A Beautiful Place to Learn
As I mentioned in my last post, I recently returned from St. Peters Abbey in Muenster Saskatchewan were I was a teaching assistant for Beverly Johnson’s bra making classes at the 14th Annual Saskatchewan Stitches Conference. The abbey was founded in 1903 and has a working printing press and college on it’s grounds.
St. Peter’s College offers direct entry and non-direct entry programs to the University of Saskatchewan. It is in this college and the adjoining student residences you will find a number of participants, (mostly women) spending anywhere from a day to the length of the conference learning new stitching tips and techniques. From Quilters to Hookers (rug Hookers), from apparel construction to hand embroidery, there are stitching classes for anyone who has an interest and would like to learn something new or advance the skills they already have. This was my third time in attendance which I feel is like summer camp for adults that love to sew. You can stay in residence and purchase meals so it makes the time even more relaxing as you don’t have to worry about what to make for supper. The buildings are interconnected and the stairs and hallways kind of remind me of a certain magical school, Hogwarts. In fact the first time I arrived at the Abbey, I parked by the residence hall named Severin Hall. After a 9 hour drive my mind saw Slytherin Hall and I was certain I was at the wrong place. And I am sure that the staircases do move.
This year there were 15 students for beginner bra class. Some were returnees, either there to brush up their bra making skills, or to get refitted and make a new bra. Most were first timers. This year the conference held the Beginner Bra, The Shelly Bra, Cut & Sew Foam, and Bra Camp. Lots of new bras were made as well as new friends.
It is so rewarding to watch the students start with some pieces of fabric and leave with a great fitting, beautiful bra. During the Bra Camp, I had some extra time, so I ended up cloning some of the students ready to wear bras they brought so they could make a bra similar in a similar style. I also ended up drafting a couple of bras, one for myself and one for The Fairy Bra Mother.
It was an incredible honour to be asked to draft a pattern for Beverly, though a bit nerve racking as I was making a bra for THE Fairy Bra Mother. It took me the better part of 2 days to draft and sew as I was sewing my bra as well and test sewing the new Sweet Sixteen Pinup Girls Pattern that has just come out at Bra Makers Supply. The best part was that the draft fit very well and she has a new pattern for herself.By the way, she really likes the Gothic Arch. After making patterns for us to use, she has no time to make one for herself.
I am hoping to return to the Abbey next year to celebrate the 15th annual conference. I understand that there are some extra attractions planned to celebrate this awesome anniversary.