A Captive Audience

McCall’s Makes a Sustainable Deal with Piece X Piece
January 13, 2012, 5:59 am
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By Rowena Ritchie from Ecosalon

“Followers of Piece X Piece have learned that incorporating a piece from her line of tunics, vests and dresses is an easy way to add a graphic, urban aesthetic to an existing wardrobe. Like all good ideas that are brilliant in their obviousness and simplicity, her unique approach to sustainability truly delivers. It was only a matter of time before a larger audience caught on.

So when an art director from McCall’s Generation Next division – a new category for the pattern company created to attract and inspire new home sewers – called Brunner last year to ask if she’d be interested in licensing the use of some of her designs for their Spring 2012 designs, she couldn’t have been more excited.”

“This is a real opportunity for the home sewer to get creative with the fabric they have to create something truly unique and one-of a-kind, she says, “I really hope I get to see some of these home creations.”


Harvest Textiles
April 22, 2011, 11:44 pm
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I’m listening to a radio interview at the moment with the women from Harvest Textiles who run fabric screenprinting workshops.  The participants in their workshops range from designers who work at their computers and lack contact with the actual process of making things to people who are quite confronted by the task of generating ideas for their own screen prints.  Emotional durability and the link between maker and object that derives from the process of making it yourself is an important aspect to the workshops.

Harvest Textiles Website

The Design Files, September 2010

Otto Von Busch – Hacking Design
August 7, 2010, 9:04 am
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July 22, 2010, 7:17 am
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Patterns to download from Sans

With minimal sewing experience you can 1) buy and download the digital pattern / instructions, 2) print (A4 or Letter sized paper), 3) cut and sew your own SANS piece. Recycle something, decorate it, try something unexpected and then email us a pic of the remix.

Women’s and men’s square sewing patterns and new summer dress are easy enough for anyone. Jackets are more advanced but still possible with some experience (or your local tailor).

Making it Handmade!
July 16, 2010, 1:30 pm
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Films – Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).

Think craft is for grannies? Think again.

A seditious and subversive subculture is gaining momentum in Melbourne. But rather than wielding megaphones and placards, they’re cross-stitching slogans on hurricane wire and constructing plush female genitalia from craft supplies.

Following four local women who’ve taken a seemingly staid past-time and injected it with a youthful, modern aesthetic, filmmaker Anna Brownfield shows a side of craft more closely aligned with punk DIY culture than with Martha Stewart and ‘home sweet home’ tapestries.

“I wanted to show that craft was no longer daggy but had moved into a new era and was being reclaimed by women who had been brought up as feminists.” – filmmaker Anna Brownfield

Sewing cafe opens in Paris
July 5, 2010, 6:50 am
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The Guardian Sunday 18 April 2010

Rent a sewing machine by the hour, learn a new skill or simply sip cafe au lait

Sweat Shop cafe in Paris
Martena Duss (left) and Sissi Holleis at the Sweat Shop cafe in Paris. Photograph: Munia Sbouri
Perched at a worktable strewn with pins, needles and colourful balls of thread, Martena Duss and Sissi Holleis are chatting over coffee when Ellinor Duhs comes in for her afternoon apple juice. A chic septuagenarian with flame-red hair piled on top and fingers laden with costume jewellery, she settles down at a Formica table and takes out a half-finished tapestry. “It is Bauhaus inspired,” she explains, adding with a cackle: “I excel at everything that is of no use.”

Amid cups of coffee and slices of cake, frivolity and industry are the order of the day at the Sweat Shop, Paris’s only sewing cafe, which Duss and Holleis opened last month in a quiet street near the trendy bars and boutiques of the Canal Saint Martin.

A Swiss makeup artist and an Austrian fashion designer, the pair came to the world fashion capital expecting to be wowed by Gallic savoir faire. Instead, they found a city in which the relationship between ordinary people and the hallowed workshops of the great couturiers had broken down to the extent that – sacre bleu! – their French friends were asking to borrow their sewing machines.

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Design Download
June 14, 2010, 12:23 am
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Design_download is an ongoing project that offers the chance to access downloadable paper patterns by leading fashion designers. The premise is a riposte to the elitist nature of high fashion, offering everyone the opportunity to own a ‘designer’ garment, and giving designers the chance, quite literally, to ‘dress the world’. Viewers from as far afield as Finland, Tasmania and Korea have taken part, downloading the pattern, cutting pattern pieces in a fabric of their choice, assembling the garment and then styling it in a photograph, which is posted on SHOWstudio.com’s project gallery. design_download was launched with an intricate jacket pattern by Yohji Yamamoto, whose design was only revealed by constructing the garment itself, and additional patterns have been offered by John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Junya Watanabe, Gareth Pugh and Antony Price. Maison Martin Margiela offered an unfinished design true to their principles of deconstruction, prompting the maker to make crucial decisions about the finished nature of the garment. As such, the incomplete pattern is emblematic of how design_download offers a creative engagement between a fashion designer and a viewer interested in the craft of making clothes, linking them through digital technology and the relaying of stitches. The examples on display here were created as part of a competition launched prior to the exhibition, whose final designs were selected by SHOWstudio.com and SHOWstudio: Fashion Revolution’s curators.