Saturday Sewing Session Blog

The Self Taught Stitcher

This month’s blog will uncover one girl’s love of stitching and the tale of where it all began!

At the Saturday Sewing Sessions we are big fans of unearthing how people discovered their passion for sewing so hopefully it encourages others to dust off the sewing machine and get creative especially at Autumn starts rolling in. Rosie helps with the blog and social media at the SSS, she started sewing 3 years ago and has now turned a hobby in to a career.

Rosie looking fabulous!

       Rosie looking fabulous!

Before we get stuck into Rosie’s stitching story we first of all we need to fill you in with the SSS monthly picks in the following categories: a restaurant, shop, exhibition, book and the ultimate pick of the month.

SSS SEPTEMBER TOP 5 

  1. Tendido Cuatro- The best Tapas outside of Spain, and it is a walkable distance from the Saturday Sewing Sessions, perfect after you have whipped up a stitching appetite.
  2. Yoga Girl- part memoir, part lifestyle, part yoga how to, what’s not to like?
  3. Buckingham Palace Summer Opening- Nosey around the grand halls that Kate and Wills often frequent!
  4. Byron & Bronte – Sports wear in snazzy vibrant prints, want to have the best leggings at pilates? Look no further!
  5. Our pick of the Month is the Heartbreak Hotel immersive theatre experience on the Greenwich Jetty, £10 a ticket and a free glass of prosecco- Sold!

SSS Top 5 eat, drink, see and do

  ***************************************************

 And now we hand over to the self taught stitcher…

As a child I had always been interested in arts and crafts, and making things from scratch. As a youngster I remember crafting some rather wonky pillows on my mums old singer machine, so when she brought a shiny new one a few years back I thought there was potential room for improvement! I’ve always been impatient so after a few practice projects I thought I would attempt to make a dress, so I got a dress out of my wardrobe (that I liked the shape and fit of) turned it inside out then traced the pieces of it on to baking paper. I used my Mums bed linen as fabric (much to her dismay!) and started sewing each piece together using my DIY baking paper patterns. This is a similar method to that in the Clone your Closet Class (however you have experts teaching you and real pattern paper plus all your questions can be answered!!) the next course is coming up on the 10th of October, get signed up if it sounds like your bag or you have a favourite dress that you cannot bear to throw away – copy it :) . On chatting to some of the SSS girls they all started in the same way. Arianna used to buy from Topshop – copy then return so that not every teenager in Cornwall had exactly the same dress!

Any tricky bits like zips and hems I learnt by watching YouTube tutorials and practicing over and over again.

 The photo’s below are my first ever makes, I call it the ‘Old Bed Sheet collection 2013′

 These photo's are my first ever makes, I call it the 'Old Bed Sheet collection 2013'.

Much to my Mother’s linen cupboard’s relief, I started spending the weekends buying different types of fabric. I brought an adjustable dressmaking dummy and started pinning fabric in to the shapes I wanted to make dresses.

I’ve got to note how important it is to buy good dressmaking tools. Here is a quick pic of my dressmaking toolkit! The Fiskard scissors below have been through thick and thin with me, I cannot recommend them enough and they do loads of great sewing bits and bobs to help! Shears, rotary cutter, tape measure, pins … the list can go on but theses are my top tools!

Seamstress toolkit

I love to experiment with different styles and try out making garments out of unusual fabrics and bold prints. Sewing had slowly turned from a hobby into something I wanted to build a career in. I started designing and making my own evening gowns at home and had a really good response on social media, which has spurred me on (Instagram @monacoandmargot). At this point I knew I was addicted to sewing. In the future I am now hoping to start my own label called Monaco & Margot, making bespoke evening gowns. In the mean time I need to learn a little more about the Fashion Industry and pattern making.

My first evening gown attempt.

                                My first evening gown attempt.

