Dunedin is set to join the world in leading change in the fashion industry!
We are very proud to announce our successful bid to open a community pop-up space in central Dunedin in April, 2017, through the Urban Dream Brokerage project.
“Urban Dream Brokerage provides space for new ideas in our cities, assisting in urban revitalisation. This year, [Just Atelier] created a colourful and unique experience in the heart of the city to engage the community in socially and environmentally positive fashion initiatives. UDB is delighted to hear that they wish to return and extend their project in 2017. This will allow more community the opportunity to participate in their fantastic project.” Tamsin Cooper, Dunedin Broker.
The pop-up project, called ‘Unstitched’, will be New Zealand's largest community event as part of the international campaign Fashion Revolution. The campaign aims to bring people together from around the world to use the power of fashion to change the story for the people who make the world’s clothes and accessories.
Unstitched will be a positive space for everyone in the community to engage with the ideas that fashion can be made in a safe, clean and beautiful way. It’s about ‘unpicking’ the misconceptions about fashion, such as: fashion is inherently exploitative and that sweatshops are necessary; that ethical fashion is boring and inaccessible; and that there is nothing consumers can do to have any impact on the world's 2nd largest industry. Unstitched will give everyone the opportunity to not only learn about the issues in the fashion industry, but to get involved in activities that ‘make every stitch count’.
Unstitched will run from the 1-30 April and include a diverse program for all ages to engage in repairing, restyling or upcycling garments. Organisers are interested in hearing from any local textile artists or craftspeople who are interested in leading a workshop.
Initial funding for this project has been granted through Creative NZ’s Creative Communities grants scheme, and through the DCC Community Grants scheme. Early next year the public will have a chance to be part of bringing the project to life through crowd-funding with Boosted.
“We are particularly pleased to hear that Just Atelier are planning to have the space open for a month, as there is a great opportunity to share the message more widely this time around and have extra workshop times available for participants. We thank Just Atelier for their hard work in promoting sustainable fashion, buying local and minimising waste, and look forward to another successful Unstitched event.” Ashlea Muston, Keep Dunedin Beautiful Coordinator
For more information, see out Unstitched event page
Every now and then a really exciting thing happens. We get an email from a creative entrepreneur inviting us to check out their concept.
Several weeks ago we heard from Hoxten Clothing, a social enterprise run from Waiheke Island by sisters Heather and Tracey Carter.
Heather designs fantastic versatile wardrobe basics, makes the patterns, and chooses superb quality fabrics and notions. Then boxes up these essential ingredients for subscribers to receive, all ready cut out and ready to sew!
I know that I'm prone to taking so long deliberating over the design and stressing about how to lay out the pattern to get minimum waste, that projects often flounder before they've really got started. I can see the advantages of receiving garment pieces all set to pin, sew and start wearing!
I quickly signed up as a tester to put Heathers new designers through their paces, hoping, maybe one day, I'd be lucky enough to receive a package.
That day turned out to be very soon! The following week I was the delighted recipient of my own little red bundle of joy:
Inside the beautiful box is everything (except the sewing machine) for sewing it together, all cut out and ready to go!
I don't always follow the instructions that come with patterns, but the tempting little tick boxes were enough to make me want to follow along.
I deviate from the instructions in one small extra step. Before I overlocked the edged, I hunted for any notches cut into the edge of the pieces to help with aligning the seams to ensure I would end up with everything sitting as intended.
Notches are well worth paying attention to!
Once that was done, on with overlocking the edges to help the finished garment stand up to the washing machine and other certain perils it will face in it's future use.
First some practice on my cornering!
Darts are the next challenge (in this case, on the shoulders of the raglan sleeves). To make things easy, I like to mark my sewing line with chalk. For really nice smooth darts, I use a french curve, aiming to stitch at the very edge of the fold by the time I get to the marker at the bottom of the dart.
Another little tip for sewing, employs those notches mentioned earlier.
If you're at all worried about your garment pieces lining up well once you've sewn them, here's my trick for where to pin. First, assume the pattern is correct, and the pieces are meant to line up at each end of the seam, and start by pinning the ends. Next, if you already have a seam to match up, pin there. Then look for notches and pin these points together.
