Gathering Memories project in aid of Alzheimer's Society - 'SEWN TOGETHER'
The past couple of months have been quiet an emotional sew!
The reason for this is that I've had two projects that have been very personal and have evoked wonderful and emotional memories, both that have included refashioning or upcycling of wedding dresses.
The first project was for a charity project called 'Gathering Memories', which is a community project which aims to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society. I purchases the kit from Elizabeth, who was exhibiting part of the project in the booth next to me at sewing event.
This is such a wonderful cause (my great uncle had not long passed away, who had also sadly suffered with this decease) and the challenge to create a A5 piece of art incorporating the kit materials was intriguing.
The kit included:
'Silk strand with gold thread' taken from the original Gathered Memories installation, backing cloth, beads, thread and vlieseline bondaweb and iron on interfacing.
You can add any other materials you like to the piece, but the only rule was that all or part of the 'silk strand' must be included!
I decided to stitch about my sewing journey. Going right back to where is all started - my wedding dress.
And with that in mind, I was stitching about a person in particular , Ineke Berlyn. She is a stunning textile artist and a fabulous lady who happens to be my sister in law's (Gemma Berlyn) , mother in law. She was the lady, who helped set me on my sewing journey, which has now turned into my profession and passion.
Sadly, Ineke is no longer with us as she lost her fight with cancer in 2017.
I wanted to relive and honour the memories of my time with Ineke through stitch, and to do this I used thread in Ineke's favourite colour, orange. Applied a stitching technique called Sashiko, that Ineke also introduced me to, which as you may know, as I'm totally addicted to, as I use this technique a lot in my Sewing Quarter live shows and upcycle Projects.
I also included materials left over from the making of my wedding dress and Veil. This was the first project, I had ever sewn back in 2011 and Ineke was my guiding hands.
Within the layers of material, I stitch in symbols and coded messages as well as objects like pins that had come from the sewing kit which was left a vintage singer sewing machine. (it features on the front cover of my book 'Girl With A Sewing Machine') I saved the sewing machine from a house clearance and was in a skip.
I did ask before taking it by the way. lol.
Through Stitch, Ineke and I made the garment I am most proud of, and she will continue to be a huge influence on my stitching life. Always asking her for advise and guidance, which she always gave so willingly. I miss her terribly , and through this project and other projects that use what she has taught me, I like to think that I'm keeping her work and spirit alive.
So if you would like to get involved in the project by viewing the other entries and potentially bidding for a piece of artwork? Silent auctions will be taking place on the below dates.
The Willis Museum, Basingstoke, from 30th June – 4th August 2018
Southampton Art Gallery (Foyer), from 12th August – 30th September 2018
The Silent Auction will take place throughout the duration of these two exhibitions via written bids and/or via the website. Bidding will close on 30th September 2018 and the winning bidders will be notified by the end of October 2018.
My piece is called 'SEWN TOGETHER' and is number 155 on the online the gallery.
There are so many lovely pieces, it is totally worth having a look, if you have a moment to spare!
Do you have projects that you have sewn and they remind you of someone special or have sewn something to specifically remind you of someone?
I would love to see them, so please share your pictures with me over on my facebook page Tailor - Taylor or by using the hashtag #sewingrevolution.
I would also like to note that Liske, Ineke's daughter is continuing to keep Little heath barn Studio alive by continuing Workshops at Ineke's studio. Liske and Claire regularly run print and dyeing workshops and I have also run Sashiko workshop here to, so check out their website for more information and events details.
Creativity is contagious - PASS IT ON!
Pattern review Vogue V9000
Sewing for a living means that I don't get much time to sew for myself. Not that I'm ungrateful as I get to do what I love and are passionate about everyday, but it can be a little frustrating. So I've decided to turn that frustration into a positive and bring you, On My Cutting Table.
With working on the Sewing Quarter, I get to make so many fabulous garments, to be shown and demonstrated on live on air. Unfortunately, I have to make them into the size that fits the dress form in the studio. And I can tell you now, that I'm considerably a lot larger than 'Mandy the mannequin' as I like to call her.
So I don't get to wear my makes and so don't get chance to appreciate what I've just spent several hours making; I'm straight onto the next project for the next show.
So, to savour the dressmaking flavour, I thought I'd give you all an insight into my sheshed studio and specifically my cutting table.
