Fashion Revolution, Chevron Patch Skirt

It has been rather hectic the past 2 months, sewing, working and home renovations.

Back in January, I had been wondering what to do with my sample sews and had considered taking a stall again at the market. I also wanted to do something for Fashion Revolution week. I find fashion revolution week (when viewed in the context of sewing)  rather poignant as there was a time when sewing and sewing machines represented a type of freedom for women as they got their own machines and worked as home sew-ers, and now these sewing machines ‘enslave’ so many other women ( With fast fashion you trap a generation of young women into poverty. 75 million people are making our clothes today. 80% is made by women who are only 18 – 24 years old. – forbes)

So I thought I would approach one of the shops I frequent, Cope Charity Shop.

Cope Charity Shop is really beautifully presented, and you have to remind yourself you are in a charity shop as it is laid out so well, it really has a boutique-shop feel, and they take great care in the shop with the displays, I always admire how fancy it always looks. They also have a reduced rail (€1 rail) where I buy a lot of clothes from, and I asked if they would like to have these makes and sell them in fashion revolution week.

Luckily, Allison Currah, the manager, liked the idea. I gave her the general idea of what I had (mainly blue and white makes). Allison kindly arranged everything else including the display and the publicity,  and arranged some great photos of the makes. This is one of the press releases here. Cope Charity Shop have also been doing daily tips this week for fashion revolution – which I think is great as I think the fashion revolution message is a rather dour message in the face of so many bright cheap clothes.

Allison had previously offered un-sale-able denims, which I originally was reluctant to take (they were the ‘synthetic’ indigo and cheaper forms), but ended up re-evaluating this, and though using this denim would be a good challenge and also a more realistic upcycle that the choicer pieces in wool that I normally nab at the charity shop.

So I drafted up a patchwork skirt. I originally planned a few different types but thought in the end to stick to one and make a few.  I adapted a skirt block by moving some darts to make equal size panels and then adding a 45 degree cut. As its denim the bias angle is stable, and I like these skirts made up either as a high contrast sew, or a tonal.

I made 6 extra denim pieces for the event, although I had planned about 12! 4 patch skirts, one Anna Sui Vogue and a Chevron dress. I also was time poor and with builders on the way to renovate our home so in the end.

The pattern for this is on craftsy for free download, with the sewing instructions. I did not get to take many photos of the process but I do hope the ones I have with the directions are clear enough to follow. The pattern does not have seam allowance in it, and have each panel on an A4 sheet so it will be easier to download, size and add seam allowance (I hope).

front and back 1

Its a nice sew (I think) as it was a tidy cut as each piece is small, and it lends itself to being sewn in stages, which is rather handy as I was distracted by all building works

Home Renovations – Not too much to say on this, except someone who lives in this house and is not me, who thought it a good idea to live in a house while builders were in excavating, and putting up steel and tearing out bathrooms and kitchen leaving a fine layer of dust everywhere (including my lungs) . I now feel like Lady Macbeth constantly cleaning my hands any chance I get.

Most of it has been fine but there were a few shockers (bathroom joists were failing fast –  The builder did comment, that it was most unusual, and he never saw one so rotted through, like all the way rotted……, and from his tone, I  don’t believe this was seen as an achievement in any shape or form.)

Now its all coming away, I am distracted by the wallpaper underneath…. and I do hope in 2 weeks time it will be hot and cold water, and no more takeaways…….

 

 

 

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finishing old jobs – and fashion revolution day

When we moved here 4 years ago – I was in such a hurry to set up my work room that I hurriedly put up temporary shelves.  The walls are painted beauty board on minimal studs and the shelves were pretty dismal and it was in the corner of the room that was to become a bit of a glory-hole full of stuff propping more stuff up and hiding other stuff.  Inspired by a post in Sewing at Damgate, I moved my folded drawing desk to another room, gave James my Bobby trolley (5euro buy in charity shop) and he was so happy to get the trolley (had been vying for it for a while – and I don’t really use it) and also happy to help with a shelving solution for the workroom, that we got these sorted in a day! We used a simple slot in system and some pine boards and all of a sudden – complete organisation!  All of my sewing books are now finally together and while I hadn’t intended on any floor storage – I simply have too much craft stuff.  The floor boxes contain yarn, the next two shelves are sewing machines (the two white baskets are current projects to try and limit myself).  The shelf above is sewing supplies (the ikea drawers are full of spare re-used zips and other haberdashery) and books, next shelf is a mix of favourite patterns and other supplies and there is a top top shelf are boxes of less used supplies (christmas decorations, old belts, dyes) file folders and some empty spare shoe boxes (always handy).

It also gave me a chance to organise my projects a bit better and try and take a critical look.  I rarely get anything in the charity shops now as I have more than enough to work on here.  One thing I did come across was this bag.  It has been hanging on the door for a whole year.  When I saw it in the charity shop last year, my thought was to clean it, take it apart, reline it and re-sew it…….honestly, I sometimes think the woman in my head sews a hell-of-a-lot faster than me.  So I got real – and looked up best ways of cleaning leather, and decided to take my chances on hand-washing and soaking with wool shampoo!  I only soaked it the first time for about 20 minutes rinsed, and let it dry and saw most of the stains came off so I soaked it a second time and scrubbed it with a soft nail brush and then soaked for about 20 minutes again, rinsed….. and then when it dried put some leather conditioner on it!

BEFORE……leather bag before

AFTER

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I have since put some dubbins on it and its now the same colour/tone as the rest….. the lining is still turquoise but cleaner – Job done!

We also did a fashion revolution mend day – it was a lovely day and I always meant to do something to mark the day as very little ‘fashion revolution’ events happen in Ireland and I thing only a few in Dublin and Cork this year.  Myself and Maureen and Helen (SewlastSeason) did a mend event in a community room/hub and met some lovely people who dropped by  and of course I have only a few blurred photos!