tool for those who want to enhance their features and “express themselves in a better and stronger way” (Life Beauty Place). Clothing can highlight different features through optical illusions, shaping, and colour selections. Experimenting with various styles and discovering what’s flattering is another useful method to find what makes people feel comfortable and confident.

“Our bodies are often the biggest target of our critical inner voice,” so “challenging the ‘voice’ is key to accepting our bodies” (Firestone). People who embrace their features instead of condemning them build their self confidence, which “sets them up for success” (Kids Health). People who have a positive self identity also “try new challenges, cope with mistakes, and try again,” which leads to a strong and resilient character (Kids Health).

“Building self esteem in children is an ongoing process and starts early,” so children should be taught to embrace their natural features early in their lives (Family Lives UK). Parents who wish to build their child’s self image should “model body acceptance” and and “direct [their] praise away from appearance” (Garey).

Embracing and enhancing natural beauty can be a long, difficult process. However, progress within the challenging process significantly improves self confidence. Once self confidence is achieved, inner beauty will enhance the natural beauty on the outside.


Sustainable Fashion Within a Consumerism Focussed Environment


“Forget retail therapy – at Little Hands Design the clothes you make are so much more personal and really fit than the ones you buy.. This is my new ‘ZEN-time!” A. 17 years

Consumerism is widely discussed, especially within the fashion industry. The negative consequences caused by consumerism and fast fashion impact the environment, so it’s important to promote sustainable fashion. However, that doesn’t mean the benefits of consumerism should be completely ignored.

“1.7 billion people worldwide now belong to the ‘consumer class’” otherwise known as “people characterized by…lifestyles devoted to the accumulation of non-essential goods” (Mayell). Large corporations encourage consumerism by convincing people “that in order to be happier… [they] have to have more stuff” (LifeSquared). After all, who doesn’t have an extra spring in their step after a satisfying shopping spree?

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Little Hands version of Fendi Furballs, which cost £17 for the course fee to learn the skills to make them yourself

Many cultures promote high consumption rates by fostering “a cycle of wanting more things” (LifeSquared). Because consumers “are never happy with what [they] have,” they’re in “a state of constant dissatisfaction” (LifeSquared). As a result, people strive to display an image of perfection through material wealth. Unfortunately, no matter how pretty the picture may be, life is never perfect.

“As consumption increases…the resource base has to expand” (Shah). This is why “between 60-80 percent of the impacts on the planet come from household consumption” (Jacobs). Even though “eventually, the resources will deplete,” society continues to “discard faster and faster” (Plummer). However, there are many ways big companies can counteract their contribution to resource depletion. Simply donating leftover resources to smaller companies and recycling can make a big difference.

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LHD student saw an expensive designer dress in a boutique she couldn’t afford, so she copied it and made it herself

Although there are negative consequences, consumerism does have clear benefits. It drives progress and innovation and boosts the economy by creating jobs and increasing the flow of money. These benefits are necessary for social growth, so although the nature and focus of consumerism should change, the practice should not be completely terminated.

“Fashion cycles are moving faster than ever…a trend dubbed ‘fast fashion’” (Tan). In the past, “Style changes occurred relatively slowly thus providing the consumer with time to adjust to such changes and to minimize costs” (Dardis). Nowadays, shoppers can go home with a hip new outfit and have it be obsolete within a week. The high speed of fast fashion trends causes consumers to shop more frequently to stay up to date, which leads to more clothing being discarded. Fortunately, the negative consequences of fast fashion don’t have to be catastrophic. In fact, there are several sustainable solutions: recycling, donation, and thrifting are both fashionable and environmentally friendly. With a little bit of creativity, you can make wear your grandma’s clothes and look incredible!

Focussing on sustainable fashion is necessary to counteract the consequences of fast fashion, but being environmentally conscious doesn’t have to mean being unfashionable. Rather, being sustainable in the fashion industry means “minimizing textile waste” and increasing clothing quality and durability (Somers). This reduces the negative effects of consumerism without condemning it by encouraging consumers to focus on quality over quantity.

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Little Hands students joining the #whomadeyourclothes movement created by fashionrevolution

Little Hands Design participates in Fashion Revolution Day, which “brings people…together to use the power of fashion to change the story for the people who make the world’s clothes” (Fashion Revolution). The movement’s founders “believe transparency is the first step to transform the industry” (Fashion Revolution). When fashion companies are open about where they manufacture their textiles, they’re more likely to create higher quality products, which promotes sustainable fashion practices without eliminating consumerism.

