Little Hands Fashion Shoot! What Went on?

Typically, when most people think of fashion, interactive and educational are not the first words that come to their minds. However, the fashion shoot at Little Hands Design proves that assumption wrong.


Children and teens alike braved the cold on a bright Sunday morning to model their handiwork, which they made in their classes at Little Hands Design. The fashion shoot provided the students of fashion the full fashion shoot experience, including hair, makeup, and the opportunity to shoot photos and adjust the lighting themselves, just like professional fashion photographers.


In addition to sewing the clothes they were modeling themselves, the students also learned new skills at the Little Hands Design fashion shoot. Instead of simply posing for photos while the photographers took the pictures, students were able to interact with photographer Daniel Sellam and learn the basics of photography, including how to use reflectors to adjust the lighting. In fact, each student was able to model, take pictures, and hold the reflective devices during the fashion shoot. They were incredibly eager to learn from Sellam and his assistant, Vini, who were both very adept at teaching the students how to use their newly acquired photography skills.


Even our adult students came to join in!


Of course, no fashion shoot is complete without hair and makeup. Students who were shy about having their picture taken blossomed as they left the makeup station with intricate designs that made their confidence rise. Makeup artist Reena Bass adorned the students with her avant garde makeup designs and gave them skin, hair, and makeup tips as well. Bass is quite passionate about passing on her knowledge of skin care, which is why she is currently in the process of setting up a skin care advising session for the teen clients at Little Hands Design.


The fashion shoot at Little Hands Design was a teaching tool to educate clients about the elements of a professional fashion shoot. The fashion shoot was definitely a smash success, and it most certainly won’t be the last. If anyone wants to learn more about fashion, a class at Little Hands Design is an absolute must.


Little Hands Design offers a wide variety of classes for a wide range of students, including special midterm and Easter holiday classes. It’s the place to go if you want a hands on learning experience. As founder of Little Hands Design Astrid Jacoby once said, “you learn more when you try yourself.”

February Half Term Fashion Fiesta!!

 13th -17th February 2017

Monday to Friday
9am – 4pm – £225

9 -12 pm or 1-4pm or £120

Ages: 6-8 years and 8-18 years

Call 02074310573  or email to book!

Spaces are going fast for our February half term holiday course, book your child on now to avoid disappointment!


It’s time to spring into action!  Flowers are blooming, lighter evenings and warmer weather are almost on their way. Our latest LHD Spring/Summer 2017 collection is all about sports and activewear! Check out our blog for more on the hottest 2017 trend Athelesiure!

It’s the first holiday chance to get your entry in for our activewear design competition, prizes are awarded at the end of term!


But, don’t worry if your child is not sporty we’ve got plenty of ideas for everyone. From beginner to advanced, a whole week to hone you or your child’s sewing skills can’t be beaten!!

We pride ourselves on being different to all the others as we provide an experience that is truly hands-on, students are able to create at their level and taste with everyone working on individual projects.

We love to share and teach what it takes to make clothing, and enjoy offering a wide range of projects. We are a team of fashion and textile industry experts – from men’s tailoring, womenswear, fashion and textile design, we cover all the bases!

Frequently Asked Questions

What will my child learn?


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!

If that doesn’t tempt you already here’s 

What Other Parents Have To Say:

“My daughter was so happy of the experience that she’ll certainly come back for more sessions. You’ve turned up a passion! That’s impressive. The Teen camp with freedom @ lunchtime is perfectly suited also for older girls. Overall a very good experience!” (Parent of 14 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.)

LITTLE HANDS COUTURE – Autumn 16 Competition!

It’s one of our favourite times of year, announcing our competition winners! Last term was all about couture techniques and our students really pushed the boat out! So many of them got stuck in making their projects that extra little bit special, not just rushing to finish, they added extra details to really make them couture and special. 

At the end of last term the LHD team nominated a shortlist of people we thought really challenged themselves. Our competitions are never based on natural ability or ‘prettiness’ It’s a competition against yourself not the others around you.  Even a six year old could have a go at being a couturier for a day!

 The competitions then are decided with the help of an outside industry judge – and we are very lucky to welcome one of themost sought after British Designers in the bespoke couture market  ELSPETH GIBSON!!!

She was blown away by what she saw and could not believe how young some of the students were and by the challenges students took on!

 Here is the shortlist! Are you on it?!

