Wow, it seems like a lot has happened since my last update. If you are following me on Twitter or Tailor Taylor page you may have come across my post regarding me 'being in the wars' as they say.
After a short ride in an ambulance to A&E and then five hours of blood tests and monitoring I was released with the diagnosis of an Abnormal Migraine. Numbness down the left hand side of my body was not the nicest of sensations I can tell you and I completely sympathise with anyone who suffers with Migraine's regularly. After a few days rest and lovely messages of love and well being, I'm feeling much better! So I just wanted to say thank you for all of your good vibes and wishing me a speedy recovery, as well as an apology for a delayed Blog!
Father's Day Workshop at Guthrie and Ghani Haberdashery.
So Glad I didn't have to cancel this workshop. It was so much fun! As you can see from the picture my very first MAN attendee by the name of Karl.
Not put off by the room of women, Karl plucked up the courage to come along to my morning session, a man's tie. If that's not a #sewingrevoultion right there, I don't know what is. Well done Karl.
There was tough competition between Karl and a lady called Julie as they had picked the same fabric! The game was on. It really was a fab day, lots of laughter and everyone came out with fabulous tie's. I really couldn't pick a favorite from them if you pushed me. I'd be rubbish as a Sewing Bee Judge.
With the morning session completed it was a quick clean up and on to the next one which was the man's wallet workshop. Three ladies from the morning workshop came for both, so are clearly spoiling their father's with these two gifts! Well done ladies for the long stint too as they didn't get much of a break between the sessions. We had a wonderful selection of fabric's in this workshop. Different textures and weights. Some wallets had applique applied, others with button fasteners. It was wonderful to see so many variations of the same idea with the one workshop.
Let me know if you would like a D.I.Y on this? Such a simple but effective gift idea any time of the year, which can be completely personalised for who you are making it for! You could even use their old favorite shirt or jeans. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK WITH THEM BEFORE CUTTING IT UP!!!
Sewing Bee Sunday At Guthrie & Ghani - Parkinson's UK.
When Lauren told be about this event, I knew I just had to be involved. When she then posted on her blog the full details of the day I really was excited. With three stations to choose from:
There was some amazing pattern and fabric swaps. So much so I couldn't resist when I saw the gorgeous Batik scraps. I think I'm going to make a patchwork shirt from them for Kirk.
As well as this wonderful event both Lauren and Ayaz are running the Berlin Marathon. You can still donate to this great cause through the 'Just Giving Page or text LAGG80 to 70070 to donate!
Birthday Celebrations and Upcycle ideas.
This month I was blessed to be part of two birthday celebrations. First was my best friends little boy's first birthday. His name is George and on the 8th of June I finally was able to give him is Belated birthday treat at his Christening party. He has a woodland theme in his bedroom so wanted something to not only match this but also something for him to cuddle. In true #sewingrevolution style, I used fabric that I had left over from a wrap top I made for an event. Making sure I used colourful fabric's as I read this is good for children, I made George a 'sleeptight owl'. Something to watch over him while he is snug as a bug in a rug. The owl even as a little heart inside him filled with love.
The second special birthday was my first ever nephew, Reyer. He really is the sunshine in our lives at the moment. A complete scamp! Reyer decided that he wanted a fancy dress pirate party (well mommy and daddy did they are scamp's too). So it had to be a fancy dress outfit! Made from a pillow case, off cuts from an old project, a curtain and left over fabric from my #GBSB prom dress; we have trousers and matching waistcoat, shirt, sash and of course a pirate sword. Reyer was ready to look for treasure. Obviously, not one to let the side down, Kirk and I decided to go in fancy dress to, but strangely we had enough 'pirate-ie' clothes so we didn't need to make anything. It was a fun sunny day filled with so many treasures, which wasn't necessarily all made from gold!
The One Big Show, CHA-UK and Coats.
This week I felt like I'd hit a mile stone in my Tailor Taylor sewing career. Not only did I have a flyer with a pic of me and the #sewingrevoultion information on but I was also asked to give two inspirational talks as part of the CHA-UK's One Big Show. This was just amazing.
Working along side Coats, we came together and created two projects to be presented in my inspirational talks.
I was so nervous. Singing on stage is one thing, you get to hide behind a great band. This was completely different. This was about me and my idea's. My advice on what I thought you guys would need and want as beginners and #sewingrevoultion enthusiasts. I do hope I have helped deliver what you have all been telling me though my social media sites and workshops. Thank you for all your feedback and comments.
While I was there I was given the opportunity to meet some wonderful people, like Fiona from the sewingdirectory.co.uk who is about to publish a fantastic book called 'Crafting a creative business'. Publisher's, Designer's, Trade director's, blogger's, Crafter's. Everyone you could possible think of to talk to about craft was there. It was such an amazing opportunity with some very exciting conversations which I'm dying to tell you about.
For anyone wanting to start a business or looking for the next step and advice, I would seriously suggest joining something like the CHA-UK. (Craft and Hobby Association UK). There were lots of fantastic seminars on all aspects of craft from Blogging to Publishing, Advertising to Understanding Employment Law all lead by industry leaders. To meet these individuals was a fantastic opportunity to learn but also a huge compliment to be delivering my own talk along side them.
With my talks completed, I couldn't wait to sit in on the other seminars taking notes and also to play around on the stands, decorating cupcakes, making cards, talking to experts and of course playing with the lovely items on the Coats stand! Rebecca, kindly showed me how to make a granny square. This was the worse thing she could have done. I have not stopped making them since. I think I'm going to make a granny blanket cardigan. I've always wanted one and now, thanks to Rebecca I can do it myself! You should know I like to get my finger's into as many pie's as possible by now! Considering this was work, it shouldn't be this much fun surely? So to end my blog today I wanted to thank Alastair McMinn from Coats and Craig De Souza from CHA-UK for inviting and letting me lose on your wonderful event. To Helen and Rebecca for making me feel part of a great team on site and to Lisa and Sarah for being great behind the scene's.
Remember you are on this journey with me, so thank you for following! I want to hear about your makes or anything you may need help on, so don't forget to #sewingrevoultion when posting! I'm watching out for you!
As you may be aware from my previous blog or social network feeds, that I have challenged myself to partake in the Me Made May challenge 2014. This is where I had vowed to wear something made by myself everyday, for the entire month of May. So here is my Me Made May 2014 break down from day 12 to day 31. Days 1 to 11 are on my previous blog is you want to have a peek.
Day 12 to 16 - Its my birthday and ill go to a book lunch if I want to!
Kicking off with day 12, you may recognise this self drafted t shirt as it is made with the left over moustache material I used for The Great British Sewing Bee PJ task in episode two.
Day 13 is what I would have made for episode six for the made to measure challenge. My Military jacket is Inspired by the 70's, my design was based on Jimi Hendrix's iconic jacket and The Beatles, Sgt. Peppers.
Day 14 is a shirt that I made when I first started to get into sewing. Gotta love that big collar!!!
