Enough blahh now

Enough of the blahhh!
So I’ve ran up a few masks to cheer myself up. Have u got a mask?
Scotgov are recommending you wear one in public places especially on public transport & when shopping. So here’s a few ready to go in the post if you need one or 2. They are all a standard medium size. If you need it to be slightly bigger I can put a longer elastic on them, just let me know.
I have been asking for donations to my Ko-fi page in exchange for the masks & they work out about £6 each but I’m happy with whatever donation people feel they can pay.           Will send the information with the mask.
Happy Sewing

masks1masks2masks3masks4

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Feeling Blahhhh!

So I have no real reason to feel flat, were all well, have a roof over my head & food in the cupboard but though I try to stay positive the last few weeks have been both good & rough. I just wanted to talk about the reality instead of the ever up beat social media front we put on as self employed creatives.

It started with a scared cat situation resulting in an infected hand & overnight stay in hospital on IV antibiotics. Have to say thank goodness for our NHS they were fabulous. Thought I would just get given some pills but no of to hospital for me. I then had a week of hard core antibiotics that frankly made me feel worse than the infection. My system took quite a hammering & I know this is nothing in comparison to what some folk are going through.

As creative makers we are all used to planning our days & productivity but I’ve been finding it sooooo hard to get motivated. Yes I’ve been making masks & you lovely people have donated to my Ko-fi page for them. It’s helping keep the wolf from the door when a lot of other income streams dried up with lockdown but its not what I really want to do. I miss my students & seeing clients for fittings at my studio. I miss planning classes & workshops. I miss chatting to fellow makers & creatives at the Drillhall studios. I’m sad that direct selling shows wont be happening for quite some time! Life is so up in the air & who knows when we will be back to a kinda normal.

I am involved in some interesting up coming projects which I’m grateful for. Last week was tidying up my Drillhall studio & doing some filming there but its a roller coaster of up one minute & down the next. Finding it hard to get back to embroidering & making when I don’t have a fixed date for anything. The ever constant battle of creative angst & not doing what I think should. The #100dayprojectscotland I joined is now on day 38 & my last post was day 14 (have more pieces just not posted them). The #artistsupportpledge I’ve fallen way behind with that to! Was organizing to rebuild my website (so out of date) haven’t done that either!

Am I expecting to much of myself! I don’t know but its my creative process that has always been a stabilizing point in my life when other stuff is out of sink. Here’s a few pics of the mess my home studio is in & it does kinda reflect how I’ve been feeling – a big bag of tangled off cuts with no direction! Sorry if this is just a stream of thought & I’m being self indulgent but can pretend its all shiny all of the time. Does this resonate with anyone else?

So its Monday again & time to get my shit together. Think a good tidy up & then to embroidered hummingbird for a corset front panel. Will keep you posted on how it goes.

Happy Sewing

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Making a Mask

These are strange/scary times were living through. Its all about flattening the curve & protecting each other & the front line services/NHS. Covid-19 is everywhere & were asked to stay home but we do occasionally have to go out. With that in mind I’ve been making face masks for friends & family.

They are defiantly not medical grade but it does make you more aware to keep your distance & how often you touch your face. Take it off when you get home & wash in boiling soapy water, let it dry & your good for you next trip out. I’ve also notice that others are more likely to give you space if your wearing a mask!!

If you find this useful & enjoy following me consider buying me a coffee on my page at https://ko-fi.com/mairibrown

What you need
2 layers of tight woven cotton fabric
1 layer of medium/thick interfacing
Elastic for ear straps

Steps

  1. Draw up your pattern.
  2. Cut 2 each of outside & inside cotton & interfacing. You should have 6 pieces of fabric.
  3. Sew each set together on the long curved edge with right sides together.
  4. Pin & sew these 3 sets together on the top & bottom edge. They should be stacked cotton rights sides together & then interfaced layer.
  5. Pin in elastic tabs so the loop is inside the body of the fabric between the two cotton layers.
  6. Sew across one side completely & the other leaving a hole so you can turn the mask inside out.
  7. Turn mask inside out & press in shape, check fit.
  8. Last thing to do is great a small tuck in the side edge which will also close the hole that you pulled it all through.

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Strange Days!

Well what can we say about the times were living in just now !

Needless to say MairiB’s studio at the Drill Hall is closed up and there will be no more direct classes till we come out the other side of this horrible pandemic

Luckily I’ve been able to transfer some materials and equipment back home so have set myself up in the spare room. Feels like going back in time as I started making from home when I left college all those eons ago.  I don’t know about you but I have along list of things to make, some for myself and some for clients when we can finally do fittings again.

So where do we self-employed makers take it from here? After the initial panic of life being turned upside down we all start to put our thinking hats on. As a creative I’ve always found solace and balance in sewing something so that’s what I’m gona do. I’d been planning to make a collection of pieces for an exciting photo shoot and intend to carry on with those garments.

Not being able to see my students in person I have just had a virtual pattern cutting class with the lovely Anna from my communityEd class and feel it went well. I’m aware that we had to stop our term half way through and that you may have question. If this is something you might be interested in then my rate for a virtual chat/class is £21 per hour. It can be done on various platforms, Facebook chat, Zoom, Skype just get in touch so we can figure out what works best for you.

I’m also looking into preparing a few sewing technique classes that I will record and can send out for a small fee. Though filming is not my strong point so bear with on that one!

Just because we are being socially distant does not mean we need to lose touch.                

