April already been incredibly fun regarding to sewing activities. Last saturday started with me meeting with my sewing club at London:Walthamstow market for our first club outing. My stash only been fattened by 4metres of fabric thanks to the fantastic selection of the man outside Sainsbury.
It is so much fun to sew with like minded girls. Club is doing really well that we are now oversubscribed and cannot accept any more members at the moment. My shopping trip was shorter. I needed to meet Kerry and head to Chinello’s workshop.
Chinello wizardry on Sewing Bee wow me. Her unexpected method of cutting patterns directly on fabric made a really interesting subject to learn and when she announced her first workshop on twitter I couldn’t resist.
The workshop details: “This workshop focuses on a stylish peplum top (or made longer, a beautiful dress to impress), you will learn how to transfer your measurements directly unto the fabric and dart your garment pieces to take the body’s contours. This organic method of dressmaking will give you great fabric handling skills, confidence to start stepping away from commercial patterns or even using your new skills to enhance your favourite patterns. “
At first it’s was hard to get my head around not having a template to trace but once I started to visualise what each measurement marking means it, the whole process made a lot more sense. The day went really fast and many times I was completely confused, which it’s totally normal for me. I am highly energetic and excitable, always chatting and walking the room.
During the workshop I meet Rachel and next to me was a lovely girl but my name holding skills is so poor, hopefully she will read this and say hello. I want to see her gingham peplum so fingers cross she will start a blog.
One of the biggest revelation was how close the underline methodology from Chinello’s free hand cutting to the way I learned pattern design in Brasil (Methodo Iole). Both are purely based on personal measurement but free hand cutting is so much more organic. No fancy rulers, no pattern notches, just press (crease) in place and off you go. That’s what I mostly confused during the day because when you sew without instructions, the instinct is to sew pattern based on notches and markings. After a fab night of sleep on my new bed, it all made sense. All those clues were there but in a different language.
The whole day was so fascinating. I need to do some homework and make a few more to practice so I don’t forget what I learned. Chinello is a talent sewist and was a pleasure to meet her and learn from her.
I will avoid over-sharing the method we worked on but basically you fold the fabric working with your front and back on top of each other, populate all your measurements regarding the design you want to make (We took 16 measurements of ourselves) and cut the back measurement on both layers. Separated the front and back, and then recut only the front. Then was to cut the circle skirt. The cutting took most of the workshop time leaving only 30 mins to sew. I wasn’t going to sew there. I was tired and my brain need digesting of all the information. At home I could review my markings against my notes before I sew and overlock the edges.
To sew at home was incredibly easy. I finished the dress in one hour. Dress? Well, we had to share fabric and in the interested of fair share we got the same amount. To avoid making my mini dress smaller, I tried a rolled hem with contrasting thread on the overlocker. We were told we could either repeat the process for facings or use binding. I closed my V neck and armholes with red pokadot bias. I’m thinking I could add either a contrasting fabric band or to shortener into a top but to be honest I liked in a tunic length as it is. The bust darts look almost like a princess seam. Shame is hard for you to see due the african wax fabric print.
Chinello provided all the material for the class, tea and biscuits. I teased her about homemade cakes because she is also an avid baker.
Working in inches on the day made me quite slow too, why when we change our ‘normal’ metric system all the instructions look a lot more scary…
I wasn’t sure how to style this make but didn’t deliberate it. Since I was wearing those leggings when sewing, I grabbed the first pair of shoes and coat and went of the door for the pictures. I’m not sure how much I will wear this but the skills learned will definitively last.