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4th April 2005
richtermom @ :
Wow. This is a real group!
My sister sent me one of the red sewing circle stickers a couple years ago, and I've held onto it, but never really understood.
I am now enlightened and happy to step in...
Last night I was digging through my fabric stash and I found a pile of stuff I bought last year to make for my then-newborn daughter; luckily, the patterns go up to 25 lbs-ish, and I fell in love with the fabrics all over again, so I'm going to be lugging out the scissors tonight, I think! Baby needs a fabulous new summer wardrobe, especially to wear to protests and political gatherings!
11th March 2005
msgeek @ : Reprinted from my blog: a bit of a manifesto.
Pallas Athene unspooled: a feminist needlecraft manifesto.
Feminists taking up knitting? Sewing? What the hell is going on here, and why am I a part of it? Is this another sign of the moribund state of feminism during the Dubya age? Is the sky falling? What's up with this?
Yes, needlecraft has been, for the past 7,000 years, associated with the domestic captivity of women. Yes, it has been pushed as a socially acceptable hobby by male-dominated churches, states, and corporations. But needlecraft's history didn't start 7,000 years ago...it has a longer history than that, which reaches back before the theorized advance of patriarchal nomadic herder cultures on peaceful, egalitarian Neolithic agrarian cultures.
In those cultures, women did seem to do most of the duties surrounding the construction of clothing: weaving, sewing, spinning, knitting, etc. However, they also did seem to do most of the duties surrounding the Goddess-centric religions of the day, and also did seem to have the upper hand surrounding decision making for the village. The menfolk would work in the fields and build houses and temples and so forth, and also they would mine and forge tools from copper and bronze. Perfectly understandable considering how the male and female homo sapiens sapiens
evolved. Basically the point I'm making here is that needlecraft was not invented by The Man
to keep womyn
down. It was a technology created so that people could have clothing that protected them from the elements. Very necessary to survive ice ages and to settle latitudes above and below the tropics.
Just as the second wave of feminism broke during the 1970s, men got their first taste of needlecraft as a hobby. One must credit macho American Rules Football player Rosey Grier for coming out of the closet about the fact that needlepoint, a trendy hobby for soccer moms in those days was his hobby too. Would you believe Grier, now a Christian minister, still does needlepoint? Indeed. With the current popularity of knitting and crocheting, there are some men taking up the hobby too. Russell Crowe, the macho "Gladiator?" Badass actor Larry Fishburne? Yes, they have been sighted in public with knitting needles and yarn.
There are legitimate reasons for progressives to take this up as a hobby. The problem of sweatshops continues to vex those of conscience. That t-shirt or pair of jeans or sweater you buy at Wally*World cheaply was likely made by a pre-teen girl in the third world who should be in school but can't go because 1.) her family can't afford it; 2.) her family needs the pittance she brings in for financial support; and 3.) her family puts little to no importance on its daughters being educated -- her mother is probably illiterate, so was her mother's mother, and so on through time. While finding fair trade fabric and yarn is pretty hard right now, by making your own clothing you are at least cutting out part of the exploitation in the clothing production chain. You didn't get that handmade sweater from a maquilladora...you did it yourself. And that feels good.
Another thing that feels good is the fact that knitting, crocheting, embroidering, sewing, etc. seems to have a positive effect on stress levels and overall relaxation. I suppose that wouldn't be the case if one was trying to finish holiday gifts in time to give them, to give an example, or trying to finish a costume for cosplay at an anime convention that will be happening that weekend. But when there is no deadline pressure, and you are kicking back anyway, it's relaxing. I've noticed how my normally jumpy personality smooths out and chills out when I'm sewing. It's almost a zen state of consciousness. The needle and thread are sewing the fabric. I'm a hollow bamboo in the forest. ;-)
So yeah, it's perfectly acceptable to be a feminist and be into needlecraft. You will probably be less stressed and more relaxed than your non-sewing/knitting/crocheting sisters. Also, when you make something for yourself or to give as a gift that's one less garment you are buying that was made in a sweatshop.
Why the reference to Pallas Athene
in the title, though? Well, Athena was such a kewl goddess that they ascribed lots and lots of pursuits under her patronage. As well as being the patron goddess of the patriarchal polis of Athens, she was credited as inventing weaving, sewing, mathematics, logic, philosophy and the olive tree. She turned Arachne into a spider when Arachne beat her at weaving. In the patriarchal milieu of ancient Greece, Athena was perhaps the only third-dimensional female character in the Pantheon. Hera was a bitch who got back at her philandering husband by trickery and sabotage. Artemis was an echo of an earlier time, a protectress-of-game-animals sort of goddess who was probably put in the Pantheon because she was revered in prehistoric times. And Aphrodite was...let's be blunt here...a slut. Athena had a heart and a mind and an indomitable spirit, kept indomitable by not having a consort at a time when married women were literally chattel. It is to the archetype of Pallas Athene, brainchild, warrior woman and weaver, I dedicate this piece.
