Sunday, November 1, 2009

I see! you saw me sew...

I recently bought my first sewing machine. It was sold to me by a friend, Alix Pietrafesa (who makes some beautiful clothes- click here), who was moving to Hong Kong and was selling a bunch of her stuff. Despite being a bargain- it's great to finally own one myself.

It regularly amuses me to see my friends' reactions when they hear that not only can I use a sewing machine but I have just bought one! I recently spent 5 minutes attempting to convince someone I wasn't lying. Admittedly, I can't deny that stereotypically it is the tool of middle aged mothers, making curtains or costumes for their 5 year old's nativity play but I wish this wasn't the case as I feel a lot of people are really missing out. I was only lucky enough to learn how to use one because I was a windsurfing instructor in Greece and helped out mending sails on an industrial sail repair machine when it wasn't windy.
I have made a couple of great costumes over the summer with it. The first was for Winterwell festival, where the theme was 'outer space'. I made a Ziggy Stardust inspired silver lycra body suit and accompanying space gilet... and yes- that is my brother behind me in a full silver lycra gimp suit.
The next was for a UV party that Harty, a good friend was having at his house. I bought a few sheets of UV material from Soho and made another lycra number- but this time with a cape. I like capes.

under UV light the costume really comes into it's own.

Today I used some of the spare UV fabric along with some offcuts from Peter Jones' fabric department to make an ipod case for a friend whose current one is looking a bit worse for wear. My favourite part is the hole I made for the earphone jack. My sewing machine has this great feature where it will sew perfect button holes for you- you just slot the button in question into a little holder and press the foot pedal. It was one of the most satisfying feelings seeing it work it's magic. My next project is to make a shirt. A big step up from an ipod case.... hmmm- we shall see.

the ipod case buttoned shut.
the case open- I used a 30 year old popper as the fastening mechanism. It is amazing what you find at the bottom of the sewing box. I think they were my granny's.
a close up of the popper and earphone jack button hole.

another close up of the button hole.