Monday, June 29th, 2015
The ‘Walkaway dress’ was one of the highlights of the 2015 Great British Sewing Bee. So called because apparently, you can start sewing this 1940s style wraparound number after breakfast and walk away in it by lunchtime, or so they say. Maybe lunchtime was a lot later back then. I made one just after the TV programme went out – it took about eight hours, although two or three of those were dog-interrupted, so maybe about five in total.
We’ve had so many people buying the pattern and talking about it since that we decided to run a workshop ahead of a local 1940s weekend, if only so we could help put right some of the issues we’ve found with the pattern.
Four intrepid sewers popped in at 10am, with the hope of walking away in a finished garment by mid-afternoon. That didn’t quite happen thanks to a little too much chatting, one or maybe two cups of tea and cake too many and because sociable sewing and timekeeping are not exactly good companions.
The two main modifications were to shorten the length of the bodice based on nape-to-waist measurements because on the original the waist tends to sit a little low making the dress not fit as well as it should. The other mod was to add some material around the arm holes, again to make it fit better and leave less of a gape (you could get a small dog in-between fabric and bust without it).
So…we might not have finished in the time allowed, but everyone got close enough and, we’ve learned before that workshops run best if you don’t let them go on for too long.
Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
Perfect measuring starts here:
Friday, June 19th, 2015
On Sunday we ran our first up-cycling workshop. For those not familiar with the term up-cycling is taking an existing garment and modifying it or turning it into something new and fresh. Anything can be up-cycled and some of the results can be stunning and of course unique too.
Our five lateral thinkers were turning jackets and jeans into bags, a kilt into a beret and a skirt that no longer fitted into a real showstopper that did.
Teacher Kate Pinfold made some complex ideas sound easy and in just six hours everyone learned loads, completed their projects and only ate modest amounts of cake and Haribo.
Up-cycling is both harder and easier than it looks. The first cut is the hardest (wasn’t that a Northern Soul song?), but after that there’s not much left to lose. It’s always worth doodling a little sketch of what you are aiming to produce – it just helps to visualise it. However don’t be scared to change direction as you go along. Nothing’s more exciting than just being creative, going with the flow and seeing where it takes you.
Below are a collection of pics from the day. Watch the website for dates of our next up-cycling session.