Detailed Course Information
Upholstery and sewing for interior decoration

Wednesdays 10.30 am - 2pm

£145 for 6 weeks




About the course

This is a course that will help you to learn a range of skills used by professional contemporary upholsterers and soft furnishers, to make or up-cycle projects for your own home, and develop transferable skills useful in the work place. These skills are a useful basis for anyone wanting to go on to a professional qualification or start their own small business.


You will start with a range of projects focusing mainly on pieces that require upholstery but could also include lampshades, curtains, Roman blind and cushion making,  including advanced work such as boxed cushion making.


You may already have pieces of upholstered furniture of your own that you have inherited or salvaged but you can also make pieces from new, such as reproduction chairs, footstools, buttoned pin board, headboards, dining room chairs with stuffover or drop in seat. We are able to supply a range of new frames and kits for you to buy. As you progress you will be able to transfer your knowledge and skill to increasingly complex projects of your own choice.


What and how do you learn?

A programme of presentations and demonstrations  by your tutor will teach a range of specialist skills and techniques, which you can then practice and master by working on your own pieces in the class.  You will have the opportunity to learn all of the techniques below, but can focus on your own area of interest once the basic skills have been covered.

Areas of development taught and demonstrated will include:

  • Simple contemporary upholstery and buttoning techniques

  • Curtain making techniques.

  • Roman blind making.

  • Inserting concealed zipping.​

  • Lamp shade making with balloon linings

  • Making your own trimmings such as piping, bias bindings, double piping.

  • Cutting and sewing of cushion covers.

  • Buttoning and fluting techniques

  • The choice of fabric and trimmings and other embellishments

  • How to repair frames and revive polished woodwork

  • Measuring and calculating fabric quantities including allowances for pattern repeats, headings and hems and a range of headings.

  • The correct and safe use of a range of specialist tools and equipment including  sewing machines such as Industrial over locker and walking foot sewing machines.


You will be able to  learn to make: 

Upholstery and restoration projects such as  a simple footstool or a  chair seat with contemporary upholsterya buttoned pin board or headboard  with covered or crystal buttons, or a vintage blanket box.


Home accessories include a lined curtain with a pencil pleat heading, a cushion cover with a concealed zip or button closing, a lined Roman blind in your own fabric and  a small lampshade with a balloon lining.  As you progress,  more complex projects can be tackled and you  will be encouraged to develop your own areas of particular interest.


Dates and times:
3 hours tuition on Wednesday 10.30 -2pm including 30 minutes lunch break

This can be booked as a single 6 week course or a continuous ongoing course. It is  bookable in 6 week blocks at £135 per six week block,  payable in advance. This does not include the cost of materials although some essential project materials are included in the price, such as glue, twine, some sewing threads etc


Existing students will be given priority for places before new students can join, and where places are limited and the course is full, new starters may wish to join the waiting list.




The work room is well equipped with compressed air staple guns, industrial and domestic sewing machines, button making equipment and a range of other specialist tools and equipment. Students are also welcome to bring their own sewing machine and sewing equipment to class.

Pauline can supply an extensive range of sewing and upholstery materials such as curtain heading tapes, zipping, piping fillers, Roman Blind kits, lining fabrics and other related items. She will also provide details of suppliers of materials needed.



About your tutor

Pauline Keenoy is a practicing upholstery conservator and interior furnisher who has a wealth of experience. With more than 20 years teaching experience of beginners to advanced level, teaching adult education, City and Guilds, National and Higher National diploma and degree level students.  She has also co-ordinated interior decorating courses with a range of related specialist subjects such as decorative paint techniques, soft furnishing, colour theory,  visual communication and the history of art and design.

You can call Pauline on 07889 595041 or email her at 



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