Announcing: THE SEWING SURGERY

There is so much going on at the studio at the moment its hard to know where to begin. I know the blog has been quiet, but here in the heart of it has been anything but, I have been sewing so much I feel like my eyes are on stalks. There is news soon about new stock we are selling and a pattern brand so exclusive it’s unavailable anywhere else in the U.K .. I know that you will go nuts about it. We are busy sampling at the moment so you are able to visit and try on the garments.  But this post is to announce new classes and courses for the summer holidays. The Sewing Surgery is a new concept to the workshop and is a 1 hour slot of time that you are able to book between the lessons and courses here.

Have you got to a tricky point in your project and you just can’t seem to progress? Have you an unfinished garment and you haven’t the time to finish it?  Is it that you have worked so hard to complete a garment and you’ve put it on and it just doesn’t fit quite right. It’s so frustrating when you have got to ‘that’ point …. it goes in the project pile and never gets seen again. The Sewing Surgery is here to help you get the motivation back to finish that project. At the workshop you can book a surgery hour for £8.00. We can help sort out your project with a few ideas (without having to book a whole course…). Or just come in and use the studio facilities, our large cutting table or example. There are 4 spaces per hour so you are likely to meet fellow sewers too.
Fitting, Buttonholes, Zippers, Understanding a tricky pattern, and just general advice to help you on your way… Take advantage of our machines and the one-step embroidery button hole. Or have a zipper tutorial.

Book with Anna on: 07545757592     or email: anna_winston@hotmail.co.uk

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If Sewing Machines were Cars…..

If this machine were a car... It would be a 60's Cadillac. Style, substance and a very nice purr....
If this machine were a car… It would be a 60’s Cadillac. Style, substance and a very nice purr….

 

The Singer
The Ford Cortina of sewing …. every Family in the 70’s had one. I learned to drive on this one. (My mothers)

 

The Vesta
You know when cars still had spokes in the wheels… one up from horse drawn carriage. The instruction manual addresses the sewer as ‘one should do this’, ‘One should always… blah blah’ etc, and is illustrated with a lady in Edwardian skirts. It’s so beautiful…

 

Absolute Beginner Sewing … NEW DATES (and a new Tutor!)

Yesterday was spent sewing with the Absolute Beginner Class. The studio was bursting at the seams! (ha..Sorry) Buttonholes, zips, piping … bag making,  laying patterns and fabric choice, machine maintenance… have I forgotten anything? Probably … we only had one day. But it was a laugh and we have some very happy sewers now. With ever more classes being added to the Sewing Parlour diary I have enlisted the help of one Fabulous Lady to aid and abet our sewing revolution. Maika Crampton of Freya von Bulow Paper Couture and Front Row South Coast will be the Absolute Beginner tutor from next month. Her work is exceptional and I’m so happy to have her apart of the team. Her new dates for the upcoming classes are 30th May and 13th June. have a look on the EVENTS PAGE for all the information about booking. And here .. is some inspiration, some photos of a day in the life of the Absolute Beginner Class.

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Jantzen Swimwear… The Givenchy Collection 1957

I’m a little obsessed with swimwear. To say the least. My job for the last 7 years has been to recreate swimsuits from bygone eras and I have become a little encyclopedia regarding their construction. I am currently working on a swimsuit tutorial to publish here, so for inspiration I’m sharing another gem with you today. This book is an old sales manual for the traveling sales man. He was to visit stockists with it and give them a bit of sales patter …. It contains four collections and I will publish them all, but, because I have just visited The Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A this weekend and seen Alexander McQueen’s work for Givenchy, I am starting with Givenchy’s collection for Jantzen from 1957. I hope you enjoy it….Pic1Swimpic2Swim

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The Peoples Pattern

peoplepattern3I had an interesting find today…More clothing patterns to add to the pattern library here, which I will share with you today.  I am given quite a bit of vintage haberdashery at the studio.  Our home is the row of shops underneath the imposing but magnificant Marine Court in St Leonards on sea, and above us are over 150 apartments …marine-court-1930arrow We have come to know many of the residents that reside above us over the years, many of them pop by for a chat and some have donated old sewing boxes and fabric to use in the studio for classes. Today was just such a day, a huge box of dress patterns from the 60’s to the exceptionally unflattering 80’s. (I’ll pass on these gems in another post – they’re hilarious…)

