I've just got back from a lovely week in Lyme Regis, the highlight of which (and the purpose of the trip, to be honest) was a two-day dressmaking workshop at the weekend with Caroline at SewLaDiDa. I had first seen Caroline - and her wonderful patterns - at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally last year. Aware of the current interest in dressmaking, particularly using vintage patterns, but equally aware of the fact that they are not really cut to fit today's woman, Caroline has produced her own range of vintage-styled patterns. Not only that, but on chatting to her I discovered that she was going to be running workshops to make these vintage-styled frocks. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to book.
The classes were held in the Town Mill, a lovely old building in The Artisans' Quarter of the town.
We didn't have to take anything with us, and although I did take several lengths of fabric to make my dress, needless to say, when I saw the selection of fabric available in the SewLaDiDa shop in the adjoining building, I was compelled to buy more. I choose something age-appropriate and sensible, obviously - a snazzy leopard print fabric, overprinted with big cerise,yellow and turquoise flowers.
There were seven of us, of varying ages, abilities and experience in dressmaking, and we all chose different styles of dresses. We checked measurements, made toiles, pinned, stitched and fitted, and then cut out the perfected pattern in the 'real fabric'. With assistance, encouragement and advice from Caroline, not to mention her 'Top Tips', we all had a lovely new frock to show for it.
This morning, I tried using the self-timer on my camera to show you a close-up of my dress - but the photos turned out a bit blurry ......
So then I tried photographing my reflection in the mirror
In the end, I decided it was easier to wear the dress to our Young Embroiderers' meeting today and I got my friend Gina to take some pictures in the garden, shortly before the rain came.
Gina climbed on a chair to perfect her 'David Bailey' techniques, and I was channelling my inner Victoria Beckham.
Not so as you'd notice.
The Girls In Their Summer Dresses - The Airborne Toxic Event