Hi, welcome to Cardinal Sewing Nest!!
Whether you’re just learning how to sew on a button, or you’re already a sewing pro, if you love using your spare time productively with useful pursuits while delving into your creativity, you will be right at home here!
How to navigate the Blog
To help guide you through this blog here is an explanation of each category:
Bland to Bling
To give a new form to clothes
To beautify clothes
Made -to -measure clothes
My other creative outlets
REFASHIONING; To give a new form to clothes
With the Refashioning posts, you will get the satisfaction of taking old and used or even new garments and turn them into something totally different that will get you a lot of compliments. I will demonstrate how I brain storm my original sources of inspiration. I will also give you practical points and advice on how to refashion various types of garments. I will do my best to demonstrate the methodology I use to remodel and re-style clothes and how I sew on doodas and trinkets.
BLAND TO BLING; To beautify clothes
The Bland to Bling posts will essentially be about clothing embellishments. It will include several techniques such as beading, needle work, appliqué, even fabric painting. Embellishments can be time consuming, but oh, so totally worth it! Your time can turn your clothes into wearable art. I will share with you how I revamp and refresh my clothes by adding trimmings and adornments to bring designed interests to a piece.
TAILORING; Made-to-measure clothes
In my Tailoring posts, I will have pictures of the steps needed to construct and sew clothes with the use of commercial patterns. I will show you how I modify these patterns to achieve the appearance I am searching for, be it a different shape of collar or to add practical side pockets. I will give you some tips along the way as I use it and will also demonstrate some simple pattern adjustments. And, I will sometimes mash-up multiple patterns or create my own patterns or drape fabric on a mannequin to obtain the distinctive result I am aiming for.
ARTISTING; My other creative outlets
My Artisting posts will be to share with you other ways in which I inspect and scrutinize my creative side (It is a joyful and constant quest). Jewelry making and stained glass are art forms that I have been working with and exploring for decades. Over the years, I became very fond of taking pictures, in trying to capture the perfect close-ups of flowers. I will also experiment with other mediums and I will gladly post these journeys and their outcomes.
If you are curious to know how I transform my artistic inspirations to reality.
About Cardinal Sewing Nest
Who is this blog for?
The sewing posts are for people who want to wear unique pieces of clothing and who wish to embark in the current trend of refashioning clothes. This blog has many simple projects that can be sewn with great results by young and new sewers of all ages. Some of my posts will have a higher level of difficulty, and I am asking you to please experiment with them; all garments were simply mounted step by step.
If you are refashioning a piece of clothing that you already own or was handed down to you … apply my personal mantra “Bah! I have no stress, even if it doesn’t look good, I am not losing any money here!”. Personally, old clothes allow me the freedom to be audacious. Without the anxiety of ruining a piece of expensive clothing, I become more daring and I take on bolder and edgier challenges.
The other posts will be about miscellaneous handmade items and experimentation in other crafting spheres, like bespoke jewelry, my favorite way to complement any hand sewn garment. I hope that my blog will inspire you to create your own DIY’s . But mostly I wish that you will start sewing as a creative outlet. I believe that sewing makes us gain self-confidence through skill building and that it makes us feel self-sufficient and resourceful. I am confident that you will feel rewarded by your own creations.
What types of posts will I write?
I will keep the tutorials straight forward and uncomplicated by writing short and easy to follow instructions. I will post many images to better demonstrate and guide you through each step. I will do my best to introduce new ideas on a continuous basis and explore new fashion/refashion trends. And I will remain open to your suggestions and alternative ideas.
What is my professional background?
I graduated in fashion design decades ago. Over the years, I worked different jobs, respectfully as a custom tailor, pattern grader, pattern maker, fashion designer for a loungewear company and when that company closed I launched my own loungewear company. (That did not work, LOL. Many lessons learned during that period).
