Workshop Debut!

Looking Back at our Brooke – Workshop Debut!

In June we had our first Workshop: With some very motivated and fun sewists we worked hard to make the Brooke-dress to fit their personal body measurements.

This was the first Workshop I organized ever! And because of that, plus the fact that I wanted to give everyone the attention they needed, I decided to start with a small group. Of course this resulted in the workshop being full and having to dissapoint some applicants. I’m sorry for that, but also made me realize that it is something that we really should plan again later this year.

Here are some pictures of some absolutely lovely ladies working hard! Yes we did work hard!
Which was even challenging with the tropical temparatures we were experiencing on both days!

Looking back at the two workshop days: My learnings!

I always believe that you learn things by just going for it, prepare the best you can and see how it goes. The very first thing that I learned is that eventhough I thought it was somewhat scary at first, I absolutley loved doing it! It was so much fun being with exciting, creative, positive women that want to learn, share and have a couple of fun days together. I really enjoyed sharing my knowledge and just got so much energy out of the whole experience that I can’t wait to plan another one. That is positive learning.

A few more things:

In advance everyone could choose their sewing kits with three different fabric options. The sewing kits I put together in personalized Rosie & Me bags (see top photo). For the occasion, I made myself a Brooke dress in one of the fabric options and decided it would be fun to finish the collar and band with piping cord, which I wore on day one (also on day two ;).
Well, my second learning was that I didn’t offer the piping cord option when making the sewing kits. And of course when everyone saw my Brooke version, with the cord finishing, that’s how they wanted to finish theirs as well! Ow, I should have, could have, would have known…. Next time, this option will be included!

So, these ladies were not affraid to be challanged a bit, which I thought was great! There was one week in between the two workshop days. The extra chore of both making and stitching piping cord alongside the collar and band became homework. I sent all of them piping cord in the mail, to be able to do so.
The task ended up being quite tricky for most of them: either not having enough time, no zipper pressor (or cord) foot, or just missing the experience. This brings me to some great tips for next time: 

  • Preparing everyone that the workshop includes some homework (especially when wanting the piping cord option).
  • Leave 2 weeks in between the two workshop days, giving everyone enough time to finish.
  • Place step by step homework-instructions on the website, especially for people with less sewing skills. This can then be reviewed at home when making homework.
  • Another great idea that someone in the group suggested, was to place some tablets with video instructions (how to sew a blind zipper in for example) that can be watched during the workshop.
  • And, also ….what could be helpful for me is: a personal assistant. Ha! For those that miss some sewing skills, it would be nice to have an extra person around to answer questions and help out. That way I can focus on teaching fit & construction techniques.

Another idea that arose from the Workshop, was to organize a Workshop solely for Plus Size ladies. When having unique measurements one often needs to make more specific fit adjustments to a pattern to perfectionize the fit. Perfectionizing the fit is something that I really enjoy doing. Something that I will plan in the future!

All in all, I can say that it was a great experience. I received very positive responses which include interest in attending the following workshop.

Knowing what I know now, I promise there will be more Workshops ahead. New Workshops will be announced via our FB-page and Newsletter, so stay tuned! As always, I am open for suggestions, so feel free to share any Workshop ideas you might have.



One Reply to “Workshop Debut!”

  1. Monique Willems says:

    Wat een mooie nieuwsbrief! Zo leuk om ons allemaal ingespannen bezig te zien. Fijn dat je zoveel bruikbare tips hebt ontvangen. Ik hoop dat de feedback helpt om opnieuw zo’n speciale workshop te gaan geven. Ik gun iedereen jouw scherpe blik en goede tips.

    Ik vind het heel bijzonder hoe jij vanuit het patroon en (proef-) model kunt zien wat er aan het uiteindelijke model veranderd kan worden zodat iedereen een goed passende jurk heeft. Dat is pas vakwerk. Over vintage gesproken! Zulk vakwerk bestaat haast niet meer….

    Ik laat je weten hoe mijn volgende proefmodel is geworden en ik hoop dat we elkaar nog vaak spreken en zien. Ik kijk uit naar je andere patronen in Plus.

    lieve groeten,

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