Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Walking with Our Sisters Moccasin Vamps

Today I wanted to share something I made as part of a project called Walking with Our Sisters.

Walking with Our Sisters Moccasin Vamps | Cicely Ingleside

The project's Facebook page here has pictures of many of the other vamps that have been sent in as part of this project and they are amazing.  Beautiful, beautiful beading.

I think the best explanation of the project comes from their website :

"Walking With Our Sisters is a commemorative art installation to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous Women of Canada and the United States; to acknowledge the grief and torment families of these women continue to suffer; and, to raise awareness of this issue and create opportunity for broad community-based dialogue on the issue. 
Walking With Our Sisters is an entirely crowd-sourced project. From the artwork, to the fundraising, even to the way the exhibit tour is being booked, it is all being fueled by hundreds and thousands of people who have chosen to become involved. Collectively we are creating one unified voice to honour these women, their families and call for attention to be paid to this issue. There is power in numbers, and there is power in art. 
In June of 2012, a general call was issued on issued on Facebook for people to create moccasin tops. The call was answered by women, men and children of all ages and races. By July 25, 2013, over 1,600 vamps had been received, almost tripling the initial initial goal of 600. Offering proof that the world is indeed filled with caring souls. 
Each pair of moccasin tops are intentionally not sewn into moccasins to represent the unfinished lives of the women and girls.
This project is about these women, paying respect to their lives and existence on this earth.  They are not forgotten.  They are sisters, mothers, daughters, cousins, aunties, grandmothers, friends and wives.  They have been cared for, they have been loved, and they are missing.
The art installation will exhibit to over 25 locations throughout North America and is now booked until 2019. Please see the Exhibit Tour section for the full listing locations."

The volume of the response to this project is very moving, and looking at the photos of all of the vamps fills me with awe - my effort is very basic in comparison. However, I enjoyed learning how to do this beading. The puffin represents the province where I currently live, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the bison (yes, that is supposed to be a bison!) the province where I grew up, in Manitoba.

 I grew up in Winnipeg, a city with a sizable First Nations population. I remember watching some television mini-series when I was younger which dramatized the situation of abuse in Native residential schools, and one about the murder case of Helen Betty Osborne - which affected me greatly.  Just this month, there has been newly discovered information that First Nations children in Manitoba in the 1940s were purposely deprived of food as part of experiments in malnutrition.  

I recently came across this quotation attributed to Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich in the (excellent) sewing book Alabama Studio Style by Natalie Chanin:
"Much of the social history of early America has been lost to us precisely because women were expected to use needles rather than pens. Yet if textiles are in one sense an emblem of women's oppression, they have also been an almost universal medium of female expression. If historians are to understand the lives of women in times past, they must not only cherish the Anne Bradstreets and Martha Ballards who mastered the mysterious ways of quill pen, they must also decipher work composed in yarn and thread."

I hope that this exhibit of the wok of 1600 women will speak to history about the situation of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and may raise awareness in the present.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

KCW & E and the Purple Cast

Well, it is Kids Clothes Week in the Blogosphere. This is a quarterly event to challenge participants to sew for kids an hour a day for a week. Now, I've been feeling a bit over-committed with all of life's events, so I didn't plan to take anything on, but I have been sewing this week, and I figured why not post it?

Here's what I just made.

Black and White summer outfits by Cicely Ingleside

I did the t-shirt printing (on bought t-shirts) with the help of my new- fangled Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. A couple of months ago when I got a new job, my treat to myself was this machine, because I wanted to use it to make stencils. It took until this weekend for me to start using it. But it wasn't that hard, once I figured it out. 

For my daughter's T, I just downloaded a bow shape into the program and made a stencil out of mylar (which, incidentally, is a simple art supply I COULD NOT BUY in my city and had to procure on a recent trip. Living in a small place, sigh....)  The skirt is using the circle skirt tutorial by Dana from Made. Really simple and fast, and I love the shape of the skirt.

Unfortunately, I can't get a picture of E in the skirt, because my poor little one is in a "hip spica" cast right now and the skirt doesn't fit. It goes all the way up one leg, across her middle, and half-way down the other. The cast has been on for 7 and a half weeks, and is due to come off in just a few days. Thank goodness. Counting down the sleeps now!

Black and White summer outfits by Cicely Ingleside

The wonderful team at our hospital dyed the cast her favourite colour - purple.  In case you're wondering, that stuff around the edges is purple duct tape, which we were told to put on to protect the fluffy inside bits from getting wet. 

For my son's outfit, the shorts are again made with the Kid Shorts pattern by Made, and Constellations fabric by Lizzy House from The Workroom in Toronto, with some black fabric colour-blocking at the bottom and on the pockets, and white piping.

Black and White summer outfits by Cicely Ingleside

For the shirt, I downloaded a star shape, and cut and pasted it in the Silhouette program to make the Gemini constellation, which is N's sign.Then I had the Silhouette machine cut a stencil for this. The stars turned out really crisp, but I hand-painted on the lines and that was a bit messier. I decided to put some more stars on the back, and N requested a moon. So, voila, a moon too. Then E asked for a star t-shirt too - didn't want the bows anymore. I will have to make her one, but for now, I've run out of blank Ts.

Black and White summer outfits by Cicely Ingleside

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Meteor Shower Kid Shorts

Meteor Shower Kid Shorts by Cicely Ingleside

I have been sewing lately, but I have fallen behind on posting things, so I will try and catch up! Here's a quick post to show off some shorts I made for my son.

