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Monday, 16 February 2015

Member of the Month - February 2015

Our February Member of the Month is Camilla who has recently started on the dressmaking road.

My interest in sewing began when I was small.  My Nan was a dressmaker and used to make me all sorts of things customised to the dreams and whims of a very girly little girl (The Sound of Music, Barbie, Jem (pictured below) and The Bangles were big sources of inspiration). 

I grew up on the Essex coast and have moved in and around the London area over the last 15 years or so, and moved to Raynes Park a couple of months ago.  Having moved on from wanting to be a rock star, I now work full time in London organising global events for a training company (almost as cool).  I’ve still retained my childhood dream of designing and making my own clothes so now I’m actually channeling my energy into making it happen, one garment at a time!
 I’m at beginner’s stage of dressmaking, having started at school with patchwork and appliqué cushions and then moving on to a long, brown, paneled skirt with matching buttons all the way down the front.  I made a pair of grey-green, trousers several years ago, with a lot of help from my Mum!!  They were wide-leg style with a side zip (sorry Barbara! - From Barbara - Chacun a son gout, as Prince Orlofsy sings though not in reference to sewing.  I hate side zips in trousers but that's just my preference.) and were great because I just couldn’t find any trousers to fit me on in shops on the High Street.  I managed to lose them in a house move so alas no photo!

My favourite (and most recent) make is a grey skirt I made last year.


It’s actually the most challenging project I’ve completed, particularly working out how to fit a lining inside which felt like a cognitive puzzle :0)  The fabric was a light-medium weight crepe I purchased in John Lewis about 18 months ago and one good thing is that is doesn’t crease.  Whilst I like the finished skirt, I incorrectly adjusted the length of the skirt and it now sits too low – on my hips rather than my waist.  Giselle has talked me into having a go at making another one, so I can learn from my mistakes – an excellent idea which I’m going to buy some fabric for at our Goldhawk Road meet up in February :0) 
Having very recently joined this group, I felt very welcome and also really enjoyed listening to what other members had to say about their experiences and current projects.  It made me feel less alone with my sewing struggles which was just what I needed!  I’m really excited to see how everyone is getting on at our next meet up :0)
My top purchase last year was the double tracing wheel by Clover

This was recommended in a YouTube clip – Craftovision -   This girl is a quirky American sewer and I found her videos very helpful as my experience, skills and tools were limited!  The double tracing wheel means you can trace your seam allowance line at the same time as marking the pattern onto fabric (over carbon, coloured paper).  Saved me a lot of time!

The next item I'm hoping to make is a shift dress in a cotton blend fabric.  It's a basic shape with a V-neck and either short or no sleeves (I've not decided yet).  My sewing space is the dining room table in my flatshare.  It's medium sized and luckily my housemate doesn't use it much so I can use it fairly regularly :0)


  1. Camilla, I love your sources of inspiration! Rock star aesthetic: that's brilliant! Absoletuly love it. I should look around for who or what inspires me and then make a specific project with that in mind. Why didn't I think of this before? Better late than never!
    I really like your grey skirt, it looks very good. So it sits on your hips, that's still good as long as it doesnt drop off. I would love to see what your next skirt project is like: the more you sew, the more fun it gets. Honestly.
    The tracing wheel is such a good investment. I hope you still get to use the dining room a lot too. If you want any help with measurements or what size to chose, you could bring the pattern to the next meeting.

  2. I've got one of the double tracing wheels - they're very good! Hopefully I'll meet you in person at an event some time.

  3. I loved reading your sewing journey and your skirt looks very professional. Throughout my sewing life iv made so many trial and error skirts, it's surprising how easy it looks but the complications that can arise.

    Also thanks for the recommendations, I'm always looking for new YouTube teachers and I have never seen a double tracing wheel before


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