Sustainable fashion movements like Fashion Revolution encourage reducing the environmental impact of consumption without eradicating the economic benefits of consumerism. Economic growth and environmental sustainability can be mutually exclusive: one doesn’t need to be sacrificed to benefit the other. Like most things in life, there just needs to be the right amount of balance.


How to Tie Dye Festival Style!

Our festival and beach theme is up and running at Little Hands Design and we’ve gone tie dye mad! It’s a great way to make a simple project much more interesting! Have a go yourself it’s super easy!

milla tues 1

milla tues 2

You will need:
Elastic Bands
Dyes (We used Dylon hand dyes. Use instructions if you use different dyes)

First of all you need to choose what kind of tie dye you want to do! Here are the options!

HoDS17 tiedyehalterneck

Green top circles middle top spiral, pink random circles!



Tie Dye Spiral:

Pinch the centre of your top and twist until it makes a small bunch.

Stretch elastic bands over the bundle making segments.


Tie Dye Circles:

Pinch the centre of your top, then lift off the table. Tie your first band around the tip.


Move down the sausage shape with elastic bands at regular intervals.

Random circles:

Pinch the fabric wherever you want to and tie on an elastic band. Repeat all over the top.



Do the same for your back strips!


To mix the dye you need (or something to the same ratio!)

2 teaspoons dye (approx. 8g)

8 teaspoons of Salt (40g)

1/2 litre of warm water

You can either submerge the whole thing in one colour…

… or dip into different colours! BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO MIX THE COLOURS.

Or use a pipette to apply colour to different sections.


Drying/submersion time:
Leave colour for at least 1 HOUR!

Place the bundle under cold running water, when it starts to run clear take off the elastic bands.


Keep washing thoroughly until water runs clear. Dry. Then iron to fix colour.



To make a top!

Advanced: Hem armhole sections.

All: Fold over 3cm along the top edge to the wrong side. Pin and sew to make the tunnel.

Advanced: Hem all edges.

Use a safety pin to feed ribbon through the tunnel to make the neck tie!

make your own tie from fabric!


Fashion: Vulgar, Empowering, and More


From an early age, women of all backgrounds have heard the same word: no. Don’t say that, it’s crude. Don’t wear that, it’s too revealing. Don’t sit like that, it’s not ladylike. The list goes on. The cycle repeats. In the end, women are left with only one question: why?

The way women present themselves has been scrutinized throughout history. Those who dared to step outside the norm were called crude, raunchy, and vulgar. “The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined,” an art exhibition at the Barbican from October 2016 to last February, “is the first exhibition to consider this inherently challenging but utterly compelling territory of taste” according to the Barbican.

The definition of what’s vulgar is subjective: something that was vulgar 50 years ago is probably not considered vulgar today. Judith Clark and Adam Phillips, the creators of The Vulgar, question this complex phenomenon in their exhibition. The Barbican says “the exhibition exposes ‘the vulgar’, like its counterpoint ‘good taste’, to be ultimately all about perspective – something to fear and something to enjoy.” The Barbican also says the exhibit considers how “what was once associated with vulgarity is re-conjured by designers to become the height of fashion.” Perhaps vulgarity and fashion are more closely linked than people think.

Vulgarity may be fluid, but society is still rigid. Those who choose to step outside the norm are taking a fashion risk. Today’s fashion magazines are filled with articles that list fashion risks for women to test out, subtly telling women what they’re not “supposed” to do. An article from Bustle titled “11 Fashion Risks Every Woman & Feminine Person Should Take In Their Lifetime” tells its readers to “wear a crop top, no matter your body type,” “try an intense lip color,” and “go sans bra.” Who knows: in 50 years, these “risks” may seem as absurd as having to wear tight corsets and skirts that go past the knee.

Fashion is often full of restrictions and arbitrary expectations. NY Mag editorial director Stella Bugbee says “women are under so much more scrutiny and so much more self-imposed pressure to look their best and to translate that through clothing” than men are. Society’s fashion rules are constantly changing, so perfecting the supposedly ideal look can be exhausting. It’s time for society to give women a break.