Stay safe, Stay well, Stay home and always Happy Sewing

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New Year Classes

Oh its taken me a wee bit of time to update my classes page. I always have such good intentions to do it before Christmas & still never manage it!! Anyway I have now planned for some general dressmaking weekend sessions & Corsets/Stays classes in the next few months. Here’s the list so far & you can look up whats in each one & prices on my class page

January
26th Sunday – Machine Embroidery 1.30-5pm

February
1st Saturday – Sewing for Beginners 10.30-12.30pm
1st Saturday – Dressmaking from scratch 1.30-5pm (week1)
8th Saturday – Dressmaking from scratch 1.30-5pm (week2)
15th Saturday – Machine Embroidery 1.30-5pm
23rd Sunday – Dressmaking from scratch 1.30-5pm (week1)

March
1st Sunday – Dressmaking from scratch 1.30-5pm (week2)
21st Saturday – The Corset (day1) 11-5pm
22nd Sunday – Pattern Cutting (Skirt) 11-5pm

April
4th Saturday – The Corset (day2) 11-5pm
26th Sunday – The Stay (day1) 11-5pm

May
10th Sunday – The Stay (day2) 11 -5pm

Do let me know if you want any additional info & a booking form.

Happy Sewing

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Last show of year / Open studio!

Its been a busy few weekends with shows & a big thank you to those who came to see me. All those little & big purchases are what keep us makers going.

My last event of this year is going be as part of  Drillhall Arts Market

I will have my studio open on Saturday the 14th December from 11am till 5pm. If you have some last minute gifts to get then there are some lovely folk at the arts market including Karl Macrae & his work is well worth a look.

There will be a few other studios open, abstract paintings by Megan Chapman & sculptures by Polly Thelwall  to mention a few & we will have signs up to help you find us.

I’ll have a range of cushions & small accessories for sale & of course my bodices on show. Come say hello.

Happy Sewing

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Posted in Bags, Corsets, Cushions, Embroidery, Open studio, Purses, Stays, Tweed | Leave a comment

Upcoming Selling Shows

Well that time of year when all us makers show their individually made treasures in the hope you lovely people will buy them for Christmas gifts. With that in mind I have a few shows coming up.

At the end of this month on Saturday 30th Nov I will be at the Humbie Winter Market . Never done this one before but sometimes the local ones are the best & I believe the elves will have a pop up cafe. Very family orientated & looks like a fun day.

Then in a contrast to the village hall, the next day I will be at Edinburgh Printmakers  for their first Christmas Market in the new building. Its a fabulous new space for printmakers in Edinburgh with exhibition & work spaces & a cafe to keep you filled up for a look round.  So Sunday the 1st December this is where I’ll be & do come by to see us.

I then have a week to replenish my stocks before GLOW on the 7th & 8th December. In the gorgeous Dovecot Studio  I will be among the makers showing work on the viewing  balcony. Organised by fellow maker James Donald & over 2 days whats not to like. Live top tunes from DJ Tonia (I would imaging not your traditional Xmas ones) & again a great cafe on the ground floor.

Here’s a few of the things I will be showing & selling. Always happy to take commissions if your looking for something specific.

Happy Sewing

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Posted in Bags, Corsets, Cushions, Embroidery, Exhibition, Shows, Stays, Tweed | Leave a comment

Machine Embroider Class

You all know my specialty is free machine embroidery which I then use on all kinds of things from bodices to cushions & purses. See the stages of a butterfly on tweed below.

If you’ve ever wanted to try the technique I have a class planned for next Sunday 20th Oct, running from 1.30 to 5pm.
This afternoon class explains how to drop the feed dogs on your machine and then work within a frame to create your own designs. We will also look at working with an standard embroidery foot.
Your embroidery can be kept as a sample or incorporated into something else.
Threads & fabrics provided but feel free to bring materials of your own if you wish.
Recommended Abilities:  Suitable for sewers of all abilities

Course Fee: £60

There are still a couple of spaces so do get in touch if you fancy an afternoon off fun stitching in the studio. Tea & biscuit fueled!!

 

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Open Doors & October Classes

OPEN DOORS                                                                                                                                Coming up this weekend are the Open Doors event all over Scotland. As part of that there will be tours around the Drill Hall where my studio is based. If you haven’t been before it’s worth a visit, here’s the link for info http://www.doorsopendays.org.uk/places/edinburgh/out-of-the-blue-drill-hall/

I will have my studio open & there is also a Makers Market in the main hall so lots to see.

SEWING CLASSES                                                                                                                               I have a few sewing classes planned for October at the studio. If your a complete beginner & want to become friends with your sewing machine then on the morning of the 12th I have a 2 hour starter session. We will take you through working on the machine & make a needle case to learn a few sewing techniques. As my classes are small, max 3 people it fills up fast so do get in touch if you want to join. Class cost is £25 per person.

If you want to expand your skills then Dressmaking from Scratch is the one for you.        This month over 2 Saturday afternoon’s on the 12th & 19th we can work on your own project, tackling all those tricky bits & come pick my brain.                                                      It’s really time for you to do whatever you want. Class runs from 1 to 4.30pm on both days & costs £80.

The last class in my October diary is on the Sunday 20th & it’s an afternoon learning free machine embroidery. This fabulously creative technique is what I use in most of my work & I describe it as painting with thread & is a free flowing way of drawing with your machine. Either bring your own machine to learn on or use one of mine. Run from 1.30 to 5pm it costs £60.

If you would like to attend any of the above get in touch & I can send a booking form out.

Happy Sewing

 

 

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CommunityED enrollment

Gosh where has the year gone! This is just a quick message to remind my community Ed pattern cutting students that enrollment for new term is this week, the 7th Aug.

Here’s the link to their website for all Class info

Happy Pattern Cutting

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