I have about 13 dresses to send off to the Dress and Girl around the World charity but as I was getting ready to send them my friend Petra turned up with a huge stack of beautiful fabric designed by her, to be used for dresses. Looks like I’ll be making some more before the parcel goes off! Thanks Petra you are a superstar!!
My crowd funding campaign to help me realise the dream of building a new studio came to an end about 6 weeks ago. I’ve been extremely busy with work, studying and also in my personal life so I’ve not had much time to blog.
Even though I did not entirely reach my goal I did just about raise enough to go ahead with the build. I am using a lovely local chap who has vision and ideas and talent, and coupled with his extremely green ideas on up-cycling we are aiming to build a very unique space.
I had two enormous Eucalyptus trees at the end of my garden which had to come down before the build could even be considered. They were each over 70 feet tall and growing bigger daily. They were very beautiful and it was pretty heartbreaking to take them down but they are not indiginous to this country and they grow like weeds. Once I had been told they could reach 200 or more feet when adult I knew I could not keep them. So a couple of weeks ago 5 guys came down and spent the best part of two days taking them down. It was pretty spectacular!
Within an hour I had more light in my flat and now they are gone my garden seems twice the size and is one huge suntrap!
We are slowly clearing the shrubs and then taking down the old sheds, in readiness for the work to begin in earnest in a few weeks time. Andrew who will be building it for me is hoping to be done by the end of August which is brilliant timing, as a new school year can then be seen in in a new studio!
It will be a good 4m x 5.5m which is about 3 times the space I have now, and I won’t be sharing it with a sofa and tv (I currently teach in the living room!), it will all be dedicated sewing space. I will have a ironing and cutting station and a huge central table for students to work at. I will have lots of yummy storage. I will have a cute burner to keep us toasty in the winter. I can’t wait!!
Obviously the picture above is just a cool picture, it wouldn’t actually be a very practical studio for me to work in, but I do like how it reflects the upcycled and found element that we are certainly aiming for. So far we have reclaimed french doors, two huge windows, we are using rafters and wood from the existing shed as well as having been donated a ton of beautiful oak veneered MDF by a local furniture maker. If you have anything we could use (2×4″, insulation materials, good quality shiplarch for cladding, please get in touch!)
On Wednesday 11th June I am running my fifth Dress a Girl Around the World event. I love these charity sewing sessions. You will learn to make a very simple pillow case dress (so called because all you need is a pillow case worth of fabric), or a simple pair of shorts. You can decorate these to your heart’s content. When they are all done they get sent off to the charity’s UK head quarters (Sewscrumptious ) where they will be distributed all over the developing world. In all I believe about 20000 dresses have been given to girls who have likely never had their own new dress before. Can you imagine how special you would feel if you knew someone had made this specially for you? With love?
Here’s some photos of the last event I ran at the local WI.
Come join us then at the next one. Please try to bring a 100% cotton pillow case or some cotton fabric. I will supply the rest. Please do book some know how many people to expect:
Yesterday it was unexpectedly hot. Sean and I took a wonder over toward Walthamstow’s as yet undiscovered joys just off Shernall street, via St Mary’s church yard in the village. It was a lovely walk.
What am amazing treasure trove to have right on my doorstep!
God’s Own Junkyard makes and sells amazing neon creations for film sets and private collectors and the warehouse is an astonishing Aladdin’s Cave of signs, giant mirror balls and neon. It’s also an ever changing feast as things are sold and new things are made.
Then opposite is the Wild Card Brewery. A small, young and exciting local brewery making yummy beers which they serve in a funky semi industrial setting. We had a delicious pint in the hot sun and when the much hyped Chips with Dips stand also opened up and we could team beer with yummy chips and crazy dips (bacon and fig mayo, peanut butter mayo, coconut and lime “mother” dip among others) the day was complete.
All the crowdfunding campaigns are over. All the money is safely in a savings account. I’ve met with a local designer and plans are advanced. Work will start at the end of June and it will take around 6 weeks to complete. The studio will incorporate lots of found, reclaimed, donated and freecycled materials, and will be completed by a cute log burner to keep me (and my students) toasty in the winter months.
I am very excited and also very very chuffed and grateful for all the help and tweets and donations and kind words that everyone has shown me and cheekyhandmades.
You’re all invited to the opening party!!
In the meantime I’m still teaching in my current space, small intimate classes as per usual. The full schedule is here: http://bookwhen.com/cheekyhandmades