March 12, 2007

Come See, Come Sew!

Capital Sew and Sew's neighborhood open sewing studio met for the first time this weekend! Six sewists christened my new sewing space - Charlotte, Shane, Isabella, Misi, Hannah, and Thomas. After everyone arrived we talked briefly about what they would like to make and how much sewing experience they had. Having spent several days going through all my long lost fabric I had accumulated several piles of fabric that I was ready to pass long to new 'owners'! The kids chose from my 're-gifted' fabric as well as from a couple of more updated pieces that I picked up at the fabric store on Saturday just for the Come See, Come Sew! After selecting fabric they rummaged through my pattern box - and then took off designing and stitching! The two hours flew by! Charlotte and Shane sewed straight skirts with elastic waistbands. Thomas selected a red cotton with a subtle black plaid for a pair of drawstring pants. I offered up a quick tutorial about matching plaids and the importance of aligning the pattern with the grainline - especially with plaids.
Isabelle and her friends totally rocked as they worked together on a great skirt with terrific design elements (see the peek-a-boo lace detail).

Some finished our projects and others gathered up their work and headed home to finish. They promised to bring their completed garments to our next Come See, Come Sew!

So, from my perspective, we had a great day. I love seeing folks get excited about sewing and I love to share with folks what I know about sewing. My prediction is that these sewists will surpass me soon!


March 10, 2007

V. 8146 - Finally Done!

I finally completed the infamous V. 8146 swing jacket! Check below for a quick slideshow of the completed garment. The jacket in gray wool started out as a 'muslin' in preparation for using an inspiration fabric that I purchased at Mood Fabrics this summer. Little did I know that I would end up loving this little jacket and ultimately deciding to save my inspiration fabric for a different design. Back to V.8146.... I made several alterations - some in the planning/design phase and several on the fly as the garment progressed! I lengthened the jacket as well as the sleeves before I cut the fabric. I would definitely make the same adjustments for the length if, no - when, I make this jacket again. However, I might try the next jacket with the 3/4 length sleeve as the pattern is designed. Because of the back inverted pleat, the back of the collar was VERY bulky - especially since the garment is made from medium weight wool. The jacket is unlined and does not include a back facing. I opted to add a back facing just in case I wanted to line the jacket. To avoid the "back bulk (!)" I used a wonderful silk dupioni for the under collar, back facing, sleeve hems (the photo above shows both sleeve options), and bias binding on the facings and the hem.

March 2, 2007

Fair Trade Fashion Event - Highlighting Fashion from Developing Countries

On Wednesday evening Priya Patel and her colleagues at the World Bank produced a terrific fashion show highlighting garments and accessories from craftspersons and producers from developing countries. The show as a huge success and provided the audience with a deep appreciation of the skill and talent of artisans from all over the world but also highlighted the obstacles facing these producers. A packed auditorium (over 500) viewed a moving documentary from Priya's recent trip to Kenya where she visited the Khaame group, a community based initiative set up to help HIV orphaned children based in the Eastern Province of Kenya. The initiative has helped single parents by giving the women jobs making baskets and the men jobs weaving ropes. The profits they make on the selling of the baskets and ropes is then shared amongst the orphans and their families. Click here to see the slideshow of Priya's trip.

Check out some photos of the show!

Also be sure to visit Pangea Market, the World Bank gift shop that sells divine objects from artisans from developing countries.

For more information about the Priya's work check out her blog!