Shirt or Trouser Making with Mark Francis - 4th & 5th March 2023


This is a great opportunity to make a shirt or a pair of trousers with the pattern designer.

Mark Francis, who you may recognise from The Sewing Bee in 2020, says that he started sewing quite late in life; which probably makes him sound older than he actually is! 

His relationship with sewing really began when he was a small child.  His grandparents, being from the make-do-and-mend generation, were excellent amateur sewers and owned an ancient treadle powered Singer sewing machine, which Mark found mesmerizing as a child. The Singer was a large piece of equipment made of metal and wood with a countertop, drawers and a fascinating treadle.  Mark along with his younger sister would play with it endlessly but had no idea how to sew on it, it was much more useful as a shop counter! 

It was at this age that Mark's lifelong passion for Doctor Who also began, including dressing up as the Doctor in a specially put together outfit. He dreamt of being able to make his own costumes and clothes but never had the confidence or skills to be able to attempt such projects.   Needlework was not something that little boys were encouraged to do in the 1980s. Over the years Marl indulged his creative side by playing various instruments, painting and drawing, singing and acting and learning to tap dance, but the desire to learn how to sew never left him.  

Many years passed until Mark had the confidence to finally learn how to use a sewing machine and even though he now has that skill, the learning never stops. The treadle Singer has long since left the Francis family, but his passion and love for making clothes & costumes, taking inspiration from Doctor Who has only grown stronger.

Three years ago, Mark's husband Clive applied for him to enter the Great British Sewing Bee, Mark never thought he would get through, but he did and life hasn’t been the same since.  Mark says that the time he had in the sewing room, working alongside such an incredible bunch of creative, enthusiastic and hardworking individuals, both in front of and behind the camera, gave him the push he needed to be able to change his life and refocus on the things I love the most. 

This includes having a website, designing a pattern range, teaching at shows and demonstrating on Sewing Street TV.

On this workshop, you can choose to make either of Mark's shirt Patterns or his new McCoy Trouser pattern

The Brighton Shirt - with a lapel collar, yoke and sleeve with a cuff

The Turlough Shirt - A distinctive and versatile loose-fitting shirt for both men and women with options to transform into a dress.

XS to fit chest 34.5”, S to fit chest 37”, M to fit chest 39”, L to fit chest 41.5”,

XL to fit chest 43.5”, XXL to fit chest 46”

Recommended fabric, cotton, cotton blend, linen, chambray or lightweight denim.

The Sailor Shirt brand new pattern, more details to follow

The McCoy Trousers brand new pattern, more details to follow

The cost of the pattern is included in the workshop price.

What You Need To Bring: The Sewing Room is fully equipped with Janome Sewing Machines and Overlockers as well as all the tools you need to complete your project.  You are very welcome to bring your own machine and sewing box if you wish.

Materials Needed: a materials list will be sent nearer the time.

Level: Intermediate

Venue: The Midhurst Sewing Room

Date: Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th March 2023

Workshop Start/End time: 10am - 5pm

Workshop Duration: two day

Workshop Tutor: Mark Francis

More Information
Workshop Start4 Mar 2023