Ironically, fashion can be used to defy its own limiting rules. In a 2014 Vogue article, Maya Singer quotes writer Lucy Grealy, who says “”having a sense of style is not selling out the sisterhood.” A sense of style can be empowering for women. In 1993, Senator Barbara Mikulski and Senator Nancy Kassebaum protested the fashion rule that prohibited female senators from wearing pants. According to The Washington Post, the two senators simply “wore pants and told female staffers to do the same,” but that’s all it took to create change.

Getting dressed in the morning is stressful for many women, but that’s not how things should be: the need to be cute and pretty is learned, not inherent. It’s time we stop teaching little girls to be self conscious about their bodies and start empowering them. At Little Hands Design, we teach our students to develop their personal sense of style and self confidence. We encourage our younger students to express themselves through fashion and leave negativity behind. Girls who come to class at Little Hands can make anything, whether it be a mermaid tail or a customized Judo outfit.

Slowly but surely, women are tired of hearing the word no. Women are taking advantage of fashion’s unpredictable nature to stand up for themselves. The once rock solid foundation of vulgarity is starting to crack. Hopefully, one day, the concept will completely fade away.



This Student has been Sewing with us for 6 years and She’s Still Going Strong!

Some of our students start with us when they are teeny tiny and grow up with is into amazing sewers! Here’s a little diary from one of our loyal students!

I first went to Little Hands on a school trip when I was in Year 3. Now, nearly six years on, I go every week and continue to sew at home. Over the years, I’ve learnt a lot of helpful skills, and not just how to sew.


You first learn basic machine skills, like learning how to thread and sew straight and curvy lines. There’s a free choice of what you want to make from the board, and you get support from the teachers when you struggle.


Also, you develop the ability to think for your self, as the teachers help you to work out what the instructions mean, rather then telling you and not letting you learn. We learn lots of techniques on finishing projects, even a beginner can make their project look professional.


There are a whole range of projects and techniques to do, so you not only don’t get board of doing one thing over and over again, you can make things that you wouldn’t normally make and enjoy it.eleanor-tues-2

Also Little Hands encourages creativity by introducing free design projects, where you can either start with a half made garment donated by Ted Baker or your own imagination and create something.


It could be something to wear, or to use, or just for decoration. Also, the projects aren’t set, you can add extra finishes or decoration in any way you are able to.


Another good thing at Little Hands is that you can work at your own pace. It doesn’t matter how slow or quick you are, you’ll get the support you need.

I’ve really enjoyed working at Little Hands and have created lots of great things.

If you’re a little hands student and you want to share your story get in touch and you can write you’re own diary blog!

Atheleisure Competition Winners!

Our sports and atheleisure competition has been a runaway success, quite literally! Our students are now out and about getting active in their very own custom made sportswear! From hoodies to gymnast suits, this term has really captured the imagination of our young and active sewers!

First of all we want to say a  huge thank you to fantastic UK based stretch fabric wholesaler  Freidmans who donated offcuts of their amazing brightly coloured and super shiny lycras! These really made the projects pop!!

Lycra Fabrics Freidmans


Noa Natas hols???


We are also excited to announce the judges this term from are from local Belsize Park branch of luxury sportswear brand Sweaty Betty! Sweaty Betty with their unique and fun take on sportswear making it fashionable in day to day life as well as at the gym, have been a huge inspiration this term.

sweaty betty shop

Our competitions are never based on natural ability or ‘prettiness’ It’s a competition against yourself not the others around you.  We put people on the shortlist who have really challenged themselves or we’ve seen amazing improvements in design or making skills! We had some amazing entries, it was tough for the Little Hands Teachers to narrow down the short list. 

 Here it is, are you on it??


A – Custom designed leggings and running top – Age 14

Aurora sat 1

T – Hooded Poncho, Leggings and Outfit!- Age 9

Theresa comp hoodie and leggings


R – Customised Poncho – Age 10

Ruby hols.JPG

Own design 2 layer top – Age 11

Eva Marriot Hols

K + O + R Group gymnastics suit – ages 9 & 10

team hols kali, raf and oliva

C – Customised poncho – Age 12

Clara Simon hols

G -Poncho with lining – Age 11


D + I Base Ball Caps Team work – Age 10


E- Tennis skirt with free machine embroidered decoration – Age 13

eliza easter hols

Teamwork comercial pattern hoodie – Age 9 – 10

Scarlett & Jessie

E- Commercial Pattern Top – Age 12

Elinor Tues2

L – Running Outfit – Age 9

layla tues running outfit

Here’s what the judges have to say: 

We loved all of the entries so much and we are so impressed by what has been achieved by a group of such young girls! The variety and creativity is amazing to see and we are so glad Sweaty Betty as a brand has inspired your sewers/designers to push themselves, try something new and create beautiful pieces from it. All the outfits that have been created are totally fit for purpose and some have really shown great commercial awareness in terms of colour pallet, design and practicality.

