Overcome with sewing enthusiasm when I finished my London Cushion (which reminds me, I haven't blogged about it yet), I signed up for a two day dressmaking class at Fabric Warehouse. This was handy as their Saturday classes were fully booked for months ahead, but they also run them on Thursdays, and I don't usually work on Thursdays. It was on two consecutive Thursdays, which was nice as it meant we had the weekend inbetween to have a go at things if we wanted. I think two days in a row would have been a bit intense.
Both days started with tea (always a good sign), and introductions to the tutor, Patsy, and the other two women taking the class. It was nice that there weren't too many of us, so there was plenty of room for cutting out. The idea was to bring a pattern along that you wanted to make, buy the fabric downstairs in the shop bit and then be helped to make it. This was great as it meant we weren't forced to make a pattern we didn't want to, and also meant that we could look at each other's work and learn about techniques that weren't used on our particular design. I'd actually chosen a dress pattern I'd seen on several mannequins in the shop and liked. One of the other women was making a long shift dress, and the other was making a long top (which she managed to get finished the first week, so she started a pair of trousers the second week).
We spent most of the first morning talking through our patterns, laying the fabric out and working out what we were going to cut out, then cutting it. The skirt on my pattern was quite short, so I needed to add another 10cm.
I always seem to end up with my eyes closed in photos.
Oh, as well as gallons of tea, there was cake too...
This is the teapot and cupcake fabric I chose. It's called "Time for Tea"
You could either take your own sewing machine along, or use one of theirs. I decided to take my own, as I wanted to practice with it as much as possible, as it's new. I actually discovered another couple of its features during the class!
It was also a good opportunity to have a go with an overlocker, as we overlocked all of our seams and edges. Without doing the class, I'm not sure when I'd have had the opportunity to try one of these, and they are quite expensive to buy.
I got as far as the back zip insertion on the first day, then decided it was a bit wonky (after watching Sewing Bee that evening!), so unpicked it at home and redid it over the weekend. The tutor was very complimentary about my second attempt!:-)
And, I managed to get it finished during the class, so I had a completed dress to take home. The tutor suggested wearing it to drive home, but as I had to stop for petrol on the way and it's freezing at the moment, I decided not to!
And this is it hanging up.
I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and this is definitely something I'll wear in the summer. I think I'd like to make another one, just to make sure all those techniques are practised!