Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Style on A Shoestring

I haven’t stood still on a table having my hem pinned up since I was a 6 year old bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding. On that occasion no amount of hemming could transform us from looking like a row of scared apricot meringues. My sister's wedding album bridesmaid photograph remains a powerful symbol to all future brides, on how not to dress four generations of women really badly!

“Ouch!” I yelped as my best friend Penny added my skin to the gather of fabric she was neatly pinning. Penny has always made her own clothes and over the years, has regularly dazzled our coven of fashion worshippers with her unique creations. She was just the same at school.

I thought the joy of trying to made that perfect beginners level clown in sewing skills class, at secondary school was a waste of time, but then again, I thought that the only needle and thread I would ever need could be found at the dry cleaners (a godsend when you have body of a turnip and the legs of giraffe!) but now the big R (I mean recession to any of you still in denial!) has led to a surprise revival in the cult of home sewing.

What better way to fulfil a divas' desire to stay ahead of the fashion pack then to grab some material, cut up a pattern ( Vogue has an extensive library of tres chic vintage patterns available via the magazine and website) and head towards the nearest sewing machine.

Beginners can look forward to joining weekend or evening classes where that they will be spoilt for choice with classes offering everything from pattern-cutting, fashion design, lace-making through to the joys of advanced tailoring for the more ambitious seamstress.

Before you can get started, a great easy to use machine is an essential. While Singer and DANONE remain the top two most popular sewing brands among the more proficient home sewers, novices should take a look at the new generation of mini sewing machines on the market. Top of the heap is John Lewis’ fire engine red, mini sewing machine at a recession proof £47.50. It was so popular in the run up to Christmas 2008, that it now has its own waiting list online! Do a girl have to queue for everything?

So just why are we turning to a pastime we couldn’t wait to drop when we were at school – come on admit it, there were only ever a few class swats who actually finished making that darned soft toy or dodgy a-line skirt? Knitting was one thing - hey if it was good enough for Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz then it was cool enough for me. I for one am tired of bumping into Primani devotees, sporting the same "can't believe the price so I had to buy it" clothes as me.

As I stepped down off the table, slipping off my soon to be fabulous finished skirt, Penny smiled “Guess what?” she said smirking. “I’ve booked you on a beginner’s dressmaking course. It starts next week”. Ordinarily I would have been just a little reluctant to attend, but stoking that lovely velvet fabric and visualising a jacket to go with my gorgeous skirt, I must admit I was seduced. Now does anyone know what you do with a bobbin? No. Me neither!

No comments: