Monday, 17 November 2014

S(e)winging into that silly summer season!

As I right this its pouring cats n dogs outside, but I am not swayed by the over dramatic rumbling clouds, as I know for sure the weather will turn good sweet sweet sunshiney good in an instant. gotta love New Zealand 4 seasons in a day! 

And as we roll out of the snuggly sewing season ... where we feel ok to be in doors curled up and crafting, I look to summer with plenty of projects in mind. Its funny how we might prefer to sew in winter (and swim all summer) but project-wise much much prefer summer sewing....dresses, shorty shorts, crop tops. flower crowns, beach bags gahh! so many options! Thats all the motivation I need to keep crafting all year round. The months ahead have so much inspiration to offer.
Christmas time: Handmade decorations, postcards to send overseas, gifts for the family and friends...
Holiday time: sun hats, beach bags, new bikini? crop tops, bach cushions, kimonos, biking style...
Festival season: Costumes! utility belts, hats, bunting, rag rugs, umbrellas costumes! costumes! 

With this in mind, i've updated our workshop schedule to include an assortment to get you happily making and enjoying a HANDMADE XMAS and also a bunch of FESTIVAL READY summertime party essentials. 

But of course I know every summer adventure and party is unique, so come on in with your ideas and questions... do your shorts need taking in? skirts lopped off a bit shorter? does your man need a new bbq apron? do you need to revamp the kids xmas stockings? Thinking about a handmade gift but not sure what exactly... or is it time to treat yourself to a new xmas day frock made out of vintage floral sheets? (I feel like a tv ad now, but really I just want to ask the questions and hope that you know you CAN make something, give it a go, handmade treats are always so much more appreciated and cherished dont you think? there another question.. oops)

We are open right up until the 23rd December with a special late night till 8pm.
Also we have a xmas wrapping weekend too on the 20th & 21st so if you want some fun upcycled gift wrapping then come on in, kids be worned we will be playing loud rap music to set the scene ;)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

That time Sew Love was on telly!

My friend took a screen shot, its not everyday you're in the headlines. 
(By the Prime Minister, a screaming muscle man and a gorgeous dogface).

Seven Sharp came by to tell the story of shopaholics and why we at Sew Love think sewing is the new black! We had a great day filming, and were over the moon to hear we may have converted a couple of mall lovers to op shopping and sewing! yahoo! 

Monday, 22 September 2014

One off workshop special with Olivia Coote

Pack up your old crockery and come paint it new again! After painting her fair share of tiny bunting on teacups, Olivia Coote, is hosting a ceramic painting workshop at Sew Love to guide your tea sets from the back of the cupboard to the front!

This lass is a creative traveller, dreamer, maker, and always generous & smiling.
She was an inspiration for me to get into the Auckland craft markets back in the day,
and NOW we get to have her teaching in Sew Love! 
HELLO Olivia Coote!
You would've seen her maps, postcards and her smile about a lot.
But of recent years she's been living in Brazil as ya do, making stuff & keeping up a good glow. 
We've snuck into her NZ visiting schedule and she is hosting a 1 off workshop for us:
Ceramic painting.
Saturday 27th September
Morning Tea time: 10.30-12.30pm
$45 pp (includes use of paint & brushes)
BYO vintage crockery, a cup or saucer, with or without original designs.
We will have the paints and brushes, and most likely some tea!
Book your spot by emailing in, or visiting in the sewing lounge. xx 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Welcome to our new guest tutor: Anissa from Grow Mama!

I met the lovely and locally famous Anissa Ljanta recently over piles of fabric at the recent Fabric-a-brac. Its pretty cool when you get to meet in real life...Anissas blogs was one of the first ones I found in blogland when I started out. I was a little starstuck. We talked workshopping and soon she is teaching a class in at Sew Love. Her pinteresty famous tote bag class will be on Saturday 4th October 1-3pm $45. Book in quick im sure it will be popular. So here we are Hello Anissa Welcome Welcome!
Anissa Ljanta is a writer, blogger and Online Content Specialist and Social Media Trainer. She is a lover of wild places, a homeschooling mama, a compulsive crafter, a gardener, and op-shopping queen. Her design and tutorial for a bag upcycled from a vintage pillowcase went viral on Pinterest, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to her blog and even more folks pinning it.
Anissa is passionate about DIY and upcycling and pretty much anything that has us step lighter on the earth and move toward a more sustainable and fun future.  She can often be found sewing up a storm late at night when most sane people are sleeping.
Anissa makes, bakes and blogs over at

Thursday, 21 August 2014

ROSIE'S BEEN A MAKIN' : MC's Revival Jacket

 My father bought this leather jacket in Spain in 1961 during his travels with my mum, and it’s a family heirloom that I want to wear till the end of my life so I took it into Sew Love to see if they could help me do that - Martin

Not having tackled a re-work like this before, Rosie was enthused to get back into the menswear groove (having specialised in it through university). In hindsight, the best place to start would be to take photographs or notes of how things are constructed. Specifically: location of pleats, tucks, internal pockets, cuff attachments. In other words, everything that I did not photograph BEFORE jumping in and unpicking all the lining into pieces for dear Rosie.

