No sewing here…but I did get a feature!

As I am sure you have managed to work out based on this posts title I haven’t been doing any sewing this week.

I have finally found the motivation to work consistently on my CV and portfolio. You see I haven’t been fabric shopping in weeks, WEEKS I tell you, so I need to get out there and find myself a job :)

The sewing has lacked for other reasons too, my main problem at the moment is that out of the 150 boxes of stuff we managed to successfully bring over from Perth the single item* I have discovered missing is the top stitching thread for my Forever Jeans. Argh! A trip to Spotlight in Porirua didn’t help last weekend since that was the one and only color they were out of, typical of my luck, and I just know that as soon as I purchase a new spool my currently-absent-and-almost-full-spool will magically re-appear. So, there will be a trip to the Ngauranga Spotlight this weekend and we shall see if they have the correct coloured thread.

Remember my post extolling the oft-overlooked virtues of Spotlight that I wrote while in Australia? Current experience so far tells me that post is N/A for the Spotlight stores in Wellington. I went to the Ngauranga store for more thread for my Gok Coat last week and the single colour they were out of was that spool as well! And the staff were less than helpful in being able to tell me when the Gutterman rep/stockist was due to visit next. Now before you tell me to just go to another store, I did, but every other fabric store in the city stocks Mettler thread only, which I have no problems using it’s just that I needed that particular colour from Gutterman that I had already started using for top-stitching. Don’t get me started on the buckles and buttons selections either. Perhaps it’s just me and I’ve just had a string (or should that be thread? Hehe) of bad luck visits. Although if there is one thing Spotlight New Zealand have going for them is that they do give you a nice little card that they sign everytime you bring your own shopping bag and after 5 trips you get 20% off 1 item, that’s kind of cool.

Spotlight's 'Bag A Discount' Card

My Gok Coat is fairing much better, I did eventually get thread, in Palmerston North of all places, but I didn’t drive all that was for just thread, I was up there for other reasons and you drive past their huge Spotlight on the way out to the highway, so now I am on my fourth spool of Gutterman colour #512 but that should be the last one. The coat itself is 99.99% completed sewing-wise but 0% complete for buttons and buckles, still no luck there but this weekend I will turn to my old friend the internets and see what it can discover for me.

Then I am at a bit of a loss as to what to make next, I have plenty of ideas it’s just deciding which one to do first!

In other news I got featured on the BurdaStyle sites DIY Wedding article, so exciting, click on the pic below to go check it out :) If you’d like to see more of how I made my dress you can check out my wedding dress posts here.

*excluding the chunky length of dowel that I used to dry my homemade pasta on, which is no biggie, I’ll get another, maybe someone will eventually discover it in the corner of the pantry in Perth where I accidentally left it…

Extra curricular sewing activities (buying fabric when you aren’t supposed to)

Today I met up with a few of the girls from our BurdaStyle Sewing Club for lunch at Chez Jean-Claude Patisserie in West Leederville which just so happens to be right around the corner from Potters Textile Outlet. “How convenient?” I can hear you say…Why yes, that’s what we thought ;)

I haven’t managed to get back there since my last visit and 99% of their stock had completely changed. I mean the standard linens were still there (they don’t count) but honestly there was only one other bolt of fabric I recognised from last time and two bags on the remnants table, the rest: Brand new. Plus they now have some trims too…ohhh!

Here is what I came away with:

So I know the pink/brown leafy design is a cotton/viscose (it feels so nice!) I got 1.5 meters, the other three were from the remnant table so take a guess. The black is definitely cotton with a slight stretch and (you might not see it in the picture) has diagonal ribs through it, there is only about 1 meter of this but it’s so nice I grabbed it. The shiny black with the cool 80s Aztec print is a sort of foil print with a tiny bit of stretch and I have no idea what the black and white fabric is. It might be a silk crepe and it has a really nice feel,  I got about 1.5 meters and the pattern changes in wide bands from polka dots to lines and back again in the reverse. All up I spent just $50 and LOOK at it! What a perfect lunch outing.

I am terrible with fabrics, I know. Knowing what to call them, content/type etc, this will be one of my 2011 New Years Resolutions, to get a better handle on my fabrics. I bought a hard cover scrap book and I intend to hand-write in (because that’s how I’ll remember) fabric definitions and then staple in a piece of the fabric to help me identify them. This will hopefully also include handy notes like washing instructions, what that type of fabric is good for and any other properties that might be interesting/helpful to know. I’d like to try a few of the tests I’ve read about online (burning/smelling/smoke colour type experiments) that help you determine a fabrics content. I also have plenty of sewing books to help me with this task, I just have to take the time to learn from them and put it into a format that helps me retain the knowledge. I’m sure you’ll hear more about this ongoing project next year.

BurdaStyle Feature Member!

So I have been away in Melbourne the last few days for an architecture & design industry event called Saturday in Design. It occurs ever year at the end of July/start of August alternating between Sydney & Melbourne. This year I managed to add a few days either side to do a little looking around & of course shopping. I came home with a very full suitcase, most of it FABRIC! :) I found some great stores and I will post some photos and more about each shop in the next day or so.

