Hello everybody! Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I’m now on the hunt for amazing fabric suppliers in the UK and will write a little round up soon about my plans. I’ve just got back from a last minute holiday where I did a lot of plotting for how to share snippets of my diy wedding dress.
I thought it would be nice to share my thoughts on the recent Sewing Weekender hosted by Rachel and Kate of The Foldline and Charlotte of blog English Girl At Home and what I made. There were a limited number of spots so I count myself lucky to have nabbed one. I didn’t think my boss would mind too much if I bunked off for five mins to buy myself one as a birthday treat. To be fair he probably never realised.
When 57 attendees arrived in sunny oCambridge we were met by an amazing sight; goodie bags being handed out as you stepped in with treats from Village Haberdashery, Love Sewing, Remnant Kings and Abakhan, Janome machines set up on large tables with ribbon tied boxes of haberdashery from Adam Ross, swap items stacked high and enough tea and coffee to keep us charged all day.
I sat on a table of four with my friend Ruth who travelled down from Yorkshire to meet new sewing friends (I definitely recommend following her on twitter) and Sarah who I’ve enjoyed following online, who headed over from Suffolk with her mum! I feel like such an idiot but I can’t remember Sarah’s mum’s name. I hate it when that happens but it’s best to just hold your hands up and be honest about these things.
It was like the shirt table as there were two shirts and a shirtdress being sewn, but I bucked the trend by sitting and hand sewing while gossiping. I’d decided to finish my new circle skirt Cambie with matching bias tape which I pieced from 20 scrap bits of my fabric. Thankfully I got everything finished and Ruth kindly snapped some pics for me which I’ll share at the end of the post but here’s a cheeky pic of me and Louise in our Cambies together! (Don’t you love her use of border print cotton from Gertie’s fabric line?).
The Saturday was dedicated to sewing and everyone busied themselves with different projects whilst “Prefects” wandered around offering advice, fitting help and biscuit-based support, there was a fabric and pattern swap, lovely lunchtime walk into Cambridge and for the overnight crew a dinner in town. I stayed with my in-laws to be so we could celebrate the engagement with the whole Scarr family which meant sadly missed out on that last part. It’s so funny but after 6 and a half years dating a Cambridge man I have still never been punting and only a handful of times to the town centre!!
Sunday was structured around lectures that were funny, insightful, thought-provoking and educational. The clever and charming women who spoke were Rachel, Grace, Marilla, Elena, Tilly and Gabby, talking about wardrobe planning, pattern design, small design businesses and vlogging to touch on a few topics. There was no need for sewing as the lectures were thoroughly engaging. One thing that resonated with me was cataloguing my stash for better planning and so I’ve begun adding scraps on a keyring of index cards. I also thought a lot about my wedding dress plans and what I’d like to achieve and learn from the project because it really needs to be a learning experience for me as corny as that may sound.
So I won’t cover what others have said but I would like to heartedly recommend that you get a ticket for the next Sewing Weekender (we’ve totally badgered the girls into considering a repeat) and am honestly in awe of Charlotte, Kate and Rachel’s organisational skills.
Answer? I’m pretty damn happy with it. But I’m also very into circle skirts at the moment. It’s a little bulky around the pockets so maybe should have been omitted but hey, I like pockets. Again I omitted the waistband and used a straight neckline. A 22″ concealed purple zipper for a bit of fun too.
The dress is fully lined in anti-static peach lining which means it’s tights-friendly and the skirt lining adds extra volume. The hem as I mentioned is bias faced and invisibly hand stitched. I only wish I had horsehair braid in my stash to finish the hem with!
I cannot believe I found some Liberty Carline poplin in purple (variations seen here and here by me) at Birmingham Rag Market… I blumming love that place. Spotted during an awesome mini shop with Marie, Kat, Roisin and Helen (guest appearance from Sabs) a few months back. It was £8 per metre because it had a big flaw parallel to a good portion the selvedge about 10cm in but because it’s so wide I just bought some extra material and worked around it! Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Here’s some silly bonus pics of it in action on holiday! Until next time everyone, drop me comments with your best score on a fabric shopping trip!!
Sometimes it feels like I am last person out there to make a Cambie dress.
But I’m so happy to put an end to that!
I got the pattern and this luscious voile from The Village Haberdashery. It’s called City Lights Night (say that ten times fast!). In fact everything for the dress came from the shop, a new dress kit handed to me by the postman!
The selvedge of the fabric says “Feel The Difference”. And you do. It’s soooo buttery soft and pretty close to being opaque. Perfect for a floaty girly dress.
Annie has stocked lots of the new gorgeous Art Gallery Fabrics line. I’m super in love with the Gramercy prints; the colours of City Lights Night are so pretty and Central Park in Fog is so moody and romantic.
The Cambie is such a nifty little sewing pattern, I love a fully lined dress. I used habutate lining in black which matched the weight of the voile perfectly. I love it when a plan comes together. Perfect for swishing.
The fit is pretty good I think. The darts could do to be a touch wider at the waist but that gives me a little room for dinner heehee.
I’m also really happy that the sleeves don’t fall off my shoulders and the armholes fits nicely.
As you can see I went for the square neckline and I omitted the waistband, that combo pretty much stuck in my mind after seeing Roisin’s tape measure dress.
I’m not sure if I’ll try the sweetheart version but I’m super keen to try a button up version after seeing Rosie’s ace candy cane version.
That’s a (pretty darn) invisible zip and I used a super fine needle as I would have been gutted to have big snarly catches in the fabric.
I decided the triangle shapes on the print should point downwards. That doesn’t seem to be how it was designed to be looked at but who cares, I love it.
And wahey, pockets! I nearly omitted them and then I thought, don’t be so miserable and put them in.
I’m a big fan of The Village Haberdashery for four simple reasons:
- there is a most excellent array of indie sewing patterns which I’ve no hope of getting around where I live;
- the selection of fabrics is guaranteed to keep you occupied for hours because Annie just has cracking taste when it comes to prints;
- and importantly the customer service is top notch. Annie went out of her way to order me the electric purple chambray for my Belladone while I was stood in the store with her. And even though she could have gotten sick of me bugging her about it, she still emailed me to let me know as soon as my much lusted-after metallic bird fabric hit the shelves.
- Plus there are polka dot bags and a flat shipping rate, so enough said.
The finished dress makes me so happy. That’s how all dresses should make you feel right?
I’m going to wear this out to the ballet next week. My mum and I are off to see The Great Gatsby!
Thank you Village Haberdashery.