Sewing project #1

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This is my first sewing project for 2013. It is a straight knee length skirt in a blue & black houndstooth check (notice how I write as though it’s already finished? What’s that about?). The pattern is McCalls 3830; I read about it on a blog but can’t remember which one – sorry. I can remember that I bought it from sewing world and they had a very speedy turnaround. The fabric is from Caroline’s (The Sewing Box) on High St West. I think it will have a bit of challenge as I’d like the check to line up on the seams. Anyway it’s public now so I have to do it!

Sewing Zeitgeist

I hear that sewing is the new baking. It’s all over the tele. The BBC have a new series starting tonight, The Great British Sewing Bee, which takes a group of talented amateurs through their paces. I hope that it is as supportive and gentle in its on petition as the ‘Bake Off’; this approach made baking accessible and I’m all for sewing taking over the zeitgeist.

At the Studios we have held a weekly Sewing Cafe for almost  a year; first hosted by Ella and now by Bernie. The Sewing Cafe is great for those without a machine (you can hire the use of one) and those who want a bit of a safety net (that wouldbe Bernie!). I dropped in on last Thursdays session and there was pattern drafting and cutting, tailor tacks and Bernie was showing Jo how to thread up her new sewing machine.

SEWING CAFE 003SEWING CAFE 001SEWING CAFE 004At this time of year I usually start sewing summer skirts. As spring appears making a skirt in lightweight cotton and bright colours keeps me hopeful of the warmth to follow. I have to admit that this year I am still knitting a cosy jumper and a fancy cabled cowl. The summer skirt really doesn’t feel right yet. But I am looking at fabric (which must be a god sign that spring is on the way). Here are a few of my favourite online sewing places…

Gerties New Blog for Sewing is a great blog written by New York dressmaker Gretchen ‘Gertie’ Hirsch.  Gertie began the blog as ‘a modern homage to  Vogues New  Book for Better Sewing’ which was published in 1952. The blog has a vintage, couture focus with an archive of ‘how to’ sew alongs. She has been so successful she now  teaches, designs writes and blogs sewing. And the blog has come full circle with the publicaiton of ‘Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing’ (no link – support your local book shop!).

Sew, Mama, Sew is another US site. I like this as it is full of advice and tutorials especially as I have found instructions for altering specific patterns I want to use.

The Thrifty Stitcher is Claire-Louise Hardie, sewing teacher and consultant to The Great British Sewing Bee. Again, lots of useful hints and tutorials.

For a good read I really enjoy Scruffy Badger Time; written by Winnie from Bath. Winnie uses her blog as a journal, showing her makes, the piles of fabric in her stash and her    love of vintage patterns. There is also a really neat feature – Desert Island Sewing. Go have a look.

So, if you are inspired by tonights programme and want to learn some dressmaking or to pick it up again, pop along on Thursday mornings (10.30 – 12.30) and keep alook out for news of more formal sewing classes.