Group Sew-Along musings

2010-Nov-11, Thursday 01:11 pm
chebe: (gerties sew-along 2010)
I find something very calming about reading blog posts. Gets me in a nice head-space. So much so, that I'm motivated to write my own! Sorry for being absent, I'm in the middle of the semester at college and assignments are really starting to pile up. Actually, I've a few essays to write, a precis, an ethics essay, and some regular write-ups. If I'm not ashamed of them they might end up being posted here.

But, what I want to talk about now is the sew-along I mentioned in my last post. Gertie runs a popular retro sewing blog. She's fun to read and provides clear instructions on many aspects. Thanks to her I've learned how to do tissue fittings and a proper narrow hem (I'm obsessively reading the archive from the beginning).

In December she is starting a Sew-Along project, where she'll step-by-step go through the making of a garment. This time it's going to be a wrap dress, at beginners level. Details.

I managed to get someone else interested in giving it a go with me, and then it occurred to me that there might be others too. I'm not an expert by any means but am confident in being able to handle this dress, so I've offered to help out where I can. I suspect that the dress will require some machine stitching, so I'm offering up the machines in TOG, and my mentorship should you need it. I doubt you will, Gertie is very good, but sometimes you just need terms explained.

If you are interested you can get the pattern from the manufacturerdesigner in the States (20% discount code for this month in Gerties blog post), or even more handily for a beginner, you can use a pattern pack (pattern, fabric, interfacing, and thread, for about a 27% total saving) from a UK company, SewBox.

There are a few things that Gertie intends doing that I don't know much about. She says to start with choosing a light to medium weight, cotton or cotton-blend fabric. (The difference between version 1 and version 2 is the shape of the neckline, and that the sash/tie in version 2 is a contrasting colour. So if doing version 2 like Gertie get two fabrics in colours that go together.) She intends to do a muslin mock-up before hand, underlining the dress with cotton batiste, and staying the neckline with silk organza. Each of these steps will require more fabric, but no further details yet. And they're optional, extra techniques to help you achieve a really great garment. If it really is your first time maybe stitching to the basic pattern will be easier, and learn about these others techniques so you can apply them next time.

I intend to post progress pictures here, and possibly on the TOG site. If you're interested in taking part just let me know and we'll see what we can do.
chebe: (AsciiC)
So, I'm going to try out Google Docs for now. I've uploaded my talk, the old fashioned kind of slide deck with lots of words, bullet-points, and barely a full sentence. It probably doesn't make much sense by itself as it was mostly reminders/orientation points for myself and the audience. But, if you'd like to take a look, you'll find it here. Feel free to leave feedback here, or if you'd like me to explain something I'd be happy to.
chebe: (MangaMe)
I've just had a really amazing evening. And I'm really surprised. Not that it was great, but how refreshing I found it, sitting there, listening to people talk about their passions, and be passions that involve changing some aspect of the world.

My own talk was first, and how at ease I felt with the material surprised me. It's something I've only been doing about a year, but I felt comfortable. I talked longer than I expected, people asked questions, we didn't make anything afterwards, people were too busy asking what stuff was (and I didn't leave much time). But when they started talking out ideas for projects! I was so happy. Overall, I enjoyed myself. (I'm trying to find some way to share an .odp file... it's like they don't want us sharing files...)

Then there was a talk on Arduino, and then Processing. Oh! I've fallen in love with the language. The demonstration was using OpenGL through JOGL library ports! And it was all done so easily, in so few lines, and so clearly. I definitely recommend Processing to anyone wanting to play with graphics, and isn't too concerned about performance. The presenter did a great job (though, imho, it is somewhat cheating if it's also what you do for your day job :), and there was great discussion afterwards about all manner of things that I was sorry to drag myself away from.

All in all, great day! And another one tomorrow!

Hot Off the Presses

2010-Aug-09, Monday 11:03 am
chebe: (OnTheVergeOfSomethingWonderful)
The full low-down on Irish Hackerspaces Week can be found here:


2010-Aug-06, Friday 11:33 am
chebe: (South Park)
Nothing's gone public about this yet, no timetables, no contact info, and no pretty descriptions, so this is just a friendly mention; from the 14th - 22nd August will be the first Irish Hackerspaces Week. There'll be talks, workshops, and more social things like screenings and quizzes, on all week in the participating hackerspaces.

