Saturday, March 10, 2012

Feminist Sewing Workshops

Everyday, I wonder how I pulled that one off: writing my Gender Studies thesis on sewing. I actually have a reason to read sewing blogs all day long. I don't know what I did in another life, but I must have been good.

Because of that, I was invited to talk about my project at two different feminist events.
I didn’t want to just 'give a talk' -- I wanted participants to experience sewing and the pleasure of doing something with their hands. So I built the workshop around an actual activity of hand sewing, which I hoped would pave the way to a discussion about gender and sewing.

For the workshop, I wore my Granny Smith Blouse with the Guess What Colour skirt   Photo: Tanchan Wichitsukhon
Photo: Tanchan Wichitsukhon

Mother-daughter team!    Photo: Tanchan Wichitsukhon
Girlfriend-boyfriend team!     Photo: Tanchan Wichitsukhon
I found Marie’s Felt Rose tutorial (for absolute beginners), and Tilly’s Bow Belt tutorial (for the more advanced) perfect for the workshops. I was actually worried that they would be too easy, but turned out to be quite the opposite. Marie and Tilly, if you have noticed a spike in blog traffic recently, it’s from us! Thank you for your clear and simple tutorials – they were really perfect for this activity.

Tan is the only brave one who has picked the Bow Belt project

I think it was worth the extra work -- well done Tan!

The first workshop I gave was part of Zaragoza’s Feminist Week, "Regenerando". The majority of participants in Zaragoza were complete beginners and did not even know how to thread a needle.
A lot of them expressed surprise in realising how difficult sewing was. They said it made them appreciate the clothes they owned, and most of all, it made them think about the people who made them.

One of the best part of giving this workshop was getting a glimpse of Monika and Ruth’s daily life. They are the owners of Modalena, a space showcasing the works of local designers. It was so inspiring to be in this space.

Ruth and Monika, in their workshop
My second workshop was in Granada at the Brújula de Momo, an alternative non-profit café and workshop. The event was part of Marzo Feminista, a feminist festival organized by my classmates. I’m really impressed by how quickly and efficiently these ladies pulled the whole event together. If you live in Granada, make sure not to miss all the other great events they have in store for you for the entire month of March!

My second group of participants were considerably more experienced. I even learned a thing or two from them! The thing I enjoyed most about this second workshop was that I had the opportunity of really talking with each participants. For example, one woman worked as an air traffic controller. It was fascinating to hear about the long training process and the zero-mistake policy! I'm glad there is a zero-mistake policy.

I leave you with pictures of the second event!


  1. Wow, c'est super Adrie! Tu a su combiner travail et passion! Very inspiring...

  2. Adrienne, your workshops look incredible...I'm sure you made some crafty women very happy! And I'm so flattered that you used my felt rose tutorial, thanks so much for the kind comment you left on my blog. It's my most popular blog post ever, but back when I put the tutorial together I was still so new to sewing and had no idea how much people would like it!

    I also love your me-made outfit at the first event - you look lovely!

    1. Thanks Marie for the tutorial! :-) And thanks for noticing my me-made outfit... I can't wait not live in a suitcase anymore and to finally be able to participate in Self-Stitch September! ^_^


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