Feb 22 2017 0 Comments Tags: dressmaking, fabric, fabric shop, fabric shop yorkshire, haberdashery, haberdashery yorkshire, News & Reviews, patchwork, sewing, sewing classes, sewing workshops, sewing yorkshire, yorkshire

Well that took a lot of planning.  A LOT. More planning than Billy O’Plan.  Ignore me, I’m delirious from ALL THE PLANNING!!!!  But, I’ve got there I think, for now!  You hopefully will have seen that the first batch of workshops have been released for booking on my shiny new online booking system thingy.  (I sew, I don’t internet – I leave all that to Brother Joel, who a few of you have met in the shop on Tuesdays.)

Anyway, this time round I’ve concentrated on the beginners amongst you.  You’ve all been tugging at the old heartstrings when you’ve been coming into the shop with doe-eyed expressions, practically begging me to teach you to sew.  Well your wish has been granted!  Although it won’t be me who teaches you how to sew (praise the Lord!).  I am a terrible teacher, have very little patience and the fact that I end up slinging something across the room whenever I sew anything up would mean that my insurance premiums would go through the roof, therefore I am leaving you in the capable hands of my team of carefully sourced tutors, who I have just decided to nickname the Sewsters (sorry ladies!), which I think sounds like a ’60s group, so I’m going with it!  The Sewsters are made up of Lisa Gilbert; the Jet-Skiing CAD Pattern Designer, Emily Sharp; the South Yorkshire (boo…hiss….! ;-)) Fashion Designer based in Mirfield and Janet Hagger, the Patchwork Yoda!  I realise I may have introduced them like they were darts players, but that’s how I roll.

Between us we have fathomed a carefully thought out workshop schedule, again the emphasis being on getting as many of you machine and hand sewing as possible so you can then move onward and upward and create anything your hearts desire.  I have tried to avoid school holidays, which is why there aren’t many workshops running in April.  I’ve also tried to plan them for different days/times in the hope that you will all find something that will fit in with your busy schedules!

The four workshops currently on offer are:

  • Calling All Beginners – for those who have never used a sewing machine or would like a refresher
  • Beginners Dressmaking – work your way through the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo sewing pattern and knock up a very fetching denim/pinafore dress
  • Introduction to Patchwork – learn different styles of patchwork and how to work with colour
  • Patchwork Quilt Cushion – make a patchwork cushion using our gorgeous range of designer fat quarters

Many of you who have been in the shop will, by now, know that my first love is dressmaking and being a stubborn Yorkshirewoman, I can just about guarantee that it always will be. I have, however, recently begun to be drawn to the dark side and tempted by the wiles of patchwork.  I know, how dare I?! Well, I don’t think you realise how much, as a fabric stockist, I get brainwashed on a daily basis. If it’s not fabric suppliers, it’s people on Instagram and if it’s not people on Instagram then it’s you. Yes, you! Humble quilter out there! When choosing my initial stock of fabric, I purposefully tried to choose prints which could be used for both dressmaking and patchwork, which is why I initially steered towards brands such as Dashwood and Sevenberry. However, no word of a lie and I’m not even sure how this has even happened,  but I have fabrics on order from Tula Pink, Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt, Tim Holtz and this week I suspect I’m going to get a rather large delivery from Michael Miller. All renowned quilting fabric designers. What in the actual hell?!  Don’t worry though fellow dressmakers, the majority of the fabrics I’ve chosen can still be used for dressmaking!

I have to say I think patchwork has got a bad rap; be honest, do you associate it with a group of (shall we say) “mature” ladies huddled round a quilt, telling stories of yesteryear?  Well if you do, don’t!  I actually attended a quilt exhibition (The Hubster was thrilled!) at the V&A museum a few years back and it was a revelation.  I didn’t realise quilts could be so modern and it actually inspired me to give patchwork a whirl.  I didn’t make a quilt mind you, I just did a few samples.  It made a nice change actually as it meant I could just do a bit of hand sewing in front of the box rather than drag out my sewing machine.  Anyway, since that exhibition and my bits of research since, this is what I now think of when I hear the word “patchwork” and I can’t say I ever saw anything remotely similar adorning my Grandma’s bed:

So if you fancy a change from dressmaking, learn to Patchwork like a boss with Janet!  Here are a few samples of Janet’s work and what you can learn from our resident quilting Yoda:

Going forward, don’t you worry you experienced sewer you, there are plans in the pipeline for running more intermediate/advanced classes, such as an intermediate dressmaking class where we will probably go through the techniques for making a shirt/shirt dress, a pattern drafting class, using an overlocker and many more.

In the meantime though, what are you waiting for?  Get booking and get learning!!!  Go to or call in the shop to book your place.  I’ve also just discovered that I can take payments over the phone!  Who knew?!  So there really is no excuse and I would honestly recommend you book your place sooner rather than later given the speed in which they seem to be going!

By the way, if you’re STILL not on the mailing list, those that were had a cheeky 24 hour priority booking sesh before the workshops went on general sale!  Maybe you should think about signing up…!


P x


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