Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sewing in the News: Angel's Sewn Hugs

Angel is a school girl in Texas who has made it her goal to love and care for people she doesn't know. She does it by making blankets (and they are nice blankets) for sick kids in the hospital. She custom designs each blanket to reflect the interests of the child and she calls these blankets her "hugs", which is nice because blankets are a warm hug. I find this so meaningful because when I was a child I was alone in the hospital for a few days. I was so homesick. I remember visualizing the bedtime routine in my house and just feeling the most profound sense of loneliness. I would have loved one of her blankets to comfort me. And I am glad that Angel is making them. Angel's hugs mean a lot to those children. What a selfless act and what a profound one too.

The video details how Telus helped Angel with a new sewing room (and what a room it is...) so that she can keep on doing what she is doing...

                                           This video is such a nice tribute to Angel's work.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Typing-Themed Ginger Skirt and a Pattern Diet

 My latest Ginger skirt:

I found this fabric at a thrift store and I had just enough for a Ginger skirt. I love the print. It is a heavy cotton twill fabric, probably purchases in the home dec section. I love the typewriter font and I finally got around to making this skirt this week. It is amazing how this skirt looks so different in different fabrics. My next Ginger will be a space-themed one, provided I can find fabric in a space theme for one. (I am giving a technology in education talk in August and I plan to wear a space age/technology skirt to it.)

This is the first butterfly I've seen this year. It stopped on the bricks outside my backdoor and graciously waited until I grabbed my camera to take a picture.Thank you butterfly.
 Pattern Diet

It's summer and I've been organizing my sewing room. I am amazed at how many patterns I've amassed.(Yup, amassed. I have hundreds!) Some I will likely never get to. So despite the new patterns at McCalls and the members' sale this weekend, I am on pattern diet. No more Big 4 patterns. Period. I will not restrict myself on indie patterns though. I love them, they are easy and I want to support the online sewing community. Sewaholic has two patterns coming out this summer and Colette has one coming out in July. Cake Patterns should have a new line this fall ( I LOVE all CAKE patterns and their wonderful sizing system). And of course, then there is Style Arc and my recently discovered Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick. I love their Manhattan Pants pattern.

Pros to the Pattern Diet
  • Save money
  • Stop amassing Big 4 patterns
  • Force myself to use the patterns I have now (I have tons)
  • Use more indie patterns
  • Find new (to me) Indie pattern designers
  • End up making clothes that fit and that look good from well-designed indie patterns
  • Since many indie designers have pdf file patterns, no need to store patterns at home

Friday, July 4, 2014

Help! Teaching Sewing In Middle School

In the fall, I am thinking about running a sewing club after school. I am going to have to get the school to buy some sewing machines. I prefer the older mechanical ones to the new computerized ones. And I am hoping to spend only $400 on them. And then I have to buy an iron.
File:Sewing Machine.JPG
Photos from Wikicommons

So this summer, along with all the sewing I am doing, I am also putting together the things I will have to cover in my sewing classes. I've always considered myself a learner in sewing rather than a teacher. So this a bit of a turn-around for me.

I think the first sewing project will be a pencil case. It is easy and quick. It is also practical. And it will either motivate my students or let them realize that sewing is not for them. Then the second project will be pajamas. I am looking at the free patterns available on McCalls and Fabric.com for the students.
File:Sewing machine parts a.png
Photo showing the wheel and backstitch level on a mechanical Singer.

I plan to use the free class from Craftsy to introduce them to threading the machine. I figure introducing them to Craftsy is a great way to get them to use the other free classes as a resource.

I have also come across some great websites for creativity. Here is one on toilet paper dresses. This one celebrates 15 dresses made from recycled products.   And this dress made of paper comes with a downloadable instruction sheet. I figure that students in particular have to see the creativity and work that goes into this process.

I am really going into this with an idealistic view of the class. Any thoughts/suggestions/warnings?


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