The Sewing Weekend 2015

Going a bit wild today and haven’t written a draft for this post. Fortunately I have two other posts in waiting which will force me to get this one out to you.

So, way back in summer last year, myself and 3 uni friends hit a creative lull. I needed motivation, Leila wanted something to wear for work, Imogen wanted to do something creative for someone else and Portia wanted to learn a new skill. We decided that as the four of us were creatively minded but only two of us new how to sew (to quote Imogen) “properly and from a pattern”, Leila and I would help Imogen and Portia to sew something. It was also decided that we needed a whole weekend to do this, including a trip to a fabric shop, chocolate and wine. Unfortunately, the first available weekend that all four of us could commit to wasn’t until November.

So we waited and chatted about what we would make (Imogen wanted to make PJs for her Dad’s Christmas present, Leila, a smart shift dress, I had a few small projects in mind the most prominent being T&TBs Arielle skirt, and Portia didn’t know what she wanted to make but she knew she wanted to learn to sew). Occasionally we did little happy dances of excitement at the rapidly approaching BIG WEEKEND. Then it arrived.

Our location, Leila’s house, it transpired was the most amazingly well suited place for a sewing weekend. The first night we cut out all our fabric, a particularly large job for Imogen, on the huge table.

sewing weekend 10

I knocked up a black crop top (an entirely unnecessary and inappropriate wardrobe item for me to make – what was I thinking?) with the intention of trying out my new narrow hem foot. Though the top was simple, the narrow hem was not. It looked abysmal. But it was a first real go, and it was dark and late and I don’t wear the top anyway so its not a big deal. Portia had elected to make a top from the same pattern in a cute red cotton patterned with ice skates. I really loved watching her diligently cutting it out with my right handed shears (she’s a leftie) and getting her head around facings and such. She did incredibly well and from the look on her face I think she enjoyed herself.


Imogen’s PJs were something new. I had never attempted a button up top but the pattern was remarkably simple to follow, even if it did take three of us to figure out one section (the collar attachment if you are interested). I think the end result was fantastic.

Now, on the second day I cut out my denim for my Arielle skirt. I had wanted a button up denim skirt for simply yonks and this pattern from Tilly and The Buttons looked perfect. I opted for the unlined version, in a mid-blue denim with gold buttons. Cutting was simple, six pieces, lovely shaping darts. I cut a size 7 but I reckon I could have got away with a 6 as I took it in a little (and having tried it on yesterday I will have to take it in some more – Faberoo!). I did have a little mishap with the iron on interfacing where I allowed some steam to roll the edge onto itself – oops!

sewing weekend 11

At Leila’s suggestion I edged my facings with this fetching polka dot binding. I really like the effect and once again bias binding has been my best sewing friend.

As some of you know my Machine is called Guinevere because sometimes she can be a B**** to me (as she was to king Arthur). But usually buttonholes prove to be no issue. Merrily we rolled along until the fifth buttonhole. It was a little out of line with the others. No worries, I thought, I’ll carry on and unpick if it looks awful. By buttonhole 7 I’d lost the plot. It just didn’t work. I couldn’t leave it so I unpicked it and tried again. Only marginally better this time. Deciding this was the best I could get from this one I moved onto the last one. Perfect! How did I manage that? Guinevere and I had words and exchanged very surprised yet frustrated looks. She claimed it was not her fault, I replied that it was like she didn’t even try anymore. It was very nearly a very serious break up. But we patched things up and are on better terms now. Behold the buttonholes.

so after sewing on the buttons on the train home and finishing the hem the next day, the whole skirt only took me a day to sew (and that was with sharing a machine and helping with other projects). I’m pleased with the result and I can’t wait to rock this in the summer with my bicycle top and red converse.

So that’s it, my run down of our November sewing weekend is complete. I had a blast and talks are already in motion organising the next one. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. I found that I really like sewing with company. Chatting and giggling, drinking wine, eating chinese takeaways and chocolate, being with like minded people. All this contributed to an amazing weekend. So if you have like minded/ sewist friends, or simply friends who would like to share a bottle with you while you craft or sew, I urge you to get together and do it. What could go wrong?



P.S. I’m assured that Leila’s dress is nearly finished, zip inserted and everything, and I know she will look stunning in it. Green always was your colour darling. x