Thursday, December 19, 2013

Carry your beer in style!

I'm out enjoying a lovely lunch at my local byob. I brought a selection of my favorite holiday beers in one of my six pack totes.  I'll have these and other goodies at my next show this Saturday at the Crane Arts building.  Oh, and in addition to amazing crafters there will be bands, belly dancers and free beer. Noon to 7pm.  Come on out.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Top Ten Reasons To Think Outside the Big Box

As a kid, I was a huuuuuge fan of David Letterman.  I watched "Late Night" religiously, then followed him over to the "Late Show".  Then I got old and incapable of staying up past ten o'clock.  Phoo.  But I still love the top ten lists.  Anyway, I've been thinking about how to convince your average Black Friday warrior to hit up a craft fair or small business instead of the usual madness.  So here's my Top Ten reasons to Think Outside the Big Box this Black Friday:

10.  No one's ever been trampled to death at a craft fair.
9.   No hordes of crazy people fighting over the latest "it" toy, gadget, etc....
8.  Some craft fairs have yummy treats!  Cupcakes, artisanal chocolate, jam, hot sauce, etc..Try   finding a tasty baked good at Best Buy.
7. All the cool kids are doing it.
6. Everyone is going to want to know where you got all that cool stuff.  Anyone can wait hours on end in a freezing parking lot to save a few bucks on a flatscreen, but craftspeople and local shops have cool stuff you've never heard of.  Be a trendsetter, and one-up that relative that buys everyone boring gift cards.
5.  However, if you are truly, totally stumped as to what your giftee might like, many small businesses and Etsy offer a gift card option.
4.  Do you make cool stuff?  Some crafty folks are open to barter.  I know I am.  By the way, I can't crochet or knit to save my life, but love scarves and those little figures.
3.  Big box stores treat their employees like shit.  I can vouch for this one.  Especially now that Black Friday has bled into Thanksgiving Day.  Do you REALLY need to deprive someone else of a holiday to save a few bucks on some crap?  Think of your karma!
2. Craftspeople and small businesses do not expect you to get up at zero dark thirty to shop.  Sleep in, have a leftover turkey omelet and join us at a DECENT hour!!

And the number one reason......

1.  Money spent at local businesses and with local craftspeople stays in the community!  Money spent at Walmart will probably just buy one of the Waltons another ivory butt-scratcher for the private jet.  However, if you buy something from me or another craftsperson/artist/small business owner, you're helping keep the lights on, paying for dance lessons, putting a turkey on the table, maybe an extra gift under the tree for the kids. 

So think small, think local this holiday season.  We appreciate it more than a billionaire appreciates another ivory butt scratcher.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market

Going on now until 4 this afternoon.  It's full of awesome.  Think outside the big box this year and give gifts that rock.  I have a new item today-six pack totes.  Carry your brew with class!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Growler bags

So I've been spending time in my sewing cave, getting ready for the holiday season.  It's shaping up to be a busy one.  I just hope I can keep up!

Raw materials and inspiration I have in spades thanks to some very kind people.  I've been blessed with some great stuff:  upholstery samples, malt bags, all manner of fashion fabric, etc...THANK YOU!!!!
I've put a few of those items to good use in my newest creation, growler bags.  For those who don't know, a growler is a glass container, usually around a half gallon, for taking draft beer home from a brewpub or a bar.  I made these bags out of denim or canvas with a batting layer to help keep the beer cold.  These also work well with 2 liter soda bottles.

I'll be bringing these and other good stuff to my next show date, Saturday, October 26 at East Passyunk Avenue's fall fest.  Looking forward to it!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rookie mistakes

So, I didn't make it to my show today.  I was concerned about the bad weather ruining the merchandise I worked so hard on, so I canceled.  Then this morning, the sun came out.  D'OH!!  I feel like a complete idiot, but the day has not been totally lost.  I took some time to look over my schedule, and I'm in danger of over-booking myself.  I need to backtrack a bit and make sure I've got that whole work/life balance thing going on.  I love sewing, and I love it when people enjoy my things, but I need to spend time with my little guy, my big guy, my pit bull, and make sure everyone has clean clothes and there's more than mustard and beer in the fridge.

