Thursday, March 7, 2019

SFSNAD SAH Challenge Virtual Tour

Original WWII Poster excerpt; see full poster at the British Imperial War Museum

If you're a stitcher or crafter, you've probably heard that old thrifty phrase "Make Do and Mend", which came from the shortage of supplies under rationing during the Second World War. This phrase also happens to be the theme of the last Stitch At Home Challenge from the San Francisco School of Needlework (SFSNAD).

You may remember my Joyful Jester, which I entered in the previous Stitch At Home Challenge - Burlesque. In that challenge, we were given a Bag O' Bits full of scraps of metallic threads, courtesy of Kreinik, which we had to use in our project. For the Make Do and Mend Challenge, participants were, fittingly, encouraged to use found items and stash supplies in innovative ways - that is, to "make do" 😊

Many of the participants also took up the second half of the Challenge -"mend" - by incorporating visible mending into their work. Mending is a very old technique, where the aim was usually to repair cloth as seamlessly as possible. Visible mending takes the same techniques but uses highly contrasting threads for a decorative approach. There is a whole school of thought behind this method, including a rebellion against "fast fashion", but for an introduction I enjoy following the tomofholland blog.

Visible mending also draws heavily from the Japanese mending traditions of Sashiko, which according to A Threaded Needle encompasses four types of stitching: Simple Sashiko (tutorial: clouds pattern), Hitomezashi (tutorial), Kogin (examples) and Boro (see Authentic vs. Modern Boro and Boro Style , Boro in Fashion, tutorial for clothing from Threads magazine and this Boro Bag tutorial for a sense of the style).

I first discovered the SFSNAD on Instagram, and what I really love about their Stitch At Home Challenges is that they are free to participate in, for stitchers of any skill level, and are open Internationally. You can ship your project to San Francisco, for display in a special exhibition at the end of each Challenge, or - as I did - you can send in a photo to be used in the Online Gallery that is hosted a few months after the end of the Challenge.

But what is really neat, and what I wanted to share with you today, is that for the Make Do and Mend Challenge, the SFSNAD has made a Virtual Tour available on YouTube, and it is amazing to watch! It is so fun to see the many different interpretations on the theme, and to see the wonderful creativity of the stitchers who participated.

The YouTube link is here, or you can watch the tour below:

The current Stitch At Home Challenge theme is Borders and submissions are open until April 15th, 2019. Please see the Challenge post for entry forms and rules, and the Borders Inspiration Blog for ideas. I will not be entering this time, but I really enjoyed the Burlesque SAH Challenge and hope to participate again sometime in the future 😊


Katie said...

Thanks for sharing all this interesting information.

rosey175 said...

I just finished mending some ancient PJs my husband loves (with the sewing machine weeeee~). They weren't pretty, visible mends... though I do think the stitches are now stronger than the fabric. It's a nice challenge, although it's almost sad that mending needs to be a challenge! "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!" feels like how I was raised lol. I didn't know about this challenge, but my own personal "reuse" this year was to buy metal straws which I keep in my purse at all times! I've yet to make a cute little pouch for them and so, they currently live in a Ziploc baggie.

Aurelia Eglantine said...

@ Katie: You're very welcome, glad you enjoyed it too 😊

@ Rosey: I'm trying to learn "invisible" mending too, and I'm super proud of myself when I can fix something and it's not noticeable!!! That's how I was raised too; it's like all this concern about plastic bags: who are these people who never reuse them?! We've always had a "bag of bags" and reuse them constantly, for everything 😃 The idea of visible mending does appeal to me too, but I think it's a lot harder than it looks to make it neat. My library canvas tote bag is falling apart from age and hard use so I may try to attempt something 🤔 Hope you get around to making your straw pouch soon, I'm sure it will be super cute!