Monday, May 26, 2014

Hot tips for sewing like a professional ...and another giveaway (and a little bit about life and work, too).

I'm over at Sew Mama Sew at the moment, giving a few tips on the things that help create a professional finish in your sewing projects.  I'm also giving away a copy of my new book over there. And best of all, in the comments section, people are sharing their favourite sewing tips, too.  What a bonanza of a blog post it is... get over there NOW!

...and here we have another detail of one of the bags made while writing the book.  This is a version of the Melbourne Weekender, in denim and a hand-printed Pippiejoe fabric.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes of You Sew Girl....
Lately, the weeks seem to be flying past in a blur of workshop preparation and teaching, wound around parenting and house-keeping and general business-running.  I haven't had much time to look up or out. 
The biggest news in these parts is that I've been offered a new job... a real job (my Dad will be happy), and I've decided to take it on.  I'll be teaching in a Fashion College part-time. I can't help feeling like it was some sort of godsend. 
As the dust has been settling after the big move last year, I've been feeling absolutely ready to make more changes in the way that I do things, but not knowing exactly what form those changes might take.  I've been struggling with the fact that I love teaching and want to continue it, but that my product-development mojo appears to have gone walkies... so how do I keep YOU SEW GIRL going into the future?  
The new job offers a new direction that inspires and excites me, and I'll be able to continue my own classes and wholesaling the products that I already have. I might regain pattern-writing mojo or maybe I'll just write the occasional book... who knows?  But for now, I have something challenging and inspiring to sink my teeth into (and it will keep paying the bills!). It feels like the beginning of the next phase.  Exciting times, indeed!
While preparing lesson-plans and resources, I was surprised to see just how many geeky sewing and fashion technology books I own (this collection was just tidied up on the table one day... there's a 2-metre high bookshelf in the corner, with the rest of the collection bulging out). 
I've also been busy prepping for my own workshops and for the gigs booked around the traps with other businesses, guilds and sewing groups. There will one day be more photos of pattern-free clothing to show... I've been making, but not poncing about with the camera. 
On the home-front, we're fighting colds and can't seem to shake them, so have just been working around them.
The girleen has been using her time away from school to brush up her drawings of My Little Pony characters. (As impressed as I am with the likenesses, I'm lamenting the absence of her fantastic imagination in the artwork.... ).
In between bouts of cold, we managed a day out to ACMI, with the wee girl and her friend. 
We went to the DreamWorks exhibition, which was fantastic ... until the last bit (when they were hungry and tired).  The kids were made to wait about 10 minutes for their turn to use the much-anticipated animation software, and were then only given about 5 minutes (with a stress-inducing countdown of time-nearly-up) to get to understand the software and develop an animation.  They left feeling grumpy and frustrated and teary, because they barely had the background drawn when time was up.  It was beginning to look like a disastrous day (with nearly-nine-year-olds and their fragile emotions...).
As a cheer-up measure, we went out for sushi, regrouped and then hit the permanent exhibition at ACMI.  The kid's section there is full of excellent interactive activities, and they had a ball.

And then we hit the playground on a gorgeous Autumn day.... so all ended well.  Phew. 

And in between all of this, I've been knitting (and going to the dentist... which is where this photo was taken).
And so, life whizzes by... 
So before it passes... get over to that book giveaway and share your sewing tips! :)


Jenny from Ohjoh said...

Good on you and good luck with the new worky bits. Maybe you can have a retreat/workshop/break over here in WA one weekend … just planting the seed :)

avomeri said...

Good luck on this "next phase". I wish I could attend one of your classes! For sure you are a great teacher. Good luck, you deserve.
xx Meri

A Peppermint Penguin said...

congratulations on the new job! those lucky, lucky students.

the animation thing sounds utter carp. I have a friend who runs animation workshops in schools, - in Cumbria! - I'm sure he'd see them right ;-)

well done for saving the day with funner things.

Sally said...

Congratulations on the new job. Sound perfect for you. Brilliant. So happy for you.

Pauline said...

Good luck with this new direction your life has taken... I find things have a funny way of falling in place as you need them! Your pattern writing mojo will be back when the time is right/write??? :D

Anna said...

Congratulations Nikki on the new job. There are lots of exciting things in store for you. Best wishes to you and your girleen.

Leonie said...

Congratulations on the new job Nikki, something to spread your wings a bit while adding some stability sounds perfect! Well done :-)

pandchintz said...

Congrats on the new job - fantastic. Those students will be getting a great teacher! Have fun!!

Annie said...

Fantastic news Nikki...I'm taking on a few changes myself

Fer said...

Fantastic news about your job!! You're an awesome teacher.

That's also a great honour to be on Sew Mama Sew too, it has such a huge following. Yay for you!!

Katy Cameron said...

Oh yay, congrats on the new job!

Lesley said...

Lucky lucky students you are such a creative person Nicole and you are always willing to share such a generous person.

MissP said...

I have a small collection of sewing books, but I am planning to start a small sewing circle to get young people learning the skill, so I might just get myself some of the books on your post.

Also congrats with the job, its great when you can do something you love for money.

Sirinadesigns said...

Congratulations on your new job.
I like the photo of your books, I like to see what other sewers read and use, also helps with the birthday/Xmas gift list.

Katherine said...

Lots of changes for you, Nikki! Think those students will be so very lucky to have you - I know you will do a wonderful job guiding and inspiring them. Excited and happy for you, knowing it must be a bit scary heading into these new challenges. Thinking of you and always wishing the best for you and R. xxK