Summer has finally arrived here in Newfoundland, and I was searching for a basic shorts pattern, not having the desire to fiddle around and adapt a pants pattern. So, blogger Dana at Made just released her Kid Shorts pattern, with perfect timing for me. Yay!

Here's a version I made for N with some cool fabric - Tula Pink's Meteor Shower - from Fabrications. Did some blue top-stitching on the front pockets to add a bit of detail.

Meteor Shower Kid Shorts by Cicely Ingleside

Meteor Shower Kid Shorts by Cicely Ingleside

That's a record - my shortest post yet!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

My First Quilt! And a Teacher's Gift

I made my first quilt!  

Maman Fabrics quilt by Cicely Ingleside

Some friends in Calgary were pregnant with a girl, and I thought, hmm.... this would be a great excuse opportunity to buy some of the "Maman" line of fabric from Cloud 9 Fabrics. The illustrations were apparently made by the Belgian-French grandmother of one of Cloud 9 Fabrics' owners, around the time of the Second World War. I had seen some other projects with these fabrics and loved them - unfortunately some of the illustrations were a bit too young for my daughter. 

When I did a web search, I was very happy to discover a Canadian store that sells the line, and numerous other hard-to-find-in-person designer fabrics: the store is called Fabrications and is based in Ottawa, a city a  lived in for 10 years. Anyone else in Canada knows how great it is to find a domestic source for online purchasing, in order to avoid duty and other charges. I ordered these and a few other nice fabrics - they've all been great. 

This Maman line (meaning "Mom" in French) is organic, like all the Cloud 9 Fabrics, and they are a lovely sateen.

Maman Fabrics quilt by Cicely Ingleside

I used a simple layout of 10 inch squares with 2 inches of white in between. Each fabric is supposed to create a line of squares on the diagonal. I nervously read lots of online quilting tutorials - if you're interested, a number of the links are on my Quilts Pinterest Board

Since the square motif is fairly simple, the piecing-the-top part wasn't that bad!  But the quilting-to-the-bottom and binding part took about just as long. I took a bit of a cheating approach and bought a pre-quilted  batting-and-bottom-layer, and sewed the top to that, also sewing along the quilt lines "in the ditch" (some quilting techno-speak I have learned), using one of the Maman fabrics as binding.

Maman Fabrics quilt by Cicely Ingleside
Note my little Vanna White assistant on the side!
Apparently, the quilt reached its destination in Calgary the day before my friend gave birth. I am really touched because I was told that the quilt made her cry. That is the highest compliment I could ask for!  (Even if anything will make you cry the day before you give birth.)

I will add one more project that supposedly made someone cry!  Two nights before the last day of school, I was panicking because I didn't have a present for my son's teacher. I decided to use the pattern for the Crushed Ruffle Tote by See Kate Sew and make a bag. I used  some Liberty Lifestyle fabric I bought at the store The Workroom when I visited my sister in Toronto. (Hey, it looks like they sell fabric online too!) And the white is the only heavy-ish fabric I had on hand : it is from the bottom I cut off some IKEA curtains (shhhhh....). I put some pretty odds-and-ends in the bag: a pink and white scarf that my son picked out, a pretty notebook, some chocolates.

Teacher's gift tote by Cicely Ingleside

My son reported that his teacher was crying when she opened her presents, and started crying when he gave her his. I suspect it had more to do with the sentimental card and all of the other presents too, but still, I was touched. It makes it all worthwhile to make something by hand.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Grecian Goddess Dress from a Gauze Blanket

Grecian Dress by Cicely Ingleside

Well, now the Summer of No Pants series is over, and I am happy that it gave me the motivation to sew some of the things I had wanted to try making for myself. However, I am also happy that I don't have to pose for pictures anymore! I can let the cute kids do some modelling.

So, here's a project I made a couple of months ago for my daughter. We were at the mall together, and I came across a gauzy baby blanket with some cute cows printed on it. It was on sale, and it occurred to me that it was even bigger than a meter of fabric, and hey, I could use it as fabric. I thought the gauziness would make a perfect summer dress.

Grecian Dress by Cicely Ingleside
Look at the dress, not the fact that she is inexplicably covering a piggy bank with a headband. 

I used the Geranium dress pattern I'd used before, but because the fabric was a single layer of gauze (not like the lovely double gauze Nani Iro fabric I have used for past projects), I found I had to line the skirt as well as the top. For lining, I used plain white cotton, and it makes for a dress that is still pretty lightweight.

I had to jazz it up, so I added these gold touches around the neck, waist and bodice. Note to self: do not try to iron polyester gold material. It caused some puckering. This was a bit of an experiment in making my own bias tape. Was not so bad but I definitely need more practice.

Grecian Dress by Cicely Ingleside

I really like the gold touches on the dress - I think it makes it seem a bit Grecian goddess-like. I think I was sub-consciously inspired to add the gold because I have a white summer dress with gold on it which is one of my own current summer favourites.

Grecian Dress by Cicely Ingleside
She 'styled' the shoot herself with Hello Kitty watch and sparkly tights.
Here's a picture with what I am going to pretend is a Greek-style pose (but is really just my daughter wanting to lay down). Can't you just imagine the servant feeding her grapes in the background? Hmmm, she'd love that, she loves grapes. Right now, my husband and I are her only servants though.

Grecian Dress by Cicely Ingleside

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