When sewing, just keep your right hand at the next pin location and your seam will look great.
Speaking of pinning before sewing, my next challenge was a curved hem.
A lot of the people who come to our classes share a loathing of irons. Personally I find them just as necessary as my sewing machine in getting seams to look good.
I use my handy seam-gauge to measure the correct turn up for the hem, and pin liberally. Next I press it down, so the fabric is left with no choice but to obey, and there are no surprises at the sewing machine.
It's a challenge to completely avoid any puckering when curved hems are involved, but ironing first definitely helps in keeping these to a minimum, and ironing afterwards also helps straighten out any renegade twists.
I'm not sure what was more satisfying, feeling proud of a well sewn seam, or getting to tick off the step on the instruction sheet.
Either way, I'm pleased with the results :)
You can learn more about this project, and their other designs, on Hoxton's website.
Thanks Heather for letting me have a play!
FRAMED | Fashion Insight will be a unique opportunity to see the glamour behind the scenes of the FASHION industry, and gain insight on the diverse inspirations, techniques and styles of established and emerging local designers.
Framed is the third showcase produced by Just Atelier as part of the Vogel Street Party, which this year has adopted the theme of ‘connections’. “This year we are celebrating all the connections we’ve made through our previous events, from photographers to choreographers to well known local designers, and enjoying adding to those with fresh faces and labels who the public may not know yet, but will definitely want to!” say Just Atelier co-founders and event organisers Fi Clements and Fiona Jenkin.
This year's showcase welcomes a diverse spectrum of local designers: Senorita AweSUMO; Gemma; Aunty; Darlene Gore; and Ami Ana. Emerging labels Alchemi; Steep Street; Bubblegum Industrial; Monica Toretto; Terra Firma. With local artists Outsider Upcycled and Crown Me By The Sea.
Designers will be showing their work on a catwalk, as well as in photo shoots, and through displays of their design process in a special exhibition space. It is an all-inclusive opportunity to gain experience and resources to grow their businesses.
The public will gain valuable experience with unique insights into the ‘real world’ of fashion, with all backstage activities open to view.
“The aim is to show the public that fashion isn’t all fantasy. It is something that each and every one of us engages with in some way everyday. We can forget or take for granted the hard work and creativity involved. It’s good to be reminded that we share the stories of the real people who made our clothes as we wear them.”
Thanks to the generous support of Creative NZ through the Creative Communities Grants scheme, the event is free for all designers and the public.
Framed fashion insight is open to the public during the Vogel Street Party on the afternoon of Saturday 8th October from 3pm, in the new Granary redevelopment in the Carpet Court building, 123 Vogel Street.
Late last year, the news came of a new opportunity for creative entrepreneurs to revolutionise the central city!
Wellington originated imitative Urban Dream Brokerage appointed one of my favourite people: Tamsin Cooper, as the Dunedin Broker to match landlords with empty retail spaces with creative entrepreneurs with community centred ideas.
This was a perfect opportunity for us to bring our work around the social, environmental and economic issues of contemporary fashion into the public eye, and, most importantly, empower everyone in our community to do something positive towards change.
We also wanted to highlight how people can connect with others all over the world, to show how local initiatives can lead to international change. Through UK based organisation Fashion Revolution, we gained access to brilliant resources, and by timing our pop up event to coincide with international Fashion Revolution Week, we could add our voices to the thousands from all over the world.
Thanks to Urban Dream Brokerage and the DCC Property Management team, we secured the former June Walls/Eprende fashion store, just north of the Octagon.
It was a brilliant location for welcoming visitors from throughout the city, as well as those from further afield.
Thanks to amazing sponsorship and support, we were able to revolutionise this space into a colourful, inviting and interactive space to learn and create.
It was very encouraging hearing from 99% of people who came through our door about their desire to move away from ‘disposable fashion’ and bring their personal values into their wardrobe choices.
We also heard familiar stories of what prevents people from making the choices they’d like to: Access, knowledge, and affordability are key barriers that everyone working in the ethical fashion industry is working to overcome.
Our combination of resources from Fashion Revolution, and opportunity for people to get hands on with mending and making their own items, was a great start in addressing these issues in our community.
