Sunday, 24 May 2015

Dressmakers Social Meetup - 22nd June 2015

I am super excited to announce that, after May's successful first meet up, Dressmakers Social will be back on the 22nd June at The Marwood Cafe.

Gill Thornley, owner of Ditto Fabrics, will be there answering questions on fabric and dressmaking. 

To guarantee that your question will be answered on the evening, send it in in advance via the Facebook or Meetup pages.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Friday, 22 May 2015

The First Dressmakers Social Meetup

Wow, what a week!

The first Dressmakers Social Meetup At the Marwood Coffee Shop happened last Monday and it was a fantastic success. I'd heard that you should expect to see about a quarter of the people who said they would come along actually turn up on the day. So imagine my surprise to see approx. 40 people when I was expecting about 10!

When people arrived they either came upstairs with a drink and a snack (the Marwood serves awesome smelling soup, sandwiches and gorgeous cake) or they popped back down once they had got settled.

Everyone got a name badge to avoid those awkward "what is your name again?" moments, the badges also had space for twitter and instagram names as I have been introduced as @craftyandcake (my other instagram account) before rather than Emma!

The room filled up quickly with lots of lovely dressmakers and the evening started off with mingling and chatting. Just in case anyone was stuck for something to say I made some conversation starters that were scattered around the room.

Edith arrived with the Lucky Flyer that I had left somewhere is Brighton, congratulations Edith! so after we had bought her a drink we headed upstairs for me to make my welcome speech.

I really need to work on my photo face when I introduce guests! This is me introducing the fantastic Wendy Ward, owner of MIY Workshop, pattern designer/producer at MIY Collection and author of The Beginners Guide to Dressmaking.

Wendy did a fabulous talk with an informative handout on Practical Tips for Planning your Home-Sewn Collection. The handout can be found on her Facebook page here.

Her talk included great bits of advice like...

Look through magazines and pick out clothes that you would like to wear and then look for patterns.

Dress sizes are not important - what you need are accurate measurements!

Different fabrics can make different garments from the same pattern. As shown here with jersey and sparkly versions of the Shrug pattern.

By making your own clothes you are contributing to sustainable fashion.

Choose your fabric by how it feels, drapes and feels against your skin, not just what colour and pattern it is.

The talk came to a close with questions from the audience, which included where to buy patterns for curvier and taller ladies. Some links answering this question can be found on the Dressmakers Social Facebook page here!

A very big THANK YOU Wendy! for such a great talk to start the Dressmakers Social meet ups.

To end the evening, drinks were finished, conversations wrapped up and that was it for the first Dressmakers Social!

Big THANK YOU to all of the lovely dressmakers that came along :)

Join us next month on Monday 22 June, 6-8pm at the Marwood Coffee Shop, 52 Ship Street, Brighton for another chance to meet other dressmakers and talk all things, garment sewing, fabric and pattern cutting related. There will also be a Q&A session with the incredibly knowledgeable Gill Thornley from Ditto Fabrics! I can't wait!

In the mean time keep up to date and in touch with us at...
Instagram: @dressmakerssocial  Twitter: @dressmakersbton  
Meet up: 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Children's Singer Chainstitch Sewing Machine

This little Singer was a charity shop find from about 5 years ago. 

It's a Children's Chainstitch Sewing Machine, I have no idea how old it is, but it works!

It has been used occasionally by my little man between the ages of 4 and 7, mostly when I had my machine out. 

For the last couple of years it has sat in his wardrobe being eyed up by his sister.

This weekend he finally said she could have it!

So on Sunday when I was trying to finish a kimono cardigan (it still isn't finished!) she decided that she wanted to sew too. Out came the machine and scraps of Merchant and Mills denim (she is spoilt!).

There are now scraps of sewing, straight stitch on top and chain on the bottom. The chains don't always catch each other and it has a habit of undoing when you take it off the machine. But she had fun making "blankets for her toys". 

If you want to see the machine in action, check out the video on my instagram @dressmakerssocial

She now has her mind set on a dress for Bunnywunny and I'm off to draft a pattern for it. I don't think I will ever finish my kimono at this rate!