Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Summer antics...

Wishing you all a very merry sew lovely christmas and holiday season. Be safe on the roads, eat well, take time to breathe & relax. Look out for some colourful crafting in a park near you this summer, come say hello and pick up a needle n thread. xx Sarah Sew Love xx

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Looking through a new lens

This year's been one epic adventure! Starting my business, my dream, changing relationship status, living town vs country lifestyle between AKL & Coro. I am so so grateful to have been supported so well from friends and family and you Sew Love-rs too I thank you immensely! 

I have met some incredible people this year, one in particular is the wonderful Laura Forest: Inspiring, encouraging & SO hardworking - She is a very caring soul, not just for other human beings but flowers and dogfaces too. She continually strives to uplift the arts community and is super supportive of new ventures like Sew Love. I am blessed to have such a friend, a cheerleader, and amazing homemade muesli maker!

The photos in this post are all taken by her lovely self. Amongst loads of amazing talents, her profession is a photographer and she's a beauty! Have a look at her website and Facebook then go prepare yourself for her amazing instagram feed. Laura & her partner Ed also have a blog together the chef and the photographer. Head on over asap to drool at the devine art on a plate.

Now you can see how talented this lovely lass is, You can imagine the nerves and the gratefulness I had as I got to spend a day with her shooting for up & coming Sew Love antics, and receiving great training on my new camera too. Feeling dressed as a cartoon rainbow we bundled up every ounce of colour that we could carry in baskets and totes, Laura was laden with tripod, camera, step ladder the lot. We manoeuvred our way through poo and freakin' crazy swan necks of Western Springs Park at 9am. To find our perfect meadow...
 You will see some pics soon as we have MUCHO EXCITING things to come in 2014... but here are a couple of  the outtakes from our morning. Laura Forest you are a star! One intelligent, creative, quirky soul who I am constantly inspired by in my work and life. Thank you xx
P.S. This skirt, I wore when I was 5yrs old for a jazz dance recital, the elastic waistband is still in great order.
Me & the lovely Laura at First Thursdays Fiesta recently. You're awesome girl! 
xx Sarah Sew Love xx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Wrapping up Xmas by Recycling & Upcycling

It's an exciting time of year for everyone, especially lovers of craftyness me thinks. Don't give in to that so-called plastic fantasticness, glittery, shimmery shiny ribbons and bows, tinsel on your toes, speed shopping, speed wrapping, and screaming kids (I took one look at a mall because I had to and freaked out!) THIS XMAS try to stop and get in a true spirit of christmas, (try to) take time to think about family and friends, a time to be grateful for them, and to thank them with a beautiful treat that makes them smile and feel warm fuzzies. Opting for handmade & up-cycled gift giving keeps smiles all around. No need to make a dent on your wallet, nor on our beautiful mother earth.
I popped up an eco xmas wrapping station in St Kevins arcade last weekend. I was wrapping with sewing pattern tissue, wallpaper, old duraseal (that I always thought started with a 'J') cut into strips for tape, & strings of wool for ribbons. Doilys, and magazine clippings for adorning the present tops, some had pom poms instead of bows. Some small treats were just slotted into pre folded envelopes no tape necessary. I made these out of old retro wallpaper (a little quick and simple tute is coming soon)
Wrap: I love using old sewing patterns as tissue & the instructions as wrap, these are worse for wear (or incredibly uggllyyy patterns not destined to be used for sewing again (ofcourse I wouldn't cut up good sewing patterns now dont be silly!). Or try wallpaper, newspaper, patch up last years paper, fabric offcuts, totebags, pillowcases, floral sheets even?
Ribbon: Glossy plastic curly ribbon is what we're used to and usually throw it away, add some more handmade charm and texture by looking elsewhere to tie up your present. Use some wool or crochet thread from the op shop, gardners twine, or better yet some think strips of flax which you could compost after christmas. If you're good with your tying, you may get away without any cello tape! fantastic!
Gift tags: You can make these out of any offcuts of card (last years cards?) or paper, perhaps write on a paper doily, or colour in a piece of paper with crayons and pencils. Clippings from newspapers & magazines are great resources too. Go colourful retro & vintage for a good laugh. I found these recipe cards, Instead of glueing plain paper on the backs I have hole punched them and punched a (recycled) metal eyelit in to secure scrap paper on the reverse to write on. The receiver can still read & use the recipe should they wish to.
Gift Bags: Sometimes with a collection of sorts its easier to pop things in a gift bag instead of wrapping. I used to get chocolates, trinkets, a hanky etc from nanna in a chocolate box every year. I loved it. Instead of opting for the mass produced snowman glossy bag that has strings that break as soon as you throw in a bottle of wine... maybe you could make your own pouch or bag like these. I've taken pages from books, and using pinking shears trimmed one side of the opening so you can see the opening, and sewed down the three other sides. (ok probably wont hold you bottle of wine, but everything else just fine)
So go forth and eco-wrap little beauties :-) Have a loooveelly christmas, and as you unwrap your pressies have a think whether you could use that twine again, that wrapping? or string that giftcard some where pretty? MERRY MERRY CHEERY CHRISTMAS! xx Sarah xx

