Sunday, March 27, 2011

the sunday pocket bunting

100% reuse
zero waste

What were once coloured fabric swatches have found new life as pocket bunting.

In order to achieve zero waste the entire piece of each swatch (uncut) had to be used. They have been folded under to create pockets.

Five little cards have been placed in the pockets. An aspiration, one for each day of the working week, written across the back.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

the night before cardigan

100% wool fabric and trim with leather buttons

This wool fabric made its way into my home. Mainly because I'd never before seen anything like it in a fabric store. It looks like some one has taken a thick ply wool and knitted a diamond pattern in it. And yet it has the sturdiness of a woven.

But it takes more than a fabric to make a garment. Fabric needs notions.

This shade of blue was proving difficult to pair. Somewhere between navy and royal blue. I had considered custom dyeing ribbing. After many months of loneliness. It finally made a match. With a mokuba wool trim. And real leather buttons.
When something has been in your mind for that long, it coalesces. And by the time I sat down to it last night, it felt like it was making itself. It even devised its own pattern variation - the BurdaStyle Andrew minus facings and ribbing with raised centre front.

A handmade gift, that isn't cheap. That came together in a night, after months of thought.

for the special man's birthday

Friday, March 11, 2011

blog bookmarks

What is the most rewarding form of discovery?

This weekend bookmarks will be distributed for this blog. Real bookmarks, for a virtual blog. This poses the philosophical question (and creates the social experiment): if you give someone a bookmark, will they do the same to your blog, in return?
They are, after all, made from the finest-Italian-designer-fabric-come-eco-reuse (after being de-stashed from the local community centre). Now doesn't that just push all your culturally elitist and environmentally aware buttons at once?

Where will you find them and what will become of them?

Let's find out.

Update 12th March: First drop. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

do you compete?

Some of last year's comps. Click to enlarge.

Entering competitions are a great way to build up your skills.

On a personal level, deadlines, feedback and accolades can do wonders. The discipline of working within a 'brief' and time limit can be great motivators. No matter what your creative pursuit, claiming a prize can give you the confidence to propel you beyond your current limits. And even if you don't win, you can gather valuable feedback on your style and skills

At a social level, competitions expose your work to your peers and industry players. Check out who's on the judging jury. They are often industry influentials and players. Like editors of magazines that could showcase your work. You also get to attend 'the event' and share that experience with those close to you... it might even be their first introduction to the fact that you sew.

I am thinking about what to get into this year, and put together this runsheet of the year ahead's competitions. It has a local focus, and for my dear international friends I explicity mention if it's for international entries or not. But e-v-er-y-o-n-e don't forget to keep an eye of the competitions section of BurdaStyle here for those out-of-the-blue comps that could change your craft for ever!

Entries close March 15 
Maybe a little late for this year's but one to aim for in the years to come.

All ages and disciplines including a wearable art section. The focus is on using wool! All categories cost $44 except: 'wool 4 skool' is free; secondary is $22; women ready to wear is $110.
Entries close April 1st
 I love merino wool

The Australian Museum's eco-conscious comp has both student and open categories. One entry limit. Design and make an outfit out of materials that were bought for a non-clothing purpose. Entry $15.
Entries due April 21st
Two of Peppermint Magazine's senior staff are on the jury, weeee!

For secondary college, TAFE/tertiary college and open designers.
Entry forms become available April/May

All ages – free entry, well almost: make something with tessuti's exquisite fabrics to the category brief. The category details are usually available July with entries open through to September.
I can't recommend this competition enough.

All ages and a variety of categories. $35 entries for students and $55 for non-students.
Entries due June 24th

{ Chambord Shine Awards }
This is a glamorous competition where ten finalists are selected and then given cash to create a final piece. 
Usually held mid-year

The subscription Fashion TV channel (FTV) inaugurated a fashion design award in Australia in 2010. This is another one I'll be on the look out for and hope it returns this year.
Usually held mid-year

{Spring Racing Carnival Fashion Awards } 
There are quite of few around the nation - they deserve a dedicated post closer to the event.

For 13- to 18-year-olds. Entry is $30. 
State finals usually held in October 
Ok, these are not for me, but maybe for someone you know ;)

Have a dedicated 'fashion' category. An event run by the Powerhouse Museum. 
I can't quite tell when their next call for entries will be... but these are truly international*** affair!
Tell me what I've missed!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

prep me: the 5 minute belt

one yard of webbing
one belt buckle

Today, the cotton webbing arrived from acafterglow on etsy. Intended, of course, for bags! Hayley saw the webbing in its parcel on my desk at work and suggested a belt. And she was right, this one decided it wanted to be a belt instead.

Did I mention I work full-time? These quick and easy projects are so rewarding. I admit it takes a little planning in advance to have the right materials at hand, but when you do, it can all come together quite quickly.

The cotton is so lovely and soft (but so very strong). And this off-centre argyle is all the prep I need. The buckle is from All Buttons (and for a low cost alternative, I recommend exonerating one from an old belt). These low rise G-Star's really needed a lift!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

quit your day job: DIY labels (that are washable!)

I have seen tutorials for (and even bought clothing with) labels printed with computer printers onto iron-on transfers, only to see them wash out after the first wash - leaving a blank label! So, I came up with this method myself with what I had around. Fabric paint from stencilling (Alabama Chanin projects), plain fabric (called calico here in Australia and the UK) I use for toiles (aka muslins), a scrap of sponge, a laundry marker... and the only bought item: a rubber stamp.

The rubber stamp was an experiment. It was sold in the shop for paper craft and I wasn't sure if it would work for fabric and fabric paint... but I am pleased to confirm the hypothesis has now been proven.

What you need to do:
1. Place the sponge in a plastic tray (like an ice cream container lid or take-away container lid)
2. Dollop sponge with fabric paint
3. Press rubber stamp onto sponge
4. Stamp your plain fabric (it will take a couple goes to get the amount of paint and pressure right - you may need to do an initial blotting)
5. Iron your stampings to set the fabric paint
6. Write on your labels with a laundry marker
[if your fabric pen also needs to be set by an iron, write your labels before setting them with the iron]
7. Cut out your labels and either, sew them into your garments, or, attach them with ribbon and a small brass safety pin as swing tags

Experiment with colours, shapes and fabrics. Find your 'look and feel'. I've even used them for gift tags. So it's handy to keep blank ones lying around.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

rainy afternoon: easy (no sew!) clothes line

reuse fabric scraps
occupy the kids
have a little fun

Click on picture to enlarge

Now peg them to the line and you're done. For kids (and even big kids) there is a learning process in getting the clothes looking right. Have enough scraps to allow for starting over.

The cost of this project is just $3 for the tiny pegs from Riot! Art & Craft (and there are plenty left over for other crafty things). The fabric scraps, twine, *fiskars scissors, pen and paper are all close to hand.  

*check-out the fiskars unzipped tutorial competition on BurdaStyle
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