I’d love to tell you some more about my dressmaking workshops.
I’ve been asked a few times recently about what exactly happens at one of my Learn to Sew Workshops, so I thought I would talk you through a typical workshop…
If you book your place on a full day workshop (except Learn to Sew Your Own Project Workshops), I will ask you for your measurements and from this I will make your pattern to the nearest size to your measurements. This pattern will then be available for you to use on the day and to purchase for £10 to use again.
If fabric is not included, I will also give you guidelines on the amount and type of fabric required and also recommendations on where to shop if you need advice.
As you arrive at the venue, I will greet you and introduce myself and the other participants and get you settled in to a space for you to work. Usually each person has a cutting table all to themselves, so there’s loads of space for you to lay your fabric and pattern out, and if you need it we can often get a second table out for you to use to give you even more space. (If you’re used to cutting out on your living room floor or on your bed or your kitchen table, you’ll understand what a luxury many people find this to be.)
I’ll talk you through the project we’re making and show you a sample. For example, recently we were making shift dresses, so spoke to the ladies about the dress, the different techniques we will be using, and explained the different options available to make.
I will spend some time chatting to you individually, finding out about your chosen fabric and your sewing experience, so that I can help you get the most from your Bagladybird Learn to Sew Workshop.
If you’re lucky, my little helper (Jack) will come and take your drink order and offer round biscuits. On other days you just get me as your waitress!
You’ll then spend some time, laying out your pattern, pinning and cutting your fabric, getting guidance and tips from me as you go. Preparation is key, so we take our time to get this right. All the tools you need are provided, however if you prefer to bring your own, please feel free to do so.
The sewing table is a group area, where we all sew together, making it really social and friendly and you can pick up knowledge from more experienced sewers in the group.
We use Janome 525s sewing machines and they will all be set up for you, ready to use and if you have never used a sewing machine before or need a bit of a refresher, I will show you all the functions we will be using throughout the workshop and make sure you feel happy to thread up your machine.
You will each have a set of written instructions for you to refer to if you wish, but I am on hand to show and tell for every step of the way. Feel free to ask as many questions as you need, you are here to learn and have an enjoyable day, and my job is to make that happen, so I will happily answer any questions you might have.
Everyone works at their own pace and this is perfectly ok, don’t worry if you’re getting ahead or if you’re not as fast as others, I will make sure everyone gets as much input from me as they need. We will take a break for lunch when we reach a suitable point, you will be ready for it as sewing can be hungry work and you won’t realise how hard you’ve been concentrating until you take a break.
Once your garment starts coming together, you will try it on and we can make minor fitting adjustments before sewing the hem and adding the finishing touches. I love the look of joy and excitement on everyone’s face when they realise that they have created a wonderful item of clothing that they will love to wear.
Once we are getting close to the end, I will pop a note on your table with the balance owing and just be sure to settle up before you leave.