Gilly goes back to school...
I have done my fair share of learning in my 32 years to date. After A-Levels I completed a degree, a masters, and then did an ACA in accountancy. And after I finished my graduate scheme I loudly and repeatedly told anyone that would listen that I was done with learning. No more qualifications would be completed by Gilly.
That was 6 years ago, and as with many heartfelt declarations I have made throughout my life, it would appear I’m about to go back on my word, because it turns out I’m not quite done with learning yet…
I’ve had an overlocker for a few years, having been inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee to invest in a machine that made sewing with stretch fabric feasible, however due to an inability to thread the damn thing it had never actually been used. Also, I’d not really considered how scary it is that the machine cuts away your seam allowance whilst you sew until I had the machine at home – I love making clothes, but I unpick as much as I sew and therefore me and a machine that doesn’t allow for the fixing of mistakes was never going to be a match made in heaven.
I recently saw a course entitled “Get to know your overlocker” run by Julia Hincks (who I now think of as the overlocker guru) advertised on Instagram. As well as the course itself, an added bonus was that it was being held in Hove where the Fabric Godmother studio is, and there would be a chance to purchase fabrics from Fabric Godmother on the day. On a whim, I booked myself a place.
The course was brilliant. After an early start to get over to Brighton followed by a full day of concentration at my machine, I was dying for a large glass of wine and a small nap by the time I got home – however whilst tired, I was also inspired.
I’d loved every minute of the day, and had learned so much – including (and probably most importantly) how to thread my machine! I’d forgotten how fun it can be to learn something new – whilst my mum has taught me the basics, and I have a rudimentary ability to follow a pattern to create a garment of clothing, I’m certainly not a skilled dressmaker, and of all my crafting endeavours, I’m definitely the most amateur when it comes to sewing. There is a lot of room for improvement!
On my drive home that day I made a decision. I’m going back to school, but this time I’m not doing a course that will further my career or look good on my CV – although hopefully one day it might if I were to give up the accountancy for a job in crafting (the ultimate dream)! I’m going back to school to do something that is completely self-indulgent and purely because it makes me happy.
I’m going back to school to undertake a City & Guilds certificate in dressmaking, and I cannot wait.
So, for the next 12 months, as well as finding me sitting on the sofa with my knitting needles or my crochet hook making things for the small humans my friends keep bringing into the world, you’ll likely also find me at the kitchen table (probably swearing as I jab myself with a pin) making a dress for myself – MadeByGilly for Gilly this time.
Check out Julia Hincks website here, which has details of all her courses and her amazing overlocker manual: https://juliahincks.com/
Take a peek at Fabric Godmother's amazing array of fabrics and independent patterns here - I'd completely recommend this as a go to website for anyone that loves sewing: http://www.fabricgodmother.co.uk/