2012.10.30 (tue)

Festive bags for the holidays

Autumn 2012

 This month the inmates are working on variations of a decorated bag. The tassels, which are made by hand then decorated with braid and beads, have turned out quite nicely. The SHIMA-SHIMA fabrics can either be used on the outside of the bags, or on the inside. We also used Italian fabrics on the outside, lined with SHIMA-SHIMA stripes, for a special touch. These bags are fun to sew, and will make perfect gifts for the holidays.

 In November, we will hand out diplomas to the five inmates who have successfully completed our course. Due to a unanimous request, we will start the second semester next month! With Giovanna providing tips on trends and concepts, and Kyoko focusing on skills, we think we make a good team.

 We have gotten to know the women of the sewing course quite well, and find them to be very creative and eager to master the many techniques we have covered in our 60-hour sewing workshop. It is a pleasure to work with them, and each 4-hour course passes “in the blink of an eye”.

Giovanna & Kyoko
Milano,  October 2012

With special thanks to:

The Society of San Vincenzo De Paoli
Banco Del Monte of Lombardia Foundation
Dr. Davide Pisapia, Director of Casa Circondariale di Vigevano

2012.09.24 (mon)

Update for Italian prison sewing workshop

September 2012

The inmates enjoyed making various projects from June to September. In August we took a 3-week summer break, leaving some “homework” to work on during vacation.

At the end of summer, the 7 women had made tote bags and matching hats, dresses for grandchildren, as well as small items for home decoration.

Our sewing workshop re-opened at the end of August.  We are now working on items for an exhibition that will take place this autumn.

At the moment we are creating items that have to do with health.  In Italy, there are many people who suffer from stiff necks, and our “bone cushions” are a bit hit!

We are also making SHIMA-SHIMA neck scarves that contain bags filled with rice, which are heated in the microwave.

At the start of each lesson, the 7 women greet us with smiles, and are enthusiastic to learn new sewing skills. It is a true pleasure to teach them!

Giovanna & Kyoko
Milano,  September 2012

bone-cushion

bag filled with rice, with SHIMA-SHIMA cover

neck-scarf that can be heated

With special thanks to:

The Society of San Vincenzo De Paoli
Banco Del Monte of Lombardia Foundation
Dr. Davide Pisapia, Director of Casa Circondariale di Vigevano

2012.08.13 (mon)

A sewing-workshop for female inmates

Summer 2012

In June, SHIMA-SHIMA opened a sewing-workshop for female inmates at a prison in Vigevano, a city that is about 33 km from Milano. The prison is located in the countryside, surrounded by beautiful green fields of corn and clear blue skies.
The workshop is promoted by San Vincenzo De Paoli, a charity that assists needy and marginalized people. The course, which uses Kokura Stripes fabrics, is art-directed by Giovanna Fiorenza and taught by Kyoko Tsuchihashi. The 7 female participants are learning technical aspects of sewing, as well as Japanese techniques such as “tsumami kanzashi” flowers. It is very exciting to see how the Italian sense of design is incorporated into creations made of Japanese fabrics.

We will post updates on our workshop, to show the fruits of our Japan-Italy collaboration.

We would like to thank the following for their kind support:
The Society of San Vincenzo De Paoli
Banco Del Monte of Lombardia Foundation
Dr. Davide Pisapia, Director of Casa Circondariale di Vigevano

Giovanna & Kyoko
Milano, August 2012

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