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  • Alison Barlow

Inaugural meeting of SewNotts


(L-R) Harriet, Cassandra and Me (photo by Jill)

Inspired by the English Girl at Home's SewBrum meet up some friends and I set up a Facebook group called SewNotts a couple of months ago, which has gradually grown to about 55 members.

The idea was to network with sewers living in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire, with the possibility of meeting up and talking about sewing. We also have a Sewing Map to share local shops and a SewNotts group on the recently formed Foldline.

So we had our first meet up last night! It didn't have an auspicious start, as the planned venue, The Malt Cross in Nottingham, had a private function (we hadn't thought to check!) so we quickly relocated across the road in the Roebuck. Special apologies to Bridget - who did come but didn't get the message and missed us.

Anyhoo it was a great night. Jill, Cassandra and I discovered that we are traditional dressmakers so had a lot of things in common, but typically we all have different things we like to make.

Harriet comes from a fascinatingly different perspective in that she has a company, 6.2 Design Company which works with fashion students. Basically they come from the other end of the process to a traditional dressmaker. They draw a design but find it challenging to understand how to turn that design into a finished garment. She helps with their pattern cutting and makes up their designs professionally for them. It struck me as a great business opportunity. She is looking to branch out into offering short sharp courses in specific skills - initially aimed at students but potentially of interest to more traditional sewers. Definately a lady worth speaking to.

That said we all had the same issues - making time to actually sew for pleasure! So Harriet has suggested having a specific project so we have sometime we have to do for our next meeting. Then hopefully it will help us make time to sew.

We also talked about how we had come to dressmaking in the first place.

I realised I have a problem with finishing projects - which I'm sure is common - whereas Cassandra is a completer finisher - she always finishes one thing before moving on to the next. (I'm envious and it's something I will try to work on).

And as for Jill - who I've known for years. We all discussed THE RED JACKET (see images below which don't do it justice). She never goes for easy projects and I think she's done a great job with a beautiful lining and finish. Unfortunately with all the alterations that have been done to it she's stretched the fabric a bit (though it's only noticeable when she pointed it out). So we all discussed how to sort it out - and basically agreed that the best plan was to cut off the inch that had been affected.

Oh and a small amount of wine was imbibed. Mostly by me. Hopefully I didn't embarass myself too much!

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