Friday 15 February 2019

Story Book Dresses with Jennifer Collier at Hope & Elvis

Jennifer Collier - Cup

I'm a great admirer of Jennifer Collier's work so I was delighted to be able to go to one of her workshops.  I was also delighted it was at Hope & Elvis which has a friendly atmosphere, great materials, fabulous lunches, plentiful tea & coffee thanks to Louise Asher, the owner.

Hope & Elvis

Paper pioneer Jennifer makes her wonderful sculptures from vintage papers and stitch.  Her work is original, contemporary and with the papers she chooses, weaves a narrative through her finished pieces. 

Jennifer brought along examples of her fabulous work...

Jennifer Collier - Coat & Dress

Jennifer Collier - Cup

Jennifer Collier - Technique

We were making Story Book Dresses and in doing so Jennifer showed us machine and hand stitch techniques, including paper patchwork, covered bindings, button loops, covered buttons plus picot stitch and a needle lace edging.

Jennifer Collier - Examples of Story Book Dresses

We could choose from both Jennifer and Hope & Elvis's materials...


Jennifer showed us a few techniques at a time and let us try them out.  There were templates available so we could fit our techniques to the size of pattern pieces we would need for our dresses later.


My selection of papers...
Vintage Papers

The first technique Jennifer showed us was pleating...

My Pleating

We also made covered binding and button loops...

My Button Loops & Covered Binding

and pockets.  Mine is embellished with a paper covered button and some (very inexpert) needle lace...

My Pocket

I did a little better with my picot although I have to confess this was my second attempt...

Picot - My Second Attempt

And then it was time to put it altogether.  We even got to make a hanger to hang out dresses from...

My Dress - Back

My Dress - Front

It was a great workshop.  I didn't quite finish my dress in the time although most other people did so I completed mine once I got home.  Jennifer was really helpful and approachable and happy to share her techniques and top tips with us all - thanks Jennifer!

Jennifer Collier

Thanks also to Louise & Ruth from Hope & Elvis for looking after us all and to Maggie for a great lunch!  Check out the workshops on offer at Hope & Elvis here.

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