Day 15 and its my birthday! I was very excited that not only was it my birthday but it was also Tilly's 'Love at first stitch' book launch! So in attempting to kill two birds with one stone, Kirk and I went in the hope of also going for a lovely romantic supper for two. Not realising it, I decided to wear my vintage skirt (Maudella 5911) made with denim and left over African print fabric for the inside pockets and my striped boob tube, Tilly and I were matching! It was so lovely to finally meet Tilly. We had a lot of fun as you can see, Tilly and Lauren are so tiny that I decided to kneel down for the pictures. With my book signed we then set off to the pub for a glass or two of fizz. With all the excitement at the launch and by the time we had finished our drinks it got so late that we decided to head back home for a Chinese takeaway instead. Last of the romantics but I had a great night.
Day 16 and the birthday celebrations continue with a family and friends gathering at The Church in Hockley, Birmingham for some Soul Food and drinks. Therefore I had to wear my wrap around skirt. This way after eating my body weight in Jambalya I can adjust my wrap skirt to fit my expanding and ready to burst waist!
Day 17 to 22 - Time to Vote!
Day 17 and it's my best friend's uncle's wedding and we have been kindly invited to the evening do! As it was a lovely warm evening I thought I would bust out my halter neck harlequin dress for the occasion. This was the first dress that I made after my wedding dress. It's not perfect at all, my waist band does not match up very well at all, at the side zip but its nice to see how much I have improved from when I made it. I had completely forgotten about it at the bottom of the wardrobe.
Day 18, Its workshop day at Guthrie and Ghani, so I've decided to wear my make from the weekend, which was Tilly's 'Delphine' skirt. The fabric is suede that I was kindly given by a lovely lady who I had never met because she wanted the fabric to go to 'someone who will put it to good use'. Hopefully, I fulfilled that duty!
Day 19 and I was not feeling very well at all, so was tucked up in bed, however had I got dressed on this day, I would be wearing 'Beatrice' apron pinafore from Sew Me Something. I slightly adapted mine to make it reversible so I have two dresses in one if you like. Perfect for holidays!
Day 20 and I'm feeling much better. So back to work and I'm wearing my upcycled men's shirt dress. This garment uses five men's shirts, which I cut up and made into a dress. A little quirky but I like it!
Day 21 and its Dungaree day, well pinafore but you know what I mean. Self drafted pattern with cheeky pockets using corduroy.
Day 22 and its your day to Vote. So off I go in my 'go everywhere' dress which is a vintage Simplicity pattern 7135. The material is a lightweight cotton that I got from Walthamstow market with Chinelo, in between filming episodes for The Great British Sewing Bee.
Day 23 to 26 - Festival Fun and feeling #snooty!
With the run up to the weekend, I was getting very excited.
Day 23 and I had upcycled an old bed sheet into what i'm calling my 'festival' dress. It has huge pockets in the side seams and a little pleat in the front with a scooped back. It's so comfortable and with it being a very old bed sheet from the 70's the fabric was not only amazing print wise but was super soft through god knows how many times through the washing machine!
Day 24, Kirk and I was heading down to London to meet up with my old school friend Emma Westwood, to go and watch 'Rooster' at Saddlers Wells. Both Emma and I studied dance at school. It was so amazing to get to watch this performance together and try and rein-act the performance after!
Day 25 and very tired as we didn't get in until two in the morning, Kirk and I say goodbye and head to Stevenage for Hogsozzle Festival. Armed with our matching upcycled poncho's and Band T-shirts, we prepared to get ready for our performance by part-taking in the Paint Fight! So much fun and it makes a great stage outfit!
Day 26 cold and wet as we camped over night, we crawled back to Birmingham in our tie dye t shirts and snooty pants. An improved look for the T shirt, I'm not so sure I looked so great! #hanging.
Day 27 to 31 - The last few days :(
Feeling well rested after the festival its now Day 27 and I'm up early as I have two workshops in Stratford Upon Avon at Sew Me Something. My first mixed group with adults and children, I wanted to look 'cool' so with my birthday moccasins on I teamed it up with my Pinafore and long sleeve vest. Workshop was awesome, so much fun and lovely students!
Day 28 and its a little chilly so I went with my light corduroy shirt dress. The pattern was from a sewing magazine I bought when I first started sewing, unfortunately I cannot find it to let you know the pattern name. Sorry everyone.
Day 29, so it has to be my upcycled shirt skirt. Made from two matching men's shirts. I wanted to look the part as I was involved in interviewing new recruits at my normal 9-5 job.
ITS FRIDAY and Day 30 so it has to be my snooty moustache shirt. Its a 1978 pattern by style 2465. The fabulous fabric I purchased online from Plush Addict.
And so my Me Made May 2014 comes to an end with Day 31.
This is a Tunic dress I made from the fabric Chinelo gave me while we were filming the Great British Sewing Bee.
After a few hours of filming Chinelo said that she has the perfect piece of fabric at home and it has my name on it! I thought she was joking when she said that but the very next round of filming and she presented the fabric as a gift. She is so lovely and kind hearted, I decided to use the material to make a tunic dress using a 1969 Style pattern 2521.
I used the off cuts to make my pockets for my Day 15 Skirt. It's such a treasured piece of fabric I wanted to make sure I used every last centimeter.
I hope you have enjoyed following my Me Made May adventure. I've really enjoyed wearing the garments that I had completely forgotten about. Those early items I made when I first started sewing compared to more recent makes (don't turn the item inside out you'll see the stitches - practice really does make perfect) . Even some of the fabrics have stories of their own. Can't wait to sew more memories!!! #sewingrevolution.
I want to hear about your Me Made Makes! Do you have garments that hold memories?
Its been two years since we (Kirk and I) have been on a holiday abroad for a sun break which was our honeymoon to Morocco in 2012.
With all the excitement and hard work of The Great British Sewing Bee all over, working full time throughout the period as well as starting up my #sewingrevolution workshops and gigging with SnootyBobs, which has been taking up pretty much each weekend, we were both in need of a break and some quality time together.
For our honeymoon, we originally wanted to go to New Orleans. Friend and family gifted dollar's as presents so we could go. However with Hurricane Isaac hitting the area hard in August 2012, our blues and food dream was not to be. With the dollar's burning a hole in our top draw and money being too tight to mention, we cashed in our dollar's and booked a last minute deal to Fuertaventura. At 26 degrees every day and an all inclusive break, it was exactly what we needed. RELAXATION.
It was a little scary going on holiday and leaving Tailor Taylor behind. Promising to keep my phone off (not that I had any reception anyway- sorry Kirk I did try to have a peak once), this holiday was for relaxing and replenishing only. Knowing that I cannot keep still for five minutes, I decided to take the book 'In Cold Blood' by Truman Capote and try to take up crochet. Armed with a little beginners guide and a brief five minute demo by a friend, I attempted to crochet. I was rubbish! Just couldn't get to grips with the instructions.
I could start a chain and singles but couldn't fathom the half, treble and double treble. I gave up and started to make it up.
