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.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Special Guest Tutor: Penny from Dresses and Me

Hi, I'm Penny and I am looking forward to teaching and sharing my love of sewing & patterns in the Sew Love lounge. I've been sewing 'seriously' for about three years but originally taught myself when I was a teenager using my grandmother's Elna Grasshopper which is built like a tank, weighs about the same and is khaki as you'd expect! Recently I've sewn some very wearable merino tops, however, what I enjoy making the most are pretty and deeply unpractical dresses. I also run NZ's only indie pattern boutique Dresses & Me

She smiled sweetly and stepped up and covered the shop for me spontaneously on Saturday, and she baked home made bread for our meeting last week. This gal is seriously a real gem!  We are so stoked to extend our family of guest tutors to include the the wonderful wonderful Penny from Dresses and Me blog which is more than just a blog, but is NZ's only indie pattern boutique! Yes Penny knows patterns well. She has chosen TWO snazzy ones for us all from indie pattern company Colette Patterns the Ginger skirt and the Laurel (top/dress). These TWO classes are perfect for those wanting to sew a garment, perhaps for the very first time.  

3 x Tuesdays each $130
Ginger starting NEXT WEEK 8th July. 
& Laurel starting 29th July.

As Colette themselves describe it: Laurel - Chic and simple shift dress or top with bias tape finishing. The semi loose shape is easy to wear, while back darts keep the look streamlined. This gives you more free reign with fabrics and prints. Here's all the Laurels on Pinterest, you can see its a top AND a dress pattern.
& check out a whole lot of Gingers already made up on Pinterest too. Colette describe there Ginger Skirt pattern as. This simple and pretty a-line skirt with a high waistband (which comes in different curved shape options) will be a new wardrobe staple. Quick to sew, flattering to wear, this beautiful skirt is suitable for any sewer beginner to advanced.

Get in touch to secure your spot. Spaces are limited.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Special Guest Tutor: Emily Cater from Millicent Crow

Millicent Crow is her blog and crafty name...and here's the wonderful Emily and her partner Sam, looking stupendously spiffy and fantastic at the recent Auckland Art & Craft Fair in Aotea Square. I grabbed this picture (with permission) from Em's facebook page. I think its such a beautiful display of the wonderous talents of this girl. & here below is the rad duo singing some folky tunes at the Sew Love opening eve. They have just launched their facebook page for Mermaid & Mariner.
I feel ever so lucky, and the creative community too are lucky to have Emily sharing the love and teaching a couple of workshops coming up over the next few weeks. Some of you may have met her as part of our Sew Some Love team and Splore this year...
 Hi I'm Emily and I like to draw. In the corner of my bedroom, Millicent Crow HQ, I turn my drawings into gocco prints, screenprints, cards, bunting, pouches, stamps and badges, which I sell through my business Millicent Crow.  I get a lot of my inspiration from the past and love finding photographs of people’s ancestors abandoned in op shops – I often use these photos as starting points for my drawings.  Finding new uses for old materials is important to me and you might find an old blanket being given a new life as a backing for one of my brooches, or one of my pouches lined with a vintage sheet.
Stamp Carving Workshop Thursday 3rd July 6-8pm $45
Zipper Purse Workshop Thursday 10th July 6-8pm $45
Or book the two in combo for $80 and use your stamp to print your own fabric for your zipper purse.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Introducing our lovely new team member: Rosie!

Need I say I'm going bananas over our rad new team member Rosie! I am really pleased and excited to have Rosie join the Sew Love team. BIG big thanks to the incredible Artists Alliance programme for this opportunity. Rosie is a friendly, well travelled creative lass with a plethora of schmancy sewing skills to share with you all, a crafty eco warrior at heart, and genuine good soul I really am so blessed to have her working in the Sew Love lounge and also hosting some workshops too. Here's a little from Rosie bananas Coker herself:

Hello ello! I am Rosie and I’m super excited to join Sarah at Sew Love.
 I caught the sewing bug early. I can vividly remember sitting perched on our spare bed, covered in colourful off-cuts watching my Grandmother and Mother work together sewing and altering clothes. My presence didn't go unnoticed, and as I grew too big to be hidden under the fabric I was put to work, learning skills from them both. They encouraged me to make my own clothes, adapt existing patterns, rework op-shop finds and to take my love for sewing to University. Which I did!  I can’t wait to meet you all and start creating some great up-cycled garments together.
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