After I moved to London I wanted to learn more sewing techniques so I contacted Arianna at the Saturday Sewing Sessions to see how I could get involved with the courses and help out in return. I cannot recommend the Secrets of Sewing Lingerie course enough; it was brilliant to work intricately with tulle, elastic and lace. (Have a peek at our Facebook page for pics) The courses at the Saturday Sewing Sessions cater for all different skill levels and a variety of projects, it gave me such a confidence boost. Because I had taught myself to sew, there were so many aspects I didn’t know about or understand, so I knew before I could think about pursuing a career as a designer/dressmaker I needed to gain some experience first.

My Tulle Lingerie Set made at the SSS.

Lingerie Masterclass

As well as learning at the SSS I embarked on a 5 month dressmaking training course. I now know how to stitch pockets, waistbands, suit lapels a variety of collars the list is endless! During the tailoring course I secured a job as a Studio Assistant at a company called Fashion Capital. It finally feels like I’m on the right track, and I’m so grateful to do something creative and fun everyday.

I really want to encourage people who do enjoy sewing to not worry about getting it perfect. It was only a few months ago that I picked up my first pattern! What ignited my passion for sewing is that you can create something truly unique and there is no better feeling than some one asking you where you got your dress from, and you get to say, ‘I made it myself’. Simply cracking on with making a dress made me fall in love with sewing even though they were wonky bodge jobs, I still had an end result I was proud of and completely changed what I wanted to do in my career.

 My latest creation.

Latest collection!

 Holy Macaroons!! How gorgeous is that!

Rosie has made some amazing garments and so can you. We hope hearing lovely Rosie’s story has inspired you to stitch, sew, copy, draw and just give it a go.

At the SSS we are here at every stage of your stitching journey. The courses vary in skill level and we do one2one tutoring that can be for all different kinds of projects. And we would love to hear how you started stitching, email us your story at info@saturdaysewingsession.co.uk

Have a lovely September!

X

 

 

The SSS home sewing blog review 2015.

This fortnight at the Saturday Sewing Sessions we are reviewing our favourite home sewing blogs to get you inspired to try some new projects, and unearth some helpful tips and tricks. So much can be accomplished at home with the help of a sewing machine and a bit of imagination. All our bloggers are UK based, have incredible dressmaking skills and specialise in one particular area.

We like to start off each blog with our top London picks of the weeks in the following categories: Restaurant, Shop, Exhibition, Book and our SSS ultimate pick of the week.

  1. The Bonnie Gull, Oxford Circus. A gorgeous fish restaurant, serving up fresh, tasty catches of the day. Try the Cod Scotch Egg…. you will not be disappointed!
  2. Princes May School Boot Fair, Dalston. Rummage through the bric and brac for beautiful vintage garments and accessories.
  3. Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, V&A, £12. This exhibition looks at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, a must have for any aspiring cobbler.
  4. When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman. A witty, beautifully written gem of a book.  It follows the eccentric life of a girl named Ellie, well worth a read.
  5. SSS Top Pick of the Week- Luna Cinema outdoor pop up cinema in numerous locations across London, bring your prosecco, a picnic and have a whale of an evening this summer!

Saturday Sewing Sessions Top Picks of the Week

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 The Little Tailoress

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 The Little Tailoress

Blog 1: The Little Tailoress

Best For: Fashion Dressmaking Inspiration.

Who is the little Tailoress?

Ami Lowden is a freelance pattern cutter and designer. She started the blog to keep a record of her home makes. She enjoys the freedom that she can create her own style, and you can see she loves creating pieces that compliment each other.

What is it all about?

Originally started as an online portfolio of Ami’s designs, it has now transformed into a gallery of well tailored sewing projects to encourage others to learn how to sew their own Fashion wardrobe. Not only does she create beautiful garments she also styles her look using existing pieces in her wardrobe. Naturally she has a great range of self drafted patterns and tips for all levels of sewing skill.

Blog Features:

  • Pattern Reviews
  • Handy Hints, Tips & Tutorials
  • Uses Vintage Tailoring techniques
  • Fashion sewing & Design
  • Styling

If you are inspired by the Little Tailoress but feeling overwhelmed with where to start, why not try one of our beginners dressmaking classes or even a one 2 one tutorial to get you started.

