Sunday, 22 May 2011

Roswell Week

I found these inspirational ideas on the Burdastyle site.  They fit in well with the garments I have completed for the Roswell Week challenge. 
Look 1: at the office.

Look 2: the gallery opening.

Look 3:  flea market hunting.

I will use these completed UFOs for layering and to put together a selection of outfits ready for the Me-Made-June'11 challenge. 

I have completed:
1. The 'letter' vest.
2. The purple patterned vest.
3. A combination of hemming projects, which include two pairs of black trousers and one silver striped pair of trousers.  Also, a winter skirt hemmed ready to be worn.

The remaining UFO garments will be posted shortly.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

7 Day Challenge

Roswell Week challenge

I came across this on an interesting blog, monkeysocks learns to sew.  This suits me down to the ground, I have so many UFOs (UnFinished Objects) sitting around my sewing room, it's a crime.  So here goes for Roswell Week.  I can no longer cover up my UFOs!  Thanks for the idea.

I did a quick tally of my UFOs and I came up with a list, mostly items that only need a little adjusting to complete.  All  in all, not a lot of sewing time, which will have to be completed when I get back from work.    It's probably taken me longer to find the UFOs in my sewing room and to decide which projects have priority. 
Here is my list - 7 completed items in 7 days

1. Grey cowl neck long sleeve top.
The top was already cut out, with grey mesh cowl and sleeves. 

2. Grey patterned vest for layering with the grey top.
I didn't like the round neckline, so will change to a V neckline, and complete.

3. 'Letter' vest, also for layering. 
It's cut out ready to go.

I liked the letters on the mesh fabric.

4. Purple knit jacket
It looks blue in the picture, but is purple.  Complete and top-stitch. 
5. Purple patterned vest.
Complete with one large button for fastening.  This is another vest especially for layering.

6. Circular scarf.
Complete tube and handstitch.  This a fabric remnant I bought especially to make a scarf.  I was taken by the lovely pattern. 
7. Combination of hemming projects
My seventh project is a combination of hemming projects.  All the items are thrifted and as I am short I nearly always have to adjust hemlines in trousers and skirts. There are two pair of black trousers and one black/silver stripe trouser.  Also, a textured winter skirt.  All are good brands that fit very well, except for the length. 

Some of these items have been sitting since summer, approximately four months.  If I'm going to take part in Me-Made-June'11 I'll need as many handmade garments and accessories as possible. I will post the completed items in 2 or 3 posts, or wait until next weekend.  Come and see how I get on; I've got no excuse!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Sewing Blogs

This is in response to questions put forward by Tilly from the blog

“Online sewing circles – a leadership pattern to follow?

What does the online sewing community mean to you? Why do you participate?

I have only recently joined the online sewing community and started writing a blog.  Previous to this, it was difficult to connect to the internet, so I am very new to the game.  This is why I thought I would be slightly different to others who participate in following and writing blogs. 

I live in rural New Zealand and up until recently our internet access was a dial-up arrangement, which was extremely slow.  This made connecting so slow as to be not worth pursuing.  This may seem that I live in a very isolated community and to some I suppose I do.  We are unable to get cell phone coverage here on the farm and recently when we had stormy weather, the power was out for three days and the phone was out for two weeks.  This contact, as part of an on-line community, has made it possible to participate no matter where I live and what my individual circumstances might be.

I enjoy reading and I have been able to find and follow selected blogs that I find informative.  I decided to write a blog as a creative outlet to document what interests me; sewing and collecting.  I class this as more than just a hobby, but as a means of winding down and relaxing.  I am able to express myself and at the same time I have learnt how to navigate the blogosphere to create a blog of my own.  I don’t class myself as particularly computer savvy, but I have taught myself an enormous amount in a very short time to get this blog up and running.  
I have been able to use the examples of others to inspire and motivate myself to sew and refashion garments, which I will wear on a daily basis.  The feedback and encouragement from others makes the whole process fun. 

What are your favourite examples of projects initiated by sewing bloggers that capture this spirit of collaboration, creativity and innovation?

The current project to refashion dresses on the Refashion Co-op is an innovative approach to sewing.  This allows participants to find and adapt existing garments into their own creations.  Refashioning may fit in with people wanting to ‘turn their back on consumerism’ and participate in the DIY culture.  Or, in my case, just continue to do what I’ve done for years and to document evidence of the completed garments on a blog.  There is nothing new in this idea; the new aspect of it is in the on-line community. 

Who are the “leaders” in the sewing blogosphere? Is everyone / can anyone be a leader?

Leaders may not be the correct term to use for the driving force that initiates the online sewing network.  It appears to me that the network is self-driven and the blogs document an individual’s journey.  There are basic rules to follow, but the decision making comes down to the individual contributors. 

Are you involved in any other network of makers, whether online or offline? What makes sewing blogs unique?

I was previously involved in a patchwork and quilting group that met every fortnight.  I participated in this club for approximately ten years, until I decided that it was becoming too expensive a hobby to continue with.  I certainly did learn a lot of skills and techniques that I wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to learn. 

Sewing blogs may not necessarily be unique in any way, anyone can participate with no or little sewing experience; they are able to learn as they go.  I have had a lot of sewing experience, but not a lot of blogging experience and I can see many opportunities to learn from others.  The expert and novice approach is helpful within this network.

The ‘collaborative model of leadership’ in sewing blogs, doesn’t appear to stand out as being any different from any other on-line network.  Once a contributor logs on to any network they are driving the process forward with every decision they make.  Just by inquiring and participating, anyone can join this innovative culture.  The social aspect to any community reminds us that just by participating we have a valuable contribution to make that will benefit others.  This is where the feedback through comments personalises the experience and truly makes you feel part of a community.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Refashion: Two-into-One

I've joined Refashion Co-op, which is a site I've been following for some time.  I'm very interested in what other people are able to make and alter from op-shop (thrifted) finds.  The dress challenge interested me alot especially as I have very few dresses, but alot of skirts and tops, majority of which are op-shop finds.  I have a lot of black skirts, in all lengths and styles, so I decided to do a bit of combining. 
I liked the detailing on this top

 I ran a gather stitch around the bottom edge of the top.  Then I matched the side seams, front and back of the top and skirt.  Because I'm quite short I didn't have to adjust any lengths; the top was the right length as it was and the skirt had nice overlay details.

I sure I'll be able to wear this dress far more than before as two separates.  It makes more sense to me, than to have it sitting in my wardrobe. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Pattern treasure

Druleigh pattern

Simplicity 6281

I found these patterns in my stash.  I've had them for awhile and I think originally they came from a friend's mother.  When I was a student, and back from the city, I worked in their drapery shop.  The shop was like a treasure trove to me.  It's a shame that not many of these old school type of shops exist anymore.  Well, not where I live.  I would much prefer to rummage through the stock in one of these shops, than clinically shop on-line.  The experience is not quite the same.

The druleigh pattern is not one I've seen before.  The nightdress would be great to try out closer to summer and I don't think it will need alot of adjusting or redrafting.  Which is definitely not a strength of mine.  Sorry for the poor quality photos!!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

June Challenge

I have decided to take up the challenge and practise what I preach.  I saw this over on and also This is a great challenge and will make me focus my skills and best of all organise my sewing room. 

My pledge:
I, Grace of sign up as a participant of Me-Made-June '11.  I endeavour to wear at least one handmade or refashioned garment each day for the duration of June 2011.

I'm going to include accessories and jewellery in this challenge, as I would really like to make some floral embellishments.