  1. – Halloween dress with invisible zip and fitted bodiceruby-sat-ff1-and-india-wed-ff2
  2. – Jacket with fitted sleeves
  3. – Rucksack with decorative stitching and zipliorahjanholsandterm
  4. – Poncho for herself and mum with hemming and fur finishevafabrexmashols
  5. – Cardigan shrug with fitted sleeves.iotue1
  6. – Shrug jacket for mum with bindingelainesat3
  7. – cape jacket with lining and binding finishhoney-sat-1
  8. –Lined floral dress with invisible zipyan-tue-10
  9. – Smocked crop toptatjiana-thurs-ff2
  10. – Jacket with Hong-Kong finishsynne-adult-hong-king-finish
  11. – Open back top with jersey binding and waistbandzoe-thurs-2
  12. – Hand embroidered topeviesat2
  13. – Lace-up bodicelexi-vand-clarke-couture
  14. – Vintage skirt with buttonholes and lace finishgus-sat-1
  15. – Poncho with placket, hood and fur finishnicole-sat-ff1
  16. – Victorian dress with lace finish and scarfleila-wed-ff2

17. – Group effort ponchos with Hong-Kong finish and waistcoats with sequin fabric and prick-stitch hemming.


And here are the WINNERS!!!!

Elsbeth said ‘ this was so incredibly hard to decide, all projects are so impressive if one understands how much time and effort goes into an well-finished bespoke design! I can’t believe how young and brave these youngsters are!’


LHD teachers say: ‘Well done to all students who took part, you should be proud! We can’t wait to see this term’s ‘Athleisure wear competition’ getting off the ground!”

First Prize

H 14 Years – Camouflaged Cape Jacket


LHD teachers say:

H has been a student in our courses for many years now starting when she was not even 10 years old. Her work shows a dedication to details and she displays remarkable patience to see projects through to the finish at a high level of quality!

Judge Elsbeth Gibson says:

It looks very fresh and complete. The way the lining has been put in with the bias finish is remarkable. It looks a professional piece!


N 13yrs – Poncho with Fur Finish

LHD teachers say:

This was only the first term with us for N but it did not take long for her to show her love and interest in design and eagerness to learn the skills to put her ideas into reality. We would love for more students to give prepared projects their individual twist or design from scratch!

Judge Elsbeth Gibson says:

This is a very creative garment. She has obviously thought ‘outside the box’ by adding placket and fur finished hood and pom-poms. It is very pleasing to the eye and looks very saleable.


L – Rucksack 9yrs old


LHD teachers say:

She started Little Hands when she was 6 yrs old! Three years later she made a rucksack that looks as if it has been bought in a shop! We are so proud of her. We love the way she takes on challenges and sticks to things even if the going gets tough – super resilient!

Judge Elsbeth Gibson says:

It looks as if a lot of work has gone into it with great attention to detail. To be able to put a zip in and assemble so many different pieces is remarkable for someone so young.


Runner-up prizes:

  • E 17 yrs. – hand-embroidered t-shirt


LHD teachers say:

E really is an ‘Old Hand’ having come for years to our classes. She has developed a strong sense of her own style and is not afraid to divert from mainstream and design and do her own thing! We particularly like her ability to look at existing clothes and upcycle them to give them her own twist!

Judge Elsbeth Gibson says:

A lot of attention has been paid to the process of the embroidery. It is really interesting to focus on such a detail and not a whole garment.
A 11 yrs.– vintage skirt


LHD teachers say:

In our opinion this is A’s most accomplished project so far showing a clear progress in accuracy and more technical finishes e.g. buttonholes and waistband. We also like the care she has taken with the lace detail!

Judge Elsbeth Gibson says:

To be able to work out buttonholes and button-stands, add the lace trim, match different fabrics, is recommendable. It looks so well finished and has a lovely drape to it.




How To Make An Feather Headress

We love this on trend feather head dress idea! Great for parties or just any day of the week!


Watch this short video and you’ll be on your way!

You will need: 

Small fabric pieces
Band/feather/crown patterns
beads and buttons
safety pin




  1.  Pick your base fabric and a few felt colours for feathers.
  2. Take the band pattern and hold it on your head to check the size. Draw around your pattern with a pen and cut.
  3. Take your band and arrange your first layer of feathers to it, pin in place.
  4. Sew in the centre of each feather using embroidery straight stitch creating a stem! OR Hand-Sew! 
  5. Arrange remaining feathers and sew them on in the same way as above.
  6. Place your ribbon along the band edge, pin and sew.
  7. Pin and sew a ribbon tie or elastic to make your headdress fit.
  8. Add beads or ribbon trims!!

and you’re done!

