Monday, 11 July 2011

Gill Arnold Speed Tailoring class - A review

Sorry for the delay since my last post - sometimes life just gets in the way doesn't it?

I mentioned that I booked a place on Gill Arnold's 2 day Speed Tailoring class 28th and 29th June and thought I would give you an overview of the class, venue and Gill.

To learn more about Gill and her classes you can see her website here:  I won't reiterate her experience, but would add that her teaching style and manner is relaxed and you learn so much without realising it!  Gill always goes over the basics of any process - ie when pressing the jacket seams open she talks about the 3 steps of pressing.  Even though you may already know the information it is presented in such a way it still feels new.

Classes start at 10am prompt and I decided to drive each day.  The studio is located a few miles from the motorway and it was an easy run form me (albeit about an hour and a half each way). Places are limited to a maximum of 6 students.

Gill started by explaining the difference between formal tailoring and speed tailoring and we looked at jackets she had made using both methods - it was hard to tell the difference even with a good feel.....

Here Gill is explaining how speed tailoring will look and that to have a successful
jacket you need to line it - hong kong finish really doesn't work. 
She is also showing us the variety of fabric weights you can utilise with this method. 
This sample is a lightweight poly blend.
We then looked at the different types of fusibles we would be using, including a non-fusible which would be used for the chest plastron.  Of course Gill sells everything you need and makes up packs for you to take away. The packs are round £16 and include enough fusible to do 2 jackets, some fabulous shoulder pads, sleeve heads and bindings.

Here is Sylvia adding her back stay
 As a group we worked through each stage together and broke off into 2's at the ironing stations which works well when trying to remember everything!  Gill provides everything in the class so you don't need to bring anything other than some lunch.

Remember to use your pressing cloth the right way around! 
Here the roll line is being pressed
 Unlike some speed tailoring classes where you literally just press the pieces in place Gill goes through other techniques and we sew one side of the jacket together on a lovely Bernina machine.  She shared with us a great way to get the notched collar to go together so each side is symmetrical, how to steam and turn the facings, and my personal favorite was how to turn the collar keeping the edges square - no trimming of corners allowed!
My finished, fused front. It has written notes all over it!
My only niggle with the class is that you don't get a full set of notes.  But I completely understand why Gill doesn't provide these - apparently there are two ladies locally who are now running this class using her full class notes and undercutting her prices.  The notes you do get are excellent but there's always something you forget isn't there?

***  Added later:
Sorry, I forgot to mention the venue.  Gill has a dedicated sewing stuido that is very light and airy and has a lovely clam feeling about it.  There is the front classroom as you walk in the door which is set up for 6 students with desks and sewing stations.  There is a cutting room which also includes two pressing stations.  Along the corridor there is a small, but beautifully formed,  kitchen where you can help yourself to tea and coffee and sit during lunch time - if you don't busy yourself looking through the beautiful garments Gill has made which are used for demonstation!  There are a couple of minimarts, Post Office and chemist for anything you may need over lunch and the free parking is a bonus too.
I will definitely be taking another one of Gills classes and am thinking about the Foundation of Fit in November.  My big issue with sewing at the moment is personal fit.  I'm uber fussy and am reluctant to spend time and money on something I'm not 100% happy with. 

So for those of you living in the UK I would thoroughly recommend taking a class with Gill and recommend her fusibles too - I have my first lot drying over the banister as we speak.

***  Gill is also holding a one day Linton Tweed event on Sunday 4th September.  The ladies from Linton are "on the road" and will be at Gills between  11am and 3pm that day.  I'll be going as I love their fabrics and it's very handy to be able to purchase the fuisibles at the same time.

Have a good day all.  It's a beautiful day here so I don't think there will be much sewing - again!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was a very informative class. Looking forward to seeing a finished tailored jacket soon. ;)

Karin said...

That's really naughty to use her notes to undercut her. Probably illegal too, but difficult to enforce. I'd love to take a class like that someday.

Anonymous said...

I did a class with Gill years ago and really enjoyed it, she is very knowledgeable and passes so much of her knowledge on to her students.
I usually go and buy fusibles from her when I go to the stitch show at the NEC in March.