A place where a wee Scot can talk about the stuff she bores other folk with. Sewing, The Beatles, cats, and zumba may feature...

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Full circle

This weekend I'll be starting a 4-day dressmaking course (spread over the four Saturday afternoons in October), back at the lovely little studio here in Victoria, known as The Makehouse which is where I first learned to sew in January of this year.

I've been debating and saving up for the dressmaking course for more than a few months now, and even attempted to make two dresses on my own (one a knit, and one a cotton shift) so I can't wait to learn how to do things properly!

The first class I took at The Makehouse was a one-afternoon session in learning how to sew an envelope cushion (no dreaded zippers thank goodness, and I love the style of an envelope cushion much more anyway). As I had been screenprinting since April last year, my idea was to make a cushion from natural canvas which I could then screenprint onto.

The first cushion I ever made...screenprinted after sewing up

Having made more screenprinted cushions since, I now print onto the fabric before sewing up, but for my first time I did it the other way round and it wasn't too difficult to print onto afterwards. I added this item to my Etsy store and have had commissions for other quote/lyric cushions. This quote is from the Wings song "With A Little Luck" (London Town album) but it's a great phrase whether you know where it's from or not.

I guess I should say why (for the record) I got the sewing bug in the first place...well I left my life (and most of my possessions) in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2012 to move to Victoria on Vancouver Island, Canada to live with my Canadian boyfriend. I've been unable to work or study since I arrived (soon to be remedied I hope!) so I had to find some other way of passing my days constructively, especially as I knew no-one and my boyfriend was at work all day. A few months after arriving I took a 3-week long course in Printmaking. Screenprinting wasn't covered although I did learn linocut, woodcut, collograph, and relief techniques. Here's a few little samples of my linocuts (by far, my favourite of all the methods we learned).

Copied from a photo of John and Yoko in 1969
Copied from a photo of George in 1974

A portrait of my cat Wee Man, who came from Scotland with me!

I found a local screenprinting course which was spread over a few weeks, of two nights a week. The course was very basic so I've had to fill in a lot of blanks myself, but now design and make (at home) my own Beatles-related t-shirts and totes which I sell in my Etsy store, I Still Love The Beatles. Here's the poster which I made while still at the class, and was the inspiration behind the name of my store, and which was based on a famous fan badge (button or pin for North American readers) from the 60s.

John pictured with his son Julian in 1967, sporting the famous badge

The sewing came about from wanting to print onto my own cushions...which brings us back to the start of this post...so I think that's all for now...
In my next post I'll talk about all the sewing I've done since making my first cushion cover.

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