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Making Your Perfect Fit Jeans workshop at Guthrie&Ghani


Young Asian female  standing in a garden wearing a well-fitting pair of Closet Core Ginger Jeans in stretch denim with a high waisted stovepipe fit

I booked this workshop at Guthrie&Ghani shortly after attending the Jeans Drafting workshop at Like Sew Amazing. I had a fitted pattern after this, and so the next logical step was to sew the jeans. This being my first pair of fly front trousers, I was keen to pick up some advice from the G&G workshop, and added to my knowledge with the Sewing Jeans book by Joanna Lundstrom which I thoroughly recommend.


Book title cover of Sewing Jeans by Johanna Lundstrom

Since the drafted pattern I already had was for rigid denim, for this workshop I chose the Ginger Jeans by Closet Core Patterns for stretch denim to learn more about fitting and sewing this. My review of this pattern will soon be posted up on the blog.


Marketing photo of the Closet Core Ginger Jeans of a female wearing skinny jeans with a stovepipe fit

This was my third workshop at Guthrie&Ghani, having attended Learn How To Use An Overlocker, and Developing Your Overlocker Skills. There are a few details about the first workshop here, and there will be another post about the second coming up, where I made the Stasia Dress by Sew Liberated.



Preparation for the workshop

You get to choose from 3 jeans patterns:

  1. Ginger Jeans from Closet Core Patterns. Skinny or stovepipe fit for stretch denim.

  2. Ames Jeans by Cashmerette. Skinny or straight fit for stretch denim.

  3. Dawn Jeans by Megan Nielsen Patterns. Tapered, straight or wide legged for rigid denim.

As part of the workshop package, you get a Zoom call with the tutor to help advise on sizing and fitting adjustments, so you can cut the pattern and fabric before the workshop to make the most of the time there.


Flat lay of the Ginger Jeans sewing instructions, vintage La Couture notebook with purple pen, cut out indigo stretch denim for Closet Core Ginger Jeans, pocket bag pieces in striped blue and white cotton shirting, and waistband lining in metallic Japanese fabric

After the useful discussion with the tutor Becca, we decided I should cut a straight size 8 as it matched my waist and hips measurement closely. She gave some good advice about where to adjust the length as it was likely they’d be too long for me. I decided to make the high waisted stovepipe version. Becca emailed some advice on preparing the pattern and resources from the Closet Core website. They also have a sewalong for this pattern.


Sewalong and resources on the Closet Core website for the Ginger Jeans

The workshop

The workshop spanned two days over a Saturday and Sunday, from 10am - 4:30pm. It was lovely to meet the other attendees, sewists are generally such a great bunch of people. I do like to challenge myself with sewing projects beyond my skill, and more so on workshops because of the additional help and guidance. This meant I was the least experienced there but I didn't feel awkward.


Day One

After introductions, we started assembling the front and back pockets including topstitching. It was good to get stuck into this straight away as I did have some apprehension about how neat I could make this during the workshop. It soon ceased to worry me because there is so much topstitching to do and no time to unpick and redo.


Contrast topstitching on the Closet Core Ginger Jeans for the front pockets and coin pocket during construction

We then basted the jeans together to assess the fit. Becca spent time with each of us to guide us on what fitting adjustments would be required. We ended the day making the adjustments to our fabric and pattern pieces, and unpicked our basting. Here is a short video of the day.



Day Two

The start of day two was continuing with fitting adjustments, unpicking and then starting to construct the jeans. It seemed like a lot to get done in the time but most of us managed to get quite far. It tended to be those needing more complex fitting adjustments that were slowed down.


Becca demonstrated various techniques as we went along, and did a great job of keeping up with everyone's projects across the 3 different patterns. To help speed us along, she helped with pinning, pressing and changing thread between our matching and topstitching thread while we were away from our machines.


I was pleased to have got to the stage of attaching rivets, since I didn't have any of the required equipment at home. I don't think anyone completely finished by the end of the workshop; I got to the stage of just needing to attach the belt loops and hemming.


Closet up of the finished right front pocket and coin pocket on the Closet Core Ginger Jeans with brass rivets attached at the corners

Sewing space

The sewing room is above the fabric and haberdashery store, and equipped with Janome 6234XL overlockers and Brother sewing machines (I'm not sure of the exact model but it's much more advanced than my own machine). It is a light airy room with a vaulted ceiling and windows at front and back.


There are 3 large cutting tables and three ironing stations. At the back of the room is a small kitchenette for making drinks. We all managed to use the space together without much trouble since we had already cut out our fabric.


The light and airy Guthrie&Ghani sewing studio, with several sewists and tutor Becca working on their jeans projects during the Making Your Perfect Fit Jeans workshop

During the lunch break, it is a great opportunity to shop in the store downstairs. I have ordered fabric from here online but it is always great to see and feel the fabrics in person.


Location


Front of the Guthrie&Ghani store

The studio is located in Moseley, Birmingham, about 1hr 40mins away from where I live in Bristol so I stayed overnight at the Edgbaston Park Hotel. It is a conference hotel within the Birmingham University campus a short 10 min drive from the studio. It is reasonably priced for this location, has a lovely restaurant for breakfast and dinner, and is set in a leafy suburban area which feels safe.



The studio is on a high street with a range of cafes and supermarkets nearby including a Co-op and M&S Foodhall to buy a takeaway lunch. Time doesn’t allow for you to dine in somewhere, and of course you can bring your own lunch.


There is a car park at the back of the high street, but I find it convenient to park for free on the nearby Reddings Road off the high street and only a couple of mins walk away.


Summary

This was my third workshop here which goes to show how much I enjoy them. Becca is a great and patient tutor, helping create a friendly relaxed atmosphere. I can’t deny that a part of the reason I love these workshops is that they feel like a retreat away from home, and that I always come back with a load of gorgeous fabrics :)


Attending these workshops is also an eye opener for me in how little time it can take to make a garment from start to finish. If at home, yes I would have taken more time and care over it but the huge advantage of the workshop is not having to reference the instructions much at all. It is a huge time and stress saver to be able to ask someone how to do the next step, along with their tips of how to avoid any problems.


Another huge advantage is learning to let go of those little imperfections, since there is no time during workshops for much unpicking. It certainly fosters a healthier relationship with the process of sewing which I enjoy enormously, without dwelling on those things that didn't go quite as planned.


I will be keeping an eye out for future workshops here that appeal, for another enjoyable and wholesome experience.


Label from Porcupine Patterns which says "I am not perfect but I am Limited Edition" with another label by Intensely Distracted "year of the rabbit" attached, being handsewn to the back of the Closet Core Ginger Jeans


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I have no affiliations, I'm just a keen buyer and user. A UK supplier may be linked, please try to source items from your favourite independent stores.



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I'm Kay, and welcome to my blog where I share tales of my sewing journey, complete with mishaps, mistakes and solutions to help make your journey a smoother one.

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