Friday, 28 June 2013

follow me

Hi All, As most of you know Google reader id about to become defunct. I'd love you to keep following me and you can follow my blog posts on Bloglovin, Facebook, Google+ or keep in touch via Pinterest.
I'd love you to carry on following me so please link up.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Spring Sewing Swap

What a wonderful thing a sewing swap is. I've never taken part in anything like this before and i'm already looking forward to the next one, it's such a great way to find new sewing friends and i'm so glad that Kerry at Kestrel Finds and Makes set this up.

I was partnered up with Helen from Grosgrain Green, I've loved looking at her blog to help me figure out what I'd include in her parcel - staying within budget was tricky, but I managed it, adding a book that I'd got two copies of. - I hope she has fun using the stuff I sent her.

I received my parcel last week and Helen had given me such beautiful and carefully chosen items. There was a cute little button box and hidden inside was the most exquisite binding I've ever seen. Red gingham bias binding, with a crochet picot edge. I'm looking forward to using it soon. A selection of stunning buttons from the polished button and some beautiful silk thread in my favourite shade of turquoise/green. I've seen this stuff on Etsy before and I can't wait to use it! 
Thank you Helen.

Monday, 17 June 2013

I'm published!

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

30,30,30 challenge

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

Crochet dress

A while ago I was browsing in Monsoon when I saw this crochet dress. I loved it, but the neckline
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

Danusha - Design for a fairer world

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

Second Sorbetto

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
The Sewing Box in Morpeth didn't have the eyelet cotton that I wanted so I bought some Broidery Anglaise. I was going to make a cap sleeve, but hadn't bought quite enough fabric for that, although I did make it longer.

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
What are your thoughts about the Sorbetto top - do you love it or loathe it?


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