Giving you a back stage look into the construction and details of the patterns that I'm using.
As well as hints and tips that I might not get chance to cover in the live shows as time goes so fast and often runs away with us.
So even though I might not get to wear my Sewing Quarter makes, I want you to have everything you need to enjoy your makes at home.
So first up is Vogue's V9000, which is a 1951 pattern design.
It's essentially a pull over dress with a side zip. A super flattering dress with princess seam bodice and a panelled flared skirt.
It comes with two design options of a lined bodice or capped sleeve but of course you can always mix and match it up.
The WOW factor with this pattern has to be the skirt! If you are looking for swishy skirts then this is the one for you.
It a six panel skirt, so you need a fair bit of material but its totally worth it! Also they are cut on the Grainline rather than the Bias but you still get a great swish! So this saves on the yardage but you are going to need a nice clear and large space to get cutting out.
You know I cant stick to the rules, so I decided to team up the dark denim with a little bit of detail. As this is a vintage 1950's pattern, I thought I'd add a little post war detail in by adding some Tim Holtz Correspondence fabrics. As I only had 2 Fat Quarter pieces left, I used them to add detail onto the facing and underside of the collar; Kinda like a peak a boo of detail, and this collection screams war time love letters from the front line.
Another detail I love about this dress is the double darts in the back. So that's four darts in the back piece. This give it a gorgeous shape around the waist line and really accentuates your waist as you sashay away with your flowing skirt.
A quick way to transfer those darts is to use a pin and a chalk pen. I love this one called chalk cartridge set or Kreideminen-set and it was a gift from a dear friend that I use all the time! A perfect gift! Anyway pop the in into the notch, peal back the fabric and mark the position of the pin onto both layers. It's a lot quicker than a tailors tack!
One thing I didn't like about the pattern is that it didn't tell you how to finish the facing edge. I decided to quickly use my pinking shears and secure with a single hem, giving it a clean finish. This is a great pattern for a beginner, so keeping the beginner sewist in mind, I think they should have covered off this quick step. I know there is a section at the beginning but as a beginner your not going to know when to check that section without being told. It's a simple thing that makes the garment last longer as you have finished the raw edge, and if you learn these little tips from the start then your onto a winner.
Another quick tip is to use your pinking shears to trim your collars seam allowances. This saves time as it is clipping and reducing the seam allowance as it goes. Just be careful that you don't cut your threads.
For me the collar would be the tricky bit, especially if you are a beginner, which is why I really wanted to cover this in my live demonstration. The trick is the notches! They really are there to help you, so make sure you have transferred all of these to your fabric pieces. The instructions are great on this step, so don't worry if you are worries about doing collars.
If you want to sew along with me, you can watch my show back via the link below. The vintage dress was my first hour so scroll to the 1 hour mark for the start of that show.
Overall, I loved making this dress. Full of opportunities to add personal details without losing that vintage look, by adding fabric prints into the collar, cuffs, facing and why not add it to the hem as well?
Super flattering and feminine; This is a dress that could easily be made up for a special occasion!
Hope you enjoy making this dress as much as I did!
Until next time, Happy #sewingrevolution!
I have some exciting news for you!
After all your wonderful suggestions and support, you have all given me the confidence to finally pull my socks up and have set up a YouTube channel.
EEKK! so here goes!
I'm looking to fill it with how to's and projects, hints and tips and also link my Sewing Quarter live shows demonstrations, so you can easily access them when you want to watch them back.
I have also made a start on my Stitch Library series. As you know, it's all about the sharing the #sewingrevolution love, so I wanted to cover some of the sewing basics as well as the more complicated seam and hem finishes. As I know we all have that moment where we go ' How do I do that stitch again?'
This is the first time I have filmed, edited and uploaded video's to YouTube! So this has been a huge learning curve for me and your feedback would be greatly appreciated! Also feel free to get in touch with any suggestions for future videos.
I want this to be a channel that becomes part of your sewing room! Here for when you need a little help with that stitch, when your a little lost for project ideas or you just want some sewing banter on in the background.
I really hope you like the channel and please don't forget to share and subscribe.
WELCOME TO THE YOUTUBE #SEWINGREVOLUTION EVERYONE!
Whatever I'm doing