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Sew love a FIESTA, First Thursdays on K'Road

Here's some pics from thursday night in St Kevins arcade.
It was such a fun night meeting lovely new smiling eager-to-craft faces, 
and some returning from previous classes to come and make with me again. 
Sew grand!
Planning a festive flower crown for the summer? Say no to plastic flowers from the $2 store... 
I'ts pretty easy, fun & pretty to recycle fabric scraps into your own flowers :-)
xx Sarah xx

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Picnic Crafting by the seaside

 A leisurely Sunday was had sprawled on cushions, making pom poms and xmas cards. The sun was shining, I could SEE the sea. I could smell the sea, and the breeze was beaut. Just up the coast from Thames is a small grassy reserve by the Arts Centre. Today was their special market day. It was a pretty cruisy day and I lay back a couple of times into the cloud of orange and purple woolly snuggly pillows and took a few minutes rest. Its coming into the busy season, but coming out of a busy year. It was time to stare at the many metres of colourful bunting flap flapping in the wind above my head. Here's to the start of many picnic-y crafting adventures for the summer ahead!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

feeling GOOD dressed in GOOD

For a recent special wedding event I wanted to craft a complete GOOD outfit. It was the first time going to something like this on my own, and I wanted to be truly me & true to me from tip to toe. Here it is folks, loads of different ways that you can do good, and wear good. I always believe we can vote with our wallets! Every time we purchase something, everytime we think about what we are going to wear (or eat, or drink too) We can have our say for what is fair, keep kiwi's in jobs, keep $ flowing locally, invest in a cause worth supporting, think about where this product has come from & WHO's hands it has gone through. Consumers have the power & hopefully we all have a little heart to add to this. 

 In Summary:  Shop vintage & 2nd hand! Shop local, small businesses! Shop organic cottons & ethically manufactured! Shop NZ made! Make it yourself! Upcycle! Borrow or schwop from a friend!

The outfit breakdown:
Headpiece: Black fabric flowers. Handmade at home from fabric scraps (offcuts from Kate Sylvester)
Dress: NZ eco fashion company Kowtow. Ethically manufactured using Fairtrade approved organic cotton & screen printed GOTS approved inks.
Belt: Monkey Fist Belt by The Knot Clothing. Locally made & sold in my home town.
Handbag: Vintage cassette case I use as a clutch. Purchased 2nd hand.
Sunnies: Vintage, purchased from NZ business Bread & Butter Letter who support local crafters.
Shoes: Kabuki Klompen by soulful NZ yoga clothing company We-ar. 'vegan shoe' handmade in Bali through ethical conditions using sustainable sourced wood & canvas.
Underwear: None other than thee most comfortable Thunderpants organic cotton & made in rural NZ
Bra: Black crop top borrowed from a friend.
 A few sneaky snaps from the wedding, it was at the beautiful Tapu water gardens. Cant wait for their pics. It was the most perfectly stunning day with full sunshine, full smiles & gorgeousness of the bridal party, complete with old school bus, ducklings and a 3 course meal. xx

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

First Thursdays FIESTA

(prepare yo'self for some spanglish...) 

Aahh Im a little grande' bit excited about First Thursdays event coming up Thursday 5th Dec. Esta mi favourita events of Auckland. & this time round its a FIESTA !!! At First Thursdays the K'Road area is usually cranking with creatives, bikes, galleries full of googly eyes & quirky interactive installations, markets & of course late night shopping in the bestest small businesses around.
What a fan I am!?! Si, mi gusta mucho!

I usually head to the market to sell my lofty cards (which will be happening in Cross St Arcade so go check it out peeps!) but this time I am so so sew so stoked to be popping up some needle n thread & colourful fabricy scrappytastic antics in the love and name of nos amiga Frida. St Kevins is going to be crazy colourful with mucho antics about: musica, make up, y flores para ti :-) Come along, say HOLA, and make yourself a fabric flower crown (or hair pin, brooch, hairband) with me! 