I created what can only describe as a fisherman's net. Using three as the magic number, I made a couple of square nets.
I have no idea what they are going to be but I gave it ago.
If at first you don't succeed and all that .... as they say.
We bring the S.T.A.R's out.
Upon my return to the midlands at 02:00, it was straight back to work at 09:00 on the same day. On my previous blog, I had mentioned that I was involved in a project called S.T.A.R's. Saturday the 3rd of May was the competition date and I along with two others, Melody Harris and Mark Anthony were to judge three categories. Voice, Dance and Fashion!
It was so much fun, It was like 'Britain's Got Talent' but without the big red button.
Walsall has some serious talent! These kids were just amazing. We were completely blown away. Each person presented their track, performance and collection to a filled auditorium and in front of the three scary judges. We each provided critical feed back to each individual and also had to fill out a scoring sheet.
There were live camera's projecting the performance and our reactions on a big screen. It must have been so daunting for them. Me, I'm strangely used to it now, seeing myself from angles you don't normally see. Remembering the first episode airing on BBC2, it wasn't comfortable to watch.
First up was the voice category. We had singer/song writers, guitarist, covers. Classic and current music. There were some real stand out performances, I just wanted to get up on stage and sing with them, they were so good.
We had two dance performances, one street and one contemporary improvised. This brought back memories of High school, Northern Contemporary School of Dance of which I attended for a year before completing my BA Hons Degree in Dance and Visual Arts at Brighton Uni. How I miss throwing myself around a dance studio #feelingold.
The last category was Fashion, we had three collections to assess. Each had been given a brief to create a fashion collection by up-cycling and customizing old clothes to create a modern and edgy line. Boy did they do that, I needed to get some tips off them.
After four hours of performance and catwalks, it was our time to get down to some serious work. It was decision making time! One winner from each category. After a few difficult conversations we had decided on the winner of the fashion and dance. The tough one being Voice, we just couldn't decide on shortlisted three of the acts. We needed a TIE BREAKER!
We invited the three acts back on stage to provide them with a few words of encouragement before they gave us their final performance.
The hairs on the back of my head stood on end, they really gave it their all! With a little audience participation, we made our decision.
All the participants were awarded S.T.A.R medals and the winner's received a prestigious S.T.A.R. award and a monetary gift. It was a fantastic and very inspiring day. I believe they are already planning next years event so I do hope I can be involved again next year!
Upon my return from holiday and catching up on all the Social Media feeds. I came across #MMMAY2014 and straightaway thought what a great idea! What better way to show I'm committed to the #sewingrevolution than vow to wear my Me-Made clothes in May, my birthday month.
So here it is! My eleven days so far, posted every day on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I'm quite enjoying this one. Checking my wardrobe I'm not sure I have enough Me-Made items to get through the whole month, so this is a perfect excuse to make more!!!
Don't forget you can take part to! I'm still checking up on your#sewingrevoultion / Me-Made makes so please keep posting!
Sorry that this is quite a long post this week but needed to catch up on two weeks worth of shenanigans! Hope to see you here next week and have a fab Sewing Sunday.
The revolution will not be televised. The #sewingrevolution will be live. (Gil Scott-Heron)
Its been a very humbling and busy one for me this week. Two full day workshops and two gig's with Snooty Bobs, catch up's with family and friends and my 'normal' job all in just four days. I've met some wonderful people at workshops and gig's and also had some very inspiring conversations with potential new venues for my #sewingrevoultion workshops.
The reason this week was so humbling for me was because I recieved two very lovely emails completely out of the blue.
These very resourceful people had tracked down my email address and wrote to me personally to either ask me questions or as you will read below, just to tell me how I had inspired them to sew and show me their projects! With their parents permission they have allowed me to share thier messages with you.
The first message was from a girl called Hannah - titled Messge from a sewing-obsessed 12 year old.
Just to say (I would say just a quick email but this probably won't be quick!) you were the person who completely and utterly inspired me on the sewing bee from the start and I really felt the need to get up (during the programme) and sew something everytime I saw one of the outfits you'd made :) this email really does sound awfully over the top but I am 12 so it's allowed!! I have always been desperate to start a sewing group/club or anything like that but... None of my friends like sewing (which is a DISASTER). i find it so disappointing that all these big brands have taken over, i find it so much more exciting wearing clothes that have a story. I have really taken to sewing in our living room though just by myself and have so far created... Numerous outfits for teddy bears that I can't face giving away, a pleated skirt, a puffy pin-striped skirt and a few dolls, oh yeah and some pj trousers :) I am now hoping to get a seamstress dummy that I can fit clothes to so I can begin to make shirts and dresses!
I will try to only ask one question because this email is already too long...
Where do you get your inspiration from?? Quite a general question and I'm sure it comes up a lot but that's what is so epic about the stuff you make- you just have endless creativity that is never repetitive!!!
I hope you like reading this email (if you do!)
From hannah wright age 12
Sent from my sewing-research station aka my ipod
My response to Hannah.
Hi there Hannah, so sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you!
Firstly, thank u so much for your wonderful email!!
You really made my day when i was reading about your passion for sewing!
Glad to hear that I have inspired you to start! I'm currently trying to start a #sewingrevolution where I'm inviting people to start sharing their makes on Facebook and twitter by posting pictutes.If u or your parents are on twitter / Facebook please feel free to follow me !! (JennibobTaylor on twitter and Tailor Taylor on Facebook) and post a picture!!
You might be glad to hear that I'm also running workshops in and around the midlands. Maybe you could come to one as I know it is difficult to find like minded people (who sew) u can find details of my workshops on FB and twitter or my website.
Finally - what inspires me? Well this is a tough one. At first I think I was inspired by retro clothing, the 70's and 60's periods. You can't get clothes like that anymore and also lots of people used to make their own anyway. But more recently I think I like sewing because its just another way of expressing yourself like painting or dance. You think about what u want to make and you create it from scratch. And each item even though it could be the same pattern will and can be different if u add different things. You get to pick the fabric you want and the style you want! What do you think? You might know that I also sing in a band from Watching the programme so I you know that I love to be creative. I also enjoy painting and cooking! So I'm very greedy as I like to do so many things! Lol
I hope this answered your question?
It would be lovely to see something You have made so please send me a pic of a finished item!!
Looking forwards to it!
Lots of love
Jenni from the sewing bee.
Here are the pictures Hannah forwarded to me! How amazing!!
The second email I recieved was from Meg, titled Hello.
I looked at your blog and I really enjoyed watching you at the Sewing Bee. You are my favourite sewer on the Sewing Bee. I enjoyed watching you make the dungarees.
Happy Easter. I love you.
Love Meg (age 6)
Thank u so much for ur lovely email!! Glad u enjoyed watching me and the sewing bee programme!!
Hope I have inspired u to maybe want to start sewing!!! That would be soo cool!
Also could I use ur message for my blog this week. U have really made my week and i'd like to share it with everyone.
From the sewing bee
Yes my mum says you can. I’m really excited about it.
