Monday, 28 April 2014

going freehand with chinelo


So I mentioned a little while that I was off to London to do a freehand cutting workshop with Chinelo Bally from the Great British Sewing Bee which was enormous fun indeed.


There were twelve of us and we made a peplum top - freehand, Chinelo style. 

The whole thing was really interesting. We spent a bit of time measuring ourselves - there are lots of measurements that Chinelo uses so it's good to do it under her supervision to get the correct ones. 

We then used some of the measurements to mark the fabric and fold it - there were a couple of times that I wasn't exactly sure how it was going to work - it's actually more intricate than I had expected. 





Chinelo lived in Nigeria until she was eight years old and her aunt taught her to sew pattern-less. She doesn't even use pins! It's a liberating way of sewing for sure, even though I only dipped a toe in the water with this workshop. 

I'd love to see everybody else's finished products because some people made dresses and people did varied lengths and neck shapes. 




I had to leave a little early to catch my plane. When I told Chinelo that I was going to get a plane back to Ireland, she looked a tad shocked!!  I did feel like a bit of a lunatic for making the trip all the way over I must admit but I'm really glad that I did. 

I didn't actually get my top finished there, and I'd say a few people didn't but I had it all cut and the sewing started enough to be able to finish it off when I got home. The neck and arms are finished with bias binding. The main thing I need to do is try to make another one quickly before I forget everything! 



It would be amazing to have more time with her to learn more. For example, I think I did still manage to do something wrong with my measurements because my top was a bit big and I needed to adjust it so it's not perfect. But I think a bit of practice doing this would mean that I would have more of an understanding of what is actually happening when a garment is coming together. 

Chinelo is running more workshops but I think they are booking up quickly. You can book them here and also her blog is here


Do you have any experience with pattern-less sewing? I'd love to hear about others adventures in freehand sewing...

1 comment:

I'd love to hear from you - don't be shy!

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