Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Freehand Drafting with Chinelo Bally

I was lucky enough this weekend to attend a freehand drafting course run by Chinelo Bally, finalist from The Great British Seeing Bee.

The course was run in East London. We were all asked to bring our own sewing machines and scissors. Coming from the "be prepared" camp, I also packed my measuring tape, drafting ruler, chalk, pins, and snacks.

We started our day  by selecting our fabric. Chinelo had brought a great range of drapey fabric in a variety of patterns. I chose a simple blue geometric print. As the day went on, I got a bit of fabric envy, and wished I'd chosen something a bit more adventurous.

We then moved on to measuring ourselves and deciding if we wanted the skirt to be floor length or shorter, gathered or fitted, and if it should start from waist or under the bust. We then began with folding and cutting the skirt. It was cut on the bias, and involved some tricky fabric handling.  Fortunately Chinelo was on hand to help us.

The next step was to measure and cut the four bodice sections. I nearly messed the whole thing up by getting my maths wrong. 

Once the pieces were cut we moved onto sewing. It was a different experience sewing without a pattern. I wasn't sure how the dress would come together, as we were learning the pattern step-by-step.

The finished dress didn't quite fit. I had made my bodice to short. I unpicked the shoulder seams and inserted a 2" wide section. I ran out of time to finish the hem, but the dress looked pretty good. I plan to make some minor adjustments before I will call it finished. I'm going to take a tiny tuck in the under-bust area of the bodice to reduce the fullness. 

Here is my dress ...

And here I am with our excellent teacher ...

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