Read all about what I got up to at the Knitting & Stitching show last week over on my blog.
Category Archives: Events
So, are you going to be joining me and Crafty and Cake for a whole month of noseying at what other people are stitching?!
Make-It-Yourself March or MIYmarch will be starting on Sunday. The full monty description of what’s involved and how to play is here.
I’m looking forward to seeing your pics…….
For the next 2 Saturdays MIY Workshop will be turning into a pop-up shop selling gorgeous leather goods, screen printed scarves and jewellery by local designer-makers: Holly Murray, Sophie Darling and Marie Walshe.
We’ll be open on Saturday 29th November and 6th December from 11am to 6pm.
MIY Workshop is at 33 North Road in the North Laine area of central Brighton, just up the hill from Infinity Foods.
Treat yourself to a bit of quality Christmas shopping and maybe a treat for yourself too?! That is if I haven’t bought everything myself before you get there…..
Read all about Saturday night’s book launch shenanigans here.
Later this morning I will be heading off to London town to spend 5 days at the Knitting & Stitching show at Alexandra Palace. If you’ve never been it really is an amazing event, my two pieces of essential advice if you’re going…….
- wear: comfy shoes and layers
- take: food!
There are three halls full of stalls selling everything you could ever need and more for sewing knitting and creating in general, exhibitions, workshops and fashion shows.
I’m playing with the big boys this year in the Great Hall with MIY Collection on stand O19. I’ll have my sewing patterns, tools, accessories and an advance copy of my book. Here are some new things I’m launching at the show……
A new sewing pattern for the show: MIY Cosy Cowl – quick, easy and perfect for this time of year when you’re not quite ready for your winter coat! Available to buy online when I’m back from the show.
Teeny tiny scissor earrings! A treat for you or the perfect gift for your stitchy friend. Also available to buy online when I’m back from the show.
Look forward to seeing you there!
Yesterday’s first Styling talk by Clary Fisher was a great success. Even I left feeling inspired to organise a capsule wardrobe free of “wardrobe irritants” and one of our attendees Michala went home and spent 6 hours decluttering her wardrobe, putting unworn clothes into vac pack storage, collecting clothes for her local charity shop and making herself a pile of alterations to get stitching!
Here are a few snapshots of Clary and her engrossed audience…
And focussed concentration while Clary talked about all the other aspects in addition to clothes – like hair, make-up and shoes and showed the group a collection of inspiring items from her own wardrobe that she has altered and adapted to make work for her.
Everyone took away some food for thought from the session and some inspired enthusiasm to go through their wardrobes with a fresh eye. For me the key take-home ideas were:
- balance – styling isn’t necessarily about hiding or disguising parts of yourself, rather about balancing everything out – as Clary reminded us “the eye reads beauty in symmetry”
- editing – you’re not going to feel your best in every colour, shape or style, so you need to edit your wardrobe
- focussed shopping, rather than impulse shopping – go shopping with a clear idea of what you’re looking for and research where you’re most likely to find it rather than dashing round the shops like a headless chicken and finishing up feeling frustrated and unsatisfied
- be objective and start looking at your clothes (and those you try on in shops and sewing patterns and fabric you buy) objectively or with a trusted friend and step out of your comfort zone – try on shapes and colours you wouldn’t normally go for and in shops that aren’t on your usual shopping route
- shop less but better
- make your clothes work for you – if garments in your wardrobe aren’t being worn, what can you change easily to make them into well-worn favourites?
As all of the above also applies to the clothes you sew and with this last point in mind myself and Clary are running a joint workshop in September. Full details are below. You don’t need to be a tailoring expert – with just a few sewing skills, some personalised styling advice and some sewing guidance and inspiration you can change those wardrobe-cluttering unworn garments into your new favourite outfits……
Let’s start thoughtful sewing and thoughtful shopping.
So, how many times have you lovingly made yourself an item of clothing and then never had an occasion to wear it? Let’s face it, there are only so many times in a year that you’re going to need a tea-dress/vintage style frock with nipped in waist/swirly skirt with a mad print.
