Sunday, February 21, 2010

Finally back online!

Wow! I can't believe it has been so long since I posted on my blog! Well, I finally did find my camera. And yes, here is the culprit!

After I found my camera, then I couldn't find my charger! That was my fault though. I had put it somewhere I normally don't put it. But, now I am finally back in business.

I have been doing a little sewing, but not nearly as much as I would like to, or need to! I'm trying to get clothes ready for my upcoming trip and the time is getting short. It is very hot in Uganda, so cool clothes are the ticket. Dresses, skirts and blouses are all that the women wear in the villages, so that is what I will be wearing as well.
I have made two blouses and two skirts. The blouses are from McCalls 2094.

From Spring Clothes

From Spring Clothes

From Spring Clothes

From Spring Clothes

I am very proud of myself on the skirts. They are self-drafted. I have never drafted anything before, so even though these were very simple, I am very pleased. I used the method outlined in the book called Sew What Skirts.
The book shows how to make a straight skirt and an A-line. I made both of mine A-line. I need to make bigger darts in the back on the floral skirt because I do not want it to ride that low on my hips. I inadvertantly made the waist too big when I changed the way I did the binding on the waist. I'm not looking forward to taking off all of that bias tape to adjust the waist, but I really like this fabric and want to be able to wear the skirt. The blue and green skirt with the orange trim fits perfectly.

These were both "practice" skirts, because I wanted to find the simplest methods using the least amount of materials for teaching the women in Uganda. This is what the plan is (at this point)
  1. use the simple drafting method in Sew What Skirts to make the pattern for each lady
  2. side seams only with darts in the back (Ugandan women are built very straight from the front view, but have bigger behinds - little waist indentation at the sides)
  3. use straight stitch treadle sewing machines, and/or sew by hand
  4. hand picked zipper
  5. Cut a bias strip from leftover skirt fabric and fold in half and use to bind skirt top edge
  6. double fold narrow hem at bottom
  7. patch pockets if desired.
  8. seams are stitched and then stitched again about 1/4" from original seam line (no sergers or pinking shears available.) I thought about doing french seams, but then didn't really know how to deal with the zipper.
As it turns out, I think it will just be Karen and I teaching the sewing, but I also think we will be working with a small group of women (5-10 at a time) so that sounds perfect. We will be doing the sewing at the "hotel" we will be staying at out in the courtyard. We will bring the women in by boda-boda (motorcycle taxi). This will be good because we will have tables available to us to lay things out where they won't get dirty. In the afternoons, we will go into the villages and meet with the ladies, do a bible study and encourage them in other ways. I'm hoping we will also have an opportunity to help them work at their homes. There are lots and lots of children in the villages, so I'm sure we'll be spending some time with them as well. I am very excited about going and am working on raising all the support I will need. If you are interested in helping out, please see this post.


Digs said...

Teaching sewing in Uganda?! Wow how cool is that. On indestructible treadle Singers, I'll bet. I still have an outfit (including headscarf) made for me in zero-electricity northern Ghana some many, many years ago. Good luck on your excursion!

gwensews said...

Your blouses and skirts are all very nice. I like that white/floral skirt with it's blouse. Very pretty.

Linda said...

Great job on drafting the skirts. Blouses and skirts look very springy

Joy said...

Great idea to learn simple drafting skills that you can pass on to others. Skip the pattern - that's sewing from scratch!

Elaray said...

Good to have you back online. I'll be contacting you for more details on drafting the skirt pattern. That has been one of my goals for quite a long time.

Summerset said...

Hey! Another orange cat!

I love the skirt concepts - they're perfect. Such a good things to teach the women since they already wear them a lot.

Diana said...

First of all I love those skirts. And I really admire what you are doing in Africa. It makes me want to go too.(If I was a little younger)