nobis opus splendeat: we need more glitter

Posts tagged ‘muslin’

encouraging girls in science and technology

This project is being linked up over at honeybearlane.

As you might have noticed, I’m a Software Engineer. And you might have also noticed, there are not a whole lot of women in software – there aren’t a whole lot of women in any kind of engineering – there aren’t even a whole lot of women in science and technology.

It’s always been a big initiative of mine to encourage women – especially girls who have an interest in science – to consider a career in engineering. I think that many times women can offer a change in perspective to a problem and a change of dynamics to a team. I always encourage my employers to try to find talented women to hire, partly because it can be very lonely (I’m the only full-time female software developer in my entire company!) but also because I find that if a women is in a technical field, chances are that they are very good at what they do otherwise they would have been discouraged a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met my fair share of people of the male-persuasion that told me that a) girls don’t program and b) they don’t want to be beat out by a girl (Seriously? Are you sure we’re really in the 21st century?) but I believed in myself enough and had enough positive female role-models to keep me going over the years.

In trying to give back to the WISE (Women In Science and Engineering) I’ve mentored students, supervised LEGO building events and workshops, I even wrote a proposal to get Imperial Oil to fund a grad student going into grade schools once a week for the entire school year to help with building an entry for the LEGO category of the annual Robot Games in my city – and I’m on the committee that organizes the games every year. I read an article a while back (I wish I could find it!) that said that you shouldn’t be just putting girls into science and technology (just hiring them for the sake of hiring a girl) because that is actually counter-productive, but you should make special efforts to encourage girls that are good in science and technology to stay.

So with that in mind, take a look at my latest project!

We had two female interns at our company this year and I really enjoyed having a little more estrogen in the office for 16 months. Just so they don’t forget about us when they’re back at school for their final year, I made these super-soft, super-squishy pillows for them! “CDL” is the name of our company and our software is used in some military applications, so I’ve appliqued on a very feminine pink minky camo with a flowery brown minky fabric. Do you recognize that blanket? Yes, it’s the beast that broke Pfelicia! BTW, I performed surgery on Pfelicia, more on that later…

There is a pink zipper set into the bottom of each pillow – they’re actually just pillow covers! As usual I got my zippers from Zip-it! for really really cheap in an assorted pack, so when I need one, I just pull them all out and find one that matches!

The pillow inside is completely removable so you can wash the cover. The inner pillow is made from muslin (super fast and easy!!!) and stuffed with fiberfill.

This was my first try using a zig-zag stitch to cover the edges of an applique, and I think it worked especially well here because of the texture of the two fabrics. What do you think?

Are you a female in the fields of science or engineering?
Have you ever been discriminated against because of your gender?
How do you support young people interested in your field of work or study?

muslin and animals…

it’s been such a busy week, i haven’t even had time to talk about my weekend! last week was so crazy that i didn’t have any time to sew, and i decided that my sewing time this weekend with my sewing buddy was MINE! and a little before that too…

i’ve because a really big fan of muslin… it’s so easy to work with, so stable, so predictable, and it’s so very cheap that i really don’t mind using it on things that i just KNOW are going to get dirty… it’s not even an “if”, it’s a “when”. so when i got the idea in my head that I wanted to line these baskets from the dollar store and put them on my husband’s desk so that he could put all his clutter in them and then i could pick them up and dust underneath them, i just KNEW that muslin would be perfect for the job.

and we have an african sort of theme in the family room, so animal prints were definitely on the menu. i found these gems at michaels when they were clearing out their fat quarters, like 1$ or so a piece, i got about 10 different prints… i totally should have gotten more animal ones!

i’ve thought for a little while about writing tutorials for the things i’ve been making but, a) i never really know how i’m going to do it until i get to the end, b) i’m never really sure if this is “the right” way to do it, or if there’s a better or easier way, and c) well, no one’s really asked me to. i feel kind of like i’m pushing it you if you don’t actually ask for it. but in light of the very cool little project i’ve been working on lately (and by working on, i mean like 5 or 10 minutes here and there when i can steal it!), i might think about it this time…

anyways, onto sewing day! my sewing buddy, G, was very excited to finally finish the apron she’s been working on since, what feels like it’s been since the beginning of time. we then ALSO finished a wine bottle holder that she’s been planning for a while, from One Yard Wonders. (maybe she’ll give me a picture to put here… i know she took one!) EDIT: photo is HERE!

Fun fact: i just noticed that there seems to be a new version of this book coming out: 101 Great Ways to Sew a Metre. while i applaud the idea of a metric book, how come canadians always get the cruel cruel end of cool stick?

I saw a blog post yesterday from one of my very favorite designers Heather Ross talking about her studio sale that was to occur today. I figured out the time difference, set my calander, checked the reminders, and got in right when it started. i gleefully started filling out my form ready to drop 100$ on whatever fabric she might find fit for me to have until i got down to the “country” box, and right below it said something like “sorry! we’re only shipping to USA addresses this time!” I was SOOOOO disappointed! I saw in the comments that someone ordered from hawaii… and we’re actually attached to the same land mass as the states! i don’t mean to rag on her in particular, it’s just the latest example in a giant string of frustrating events, we just can’t get stuff up here, and when we do, often people charge whatever they want for shipping to get it here. I love supporting canadian sites whenever i can becuase i a) don’t have to worry about customs and b) can often get free, fast shipping, but there are hardly any out there.

now that i’ve ranted, I HAVE to mention the online fabric stores that i DO frequent: Hawthorne Threads, Pink Panda <—(Canadian!!!), and several other stores that I’ve been watching and only order from once in a while, like Fabritopia, Sew Fresh Fabrics, and Favorite Fabrics. I’m not pushing them or anything, i’m just saying, as a girl living in Canada, you don’t have a whole lot of options. i’m REALLY tired of places like THIS who just refuse to sell anything to me. i even asked them if they have any wholesalers here that they could recommend i go through and they gave me NOTHING!

anyways, that was a really big tangent… and i’m not done with my weekend! i decided that i needed a new laundry bag specifically for the tea towels that end up on the floor in the kitchen, and i had this ADORABLE riley blake with bubbles all over it…

i also worked from my own copy of One Yard Wonders, but faked it here and fudged it there… it has a hole through the front through which to insert the laundry, and a velcro’d flap on the bottom through which to exit said laundry into the washing machine. it’s pictured in its new home, the stair well between the kitchen and the laundry!

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