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26 minutes | 14 days ago
Sewing Through the Generations
In this episode, we’ll hear stories from the Seamwork team about how past and future generations of sewists have impacted our sewing stories.
43 minutes | a month ago
Sewing a Legacy, the Story of Folkwear
Folkwear has been creating patterns for nearly 50 years. Despite four changes in ownership and two recessions, this women-owned business is still making patterns today.
34 minutes | 3 months ago
STORY: Daddy Dressed Me with Michael and Ava
It’s unlikely that you’ve met a father and daughter with a bond like that of Michael and Ava. Ava is 9 years old, and absolutely loves her dad, Michael. Not only does she feel comfortable discussing her life with him and letting him in on what’s bothering her as she grows up, but they collaborate together on custom-sewn outfits just for her. Years ago, Michael made the decision to be there for his daughter. Sometimes that’s meant listening to her when she faces a problem at school, and other times it’s meant learning to do her hair or paint her nails. And it’s also meant using his creativity to learn to sew for her. As a single Black father who works every day to empower his daughter to become the person she’s meant to be, he’s breaking stereotypes. As a male in a traditionally female-dominated hobby space, he’s used his creativity to empower others to be vulnerable, empathetic, and share what they create with pride. "One of my biggest goals was for her to be able to express herself. That was a struggle for me when I was growing up. It wasn't even that it wasn't encouraged. I just wasn't given the opportunity. And I didn't want her to have that same experience. So, you know, just initially sitting down and having conversations with her, asking her how she's doing, giving her the opportunity to say how things are actually impacting her." "So with my upbringing I have always felt close to women like. So it's just like a natural transition for me to be close with her, to be able to listen to her and, you know, I understand some of her emotions, some of it, you know, I have no clue what, you know, some of the feelings are. But, yeah, I think it's just being emotionally available to her." "It was pretty much anything creative, so I would um, take like the alphabet, I used to make this for my mom. When I was younger, I would take the whole alphabet and assign a word to describe her. So she would post that on her walls. Or if it was when I was younger, I used to go to the Boys and Girls Club on Saturdays and take like an art class. So painting, drawing, writing. When I got older, I started doing like party planning, having, you know, gatherings for birthdays where I could create invitations and centerpieces." Find Michael on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/daddydressedmebymg/ Read an article by Michael in the July issue of Seamwork at: https://www.seamwork.com/issues/2020/07/the-power-of-expression
28 minutes | 4 months ago
Overcoming Mistakes with Creative Grit
In this episode, we’ll hear stories about sewing projects gone awry, and how failures can become opportunities. Marjorie thought she had ruined the dress she was sewing to wear to her son's wedding when she burned a hole in it. After literally throwing the dress in the trash, she decided to turn the flaw into a feature and added hand embellishment to cover the burn. Tiffanie wanted to give up on a ruffled dress for a student showcase, but when she finally finished the dress, she felt proud of how she executed her vision. Tiffanie says the when you are frustrated, take a break from the project to get some perspective. Munirah was frustrated when a bra project just didn’t fit the way she wanted it to. She was ready to just move on to the next project, but after an epiphany one night, she was able to salvage the project. Maressa was ready to give up on a knitting project after repeatedly ripping out a sleeve she could get quite right. After deciding to pivot and make the sweater sleeveless, she created one of her most loved and worn knitting projects of all time. Don’t forget to share your stories with us! Next month (September 2020), we’re looking for stories about unexpected connections made through sewing. You can share your story at http://www.seamwork.com/go/answer. Related links from this episode: How to Develop Creative Grit Follow Tiffanie on Instagram @cheri_amor24 Follow Munirah on Instagram @making_moon Follow Maressa on Instagram @maressamade Failure is the Birthplace of Creative Opportunity Find the Abolitionist Sewing Circle by visiting: @homegirlbox @_madisonstar The Natural Colors Cookbook by Maggie Pate Read the latest issue of Seamwork. Check out the latest patterns: the Beckett overalls and Samson top.