Once everything was unpicked from the jacket and separated from each other into individual pieces, Rosie pressed them all flat (noting where the crinkles/gathers were originally).
Using some handy newspaper Rosie traced around each piece to form pattern pieces. Taking note of notches, points of the darts, and importantly the grainline of the fabric pieces to correctly transfer onto the new pattern pieces. She matched each seam so they would fit exactly (sometimes fabric may have stretched, ripped or swayed a bit during wear).

Next up a toile was cut from some cotton sheet offcuts. This was a practice go at fitting the lining into the shell, and due to my non noting of special bits before unpicking, this is where Rosie had to figure out where there were gathers and folds in certain parts along the hem and sleeves.
Martin came back to visit and get some other repairs done and he chose some great funky bright lining from the little assortment we hunted out through the fabric stash for him.

Rosie set to work sewing the new lining together starting with the front opening and leaving the bottom hem open so she could sneak on in and attach the cuffs of the sleeves neatly from the inside.

As with most lined jackets, a hole is left open in the sleeve seam which is where you dive in to close up the bottom hem. This sleeve seam hole is LAST to be stitched closed and everything looks neat and tidy. What a beauty!

What was your favourite part of this project?
Touching in on old skills, and seeing an old jacket come back to life with some SNAZZY new (but also old) lining.

What was the most challenging part of this project?
I’d say it’s probably doing these cuffs, ensuring that they’re turned in the right way and sitting neat.

Have you worked with leather before?
No, not in a garment before, I’ve made leather pouches, jewellery and little clutch bags too.
I feel proud, I feel stylish, I feel happy happy happy! - Martin

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Welcome Guest Tutor: Evie Batts!

One conversation with Evie, and you know this girl is full of energy and truly passionate about sustainability and sewing. A great head on her shoulders, she has clever high end design concepts, and at the same time is humble and friendly and loves to get on down and craft up a storm too. We are so pleased to welcome Evie to teach in the Sew Love lounge... Starting with Braiding a Rag Rug workshop on Thursday 21st August, and a Yoga Mat Bag on Thursday 28th August. See the calendar here.
Hi All! I'm Evie Batts a sustainable sewer! My passion for the up-rise of environmentally friendly sewing has lingered in my heart since I was young, drawn to the idea of change for the better! Born in Auckland, New Zealand I have journeyed through a BFA majoring in Fashion which further developed and evoked my personal opinion on the environment and the sustainability of the fashion industry today. I have worked with eco-friendly fabrics such as Hemp as well organic and natural fibres. I love to experiment with making my own natural dyes, using flowers, leaves, spices...anything I can get my hands and mix into a vibrant natural dye! I can't wait to bring my workshops to SewLove and share some sustainable sewing secrets with fellow crafters!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Craft Love

Recently I caught up with an Aunty from long ago and we crafted and chatted together. It was well overdue and so lovely to discover mutual love for craft. After she returned to Aussie, she emailed me. I have asked her permission to share her story because it moved me so much. I am so proud of you Aunty Linda xx And so pleased that craft had a part in changing your life xx 
I have since started a Meet Up group Sewing Just Got Sewcial
Mum, Me & Aunty Linda + mucho crochet!
My sister was concerned that I was getting “too comfortable” at home and not getting out and about with other people, and she suggested I join a group.  But what could I join?  I wasn’t really interested in anything - couldn’t be bothered going to the gym.

I had had several years suffering in the depths of Depression and after realising I was not “right”, went to the Doctor and am on medication.  That was several years ago and I am coping much better now, but still I sometimes feel that to get out and about it’s all just “too hard”, “too scary”.

I had taken up knitting and crochet again after many years and my sister mentioned that in her city they have a “Knit & Natter” group that meets at a cafĂ©, so I Googled and found “Meetup” groups … and joined one.  That was a Friday afternoon and soon after, I “RSVP’d” to attend the next day.  Then … I had a hot flush and my heart was pounding … ”Where do I go”,  “where do I  park”,  “where will I go when I get there” (it is in a Pub in an unfamiliar suburb).  But … I went along. 

I decided to use the same skills that the psychologist talked to me about for travelling - If I didn’t know where to go, I would ask someone.  And the lady I had spoken on the Friday had rung the “Host” and she was there early to look out for me.

There were just five of us and we just sat around talking and knitting.  Very pleasant.  I ‘shouted’ myself a glass of bubbly (I told them) “to celebrate my big adventure driving to the other side of town” but really … it was because “I DID IT!!!”  And my darling Partner had a bottle of bubbly in the fridge for when I got home - he knew it was a “big” thing for me.  Isn’t he wonderful!

And the second week … for the first that I can remember … I actually looked fwd to going again - rather than just being anxious about it.  A big first for me.  That week one of the ladies brought a copy of a hat pattern for me, and two hats to show us the design, so that was lovely.  If she hadn’t thought I was nice, she wouldn’t have bothered!

I am getting back to doing things with less stress so that is a big step fwd.  A few years ago I wouldn’t have done something new like that, where I didn’t know anyone, and now I’m soooooo pleased I did. 

To anyone out there who is feeling alone or thinking “I don’t know anyone”, take the first step and you might be very pleasantly surprised.  Knitting, crocheting, sewing and crafting with like-minded people is really enjoyable and we learn a bit from each other.
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