I fancy sewing a dress and I’ve borrowed Nanny’s sewing machine to make it. Nanny’s sewing machine looks like the old ones that were on the Sewing Bee but it has a handle that you turn round. It doesn’t do the stitches like Mummy’s that you did on the Sewing Bee but it will be good for me to learn.
I’ll send you a picture of the dress when it’s done.
I hope the Easter Bunny comes to your house. I was crying when you went out because I wanted you to stay in.
Love Meg xxx
Jenni, thanks for replying to Meg, she LOVED the Sewing Bee, was totally inspired. All her own idea to “Google Jenni to find her number” to send you a message! Clare x
After recieving these wonderful messages of love and inspiration, I have been totally overwhelmed and rejuvenated to continue my cause in promoting the #sewingrevolution, not only to help get adults back into the swing of things but to also consider encouraging children to also start their sewing adventure too. So much so I have become involved in a project called S.T.A.R (Striving To Achieve Results). This is a youth project that hopes to deliver a range of creative workshops for a diverse range of young people to support both academic and personal development. The end result will be a competition event to showcase thier talents and work. There will be a panel of judges from the fashion, dance and music industry for the final event on the 3rd May! Guess who is running workshops and is going to be a judge? ME!!! I'm so excited and will be blogging about this soon. I've also teamed up with http://www.sewmesomething.co.uk/studio?task=view_category&category_id=11 and
http://www.thecraftpatch.co.uk/index.html to offer workshops specifically for children. Hopefully, through this project and my workshops, I will continue to inspire others to sew.
I'm sorry to say that there will be no blog next week as I'm taking a short but well deserved trip abroad for some sea, sand and sun! I've decided that I'm going to try and teach myself to crochet while on holiday,
so I'll update you on that when I get back! Wish me luck!
So for now I need you to keep the #sewingrevolution fires burning by continuing to keep me posted on your makes. Look forward to seeing them when I get back!
Heather gallops ahead.
As we all settled down to watch the final of The Great British Sewing Bee, a little melancholy came over me. Tuesday nights have become quite a ritual in our and so many other households. Chinelo, Heather and Tamara looked so nervous on this episode. More than I had ever seen them before I thought. I think the reality of the final began to ring loud and clear in their heads. Everything they/we had worked so hard for over the last seven weeks comes down to this episode. No pressure then! :)
Couture was the theme, so hand sewing and perfection was key. I was quite surprised by Heather's tie, I thought that she would of smashed this task because of the level of skill required. She may not be so out there as the other two but she had shown in the previous tasks that, like the box pleat skirt, I'm sure Heather was awarded for her lapped zip. Tamara however, you could see that she was fighting for this and snapped up first! I really wanted to be there to give Chinelo a huge hug! I didn't like seeing her upset like that, but she came back in true Chinelo style ready for the alteration challenge. This looked a lot of fun but a hell of a lot of work in such a small space of time. Chinelo really did herself proud on this challenge I thought. The dress was just beautiful.
Now for the final third task, I thought this was just ridiculous! Couture in seven hours, a little unfair I thought. The results however were stunning. For me, Chinelo's dress was the best but this is based on style. I thought her bodice design was so beautiful. I was proud of Tamara sticking to her guns on the final task. She was going for something out there. This is something that she has done from day one and I'm glad that she didn't change her game plan, she stayed true to herself which I think is important and is something that I personally love her for! Heather, WOW!
I think Heather had been saving all her creative juices for this task! Sunray pleats in the bodice. Lashings of fabric to boot, along with a top hat, chains and a whip! I say!!! Go for it Heather!
It was very strange coming back to the sewing room for the final take. Even though I had not made it to the final I still felt very connected to the other contestants and the show. This felt like good bye. It must have been very hard for the Judges to pick the winner of the show. What do they go on? Progression throughout the show, this weeks tasks or the final task? Chinelo had achieved top two over seven times and garment of the week once. Tamara with garment of the week twice and top two over four times. Heather with top two over five times however had not been awarded garment of the week; was this her garment of the week and what won the prise. I still can't figure out the Judge's angle for scoring. That being said it makes for one amazing programme! A huge congratulation to Heather, your dress was stunning, so much work for such a small amount of time; and it made the Book! BOOM! I want to wish all the contestants, all the best for the future! I'm glad to say that the last episode wasn't goodbye and that we all keep in touch. I love hearing about their adventures after the bee!
Some of you have asked about the dress that I wore for the final. Yes, it is a Tailor Taylor dress (I made it). Thank you all for you kind comments!
I used a vintage pattern by Style patterns ltd- 4278 from 1973. It was given to me along with a box full of old pattern treasures by a lovely lady who no longer had a use for them. Thank you Ma McToot! The fabric is from my local market stall in Walsall and is just a simple light cotton. Nothing fancy but I think it looks cool!
I've had quite a few lovely donations of late from complete strangers and friends. Hordes of fabric, sewing machines and haberdashery as well as just offering help! So I wanted to thank Clare Lundy, Sue and Nigel Tame, David Nutt and Jo Smith for putting me in touch with potential workshop spaces. The world really does have some big hearts in it! Thank you so much for contributing to my #sewingrevolution!
Speaking of workshops, it has been a very crazy week. I've secured another three workshop venues and completed one at the lovely Guthrie and Ghani Haberdashery in Moseley last Saturday. It is just a wonderful space. We still have limited spaces left for the upcycle IPad cover on the 18th of May. (my birthday week so there might be cake as well)
We had a cracking day! it was a little scary for me as this time we decided that we would run an upcycle sewing clinic. This way I didn't know until the day what we would be making! Quite a challenge for me but an exciting one and you know I love a good challenge!
Lynda wanted to make a bag out of a charity shop shirt and leather belt.
Penny had only made bunting before but wanted to go for a make-up wrap bag using fat quarters that she had left over from her stash.
Rachel wanted to completely alter a sari into a halter neck top.
Julie had two men's shirts that she wanted to make into a comfortable dress.
Lorna armed with a pair of black jeans and a skirt, wanted to make a cover for her laptop.
Not wanting to feel left out, I had decided to wear my own upcycled man's shirt that I had resized and added a ruffle to. Very 'Prince and the Revolution' and appropriate I thought ! (#sewingrevolution)
The ladies were a great group. All varied ideas, skill levels but all had cracking sense of humour. Had to remind them all as well as myself that we had to get on with the sewing if we wanted finished items.
Once I had given everyone a plan, they were off! It was wonderful to see all the items coming together throughout the day. It was also nice to observe the ladies taking an interest in the other projects and encouraging each other. They had mentioned that they really liked being able to see how other things were being made, even though they were making something else. That way, they were able to take the ideas away and try it at home later.
I must admit I was really pleased with myself while I was cleaning up the workspace. I had achieved everything that I had set out to. The ladies had enjoyed themselves. All had finished items and enthusiasm to create more. Learned how to design and create their own items from recycled material and think outside the box! Job done, it was a rewarding pint for me and a curry!
