The Sewcation begins …

Hello all, I hope you have had a good Monday?

Today my euphemistically named Sewcation began and it got off to a wonderful start – silver linings and all that.

Having unexpectedly found myself with time on my hands, I researched local sewing workshops – of course I did – and found that ClothKits had a Pattern Cutting course starting today.  When I rang at the beginning of last week, only one other person had booked so it wasn’t running.  I asked if I could leave my number in case there was a flurry of last minute bookings and imagine my delight when I received a call on Friday to say the course would run.


In fact, there were only two of us – such a privilege. The tutor took us through taking our body measurements and then we drafted the bodice pattern.  This took from 9.30 – 1pm and I didn’t sit down once.  It was SO mathematical AND I finally got to see how a Pattern Master works.  I bought one months ago when I was on a workshop at Sew Over It. That saying All the Gear and No Idea certainly applies to me but I do now know how to use the curved edge to draft a neckline.  It is really interesting looking at your measurements in such detail.  You may recall I have previously bewailed my big shoulders (here)  The evidence was there in black and white today! The other lady and I both looked normal to me. Interestingly our measurements were juxtaposed: I have no boobs and definite shoulders whilst she has a bosom and narrow shoulders.  It’s perfectly clear to me now how all of you experienced seamstresses make wonderful garments that fit – I think my approach has been tentative tweaking and hoping for the best.


We eventually finished our draft pattern and cut it out in calico – goodness knows how many toiles we are going to make to get this right but we were each advised to buy three metres. Our homework for this week is to sew up the bodice top and “Draw design ideas for top” – Lordy Lordy. That might be a step too far for me – I just want to be able to adapt the patterns I do have to fit me.

By the end of the morning my tummy was rumbling in an embarrassing way.  I really fancied pasta so on the way to the station I popped into Carluccios – so now I have became one of the Ladies who Lunch. I only mention this because it was delicious and you might want to try it.  I had the homemade ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta in a buttery and sage sauce.  When it arrived there were only NINE pieces of ravioli but it turned out to be the perfect portion size as you can see!

Thank you Mr Carluccio

Thank you Mr Carluccio

Just before I close, I want to give a little mention to Lynne who blogs at Ozzy Blackbeard because it was her posts on pattern drafting which first made me wonder if it was something for me – well, thank you Lynne – it is!


Tomorrow I am going to tackle the flamingo shirt which has been laying, sadly forlorn, in a bag since I shoved it there six weeks ago. As you see, my homework is considerably overdue!

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x



16 responses

  1. Oh how I dream of a sewcation! Well done you for making time. And congratulations getting a place in that class… it was meant to be! That flamingo fabric is divine. It’s annoying when you come to a halt but the penny does eventually drop!


  2. I found a lady local to me who runs adult education classes (like night school) but there were not enough people to run the class last year so she gave me a few one on one sessions and I learnt quite a bit and got more confidence. It’s so much easier to do fitting when you have another person! Looking forward to seeing the flamingo shirt ;o)


  3. What a great way to use your newly acquired time. Although it sounds bloody hard, should think it will do you good to keep your mind busy too. I know so many of my teaching friends who have found themselves in similar positions, it says a lot about our education system today that they can treat people so ruthlessly… Well done for finding a silver lining! Incidentally just finished reading ‘The Silver Linings Play Book’, loved it if you fancy something uplifting but quirky at the same time.


  4. Yey!! I absolutely loved my pattern drafting class. I hope you get as much from yours as I did from mine. It is very mathsy (is that a word?!), but I’m hopless with maths, and I managed fine. Thank goodness for the metric system though! My teacher had pattern masters for us to use, but I really must get one for myself. And also yey to only two people in the class, mine was the same. My teacher said that what we covered in three full days would take a whole term at her full time fashion design course, as they also cover other topics and the class size is about sixteen people, so it takes longer to do the measurements etc.


  5. This looks excellent! No such courses around here although I did buy the bodice sloper course from craftsy which is also quite mathsy. I haven’t had time to work through it yet but this post has reminded me of it. Thanks! ☺


  6. youre so lucky to live near loads of sewing courses! I have seen that pattern drafting curse a few times its just so out the way for me!Hope you manage to get your block working for you! and still waiting to see your flamingo shirt!! 😀 xx


    • Ha ha – let’s hope it is a success and not a “curse”. I’m having a bit of a block with that flamingo shirt – thinking of starting something new and then going back to it (but then I’d probably never go back to it!)


  7. Wow! Your course looks fab! I have a book that my mum bought me for my 21st all about pattern drafting and taking measurements. Maybe it’s time to dust it off. Or maybe I should go on a course which sounds a more appealing idea 🙂


      • When I left school and worked in an office I made my clothes – trousers were easy then with no wobbly bits. Then just made curtains and blinds and the last thing I really made until 2 years ago was my bridesmaid dresses in 2000. Never had any sewing lessons but my mum showed me how to use her old brother and helped if I got stuck. I’ve always seen following a pattern as doing a jigsaw with instructions. 😃


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