Monday, July 19, 2010

meet me monday

Mini interviews with creative folk.
This Monday meet Rebecca Lewis of Little Brown Dog, kindly sharing some of her stories and inspirations. Rebecca creates beautifully finished clothing and home wares- her designs and fabric choices are adorable, every stitch and seam is always exquisitely made.

'I love to sew, mostly one offs or short runs. I learned with my mum and great nanna Bella, who was a tailoress at Freedmans in the Valley...another great nanna was a seamstress and my dads' mum was also a sewer so I guess it runs in the family!

I use vintage or gorgeous Japanese patterns or occasionally draft my own.
I rework old clothes and make home wares and soft toys. Once I have figured something out, I move onto the next challenge.

My wedding dress is the favourite thing I've ever made,
it was so important to me as part of our DIY wedding day to make make myself
a very personalised, eco friendly dress.
I made it from the most beautiful hemp-silk materials
bought from a friend who was importing eco friendly fabrics.

It's because of my wedding dress Little Brown Dog came about...I was terrified of mucking up the dress and procrastinated by playing around with an op shopped E.T doona cover.
I made a skirt and fishermans pants from it which got a great reception and encouraged me to keep making clothes from thrifted material.
There's so much incredible fabric out there, it's just about seeing the potential.

Using discarded material like sheets, doona covers, blankets and curtains
provides me with a challenge-
to make something beautiful from materials often considered to have no value.

I have been gifted lots of fabric from friends cleaning their cupboards (lucky me) but mostly my materials are sourced from op shops.
Ipswich has fantastic op shops-I'm divulging my stash collecting secrets faves are 'the hospice shop' on Brisbane St and 'keeping up appearances' on Glebe Rd...both are chock full of goodness hidden in little nooks and crannies. Half the fun is in finding it.

I have my fingers crossed more people will turn to reducing, reusing and Up cycling. There are clever people doing amazing things with found objects and junk.

I love the work of Don Pezzano(of Urbandon) who uses gifts from the ground, creepy dolls eyes, watch parts, washers, vintage buttons, meccano
and other bits and pieces to construct incredible wearable are.

I also greatly admire the phenomenal recycling efforts of my lovely friend Lesa,
who transforms mountains of office paper into beautiful art works.

We need to stop playing into the consumer trends which drive global manufacturing empires and are at the root of so many social and environmental issues.
Shopping for locally grown and locally made is the first step in right direction. There are great farmers markets popping up where you can meet and talk with the people growing what you're eating. There's also fantastic veg box schemes which source only local produce and deliver fresh fruit and veg to your door. Check out food connect if you live in SE QLD. And don't forget the craft markets, an opportunity to meet the talented people behind the design and production, a chance to buy local and original.'

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos Rebecca.
You can find Little Brown Dog at the little market in west end, Tricycle events, nook or contact Rebecca about ordering custom made eco friendly/upcycled clothing via her blog here


Crochet with Raymond said...

very cool! I would so love to be able to sew! I love how she's making amazing valuable things out of fabric people see as worthless... so great! Thanks for sharing!

Chasing Purple Dreams said...

Thanks for this interview Kate; it’s nice to learn a little more about the delightful Bec. I have been lucky enough to have my path cross hers on a few occasions and she is an inspiration. A dress she wore to a local exhibition opening has actually inspired the dress I am working on for an upcoming hen’s night. The structure will be very different, but the idea to use vintage doilies came from Bec’s lovely dress.

Chicken Willow said...

Lovely post, thanks Kate.