Sunday, September 23, 2012

Katwise is Fabulous

I found Katwise on Etsy a while ago.  I was looking to see if recycled sweaters were selling there. I often think I'm nuts for wanting to cut up something and make it into something else.

Her sweaters are fabulous! They are probably more interesting than anything I will ever make, but I found myself squinting at the computer screen trying to get a better look.  Then she listed a tutorial! I didn't want to buy it because I didn't want to copy.  But, my curiosity got the best of me and I bought it for myself on my birthday this year.

It is well worth the price.  It is full of color and fun just like her website. She gave me a lot to think about, how to choose sweaters and how to use them.  She recommends the little Juki MO-644D Garnet Overlock that I've used and think is great.

I wasn't going to link to the video that I got in the email with the tutorial,  but it shows up on the first page of google when I put Katwise in the search box. So here it is!

She also has a great one of her spinning in her coats on her colorful farm in NY.

I'm not sure if I will ever make one, but I have a lot more to think about and I am grateful.  Well, maybe I'll make one...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

ASE Out of the Box Challenge

This photo was included in the most recent ASE Swatches email Newsletter. The caption is: ' This is what Special Events Director, Diane Kroll's office looked like on Tuesday morning after receiving a mountain of Out of the Box contest entries over the weekend.'

My box is right behind, to the left of the chair, in the old blue Priority box with the stickers! :)

My guess is its OK to show you now since all the entries are in.  My four things to use in my 'quick gift' were:
 1 YKK 9" Designer Accents zipper, color Persimmon
            1 Signature spool of Size 20 Cotton Tropical Brights
            1 Robison-Anton spool Decorative Floss, color Pastoral Green
            1 Robison-Anton spool J Metallic, color Blue

OK, first off, it turns out Persimmon was BRIGHT orange.  And the other three were threads!  I was a little miffed at first, not much to go by.  A zipper, some hand embroidery thread, machine embroidery thread and some thick varigated thread.  How the heck was I gonna get all those threads to work together?  

Well, the zipper was the perfect size for a cosmetic case, and I'd been meaning to make a pattern anyway.  I was able to use the varigated stuff as topstitching, the decorative floss was really very good and I got alot of practice on my blanket stitch.  The machine embroidery thread was the hardest, but I got it in there.  It was a bear to use as hand sewing thread, but I will try it out on the Janome MC300E one of these days.

My entry:

Interior view:

The shell is recycled denim, the lining is some thrifted fabric and the pocket interiors are recycled t shirt.

It was fun! I can't wait to see what everyone else did.

Old Sewing Books

Lately, I've become enamored with 1940's and earlier sewing books. I started collecting them almost 20 years ago when I shopped vintage clothing for stores in California, Florida and Michigan. Back in the mid- nineties every church rummage sale had a bunch of them and a sewing machine for $1 on the last day. First with the invention of online selling sites and now with the help of things like Project Runway, more people are sewing and buying on and off the Internet.

I usually don't spend much time perusing the books, I've always just used them to find out how to do something I wasn't sure about. But I will be teaching a Needleworks class at our co-op and, true to form, have been digging through my collection of books for ideas and explanations.

I am especially taken with the sections on remaking and reusing clothing. The 1925 Women's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences book on Dyeing-Remodeling-Budgets as well as New Encyclopedia of Modern Sewing from 1943 actually have pictures of how to lay out patterns on previously used clothing, much like I did on my denim jacket here.

They describe a number of ways to redo dresses, shirts, jackets and make childrens clothing from adult clothing. Even the current Sew News magazine does an article on how-to upcycle three blazers into one fabulous jacket. What is old is relevant again.

Also neat about these books is how thoroughly they cover the topics. I do believe I get more out of them now than I did 20 years ago because my sewing knowledge is greater. Comparing a 1949 Singer Sewing Book to a new one is like comparing apples to oranges. Both delicious but completely different in flavor, smell and availability. Although this new Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing - Revised + Expanded Edition: 1200 Full-Color How-To Photos looks interesting! 1200 photos? I think I'll have to check it out!