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The Culch no image

Published on January 26th, 2010 | by Beatrice


Out with the weighing scales and in with the (homemade) corset

So it’s ‘so-long’ the Noughties and ‘hola’ the … 10ees?? Has anyone actually figured out what this decade is called yet? ?

Well regardless of its title a new year, and particularly a new decade gives us all the opportunity to forget the unfulfilled resolutions of the past and focus on the many prospects for the coming year. Not immune from making unrealistic promises involving thigh-masters and calorie counting I thought it time to give myself a break and turn my attention instead to those pursuits and hobbies that I am actually likely to stick to and (dare I say it?) perhaps enjoy?!

So focusing more on taking up than giving up I’ve been researching courses that could not only make me self-sufficient in a particular area but may also teach skills that could make me a little cash … always welcome in January.

Firstly working with the assumption that everyone has a story in them (particularly after an extended stay with the family over the holidays) I found some wonderful writing courses from the Irish Writer’s Centre. Be it the scripting of a radio drama fit for Radio 1, an intense bootcamp for those that haven’t put pen to paper since the Leaving Cert or some advice on begin that novel you’ve been harbouring for years, there’s an immense array of courses available all set to get those creative juices flowing, led by experienced and published writers. Pens at the ready…


Next for those that fancy themselves as good with their hands the Crafts Council of Ireland have a fabulous choice of classes. From pottery in Portmarnock, to Millinary in Mayo there really is something for everyone (well everyone so inclined anyway). Aside from all the information on possible new hobbies, there’s also information on various exhibitions throughout the year and a directory of ‘crafty people’ – a fantastic reference for all things creative.  Along side ongoing courses there are a number of workshops throughout the year allowing you the chance to dip your toe into the new recreation without committing too soon (we must NOT confuse January panic for enthusiasm).


With this in mind January sees the return of one of the loveliest workshops of all which gives a crash course in fashion skills for absolute beginners. Brought to us by the fabulous people at Re-dress, Crafternoon Tea is a great way to learn the basics whilst enjoying the company of all the other participants… a modern day sewing circle! Unfortunately January’s dates are booked up but if you get in fast you can get your name down for the February 20th course…


If of course you’re already sure that you’d like to commit to more than one days sewing then there are a number of wonderful classes available around the country. I can personally vouch for the Grafton Academy in Dublin where I enjoyed two separate dressmaking courses. I still keep the fruits of my labour on show in the bedroom just to remind myself how clever I was! From dressmaking classes that teach you to make something from scratch to thinking big and designing your own pattern the college offer a number of different classes and will tailor the teaching to your level of experience. The college is located in a beautiful Georgian building and houses the full time students during the day and the part-time courses during the evening and weekends. I may even return myself this term… the sense of achievement’s slightly addictive 😉


Of course there are dozens of dressmaking courses elsewhere so keep an eye out for the trillions of leaflets coming in the door over the next fortnight or even better ask your local haberdashery store for advice.

If you do come across any other lovely courses or workshops please be sure to share them with us. I’d personally love to improve (establish) my cookery skills… although I’m pretty sure no one will be buying any of those particular creations.

Good luck with whatever you decide to take up in 2010 and Happy New Year!

Beatrice xxx

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