Thursday, 12 January 2012

what comes around goes around

Just got the book 'sew' by Cath Kidston.  I have only just discovered her in the last few months (well, i do live in Australia and the only two registered sellers of her products are in WA or Vic and i'm in NSW, so you can see my problem). How cool to see the needle case on page 76 is the same as the one i made in 3rd grade in 1970. Only thing was mine didn't have a pretty floral cover but was made of pale pink headcloth with broder cotton running and chain stitch on the outside. It has the felt squares inside like Cath's and it was closed with a twisted thread on each side to tie in a bow. We also made a pinwheel. Just like the pinwheels you buy from the shop but made of two cardboard circles covered (again ) with headcloth and matching thread patterns (we did choose our own designs). Imagine two kingsize yo-yos stitched together, with a pretty twisted thread at the top to match. Will have to get them out of storage and upload the photos.
I also remember making a cotton bag, petticoat, tray cloth and apron. By sixth grade i was making a dress for my final subject before heading to high school for real sewing.  Teachers must have been told to 'dress us down' (sorry for the pun) in regards our abilities as i recall being told that making a tie back on the dress was too difficult for me to do ( had to recess it into the front seem as it was made into the darts at the waist for shaping).
A hhh the joys of childhood. I must have really loved my sewing as they never put me off my love affair with fabric, thread, pattern construction.......the whole lot.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

sea change, tree change, sew change

Some times things happen in our life for a reason , sometimes theres no reason, then there are times that you know are a sign to take a redirection in life and this is one of those times. So many things have been making me think of changing direction in my working life and know i've taken that big step to work less hours to give my all to something i have loved all my life and that is the joy of sewing. Its not about the cost, we all know that factory made fashions are cheaper and give us that instant gratification, but the satisfaction and passion that comes from some thing you have made is undeniable. Not only are you proud of your accomplishment and want to tell everyone ' Hey, I made this', but at the end of the day the skills and the confidence you have acheived are immeasurable.
I have been sewing since i was a little girl and can remember buying fabric remnants on a Saturday morning with friends, that early on Sunday morning when everyone was still asleep in bed became the latest fashion for Barbie or Chrissie. I made what suited the style of fabric (the fall), the pattern or the size of the remnant. I think my best achievement was a pair of summer beach slippers for Chrissie made from some waste vinyl, felt and lace. At the time i just wanted more clothes for my dolls ( hey, i was only 10 and in the 5th grade, cash was not something i had an abundance of). If i scored a doll dress pattern from a ladies magazine , i would make dozens of varieties of the pattern out of newspaper before getting the one i wanted to transform the fabric into just right.
It is a shame that todays school students are not encouraged to take on the subjects that we had 20 years ago. Home sciences as they were known gave us the basics for the world as we grew up. We all know people who can't sew a button or hem a pair of too-long trousers, yet in our modern world one size fits all. Thankfully we see the turn in cooking which has now become very trendy. I dont mean that in a bad way but the lack of learning at a young age (when it is fun) has left us obese, un healthy and not knowing how to cook an egg. Sewing is no different. Have you offered to teach at an Adult Education Centre only to be laughed at? Yet look at the magazines and books available to the novice sewer.
Maybe one day sewing will do an about face and it will not be seen as the domain of someone who has a boring life. Its not cool but we know it our best kept secret. xx