Friday, March 30, 2007

Swamped by the Swap!

I'm still here, but riding the wave of Swap-o-rama-rama is taking all my attention these days. The Vancouver Swap is in just two weeks, and will be SO fantastic, I can't wait!
And right after that I hop on the train down to San Francisco to prep for the Maker Faire swap there in May.
But do check out my new of my new links: Micro Revolt for political angles on textiles, and Dahlia Drive for Wendy Van Riesen's gorgeous clothing (she's one of the designers in the Vancouver Swap!)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Spring Swap - A Sneak Preview

After the last swap in September I swore I would never say the word "s**p" again. Well, that lasted about a week. Swap-o-rama-rama is just so much fun and generates so much creative energy, I knew we would do another. Thankfully, I am once again being assisted by the fabulously capable April, and Cari of Tag Along Sally fame has come on board to coordinate the fashion show. And Conrad, with the awesome collective energy and spirit of the Work Less Party behind him, is co-sponsoring the event for a second time. Marlis created the adorable poster.
We will be in the beautiful, brightly lit Heritage Hall this time. DJ's Xynthetic will be returning to keep the vibes happening, and we are greatly honoured to have Yuriko from Blim Gallery offering on-site silkscreening.
We can always use a few more volunteers for sorting (you will get first dibs), and general help, so if you are interested drop me a line at true_stitchesATyahooDOTca

Sunday, March 11, 2007

DIY Wedding

I'm getting married on June 30. I haven't been jumping up and down telling everyone because it's going to be very small, held at the foot of an old growth tree on Bowen Island, just family. But even so, it seems to be turning into something of an event.
This is mostly due to the romantic fantasies of the 11-year-old SD, which, as it turns out, are pretty powerful. She convinced me that I needed to visit some bridal shops and try dresses on. She happily agreed to come with me and be my "stylist".
Having never done the traditional wedding thing before, I had no idea of what to expect. Entering one of these shops is like crossing the threshold into another world. You must remove footwear, to avoid trampling on the trains of the dresses. There are not only change rooms, but an area with a pedestal surrounded by mirrors, which the bride-to-be can get a panoramic view of how she looks.
The sales people would greet us, give us (middle aged woman & tall pre-teen girl) the once-over and ask in a puzzled tone "Prom or wedding?" At this point I was ready to run, but I grit my teeth and ruefully admitted "Wedding."
First Problem: All the sample dresses are size 8. No amount of a "lace back" is going to make it possible for me to fit into one.
Second Problem: All the dresses are polyester and hideously expensive.
Third Problem: "You're getting married June 30? Of this year?" Oh, I guess one is supposed to give at least four months lead time. Who knew? SD did. 11 years old and completely knowledgeable about the process of ordering a dress.
I did finally try on a dress or two, hoping it might turn me into a winsome and photogenically blushing bride. Do I dare post the result?

Obviously, I am not going to go this route.
Instead, this evening, in a much less embarrassing shopping process, I ordered this pattern:

I am going to go to Rocco's on Fraser Street, blissfully fondle the exquisite and reasonably priced silk fabrics, choose something gorgeous, and sew my own bloody dress.
I even downloaded an elbow length glove pattern off of Burda's website - check it out, it's awesome - and as an extra treat, scored a corset pattern off of Ebay.
Forty-five stress-free minutes later, I feel like I've got the dress covered. Whewww!!
Except that now SD wants to take her Dad shopping for a tux...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Wardrobe Refashion 1

Well, you can tell I'm no clotheshorse! This is my first wardrobe re-fashioning, over a month into the challenge. I haven't bought anything new either, so I have kept my pledge. It all started with these buttons...

I found them at Button Button on Cordova. They whispered to me... Wardrobe Refashion.
I took apart a black pin-striped wool kimono. (I have a lot of old kimonos.) The stripes were unusual, a light shade of pink. The kimono was probably an older woman's, and hadn't been worn in quite a while, judging from the mothball smell. I washed the pieces, then cut the jacket from a design by Hot Patterns (Prim and Proper Jacket). I was surprised that it used almost all the fabric, which shows how economical the kimono is, and how wasteful Western designs can be. (Or how petite Japanese women are, and how, um, well, not-petite I am.) The jacket has 3/4 length sleeves and is very short and fitted.
I used pink silk for the lining.

And I used a remnant of the original kimono lining for the applique on the lapels. I duplicated the design of the buttons.

Overall, I am quite happy with the jacket. Now I just need somewhere to wear it!

The Revolution Can't Come Soon Enough

What a week! Our fiercely brilliant and inspirational Betty K. got sent off to jail for 10 months yesterday. The court says they had to do it to "restore their dignity". (I guess Betty made them feel like fools when she refused to obey their orders to stop a construction company from tearing up a precious wetland forest.) I am so ashamed to live in a province that sends 78-year-old great-grandmothers to jail for trying to save a liveable world for everyone's children. In my view the court's "dignity" is further eroded by Madame Justice Brown's action. More here.
Footage of Betty's civil disobedience appears in Conrad Schmidt's brilliant movie, Five Ring Circus which opened on Friday. It was enthusiastically received and deserves to be widely seen.
And because I believe that it is in the power of every person to resist the corporate behemoths that seek to oppress us - by taking back the power of creating with our own hands - I will be co-producing the Maker Faire Swap-orama-rama with Wendy Tremayne. This is so exciting - I've already been in touch with some amazing artists and designers from the Bay Area. It will be a fantastic event, I just know.