Did you know The Sunday People Newspaper had a sewing pattern service? No, neither did I. Open your Sunday paper and choose from their patterns, collect the tokens and send 20p! They’ll post it right on back to you.

peoplepattern1I collect dress patterns and pattern books as much for my intrigue for social history as for my love of dressmaking. The history of dressmaking at home and how we consumed fashion and clothing in the past is as much a  reflection of our social culture as the food we eat.  As culture changes so does how we consume fashion and how we clothe ourselves. Personally I would  choose to read about clothing patterns over the size of Kim Kardashians nether regions any day, and I reckon I belong in the 1950’s for that reason…

peoplepattern2Nowadays we dart about the blogosphere for inspiration and shopping, but it’s warming to know sewing was as much apart of the daily lives of the past as the consumption of news and sport and here is the evidence. There was a sewing machine in every house hold – it was as necessary as the washing machine. Still is in my house.

Costumes Nationaux

Serious sewing really began for me when I was 15… My Mother taught me most things as I watched her sew… I loved watching her sew.  But then came The Ellen Terry Theatre in Smallhythe, Kent. I spent most of my teenage happy summer days as a costume assistant, sewing costumes for the productions there. Cutting my teeth on almost every era from medieval peasants and Tudor corsets to jeweled golden lame bikinis … My love of costume, sewing and clothing history began there. I have a huge collection of inspiration. I collect … (some might say hoard) anything haberdasher and here at the studio is a collection of books I’m quite proud of… so I’m going to share some gems. This time, Costume Nationaux. A French book made up of twenty of the most beautiful lithographic prints illustrated by E. Lepage-Medvey .. exploring national costume in Austria, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Printed in 1939. The images speak for themselves, so vivid in colour and such an expressive culture .. enjoy.

Jeune Fille de Haute-Silesie, Pologne (Young Woman from Silesie Poland)
Jeune Fille de Haute-Silesie, Pologne (Young Woman from Silesie Poland)
Costume Porte dans les Environs De Uhersky Brod, Solvaquie  (Door Costume from the Uhersky Brod region in Solvakia)
Costume Porte dans les Environs De Uhersky Brod, Solvaquie
(Door Costume from the Uhersky Brod region in Solvakia)
Costume from Kyjova, Czechoslovakia
Costume from Kyjova, Czechoslovakia
Costume de Jeune Femme de Vyskova Moravie (Costume of a young woman from Vyskova, Moravia)
Costume de Jeune Femme de Vyskova Moravie (Costume of a young woman from Vyskova, Moravia)
Peasant from Boldog, Hungary
Peasant from Boldog, Hungary
Woman from Kalotaszeg, Hungary
Woman from Kalotaszeg, Hungary
Jeune Paysan de Mezokovesd, Hongerie (Young Peasent from Mezokovesd, Hungary)
Jeune Paysan de Mezokovesd, Hongerie (Young Peasent from Mezokovesd, Hungary)
Berger du Bugac, Hongerie  (Shepard from Bugac, Hungary)
Berger du Bugac, Hongerie
(Shepard from Bugac, Hungary)
Gardien de Chevaux du Hortobagy, Hongrie  (Guardian of Horses Hortobagy, Hungary)
Gardien de Chevaux du Hortobagy, Hongrie
(Guardian of Horses Hortobagy, Hungary)
Chasseur de Alt-Aussee Styrie, Autriche  (Hunter Alt-Aussee Styria, Austria)
Chasseur de Alt-Aussee Styrie, Autriche
(Hunter Alt-Aussee Styria, Austria)
Costume de Femme du Waldviertel, Basse-Autriche (Woman from Waldviertel, Lower Austria)
Costume de Femme du Waldviertel, Basse-Autriche
(Woman from Waldviertel, Lower Austria)

 

Fin!

 

 

Macrame (Madness)

What exactly is' instant' about it?
What exactly is’ instant’ about it?

I’ve come across some mental fashion fads in my quest for a vintage find, but this needs to be seen …Not much to say about this chick except, she’s wearing knotted string and shes really happy about it..

Your wearing a giant hanging pot holder love.

We'll talk about the shirt collar later... right now we're dealing with your befringed 'vest' ?
We’ll talk about the shirt collar later… right now we’re dealing with your befringed ‘vest’ ?

Not all vintage is chic, and here is the evidence proving the 70’s was the worst offender.

In the 70's craft was primitive. You knotted string and added beads for a sound effect ..
In the 70’s craft was primitive. You knotted string and added beads for a sound effect ..