Chiatanya Designs Craft Classes

Small group classes (minimum 4, maximum 6 participants), held in the historic rural town of Braidwood in NSW (Australia). Your tutor, Fiona Hammond, has a lifetime of teaching experience, with her favourite by far being the teaching of her craft classes! She loves to share her knowledge of ‘making things’, and to inspire participants to get creative.

In general, workshops run for one day, and go from 10 am to 4:30 pm, unless otherwise stated.

Contact Fiona via email for booking/enrolling information, including workshop fees:


Samples for the first 5 workshops on offer from March 2023 in Braidwood at Chiatanya Designs Craft Classes

Workshop 1: Design and Make Little Fabric Purses

Workshop dates: Thursday March 30, 2023 and Saturday April 1, 2023

Examples of Little Fabric Purses

Workshop description:

This workshop is designed to show you how to draft a pattern for any small sew-on purse frame. Purse frames vary in size and shape, so it is necessary to draft a pattern for each different frame.

There are a few simple steps to follow, and tutor Fiona Hammond will also share with you her tips and tricks for drafting successful purse patterns, garnered over numerous years of purse-making. 

In this workshop all sewing will be done by hand, though the printed and bound workshop notes also include instructions for machine-sewing the body of the purse for when you make more at home.

The little fabric purses have outer and lining fabrics, plus interfacing. Guidance will be given regarding good choices for the different fabrics, as well as suitable interfacing to use for different sizes of purse.

A selection of different small sew-on purse frames will be available for participants to select from at the start of the workshop.

Due to time constraints, only small purse frames can be used in this workshop, but your experience with the small frame will lead you into designing for and using larger frames at home.

Workshop 2: Basic Jewellery Skills 1: Earrings

Workshop dates: Monday April 3, 2023 (additional class date TBA)

Examples of earring styles for workshop participants will create their own designs in the class

Workshop description:

In this workshop you will learn the basic skills required to make lovely dangly earrings.

This  workshop is for beginners, or those who want to brush up on their basic jewellery skills.

The kit includes a selection of beads, head pins, earring hooks and studs that can be used to make several pairs of earrings through the workshop.  Printed and bound workshop notes are also included in the kit cost.

Jewellery tools will be available for participants to use during the workshop, but if you have your own jewellery tools at home, please bring them with you to the class.

The tools you will use are:

· Chain-nose pliers, sometimes simply called jewellery pliers (these have a rounded shape on the outside of the jaws, and a flat surface on the inside of the jaws of the pliers)

· Round-nose pliers

· Wire cutters (side-cutters are the best style to use)

· Nylon-jaw pliers (these pliers are sometimes used when you need to straighten bent head pins)

Techniques covered in the workshop:

· How to make a rounded loop at the end of a head pin

· Making articulated dangles for the earrings—to give more movement to the finished earrings

· Creating a balanced earring design

· Discussion about different styles of earring hooks and studs

Participants can expect to go home with at least 4 pairs of completed earrings, and possibly more. The class kits will have enough items for you to make some more earrings at home later!

Workshop 3: Indigo Fabric Brooches

Workshop dates: Saturday March 18, 2023 and Saturday April 15, 2023

Examples of Indigo Fabric Brooches – note that workshop participants will create their own unique brooch designs

Workshop description:

Play with beautiful Japanese indigo cotton fabrics plus pearl cotton threads to hand-stitch your own Indigo Fabric Brooch.

These brooches incorporate simple hand-stitching plus layering of fabrics to achieve a creatively rustic appearance. Embellishments such as beads or charms may also be added as focal points.

Techniques covered in the workshop:

· Selecting suitable fabrics for your brooch

· Layering small fabric pieces to create an interesting small brooch

· Simple stitching to add thread patterns

· Embellishing the brooch with beads or charms etc.

· General construction techniques for the brooch, including stitching the brooch pin to the back

The workshop kit allows you to cut your little fabric pieces from a larger selection supplied by the tutor.

There will also be a selection of pearl cotton threads to choose from, plus some beads and charms to use on your brooch if desired. A brooch pin is also included in the kit.

Participants should be able to complete their Indigo Fabric Brooch in the class time.

Workshop 4: Little Coiled Baskets

Workshop dates: Saturday March 25, 2023 and Monday May 8, 2023

Examples of Little Coiled Baskets

Workshop description:

In this workshop you will learn the basic coiled basketry technique, using a plain core cord plus colourful yarns.

This  workshop is for all skill levels, though a bit of experience using a needle and thread is an advantage.

The kit includes 10 metres of plain core cord, which is more than you will need during the class, allowing you plenty to take home for making more little baskets!

There will also be a good selection of yarn colours to choose from, so you can personalise your Little Coiled Basket.

Suitable hand-sewing needles are part of the kit, plus some embellishment items such as beads and feathers.

Printed and bound workshop notes are also included in the kit cost.

Jewellery pliers (also called chain-nose pliers) will be available for participants to use during the workshop if needed, but if you have your own jewellery pliers at home, please bring them with you to the class.

Techniques covered in the workshop:

· How to start the coil

· Working neat stitches with yarn to cover the plain core cord

· How to shape the basket

· Tips on changing yarn colours or adding in new lengths

· How to finish the little basket—several possibilities will be demonstrated, and included in the printed notes.

As this type of coiling is a fairly slow process, participants should attempt just a tiny coiled basket if they wish to complete it in the class time.

However, a somewhat larger basket could be started in class, and completed at home later.

Workshop 5: Steam-Set Shibori Jewellery

Workshop dates: Friday April 21, 2023 (additional date TBA)

Samples of Steam-Set Shibori pieces set in felt, ready to become jewellery

Workshop description:

Steam-set shibori is a variation on the more traditional shibori techniques from Japan. In this case steam is used to set interesting shapes in fabric, rather than creating dyed patterns.

In this workshop you will learn the basics of steam-set shibori, using polyester fabric, steam, rubber bands and cable ties!

The resulting shaped fabric is then stitched into/onto wool felt to create a brooch or pendant with dimension and texture.

The kit includes a small sheet of 100% wool felt, plus 3 pieces of polyester fabric. Suitable needles plus a brooch pin or chain for a necklace allow you to turn your steam-set shibori and felt creation into a piece of unique jewellery.

Use some pearl cotton threads to add stitched designs or simple embroidery, and add the required jewellery findings to complete your piece.

Techniques covered in the workshop:

· How to use steam, beads, rubber bands and cable ties to form shapes in polyester fabrics

· Create a suitable felt shape for your piece of jewellery

· How to intersperse your steam-set shibori fabrics into the felt to create interesting texture and patterns

· Stitching to maintain the shibori elements, plus add design and texture

· How to finish your jewellery piece, using a brooch pin or necklace chain

Participants might not complete their jewellery item during class time, but all techniques will be demonstrated, and are also in the printed notes, so the item can be competed at home.