We are enormously grateful for the support of Tamsin and the UDB team, Dunedin City Council staff, Fashion Revolution, Trade Aid (for their amazing tea and coffee!), Bernina Sewing Centre (for making sure our machines were ship shape), Revival Foods (divine zero-waste catering), Restore recycling centre (fabulous aprons and sewing supplies!), and everyone who donated their time, effort and expertise to helping us complete this amazing project.
Will we do it all again? Watch this space!
On with the Revolution!
Do check out our brilliant sponsors!
How is it that a garment that promises to be so practical, comfortable, versatile and flattering... so impossible to find!?
Our wardrobes get stuffed full of 'compromise garments', things we buy to 'make do' till we find that perfect garment that will single-handedly make our lives easier, simply by setting us free of our 'this will do's and allowing our natural confidence and style to be released into the world!
This is the heart of the capsule wardrobe concept: to be able to make your own core wardrobe items that really fulfil the promises of good fit, comfort and style.
Each term this year we are focusing on sharing garment construction tips and tricks, from pattern drafting up!
Term 4 starts 18th October, 6-9pm Tues or Wed nights for 8 weeks. Enrolments are open to everyone, as we can help you choose a design to suit your skill levels :) (If you want to brush up your sewing skills beforehand, join our SEW 101 workshop on Saturday 15th October form 2-4pm.
See our Classes page for details for more details, or jump straight to our Registration form.
Looking forward to seeing what fabulous custom designs will come through next term in our JACKETS series! Everything from knit wraps to tailored blazers... looking forward to helping you create your style!
If you missed out visiting us at UNSTITCHED, you can still get in on the action and make your wardrobe Awesome!
Its a pain having to dip into the budget and replace items when they start to show wear and tear. Maybe a hole; maybe pilling; maybe seams that can't keep it together.
The art and creativity of mending has become a bit of a distant memory for most of us, but it's experiencing a revival around the world as people realise there is an alternative to making do with cheaply made, mass produced items that have no real character and even less staying power.
For the past year we've been showing people of all walks of life how mending can not only save a garment from certain land-fill, it can be a way of putting your personality into something through visible mending. Old flaws really can become favourite features!
The group continues to grow, with a great mix of projects and people. We love how people from all ages and walks of life can relate to getting a sewing needle in their hands!
As the winter closes in, we expect to see many more gloves darned, jackets re-fastened and jeans patched!
If you have an unfinished project lurking in your corner, and aren't sure how to finish it, or perhaps just struggle to make time and find the space and tools, we can help!
Pop in for a quick hello, or join us the afternoon. If at all possible, we do recommend booking (on our facebook event page, or by clicking here), to make sure we will have enough space…and tea-cups.
2nd Saturday every month, between 2-5pm, at our base in Trident House, 88 Vogel Street (beside Vogel Street Kitchen).
Donations of items for afternoon tea; sewing fabrics and notions; patterns and books; ...and money towards the power bill gratefully received.
Planning has begun for our next big project is our third annual Vogel Street Fashion Show, to be held as part of the Vogel Street Party, on the calendar for Saturday 8th October.
We aim to break from traditional fashion shows, it is only elite designers who can afford to present, and only a small selected audience who is invited to attend. The Vogel Street Fashion Show will overstep these limitations and show that fashion is not just for the elite, but something that comes from and involves us all.
We are very excited that this idea has caught the imagination of those in the Creative Communities funding team. Thanks to their support in the form of a grant for just over $3000, we will be able to raise the bar on our production and add to the work we have shown the previous 2 years.
The theme for this year’s VSP is ‘Connections’, and we will be connecting a wide range of local designers and community groups to present a celebration of the diversity of ‘Dunedin Style’.
We are now welcoming expressions of interest from local designers – professional, students and amateur, who would like to be part of this great fashion showcase.
We'd also love to hear from anyone who would like to take part as a model (all ages, abilities, genders and cultural backgrounds welcome!), or production assistant (anything from make-up to dressing to photography), or the all important area of catering!
Leave a comment, send an email, or contact Fi on 022 027 3223
Highlights from 2015 VSP Fashion Show
Just Atelier is the brainchild of ethical fashion duo Fi (Clements) and Fiona (Jenkin).