Monday, 21 September 2015

My weekend in sewing

And what a fab weekend it was! On Friday I went along to the Handmade Fair at Hampton Court - this is on my side of London, so an easy one for me to get to. I was delighted to hook up with Jenny from Cashmerette and her lovely mum almost as soon as I walked through the door and we were joined a bit later by Rachel from House of Pinheiro. Look at the ridiculous differences in height - remind me to take a box to stand on next time! 

These girls are ACE!
I really should have booked into a workshop or gone to see a demonstration, instead I spent most of my time eating, drinking tea and chatting, I have no regrets. I still managed to pick up some lovely pieces of fabric from the fabulous shopping village. All of them are very summery and totally inappropriate for winter sewing - I'm sensible like that!


The top piece is a length of vintage gingham from Simply Vintage Designs. This stand was a complete treasure trove and I spent ages rummaging around.


The other two fabrics are vintage chambrays from the Fabric Godmother which I can't wait to sew into cool, summery shirts. Despite drooling over her fabrics for years, I'd never actually met Josie from Fabric Godmother in person, so it was lovely to have a quick chat with her.

I might have to make a direct copy of her Linden sweatshirt!

Absolutely GORGEOUS wools
My pledge for next year is to arrive super early and have a thorough look round the stands before I get distracted! It's probably just as well I didn't have more time this year as there were some seriously talented makers exhibiting. 

The fun didn't stop there though. On Sunday I legged it over to Islington with Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time to attend a one day Trouser Fitting course at Ray Stitch. Ah I'd been looking forward to this course for ages and it didn't disappoint. It was based on the same principles as the pattern cutting weekend I blogged about here, where we made bodice and skirt blocks based on our measurements. Our teacher - Alice Prier - is extremely knowledgeable about pattern cutting and was a great advert for the course in her perfectly fitted trousers! She'd also brought along several pairs of her own trousers to show different ways of finishing waistbands etc. This gave me lots of ideas for trouser construction, my favourite being the hidden elastic waistband! 

Everybody concentrating hard...
…and smiling, yay they look like trousers!
The aim of the course is to create a basic trouser block that can then be used on its own and/or as a starting point to adapt other trouser patterns. After taking measurements, working out our front and back pattern pieces and sewing them in calico, in no time at all we each had a pair of trousers to try on. 

Alice, adjusting the fit on Zoey's toile
I don't have any photos of my own toile (I'm useless, sorry!), but I can tell you that the fit wasn't too bad at all for a first attempt. I had to take a wedge out of the back thigh as there was a bit of excess fabric, and add an extra wedge to the top of my back piece to accommodate the curves around my 'ahem' arse area. The trouser block was for quite a straight leg so I also made amendments to the pattern for a narrower fit as that's the style I think works best on me. I'll be making my first trousers using my new block very soon and I promise to take lots of photos this time. 

Trousers really aren't that difficult to construct, it's getting the fit right that's the tricky bit. If you're keen to make trousers then I'd definitely recommend this course next time it's running. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am filled with confidence for future trouser making. Thank you Alice!  x




29 comments:

  1. Looks like a great weekend. I've never really made trousers (PJs don't count) as they're not something I wear. I suppose in theory, this is because I can't find RTW trousers which fit, so if I attempted to make them, maybe that would change. I'm not sure.

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    1. I think if you had a well fitting pair of trousers you might be tempted to wear them. maybe! x

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  2. that looks brilliant! what a lovely weekend. i am def going to look out for that course in future!

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    1. Ag you should Joanne, I think it's well worth it! x

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  3. I think I may have to take a look at this course as trousers or jeans NEVER fit right! I made a muslin of some shorts and couldn't believe how easy it was but can understand getting the fit right would be hard
    http://scientificsewing.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Yes, if the fit is right they're ridiculously easy to make! x

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  4. arse area It should be the technical term! Looks like an absolutely lovely weekend, and that trouser course sounds excellent. Very jealous!

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    1. I'm going to copyright 'arse area'! x

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  5. What a lovely time for you. I cannot wait to see some of those new fabrics made up into a dress, blouse, or skirt; or whatever favourite project you have planned. And the course did not disappoint, either.

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    1. I know, a fab weekend all round! x

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  6. It looks like you've had so much fun recently with sewing friends! Lucky you!

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  7. Looks like a busy weekend. Look forward to seeing a finished pair of trousers! I really should have another go with my block as I was really pleased with the last pair I made.

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    1. I really hope mine are a good fit too, can't wait to make them up! x

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  8. Sounds like an amazing weekend - lots of sewing and lots of sewing friends! I'll be in London next year to host one of my workshops. I hope we can meet up sometime I'm there!

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    1. Oh yes, definitely Maddie, give me a shout! x

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  9. I love that you can stroll on over to Hampton Court Palace! I have to take a 7+ hour flight and cross at least 2 time zones to get there. Can you tell I'm green with envy?

    What a marvellous weekend! I have my eye on that Linden sweatshirt, too. Lovely!

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    1. I never take it for granted that I have hampton Court on my doorstep, I'm very lucky! I hadn't given the linden sweatshirt much thought until I saw Josie's gorgeous version. It was amazing, the from panel was faux leather! x

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  10. I did my first workshop at Raystitch on the Saturday - 'recreate a favourite garment'. You're right Alice is a brilliant teacher. I must do the trouser workshop sometime too.
    The Hampton court show looked great x

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    1. Alice is fab isn't she?! Glad you enjoyed the course Gill! x

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  11. What a lovely weekend! That trouser fitting course sounds great. I do love Ray Stitch too, I'll need to make a trip there soon.

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    1. Ray Stitch is fab, I always enjoy paying a visit! x

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  12. Looks like a fun weekend! The trouser course looks fab, must look into attending one myself.

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    1. I'm sure it would be well worth it. Just working on my first pair now! x

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  13. I made it on to you blog, 😀, I'm honoured lol! What a lovely class, was great to me the person behind the blog.
    I'm definitely going to do the full body pattern class.

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    1. Yay, you're welcome Zoey! It was lovely to meet you too, it was such a great class wasn't it?! I'd definitely recommend the full body pattern class too, especially for the top half. Good luck! x

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  14. What a fun weekend! I'm excited to see what you do with your trouser block... such a cool idea!

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    1. It was really fun! I'm working on my first pair of trousers now, I really hope they turn out ok! x

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  15. That Linden shirt is wicked!

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