Overlocker workshop at Guthrie & Ghani

I had a really lovely day yesterday at a sewing workshop at Guthrie & Ghani in Birmingham. I’ve been wrestling with my overlord overlocker for a while now, and despite my best intentions of sitting down and sewing samples of each stitch, I’ve really only used it for finishing seams so far.

Given that my sewing machine only has a straight stitch – no zig-zag (until I can get my zigzagger attachment working, grrr) – it has been useful. But I’ve been keen to find out how to use it for stitching as well as finishing.

Because I can put off my own goals forever without some sort of deadline, I signed up for a workshop to make sure I’d do it. I’ve also been hankering after a reason to visit Guthrie & Ghani since it opened! The workshop was led by Layla Totah, and the project was a Colette pattern (another first for me there). Everyone chose between the Moneta dress, and the Mabel skirt. I opted for the Moneta – pencil skirts are NOT for me, and took along 3m of spot-print cotton jersey I bought online from Tissu fabrics.

Mine doesn't look like this. It's spotty, not stripy, for one thing.
Mine doesn’t look like this. It’s spotty, not stripy, for one thing.

I really enjoyed it. Six hours wasn’t a lot of time, so we scurried through the project to try to finish on time. I’ll confess I didn’t quite make it through the hem, so I’ll save up a full report on my Moneta for another post when it’s done. Layla was very knowledgable – showing us not just how to grapple with an overlocker, but also how to handle knit fabrics, and some tips for speed sewing, too.

If I were being super-critical, I’d say that Moneta start-to-finish is probably a bit too much to cover in the time, and that it might be easier to start with a simpler pattern (and one that uses less fabric to make more space in the classroom), but I think the smart folks at G&G may be already on to this, because the overlocker class currently advertised on their site uses a T-shirt as the example project.

There was eight students altogether, each with some experience in garment-making. They were so friendly, and everyone shared tips and ideas. I don’t usually get to meet other sewists IRL, so it was a really fun to spend the day with people who understand exactly what you mean when you say you must work through your stash, or that you’re scared to try Ginger jeans…

G&G is a lovely place to sew – upstairs is a beautiful room, light and airy, and equipped with so much kit. And the temptations of the shop downstairs are pretty strong too. Now I just need another excuse to go back!

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