Feminist needlecraft links:Stitch n' Bitch USStitch n' Bitch UKStitch n' Bitch Los Angeles, CA, USGuardian Unlimited: Stitch n' Bitch articleLos Angeles Needle Exchange, another feminist needlecraft groupThe Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society Live Journal community
Sweatshop resource links:http://www.aworldconnected.org/article.php/525.htmlhttp://www.nosweatapparel.com/resources/http://www.pcusa.org/pcusa/wmd/sweatfree/sfresource.htm
3rd March 2005
msgeek @ : Kimono My House...
(Cross-posted from the animelosangeles community here at LJ)
Thought I'd get a little closure on here regarding one of the coolest things about the first Anime LA...I finished the kimono that was started at the Kimonothon tonight! w00h00! :-)
Here is a bit of info about what I did and how I did it, gleaned from a couple of posts in my blog. (the one at Blogspot, not the one here)
One thing I did accomplish last night: my redo of the kimono collar was 100% successful. Basically the instructions on Dindrane's goth website
are fairly accurate save for construction information (which Jess didn't need) and the need for an extra step on the front flaps. The extra step is this: after attaching the front flaps to the back piece and sewing the sides and top (leaving the arm holes) you have to fold the flap fabric in, like dog-earing a corner in a book, until the flap makes a proper right triangle. This assumes you haven't flipped the fabric from "wrong side" to "right side"...if you did that, flip it right back before you do this step, because basically you are creating an angled portion of the flap. The long side (hypotenuse) of this right triangle is the angle you want the collar attached to.
This step, of course, means that the cutting step for Measurement F needs to be reassessed. However, this piece of fabric might be useful as a self-belt for the kimono that can be used in place of or under an obi. The way I did it was to measure the two angled sides of the front flap, plus the part of the back piece not attached to the side flaps, and sum those measurements together. You take that measurement as the length of the fabric you need, then give this strip a width of about 6 inches. That's the collar. Proceed as directed with the collar, but bear in mind it only will extend as long as this angled portion of the front flaps. Make sure you hem the side that has selvage, and sew the selvage edge to the "wrong side" of the front flaps and back. A piece of fusible interfacing roughly 4 1/2" wide by as long as the collar piece length can be ironed into the collar piece before folding it over and attaching it to itself. The seam made by attaching the collar piece should be completely inside the collar...it also adds the body needed for the collar to stand up right.
If you do the collar right you have a pretty accurate kimono. I have a couple of hems to do and then I am done. It really is handy to do this by measurement instead of by pattern. Considering how expensive patterns get, and their essentially fungible nature unless you take great pains to preserve the pattern, this would probably be the best way to replicate this project. I really can't see a good way of doing the collar by machine, because the best way of attaching it is an overcast stitch that I'm not sure can be properly done with a machine. But all the other seams are doable by hand or machine...I'm not using the machine I have on this project because I'm still klutzy with machine seams and I don't want to screw the kimono up.
If this Dindrane person is cool with my revising her instructions I'll write this all up. I think that some instructions for attaching the pieces would be helpful too.
Today I finished the kimono I started at Anime LA. I hope to get an insta-Obi made so I can take pix in it soon. I even got out the embroidery floss and embroidered a little cherry blossom at the nape of the neck...it's customary if a kimono or haori does not have a back seam (you can get away with that when you use wide Western-style fabrics) that you embroider a little good-luck symbol there. I decided on a cherry blossom because: 1.) we had "Cherry Blossom Time" here in my little corner of the world two weeks or so ago between rainstorms; 2.) a cherry blossom has five petals, reminiscent of the five points of the pentagram, the symbol of humanity as microcosm of the Universe according to Western Magick and Neo-Paganism; and 3.) there were little stylized flowers, some looking like cherry blossoms, in the pattern of the fabric.
I'm very proud...redoing the collar has kind of been a symbol of taking something started by someone else and making it my own. I think this can be easily replicated in the future. Once I figured out the need to angle the front flaps, everything just proceeded from there.
