One of my favorite type of workshops is a choose your own focus workshop! The type where you choose the project and what things you want to focus on learning. In Sarah Veblen’s workshops this does not mean you are just “sewing”. Time is spent learning from the other participants and working on taking another step on the journey of exploration of design and construction.
This particular workshop was 3 days long and i knew exactly what I wanted to work on! In the fall and winter I worked on perfecting the fit of a new French jacket pattern. Sadly I have given away all but one of my collection of French jackets and I was finally feeling like I had enough of a wardrobe built up that I could take the time needed to complete a new jacket. This time I really wanted to incorporate this beautiful butterfly guipure lace. I had everything I needed!! This spring workshop with Sarah was just what I needed to get my butt in gear to make the jacket. I knew what parts I could easily do by myself and then there were parts that I would have either had to do some research in books and the web OR I could bring them to Sarah.
I had some questions on the sleeve cuff. Actually lots and lots of questions! Of course many of the questions I had were around the best and correct way to execute the sleeve cuff. As expected there is no right or wrong way and it all depends on the design you want and how you want to execute… designers choice! It was really good to have a nice conversation with a sewing professional and several other experienced makers to play off ideas and pros and cons and just to share information. I find it always to be very inspiring and much less boring than just picking a pattern and following those directions! (Although there are times when just following a pattern is so nice and easy!)
Discussions were had around how to construct the sleeve cuff, how to sew on the butterfly lace and then to design where to put the butterflies. We also assessed different traditional French jacket trims and buttons as well. Turns out after spending a lot of time pinning and repinning that the trims, all the trims I brought, were just too heavy and then everything looked too forced and stuck on. So much better without the trim!
I also worked on two muslins, one a straight skirt. Just a front and a back, Sarah draped in the front and back darts and perfected the fit. I later used this pattern to make a straight denim style skirt and was very happy with the fit!
The other muslin was for Vogue 9187 an armsyce princess seam shell. That muslin is still hanging in my sewing area waiting for all the changes to translated onto the pattern and a new muslin made.
I think once the shell is perfected then I really only have 2 more master patterns to work on. A button down or button up shirt and shirt dress. I cant believe it has taken me almost 2 years to remake my entire wardrobe of patterns after all that weight loss. Every time my pancreas acts up I just keep my fingers crossed I don’t have another mega weight loss!
The 3 days were filled with so much good sewing and design time. Sarah gave us all several challenges over the time. One was drawing necklines on our coquis and exploring designs that we would normally not use along with the exercise of fast sketching. Sketch as many necklines as you can in 10 mins.
Another exercise was to take inspiration from a nature photograph and put together a color palette that would be corresponding to the photo. I opted to use a photo taken at the Garfield Park Conservatory and use swatches from my big swatch collection for my palette.
We spent time every morning and afternoon gathered together talking, discussing our projects and any other design questions that come up. This discussion time is so key to learning from each other and often leads to lots of exciting discoveries and ideas.
I really enjoy spending creative time with friends new and old! It really is inspiring to see the amazing garments that these ladies create.
Little Arya joined us one day and she enjoyed having her own muslins to work on!