Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Five things I learned at the Simplicity blog meet…

Faithful followers at the church of May

So, as you probably already know, there was an excellent Simplicity meet up in Manchester (yay the North) at the weekend. Many of the truly lovely attendees have already written up some excellent posts about what was covered on the day, so I’m not going to try and cover all of the subject matter (some great write ups by Red W Sews and Wrong Doll). But believe me, it was fantastic. The sheer amount of tips and advice that May Martin was able to cover was astounding, as was the goody bag of patterns and magazines, so a huge thank you to Hannah at Conker Comms and to Simplicity for their generosity and general brilliance.

Having had a few days to reflect (and test out some of the tips), here are my take aways from the day:

1. TV editing can be misleading: I knew from GBSB that May really knew her stuff and that she seemed like a nice person. What I didn’t expect was how much I would really, really like her - she instantly put us at our ease, had a brilliant sense of humour and made us all feel like we were all mates getting together for a bit of a chat. I honestly could have listened to her all day. I loved her passion, her stories about previous students and the frequent ‘May Mantras’, which were genius. Just a lovely, lovely lady
The joy of crotch fitting

2. Sewing is still heavily female dominated: Obviously I’m always happy to spend time with clever, creative women, but it was clear from the event that there is still a very strong female bias (no pun intended) to sewing. Yes, there are more men on the Sewing Bee than last year, but it would be fantastic to have more men participating and seeing more of their amazing skills

3. Everyone buggers it up sometime: I still have this frustration with not seeing steady improvement, and simple things causing me to get cross with certain projects, so it was a good reminder that errors still happen even to the best sewists. The main thing is to learn how to get out of those tangles with a calm and measured approach that is going to always protect your garment or project. May’s tips for when your sewing machine decides to eat your machine are going to be so useful

4. You probably already know why you are going wrong: You’ve just decided to cut some corners. We all know: use the right needle, use decent thread, read your manuals. In many cases, it might well be your machine that is causing the issue, but it was probably your choice to do something a bit faster or without the right amount of prep that is actually at fault

Testing out May's wisdom on differential feeds

5. Sewing people really are awesome: I’m still pretty new to the whole sewing/blogging malarky and whilst you read a lot about everyone being friendly, introducing yourself into a gang where it feels like everyone already knows each other (and knows a lot more about sewing than you) can be a bit like being the new girl who joins the sixth form. When I first walked in, there were people who already knew each other and there was that slight feeling of anxiety at knowing nobody. But in fact, all you need to do is say hello and that all immediately dissipates. Everyone is happy to chat, and I came away having finally met some people who I’ve been following for a while (and can finally rid myself of that strange stalkery feeling of knowing lots about them, but not having ever really said much about myself) and a whole load of new blogs and people to follow. Thank you everyone for being so ace.

1 comment:

  1. Great write up (also, slightly odd feeling to have a blog post pop up on my feed with the back of my head on the feature picture! Hope I didn't block your view!!) Thanks for the shout out too, much appreciated! If it helps, I had met precisely 2 people before, one of them in the queue at Fabworks, and was terrified walking in. Sewing people really do seem to be the nicest!