Houston and Cottonwood AZ Workshops coming this September

I’m thrilled to announce that I will be coming to Texas and Arizona in September 2019 to teach sessions of my sought-after dressmaking workshops.

Houston Workshop (Sew Houston)

7710 Cherry Park F, Houston TX 77095

WAITLIST! Session One Workshop: September 21-22 (Saturday & Sunday), 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

WAITLIST! Session Two Workshop:September 23-24 (Monday & Tuesday), 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Houston Book Signing (Brazos Bookstore)

2421 Bissonnet Street • Houston, TX 77005

Friday, September 20th at 6:30 pm. Join me at Brazos Bookstore for a lovely evening book signing. Wear your favorite dress!

Cottonwood (Quilter’s Quarters) 

51 N. Verde Heights Drive, Cottonwood, AZ 86326

Note: Cottonwood is a lovely town near destinations like Sedona and Jerome. The closest airports are Flagstaff and Pheonix, and you can drive or take a shuttle to Cottonwood from there.

Two-Day Workshop: September 28-29 (Saturday & Sunday), 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Cost: $550 (half due on registration; half due 6 weeks before course)

Class level: This fast-paced workshop is not suited to beginning sewers, and is best for intermediate level and above. Please be comfortable using a machine, reading a cutting layout, and know the basics of garment terms and construction (i.e., the difference between a facing and interfacing). You should have completed several garment projects, including several dresses. Feel free to ask me if you’re not sure if the class is right for you!

Cancellation policy: Due to an unusual amount of cancellations, I have had to change my policy. Deposits and fees are now non-refundable. You may pay either half the fee or the entire fee upon registration. If you pay half, then the second half must be paid six weeks before the class date. Thank you for your understanding!

Workshop Description

Please join me for two days of intensive sewing and fun! We’ll be using my  Night and Day Dress pattern as the basis for our work. There are several mix and match options in the pattern, but for the purposes of this class, we will all be making a sleeveless unlined dress with the flared skirt. You may choose either the square or round neckline. (Limiting the design options gives us more time to focus on fit!) We will perfect the fit of the dress in the workshop, and then you will be ready to add sleeves, collars, a lining, and different skirt options on your next version! (Fun fact: you can make a total of 72 different dresses from the pattern!)

We will focus on fitting for most of the first day, and then move on to construction. You’ll learn all my tested techniques for sewing and pressing darts, creating a perfectly neat all-in-one facing, a lapped zipper and much more. 

Note: I recommend wearing the bra or foundation garments you plan to wear with your dress to the first day of class. You may wish to also bring a snug camisole if you’re concerned about modesty, as the tissue fittings must be done without a shirt or top on. (Though please don’t feel like you have to! I’m fine with doing fittings in your bra or however you’re most comfortable.)

Here is a list of supplies to bring:

  • Your sewing machine (Cottonwood workshops only; Houston has machines available for your use if you like)
  • A copy of the Night and Day Dress sewing pattern
  • Basic sewing kit: pins, cutting shears, paper scissors hand sewing needles, etc. 
  • notebook and pen
  • Pencils, colored pencils
  • 2” x 18″ gridded ruler
  • All-purpose sewing thread
  • Fabric (see below)
  • 24″ (61 cm) dress zipper to match your fabric (regular, NOT invisible)
  • 1 meter fusible interfacing (lightweight woven or knit; please do not use non-woven interfacing)
  • Scotch tape 
  • Curved ruler 

Fabric recommendations: fabric should be opaque with light to medium body. Keep in mind that dresses will not be lined in this class, so make sure it’s something that feels good against your skin. Medium weight cotton, cotton blends, linen, sateen, poplin, chambray, rayon challis, and shirting are all good choices.

I would recommend staying away from stripes, plaids or other tricky prints for your first version, as time is very limited in these workshops. 

Yardage requirements (please refer to Night and Day size chart) 

45” (114 cm) wide fabric, sizes 2-8: 4.25 yards

60” (152 cm) wide fabric, sizes 2-8: 4 yards

45” (114 cm) wide fabric: sizes 10-16: 4.5 yards

60” (152 cm) wide fabric, sizes 10-16: 4.5 yards

Please contact me at gretchen@blogforbettersewing.com if you have any questions!

“I got a lot out of the Gertie class because I use her patterns a lot and she’s obviously an expert at those. Actually watching someone in person with so much skill is very helpful. And having her next to you giving you little tips is priceless. I never struggle with zips or fitting anymore. She’s lovely and very kind. She kept us on task very sweetly while having fun at the same time.” –Belinda, Sydney workshop