I have updated my events page with all the new venue's I will be running workshops over the next few months.
Please feel free to get in touch if you know of any other venue's that might be interested in joining the #sewingrevolution and having me come to visit! I would love to come and see you all!
Keep your pictures coming through on twitter and facebook. I'd love to see your projects, remember to use the hashtag!
Lovely Lynda is made the April Fool.
Unfortuntley, I was a little behind with the Great British Sewing Bee this week, as I had a rehearsal booked with Snooty Bobs. However, I already knew what was coming. I'd sent a personal message to Lynda that day to reminder her that I thought she was amazing and that I loved her to bits. I honestly had Lynda and potentially one other to contestant to to win ( I won't reveal the other one yet) when I was asked on my exit interview in Episode Five.
When I finally got round to watching it, I was a little dissapointed with the judges comments regarding Lynda. 'A little inconsistant', she has had garment of the week three times! Closely followed by Tamara who only got her second garment of the week at the end of this episode. That said, I was sad to see Lynda go but very please for Chinelo, Heather and Tamara! Well done ladies and good luck for the final next week! This is very stange for me to say as we all know this is prerecorded programme but it really does feel like its only just happening. Reliving it if you like.
Im very excited about the Final, but also gutted as again I'm not going to be able to watch it live. My good friends have treated me to an evening at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham. We are going to be watching Hitchcock's - Psycho. This is no ordinary screening as it will be accompanied by a live orchestra! Awesome and a little eerie as we might be at the famous shower scene as they are announcing the winner of the GBSB, this isn't a spolier by the way, but I do hear that its a tense one!
As for this weeks challenges, WOW what a tough one! I've bodged a few patterns in my time but never to this extreme. Here are some Hotpants that I had copied back in and around April 2013 (according to the picture upload date on facebook #virtualdiary) with slight adjustments as I wanted to make them high waisted. The Hotpant are made out of left over corduroy from a previous project and the buttons are off an old coat.
My proposal for the Made to Measure challenge in the bee (if I had made it that far) would have been my dad's Levis denim shirt. I adore that shirt but as he and now I, pretty much live in it, its falling to bits. Holes in the elbow's, you name it, its falling apart :(
I was hoping to get some time to have a go at the First challenge for the blog today, but I haven't had the time this week. Sorry Ladies and Gents.
The #sewingrevolution will be social-live!
The #sewingrevolution came into full force this week. My first willing victim was Charlotte Hall. A dear friend who had made my wonderful cupcakes for the GBSB premier party as a suprise (check out episode one blog pic's) .
As the 'boys' were at a whiskey festival we decided we would have a 'crafty' day and transfer skills. Its as kind of a sewing bee cook off day if you will.
The task to make and decorate cupcakes and make a 'Beatrice' Dress by www.sewmesomething.co.uk . A fantastic beginners pattern that I came across at the Sewing For Pleasure event at the NEC a few weeks before.
A wonderful pattern that is a great start for beginners and a fantastic pattern for any sewing hands that love something comfortable and has wicked pockets!
I had already made this particular dress the night before and was wearing it at the time but I had slightly adapted the pattern to make it reversible. Therefore, I got two dresses in one garment! A great holiday item as you would only need to pack this and it would cover two days (with a bit of airing) !!
Anyway I digress, First thing first we needed was materials of both kinds! Fabric was the first of the ingredients on the list. Charlotte just couldnt get over how many different types and styles there were being a non sewer. Guiding her through she found what she was looking for. Charlotte had decided to go with this wonderful Blue pin striped cotton with a contrasting Bicycle pattern that repeated in different colours. Very Paul Smith! She wanted to go with my adapted 'Beatrice' pattern as well, this was going to be ace!
After getting all the cake ingredients next we headed back to the appartment and got started on the cupcakes first. We figured we can cut out the fabric while they were cooking. A great tip for Cupcakes is to use stork not butter as this makes a lighter cupcake. Another tip, after creaming your butter and sugar don’t add the flour next, mix in the eggs first, then fold in the flour!
Mary Berry ain't go nothing on our Charlotte, but she would kill me for saying that!
Cake mix done and in the oven, we started on setting out our pattern on the fabric.
I explained how to lay out the pattern and to be aware of the bias of the fabric, and the difference's it makes if you do cut on the bias. All pinned in place she got stuck into cutting out.
Charlotte has just finished cutting out and the cake were ready! But first they needed to cool down before we could decorate them. So Charlotte got straight on with it and tackled the pockets! I was very impressed, a natural! With the side seams now attached we have one side of the dress completed. We decided that we would leave that for a bit and make a start on decorating the cakes . As it was a lovely sunny day and feeling like spring finally, we went for grass, flowers and Ladybirds and of course Bee’s! Charlotte was an excellent teacher! I think we should hook up and do a master class!!! The sew off/cook off we joked! What do you think?
While the icing and fondant set, we set to work on the second part of the dress. This was basically what we had just done, but again to make it reversible.
Feeling like we had achieved something already by completing the cup cakes we had a little glass of Prosecco to celebrate first! Then got straight back on it. We were both determined to get this finished today! Repeating what we had done earlier to make it a reversible dress. We then stitched the two pieces together, right sides together and leaving a small gap to pull back through. Bagging it if you like. For those of you that don't sew, think about a inside out pillow case, where you can see all the stitches but when you fold it the right way its a lovely clean seam. That's bagging.
We then needed to sew the shoulders together and top stitch all the way around. Charlotte a little overwhelmed by all the sewing that a garment requires had another glass of Prosecco but felt very proud of herself, with me even more so. I was so glad that she had done this herself and it was all ready to wear! My #sewingrevolution mission was now complete!
Check out next weeks Blog, talking about the Final Great British Sewing Bee :(
and my Upcycle Sewing clinic at www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk.
Singer Sewing Machines and Vintage Vibes - My dream episode.
After saying my goodbye's to The Great British Sewing and my new found and very talented friends, the dream had finally come to an end. With reality setting in I took the morning train back to Birmingham. Feeling a little sorry for myself I must admit, I began to think of the future. 'What can I do now?' a buzz began to rumble in my stomach. Things had gone beyond sewing in my kitchen for me. The thrill of the challenge was something that I did not want to give up!
First thing first, I knew I wanted to mark my achievement and experience forever. ‘I’m getting a Tattoo!’ As soon as I got off the train, I headed to my local Tattoo Parlour, Eerie Ink in Walsall for some new ink!
A needle and thread was the design I wanted to be added to my existing tattoo which is placed on my left wrist. My song bird and cage was a tattoo that I designed myself and had done about three years before. It holds a lot of meaning for me as it marks a particular time in my life. Therefore to add my recent adventure seemed fitting. My Mom and Mother-in-law joke that it's going to turn into a totem pole. However they, along with all my family and friends know how much this experience meant to me, and they couldn’t be more proud.
