Monthly Archives: August 2013

Waste not

elizabeth's_avatarIt’s been bothering me for a while the amount of scrap fabric I produce that isn’t big enough to be useful.  Some of it can be composted but a lot can’t, so it goes to landfill.  When you consider the resources that go into producing fabric (water, labour, petrochemicals and so on) this is an appalling waste.

But what to do?

Ignore the cat, it has no patienceHere’s one idea.  Take a remnant of upholstery fabric and cut six equally sized squares.  In this case about 5ocm x 50cm.

Sew the first two together using a basting stitch, then insert a zip along this stitch line and pull out your basting, making sure the ends are secure.

Then sew the rest of your squares together in a hopscotch arrangement to form the top, sides and bottom of a square.  Overlock your seams to make them strong.

Open the zip and turn your square around the right way.  Proceed to fill it with your fabric scraps until it is full and you have a footstool.

Try to keep the cat off the work in progress…


All good things must come to an end

I have some news that is a little bittersweet.

My professional and personal life are going through some big changes at the moment, and after a wonderful 4 years of hosting the BSC meets at my business premises, Sewanista Fashion Workshops’ studio, I’m afraid I am unable to continue hosting the meets there.

It’s good personally, because the changes are all positive and I now will have a little more flexibility, and sad at the same time, as I have really really enjoyed having you all hang out at my place, and I’ll miss the camaraderie, the inspiration, and the motivation to tidy the place up once a month!

I’m looking forward to the new direction our club will take. A few ideas were thrown around at the meet yesterday as to a new “clubhouse”, and it would be great to have input from all our members. We’re a big group, which should mean plenty of ideas!

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments. It would be great to have a bunch of ideas and possibilities to choose from.

And don’t forget, too, that we have a weekend away coming up soon! I’m making plans already for that weekend. With my schedule the way it is at the moment, a weekend of chilling out with good friends will be just the ticket!

And don’t forget, if you haven’t already ‘liked’ my Facebook page, please pop on over and say hi. I’ve got some interesting projects in the pipeline, I’ll be spreading the word soon.

Cheers, Sandra

Sewing the everyday

elizabeth's_avatarHere’s a thought:  have a look around your house and see what’s sewn fabric.  Not just clothes and cushions, but things like tea towels and pot holders.  Then have a think about how much we need these things, and how much value we place on them.  They are two different thoughts.

It used to be that young girls would spend their teenage years carefully sewing pillowcases and nighties and baby clothes and tea towels  and table cloths (usually with cross stitch).  These would be put away in a hope chest or glory box to be hauled out when she got married and set up her own home.

Then mass-manufacturing and Women’s Lib (which is a great thing, don’t think I’m saying otherwise) happened and this sort of everyday sewing just… stopped.

It’s easy to go to GreatBigChainStore and buy the things we need, but then we don’t tend to appreciate them.

IMG_1396This cotton duck was on the clearance table at $6 a metre, then 40% off, so the three metres I bought (the lovely sales lady gave me the remaining 50cm on the roll just to get rid of it) cost me $10.80.

I started off measuring careful right angles, then I realised that tea towels just need to be absorbent.  They don’t need perfectly even hems, so I fired up the overlocker and whizzed up 14 tea towels (adding ribbon loops at one corner) in about 20 minutes.  They work perfectly and I’m pretty sure no one else has this design.

IMG_1404Then there are those scraps that are too big to throw away, but not quite big enough to make anything.

This pure wool tweed was a remnant from Potter’s.  It was big enough for me to make a Sherlock Holmes-style deerstalker hat (every gentleman should have one), a pencil skirt, AND three pot holders.

They’re simply folded (one of them is four layers, the other two are three layers) to make them thick enough to insulate the holder’s hand from the lava-ously hot pot, then sewn together in a spiral so they hold their shape.  Again, I whizzed through the overlocker so they don’t fray.

The only downside is that, because they’re wool, if they get grotty, they need to be handwashed.

While I never had a glory box, I now have household necessities that I really appreciate.