Get Your Tickets For Our Interactive Fashion Photo Shoot!

Tickets are selling fast! Have you got yours yet? We can’t wait for our Interactive Fashion Shoot! It’s going to be a such fun filled fashion day! Don’t miss out!

Sunday 22nd January 11am – 2pm

Tickets are £10

The only condition is that you HAVE to wear something you’ve made with us at Little Hands Design!


All profits will go towards our bursary scheme for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and our work with the Local Charity The Helen Bamber Foundation who support refugees.


We’ve got professional photographer Daniel Sellam there to take gorgeous pictures showing off your amazing designs and personal style.


You will also get the chance to pick up ‘tricks of the trade’ and have a go at being a Fashion photographer yourself! Find out the best angles to go for and how to create the perfect shots you can impress your friends with your new found skills.

Daniel has worked as a photographer for over 10 years with experience in many fields including advertising, fashion, architecture and street photography. ”

He says: “I’m looking forward for the fashion shoot happening where we will let the students experience a professional photo studio set up and get to try photographing their own collection.”

My work for street and fashion photography can be seen on and for architecture and interiors at

Hair & Make up


You will be styled by professional hair and make up artists picking up tips to suit your hair and face, sparkles, glitter and face paint or a more glamorous look if that’s  your style. They will be giving you tips on how best to suit you and your personal style.

The team will be made up of  Sabia Ameri, from Kaleidoscope Make-up Artistry. She is a fully qualified Freelance MUA and is passionate about make-up and beauty. With a beauty therapy background and  training in Media make-up, film,theatre, wigs and postiche, special effects, fashion photographic, catwalk, airbrush and bridal hair and make-up.sabia-make-up-2

She says “I consider it an artform and a creative medium for expression and beauty. I enjoy my work and the diversity it brings as well as the interesting people I meet along the way.”

Sabia has most recently worked for Kryolan, Charles fox (leading specialist media make-up suppliers) in Covent Garden, the Southbank centre, as well as numerous fashion events and theatre productions She also specialises in asian bridal hair and make-up. Check out her instagram @sabiaameri7

 Hair Stylist Sherbanu Ami has many years experience of working with hair. She has hands on experience in bridal hairstyles, contemporary, vintage, classic and modern.  She is training to become a colourist at the moment and works freelance as a hairstylist specialising in asian bridal occasions. Instagram @banabeauty


Reena Bass is a Hair and Make Up expert, she is a creatively kind human being with an artistic flair that includes anything from facepainting, beauty make up and hair to the more dramatic. With experience in photographic, film and amateur dramatics. Check out her instagram @reenabassmua


Our absolute favourite thing as Little Hands Teachers is seeing the bright and shining faces of our students proudly wearing their creations! Come and show off what you’ve made and be pampered for a day!!


Special Festive Offer! Wellness Package

This festive season we’ve got some amazing treats on offer! We’ve teamed up with a whole host of different local businesses to give you an all round wellness package. It’s the end of the year, the perfect time to really look after yourself or your loved ones.

Haven’t you heard we’ve reached peak stuff, experiences are the new desirable gifts to give. Treat someone with something they’ll truly treasure and remember, or, of course just treat yourself!

Only available to claim for a limited time until 31st December! (You can still choose when you use it, but you must download and get in touch with the corresponding business right away!)

The special wellness offers below include:







Little Hands Design 


This is one for the kids! They can while away the hours with us at Little Hands Design. Learning a brand new skill, or freshening up their knowledge. Our sewing and dressmaking classes teach a valuable life skill as well as other transferable skills; design, problem solving, maths, geometry and it can be highly, therapeutic!

Take a look at this article from The Handwork Studio on how sewing can help your child relax.

We’re giving away not 1 but 2 vouchers. Come with a friend to a drop-in session,  2 for the price of 1! Or get 20% off your term fee for January* (*new students only).

Click here to download PDF Voucher here:lhd-sewing-session-voucher



City Massage London 


 City Massage London are dedicated to delivering quality massages, by professional therapists across London. Choose whether they come to you in your home or workplace or you can visit one of their studios. They are offering a £10 off voucher any for their massages. Check out the full range of treatments available on their website.

Click here to download PDF Voucher – city-massage-10-off-voucher


Japan Health Solutions


Look Great – Feel Great!

Most illness is caused by our modern environment and lifestyle* – they really matter!

