How To Make A Heart Clutch!

Great for Valentines Day, fill with your sweetheart’s favourite treats! Or just make one for your self! Here’s a step by step sew along of the advanced version with one of our students!

You will need: 

  • 1 x Bag on fold
  • Or 4 x rectangles
  • 1 x Rectangle of leather
    (with hearts cut out)
  • Zip
  • Tassel Fixture
  • Fabric for Tassel



Cut your rectangles. Pin right sides together along one of the longer edges. Sew.

Press seam open!

Repeat for the second side.


Pin your zip face down, right sides together onto the top edge of the fabric.

Use a zipper foot to sew in place with a straight stitch.


Repeat for the second side, carefully match up the centre join for a neat finish! Make sure the colour alternate on each side.


Decide how you are going to decorate it!


7. Draw around the heart shape in the middle.


8. Cut out your leather.

9. Sew Leather onto your bag! Around the outside of the rectangle first.


10. Sew down the centre of the heart in the middle, if you are using one!


Open your zip about half way! Place back and front right sides together. Pin around the 3 side open side.


Sew around the 3 sides, pivoting at the corners and using the fly wheel to sew over the zip!


Like this! Cut off the excess zip! img_1222-jpg

and the corners….


and you’re done!!



If you want to make the easy version check out this quick video!!



Happy Valentines Day!

Helping Hands Teach Independence and Goals

Whether their hands are “little” or not, everyone who comes to class at Little Hands
Design learns about fashion and textiles practically and creatively.Sixteen-year-old Helen, who has been a student at Little Hands Design for many years, says “
Little Hands sits in a niche in the education side of the Fashion Industry.” Many often focus on the abstract aspects of design, but Helen says Little Hands teachers focus on “providing you with invaluable skills both physical and mental which enable you to follow through in the design process and actually realise your ideas.”


Founder Astrid Jacoby teaching students about design.

Teachers use several methods, but one of their aims remains constant: teaching children how to set goals. Little Hands Design encourages students to be independent and take responsibility for their own learning.

The BBC says “most teachers intuitively believe there must be something inclusive about learning styles” (BBC). It’s important for students to “make their own connections” and “make sense of the relationship between new and existing knowledge, values, and beliefs” (BBC).

Different types of learners flourish in courses at Little Hands, but there is still a clear structure. The students’ projects engage their problem solving skills and connect their senses, especially their hands, to their brains through kinesthetic learning.


Little Hands student modeling her fashion piece.

Students abilities should not be underestimated or undervalued. It’s important to encourage children “to take on positions of responsibility” because goal setting provides them “ownership over their actions” (Kumon). When children are allowed to be independent, they develop resilience and a sense of control of their goals. This increases their self satisfaction and confidence when their goal is completed.

When M., age 10, first learned how to sew at Little Hands Design, she “had to try it on a piece of paper.” Later on, she made a skirt, which was a challenge because she “had to keep unpicking and resewing.” However, M. says she felt excited when she was done because she had finally finished it.


Little Hands student working on her project.

M. learned about responsibility through a creative learning outlet, which is often overlooked in favor of analytical learning styles (Impact). She also learned how to correct her mistakes and the importance of perseverance. These lessons will enhance her long term educational development.

The teaching style used at Little Hands Design provides its students logic skills and a safe,empathetic environment to develop their individual styles. The students’ progress is tracked in their Make It Diaries, which helps them retain new information. The diaries also help students learn about planning and estimating the amount of time and effort their goals require.


A student’s Make It Diary.

E., age 12, says that at Little Hands, “we don’t ask what to do next.” Instead, she says “we  suggest it” and “guide you toward the answer” and the student interprets what they should do next. This teaching style is a prime example of how Little Hands Design emphasises independence and allows students to gain their own conclusions from their work.


Little Hands student modeling her London Fashion Week piece she made in class at Little Hands.

Teaching methods and learning styles differ widely, which is why it’s important to teach students to set and work towards goals independently. Helen says the students at Little Hands Design benefit from teaching methods that provide “skills that [are] transferable from project to project both within the course and outside it.”

Students at Little Hands Design are always working to improve, regardless of the challenges. That’s something anyone, little hands or not, can benefit from.


Student modeling her work.

How To Make A Dinosaur Tail!

Who wouldn’t want to be a dinosaur!

You will need:
1 x tail on the fold
Elastic or ribbon
1 x circle
1 x spikes

1. Place your spikes onto the right side of the tail fabric onto one of the straight edges ,with the spikes facing downwards. Make sure your largest spike is at the largest end of your tail. Pin and sew.


2. Fold your tail in half right sides together, Leave a gap in the centre of your tail. Pin and sew the two ends.


3. Cut off the tip of your tail making sure not to cut the stitching.


4. Measure some elastic around your waist and cut  about 5 cm smaller than you! Take your elastic and pin to either side of the bottom circle facing inwards. Sew.


5. Use the reference method to pin the circle into the tail.


6. Carefully sew around it!


7. clip the curves of the circle. dino-9

8. Blind stitch the gap!




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!