The goal: this wonderfully flattering 1940s tea dress
The fabric: we were asked to bring three metres of crepe, rayon or georgette, plus an invisible zip. These types of fabric are woven and more drapey than cotton. I got this pretty fabric from Fabrics Galore on Lavender Hill
The pattern: the key lesson when cutting out patterns is to ensure the grain of the fabric lines up with the grain line on the pattern. This will ensure the dress hangs correctly, as fabric stretches differently in different directions. It is also important to cut notches where the pattern dictates, this will help with matching up pieces. Tip: Keep the pattern pieces pinned on until you’re ready to sew, otherwise you’ll get confused!
Fitting together the various pieces was like a complicated jigsaw. Our tutor Lisa was on hand at every stage to guide us. Each seam had to be sewn on the machine and then overlocked and pressed with an iron; luckily there were only three of us so there was no waiting.
Pinning the dress on the dress makers dummy helped with fitting the arms correctly.
I’d highly recommend the workshop to anyone interested in dressmaking; you’ll learn facings, hemming, fitting an invisible zip and more.