....Potentially there may be a compulsory dance afterwards though.. baile baile!
xx mucho besos amigas, Sarita xx

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Baby Shower Communal Crafting

 In the weekend I did my first baby shower crafting session. Each guest got to decorate a square using templates of images and a gorgeous pastel colour palette. All fabrics were 2nd hand cottons, mostly pillowcases a bit worse for wear around some areas but clear enough to cut out these squares. Fantastic! I just popped up a table with all the fabrics & equipment and Boris III and Barry were there sitting pretty for people to get friendly with. Others were hand sewing whilst champagne-ing on the deck, and cup caking on the couches. The food was incredible thanks to the hostess with the mostess Leigh & Janine. Mucho fun was had by all and we are so excited to be whipping up this quilt for the cute lil baby to be. If this sounds like you or something good for a pregnant friend, please get in touch. I would love to do this again & share the crafting with love.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Waitakere Festival Crafting Pop Up

 Thanks to everyone who came by our crafting table at the Waitakere Festival on Sunday. It was really fun seeing the colourful creations that are now sent from the west. Great to meet new faces and see familiar ones again :-) Looking forward to doing some more westy pop ups again soon. xx

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Summer Essentials Series at The Bread & Butter Letter

Photo Creds: Bag, Shorts, Flower Crown, Blouse

A sewing class series to get you in your prime for the summer sunshine!

& we are heading back to sew underground, under The Bread & Butter Letter on K'Road.

Over 2 weekends you can make your own wardrobe for this summer! I've split the projects to one slightly more challenging, one slightly more easier to make so we can maximise our making time each day.and begin with something a little more simple first.

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th 11-3pm $100pp
Crop tops & Oversized beach bags

Saturday 17th & 18th 11-3pm $100pp
Summer shorts & Flower crowns

All equipment, and SOME materials provided, vintage,retro & all 2nd hand.

Start your op shopping now to seek out your fav summer florals or polka dots to use. Plenty of fabric and linens to look out for - check out floral sheets, tablecloths, napkins etc. Or sort out your old t-shirts ready for a good cropping.


Some confidence on a machine required, but beginner sewers are welcome - you know our machines are super friendly! xx

Boutique class sizes so you can get lots of attention & assistance with your sewing. Secure your spot ASAP here

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sew from Scratch in Ponsonby

You asked for it, here it is. and I must say, sorry it took sew long! :)
Starting Thursday November 7th
Our first Sew From Scratch workshop series 
Ponsonby Community Centre - on Ponsonby Terrace 
4 x Thursdays 6.30-8.30pm $80pp for the series
Email me for bookings - Boutique class size so lots of attention on you & your sewing
Class 1: Make friends with your machine!
Learning: Learn your machine, accessories/feet/bobbins, threading up, filling the bobbin, 
sewing straight lines. Top stitching, pivoting
Making: Tote bag
Class 2: Discover some extra skills - pretty, fun & useful!
Learning: Decorative stitches, zig zag applique, buttonholes & handsewing
Making: Cushion cover 
Class 3: Your very own handmade top!
Learning: Reading, cutting out a basic pattern and sewing together, sewing in darts, 
making bias binding, sewing curves.
Making: Sorbetto Top by Collette Patterns
Class 4: Never fear zips!
Learning: Inserting a zipper, sewing with a lining & a main fabric
Making: Zipper purse

UPCYLCE PARNELL: The Morning Sessions

Parnell Centre are having The Clan and I back for another 6 week course of up cycling! How grand! This time around we are doing day time classes and will be adding in some extra special Christmas making activities to get you ready for the silly & summery season that is nigh. You can read more about Parnell Centre community classes and register for this class via their website here. Beginner sewers are welcome, we cover basic machine greetings as The Clan are a pretty friendly bunch and love hanging out with newbee sewers. Here's what some of our recent grads from Upcycle Parnell had to say...

I'm loving this lovely up-cycling course - it gives me so much more confidence to try things, try new things, with someone there to come and help when I squeak. It's also a very awesome way to build confidence in using a sewing machine (and an overlocker) BEFORE buying one for myself. I now feel I might actually know how to use the one I will buy when I grow up.... Thanks Sarah! Jo Odds

I was impressed with the ideas and thoughts Sarah showed us, it was so interesting to use rcecyled materials and create your original items. I was inspired by the way we can live using recycled materials happily. Kyoko Crannitch