The Winners

First Prize!

A !

What we had to say:

A used our patterns as base for leggings and running top and adapted adding different sections and different colours. Made herself a new pattern. Top is reversible!! Worked out how to change pattern with very minimal help from teachers. Well sewn and fitted to body. Has been a student for about 4 years. Advanced sewing skills, design are beginning to matching up, has been a little shy in the past to stray away from patterns and instructions, so we are very impressed she is letting her imagination run!!

What the judges had to say:

We chose this outfit firstly because of the design – they have clearly taken a pattern as a base and adapted it to work for them. Good commercial colour palette that would sell. Also highly practical – here at Sweaty Betty we love a reversible garment. 

Second Prize!


Elinor Tues2

What we said:  E Used her own commercial pattern from home. It has interesting details and a bit of a tricky pattern She showed great accuracy with this project! Sometimes gets over excited to finish but worked hard to make this perfect using decorative stitches. has been sewing for about 6 years. 

What the judges said: Using her own commercial pattern from home is very creative and we like the idea of choosing a style that is slightly different. It has been effective in this case. The colour way is complimentary and the shape works well too.




We said: Used our pattern for both but worked very accurately and carefully something she has struggled with in the past, rushing to finish or getting bored half way through. Worked hard to make it neat and perfect!

The judges said: We love the bold matching outfit as a combination! It is very Sweaty Betty and it is very practical in terms of use for a runner.

layla tues running outfit

Runner Up

K, O & R

K and O and R – Group gymnastics suit – age 9 and 10

We say: Used our pattern, chose fabrics well. O has sewn before but first time at little hands, K and R have been coming during hols for about a year! Warned it would be quite a challenge but were very keen and tackled it like pros! used a range of techniques between them. Putting in normal and invisible zips, sleeves, k made matching shorts. They worked really well together helping each other when they got stuck and the results are amazing and they all fit perfectly.

The judges say: We are impressed with how well they worked as a team to make a variety of outfits (matching shorts as well as leotards). They have shown good use of product knowledge, using the right fabrics that look professional. 


Runner Up

Ruby hols.JPG

We say: Used our pattern and adapted making sleeves longer, good choice of fabric. is really developing good design skills and personal style! Student for about 2/3 years.

The judges say: We love the shape and design on the poncho, the colour way works well and we think it would sell. They have also understood the right fabric that is needed for this kind of garment.

Runner Up


We say: For hoody used our pattern but patched the fabric together to make them fit, great choice of fabrics and sewn quite well. Also made her own superhero leggings with elastic at the waist and made a running top and shorts – very accurate sewing and skills really improving. Student for 4 years. Worked really hard this term! We were very impressed!


Lotus Bag

Sew along with one of our 11 year old students and make this handy lotus bag. It is perfect for keeping trinkets or small items safe, it’s versatile and can be made in any thin fabrics, we’ve recycled some jersey offcuts!


You will need:

  • 2 squares of fabric (Ours were 50cm x 50cm but you can do any size!)
  • Drawstring or ribbon
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Safety pin
  • Iron


With right sides of the fabric together pin all the way around your squares. Leave a small gap in the middle of one side.

Sew around the outside with a 1.5cm seam allowance.



Cut off the corners, be careful not to cut the stitching.

Pull the fabric through the gap to turn the square the right way around, make sure you poke out the corners and iron flat.

Turn your square at an angle so that it looks like a diamond. Fold each corner inwards until they are touching the centre.


Pin each of the 4 seams together and sew about halfway up the line.


Take the unsewn flap ends and fold back this creates the petals of the flower. Iron.


Pin the flaps in place along the top edge and sew along 2-3cm from the edge to make tunnels.


Take your cord or jersey drawstring and thread through the tunnels using a safety pin. Go around tunnels twice then knot ends together.


Pull your bag and it will look like a lotus flower!