Monday, April 18, 2011

What I Learned On My Holiday

My latest Sewjourn sojourn was shared with Jenny & Astrid (aka the Mothers Group Girls), Nell, and some other lovely friends (including Ali-who-used-to-live-next-door); a most excellent group to spend 4 days of crafting, eating and relaxing with.

Every craft camp I learn new stuff. I was talking to someone recently who asked if we had someone who "led" the retreats but it's really not like that. We all know different stuff, even if it's just that the sleeves look better this length instead of that length. What you do is, you hold up your thing you don't know about and say I want to create/change/improve this but I don't really know? and someone always comes up with a great suggestion. It is awesome and organic and much nicer (I think) than having a bossy scout leader telling you what to do all the time.

So here today, I shall present to you the things I learned at my most recent craft camp.

1. How to use the gathering setting on Jenny's overlocker/serger. Voyez la jupe twirly pour moi:


Unfortunately I ran out of time. Or maybe steam. There's a LOT of sewing in a tiered skirt. What you save on the cutting you lose on the gathering, sewing and topstitching. Also, I'm not sure if the overlocker gathering is actually the best way to go, although it is a much quicker way to do it. Pulling the gathers in to the correct size was really tricky and mostly why I put the skirt aside at the last frill and took up hand-sewing Easter chicks.

2. The setting of decorative pockets on fleece pants by eye.


Cherub's are okay, Climber's are like a teenage boy's jeans-line, bizarrely low. Fortunately I think Climber can carry this look off and you may see low-rider pockets as the next trend in boyswear. You saw it here first.

3. How to use the twin needle setting on my sewing machine.


I bought a Goodies t-shirt for myself a while back which had a man's neckline, too high and harsh and horrid for me. So, at Justine's suggestion, I just cut the nasty rib collar off and turned the edges. The twin needle not only gives you a pretty line of double-stitching, it also overcasts on the wrong side. It's just a shame my cutting was not ezackly perfect but shh! We'll just keep the messy bit our little secret.

4. How to copy a bag panel using the original as my guide.


I bought my handbag from the lovely Glorydaze and wore it to death. It was mostly the detachable panel that had karked it, so I contacted Megan about buying a replacement, but she has just had a baby and a renovation and won't be sewing until July. And I love the bag so much I really didn't want a new one, so I decided to have a crack at sewing the panel myself. I will definitely know to do the velcro first if I ever try it again but on the whole I am pretty pleased with it. Oh and ps, I have discovered that drill tape is very splitty and fray-ey.

The thing that I already knew about a Ladies Crafting Retreat at Sewjourn was once more reinforced: It is really, really great to go away with a bunch of like-minded women and make stuff and chat and eat well and laugh and relax. Even if you do come home to a Very Bad Pile of Laundry.


  1. I imagine learning these things in bits helps. It just boggles my mind as I'm a complete dunderhead at these things. A craft retreat sounds like a dream though.

    I hate laundry.

  2. Settings? Copying things? Doing things by eye?

    You are way out of my league.

  3. Every time you go away to one of these meets you come back so much more edyoucayted.

    I am very impressed!

  4. Sounds like it was wonderful!!!

  5. Well done on it all, particularly the bag renovation. Very impressive.

    Hurrah for awesome organic craft groups.

  6. I've always been too shy (what me?) to go on a sojourn but it looks very cool


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