‘Make a shift dress in a day’; a summary of the workshop.

Last year when shiftWorks showed at the NCCD in Sleaford, a member of Seam collective was invited to run a workshop on making a shift dress in a day. On Saturday 15th July this year, I ran the workshop on the top floor in a large, sunny room with 6 participants.

 

couple on tube
National Centre Craft and Design, Sleaford

 

The ladies had all come with various requirements for the day; a gentle reminder of some sewing basics like following a pattern, personal development in dressmaking skills, and learning how to adjust and fit patterns in a relaxed, but supportive environment.

The day got off to very quick start with the plan that the paper patterns would be cut out, appropriate adjustments made and fabrics prepared ready to start sewing after lunch. For 4 ladies, the adjustments were quite simple, but for two participants, we had to do more detailed pattern adjusting and whilst we managed that in the morning, we didn’t have enough time to make a proper toil before moving onto the dress. The decision was made to concentrate on the fitting and pattern adjustment, make a toil from the fabric brought to the class, and then construct the new, altered shift dress after the workshop.

couple on tube-3

At 12.30, we stopped for lunch and enjoyed our pre ordered food in the open planned cafe on the ground floor of the NCCD surrounded by inspiring contemporary craft displayed in the shop.

During the afternoon we started to construct the dresses working at a fast pace but within people’s capacity, referring to prepared samples and demonstrations as required.

couple on tube-7

couple on tube-4

couple on tube-5

The afternoon passed by very quickly and at 4pm, the time we were due to end, the sewing machines were still stitching but the dresses were taking shape and the last moments of the day were being fully utilised with zips going in and final fittings being discussed.

couple on tube-8

The day had had some challenges, but it had been fun from start to end. I feel very privileged to have had this opportunity to meet a lovely group of ladies and teach at the National Centre for Craft and Design.

 

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.

work-shop-shift

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