Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Overlocking action and big changes

Sorry for the long absence, and lack of comments on your blogs, but big changes are afoot in casa de Laura and I have literally not had time to stop this past few weeks.

Due to my boyfriend getting a shiny new job, we are going to be relocating to Bristol in the next month or so!  I’m very excited about moving to the west country, but at the moment I don’t have a new job lined up, or a place to live, or any friends in Bristol, so things are very much crazy hectic.
I’m looking forward to exploring my new local area, and if anyone has any recommendations for good sewing shops, craft cafes or sewing teachers / schools in Bristol or Bath (or anywhere nearby) please let me know!
I’ll admit, because of this, sewing has not been top of my list of priorities recently. A couple of months ago I did buy a overlocker, with big plans to make zillions of jersey garments, which sadly did not happen.  The poor thing has been stuck on my desk literally gathering dust!  Lucikly, I had also signed up to a a 2 day overlocker course, and the first class was yesterday.  Initially we just got to grips with the basics; the first thing we had to do was cut the threads off and learn how to re-thread our machines from scratch!!  That was a bit scary, and actually quite tricky (even though the teacher told me my model was actually one of the easier machines to thread), but once I’d done it a couple of times I had it figured out.  Definitely need to get some good tweezers for the fiddly bits though!
My new baby
We then re-threaded using different coloured threads, so we clearly saw what each thread was doing in the stitching it created. 
Next we made little samples increasing and decreasing tension on the loopers and needle thread, moving the blade plate further away and closer to the needle plate and changing the stitch length.

We also had a practice at sewing curves and swerving the fabric on and off the overlocker.
We each got given a customised vest pattern, which we are cutting out at home and then sewing up next week.  We are also going to learn an easy way to rethread, and how to attach elastic to fabric via the overlocker, and hopefully how to use the rolled hem feature.
I have to say I am not scared of my overlocker now, nor of a thread breaking and having to re-thread the machine.

It's not as scary as it looks!
I'll let you know how the second class goes.


  1. Good luck on the move! I am sure you will get plenty of opportunities to try your new can be addictive, I warn you :o)

  2. Oh good luck! Overlocker looks fun, wouldnt mind a go myself... Your samples with the test stitches are very clever tho!

  3. Oh wow, very hectic indeed! I hope the move goes well and you get settled in easily. Your overlocker course sounds absolutely brilliant, I'm in desperate need of something like it...I'm terrified of my beast and don't use it anywhere near its full potential :o(

  4. Exciting! Bristol is awesome. I used to live just south of Bristol in North Somerset. It's a lovely place. I'm planning on visiting again while i'm in the UK in July infact.

    The overlocker course sounds great, looking forward to hearing more about it.

  5. Hello! I'm a Bristol-dweller and it is indeed awesome.
    We're pretty well-connected transport-wise, London is but two hours away by train or National Express (or Megabus, ew) so no problem getting to Fabric Fandangos and the like.
    As for craft shops we have:
    Sew & Sew - St Nicholas Markets (aka covered market) in the city centre for almost everything apart from fabric.
    Fabricland - Broadmead(ish), you probably know what they're like
    Hobbycraft - Cribbs Causeway, ditto
    John Lewis - Cribbs Causeway, huuuuuuge haberdashery section <3
    Creativity - just off the top of Whiteladies Road, stuffed full of beads and things
    Bamba Beads - Gloucester Road, just above The Arches. BEADS. Lots of them.
    Just up from there there's a show that has wool upstairs and general hippyishness downstairs, possibly called something like Katze.

    There's a shop I can't remember the name of up Gloucester Road, pretty much in Horfield I think. A general craft shop with cardmaking supplies and the like. And another in The Galleries shopping centre (it's pretty grim in there otherwise, everything moved out of it into Cabot Circus!)

    Cordial & Grace - Clifton Village is a crafty café with sewing machines for hire downstairs (not required I know but awesome). I haven't been there yet but definitely will do as soon as my degree allows, I hear the cake is excellent.

    Bristol has a WI branch with an average age of 32, an active stitch 'n' bitch, and lots of yarnbombers.

    Café Kino (vegan cafe co-operative), The Cube microplex (tiny cinema plus other stuff), and The Folk House (adult education & a lovely cafe) can all keep you in the loop with creative stuff.
    UWE have thriving arts and fashion courses and might also be a good place to look for courses. UoB itself sadly doesn't go anywhere near! We do have a knitting society though.

    Most of my information is centre/Clifton/Gloucester Road centric but other areas of the city are plenty creative. St Pauls has a bit of a dodgy reputation but also has a huge carnival every summer and all the associated spangly-costume-making shops I imagine. Bedminster I don't know much of but I think The Tobacco Factory (bar & theatre) is a good place to start looking, they have their own Sunday market.

    In Bath there's Bijoux Beads near the abbey, a sewing stall in the Guildhall Market, and a shop called Crock-a-doodle-doo in Larkhall which sounds rather nice. Scruffy Badger can probably help with the local knowledge over there.

    Information overload much?

    1. Wowsa, tonnes of info there! Thanks so much, it gives me plenty to explore once I've moved. I like the sound of Cordial & Grace (the cake side of things mainly) :o)

    2. Yay!!! I was wondering how things were going for you and what a great adventure!!! Moving down the road :-)
      Bath has less than that long list provided by diochoco but id say the makery is the crafting hub, with shiny rocks a bristol/ bath jewellery making teaching selling emporium giving me loads of crafting pleasure in the past too.
      Fabric shops- husquevarna studio is my fave, but we do have another in green st but its not my kind of fabric shop. There is also a fabric shop in keynsham that I believe is relocating to downend in bristol.
      I'm v excited you're going to be a near neighbour Laura!

    3. Yay, I'm going to be near Scruffy Badger country, how exciting :o)

    4. I spotted a lovely new sewing shop recently, words will not do so here's a blog post from someone else with plenty of pictures:

  6. Glad you've now got an overlocker Laura & that your class is going well.
    Hope the move to Bristol is smooth for ya too :)

  7. Thanks everyone, fingers crossed everything works out

  8. All the best for the move - I don't know Bristol well, but my other half's from around there and so I know that's it's a lovely area in general.

    I've left you a Liebster award across at my blog :)

  9. Hi, someone has already left a very informative message about everything sewing based in Bristol so I have only to add that I work in Cordial & Grace most Sundays as their teacher and would love it if you popped in!! Also, have a mooch around Flo-Jo Boutique on Gloucester Road (I teach there too, but I promise this isn't me trying to get a bit of advertising!!)... they have beautiful fabrics. Hope you're loving Bristol!!


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