This year I have taken some very big steps to get my business up and running.  The most expensive and in my opinion the most exciting, is not only going to the Goodwood Revival (which I’ve never been to) but having my own stall there selling my wares.  I have heard lots about Goodwood Revival and how all the people going dress up in Vintage styley and everyone looks very glamorous and stylish.  So what to wear?!?!  I have a few outfits that I could wear but this is an excellent excuse to get a new outfit!!  So when I was filling in my paperwork for my stall and visiting the Goodwood website I jumped at the chance of a three day course where a couple of very lovely ladies teach you to make a tailor made 1940’s style dress.  Now I can sew but my finishing off skills are somewhat rushed as I tend to make things as quickly as possible to get it done!  So this was a nice opportunity for me to learn how to professionally make outer wear.

The first day of the course was yesterday.  It is being held by a company called The Textile Space in a small barn just outside of Chichester.  It involved me getting up very early to partake in the epic journey there, as there are no direct ‘main’ roads from were I live to Chichester.  I am SO glad that we did this long winded journey as I got to see a part of England that I didn’t know existed.  I went through Surrey and West Sussex passing towns called “Cocking” which tickled me somewhat.  But I have to say the Surrey and West Sussex countryside is particularly beautiful!  There were lots of what I call “Miss Marple” cottages and on a particular stretch between Haselmere and Midhurst there were HUGE Mansions with equally huge gardens to them.  It was later explained to me that because it is difficult to get to London from this area easily, it has not yet been spoiled by housing development like in the “Commuter Belt” where I live.  It’s nice to think that these Historic houses have survived as people have a nasty habit of selling off their gardens to build modern monstrosities that have piddley gardens.  Then they charge extortionate prices because of the convenient location close to London……….welcome to my Village!  But I digress, this part of the country is largely unspoiled by these greedy types……………I hate to think how much these beautiful houses cost!  And since when were there so many rich people!?

Anyway I was already having a good day because I was doing my favourite pass time of being nosy and spying all these beautiful properties, and then I reached my course.  The courses run from a tiny little barn in the Village of Charleston, near Chichester, by two lovely and welcoming ladies Deborah and Claire.  Debs is more the textiley side of things whilst Claire is the dressmaking lady (she also runs a fabric shop in Littlehampton which is sadly closing down).  Together they run several dressmaking and textile courses including the 1940’s Dress, 1950’s Dress, 1960’s Dress and Petticoat.  They only opened last November and already are doing incredibly well as they pitch their prices at a very reasonable rate.  At a maximum only 6 people on each course, you get more one to one tutor-age and it isn’t to crowded.  To start we all had a cup of tea and a chat to get to know each other and then got to work!

The lovely ladies I met who are also doing the course 🙂

Our first task was choosing our colour fabric and cutting out the pieces in our size.  I chose a rather pretty pale blue that is almost a Tiffany Blue.  It is in a lovely Crepe fabric that is 100% wool and really easy to sew up with.  Being a Crepe it will also hang really nicely on the body.  All the other ladies had been to the Goodwood Revial before and were talking about it to me making me get very excited!  (They told me I had to get matching gloves, shoes and a hat……….who am I to turn down buying pretty things for myself teehee)

I also learnt something new at the class – how to do a “three step press”; hint to my Uni, would have been nice to teach us this!  I enjoyed this learning very much and took pictures.

Here is the said pressing – the fabric was on a Tailors “Ham”

What is a Tailors Ham I hear you asking?!  Well this is the second thing I learnt!  So called because it looks like a ham, it helps you press curved seams and darts without getting annoying creases.

Said Tailors Ham

I lie it was the 3rd thing I learnt as I also learnt that you have to iron your shop bought patterns – something I never bothered to do in the past.  It makes it a lot easier to work with as the creases don’t get in the way!

We had several tea breaks during the day where we were offered home made cakes and biscuits that a local lady had made, as she had just started up a business making all kinds of delicious treats (and she delivers them to you too).  I thought this was a lovely little touch to the day and they were SOOOOO good!!!  I can’t believe that it was included in the price of the course, such good value!
Tea and yummyness!
Ta daa this is what I had time to sew up so far.
Front of top half of dress
I suppose I should tell you what this course actually costs and what is included!  Well it cost £185 for three days which is spread out over three weeks.  Have a look at other similar courses and you will see this is VERY good value.  They provide tea, coffee, home made yummy delights, all the fabric, the pattern for the dress and a jacket (which I may make if I have time), expert tuition and very easy, welcoming company.  All you provide is yourself and a packed lunch.  I think this is EXCELLENT value for money as if you were to go out and buy an outfit for Goodwood you could easily spend that or more!  And you have the added bonus and talking point that you made it yourself!
Back of top of the dress
So I am already looking forward to the next session for several reasons.  1stly I can be nosy and look at all the gorgeous local properties again.  2ndly I get to see all the lovely ladies I met again and 3rdly CAKE!!!!!!  I will of course keep you updated on the progress of my outfit.  And excitingly on the last week we get to wear our dresses and get photographed by a Vintage car, by the Goodwood Revival photographer, for their website………….it’s like being famous haha very exciting!  I hope this has got you thinking what you will be wearing……
Lots of Love
Betty xxx