Friday, October 19, 2012

Refashion Sewing Contest from Threads via Pattern Review

I am finally joining the 21st century. I am getting my first smart phone (the iPhone 5!!!) in a week or so and I have finally set some Google alerts! One of my alerts is set for "sewing contest" and the very first thing that popped up was this one from Threads Magazine (posted on Pattern Review) I am very excited by this contest because it seams right up my alley. I like that is about "up-cycling" even if they dont use that word.

Below is the content from Pattern Review, which I assume they have taken from Threads. I cannot actually find the link on the Threads Mag website, but I figure that is because the contest doesn't open until the 1st of November.

Refashion Contest
November 1, 2012 - November 15, 2012

Refashioning, reconstructing, recycling or upcycling -- whatever you call it, this is the contest for it.

Objective: Take an item or items and create a new and different garment.

Requirements: A photo of your "material" (the initial item or items) and another photo of the final garment must be included in your review. Additional pictures may also be included.

Your original items can be anything you want, but they may only be turned into garments or accessories to qualify as "new" items for this contest. The garment must be sewn. Self drafted patterns or commercial patterns may be used; they may be previously used or new.

The "original" item or items must be changed substantially to create a new garment. The item can be of the same type (dress to dress) or something entirely different (tablecloth to dress). However, the new item must be distinctly different from the original (for example, embellishments only do not qualify).
At least half of the new item must be made from reconstructed / recycled items (notions such as zippers or interfacing do not count in the total).

Examples that qualify for the contest:

Making a skirt from pants. Making a fitted top from a tunic. Making a hat from a sweater.

Examples that do not qualify for the contest:

Hemming an old bridesmaid dress to make it a short cocktail dress. Taking the sleeves off a blouse to make it a sleeveless blouse. Resizing a t-shirt to a smaller t-shirt.

Suggestions for reviews & to help with voting:

For entrants: Include in your review a description of the original article, and what steps you took to make the new garment. You may also want to explain why you chose the original article to reconstruct or recycle. This can help inspire others to do something similar.

For voters: How different is the final item from the original item or items? How functional is the final garment?

Sponsored by

First Prize:
Threads Archive DVD

Second Prize
Fitting DVD Set

I am thinking of making a fabulous leather bag from and old leather coat but I am not sure yet. I also have to find the leather coat! It would be pretty sweet to get that Threads Archive DVD...

So what are you thinking of making? Have you heard of any sweet sewing contests that you would like to share?


Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Broadway Silk Store, Astoria New York

Every week I go to a Weight Watchers meeting on Broadway and 36th street. This week I made an unbelievable discovery!

The Broadway Silk Store. Located at 35-11 Broadway, this place is gem of Astoria. From the outside it looks like a hold over from by-gone days. But inside it is clean and well organized fabric store. All of the fabrics feel a little vintage. I am not sure how often their merchandise is updated but I also don't care. This is the kind of place where you find one of a kind floral Crepe de Chine and perfect plaid taffeta's that no one else will have.

Not only that but it doubles as a cute little gift shop with hip items like mustache mugs and miniature felt creatures. Although this little store doesn't boast the curation of some of the more Brooklyn-y gift shops, it does very well with what it has. The whole feeling of the store seams to gel. And there is a ginger cat with a fabulous poofy tail! I have a feeling he is the in-house muse. Or maybe he just prevents in-house mouses. Ha! Doesn't it look so wonderfully inviting? I am sure I will be patronizing this store in the very near future! There goes my pin money!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Book Review - The Sewing Answer Book

So my sweet husband came home with a gift for me the other day. He had found a copy of           The Sewing Answer Book (by Barbara Weiland Talbert) on one of those second-hand-book tables that exist around New York.  He bought it for 1 dollar! You can buy it for quite cheap on Barnes and Noble too.

I really liked this book. I wish there were more pictures, but as far as a sewing books go this one was great. It answers many seemingly random sewing questions in a coherent way and also gives excellent tips. I was very impressed.  Several times I was actually bowled over by the smartness of the tip and thought...why didn't I think of that?!!

I have to say however my favorite tip went something like this...
"If you cant see it from a galloping horse, dont bother to re-do it."
That might become my new motto.

Second favorite is
"Tape paper bags to your sewing and cutting stations so you can toss out threads as you snip them."

(I might have paraphrased a little on the exact wording of the quotes.)

What is your favorite sewing tip? I would love to hear about that one thing that you know and no one else does about sewing.

My awesome tips?

  1. Use soup cans as pattern weights
  2. A great way to make a cutting table out of your regular table is to use bed risers under the legs. They add usually 6 inches or more of height! You can buy them at Bed Bath and Beyond as well as IKEA and probably Target.

I have more but I cant give them all away now or you won't come back to my blog! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Getting back to it....

Well, jeeze.  It really has been a while since my last post hasn't it? One of my oldest and most stubborn faults is that I get so wrapped up in a project that...
A) I forget everything else I had wanted to do, whether or not it pertained to that project
B) I burn out.

That is exactly what happened these past few weeks. I worked so hard on my shirtwaist dress to have it finished by Gertie's book party that I didn't take very good pictures.  And then I made a fabulous brocade dress for a wedding and once again... no pictures. And instead of moving on, writing about something else or starting another project, I just felt overwhelmed by my failure to record and blog. Sigh.

Then, to top that off, I broke my vow of not buying any clothing.  My dwindling collection of jeans got me so low that instead of making a pair, I just bought one from the Gap. Granted, they were on sale, (I saved more than 50%!) but still. But I broke my vow! I am very sad at myself.

One more problem is that my sewing room is in chaos because we are using it as a photography studio.  (Check out our Etsy store for all the new listings!!!) I just haven't had the energy or inspiration to clean it.

Another thing is that I was planning on making Gertie's coat. I had even made a muslin (which was to big) and posted it on the Flickr group. But I am not sure if I actually want to make it. Is that bad? I think the coat design is great, but I want something a little more useful.  I am also on a pretty strict budget which makes things like buying hair interfacing a no-no. At least for now. And for sure no pattern buying splurges.  But I found this free pattern on Burda so i might end up making that, except without all the do-dads on it. But, I can also make this beautiful double breasted coat with the fabric I got for the Gertie coat. Which one do you like better?
Talea #9301 - free from Burda
Ankle-length double breasted wool coat #107

I also happen to have some fleece backed Gore-Tex that would be wonderfully warm, and all of the little squirrels are telling me that it is going to be a very cold winter. (they are working overtime to hide all of their nuts)  

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am re-booting. If Romney can do it why cant I. Although after tonight's debates we shall see how well that worked. So. See you tomorrow?