Workshops galore – the Sewcation continues

Hi all, hope you are well and happy?

Well this is the third week of my Sewcation and I’m learning lots but still haven’t actually completed anything to show you! So here is a round up of this week’s activities.

Pattern Cutting Workshop at ClothKits

Dear Lord, there are only two of us on this course – such a privilege – and we are behind!  It was the third session on Monday and we were supposed to be drafting our sleeves – which we did do BUT there were so many niggles with our bodices – we both had to do further alterations on our second toiles.


Just look at this odd adjustment on my bodice – a bizarre pleat going horizontally over the top of my right boob.  The tutor said it was because I was “hollow” – I think this is more to do with my massively padded bra rather than my inherent body shape. Having seen all of the miniscule alterations needed to get something to fit, I am surprised that we ever mange to get anything to fit rtw  – what with my size 20 shoulders and hollow chest it’s a wonder I don’t live in saris – actually I love saris – so elegant. You can read here a very early post of mine about this beautiful sari.

Thought I'd brighten up my post with a pop of colour

Thought I’d brighten up my post with a pop of colour

Anyway, I digress. The sleeve drafting had less mathematical calculations than the bodice but I still made a couple of errors. Next week we are going to put our patterns onto card – the Block. Then it’s onto the skirt drafting and finally to designing our own dress – exciting!


After the class I met up with Jane from Jane Makes  and we had lunch in Carluccios and chatted about sewing and life.  It’s really lovely to meet up with people who I have met through the on-line community. Next week I am having lunch with Debbie, my fellow student on the course – so  I have become, temporarily,  a lady wot lunches with other ladies wot sew!

Francine Jacket Workshop at Sew Over It, Clapham

Last Wednesday I started the Francine Jacket workshop – it has been so incredibly popular it has taken me  months to get a place. The workshop runs over three consecutive Wednesdays.  Having done a number of workshops now I know that there is a lot you have to do at home.  With just three weeks for this jacket there was a huge amount of homework to do.  I left the class only having cut out my pattern – I am SUCH a slowcoach.  To be honest, if I hadn’t been on sewcation I would never have been able to get the work done – I must have spent about ten hours on it.  A lot of this was because I couldn’t squeeze the pattern out of the 1.5m I had earmarked for the project and spent ages faffing about with my jigsaw.


I resolved this by using some of the check fabric I am going to make a Gabriola out of – I plan to make a maxi skirt suit. There are six of us in the class. I love Julie’s super calm manner. It must be really stressful trying to fit six different people  – each of us needed a number of alterations – but you would never guess it from her demeanor.


To account for my super shoulders we went up to a size 16 on the arms (the rest of the pattern was a 12) and added some extra in at the centre back seam but look – now that I’ve made it up, I think it’s too much.  The photo doesn’t really show it properly but the back is so rounded I could squeeze a small hunchback in there – to balance out my hollow chest obviously.


The second class is tonight – I was supposed to have finished the under collar but I can’t work out where it finishes.  It will be really interesting to see how the others have got on.  One of the other girls bought her fabric from Linton Tweeds and it is beautiful – I’ll try and get a photo tonight.

Guthrie and Ghani – Sewing a Sequin Party Top

Finally, a friend and I have booked a little jaunt together to go up to Guthrie and Ghani for a one day workshop to make a top in sequins.  I am really looking forward to visiting the haberdashery – it always looks SO beautiful and welcoming in the photos and Lauren has an amazing fabric selection.

And just before I close, I have some news.  I went for a job interview last week and was offered the position.  It is only a mat leave cover but a huge relief for me. The school seems lovely and although I am still applying for permanent roles from September 2016, at least I can relax a little bit for now.

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x






16 responses

  1. Very jealous of your sew -caction, you seem to be learning so much! Congrats on your new job, maternity posts can often lead to other things too. I got my current role, whilst completing one so well-worth it 🙂 I was really tempted by Lauren’s sequin top too, will look forward to reading about how you get on.


  2. Hope you’re having a fun, relaxing time – you seem to be. You’re coming to my neck of the woods soon – Brummie land..!! Good luck with your new job hope it all turns out well for you xx


  3. Wow, wish I could have a sewcation too! I’ve just finished the Francine class (but not the jacket itself) and you do more fitting in the third class – mine went from frumpy to fitted in two easy adjustments, so don’t worry! I know what you mean about feeling behind though – we spent so much time fitting in my class that I barely had my pattern cut out before it was time to go home. Reckon it’d be good to have two people fitting participants in the first class to move things on a bit quicker. Looking forward to seeing your finished jacket! 😀


  4. Great post! How wonderful to be able to go on all these courses – I’m quite jealous! Looking forward to seeing your sequin top because I’m in the middle of making one, with fabric bought from Guthrie and Ghani too. I’ve gone for the matt black sequins.


  5. I love the combination of fabrics in the jacket. I was looking at this class for after Christmas, but don’t know if I can do Wednesday evenings. Well done for finding a maternity cover.


  6. Some great news there…..learning loads of new things and landing a job too! Bit jealous here if I’m honest! Can’t wait to see how you get on with all your workshops 😃


  7. You do look lovely in that sari! It was so good to meet you the other day. I do remember seeing you with those fabrics at the first Fabric Godmother open day. They go together perfectly.


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