I didn’t manage to get online at all while away so it was a nice surprise to return and find I have been the feature member on the burdastyle.com! Here is the link to my interview and I also post it in full here:

1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was born and grew up in Wellington, New Zealand and moved to Perth, Western Australia about 6 years ago with my partner. Wellington is a super creative city and you can’t help but become a creative person just by living there, the influences are everywhere.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?

I remember my Mum had this amazing scrap bag that she let my sister and I cut up and hand sew to make clothing for our Barbies and Cabbage Patch dolls. That bag represents so many wonderful early sewing memories for me that now I have my own scrap bag which is full of off-cuts from some of my favourite pieces and I even bought myself a collector Barbie doll so that I can get back to my sewing roots and make her a few items from those special scraps just for fun.

All my early sewing knowledge came from my Mum, when I was old enough she taught me how to use her Globe sewing machine (which still chugs along to this day). She taught me all the important basics like inserting the bobbin, holding the threads when you start sewing, reversing at the end and her most important rule: only turn the hand wheel the correct way! I really enjoyed sewing on that robust little machine, it was so forgiving and made me very picky when it came time for me to invest in my first machine. I really value everything my Mum taught me and her foresight to nurture my early interest in sewing.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing is purely my hobby. I work in a creative industry where I dream and create things for other people so sewing is my own personal “out” to be creative just for me. I think everyone needs their own “out”, something that makes them really happy that they can grab during times of stress or to pamper themselves.I have always been a creative person and sewing gives me a great sense of satisfaction to create something from a flat piece of fabric into a complete garment or outfit that I can wear and when someone asks where I bought it from I just smile. When I first moved to Perth I left my sewing machine behind and a couple of years without it made me realise I really missed it. I was so happy when my Mum came to visit and bought my machine with her, my trusty Elna survived a trip across the Tasman packed into her suitcase and when I plugged it in it was like I had never left it behind.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
Just recently I have become much more interested in construction, how the flat fabric becomes the final shape. I’ve always loved pulling things apart to see how they work and now I apply it to my sewing, I can now focus more on understanding exactly what impact each cut or stitch has on the final shape and I am really enjoying the added insight. I also love going into a shop and seeing something amazing and turning it inside out to work out how they did it.

My least favourite thing is button holes and I’m not really sure why, they freak me out a little and every time I start one my heart beats a little faster and my hands take on a slight shake. I think it’s because they are so permanent. My machine usually does a really good job of button holes but every now and again I’ll forget to pull down the guide or reset in-between each one or my machine decides it just doesn’t want to cooperate today. There’s a tiny moment before you know the machine is supposed to turn around and when it doesn’t…I grab my unpicker, unpicking button holes is the worst.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
Wow, this is a really hard question. I am getting married next year in January and I will attempt to make my own Wedding dress. I really wish I could make my Mum a dress too but it is very hard to do that while being in a different country and I know she has fitting issues I could only address with several fittings in person. I think one day when I return home I will definitely make her something really special that she can wear out, to thank her for all the encouragement that lead me to a hobby that makes me so happy.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
At first I just began using BurdaStyle for the free patterns and member inspiration, then I became more and more active, I posted my projects and enjoyed the encouraging comments and now I have made so many friends all over the world with different skills. I think combined with picking my sewing back up I feel the whole site has been just another wonderfully useful sewing tool in my toolbox.

The BurdaStyle Sewing Clubs have been the most amazing thing so far, I started our Perth Club with Sandra (sewanista) and it has been so successful beyond anything we imagined. Connecting with like-minded girls and socially sewing together has added an entirely new dimension to my hobby. I’ve made some really amazing friends and I go home from every meeting enthusiastic and inspired and I just sew, sew, sew. I can’t wait until the next meet and I tell everyone I can to get involved because they won’t regret it.

I think the site is going really well and the team has done an amazing job with their limited resources even in the face of the recent hurdles, I really enjoy how the site works, I can post my projects and interact with other members. I do think the site could benefit from a ‘Work In Progress’ section/tab, I know I would use that and enjoy following other members projects through to completion. It could also be really handy for members to ask for advice at various stages of their project. The Discussions section (especially with the recent huge influx of new members) really needs some serious work, it doesn’t function well as is and I think the team should invest in a proven forum software like vBulletin because I really believe our forum has the potential to be so much more than what it currently is. If it were more user friendly and less buggy it could grow to be such an amazing resource for us all to take advantage of and I think more members would use it to not only ask for advice but to give advice too.

7. What is your motto?
I think it’s important to always take some time for you to enjoy life, do something just for you and there is no shame in giving yourself a little pat on the back every now and again.

Kaitui_kiwi has been on the site for a while now, she has amazing creations and can be seen commenting all over the place! Check out what inspires her in her top ten favorite creations. Visit her blog to find out more about her or meet her in person (if you’re in Australia) at the Perth BurdaStyle Sewing Club!

If you aren’t on the BurdaStyle site I strongly encourage you to check it out and join up. There you can share your sewing projects and get inspiration from all the wonderful member creations. You’ll also find an amazing and helpful community, make new local & international friends and maybe even find a sewing club near where you live so off you go and check it out, chop chop! :)