Hi there! We are just beginning February 2016 and here is the first post of the year, yay! Before talking about current and upcoming projects, let's make a post to get a quick checkpoint of 2015, from a sewing point of view I mean, of course :)
Rare is a day without putting a foot in the studio and running a sewing machine, and I think it's interesting and funny to get an overview on my work, and see the way it turned out along 12 months. Even if my tremendous sewist life as mom / teacher / and woman is sometimes difficult to separate - all the projects I sew are often connected – but today, I would like to take apart what I sewed for myself: clothing / leather goods and bags and then, projects for teaching sewing to kids. I skip what I sewed just for my kids, my household and friends, the list would be really too long, you can follow me here and there for more pictures.
Since I noticed last year that I sewed almost every time for kid’s sewing projects and for my children, I imposed a new rule to myself, a nice policy (but maybe a bit selfish): make at least, one cloth a month for me. It’s not only to feed my closet, it’s also to challenge myself with new patterns and leave my comfort zone in designing my own patterns (I modestly confess, very basic ones). Finally, in retrospect, even if I would like to do more every time, I’m happy to see I fulfilled the contract, even catching up the 2 months spent in France without machine, victory!
But this year is also a bit special, just the beginning of an accomplishment. At least, I realized my first garments with my very own fabrics. I mean fabrics I designed myself with my photos (or hubby’s pictures). Here you can see a sweater with birds (from Santa Barbara) and a blouse with sumptuous trees (taken in Hawaii). It’s really a project I realized with my heart. Traveling and sewing being my favorite hobbies, designing my fabrics with pictures of our trips sounds like THE perfect association. Designing fabrics was my first motivation when I created my blog named “My Little Print Fabrics” to talk about my sewing journey… I will come back to talk more about that very soon.
On the other hand, I sew more and more jersey, tight and skinny clothes are not for me anymore (already getting old???). I love to feel comfy in my clothes and knit fabrics are the best for that. They are also the most appreciated by kids, sweaters and legging being my kids daily basis (and “adios” the Frenchy stylish look I would rather for my girls!!!).
I love specially the Reversible Knit Stripe Dot from Joann store that I have in almost every color. And because there is no trip in France that doesn’t bring new fabrics, I love also the (non-floral!) Liberty Art Fabrics and the light cotton from Atelier Brunette (black and white origami birds) I used to make tunics. We can barely see the details, sorry, but you can see the post about the Liberty tunic. I designed the pattern and made a simplified version to realize this type of shirt with children.
In conclusion, when I’m watching all this pictures, I would say that I understand better why I often complain not to have enough pants and skirts! It looks like I sewed almost only tops this year, I need to fix that in 2016 :)
I noticed in sorting my pictures that I could eventually open a leather store (just kidding...). Just a way to say that sewing leather is not too scary for me anymore and a new leather bag is even on my to do list. Here are leather goods as bags, pouches, folders, ipad case, sewn for me or other family members. A touch of leather is almost nothing but totally changes the look of any accessory, so it worth doing it! I encourage you to try!
I love the black and white trees print I used to make this giant and strong tote bag with touches of neon yellow. I made it to go to the beach or to carry on my sewing machine when I was teaching at the San Diego French American School. The pink duffle bag with quilted fabric belongs to my oldest daughter but we are also currently making some little ones with my teenagers group (when I told you all the projects are more or less connected).
Let's see now what I recently sewed for the studio, for teaching sewing to children and teenagers. From things I designed (first panel) to projects inspired by books or tutorials (main part of 2d panel). During a session of 3 months of lessons, I always try to mix, as much as I can, useful accessories / playful realization / garments. As soon as the students are ready to trace, cut and sew straight properly, we jump into a wearable project. I also designed very simple projects doable by new sewers just the time of a birthday party workshop.
I try to renew as much as I can the projects. It makes my job really more interesting and enjoyable in proposing new things. Plus, I sincerely think that students and parents alike can feel and appreciate the passion you invest in your job. By the way, it’s important to be able to challenge the students I keep throughout the years.
My 3 daughters are my main inspiration and they all get the prototypes when I don’t keep them to display in the studio. My kids and my students contribute to make me exploring new ideas and to design new looks. Of course, I keep an eye wide open on the other side of the Atlantic. Despite the distance, I still feel very close aesthetically to European designers, crafters and bloggers. Especially Scandinavian designers who inspire me serenity and simplicity in the materials and colors they use. I invite you to see my crafty board :)
In the US, there are tons of passionate and talented people who sew. I'm very happy to be here. Quilting is like a national sport and lots of events are organized around this artistic activity. I'm learning so much here from people I meet or I virtually meet. I was very happy to recently participate to a Heather Ross workshop. I met very talented and nice people who share the same passion. I feel very thankful for having be able to go there, it encouraged me so much on the way I decided to take a few years ago.
And sewing is like everything, the more you know, the more you feel you need to learn. Inspiration and improvments are endless!
So here is a very quick overview on 2016 and for more inspiration for sewing playfully with/for children, look at the website here. I hope you loved this trip in My little Sewing Year, time flies so fast! Don’t wait to realize your projects, self-made are the best ones!