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 The English Girl at Home

Blog 2: English Girl at Home

Best For: Ethical Craft & Dressmaking Ideas.

Who is the English Girl at Home?

Charlotte is a home sewer based in Birmingham that dabbles in a number of crafts, knitting and sewing projects.

What is it all about?

Charlotte’s blog is multi facetted; it showcases all her beautiful dressmaking projects and also traditional crafting practices like dying her own yarns for knitting. The main focus of the blog is making good ethical choices when home sewing, whether that be sourcing fair trade fabrics, altering clothing you already own and using animal friendly products. Charlotte highlights the concerns around mass produced garments made in sweatshops and the steps a home sewer can take to make good ethically produced home garments.

Blog Features:

  • Traditional crafting techniques.
  • Beautiful gallery of makes.
  • Hand embroidery
  • Hand repairs
  • Global Pattern reviews
  • Fashion book/autobiography reviews.

If Charlotte’s blog has made you think twice about shopping on the high street why not try your hand at our clone your closet class? If you have the perfect dress already waiting at home why not try make it in a variety of fabrics and colours?

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 What Katie Sews Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 What Katie Sews

Blog 3: What Katie Sews

Best for: Pattern Knowledge

Who is Katie?

Katie is a twenty something home sewist from North London.

What is it about?

The blog chronicles her attempts to build a wearable everyday wardrobe by sewing everything from basics to some special one offs. The patterns are categorised by company so it’s a brilliant reference point if you wanted to see the final garments before you commit to buying a new style.  Katie has great knowledge on picking a pattern company for your shape and altering patterns for a perfect fit for your body shape. Katie also provides brilliant tips on what bits of home dressmaking you can skip to save time!

Blog Features:

  • Self drafted patterns.
  • Planning your project.
  • Fabrics, pockets and print knowledge.
  • Quilting.
  • Men’s clothing.

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 Cloth Habit

Blog 4: Cloth Habit

Best for: Lingerie & Nightwear patterns

Who is the blogger behind Cloth Habit?

Amy is a designer and maker who is interested in pattern making, lingerie and traditional couture moulding methods.

What is it about?

Amy’s blog is crammed with gorgeous photos of her inventive makes from jumpsuits to nightwear. She has a wealth of tips, sew-alongs, tutorials and even a mini pattern shop! What we loved most was that she takes a traditional technique like Moulage (French couture moulding/casting) and gives you a step by step of how it is done, she includes YouTube clips that explain about how the method was used. Other wonderful blog posts touch on the importance of good edge stitching, guides to dress forms and investing in good dressmaking tools.

Blog Features:

  • Pattern Shop
  • Traditional Methods
  • Gorgeous Dressmaking Inspiration
  • Specialises in Lingerie
  • Sew-alongs to help with making her patterns.
  • Informative and detailed.

At the SSS we have a wealth of knowledge in all different areas of dressmaking so if you have heard about a traditional/historical technique and what to give it a go, please get in touch and book in for a one2one.

Saturday Sewing Sessions Home Sewing Blog Review 2015 By Gum, By Golly

Blog 5: By Gum, By Golly

Best for: Vintage & Knitting

Who is By Gum, By Golly?

Tasha Moss is the lady behind the intriguing By Gum By Golly blog, she’s a vintage enthusiast, knitting fanatic and DIY devotee.

What’s it about?

Tasha’s love for vintage is infectious. Not only does she make her own vintage clothes using dressmaking and knitting patterns from the 1940s but she embraces the style on a daily basis. The blog is jam packed with awesome vintage tutorials, groovy knitting patterns and how to live life with a little vintage flair.

Enter this retro paradise and see how you can embrace nostalgia through creative crafting, hair tutorials and a catalogue of her inventive outfits.

Blog Features:

  • Thrifting/Charity Shop finds
  • Vintage Upcycling
  • Hair, beauty and beyond!
  • Crafting
  • Knitting
  • Free Patterns

We hope this month’s blog review has left you feeling inspired and ready to tackle another project.  We have plenty of great courses up on the website that vary in size and skill level, and we have one to one tuition available if that is more your bag.

