Sparkling all over

Hi guys,

I have had such a FAB few days on the sewing front I think I am going to spread the cheer over a couple of posts! First up my Sequins workshop at the wonderful Guthrie and Ghani studios

A super sparkly window display

A super sparkly window display

A friend and I had decided we would have a little day trip to Birmingham – I hadn’t realised quite how quickly you could get there from London or how cheaply you could buy train tickets. The premises are wonderful – a lovely detached property with the haberdashery downstairs and the studio covering the whole of the top floor – sorry SEWBRUM people – I know you know all this already.  We had arranged to arrive early to give us a little shopping time – of course we did!  Although I had already ordered my gold sequin fabric, once I was there I was drawn to a blue and pink geometric design so bought that (and some silver sequins as well just for good measure). I now have quite a lot of sequins in my stash so have the potential to sparkle quite a bit.


The workshop was run by Layla – who was so approachable, knowledgeable and laid back; I felt in safe hands all day.  The pattern we used was Grainline Scout Tee – which was included in the cost of the workshop making it excellent value. Layla gave us some realy good advice linked to looking at the finished garment measurments as a way of determining our size.  My friend Liz was wearing one she had made earlier linked to her measurements and I did think it looked big.  In the end she went down a size and I sewed up a 4 – which is two sizes less than my measurements indicated but I thought they both looked just right.

The blue sequins were super pretty daisy shapes

The blue sequins were super pretty daisy shapes

In terms of sewing with sequins I was surprised at quite how straight-forward it was. New needles, sharp scissors and away you go – sew up almost as normal.  The only thing you had to take care to do was to finger press your seams and break the sequins before you ironed them. It is also essential to use a lining because the fabric is so scratchy against your skin – it was also a first for me to line a top. You need to be prepared for sequins to be everywhere. I noticed when we were leaving that there was a trail of my pink sequins running down the stairs to the loo!

The workshop lasted six hours and everyone finished comfortably and was delighted with their tops.  We also had time for lunch and went to a Syrian restaurant a couple of doors down for a lovely wrap and a piece of baklava. So all in all, a great day – really enjoyable. Huge thanks to Layla for being such inspiring tutor.

Tried to get a couple of photos yesterday but it was so cold and blowy. Mr CK was not happy and I was freezing so the two below are the best of a bad bunch – Yes, even with my eyes closed!


Please ignore wellibobs which of course would never be worn with a sparkly top!


It was also serendipitous that this is the first garment I have made since I received my own labels ….. from Liz – the friend I did the workshop with. Now my garments have the potential to look really professional I must ensure I take care over the details!


Finally, I just wanted to share with you some really good news – which I received on the morning of my Birmingham jaunt. I shared recently that I have got a maternity leave cover to start in January; I now have been offered a permanent position (at a different school) from September. It is such a relief to have got everything sorted out so now I can just relax for the rest of 2015!

Have a good week,

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x


20 responses

  1. Aw, I’m having workshop envy, and sequin envy too!! I wish I’d have gone to the Sewbrum meet up, definitely will next year, though I’d love to visit Laurens shop before. Your top look like it wants to party! Hope it doesn’t have to wait too long! 🙂


  2. This top is so gorgeous. The simple style just shows off the beautiful fabric. Your remark about the lining came too late for a friend who wore the sequin top she made to the Brighton Frocktails event, she didn’t include a lining and said it was soooo scratchy to wear. Is there a tip you can recommend for sewing sequins as she said that she broke so many sewing machine needles in making her top?
    Don’t despair about the unfinished Francine jacket. No workshop I have been to ever allows enough time to finish whatever you are tackling. Fitting is such a problem once you have left the workshop where there is a tutor to help you. I wonder how they work the timing out for these classes.


    • There were five of us in our workshop and no-one had a broken needle all day. The teacher said she had changed the needles before we came so maybe she used denim ones? I did ask about the workshop timings and the tutor said that classes of more than three weeks were not popular due to the price and the fact that hardly anyone can commit to that number of weeks. Hopefully will have finished the Francine by next weekend but I have been distracted by other things on the sewing front! It’s a real shame your friend had such a scratchy time in her top.


  3. This is a great post – you definitely sound so much more cheerful than last time! The top looks really professional, especially with that label. Guthrie & Ghani looks well worth a visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always wear wellies with my sequined clothing……………
    Your top looks totally fabulous , and the lables give it an extra special touch. Im so glad birmingham was fun and that you have your work situation sorted!


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