Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Video release time...

I was, and still am, thrilled with this video made by friend and filmmaker Millefiore Clarkes. It documents a morning/afternoon of sewing glory. It really is my favorite way to spend a day, or evening for that matter, with some CBC radio on in the background and snow falling outside. That was how I spent my evening last night so I guess it is still fresh in my mind.

The participants, making items from Stay-Stitched,  are Becka Viau and Michelle Hooper. Michelle made the Retro Dress pictured below. Originally, it was a Roman style of dress because of the multiple gathers at the neckline. My intention for it was to be a 60's style like below, but when Michelle had on her finished product, with the gathers spread out creating a wider neckline, there was a definite similarity to Greek or Roman Tunics. I think it turned out fantastically! The best part is, it's one of the easiest designs in the book.

Becka made the Tote bag. Seems simple enough, but to make it extra strong, and a bit more of a challenge, the straps go entirely around the bag. This is tricky when it comes to the layout and measuring of the straps. She ended up with one a bit longer than the other, but with some clever customizing, Becka made the bag her own. It turned out wonderfully and even better, she now has a practical item that suits her needs and can be used everyday.

Good day, great accomplishments, and a beautiful video capturing the feeling behind it all. Big thanks to Mille, Michelle, and Becka for their help in this project. You can see more of Millefiore's work on her site onethousandflowers.tv/​ .

The book release for Stay-Stitched is going to be December 10th at MUSE artspace, 211 Euston St., Charlottetown, PEI, from 7-9pm. Come watch the video again, try your hand and foot at using a sewing machine, view some finished pieces up close on non-living models, and maybe not so close on the living ones, and enjoy mini muffins and other goodies made by my Mom with some relatively cheap wine. The book will be available, fingers crossed, by the first week of December at The Green Man and The Bookmark, and will be for sale at the show as well.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Blog to be

Hi! If you are a new owner of my book then you know what this blog is all about, if not then I'll explain. Stay-Stitched: a workbook, is a sewing workbook I created that guides the user through eleven clothing projects without using a pattern. Instead, you start at the beginning by applying your measurements to fabric, drawing out your pattern pieces, and then cutting them out and sewing them to form a garment. This way you learn fundamental skills that can then be applied to your own creations. Use elements and techniques from different projects along with your own variations to create something entirely new!

There was a lot of trial and error when I attempted to make my own clothing. Not wanting to measure myself or the fabric, iron anything, or do proper seams or hems, I ended up with a lot of sloppy pieces. I now know better and have hopefully taken out some of the guesswork for others. 

Being self sufficient is really important to me and I thoroughly enjoy making anything and everything that gives me a finished usable product, whether I eat it, wear it, or stir soup with it. Making honest clothing based, for the most part, on how people have made clothes throughout history:  simply, using materials easily found, and with infinite potential for variation, is what I believe to be a very valuable skill.

Once this workbook is released my hopes is that this blog becomes a sewing discussion to share problem solving techniques and new ideas. Eventually, I will post a way to order the book online if it's not available to you locally.