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.”


love & thrift: Making is connecting
May 4, 2011, 1:45 pm
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love & thrift: Making is connecting.

“I’ve also just been listening to a wonderful heated discussion on Radio 4 between Richard Sennet, author of The Craftsman, and David Gauntlett, author of the new book Making is Connecting.

Gauntlett talks about connecting in three ways – that when you make something you connect either materials and/or ideas together to make something new; that making usually at some point involves a social dimension – it is even said that you learn better in a group rather than on your own; and finally that through making things and sharing them in the world, we increase our engagement and connection with our physical and social environments.”

From Rags to Riches to Rags: A Brief History of the Rise of Fast Fashion
April 23, 2011, 12:31 am
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From Rags to Riches to Rags: A Brief History of the Rise of Fast Fashion

From Eco Salon

Short but thoughtful history of fast fashion.

Most female consumers are busy running businesses and households simultaneously and many have little knowledge of sewing, which sadly takes away any skill to recognize quality in craftsmanship. Combined with the fashion industry’s ability to attach aspirational dreams to meaningless stuff through marketing, women are generally willing to accept any item with a label they recognize as long as it proves affordable to buy. Design and original taste has been replaced by owning the most recognizable bling. And fast fashion, like fast food, has signaled the death of style and taste for the masses.

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

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).

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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