I went back to school and got a diploma in textile production management. After graduating I worked for a large international activewear manufacturer as a member of the quality control team who supervised production at all plants and implemented standardized production procedures. After that I worked for a Canadian company who owned a chain of teen girls and women clothing stores where I was in charge of the fit technicians, the fit models and supervising the off shore communications and the performance of our subcontractors located in the far east.
How did I got started with my blog?
I wanted a break from the garment industry after my last related job ended in 2007. I went back to school, (yes again!) to earn a diploma in Web technology. After that I worked in a totally different work environment. Actually didn’t sew anything for 6-7 years. Then I don’t know what attracted me back to sewing… maybe the current fashion trends, maybe fashion looks that were like what was in style during the years I was studying fashion design? I am not sure, but I started sewing again, I mean, I was mostly refashioning, revamping and embellishing my clothes. (back to my teenager roots) Then family members, coworkers and friends started telling me that I was wasting my talents and that I should teach somewhere. That got me thinking, I started browsing online looking at crafts and sewing blogs and vlogs, and felt that I could have an audience.
Before long I was studying the idea of starting a blog about sewing and crafting. And… here I am! I invite you to read my first blog, where I explain why I decided to start blogging and where I also share how I go about developing my ideas. Along with my favorite tip on how to deal with rejection when your art work not understood.
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A little about me
My name is Carole Cardinal I live in Montreal Quebec, with my spouse Graham, who is a huge supporter of all my artistic endeavors (poor him) that includes me being spread all over the house with my multiple ongoing projects. I enjoy life and doing outdoor activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, country skiing without excelling at any of them, really. I consider myself a very good cook (no humility here) and Graham and I enjoy hosting cooking frenzies with family and friends. I also love traveling (who doesn’t?).
I am, what you could call, a professional “Revampist” and I have been developing my sewing and crafting skills since an early age. Needle work is how I started my Revampist career at the age of about 10 years old. I was already very agile and embroidering initials on my clothes, hand sewing laces on hems, crocheting belts and shawls. (Below is my young self in 1973). You see the embroideries on my blouse pockets?
My luck also came from my best friend who was obliged by her mother, an amazingly skillful seamstress, to spend time on weekly sewing activities. My young friend taught me how to read commercial patterns and how to choose the appropriate fabric to make different types of garments and other sewing tips and practices. Therefore, when an elderly aunt gave me a beaten up sage green Singer sewing machine (I believe it was the 15-125 model produced between 1955-1958), at the age of 12, I was more than ready to begin sewing my own clothes. And by the age of 14 I was already getting paid to sew outfits for my friends.
Ah! My favorite dress pattern of the 80 ies !I was totally in love with this style, I sewed 2 other versions of this Vogue pattern; one in a turquoise linen fabric with shorter sleeves for the summer and another version in emerald green Dupioni silk for a work event. I know…. Kinda similar to Michael Jackson red jacket, right?! That was the vibe in 1983.
My quest is always the same, looking fashionable for a minimal cost. And to feed that need, I have recently added visiting second hand stores to my always-look-at-the-sales-rack-first mantra. To my regret, we do not have Goodwill second hand stores here in Quebec, thrift shops and reach-me-down stores, what we call in French “friperies” are trendy. It is impossible to find items for $1.00 like I see other lucky bloggers from other country find (ping of jealousy).
Here is my sincere wish for you; that some of my sewing, revamping and crafting ideas will inspire you to conceive your own projects and entice you to ponder how you could revamp and re-wear those clothes that are forgotten in the far corners of your drawers and closets, or that you will assemble a necklace and earrings set to compliment that new swanky blouse you just purchased. Not saying that some expensive clothes and trendy jewelry can be easily reproduced, with only a simple sketch (don’t forget the arrows), a plan, and some dedicated time frames. The saved money will allow you to splurge on those expensive shoes : )
Dear Cardinal Sewing Nest readers, your comments and guidance will be my call to action.
Hopefully in return for your interest, I aspire to be able to write a few well illustrated and engaging tutorials that will trigger your creative juice and get you going on creating your own personal art.
Let’s embark on this new adventure together, may we find our bliss!
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