Saturday, 1 September 2012

Helping hens to be crafty

A few weeks ago, I ran my first craft workshop at a hen party which was great fun. The lovely bride Hannah is a keen crafter herself, so her sister and bridesmaid organised a relaxed afternoon of tea, cakes and crafting at her house before the ladies headed out on the town.

As most of the hens were crafting novices, I needed something that they could sew by hand and decided on a zip up make-up bag. The finished bag looks professional, so I think it is really satisfying to make and is also useful which is important for converting newbies to crafting!

Hand sewn zip purse or make up bag with floral pattern and pink polka dot lining

When I arrived to set up, I was pleased to see that the cake stands and containers that I'd chosen to display the materials fitted in very well with the vintage, tea party theme that the bridesmaids had gone for.

Table set up for sewing workshop at the hen party with material and zip options
Set up and ready to start

delicious homemade cakes on vintage cake stands made by the bridesmaid for the hen party
The yummy cakes provided for afternoon tea

After the hens arrived and had a chat over tea and cake, they came up to choose their material and I showed them how to do the first few steps in small batches. Over the next few hours the ladies set about sewing while catching up and nibbling on more tea and cake. The best bit was seeing how  genuinely chuffed the hens were with their make-up bags when they had finished.

The beautiful bride-to-be Hannah
I also learnt a few crucial things:

1. Running a workshop means that you will be so focused that you will forget to take any photos once things are under way. So apologies for the lack of action shots - here are a few that the bridesmaid kindly forwarded on to me. The main thing I forgot to get pictures of were the completed bags which all looked great. So you'll just have to trust me on that one until I can get hold of some photos.

hens sewing purses during the craft workshop2. Beginners are nervous to start with and so sew relatively slowly. Sounds obvious I know and although I sort of knew that this would be the case, I think next time I would get the hens to make something a bit smaller.

3. Crafting workshops are fun! I had a great time and realised that my experience of running workshops in my day job meant that I really enjoyed the whole afternoon and wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be. I would definitely be up for running more and now I'm thinking about a whole host of options and I have lots of ideas for other things to make at hen parties, or even birthdays and kid's parties.

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