Monday, August 30, 2010

Anyone up for a sew date?

So the lovely Dawn and I have recently been talking about altered clothing, and Rice's yahoo group is planning a group submission to Altered Couture, and Judi and I were commiserating this morning about the piles of clothing we are saving to alter and recreate and get creative and productive with.
Some day.
Dawn also sent me a link today to a blog which has a tutorial on making an Anthroemptymypurse (my favorite visit) inspired top. They do sell really unique clothes. Completely coincidentally, this weekend I discovered a series of videos about a designer in the UK who uses repurposed clothing. Even the dad of my boys friends shared that he wants to learn to sew because it is impossible to find stylish, artistic men's clothing off the rack.
I hear ya Ted.
Though it has improved in the last few years, there is such a limited choice in colour and style available to women too, especially if, like me, you're over a size 14. I had never thought of it from a guys point of view, as the Mr is a jeans and T kind of guy, but I'll bet it's even worse for men.
I feel your pain.

It's all coming together like this...all of us love new clothes. All of us are trying to tread lighter upon the planet. All of us desire a more creative existence. All of us are unafraid to try something new. And while we may fail to produce what we have in that perfect place we visit in our minds, where we imagine wearing our new hand-crafted dresses and re-made sweaters, and funky fabulous clothes that
a) don't break the budget, and
b) satisfy that need deep within, to express ourselves in an authentic way through what we wear, we cannot fail to have a good time, learn from the process, and enjoy each others company. (whew! Longestsentenceever)
And I believe we will succeed in coming away with unique wardrobe items. New-to-us clothes! Free and unique outfits! Freedom from conformity! Stickin' it to the man!!! *ahem* My inner hippy does burst out now and again.

I went to Swaporamrama in San Mateo CA two years ago during Maker Faire. It was amazing. The energy and creativity were through the roof. We found a shirt for Levi (darn! Not enough time to *shop* for me!), and had it silk screened by an artist who volunteered his time. I have had a dream of facilitating a similar event here at home ever since. I think I need to start small, and this is the time of the perfect storm, as they say. Here are a bunch of photos we took that day.

How it works:
Bring a bag of clothing, embellishments, buttons, fabric scraps, etc.

Swap with everyone there who has done the same. (It is sometimes sorted by type of clothing, size, colour...The event I went to was HUGE. I envision a much smaller one).

Decide what you want to do and find a sewing machine and/or a designer to help you accomplish this. At Swaporamarama events, local designers volunteer their time and talents. The machines are donated by Bernina for use at the event.

Cut, add, subtract, combine, paint, embellish...make it yours!

Have a fashion show at the end of the day.
There is a photo of me with a bag made by someone at the swap. It was made from fabric samples sewn together. Way cool! ( My post was completely reformatted by blogger grinches, so please do the best you can to make sense of it all. )

If you are interested in playing, the Lyceum is free this Saturday. If you are around Edmonton this long weekend, contact me (assuming you live close) and we will plan a great time.

  • a sewing machine
  • bobbins and thread for your machine
  • scissors (mark them with your name)
  • embroidery floss and needles, felting needles, etc
  • buttons, zippers, elastic, snaps,
  • a bag of clothes to alter and use as raw material, for yourself and some to share
  • extra fabric scraps and pieces
  • T shirts! Lots and lots! (if you have them)
  • iron on stuff for doing appliques (if you sew you know what I mean, if you don't, go to the fabric store and ask someone)
  • Anything else you can think of that you believe can be remade into something new for yourself or someone else.
  • A friend who sews, who is creative, or who wants to have a great time! Artwork you have printed out (in the directions) onto iron on transfer stuff.
  • bring magazines, books, drawings, pictures of stuff you think you can attempt to duplicate or that might just inspire someone else.
Josh is heat setting the shirt we did for Levi. And the half naked guy? He really needs a new shirt...he's come to the right place!


Kim Mailhot said...

Sew awesome! I have been trying to conquer my sewing challenges - mostly a patience issue. I also have a good relatively new friend who is an expert sewer so I am looking forward to geting a little bit of help from her in my own neighborhood.
Keep on sewing, wonderful One!

arlene said...

I was thinking of you when I wrote this Kim. You're always the first to comment! LOL I was wishing you could come. It's such a great coincidence that you recently made a friend who is a sewer, just as you decided to take that challenge on. "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear" holds true in my life as well!

Karyn said...

hey, my friend - I've tagged you on my blog.....if you can find the time, that is. :)