My documenting of the Great British Sewing Bee didn’t stop there. Throughout my time in the Bee, I had made a point of saving small scraps of the fabric that I had used for each task. At first this was just to add to a scrap book that I was thinking of making at the end, along with any paper clippings to make a little keep sake. However, when I final got all my pieces of cloth together, with all the different textures, colours and memories, it seemed a shame to keep them enclosed in a scrap book. So I decided to make something visual and having been exposed to Ineke Beryln’s ‘collections’ of which my wedding dress is a part of and her ‘journal quilts’. I wanted to draw on her influence and make my own. I proceeded to sew my narrative fabric together in order of episode and task. Creating a landscape that represented my expedition through the Great British Sewing Bee as well as an archive of the fabric that I may have never considered or desired to work with if it wasn’t for this opportunity. This was almost like a course certificate of which I am immensely proud of.
It now has pride of place in our home along with pictures of family and artwork that kirk and I have made over the years. It’s going to be quite something when I’m old and grey and I get to talk to my grandchildren about when I was on the television, sewing in front of three million people on BBC Two!
Watching Episode six on Tuesday I was truly gutted. Vintage Week - I would have loved it!!! Beautiful Singer sewing machines – aka sewing porn. They were GORGEOUS! Vintage patterns, Man's suit alteration and vintage coats. So close and yet so far to my dream episode and the quarter finals. GUTTED!!
Kirk recently purchased a hand operated Singer sewing machine as a Christmas gift, which I'm really looking forward to spending some time on.
I must admit that would have been a shock if I had walked into a room full of old machines. The Bee really are pulling out all the stops this season! On the pattern challenge I think I would have been ok as I have used vintage patterns before. My night gown in episode one, if the pattern had turned up was the Morse code pattern as Tamara referred to them. However, I say I would have been ok but it's quite a different matter when your under time constraints. I thought they all did fantastic. The suit challenge looked immense! I'm not sure where I would have gone with that one. Chinelo's alteration was just stunning! Lynda's however stole my heart! DUNGA'S! Well pinafore but either way I’m a sucker for 'em!
Knowing what was in store for the last challenge of episode six, I wanted to relive my Sewing Bee days and carry out this challenge at home, I know I’m a sucker for punishment. I was going to make a 1970's military style jacket if I got through to the sixth round. Being heavily influence by music, our record collection and our general vibe as a married couple it had to be the 60/70's period. As soon as I got the brief I had images of The Beatles, Sergeant Pepper's album cover and Jimmy Hendrix running through my head. All the mental preparation for a task that I wouldn't get the chance to make on the Bee, I didn't want to waste. As it was something that without a doubt I would wear, I set out to make it, in the time limit given.
I used a very dark green wool with golden mustard lining. Silver buttons with black braiding to embellish. I had never made a coat before but I had made Kirk a suit jacket out of what can only be described as a Mary Poppin's style Multi-coloured striped cotton.
Pretty Far out but a lot of Fun!
I used a fusible interfacing as the research I had done confirmed that this product was available at the time. Collars and hem's are all hand stitched which took most of the time but focused on my task I finished my coat in time. However I didn't get to add the braiding I wanted on the front, so not quite as finished as I would have liked. The beauty of no longer being in the Bee competition is that I now have all the time in the world to complete this part. Problem is I still haven't done it. LOL. I wear this coat quite often it’s lovely and warm and fits like a dream!
I just love the fact that nobody has this coat, especially a coat that has a moustache in it anyway!
I really missed the buzz of the Bee when making this jacket at home. I even missed the interuptions of the Judges and Claudia as your about to enter a tricky part of the make. Kirk had noticed how quick I had become at making and finishing a garment. He has always been part of my sewing education and was genuinely amazing at the level of improvement in my skills from being on the show! It really has been a crash course in sewing for me. Something that I never will forget!
Death By Velvet, so 'Good Bye Snazzy Girl'.
Its taken a few attempts to start this blog this evening, knowing what's coming. It was very hard watching The Great British Sewing Bee on Tuesday with my mom, dad and husband, as I just didnt want the experience to end. Obviously, the programme is pre recorded and I knew what was coming but it did not make it any easier. But before we get into the details I just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has commented, tweeted, liked, watched, emailed, called and any other method possible to contact me over the last five weeks. Your support and love has been so wonderful and completely overwhelming. So overwhelming in fact that you have killed my phone with the amount of traffic running through it! A fantastic response that I could never have imagined.
This week was Tricky fabric and to kick it all off with challenge one we have a Nylon Raincoat.
Not a fabric I have used before and by the sounds coming from the room I was not alone. A three hour challenge with a difficult fabric but the Bee didn't stop there! oh no not this week. We have new sewing machines with a walking foot. I was a 'virgin' to the walking foot but it seemed simple enough. However as any sewer will tell you. You do get quite attached to your sewing machine, and this was a complete curve ball. With my head down and fueled by Top three last week in challenges one and two. I'm aiming for first! I found the fabric quite nice to work with. It wasn't as tricky as I thought however I then came across the waterproof tape! WHAT WAS THAT! Patrick not giving anything away with the temperature, I decided to have a little practice run. Only having three hours to do the challenge this was risky however I just had a gut feeling that the judges would have a right good pick over this part of the challenge so I'm glad I spent the time doing it. With my time mangement going really well, I had attached my ribbed cuffs and waist band without an issue. Giving me plenty of time to focus on my top stitching! I've had enough pratice on this over the last four weeks so I wanted and knew I could do this perfect! AAAHHHHH where is my FOOT! I had completely lost it in changing from the standard foot to the zipper it had vanished! Rushing to finish now, I had completed my jacket but didn't quite deliver the acuracy I wanted and knew I could deliever. Great feedback from Patrick and May as my tape was 'very well bonded' which was a 'credit to' me as I was combining two 'very difficult' and different textured Nylon fabric's. 'No puckers or pleats' on my cuffs and waistband, they awarded a marginal decision. Frustratingly I got second place. SO CLOSE.
Challenge two - Leather!
Loved it, never worked with it but half way there with my leather shorts this week, I sneaked towards the purple leather. It was so lovely to work with, tough but gorgeous. Straight away I was thinking 60's Mod. I wanted backless WOW in the back and something strikingly different in the front.
Sticking with the mantra 'BOLD' Claudia was on the same wavelength, knew that the judges would be looking at my ability to handle my needle work. Leather is a skin but its not something that is going to heal. once pearced there is no going back! I used this to my advantage by scooping out the back and leaving the raw edge. True to form Patrick picked this up in judging. I also used this attribute to create the necklace, well, neckleather if you will. Creating a design to give the front a little detail. I had also added a Rouleau loop out of leather to secure the collar with a button. I wanted to show that I could do quite intricate details with this material. Up against Lynda and Chinelo's fabulous creations I came a respectable third.
Not quite where I wanted to be but nothing to turn your nose up at!
The end of day one, the judges confessed that they were finding it difficult and that everything hinges on the next challenge, the Velvet Trousers.
Challenge three this week was a little different. We had fitting buddies. Mine was the lovely Heather and we had to model the trousers. It really was a made to measure!
