The reason you haven't heard from me following Gertie's awesome sewing retreat is two-fold: 1) I've been sewing up a storm since I got home, and 2) I replaced my laptop computer (it was 7 years old) which required a stay at the Geek Squad, and a complete relearning of everything I have ever known about how to use a computer since I now have Windows 8. Of course, the key is to just spend time with the computer, trying it out and seeing what works, but who has the time? And when I do have the time, I'd rather be sewing.
So then, of course, I couldn't write the brilliant post I felt the weekend deserved, because all this time had passed, coupled with my perfectionist's tendencies. It's time for me to get over that and just tell you the whole experience was marvelous and if you ever get the chance to go, just go. Gertie and her husband, Jeff, are delightful, down-to-earth people who truly want to help and make sure you have a good time. And everyone who attended couldn't have been nicer. Jenny, Lauren, Kristen, Joanna, and myself were the bloggers in attendance. We had lawyers, a microbiologist, costumers - such a wide range of amazing, intelligent women. We had three Brits (counting Gertie's trusty assistant, Fleur), two Canadians, a Dutch-American, and a Cuban-American. All were looking for help on fitting and we had come to the right place. I watched Gertie do a full bust adjustment in about 45 seconds. I watched
Of course, I took my green peddle pushers with me for fitting and it took Gertie about a minute and half to take 1/2 inch out of the front rise and add about 1/2 inch to the back rise. Then for the rest of the weekend, I made pants. I made another pair of green pants with the altered pattern:
And then I got started a polka-dotted version from some cotton stretch sateen I found at Joann's before I left:
(Look at that bootie fit!)
To say I can't be more pleased is a massive understatement.
One funny story: I really admired Jenny's Simplicity 2343 skirt she wore at the retreat and I was determined to make it when I got home but found the pattern was out of print. One of the attractive features was that it had pockets like my Gertie pants. But then I thought, wait a minute! I have a pants pattern that fits me like a dream through my waist and hips - why can't I draft a skirt pattern? Which, of course, I have never done before. But I did it, dear readers:
And I used the left over polka-dotted fabric! I anticipated having to sew the side seams multiple times to get just the right fit, but nope, it fit perfectly on the first try! One of the great things about the retreat was that it really did de-mystify the whole "altering patterns is hard and time consuming" mindset. Seeing it done in person, and so easily, made me realize that this isn't brain surgery - all I need to get good at it are more classes and retreats like this one. It won't be my last!
P.S. 1) Gertie is stunning in person. Really. And Lauren is astonishingly pretty! We kept urging her to try out for the Great American sewing bee, but she lives in Austin, Texas, not the Tri-State area of NY/NJ/CT they are looking for. We think she should move.
2) I hope to get the whole camera photos/new computer issue resolved soon so I don't have to keep relying on crappy cell phone pics.
3) It took me HOURS to write this post. I'm sure this new computer will become second nature to me in due time. Like 7 years.