On Sunday I learned how to make a dress and am so, so excited about it. I was originally going to make the Simplicity 2444 until I saw Roisin's latest make, the Emery from Christine Haynes. I adored the shape and actually prefer a gathered skirt to a pleated one. I also liked that the bodice was lined meaning my first make would look nice and tidy on the inside too. I got my sewing machine for my birthday the week before, I went for the Janome SMD3000 after having a little chat with the lady from Sewing Machines Direct. It is computerised and has loads of really neat functions and is so, so quiet. It is a joy to use.
I had a blast learning and chatting crap with Roisin and Char, blogging has bought the best girls in to my life. Roisin is a fab teacher, she explains things clearly and also shows you how to do them before getting you to do it yourself, I personally learn better that way. If you are interested in a crash course in dressmaking I cannot recommend Roisin enough. She teaches at Berylune in Leamington Spa, her next class is March 23rd and for just £60 she will guide you whilst you put together a pattern of your choice and will don a proud parent smile when you leave with your new finished garment. Read about her passion for teaching here.
It wasn't all hard work, as well as the incredibly rewarding handiwork we had plenty of time to chat over coffee and hot chocolate and of course had to keep our energy levels up with chocolate. A big thank you to Viking for keeping the chocoholics in us happy!
Char has already made several dresses this year so didn't need the kind of guidance I needed but she did pick up some handy tips and changed the way she finished her arm seams as a result. There is never a right or wrong way of doing something and it is great to see that you never stop learning and picking up better ways to do things. Char's dress was amazing, I absolutely adore the fabric and this photo, so beautiful.
Proud face time!! Putting my finished garment on for the first time was such a great feeling. Eeekk! I made that beautiful dress. The fit is perfect and I couldn't have picked a better print to make my first dress extra special and memorable. I am hoping dress number two will be as easy, that will be the real test. I know that I can do this though and even if things do not go as smoothly I just need to put it down and come back to it later, it will not beat me!
We only made a few tweaks to the bodice for it to fit me perfectly. I didn't want either the collar or the bow on my dress as the print is pretty busy and I decided they would end up lost in the print. We also didn't use the pattern for the skirt as I like my skirts fuller. Roisin taught me how to make a gathered skirt from the width of the fabric and I adore the results. Isn't she a clever bunny!
It is pretty handy living relatively close to Birmingham, there are a few decent places to go fabric shopping. We headed to Barry's, had a walk round the Birmingham Rag Market before visiting Fancy Silk Stores. If you know of any other places we should try please let me know. In fact let me know where the best place you've found to go fabric shopping in the UK is. I am happy to turn the hunt for fabrics into a road trip and stay overnight if required! I do love a girly weekend away and have had plenty in Birmingham though none have yet involved fabric shopping. Hotel Direct have loads of half price hotels at the moment, I think I need to take advantage of this offer.
I need to wait til the weekend to get decent outfit photos of my beautiful dress so she will be coming to an outfit post soon!