I didn't do this on the sewing machine because I was afraid of screwing the garment up with my spastic sewing. Now that this is out of the way I can concentrate on getting my skills honed with the sewing machine, and then perhaps make a couple more kimonos like this on the machine. I have enough cotton fabric to make one white kimono and one pink/rose kimono ala Fuu from Samurai Champloo... the white one would be worn under the rose/pink one as a "slip". I just have to put it through the wash to pre-shrink it before proceeding. I'm torn about whether I want to take advantage of one of my patterns or just do it the patternless way we did it at Anime LA. If I do it patternless I can keep the patterns for reference material, to see if I can refine the patternless process.
The insta-Obi idea came from not one, not two, but three
different commercial patterns. The way I'm going to do it is like this: first, make a long, wide belt that is a little longer than the girth of my waist. Yes, that takes some doing and more fabric than I'd want anyone to know about. I'm thinking a finished width of 6" to 8". It also takes fusible interfacing to give the fabric body. A cord or ribbon that goes four times around the girth of my waist would be attached to the dead center of the belt, and Velcro would be used to fasten the ends of the belt. After attaching the belt and moving it around the waist so that the attached part of the cord would be right in front, I would wind the cord first in back of me, then in front of me, then tie the cord.
The first one I'm going to do is in plain black satin with a gold (not metallic, gold-colored) silky cord. The next one will be the one with the Kitty-chan fabric and some black ribbon to tie it with. I am thinking the Kitty-chan pattern is too busy to wear with the kimono I just finished, but it'll be fine for the future.
Anyway, this gives me a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Yay for me!
22nd February 2005
kilette @ : Hi
I just want to say hello everybody. I joined this community weeks ago and I haven't even said that (so impolite).
That photograph is with my last design, fairy fancy dress. I not a professional at all, that's just a hobbie for me and unfortunatedly I haven't got as much time to do it as I would like to.
Nice to meet you all!!
26th January 2005
beri @ :
. new non-rating community for boys & girls with interests like: picnics, pen pals, kittens, their gfs/bfs, baking, homemeade clothing,etc.
21st January 2005
lifeofminx @ : Fashion Show
I just wanted to share the news that my friend nessakitty
and I are doing a fashion show here in Eugene OR on the 24th (Monday). I highly doubt that any of you live in the area, but if you do, you should come! It's a benefit for a dog shelter, and there will be lots of other designers and stores who are doing presentations. PLus, there will be live music, and all the proceeds go to a good cause! If you want more info, you can just leave a comment, and I can let you know more. And, just to share, here's one of the outfits I made for it!
This is definitely one of my 'prettier' things. The rest of it isn't nearly so girly, I promise. I just did the sketch for it and really liked how interesting the skirt looked, and so I just kinda went with it. Kinda like an upside down flower. The two fabrics I picked have a really beautiful contrast in real life. One is steely and hard looking, while the other is super soft and romantic. It's a really nice contrast. If you want to see more detailed pictures you should check my journal, lifeofminx. I'll also be posting pictures there when I finish everything up.
18th November 2004
shock_treatment @ : tiny dilemma on sewing machine
i was working on my bag...sewing a really LONG stitch, it took forever to pin in place & i started to stitch, i was more then halfway to the end & BAAAAM my bobbin runs out of thread.
so my question is...do i have to use the seam ripper to undo all the seams? or may i just begin stitching from where i left off & do a back stitch? or would that make my bag fall apart? would the seams be durable?
17th October 2004
i_play_pretend @ :
I went to Jo-Annes fabric today and looked through some pattern books and found some neat apron patterns made from quilting quarters.
I changed it up a bit and used colorful handkerchiefs instead. I have my three pieces sewn together now and in a minute I'm going to trim and add my ties.
Total cost of supplies:
>$3.50( My first bib!Collapse )
11th October 2004
zona @ : sewing on feather trim
Do any of you have any tips for sewing on feather trim to a handbag? I would like to incorperate this idea into a few of my designs but have no experience with feathers.....
Can it be done on the machine or do i have to hand sew it?
Any help is appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
22nd September 2004
girlfiend_sthlm @ : Fabrics and craft online
I'm so happy because I find this link to http://www.retrodepotfabrics.com
and they ship internationally! :)
Do any of you ladies have more links to fun fabric-on-line-stores/craft-sites who also ship internationally?
I live in Sweden and we haven't got any fun stuff at all, we barely got housewife's!
Damn equal opportunities!!!
18th September 2004
siempre_felis @ : Oh my gawd
I just had to join.
I'd nab a banner but they're not showing except as red x's in squares. I swear I'll keep checking back!
