Monday, 17 June 2013
I'm not sure if you've heard of Gather Magazine. This is a new online magazine that was launched earlier this year by four friends in Australia. Well they've just published the second edition and I'm in it!
I wrote a tutorial on how to install an invisible zipper. It's the first time I've ever had anything I've written published.
This is a young magazine, but it's great, I've flicked through this edition and am looking forward to reading it in more depth in the next couple of weeks. Pop over and have a look!
Find them on Facebook, Pinterest or Online
Thursday, 13 June 2013
Have you ever set yourself a challenge that seems bonkers, but exciting at the same time?
Well this is it. I'm in need of a boost to my art practice, I'm going to be based at home for most if the summer as I'm having an op on my hip soon, but I don't want to be bored to tears. I want to make art on a small scale that I can do on my knee or in the garden. I simply won't be able to stand and creat large scale works where I throw paint around. So I'm asking you for help.
I'd like to make 30 30x30 cm art works on paper or board.
I'd like you to give me suggestions about subject matter or theme and materials to use (e.g. A self portrait in ball point pen on brown paper). I'm hoping to generate enough work for an exhibition and will be selling the works in the Autumn for £30, unframed. Monies raised will go towards funding a charity trip to China to work with International China Concern next April.
This could be an opportunity for you to commission an original art work. Or just help generate some interesting pieces. So collaborate with me and be part of creating art. Leave a comment to Join in.
Saturday, 8 June 2013
styling just doesn't suit me. I've been on a mission since then to fins a pattern to make my own.
After much browsing online I found this cute dress pattern on Etsy. I don't knit, but I can crochet although I don't very often. I know in a few weeks I'll have the opportunity to sit and make this. hopefully outside sitting in the sun, listening to the radio and drinking Pimms and ginger beer (you gotta try that one). So today I bought it, I'm just waiting for the pattern to arrive so that I can get the right cotton ordered and I'll be ready to go!
Thursday, 6 June 2013
I'd like to introduce you to a fantastic organisation. Called Danusha, this fairtrade company work with women affected by leprosy in Nepal. what they do is brilliant and the products they sell are beautiful. Allison shares with us a little about what they do and how she became involved.
There’s a saying that mighty oaks from little acorns grow. I’m not sure that they have oak trees in Nepal, though there are plenty of forests. In 2012 Danusha came into being as a fully fledged social enterprise and in 2013 we were accepted as members of the British Association of Fairtrade shops. So who are we and what do we do? Well, we’re a small organisation working to empower marginalised Nepali women and help them improve their lives, and just like an oak tree, we’re slowly growing.
The women we work with make beautiful jewellery which we sell in the UK. We’re delighted that a number of fair trade shops already stock our product and we’re hoping to expand our network of retailers. We’re passionate about equality, we believe that everyone has the right to decent working conditions and we run our workshops on fair trade principles. As part of the project we provide basic adult literacy classes, health education and we support the women as issues arise within their families. There’s also a micro credit scheme attached to the project which the women now manage independently. We’re really excited by this!
I remember the first time I stepped into the workshop at Lalgadh Leprosy Services centre. It was an incredibly moving experience as I watched women whose fingers had been lost to nerve damage manipulate stones and thread to make objects of beauty.
At that time I was working for another charity, but I really wanted to get involved with Danusha so was delighted when Sue Lavender offered me the chance to get onboard along with another friend, Katy Barr. One of my highlights in working with Danusha has been the opportunity to work directly with the women to develop new designs, and to watch them blossom as they gain in confidence. In their society any association with leprosy is a one way ticket to ostracisation so it’s fantastic to see them regaining the respect of their families and being accepted back into their communities. This is what skills training does. It gives people back their dignity and I love it! I also love the light and life and colour of Nepal. Being there is like fire for the soul.
My Danusha experience has been life changing for me. I think far more carefully about what I buy and opt for fair trade whenever possible. Take a moment to look around. What can you see? If you’re reading this I guess there’s a computer, phone or tablet not too far away. Imagine all the people involved in making it. It’s impossible to know just how many pairs of hands it’s been through on its journey to your home, but it’s a fair bet there’s been some exploitation along the way. I’m not saying ‘don’t have a computer’, simply that we should all do what we can to redress the balance from time to time, and buying fair trade or revamping old items of clothing is a good first step. That’s why I love Ragbags and Gladrags and Claire’s message that you can step away from fast fashion and still dress with style and flair.
Monday, 3 June 2013
I made a second Sorbetto, it's such a lovely FREE pattern from Collette Patterns that I can't believe I haven't made it before now! It's so quick to sew and easy too. I remember seeing Lauren wearing one on The Great British Sewing Bee earlier this year and I realised I've been missing out.
I downloaded the pattern last week to use up some cotton I had left after making a dress. However I wanted to make an eyelet cotton version with a Peter Pan collar, my inspiration coming from Boden's Macey top that I've seen in their recent catalogues.
|Boden's Macey Top|
|Bias facing on the neck edge|
I also bought ready made Bias binding, but it was a bit wide and not quite the same shade as my fabric, so I decided to turn it into a bias facing along the neck and armhole edges, whip stitching it in place. I'll probably wear this for work this week.
|Bias facing from the right side on the armhole|
Friday, 31 May 2013
|worn four times|
Well I stuck to my pledge to wear at least one me made item everyday during May - what I did fail on was the documentation! I just got bored with taking photos of the same stuff over and over again, so I didn't bother, but I did keep a tally of what I wore and how many times, there some surprises in there.
I learnt that I don't have many separates - in fact I don't have any me made trousers at all, I have two refashioned skirts, but the weather hasn't been warm enough to wear them as they are quite short. I also (until yesterday) only had two me made tops. - kind of limiting! As I've been at work for most of may I have to wear smart stuff, which cuts down on the casual vibe that I prefer. So I now have a sewing plan to make more tops and to make a few pairs of trousers. I don't actually need anymore skirts so i'm not going to bother with those, but I do have a few that are too big and need resizing.
I made two Items for myself during May. I made a red dress and a Sorbetto top, both from the same fabric that I bought from John Lewis in Feb. I know that they will both get plenty of wear. As well as the items shown hear I also wore a cotton sun top, which I made last year and don't have any photographs of.
|Purple top worn five times|
|worn four times|
|Worn four times|
|worn three times|
|worn three times|
Thursday, 30 May 2013
I must have been the only person in sewing blog land not to have made the sorbetto top, a free sewing pattern which you can download from Colette patterns. Well I finally made one this week. Me Made May has made me painfully aware that I don't have many separates and in particular tops. After making my red dress a couple of weeks ago, I had a little fabric left, and I mean a little. Even trying to squeeze a simple sorbetto out of it was tricky. I did though and I can see why it's so popular. The fit was perfect and apart from making the bias binding it was super quick to make. I will be making more and have already drafted one with variations.