Share your thoughts about our blog review below; we would love to hear from you.

Happy Sewing!

 

x

Blow me down with a feather – Isabella Blow exhibition at Somerset House

As a Milliner, a lover of fashion and devoted to red lipstick I knew this was a exhibition worth seeing and it didn’t disappoint!

My dear friend Cathy and I and braved the chills and headed down to Somerset House before Christmas for our cultural day out.

Isabella Blow exhibition at Somerset House

I knew a bit about Isabella Blow;  her iconic fashion status and her love of hats.

Born to an English aristocratic family. I knew that she was pitched as the lady that elevated McQueen to stardom – so enamoured with his work she bought his entire  MA fashion show, paying him back in monthly instalments. She supported the remarkable Philip Treacy with his Millinery career, later to become his muse. She also is famed for getting the gorgeous Sophie Dahl to stardom.

These are just a couple of the spectacular pieces that you will see. (more…)

Let me introduce myself…

Hello!

I am Arianna, I am a maker and milliner and I have a great little sewing school based in Chelsea, London.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 18.35.53

My big sisters wonderful wedding – hats by me!

Although my main career now is millinery; I have spent most of my career making bespoke wedding dresses and hats. Which I have LOVED!

Creating hats has slowly overtaken the wedding dresses, although I still make and have enormous passion for dressmaking, I have decided to just focus on millinery – website will be launching soon so watch this space! However, Saturday Sewing Session started on a Saturday above The Chelsea Ram pub, hence the name!

It started on a bit of a whim and a prayer…

People kept asking me how to sew. So walking into my local, I asked the wonderful James who was the owner of the pub at the time if I could use his private dinner room on a Saturday.

I hired some machines made a basic flyer and voila! That was about 3 years ago.

My personal studio was in my flat and being constantly surrounded my fabric and pins day and night got a bit much so about 2 years ago and with the sewing sessions going well I took the scary leap to get a proper working wonderful space in Chelsea.

This enabled me to open up more sessions in the evening and at the weekend.

In the day its a studio space covered in hat blocks and fabric and everything else that we may be making and by night it transforms into a place where you can learn to sew or improve your skills.

We cover all sorts of sewing sessions, depending on your skill. Many of our sessions are based for beginners where you can make cushions, make up bags etc. Furthering your skills we do pyjamas (Pajama-Rama), dressmaking, knickers, working with leather and fur -loads depending on what you wish to make.

We can get you there with a simple beginners session and you’ll be sewing in no time.

We have had some wonderful feed back ‘I left the studio feeling completely inspired to carry on and try new projects’, we really strive to make the experience as lovely as can be so you leave feeling inspired and wanting to continue. The sessions are small so we hope to make the environment friendly and relaxed and a lovely way to spend a few hours.

All of our teachers are amazingly talented ladies. Experienced and highly skilled seamstresses. You’ll be meeting them along the way. They are wonderful!

This is our studio…

Studio_flipped

I want this blog to be about sewing, fashion, vintage, food, travel and loads of lovely things.

I want to tell you whats happening at Saturday Sewing Session – now nearly every night of the week and all weekend!

-what classes we have up and running
-who are wonderful team of makers are
-great exhibitions
-loads of sewing tips and tricks used by experts that will help you on your wonderful sewing journey
-things that we will be making so you can see how easy sewing really is

…Loads of things.

As the youngest of 3 girls and knowing some amazing women, I am a massive advocate for women in business and knowing that if you want to make something happen, you can :)

2012-12-24 15.08.34
This is me with one of my wonderful sisters, Minty, and my brilliant big sisters gorgeous little girl – I think she was trying to call Santa in this pic!

Over to you!

In the comments section below, let us know if there is any topic you would like us to cover in our blog. We are always looking for fresh ideas and inspiration to help spread the sewing love.

Thanks for listening XX