44 minutes | 4 months ago
STORY: A Bright Spot in the Dark with Ashley
Ashley grew up in British Columbia, Canada and had a freewheeling, happy childhood. Her mother was confident, creative, and charismatic. Everyone seemed to adore her, especially Ashley. She was full of energy and seemed able to do anything. But as Ashley got older, a different picture emerged. She learned that her mom had a secret, and over time it would destroy their relationship – and her mom’s life. But somehow, for some reason, the experience of sewing with her mom remained one of the few bright spots. “I just feel like, you know, that was sort of one of the one of the activities that we shared where she wasn't she wasn't so critical. She wasn't hard on me. She was competitive with me. You know, she coached me. She gave me some space. She gave me, like, access to her tools.” “I'm pretty sure my mom made the shirt she's wearing, plus the sweater my toddler brother was wearing, and she definitely made the pink corduroy overalls I'm wearing, plus the booties. I used to ask her about those overalls all the time. For some reason I was delighted by the buttons, which were little kitties.” “You can see the wall hanging in the background that my mom made. I feel like that could probably sell for a lot of money at some hipster craft fair these days!” “You can just see the fur tops of my brother's mocassins - she definitely would have made those.” “She was so tall, look how high I have to reach her hands! She liked to dress strikingly - bold colours and designs that accentuated her features. I remember she had to wear a stick-on bra with that dress because it was open in the back with verticle panels from collar to waistline, and we laughed about that; she was always showing me how to be classy - bra straps should never be visible for example.” “She knit a special blanket for each of her babies during her pregnancies, and for mine she said she just knew intuitively that she was having a girl, so she chose the peach colour. I actually remember her finishing my baby brother's blanket in the hospital bed just hours after delivering him. She was a tough lady.” If you are interested in helping address drug use in a compassionate way, Ashley has provided some wonderful links to help you get involved.
2 minutes | 4 months ago
Seamwork Radio is Back!
Welcome to Season 3 of Seamwork Radio! After a long hiatus, we're back with a brand new season of stories. We'll bring you a new full-length story on the first of the month this fall, along with a mini-episode on the 15th. You'll hear stories from the lives of people like you, and how sewing has impacted them. We're so happy to be back! Enjoy the first episode with Ashley, and look for our mini-episode in mid-August 2020.
40 minutes | 4 years ago
Creative Community with Kristine Vejar
In 1999, Kristine Vejar took her first trip to India. There, she met the Rabari, a small community that changed her perspective and direction for the future. In this story told by contributor Jessica Yen, Kristine shares what she learned, and how that informed the direction of her growing business, A Verb for Keeping Warm. Related links from this episode: A Verb for Keeping Warm, Kristine’s multi-faceted business. The Modern Natural Dyer, Kristine’s book
39 minutes | 4 years ago
Beating the Odds with Melissa Fehr
In 2008, sewing blogger Melissa Fehr revealed something on her blog: she’d been diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. Soon, she’d need a complete bone marrow transplant. In this episode, Melissa shares how her relationship with her body changed before and after this life-changing experience – and how this relationship eventually led her to designing her own patterns. Related links from this episode: Fehr Trade, Melissa’s blog and patterns Be The Match, the US National Marrow Donation Program British Bone Marrow Registry
55 minutes | 4 years ago
Loving a person, not their gender with Marie of A Stitching Odyssey
In September 2015, Marie wrote a post on her sewing blog called “Loving a Person, Not Their Gender.” In that post, she talked about the experience of having her partner come out as transgender. In today’s story, we talk to Marie and her girlfriend Charlotte about that experience, and what came after. Editor’s note: At the end of this episode, the name of Marie’s blog is misidentified as Diary of a Sewing Fanatic, another lovely sewing blog. Marie’s blog is called A Stitching Odyssey. We apologize for the error. Related links from this episode: Loving a Person, Not Their Gender, Marie’s blog post from September 2015. A Stitching Odyssey, Marie’s blog Marie on twitter Marie on Instagram Charlotte on Instagram
31 minutes | 4 years ago
The Learning Process with Joost De Cock
Have you ever wished for a way to just punch in your measurements somewhere and get a pattern that’s drafted just for you? That’s the idea behind makemypattern.com, a menswear-focused website created by Belgian sewist Joost De Cock. Joost went from only sewing a few curtains and pillows to making his own wardrobe to creating this incredible online service in the span of just a few years. In this episode, we talk about his learning process and resources he recommends to improve your own sewing. Related links from this episode: Make My Pattern, Joost’s pattern site All Things Joost Joost on twitter
34 minutes | 4 years ago
The “head stuff” with Felicia Semple
Felicia Semple is the creator of The Craft Sessions, an incredible sewing retreat she created to help teach women to find joy and meaning – not perfection – in the practice of craft. In this episode, I talk to Felicia about her path to creating the sewing retreat she dreamed of, and how the "head stuff" around sewing and creating has affected her life. Related links from this episode: The Craft Sessions, Felicia’s blog The Craft Sessions Retreat, where you can learn more about attending the event The Craft Sessions Manifesto offers an overview of Felicia’s philosophy
