Category Archives: Patchwork

Purple and Aqua and Blue Snake Leather Patchwork

My neighbour Graziella gave me a bunch of pieces of leather out of her treasure storage… they were so soft and beautiful! Purple, teal, coral pink… she used to make patchwork leather jackets back in the 80’s and was excited to share her stash with me.

I made some bracelets and traded a couple pieces with my friend Karen for other leather… she used it to make super bow tie necklaces. Then I started patchworking some little scraps using the flatlock stitch and coloured thread on my overlock machine. That was at least a year ago… recently I showed it to my sister and she was absolutely crazy about it.

I made her a bralette and skirt a couple years ago with the same blue snake print leather… and so I started adding more scraps to this little patchwork with the intention of adding it to the bottom of her bralette.

This is as far as I’ve got so far… need her to bring me the bralette and skirt so I can use more pieces of the skirt. Still have some more purple and teal, and

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Berserker Pillows

In November I interviewed with Peach Berserk, legendary Toronto screen printed punk-rock frock shop on Queen West, for a sewing position (“Head Sewer” sounds like a horror movie right?)… anyhow, after two awkward interviews I didn’t get the job, but they put me “on the list of super star sewers” for future projects.

It’s now February and I saw another post on Craigslist from Kingi asking for a Creative Accessories Designer. I wrote to her with some photos of my new bustiers saying “Hey! Remember me?” and she invited me down to discuss.

So… I go down Saturday afternoon, with somewhat lower expectations, she shows me some pillows and a bag in the showroom, tells me what she likes and doesn’t like about them, and tells me to pick out some scraps from two overflowing bins in the back room for a “sample” pillow. I grab a few pieces, trying to get some in colours I liked, with decent prints, and of decent size… show them to her, and OOOPs! I’d picked up some satin, polyester, and a couple bits of raw silk. My bad. Mixing fabrics is apparently not ok… and the pieces are too big! Okie dokie… so I go back and quickly pick out as many small or odd shaped pieces of raw silk I can find without much attention to the prints. With a mitt full of edges, misprints, and dirty scraps I tell Kingi I’ll be back Wednesday with some pillows.

Back at home I’m questioning my mission, purpose, etc… is this a cruel joke or a job? I sketch some ideas, do a bit of research on sewing with raw silk, find some funky quilting and patchwork inspiration and remembering Lada’s  alteration insanity (she was a designer in September @ heartbeat960 who liked to sew out front on the sidewalk) decided to try a patchwork collage. Took me a while to get into cutting up the fabric… not sure why exactly. Maybe worried I’d waste the bigger piece. But when I realized I didn’t actually have to quilt it, and I could use iron-on interfacing as a sticky foundation, I knew I was going to nail it!

She warned me about using “patches” of incomplete prints, messy prints, or no print. And when I asked about unfinished edges, it was alright as long as it was done nice. She also told me never to throw anything out, and she wanted “more” funky than the other pillows she had already. So, I took some of this, some of that… and baby this is how you turn shit into gold.

Upcycled… Raw Silk… Patchwork…  Collage… Berserker Pillows!!