I’ve been looking forward to this date for ages!
I first experimented with bound buttonholes when I made my Vogue coat. There were times during this project when I felt really frustrated and isolated. Trying to learn challenging new techniques on my own at home was not always easy. I’m sure we’ve all been there. Reference books torn from shelves, desperate Googling, emails sent to other Sewists – a general sense of ‘Someone HELP!’ It felt a bit like this:
So once I’d improved my bound buttonhole technique with Beth of Sunny Gal Studios, I really wanted to see what I could do to help others. I invited some friends over to Walthamstow for a Bound Buttonhole Workshop and started preparing a lesson. I was a combination of excited, nervous, excited, worried, excited, anxious, excited! So I did what I normally do in these situations and planned, planned, planned until the day itself arrived.
Then I went to pick the girls up from the station! We made our way to the house via the Wood Street Fiesta that was in full force on my local high street. There was extreme knitting!
We didn’t have time to hang about, though. It was back to the house and down to work! I’d supplied each of the girls with pre-cut swatches of all their supplies. We were going to make two bound buttonholes on a sample of fabric. Handmade Jane brought along the wool she’s planning to use on her upcoming coat make. It’s yummy stuff, so warm and soft! Winnie and Marie worked with the lavender wool I used on my Simplicity 4934 suit.
Each student also had a hard copy print out of an ebook I’d put together detailing the whole process. Well, if I was going to prep for the lesson I might as well take some photos and write things down. I wanted everyone to have supplementary material to take away with them, as I know what it’s like – you forget!
I was so pleased with my students. They worked really hard and definitely all deserved an A+ for effort. Actually, they deserved an A++ for the work itself, and I’m gutted I forgot to take snaps of their beautiful finished buttonholes. Seriously, guys! Their results were pretty close to perfection, unlike any of my first attempts.
What I really liked about the session was the sharing of knowledge. Winnie told us about grading seams and during the workshop we collaboratively decided it was best to baste the welts into place at a certain stage, instead of pinning. One technique, just minutely adjusted and improved. Result!
It wasn’t all hard work…
In about three hours, the girls had made two bound buttonholes and got well into the process of opening up the rear of their buttonholes. It was thrilling to hear the ‘ooh’s and ‘ah’s of delight. One more apparently terrifying technique laid bare – huzzah!
All we had left to do was go out for dinner. On our way to the restaurant we dipped into a tempting-looking shop and I witnessed for the first time in my life the Lesser Spotted Sewist Swoop. This is when someone who sews spots gorgeous fabric and goes straight into a forward lunge. Yes, Handmade Jane moved like an Olympic athlete and scored some really, really fabulous vintage loveliness. Gold!
The day was a fantastic success. Thank you so much to the people who attended. My one complaint is that they didn’t finish off the chocolate cake. Someone’s going to have to eat that, you know…