31 minutes | 5 years ago
Let’s talk money with Heather Lewenza
Talking publicly about money is a little bit taboo for most of us. And yet, it motivates and influences much of what we do with our lives, how we spend our time, and how we cope with feelings. In today’s episode, designer Heather Lewenza of Closet Case Files opens up about how money and spending have shaped her life and career, and led her to the world of home sewing. From working in an auto factory to designing shopping centers to running her own business, see how Heather’s relationship with money has transformed her thinking over time. Related links from this episode: Closet Case Files, Heather’s company The Bombshell Swimsuit The Ginger Jeans The Clare Coat The Morgan Jeans
32 minutes | 5 years ago
A Shift in Mindset with Jacqui Palhegyi
Jacqui Palhegyi is the blogger behind Birds of a Thread, a sewing and ethical fashion blog. She’s always been passionate about issues of social justice. But it was on a trip to Egypt with her husband that an encounter forever shifted the way she thought about how her clothing was made – and what she could do about it. Related links from this episode: Birds of a Thread, Jacqui’s blog The Colette Violet blouse
33 minutes | 5 years ago
Open Up with Jennifer Wiese
Jennifer Wiese had a dream. The founder of Brooklyn sewing studio Workroom Social wanted to create a weekend-long sewing event that brought a spirit of play and fun to sewing. In 2015, she hosted Camp Workroom Social, an overnight sewing camp for adults. She talks about why being present and open to imperfection is always better than fretting over mistakes – in sewing and in life. Related links from this episode: Workroom Social Camp Workroom Social
38 minutes | 5 years ago
Design, Fame, and Villainy with Gretchen Jones
Gretchen Jones is the controversial winner of season 8 of Project Runway. Her singular style won the show, but her bold and ambitious personality led her to be cast as the season’s villain. In this interview with contributor Heather Lewenza, Gretchen talks about what led her to put herself out there on television, what life was like after sudden fame, and how she’s discovered her true career path through it all. Just a note, this recording does have several words that you may not find appropriate for young listeners. Related links from this episode: Follow Gretchen on Instagram Follow Gretchen on Pinterest A Closet Tour with Gretchen Jones by Heather Lewenza, in this month’s issue of Seamwork Magazine Project Runway Season 8 The Neutral Territory, an experiment in dressing within a focused palette Heather Lewenza of Closet Case Files, our intrepid reporter!
27 minutes | 5 years ago
The Opposite of Creative Block with Leah Price
Many of us are familiar with writer’s block, that creative emptiness that hits you when you have all the freedom in the world and a blank page. But what about the opposite: when you face tough times and a lack of freedom, but discover in that an unstoppable will to create? Creating something from nothing is Leah Price’s passion. After spending ten years in what she describes as almost complete isolation, caring for her two children with special needs, Leah discovered a deep and abiding creative energy in repurposing what is unloved and wasted. Related links from this episode: Other Boxes, Leah’s blog Our Social Fabric, the textile recycling initiative in Vancouver, where Leah is a board member. Our article on Our Social Fabric in Seamwork Magazine. Copying Complex Garments, an article by Blossom Jenab in Threads Magazine
22 minutes | 5 years ago
A Dream of Self-Sufficiency with Morgan Meredith
Morgan Meredith is the designer and creator of Thread Theory, a menswear sewing pattern line. From the time she was little, Morgan knew she wanted a life that she could control. But when her husband decided to join the military, she thought those dreams might be shattered. Listen to Morgan’s story of dramatic changes and rediscovering what really makes her happy. Links from this episode: Thread Theory, Morgan’s sewing pattern line
26 minutes | 5 years ago
It’s Worth It with Sadie Roberts of Tradlands
Sadie Roberts and her partner started their label, Tradlands, without a lot of money or experience. They produce menswear-inspired shirting for women, and they believe strongly in what they make and how they serve their customers. But starting a US-made fashion label isn’t easy. In this episode, Sadie shares how she got through some harrowing moments, why she didn’t quit, and what she’d recommend to other aspiring designers. "I’m really comfortable saying, we had no idea what we were doing." – Sadie Roberts Links from this episode: Tradlands, Sadie and Jeremy’s label Sadie wanted to let you know that if you have any questions about starting a small fashion label, she would be happy to help. You can find her email address at the end of the episode
27 minutes | 5 years ago
The Proud Sewist with Matthew Holloway
Growing up in Oklahoma, Matthew always had the sense that he wasn’t “normal.” As he grew up, he began to ask questions. What’s wrong with being interested in “feminine” things? And what does it say about how we view women? Links from this episode: The Thorn and Thread, Matthew’s blog Matthew also recommends: Male Pattern Boldness TaylorTailor
30 minutes | 5 years ago
Making Your Own Mold with Charlie Wensley
Charlie Wensley learned the hard way that trying to fit a pre-existing mold can have devastating effects. Charlie is the blogger behind nobleanddaughter.com. But before she rediscovered her love of making clothes, she struggled to meet her own expectations about the kind of person she thought she was supposed to be. This culminated in a battle with post-natal depression that left her questioning who she was. Links from this episode: Noble & Daughter, Charlie’s blog The Great British Sewing Bee Tilly & The Buttons
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