Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Better Bag Club, and other stories (..and classes)

We had our first Better Bag Club workshop a couple of weeks ago, at GJ's in Fairfield.

This is once-a-month workshop that you can drop in and out of, working on whatever YOU SEW GIRL pattern, or project from The Better Bag Maker or You SEW Girl that you like. I'm there to troubleshoot and show tips and tricks and techniques. My maximum class size is 8 participants, so that's a lot of one-on-one attention.  Everyone works on their own project, but the group also allows for soaking in the learning experiences of a wide range of projects, if that's what you'd like to do.

The room is big and light and airy, and lunch is provided, and we had a lovely time last month. A couple of the gals are off to far-flung and exotic places this month, so there are places open for 26th August, if you'd like to come along.

And GJ's have new stock of The Better Bag Maker, in case you're looking for it.

For the last 10 weeks, I've (unexpectedly) been teaching almost every weekday in the city. It cuts into my pattern-development and general life-organisation time, but at least I get to watch the changing landscape of the guerrilla crafting on these (anti-car-on-footpath) cement blocks outside Southern Cross Station.

I've started teaching a new subject in my college job. For me, this is always an exciting thing to do - if a tad time-consuming - as I madly gather new ideas and develop resources for students. It's a fundamental design subject about ideas generation and exploring a wide range of materials, so my brain has been POPPING with ideas about thinking outside the square, how to look sideways and all those other cliched phrases about originality in design.

Quiet moments in the staffroom have been spent crocheting bread bags. At home, I've been exploring all manner of paper folds and tessellations. I've been folding, weaving and melting plastic milk bottles and spiralising water bottles to make string. My Pinterest boards have filled with architecture, interior design, industrial design and origami-inspired ideas. It's stimulating and exciting to use other parts of my brain, and to look further afield for inspiration.

As we near the end of this term, and I prepare for the next deluge of marking, my mind is turning back to the garment patterns that are in development. I'll be ploughing back into those over the next couple of months and calling out for pattern testers (and there will be free versions of patterns to try in my classes at Cutting Cloth, for anyone who wants to test them there). Watch Facebook, Twitter and Insta for more immediate updates on those patterns.

So yes... Busy times....Life is a constant juggling act.... Inspiration is everywhere.... And please excuse my lack of online activity lately. I'm still here, and all is well.


Dianne said...

Totally forgot to check out the blocks at Southern Cross today, must remember to have a look tomorrow! Plastic melting and spiralizing sounds most intriguing!

Dianne said...

Totally forgot to check out the blocks at Southern Cross today, must remember to have a look tomorrow! Plastic melting and spiralizing sounds most intriguing!

A Peppermint Penguin said...

well you know I want one of those slots. just a small matter of no-one having invented the Transporter yet. slackers.

that college class is so you. and so not me. lucky students!

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Jean Williams said...

Nikki, your blog, website and article on sewing with leather are just great! I am guessing you are really busy, based on the timelines I am seeing. I hope that is good. I wish you the best and hope you can keep up with your blog and the leather sewing stuff.

I am starting a business doing alterations (small scale), at least I hope. I am a retired counselor/therapist who has been sewing forever and always dreamed of making a living from sewing. Being retired makes the dream look a little more believable!

See yon on the blog! Jean

Noel M said...

Hi. I purchased your book The Better Bag Maker and am very excited to start my first bag! Do you have any suggestions on how to transfer/copy the pattern pieces? Since many pieces overlap each other, it's difficult to copy each pattern piece for a bag. Any advice you could provide would be much appreciated. Thank you!