Monday, 28 March 2011

Saturday's Sewing

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was quite an adventure. As its Monday I'm talking textiles.

It was with great fear and trepidation that I embarked on my next mission- to learn how to sew a skirt. It wasn’t without its challenges. Firstly when my gorgeous Amy Butler fabric arrived it looked completely different to how it looked online. Yes, I probably should have realised it might, but it was a rookie mistake. Anyway it was a gorgeous pattern but I felt it was just toooo bright (looks lovely on the screen but the green is less lime and more fluorescent), rather too busy and would probably make me look several sizes larger. Oh well .. it’ll make a gorgeous apron. Better put that on my list. So I had to go fabric hunting again at the last minute.
I love fabric shops but I don’t get them. They are full of such incredible possibilities and yet I have no clue as to what each fabric is suitable for. I need a tour guide to point out what the properties are of each fabric and so I plumped for a fairly standard cotton (printed with a cord look and little flower print) even though what I really wanted was a thicker fabric more akin to what I guess to be upholstery fabric.

Armed with my supplies, the nervous feeling was replaced with one of anticipation and excitement. Off I went to my class at The Ministry of Craft in Manchester. On arriving, I was pleased to see we were a select few – just the four of us, which meant lots of personal attention. The tutor was very personable and made us feel relaxed. We watched as she demonstrated all the basics on the machine, the placing of patterns, cutting fabric and marking the darts. We all had a go at each step and then it was on to the sewing.

I was particularly scared of using the fancy machines. I have a bog standard Toyota machine and theirs were Janome machines (All electric buttons and fancy stitches). Once I got the hang of it, it was ok. We sewed our darts, our back seams and then it was zip time! The bit everybody dreads. It was a little tricky and I will be practicing some more this week just to make sure I can do it without guidance, but we all managed it.

Next came sewing up the side seams and using the over locker on the pressed edges. If you think a sewing machine is scary, it's nothing in comparison with the over locker. It's much faster and cuts the fabric so one wrong move and you could destroy your garment. I think after a few goes you could really get to like it though as it gives a very professional looking finish.
Then came the first fitting, which was another nerve wracking part of the process. Apparently after measuring we all had to make a size larger than we would normally wear due to the outdated measuring system on patterns. I always think my hips are humungous and was dreading the skirt not fitting but it fit nicely and I was sooo proud of myself. I can’t show you the finished article until next week as I’m doing the second part of the course next Saturday but please come back so I can show off a little bit! x


  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely blog and I look forward to reading more. I cannot wait to see how your creation turns out.
    Pop over and see me sometime at my blog.

  2. Look forward to seeing the end result. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. x

  3. Ooh this looks lovely - really like the fabric. Can't wait to see the finished product! x


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