Hi, my name is Kathy, and I run with scissors. When not in my sewing room, I'm under the hood of the truck, trying to figure out what my darling hubby screwed up this time so I can get to school on time. I'm a fourth generation seamstress, and I think it's congenital. My goal is world domination, but the cat wont sit still to be petted long enough for me to reach the right pitch of 'evil laugh stage' of the process. Failing that, I just want a damned good cup of coffee and some medium weight green fabric in a shade of green I actually like.
28th August 2004
blackrayne @ : Huge pattern sale!
I just posted a huge pattern direct sale in my journal here
... there are some corset patterns in there, as well as a lot of Halloween and Renaissance ones too. All patterns are new, uncut, never even removed from the envelopes! And even better... they are $1.00 each!
26th July 2004
masterofinearts @ : Found while snooping...
...on my cousin's LJ, and this is excellent timing. I just spent my morning cleaning and thinking to myself, "Hear I go, cleaning the toilet again. Don't think HE'D do it! Of course I don't remember the last time I was dumb enough to piss all over the f-ing floor and not wipe it up all by myself!"
In my abundant spare time I am beginning to learn felting, and teaching myself Anglo Saxon. Yep, you read it right. Smart enough to say, cool, Anglo Saxon, piece of cake! Dumb enough to clean someone else's piss off the floor every single f-cking day of my life! What is wrong with this picture?
Also, in my spare time, and all kidding aside, trying to incite a riot in the Roman Catholic Church. If you are interested in eternal damnation, just ask me to fill you in....
17th July 2004
samuraikitten @ : Lunchboxes
I'm going to start making lunch boxes again so here are pictures of almost all of the ones I've made.
the only one I didn't include was a wanda jackson one I lined with hot pink and black zebra striped fur and had pink rhinestones
hot glued to the side of
following boxes are my hula girl lunch box, my reverend horton heat lunch box I made for someone
Stray cat's lunch box, the Mutilators lunch box I made for Johnny Anal and a Monster box.
I figure I can make a box of almost anything, I can line it as well, I'm not sure what all with yet but eventually I should be aquireing more
Let me know if you're interested. ( More lunchboxesCollapse )
7th June 2004
vangie @ : help, please
I'm making a purse, but I'm not sure how to make the handles. I was thinking those little plates with the D-rings, glued onto my surface, and then using vinyl/plastic ribbon stuff. Would that work? Where could I get that stuff? Any other ideas?
x-posted like crazy, sorry.
1st May 2004
psychokitten78 @ : help please
I've gotta do a project for school of differant hairstyles (cosmetology school)...I'm going to do a Subculture Style section...so if anyone would donate some great pictures of thier hair...I'd be greatly appreciated...
e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
27th April 2004
imthreeandnot2 @ : xposted in my journal
kill bill 2 is the most degrading movie toward women ever.
i dont think its a mistake that all the women who were not dominated by men were evil in that movie. Or that stereotypical women who broke out of their roles were slaughtered by a women driven only by her drive to return to her maternal state. i dont think its a mistake that the only person in the movie to really really really beat down uma thurman's character was a MAN and that the only way he could be killed was by surprise and manipulation, NOT skill. Or that the only character in the movie that treated women like equals by treating everyone like shit was killed by AN EVIL INDEPENDENT WOMAN.
Or that the first person that was killed off was a black woman.
i hate that people say that ohhh its just tarantino, he didnt try to make it like that.
NO. There is mad symbolism in that movie and the people dotn see it are dumbasses that dont look into anything deeper that "whoa that part where she kicked the girl's ass barefoot was raw duh duh duh". and thats a bad way to go through life. it doesnt matter if most people dont see the subliminal messages in pop culture, its still penetrating this awful message that you're only powerful if you stick to your given role in society; mom, business man, child, bum, underdog, etc.
i think its about time people turn off their video games and tv and garbage music and find something worth talking about or someone worth listening to.
yeah i know this has nothing to do with sewing, but i thought it was a good topic to bring up here
11th April 2004
imthreeandnot2 @ :
hey, im kp.
im a freshman in college, going to study voice and opera in the fall at either u of i or depaul.
i like to knit and read history books and listen to erik satie.
i cant cook at all. i can stick my fist in my mouth though.
31st March 2004
bomp @ : being klutzy sux!
so i was doing the dishes the other night and, being prone to extreme klutziness, just happened to drop my ladies' sewing circle and terrorist society mug and it broke into three or four pieces. gluable if i want it to hold knitting needles or something, not so much if i want to hold liquids.
naturally, the place i bought it at didn't have any more when i went to replace it.
anyone know where i can either a) find another one in the portland, oregon area or b) buy it online?
i can't terrorize without my morning tea!!!