Bronchiectasis – the finished shift dress

I have finally completed my free machine embroidered shift dress and safely delivered it to Penny Wheeler. Monday it was packed ready to send to the National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford, where shiftWorks will run from 12th November to 8th Jan, 2017.

Throughout the project, the dress threw up quite a few difficulties in the design and the construction. However, the text for the care label was actually quite easy to choose and draw because the instructions for looking after the condition are pretty standard, although trying to manage them every day can be tricky.



The final stage of sewing the panels of the dress together involved hand stitching. I decided to use red thread because I wanted to strengthen the link with the body; it was also a good contrast. Stitching through some rather inflexible, but fragile fabric was quite a challenge and not helped by my lack of tolerance for hand sewing. With persistence the dress was finished …

Bronchiectasis shift dress, free machine embroidery

Make a shift dress in a day at the National Centre for Craft and Design

This week I have been preparing a workshop that I will run at the NCCD in Sleaford. Whilst being very used to running classes at Art in Action over the last nine years, this is my first full day workshop where I can share my passion for working with a sewing machine. During the class students will be guided through the steps of a commercial pattern and helped to make a shift dress in a day.

I love dress making. Once, I would make all my own clothes including wedding and bridesmaid dresses for friends. However, as for many of us, time is short and passions like dress making get put on hold. To my delight preparation for this work shop has meant having to take off the free machine embroidery foot and raise the dog teeth (a part of the machine needed to help feed fabric) so that I can make technical samples and a few dresses as examples.


This class will run to coincide with the NCCD’s celebration of textiles and whilst ‘shiftWorks‘ is being shown in their gallery.