I was excited about this challenge, as I frequently pinch Kirk's red velvet jacket. I would kill for a velvet suit! So when i got the brief through this was my oportunity. Never having the pleasure of working with velvet before I was in for a SHOCK! It was a beast. Claudia described it as 'Floopy' and it really was. But I'm a girl that likes a challenge, green velvet trousers are a must have, in my wardrobe anyway.
Nervously, i cracked on with it, trying to manage my time better as I had not finished my practice one's ( I still haven't finished them- can't bring myself to).
I was progressing well. Happy with my snazzy lined pockets and zip. I began to work on my waist band. With the lining and the velvet being so slippery in practice, I was focusing so hard I had put it on the wrong way round. With only thirty minutes left in the challenge, time was not on my side . My 'V' in the front was off centre because of it.
I could either continue to make the trousers, knowing I had made a huge mistake or push my luck, unpick, start again and hope I have a pair of trousers in time. What would you do?
Normally at home, you just unpick and start again, have a cup of tea or leave it for another day but in the sewing bee you dont have that choice.
I broke down. I had been doing so well, becoming more confident in my ablity, but now it was all down to time. Mine was running out.
My Darling Lynda, came to visit me. She shouldn't have done that. She should have focused on her own task and used her time wisely. That however is not Lynda. Im so glad that she did! I needed that big hug and advice. We decided that I needed a pair of green velvet trousers.
There really is nothing worse than putting all your effort into a waist band that is wrong. but I was determined to do it.
With five minutes left I had to hem my trousers. RUSHED WAS AN UNDERSTATEMENT.
Time being called I hid behind the screen, cried and then changed into my trousers. 'at least I'm not walking around in my pants', an attempt to put on a brave face, I was not looking forward to this catwalk at all!
May, noted that I had used the most difficult velvet in the room as well as the very obvious waist band issue, Patrick commented on the Fly.
With the waist band on the wrong way round the whole area was not sitting right. With rushed hems as well and pockets not even getting a look in. My time was up. Heather was convinced that she was in for the chop that day, she was wrong.
Walking back into that room, there was a stange feeling between us all. We needed to be close to each other. All holding hands, I remember standing tall in the line, trying to brace myself for what was coming. The blow came and I felt Lynda and Chinelo squeeze my hands so tight. Not letting go they all came flooding towards me with hugs. I was really going to miss my all sewing buddies.
May came straight towards me 'our most inexperienced sewer but you have done some brilliant sewing' she reasured me. You must keep sewing! Hearing Patrick say 'given the limited time Jenni has been sewing she really has impressed' I was in floods of tears AGAIN on Tuesday watching it back with the 2.8 million others in the country. With hugs from Patrick, May and Claudia it was now all over.
I'm so proud of myself for getting this far in the competition. Looking back now and how it all started with a wedding dress and a husband that had more faith in me than I did and entered me into The Great British Sewing Bee. The long audition process and getting into the final cut out of thousands who had applied and had not been successful. To have stayed in every week for 5 weeks of filming which was more than half way through the competition.
Having the oportunity to handle and work with so many different fabrics and be surrounded by so many talented sewers, both judges and contestants, was just mind blowing.
I really did mean everything I said at the end of the show on Tuesday! 'sewing for me gives you everything you can imagine. You can think of something in your head and you're able to recreate it - in a garment you can wear. Anybody can pick up a needle and thread and make something and thats just phenomenal!'
If I achieve anything after the Bee, I do hope I have helped to inspire people to sew! Whether that is to start sewing or to pick it back up again, so much so I'm currently running workshops and will be continuing to blog D.I.Y projects.
I want to start a #sewingrevolution so if you start a project please take a picture hashtag it #sewingrevolution and let me know by either twitter, facebook or Instagram.
Together we can do this!!!
Half way there and I'm in for a surprise!
This week on the Great British Sewing Bee the theme is kids clothes. Not something I make very often but I did make my first ever nephew, Reyer, a shirt for his christening. I wasn't able to attend the ceremony because it clashed with the filming dates. So I needed to be there in some way. I completely agree with Lynda, hand made items are full of love.
Challenge one - Children's Dungaree's in three hours.
Hoping for a cowboy themed challenge as I was already 'half way there' however I was so excited about the dungaree challenge. I had made my own dungarees before but they didn’t have snap buttons or clips on them and they were not for a small child. There was only one fabric I had in mind for this challenge, it has to be corduroy! Thank goodness they had stocked some and I think you can tell that I was rather giddy about that and the challenge.
Kirk and I often talk about having kids and what they would be like with a crazy mom who makes things and sings and a dad who looks like 70's Cat Stevens, plays guitar and has a very original sense of style and how this would influence them. Dungarees had cropped up a few times in these conversations. Missing Kirk terribly as I had not gone home between episodes I felt like he was strangely close that day.With Chinelo picking the same fabric, I needed mine to stick out! Using a risky and very obvious red thread, I wanted to WOW the judges with my flat fell seams and perfect top stitching. Going off pattern a little, I made sure that ALL seams had a double stitch on them. This was something the other constantans didn’t do, Finally I thought, I could steal this – im going for first!
However, the unlucky popper disaster let me down. They are quite fiddly when you're sweating and shaking under the lights ! With a ‘pretty good Job’ from Patrick and wonderfully ‘matched back’ seams from May, I was awarded second place. I was gutted but with a brave face and accepting that my popper did fall off, I was very happy. David took the lead with a ‘solid’ sew and well-fixed popper. Can’t believe I was beaten by a popper!!! However, with everyone now hounding me for dungarees after seeing them on the show, I’m sure I’ll get the practise in.
Challenge two- Fancy dress alteration.
LET ME AT IT! As soon as I knew what the challenge was I started to scan the haberdashery for stuffing! I knew exactly what I wanted to do! A Dinosaur! I had a feeling that most of the contestants would be going for girls dresses, type thing ( which were amazing by the way) but I wanted to go for something difference.
I couldn't wait! I didn’t even have time to tell Claudia my secret this time! It was a ‘never you mind’ comment as I ran through the haberdashery, sorry Claudia, I think she knew I was only joking when we got to have a chat about it as I stuffing my scales and Dino Tail.
I wanted to make sure that I used all the items provided to us. These items being a pillow case, a sweater and jogging bottoms. I thought I was doing the right thing by not adding lots of other materials. The only extra material I used was the green cotton for the scales, claws and tail end.
With a ‘Brilliant‘ from Patrick, I was hoping for a similar result as first challenge, but with Lynda’s Queen of hearts and Cerina’s Pirate, I came third. TOP THREE on both Challenges. This was an awesome result for me after 3 weeks of mid/lower-table results and near evictions, my sewing skills were beginning to shine through and beat or at least join what seemed to be the group leaders who had won several challenges or at least got top three over the past three weeks. This was the boost of confidence I needed!
Day two and Challenge three - prom dress!
