I don’t read many mass market magazines, but when I feel the itch for something glossy, I nearly always reach for Vogue. Sure, I can’t afford to buy anything in it, but I never fail to take inspiration from the designs, and the articles are generally of a higher intelligence level than “eww doesn’t celeb X look fat??” you find in most fashion mags.
So I was utterly, utterly thrilled to discover that the November 09 issue of UK Vogue is almost entirely about DIY fashion, sewing, and customising. Quite literally, Make Do and Mend, though Vogue for some reason insist on using their awful “More Dash Than Cash” tagline (ick). In any case, this is seriously the best issue of Vogue that I’ve ever seen, and is a must buy for anyone with even a passing interest in sewing or DIY fashion.
Rosie (of DIY Couture fame) created the “Sew Dots, Raise Lots” campaign for the month of October to raise money for the RNIB (Royal National Institute Of Blind People). The premise was simple – sew something with polka dots (because it looks like Braille!), donate to the RNIB, and share on social media with the #sewdots hashtag to be in the running for a huge prize mountain.
I’m not able to participate in every sewing initiative that comes along, but I knew I wanted to be a part of this one, because sight loss is something that’s affected people I love. For pretty much my entire childhood, my grandmother was legally blind from cataracts and glaucoma and I saw how her lack of eyesight isolated her from everything she used to love (like knitting and her independence). More recently, my Dad has suffered from Macular Degeneration, enduring years of regular injections directly into his eyeballs (!!) in order to try and slow the progression of the disease and retain his ability to still at least have some peripheral vision. I’ve also worked closely with the Blind Abilities community in my previous spoken word audio career, and tried to make our service and apps welcoming for the visually impaired. If you’ve got an Apple device, go ahead and turn on VoiceOver for a few minutes and try to navigate through your favourite apps as a visually impaired user would (but they do it way, way faster!)