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