I hope you are not completely fed up with my Ommel 2019 writings! This is the last one, I promise! Today I attended a course on e-textiles, did another fashion show and shopped just one piece of fabric (well, two pieces… but they were the same fabric).
The course on e-textiles
I’ve heard about e-textiles and sort of wondered about the point and practicality of adding electronics to garments. I had a long list of questions on mind: How can you make the connections? Do you have wires inside the garments? And can you wash them? Do you have to be able to remove all the electronics for wash? Do they last in normal wear? Is it safe enough, even if you create an accidental shortcut? To answer all these questions the course seemed a good idea.
The e-textiles course cost 70 € and it was taught by two women, who were studying to be teachers of arts and crafts at the University of Helsinki.
The basics of e-textiles wasn’t hard to grasp. The components seemed to be much more durable than what I had initially thought. The teachers brought different examples of children’s clothes, bags and art that they had made and suddenly I realised the huge potential these little gimmicks have.
I had cut a hoodie for K the day before which was a good idea. I still wasn’t able to finish the garment completely, since I had other duties during the day besides sewing. However, I can easily finish the hoodie at home. I showed my son what I had already made and was planning to add and he was impressed. He also had a lot of other ideas for e-textiles that I may actually make someday.
While waiting for our turn at the fashion show I got chatting with other people that were modelling. Rávdná here was showing her Sami coat that she had made following the traditions of her Sami culture. This coat is a summer version made out of cotton and she told me that the winter version is more decorated. However, even the summer version has ornate silver jewellery and a fringed silk scarf. A Sami person can look at the style and the decorations of a coat and tell not only from which part of Lappland the person is from but also pinpoint the exact village.
Old Finnish traditions came in the form of this beautiful version of our national costume. This is the Tavastia dress made by the model’s grandmother entirely by hand (Unfortunately I forgot to write down the model’s name. I will add it later!).
Just a tiny bit of shopping
I was not about to buy any fabric but then I spotted this orange patterned jersey at Elvelyckan and just couldn’t resist after I started seeing it as a pretty little sundress for me.
The festival from the child’s perspective
While I was at the e-textile course, S was mostly spending time alone in the festival area, although she quickly made friends with another girl in a similar situation (her mother was teaching in a workshop). Together the girls had visited vinyl cutter workshop. They had no plain teeshirts or garments to print on but the smart girls quickly found a booth that was handing out free cotton bags and those had worked perfectly!
For anyone worried about safety, the festival area was closed, alcohol-free and the girls had free access to a break room with constant adult supervision and snacks. With the phones in their bags they were allowed free range and were told to call if they had any problems. Almost all the workshops were kid-friendly excluding the industrial sewing machine workshop that had k18 age limit for safety reasons.
After the bags had been decorated with pretty flowers and leaves the girls decided to go shopping. I was surprised that the call of pretty fabrics and sewing materials was such that a 9-year-old was ready to spend her own pocket money! Afterwards, I was shown this pretty strawberry print cotton sweatshirting. S had also remembered a matching thread and a zipper. She had also got a pretty bunny button and a label tag to decorate the garment.
S has now decided that it is time for her to start sewing for real. I think that the sewing festival was the final thing that convinced her that sewing is something she wants to do. Every day I was prepared to take my daughter home in the middle of the day in case she was bored but she lasted the whole 3 days and complained that the festival was ending too soon. She has already decided to attend the next year.
I spoke with other parents with 5 to 9-year-old kids and they also admired how well the children were taken into account. The workshops took happily in everybody, an adult and child alike and everyone was given the chance to try sewing. I saw both children and grandmothers at the same table chatting jovially with each other while jokingly competing with each other. S at least was convinced that she could make the smallest little pincushion out of felt and that no one could beat her! Everyone was helping each other and I saw many friendships formed.
Thank you so much Ommel 2019! I am already waiting for the next year!