The talk I'm most looking forward to is the Sugar learning environment by Julie Pichon on Tuesday. The blurb goes:
"Come and learn about Sugar, the learning platform for children. Sugar offers an innovative desktop environment designed to encourage collaboration and critical thinking through Activities. Initially developed as part of the One Laptop Per Child project, Sugar is now community led and can run on any machine thanks to Sugar on a Stick."

I'm also giving a talk/short workshop on Conductive thread and textiles on Monday. My blurb goes like this:
"A brief beginners look at conductive thread, conductive fabric, soft switches, and an introduction to sensors and wearable micro controllers for making your soft circuits that bit smarter. We'll take a look at some existing applications, and then there's a hands-on session where you'll make your own soft circuit."

I'll post the slide-deck and supportive material here afterwards.

More information will be provided when everything goes up live. There really is a lot to grab your interest. And I encourage you to drop by during the week and take a look at what people are doing simply because it interests them.

Last minute Crafting?

2010-Jul-27, Tuesday 11:19 am
chebe: (Default)
Hey guys, we've had a couple of cancellations for tonight, and I know it's last minute, but if you're up for it (we have tea and coffee!) drop by! We'd love to see you :)

Yay Crafting!

2010-Jul-16, Friday 11:49 am
chebe: (Shimmey)
The aforementioned Craft Night last Tuesday went really well. Really, really well. So well in fact that it's becoming a regular event every two weeks! More details here. So, em, squeeee. *cough* Excuse me.
chebe: (WalkSign)
Hey, just spreading the word. First Craft Night at TOG this Tuesday (13th July). Free to all, bring-your-own (sewing machines will be available for use), just a night for people to bring whatever crafts they want to work with along, and hang out with other crafters. More details to be found in the blog post:

Friday, 9th July
I can't quite believe it, but we're full already! I'm quite excited about this, heading into the space tomorrow to set-up, try out the machines, etc. If all goes well we'll probably see a few more of these nights happening soon.

This Paddy's Day

2010-Mar-14, Sunday 02:07 pm
chebe: (Wild)
Wednesday 17th March. If you're Irish (and not working in hospitality) you likely have the day off. Before you head off to kill a few braincells consider heading over to tog for a hackaton painted green! There will be general green-/Irish- themed projects going on. And I'll be around with lots of things to share:
- Green fabric paint, green black-light pigment, green thermochromatic paint, glow-in-the-dark pigment (which is pretty much green), and hopefully some green electroluminescent wire.
- There may even be face paint and green glitter (if I can find it…).
- Will probably bring some wax and pre-made candles for decorating (everything looks better painted with shamrocks).
- Am considering throwing together shamrock-shaped handbags as well, just to see if I can.

It's free, it's open (in the sense that if you're a non-member just let me know you're coming beforehand), and it should be crazy fun. Even if you just want to take a look, that's cool too :)

Hands Up

2010-Jan-03, Sunday 10:14 pm
chebe: (South Park)
Hands up anyone who would like to, and is able to, attend the basic hand-sewing (with a little mending thrown in for good measure) workshop. Remember, I'm not any kind of expert, but would like to share what I do know.

Date: Sunday, 24th January.
Time: open to negotiation, probably sometime between 2pm and 6pm.
Place: tog space.
Numbers: strictly limited to a maximum of 6, so please make sure you can make it before booking a place. (That's a minimum 2 members, maximum 4 visitors.) Full, no places left! Awesome.
Fee: €10, if you bring your own kit, otherwise it'll be €10 + cost of materials. For tog members it'll just be any cost of materials.
Materials: Pack of hand-sewing needles, needle threader, wheel of pins, thread.
Provided: (Although you may want to bring your own.) Scissors to be shared. Scrap fabric. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, biscuits.
Also: If you have any clothes or such that are damaged bring them in, and we'll see about mending them.

If the time doesn't suit, don't worry, I'll keep running these as long as people are interested.
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