Sew for the Skill of It

Internaional Sewing Month

September is National Sewing Month and this year’s theme is Sew for the Skill of It. We’re always thinking about ways to sharpen our sewing skills and it’s always exciting when we find new ways to celebrate the gift that those skills are.

Recently, word has been spreading about a fabulous reality TV show called the Great British Sewing Bee that has home sewists competing based solely on their sewing skills. The show sprinkles in some interesting historical information and gives glimpses of the contestants’ backgrounds, but the focus is the craft of sewing and how well the contestants execute the challenges, which include following a pattern, making made-to-measure clothes for real people and upcycling a purchased article of clothing. The sewing room is stocked with exquisite fabrics and trims referred to as the haberdashery. The judges are an expert sewing teacher and a Saville Row tailor and the drama comes, not from personality conflicts, but from hoping the contestants will be able to finish the challenges in time. It’s all very civilized and no bleeping is required. Contestants talk about “unpicking” their mistakes (so much gentler-sounding than ripping) and one remarked that a fabric had a mind of its own so she had to “speak to it very firmly.”  Wouldn’t it be great if we had something similar here in the US? A contest like this would be a great addition to ASG’s National Conference, for instance.

Season Two of the Great British Sewing Bee is in the works and the full episodes from Season One can be viewed on YouTube.  Watching is fun, but doing is what we sewing fanatics love best. Let’s all celebrate National Sewing Month by tackling a project that tests our skills, learning or brushing up on a technique that’s gotten the better of us in the past. Do it for the skill of it.

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Videos from Fashion’s Past

I found these two fun videos and had to share them with you, dear readers. Enjoy while I finish some other blog posts for you to read this coming week.

Upcycling is not new. During the 70’s, recycling became the popular phrase. But even before we started to become earth-conscious, sewists always found ways to re-use fabric. Take a look in this wartime video; the phrase was “Make It, Mend It”

This is a fun look at the past looking into the future. A 1930’s prediction of what fashion will be in the year 2000. They really weren’t too far off with day-to-evening and “transparent knits.”

September 15: Make a Hat Day

Today, September 15, is Make a Hat Day! It’s also Felt Hat Day, but we’ll just focus on making any hat, whether it’s felt, cloth or another material. Hats are again back in style since Kate & William’s wedding. Have you ever made a hat?

Make a Hat Day is is a day for fun! Design, make, and wear your a hat for yourself today. Put your personality into it. Or, make a hat from a character you would like to imitate for a day.

This day is very popular with preschool, kindergarten, and grade school teachers and students. Early in the new school year, teachers look for fun and interesting projects to break up the classroom routine, or for art projects. Kids, who love arts projects by nature, can use their creativity in making a hat that fits them!

The rules for Make a Hat Day are quite simple. Just make a hat, any hat. It can be for you, or for mom or dad. Wearing the hat is optional. But, it’s half the fun.

Source: Holiday Insights

Twitter logoSpoiler Alert! #makeahatday Tweets

How can I resist a themed day of tweets? Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know what today’s tweets are. I’ll be using the hashtag #makeahatday today with links to patterns and tutorials (tutes) of various hats. Usually I re-cap the day after the themed tweet day, but since today is MAKE a hat day, I’m giving you the links today so you can make a hat today.

Map Cap
Image source:
Art Deco Society of California

Whew! that was a lot of tweets! I hope you were inspired to make a hat today. If you make a hat, send me a picture. I’d love add it to our Flickr album.

twitter-elephant Follow us on Twitter at @sewchicago. We share tips, links on the Web and from other tweeters.

Where has the summer gone?

Oh my! It’s been almost two months since I’ve written to you, dear readers. There’s so much to catch up with you and so many ideas and chapter information to share. I’ll be writing them and bringing  you up-to-date within the next week.

  • Updates about the Joplin Project First Day. There have been several recent inquiries if they are still accepting clothes. I’m finding out and will update you.
  • September is National Sewing Month! This year’s theme is about love; have you thought of ideas already?
  • Fall is around the corner and the Make It With Wool contest entries are due soon. Time is short if you haven’t started, but we’ll give you some tips that the Peoria ASG group shared.
And so many other things! To get us back in the swing of things, here’s an old Singer TV commercial. Sewing for economy hasn’t changed.

Video Tweet Day List

Watching movies clipart from MicrosoftDid you follow the tweets of videos yesterday? Did you follow #vidtweetday or did you follow on the blog? I really hope you liked them; I had a fun time finding various topics and not-the-norm videos.

In case you missed any, here’s a list of all the videos:

  1. Threadbanger’s How to Wet Felt a Beret
  2. The art of tambour beading as done in French Haute Couture Embroidery at Lesage in Paris
  3. The Making of a Chanel Haute Couture Outfit from New York Magazine
  4. VogueFabrics’ Mac Berg shows how to use the stilleto when sewing and pressing
  5. Embellishment With Bias Strips from Sandra Betzina
  6. Haute couture French crochet beading from Corinne Meunier and photos
  7. Bespoke tailoring in U.K.; mobile tailors set up in pubs and the suits are made in Hong Kong
  8. Traditional shibori tying & dyeing
  9. Shingo Sato, extreme pattern making: Transformational Arm-Hole
  10. Francesco the tailor, Italy (I wish there was more to the video)
  11. Julian Roberts Subtraction Cutting by an Indiana University student under Julian’s direction
  12. Japanese kimono maker. I love his foot action and mesmerized by his adept needle-handling.
  13. A two-fer deal: Spoonflower’s tutorial of how to design without Photoshop and creating wall art with custom-printed fabric

I hope you enjoy these videos! I’ll try to do another Video Tweet Day every few months.

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