'It was more of a challenge for me than you', Kirk confessed as we watch episode four. He explained that he couldn’t find anyone to fit the secret guest profile set by the bee. All my friends and cousins are 25 years old plus and did not ‘fit’ the top secret prom-dress profile. Then he remembered my second cousin Beky! I’m so glad he did! She was the perfect model for my Silver Vintage number. With six metres of Taffeta and pretty much the same again in lining this was a HUGE task. In my practice run I thought I was making a tent rather than a gathered skirt.
My vintage pattern did not have any of the mod cons like invisible zips or boning like the other contestants. But it did consist of a seven piece fitted and lined bodice, eight Rouleau loops and hand sewn diamante buttons continuing into placket back with snap fasteners, Complete with a five meter hand gathered 'bagged' skirt rather than the instructed lined option. I thought it would provide a nicer finish and more ‘oomph’ to the skirt that way. This was a tall order and with the presence of my cousin next to me, the pressure was really on. A model that I don’t really know is one thing but a family member you really care about is quite another! I dreaded the thought that I may not finish this in time and would let her down. After a few nail biting moments, I had finished my dress. What a relief!
Beky looked awesome as she shyly cat walked in front of Claudia, May and Patrick. This must have been so daunting for her. To have a critique directed at me and my cousin was really difficult this week. Patrick was discussing style again which I found confusing as it should be about the sew, not personal taste. This was me, my style, my taste so I did find the critique difficult to take. Speaking with Tamera on the day, I know she was feeling the same way. The comments regarding the top bodice was something that I had also discussed with a lady from Sew Today at a craft fair recently. The pattern I had used was on display at a stall and the first thing she commented on was the fullness of the top bodice and that this was the style of the garment. Taffeta was also the suggested material to use for this type of pattern. Taffeta is quite a crisp fabric which added to the fullness especially on the skirt, to great affect I thought.
Based on the feed back given, I was nervous. Even though I had done so well on tasks one and two as well as May commenting on the great fit on the lower bodice; I didn't feel safe at all. I don't think any of us did to be completely honest. When standing in the line and hearing Cerina's name being called out I WAS STUNNED! Third on three occasions, second once and first twice - out of 12 challenges. I couldn't believe it! Cerina had completely nailed alteration challenge. Stunned and confused my emotions got the better of me. Cerina had been such a rock in the sewing room. Always cheerful and just a lovely person.
Please keep an eye out for Cerina, she has got some fantastic idea's coming up! http://www.cerinanichamin.co.uk/Artist.html
This week was a real roller coaster for me. I had not gone home in between episode's three and four, and was feeling really home sick after seeing my cousin. I really did need that hug from Kirk and Renton and a good talking to. It was clear from Cerina's eviction that the competition was on and the smallest mistakes really could not be made.
That being said I had achieved top three for challenges one and two this week. I had proved that I have the sewing 'guts' to do this. Having completed as many episodes as last years finalists, I've got nothing to lose now - BRING ON EPISODE FIVE !!!
I'd love to see your fancy dress creations and stories, so please feel free to comment and post pictures here!
AAHHHH- Saggy Bottoms, Cheeky Pockets and Wizard's Sleeves.
I may not have won any challenges yet but i'm definitely winning facial expressions of the week- states BurdaStyleUK on twitter. Who can disagree with that! Hopefully you are getting to know a little about me whether it is through impromptu noises of excitement from the haberdashery or weird facial expressions of fear; rest assured I'm going into episode three with everything I've got. Its been a rough ride over the past two weeks for me. I felt like I wasn't quite cutting it compared to the rest of the 'class'. My inexperience was showing but hopefully my willingness to learn and sheer passion for this would see me through.
Sew for yourself was my mantra for this episode! I stuck to it!
First up we have Challenge One- Leggings. Sporting a trouser very similar to Julie's S&M wet look leggings last week, I knew I couldn't 'wear' the same thing twice. Therefore it had to be a mustard slack! You may recall my Mustard Jeans that I wore for the first episode, so you know I have a penchant for this colour. With my fabric chosen, it was time to get stuck in. The pattern seemed simple enough however having only worked with stretch jersey once (which was the practice for challenge three not the tassel leotard that I bought over the internet) not only was it an unfamiliar fabric but we also had to use an over-locker which I decided to rethread with a matching mustard thread - EEEKKKKK! I had just discovered this magical machine and I loved it. I NEED ONE IN MY LIFE. I got my head down and just wanted to get a pair of leggings on the model. Twin needle was nice and simple for me, but it was something that I had not needed to use before. Once again this was another thing I was learning as I was going along but I had done it correctly, and to a good standard. Phew. I had finished my leggings so instead of perfecting the fit. (God only knows why I didn't) I pushed for a 'cheeky' pocket. My focus had been drawn away from the task in hand by the allure of a pocket! 'What are you doing!' oh well! Smacking my pocket with pride, I stood by my decision! To the judging I go with my saggy bottomed Mustard Slacks and receiving a well deserved 8th Place! Although at least my trousers had seat room compared to some of the hipster leggings in the room. Teacher knows best!
Challenge Two - T-shirt Alteration.
I'm all over this. Being the singer in the band Snooty Bobs, I've been known to cut up a few t-shirts and customise them for gig's in an attempt to promote our merchandise. So sticking to my mantra I went for it. I wasn't quite sure if Patrick and May would go for it but I wanted to show that you can do more than just add to this fabric. As it doesn't fray it is great for doing things like slashes. I wanted to show that I knew what I could do with the fabric along with adding a Claudia inspired zip detail. Again I wanted to combine two very different fabrics and show that I could handle them with care. Thankfully May did note that I had not stretched my t-shirt out of shape by applying a rigid zip to the neck line and arm. Unfortunately, I only made 4th on this challenge. I was disappointed with the result. What did I have to do to get in the top three slot?
Not feeling safe, we returned the next day to complete Challenge Three- The Wrap Dress in five hours. This was extreme sewing! Even Heather struggled with this one although Chinelo excelled, with her gorgeous dress. Using the same pattern as Lynda except that I was going with the Kimono or wizard sleeve as Patrick put it rather than Lynda's fitted sleeve. Once again sticking with my mantra and my style, which granted is not to everyone's taste. Well not Patrick's, I had finished my dress. Following the pattern as instructed I did not add any bias binding to the neck line however, while the others received their critique, I was doing the same to my garment, in an attempt to prepare myself for my turn with the judges. Watching back on Tuesday it confirmed how close to the edge I was and in the firing line! I worked so hard and put everything into it. I don't think I could do any more. To find out that I was staying was wonderful. I shed a tear again as all the memories came flooding back. Julie was leaving and I was staying. My journey would continue, and I just couldn't believe it! A pinch was definitely required!
I was going to miss Trouble, as I called her! Julie was a fire cracker, always laughing and up to something. She was great! All the best for the future and I'm really looking forward to your blog next week Julie.
What is my plan for next week? Stick with your mantra, Be yourself even if that means sticking out of the crowd with your wizard sleeves!
I want to see clothes that are loud and you are proud of wearing! Post your pics or descriptions here and they don't need to be made by yourself!
Whatever I'm doing