Monday, 14 October 2013

Special Project Class: Summer Essentials

I'm feeling all this sunshine! And after having one full sunday at home last weekend to craft outside in my bikini, it's got me re-sorting those shorts and summer frocks back to arms reach in the wardrobe. So I have crafted a bit of a brainstorm for a Summer Essentials Series of sewing workshops this November just in time for christmas festivities, and hopefully a long hot summer break! Fabric flower crowns, vintage crop top bustiers, and shorty shorts are the three on top of my list for a fun full Saturday workshop or two. What do you think Sew Lovers? :)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Art Week Auckland: Textile Zines

Art Week Auckland is upon us and spending the day about K'Road on Saturday it sure was exciting to see the bustling crowds of creative activity (mostly vintage wearing too). From street art walking tours, to victory rolls and red lips in the arcade. Alleluya were cranking out the delish meals, and there was some sewing underground a happenin' too. Thanks to The Bread & Butter Letter for the great workshop space, and thanks K'Road Business Association for having me in to host a textile zine making workshop. Many had no idea what this might entail so thinking of a wee magazine, a zine, handmade by anybody, a story from anyone. Throw in a needle n thread instead of a pen and we were backstitching, blanket stitching & 'couching' up a storm around our grand communal table. Joy. Hello to all the newcomers to our Sew Love community, it was great to meet you all and share the table of fabric scraps around. Thank you to those who donated fabric and bits/bobs too. It was so nice to hear the crafty stories shared.
I was really inspired to see what came out of the two workshops. Such creativity and confidence on the sewing machines too! I'm keen to seek out more creativity where I can this week, thankfully this is just the beginning! There's a whole line up of events and interactive opportunities, head on over to Art Week Auckland to check out. Along K'Road there are some fantastic window installations look out for the LOOK signs. So, here's to our colourful creative city celebrating all things arty! Twas a great privilege to be a part of it all. And if you were one of the gorj crafters who came along to a workshop with me, I'd love to hear your feedback :) x

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Sewing School Holiday Programme at TYC

Some pics to share from last week's school holiday programme at Thames Youth Centre...Previously shared on our Facebook page but wanted to pop them on here too. I had such a blast all week, 9 tweens & teens, Youth Centre manager Kane, the clan of keen machines & I oh and 2 pups Rama & Asia xx. We made tons of tote bags out of pillowcases, fabric & bike tyre brooches, aprons, soft toys. Then I took everyone on a walking op shop tour (we are so lucky to have 4 on the same block) to hunt out some up cycling projects which we then spent all of friday re-working into awesomeness! The crew was so creative and ambitious with their projects. Always full of bright energy... I woke up early every day buzzing to get back to it. Hope to have some feedback to share from them all soon.
 All pics are taken on my phone...poor Mr Camera is awaiting surgery in camera hospital. Hope he comes back in one piece. If not, any ideas on a good decent camera with a lovely lens? Phone pics... more over on my instagram :-) xx bring on the next school holidays!!!!!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Textile Zines at Art Week Auckland & NZ Herald Viva!

Auckland Art Week is coming up and my fav road of all time, Kroad!! is definitely a place to be. I'm taking oodles of fabric scraps and doing a textile zine making workshop thanks to the support of Kroad Business Association and Bread & Butter Letter for the sweet underground venue. & EPIC thanks to rad woman Laura Forest for getting me a spot to be involved. Word got around and before I knew it I was collating my 'favourite things' (SO much harder than one would think) and posing my bestest in front of a photographer (SO much harder than one would think) for NZ Herald Viva. 

I've been a Viva collector (begging dairy's and cafe's included) for a few years. I just so love love Wednesdays and getting a break to peruse delish great things of local fashion, beauty & food. I have been quoted to say, I wanna be in Viva, that day, I know I have made it! hahaa! Well you wouldn't believe the amazement when I got a call a week or so ago saying that Fashion Editor Zoe Walker wanted to speak to me. eeep!
Have I made it?

Well, I would still say no because my dreams keep on getting bigger & bigger, but I do want to say thank you to the family and friends who have supported me and encouraged me and put up with my looonngg hours that I have put in to making Sew Love dream happen this year. The last few weeks I have felt like I have 'made it' as I've actually been doing what I have put so many hours into planning to do. With lots of workshops & this holiday programme of awesomeness this week i'm so incredibly loving it and loving all the support thank you Sew Lovelys!!!! :) xxxx

If you didn't see yesterdays paper, you can check this Viva article online here.

p.s Sorry but we are totally booked out for the textile zine workshop, and a 2nd that we have arranged for the afternoon is completely full too. Sew.... I will have to arrange another one, perhaps a christmas special...? I'm thinking fabric christmas cards...

xx Sarah xx
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