Vintage Shirtdress Workshop – week one

Hello all, I hope you’re having a good week?

Yesterday I went to the first of three workshops at Sew Over It to make their Vintage Shirtdress. It’s my fourth workshop there and I really can’t recommend them enough. My favourite make EVER is the 1960s coat I made – blogged here.  The studio is gorgeous – tea and (homemade) cake permanently available and best of all, a brilliant teacher to take you through the pattern and help with all the fiddly bits.

Took both fabrics to the workshop but eventually decided on the charcoal one - a Liberty Tana Lawn called Winter Dreams of Spring

Took both fabrics to the workshop but eventually decided on the charcoal one – a Liberty Tana Lawn called Winter Dreams of Spring

I was really pleased that the teacher was Julie who is super patient and highly experienced.  There were six of us.  A lovely generational divide: three young women in their twenties and another three who I would estimate were at least twenty years older (I hope I haven’t offended anyone by writing that!).  That is one of the lovely things about sewing – it unites people who might otherwise not appear to have much in common.  There was a little bit of chatter but everyone was really busy measuring and cutting out – we didn’t actually get to do any sewing at all.

Only roughly laid out here to check I had enough fabric.

Only roughly laid out here to check I had enough fabric.

It does seem that most patterns over-estimate fabric requirements.  I had bought three metres and was worried that I would have to eek it out but I had a considerable chunk left over.  I wonder if you can guess what I plan to make with that?! Sew Over It have toiles made up in all sizes so that you can check your fit first.  The last few things I have made at home have been too big – I do always measure myself but perhaps I just don’t hold the tape measure tightly enough?  Anyway, I decided to try on the 10 toile instead of my usual 12 and that was to big so I ended up with the 8 …. which I am surprised about because I am definitely not an 8!

It is going to be an expensive couple of weeks – I am incapable of going into a fabric shop without buying something and last night was no different.

Cornflower blue linen and my very own ham!

Cornflower blue linen and my very own ham!

I was really excited to see that Sew Over It have expanded their fabric range and put more shelves in to accommodate the additional choice.  This weekend just gone I made a dress (yet to be blogged) which I was really disappointed with. However, I resolved to call it a wearable muslin and have another go.  I have a little bit of blue Queue for the Zoo Liberty leftover from  my Belcarra (blogged here) so I thought I would use that for the yoke and make the dress with this contrasting linen. What do you think old hands – will a bodice of tana lawn (one thickness – it has interfacing rather than being fully lined) hold up a dress of linen?

I bought my goodies before the class but then at the end Julie gave us our homework and to be honest, I am not sure I will get anything else done.  I jotted down what I thought were the couple of tasks on the top of my instruction sheet but the list just kept on growing!

My homework

My homework

I said to Julie, “I’ll be bringing in a complete dress next week at this rate” and she replied that it was just basic sewing and then we could concentrate on the fiddly bits such as fitting and doing the collar: good point, well made!

I’ll let you know how the homework goes – as a teacher myself I am very diligent about such things!

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x


16 responses

  1. Pingback: The Vintage Shirtdress … at last | clarinda kaleidoscope

    • I am thinking of making the parrot up into a maxi Anna but it really might be too much. I bought it from Fabricland (or something like that) on a trip to Portsmouth). I am struggling to keep up with my blog reading too – everyone seems to have gone mad making stuff since Me Made May – garments are being churned out at the rate of old socks! Hope it’s going well x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A tale of two Wandas | clarinda kaleidoscope

  3. Pingback: A tale of two Wandas | The Monthly Stitch

  4. Pingback: Vintage Workshop week two and a bit of a Glitch! | clarinda kaleidoscope

  5. Yay for your tailor’s ham! Let us know how you get on with it. Much as I love the parrot fabric I think you made the right choice for the shirtdress😃


  6. I love Julie – she’s had such an interesting career I could listen to her chat away for hours. I’ve got class two of the Grace dress with her tomorrow at the Islington branch and can’t wait! Looking forward to seeing how your shirt dress turns out – your fabric is lovely!


  7. Looking forward to seeing the finished dress, have seen some lovely ones on Blogs recently. One for my list, when my sewing skills improve!


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