Designer Speed Tailoring At Gill Arnold

Hi Readers! Two weeks ago I spent a weekend at Gill Arnold‘s sewing school learning Designer Speed Tailoring. Before I joined I was hesitant about the class for two reasons: the website doesn’t provide much details about the course and the garments shown in the photos aren’t exactly to my style. Anyway I took the plunge and joined the class… and I enjoyed it 100%.

Gill’s studio is in Birmingham, UK. Mr H drove me on day one (thank you!) and on arrival, fabric, fusible interfacing, notes and sewing box were neatly arranged on the table for each student.

Each student get to sew a half jacket

Each student get to sew a half jacket

The class size is small, there were 5 students (including me) in the class and I think the maximum number is 6 so each student got plenty of one to one advice from Gill. The studio itself doesn’t have the latest decor but it’s filled with daylight and the sewing machines are the latest Bernina 5 series. The sewing machines are set on proper Horn cabinet as well so it took no time to get comfortable with the sewing positions.

Gill's sewing studio

Gill’s sewing studio

Bernina 550QE - lovely machine to sew with!

Bernina 550QE – lovely machine to sew with!

Gill was very clear with her instructions and she went through all the sewing steps in great detail. We learnt to fuse the interfacing and press properly, where to use the appropriate type of interfacing, turning corners inside out without trimming and weakening the seam. The lapels and collars were sewn with ‘tailor’s blister so the correct side of the garment is favoured.

Pinning out the tailor's blister on the lapel

Pinning out the tailor’s blister on the lapel

On day two, we went through the collar construction process. Majority of the collar construction was done by machine with only a little bit of hand stitching.

Hand finishing the collar

Hand finishing the collar

In addition to turning the hem properly, we also learnt how to set in the sleeve evenly.

The sleeve head being prepared

The sleeve head being prepared

I learnt so much on the two days and scribbled a lot of reminders on the notes. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to understand how fusible interfacing can be used efficiently and professionally. Here’s my sample half jacket before pressing and putting in the sleeve head:

The half jacket sample - a bit wrinkled because I stuffed it in a bag on the way home.

The half jacket sample – a bit wrinkled because I folded it in a bag on the way home.

I should also mention that this class does not include lining insertion, pockets and buttonholes. Gill has separate course for these and I’ve already signed up to the latter. I’m also on the waiting list for the 3 day Chanel jacket course in September. If it wasn’t for the rather long drive and pricy petrol I would have joined more classes!

18 thoughts on “Designer Speed Tailoring At Gill Arnold

  1. Sounds like a fantastic course. We can all do with some professional tips to make our garments more professional looking. The studio looks like an ideal place to take lessons.

  2. Gill’s courses are always highly recommended! I will say that you need to make a jacket quickly after doing this course so you remember all the details and get some experience at doing it all her way. I have used my notes, photos & little jacket sample many times.

  3. This sounds (and looks!) fabulous – just the kind of thing I would love to do!! I’m not half surprised you’re going back for more :) I’m bummed I don’t live in the UK! I look forward to hearing about the other courses you’ve signed up for :)

    • Thanks so much for the nomination! Im having a hard time balancing work and sewing lately hence the lack of post recently. I’ll do my best to keep it up!

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