Start Sewing

Are you ready to take your basic sewing skills to the next level? Nicole will show you how to sew a selection of useful bags to learn the fundamental skills and techniques of machine and hand-sewing - including interfacings and zippers.

First, you’ll sew a reusable shopping bag that folds up and secures with an elastic band for easy storage. Next will be a zipper pouch, suitable to use as a pencil case or makeup bag. Finally, a double zipper bag to hone those zipper skills!

Nicole will teach you the importance of accurate cutting and measuring, sewing neat and straight lines, putting in zippers (don’t fear the zipper!), using interfacings, professional finishing and hand stitching.


Course Info


Meet each other and get to know our sewing machines. An assessment of student abilities. Cut fabric for the shopping bag, learning to use rotary cutters—shopping bag first steps.


Finish shopping bag while learning accurate measurements and hemming. Then we will prepare fabrics for the zipper pouch.


Sew zipper pouch and learn about interfacing and linings. Conquer your first zipper and finish the day by learning neat hand stitching.


Cut fabrics and interfacings for the double zipper pouch and start sewing.


Finish double zipper pouch. Tidy up any unfinished projects. Group discussion and question time.

Students will need to know how to set up and use a sewing machine at a beginner level.

To be supplied by participant

Own sewing machine

Fabric scissors, pins, bobbins and thread to match fabric choices

Universal sewing machine needles

Fabric for three bag projects – Nicole will be in touch with quantities

Zippers to match fabrics



Supplied by the tutor

Comprehensive, printed tutorials for you to keep

Iron-on interfacing

Elastic for the reusable shopping tote

Your own set of erasable fabric pens

Fusible fleece



The tutor will have for class use

Cutting mats

Rotary cutters

Quilting rulers



A materials cost of $30 is payable to the tutor on the first day.

Nicole Ruigrok
Course Tutor

Nicole Ruigrok

Nicole’s craft addiction started when she was very young, learning to sew on her Nan’s old sewing machine.
Running a Bellingen market stall kept her busy for a few years, making and selling handmade kid’s clothes. She now runs a home sewing business, selling fabric zipper pouches online.

Nicole started making clothes when pregnant with her first child in 2010. She’s a self-confessed fabric addict and loves the process of choosing fabrics and colours for new sewing projects.
She has never really understood current fashions, so she loves to make her own clothes – and her kids have wardrobes full of handmade clothing!

After her first Camp Creative class in 2020, Nicole partnered with community sewing facilitator Michelle Stockton to run a monthly free sewing gathering at her home in Bellingen. She also teaches students privately.