This is the pitfall that awaits new stitchers. You have some new skills, you’re all excited by these girly, cute, vintage style patterns, you’re loving all the printed fabrics covered in cute little animals and ditsy flowers. But hang on a sec there, these things are a million miles away from the clothes you normally enjoy wearing and you don’t have a spring wedding to attend every weekend! (Or do you?!….)
Save yourself a bit of sewing disappointment and ask yourself these questions before you get all carried away with that new project:
- What styles best suit your body shape? If you know that full skirts make you look a stone heavier, why spend time sewing yourself one?
- What colours suit your skin tone and hair colour? If you love to wear bright colours, put that pastel lemon floral fabric back on the shelf!
- What sort of garments do you tend to feel most comfortable in? You love to wear trousers and very rarely wear skirts, so don’t choose a skirt pattern to make, thinking it’s time you “got into” skirts.
- What garments and colours do you already have in your wardrobe? If your wardrobe is full of cold colours, bold prints and separates that mix together well, why are you considering a Hawaiian print shirt dress to wear with flip flops in the summer?
Once you’ve got your rational head on, start looking at patterns and fabrics with a fresh and more objective eye. Look at the small line drawings of the design of the pattern and ask yourself if it’s a style you can see yourself wearing. When you’re out shopping for fabric, stop looking at fabric as an abstract thing in its own right (it may as well be wallpaper or a table cloth), imagine great chunks of the stuff draped around your body (grab the roll and hold it up against your face), can you really see yourself wearing it???
This post has been inspired by a meeting I had recently with personal stylist Clary Fisher. Clary and I had been aware of each other online for sometime, but finally met up over a cup of tea to discuss an idea of Clary’s. Well what a fab meeting and hopefully the start of something rather special, as it was so nice to have a good old chat with someone totally on the same wavelength.
It turns out Clary and I have very similar thoughts about the clothes-buying and clothes-making processes:
- you have no idea of the conditions under which cheap clothes are produced, often workers are exploited and even lives put at risk (read about the factory collapse which killed over 1000 garment workers in Bangladesh in 2013 here)
- buying cheap often means you compromise on fit, so it never looks or feels quite “right”
- cheap clothes are usually badly made from poor quality fabrics making them uncomfortable to wear
- if you know what styles and colours work for you, you can buy less at better quality and are less likely to fall for impulse purchases that you regret later
- it takes the hassle out of getting dressed if you know that everything in your wardrobe works together, fits properly and makes you feel good when you wear it
- once you know what colours suit you and have found a few patterns that fit and flatter, you can use your new-found sewing skills to eventually make a whole new wardrobe of clothes you enjoy wearing
- sewing doesn’t always save money when compared to shopping on the high street, but it could result in you having a much more wearable wardrobe of things you feel good in.
Do you feel inspired to start sewing your “you” wardrobe?
Clary will be giving a talk at MIY Workshop all about styling which will include easy tips to work out shapes and colours that suit you and how to apply that to making something that you will love wearing. We’ll also be announcing some exciting joint workshops soon!
Clary’s credentials are impressive, (as you’d expect from any industry professional invited to speak or teach at MIY Workshop) she’s worked as a stylist on West End shows, TV shows including Eastenders and The Mobo awards, for bands and on fashion shows and shoots. She’s also a visiting lecturer at the London College of Fashion and even better, she also knows how to sew having studied tailoring!
If you’d like to join us, the date is Saturday 5th July at 11am.
***30/5/14 UPDATE*** – as seats for the 5th sold out in a day (!) we’ve added a second date for Clary’s talk: Saturday 19th July at 11am.
Tickets will be just £5 and there will only be 12 seats available.
Don’t miss out. Book your seat by ringing Wendy at MIY Workshop on 01273 693451 or email email@example.com
- thoughtful sewing
- grown-up sewing
- making the clothes you want to wear.
This weekend I will be exhibiting at Made Brighton at the Corn Exchange in the centre of town. The event is perfectly timed to get your Christmas shopping off to a good start by buying direct from makers and designers. There is always a big range of high quality work including ceramics, textiles, jewellery, prints and something to suit everyone’s budget.
Opening times are: Friday 11am to 7.30pm / Saturday 10am to 6pm / Sunday 10am to 5pm
I am stand number 46, come and say hello and have a look at my sewing patterns, sewing tools and a limited collection of readymade clothes and accessories……..