Japan Health Solutions offer tools to help people make changes to their environment and lifestyle and yet still fit in with the world around us.

Located near the O2 Centre on Finchley Road, Japan Health Solutions are offering a free – no strings – energy balancing and relaxation experience.

* US Surgeon General: “Healthy People” Report on Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

Click here to download PDF voucher! japan-health-solutions-free-session-voucher



Alexander Technique North London


Do you love your clothes but not the way they look on you? Are you in pain, stressed or concerned about your posture or performance? Alexander Technique lessons can help you with all this.  It teaches you to be more aware and mindful about how you move, sit, stand or any activity, so that you have greater ease of movement, feeling lighter, more energised, balanced and in less pain. Give yourself or a loved one a treat this winter and you’ll notice the difference. Deborah is offering a voucher for £15 for a 1 hour lesson (reduced from £40)

Click here to download PDF Voucher: alexdaner-technique-15-for-1hr-session-voucher

Email: to book!


Psychology & Development Services


“The training is revolutionary; it’s changed my life.” Michelle Horwood, banker

“Occasionally there’s someone saying something that makes you stop and listen. Graham Price is one of these. His teaching is truly powerful.” The London Magazine

If those quotes doesn’t tempt you I don’t know what will! Psychologist and development trainer Graham Price is offering a life-changing webinar absolutely free. It will teach you exceptional resilience and power tools that remove stress, regret, dissatisfaction and other ‘resistant’ thoughts. Take the first step to generate a powerful mindset, achieve more and create the life you want to lead! See for more info and to register. Read more testimonials here.

Download the PDF voucher here: positive-mind-training-voucher-free-webinar


So what are you waiting for! Look after yourself and your loved ones, get clicking and download your vouchers now.

My Little Hands Life

I first started at Little Hands at age 11, a shy, introverted girl with no previous sewing experience and a subdued nature.


Sewing soon became a main feature in my life, and over the 5 years that I have spent at Little Hands I’ve learnt many things. Not only have I learnt a plethora of sewing techniques and useful skills here, but I have also learnt valuable life lessons that will remain with me my whole life.


Spending time at Little Hands helped to increase my confidence both in terms of sewing and in self-confidence; looking at the different styles that suited different body types and the kind of clothing that made me look my best transformed me into a person who was much more confident with who they were.


Now, 5 years on from where I started, I not only still attend sewing classes here regularly  (and I’ve also encouraged other member of my family to take it up, my mum and my little sister!)


But, I also work in the holidays as a Tiny Hands Teacher, teaching younger children aged 6-8 the basics of sewing. This is an incredibly rewarding thing to do, as being able to pass on the skills you have learnt to the next generation of young sewers is a delight.


Knowing that you are helping to transform these children’s lives is a reward in itself, and every time I see my former students return to Little Hands in the term time to continue their sewing experience I am overjoyed.  img_4320

I also volunteer here for two hours on a Saturday for my Duke of Edinburgh Silver, and did both my skill and volunteering here last year for my Bronze. In these volunteering sessions I help out in many different ways. I find helping to teach the hands on designer sessions is always fun, and the other tasks I learn to do are a valuable experience for me, such as helping out with office work or preparing the projects for the upcoming term.


Before joining the Little Hands team, I took everything that happened here for granted: the patterns always ready to be used, the fabric all sorted, the paperwork completed and in order, everyone having access to a teacher for help. Working here has made me understand all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes and the vast amount of work the teachers put in to keep the place running smoothly.


I would definitely recommend anyone thinking of coming here to learn sewing to do so, as the skills you pick up here will stay with you for life and help you in future endeavours. 

If you want to share your experiences at Little Hands email or speak to us in class you could be our next star on the blog! 

Couture Techniques Autumn 16 Term Theme!

We loved watching everyone come up with designs inspired by LEGO last term, it was so inspiring, teachers were bowled over by all the amazing outcomes. See the results of our competition on the blog term time & summer holiday winners! 

This term’s theme is a little different, rather than a design challenge we want to put our student’s attention to detail to the test and encourage a little bit of finesse to their making skills,  we are taking inspiration from Haute Couture techniques!

What is Haute Couture?


As you might have guessed Haute Couture is French! Haute means “high” or “elegant.” Couture means “sewing.” But, not any old designer can be Haute Couture, there are strict regulations. (Technical bit!) They must belong to the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture in Paris, they must show collections of 35 separate outfits for day and evening wear twice a year  and employ 15 or more people.

Who is Haute Couture?


