The Simplicity Blog meet up with star guest May Martin

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to attend the first Simplicity bloggers meet up held in London at the Good Housekeeping Institute Dining Room.

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Having seen the event advertised on Twitter, I jumped at the chance to meet May Martin, the highly experienced textile tutor and judge on the BBC series The Great British Sewing Bee and pick up some top sewing tips. It was also really lovely to put some ‘real’ faces to a few bloggers I had seen or read about and indulge in some sewing chat! How amazing to be in the same room with lots of like minded people all talking about sewing! Sewing geekiness galore!

The meet up was put into full swing by May Martin presenting several of her favourite Simplicity patterns including one from Simplicity’s ‘Amazing Fit’ range. The pattern includes separate pattern pieces for different cup sizes which sounded very intriguing and saves you needing to do any bust adjustments. May then held an interactive ‘master class’ workshop throughout which she shared some top sewing tips and tricks. These included semi concealed and invisible zip insertion, transferring pattern markings, the roles of different sewing machine feet and sewing curved seams. I would estimate that there was only about 50 people in the room and this combined with close up views presented on 2 big screens and May’s fantastic instructions and explanations meant that you could really understand and follow the processes being taught. Samples that May had sewn were also handed round the guests which helped to visualise the techniques demonstrated. 

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Using your hands to help shape a curved seam when pinning
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Using tape to mark sewing line when inserting a semi concealed zip

My absolute favourite top tip from May was related to invisible zip insertion. When finishing off the seam below the invisible zip, May recommends using an adjustable zipper foot so that you can get as close as possible to the seam line. This is the part when you have to move the bottom part of the zip out of the way and continue the line of stitching in order to finish the seam off. With a standard foot (that I have used until now) it is really tricky to get close enough. Can’t wait to try this one!

After the workshop there was time to browse over a selection of free patterns and were given our goody bags. What a generous offering – I have never seen a goody bag like it!! Just check this selection out (there was more!)….

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There was also time to grab a picture with May!

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It was such a privilege to be able to hear May speak about her sewing career. She was incredibly down to earth and so passionate about sewing and her role as a sewing tutor. I was very inspired and imagine that most people in the room felt exactly the same.

It really was a fantastic couple of hours and I met some lovely people so thank you to Simplicity for organising. Lots to reflect on and techniques to put into practice! Bring it on!

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