You’ll have definitely heard of some couture designers Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, and Pierre Cardin. Watch this amazing video from Chanel to find out more!

Often these design houses have their ready to wear range that we see on the catwalk (still too expensive for many of us!). Then they also have their Haute Couture range where each piece is made from scratch for each extra special customer. It usually takes from 100 – 400 hours to make each piece, with 3 fittings and almost all the work is done by hand not machine! The items cost between £20,000 to over £100,000 for 1 garment! Workers often specialize in one area, such as feathers, fabric, buttons, shoes, etc. They train and stay with the couture houses for years and years!


Many designers these days lend out their creations to celebrities to wear on the red carpet, this enhances their brand and even though they are not selling the pieces the recognition is priceless. There are only 2,000 women in the world right now who buy couture clothes; 60% of them are American and only 200 buy them regularly!  Haute Couture is a £1 billion industry.

Little Hands Couture


How on earth can we do that at Little Hands I hear you asking?! Well we’re not going to spend 100’s of hours on pieces but we can use couture techniques to make our clothes look extra special. Adding lace is a couture technique, bound button holes or welt pockets, adding a bias binding trim! It’s all about that little extra detail that makes your garment look extra special!

There will be prizes at the end of term for people who take on the couture challenge, our competitions are never based on natural ability or ‘prettiness’ we give prizes to those people who really push the boat out and challenge themselves! It’s a competition against yourself not the others around you.  Even a six year old can have a go at being a couturier for a day!


Modular Lego Competition Summer Holiday Round!

You can check out the winners of our modular design competition from the term time and previous holiday classes on our last blog. The design challenge was so successful we carried it on into our summer holiday classes. These students, some who had never really sewn before had an intense week to come up with their designs and then make them into reality! We had some brilliant ideas taken from lego to finished item.

One of our favourite things about this design challenge was to play with LEGO and then get inspired and try out design drawings. We gathered into to groups to talk through the ideas and give feedback! This is how designers work in real fashion houses, there is a big team of designers who bounce ideas off each other. Some found this difficult in the beginning but it really made them look at ideas differently and learn how to give and receive constructive criticism.


When students get involved with competitions we always say they aren’t in competition with everyone else, they are in competition with themselves and we don’t always choose the prettiest items but the ones where students have pushed themselves and come up with amazing ideas and tried out things they thought they could not do!!!

With that in mind here are our winners!

Overall Winner  – Great Technical Details – Scarlett 9



Scarlett came up with design from her LEGO straight away using the building block idea to create a patchwork off the shoulder T-shirt with detachable decorative patches. With feedback from her friends she furthered her idea to have a detachable sleeve.

She worked incredibly hard for 2 & 1/2 days sewing her patchwork, making a top, putting a zip in for the first time (a tricky zip at that around the arm hole sewn into stretchy jersey fabric!). Then followed hemming every seam accurately and hand sewing on her decorations! We were super impressed with her design and dedication!


Stylish Design – Raffaela 11




Raffaela had only done a little bit of sewing before her holiday week. She hand-picked all of the pieces to go on to her skirt and it took her a number of afternoons to sew them on exactly where she wanted them! We saw her sewing skills improve over the week and it really nurtured her design eye. She decided it might be too much to cover the whole dress so stopped at the skirt and we think that works perfectly! She also adapted one of our readymade patterns to create the dress.


 Individual Design – Juliana 11


This was Juliana’s first time at Little Hands but she has had some experience sewing before. Her design was inspired by fire and water. She carefully cut out each flame/drop of water and sewed around the outside to stop them fraying. We were impressed with her attention to detail and dedication to her design, it took her nearly the whole time she was here and she always had a smile on her face!


Runners up

It was a very tough call we wish we could give prizes to everyone but these are out runners up.


Starter 6-8 year old – Theodore  6


Theodore had never used the machine before! He designed the patchwork blanket usingLEGO and was determined to make a blanket for his room. We warned him it would be a little challenging but he worked really hard to get it finished, handpicking every fabric and pinning and sewing every seam on the machine. He understood the concept of how to pin patchwork really well (something much older students sometimes struggle with!) Very impressive! It’s also lined!


Simple & Effective – Elena 14



Elena came all the way from Italy to join us for her holiday week! She got stuck right into the competition and totally understood the concept even though her first language is Italian not English! She chose bold stand out colours and shapes and to create a simple but effective modular belt. We think it looks great with the monotone outfit, letting the belt really pop.


Congratulations everyone! On to the next competition, couture techniques!!