This is my first year on the craft show circuit, and I've learned so much in the past few months.  But sometimes days like today remind me there's still more to learn.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Show Date

I've been accepted to another show, sponsored by the St. Albans Place Garden Club.  I love St. Albans Place.  In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful streets in Philadelphia:
It's paved with brick and the center of the street is the most lovely garden enclosed by a wrought iron fence.  Back in my salad days when I was a dog walker I'd wander down this street in between assignments just in awe of how gorgeous it was.  I'm excited to be vending there on Saturday, October 12.  More details are in the flyer below.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Odds and ends

Hi folks!

I've been sewing up a storm in whatever free time I have.  I've drafted my first big messenger bag pattern:
For my first two messenger bags, I used an old coffee bag and an old t-shirt for the decorative panels.  The above picture was taken at Go West Craft Fest.  It was a great time, and the weather was perfect!

I've also been doing a lot of my little clutches:
These little zippered pouches are like potato chips, I just can't stop at one.  Now I have a good use for all those wonderful vintage trims and seam bindings I keep finding at estate sales.  I can't wait to try these in a few more different materials.  So far I've done old jeans, double knit polyester, old khaki, and a couple patchwork style ones from various scraps.

I'm also working on a beer growler bag with a layer of insulation to keep the beer cold.  Hopefully I'll have one ready by next week, when you can catch me at Mt. Airy Finally Friday on the 27th, and Greensgrow Farm's Fall Fest on Saturday the 28th.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I'm baaaack.

Well, that sabbatical from blogging was a bit longer than I expected.  Vacation went pretty well.  I finished a blouse, two pair of shorts, and a dress which I hope to photograph and post this weekend. 

My laptop died after 3 years of service. That's modern convenience for ya, I guess.  It seems like everything from clothes to appliances to new houses are made as cheaply as possible from the lousiest materials.  One of the things I love most about old/vintage items is the quality of construction.  You just don't get nicely finished seams in that "fast fashion" crap, and it falls apart in the wash.  My first computer lasted a good 7 years, and was working when I handed it off to an afterschool program.  I've burned through 2 desktops and a laptop in almost half that time.  I'm not rough on my things either.  My things just get suckier with each new generation.  All the more reason to keep seeking out old housewares and vintage clothes.

I'm currently hard at work on some new items for the August Finally Friday and Go West Craft Fest, including my first reversible bag!  I'll be sure to post some pictures soon.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Big News!

I have been accepted to the Go West Craft Fest!  It's at the Woodlands on Saturday, September 7.  I am thrilled and can't wait!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sneak peek!

Here's a little preview of what I'll be bringing to Mt. Airy Finally Friday this friday, July 26.
Recycled tshirt bag

Crossbody bag with recycled tshirt pocket

On the left, a crossbody bag with a pocket detail re-used from a damaged vintage dress.  Right, a crossbody bag made from some funny fabric I found in a bargain basement.

Zipper pouch made from vintage polyester.

Potluck placemat, with silverware and a pocket for napkins.  Made from a vintage tablecloth.

Crayon caddies.  Keep the kids busy at restaurants and on long car trips!

I hope you'll come out and say hello Friday evening, from 6pm to 8pm.  I don't have my exact location yet, but I'll update when I get that information.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Vacation wardrobe planning: patterns

While working on this beach wardrobe, I've been asking myself what types of activities I plan to do on this trip.  Plenty of beach and pool lounging, that's a given.  I'd also like to take a side trip to Ocracoke village and browse the quaint shops, have a nice grown up dinner with my husband, go horse spotting on the 4x4 beach, and maybe a bit of biking if I can get my bike in rideable condition before the trip.

So, I'm going to want a lot of shorts or capri pants.  To wear with those, I want something different from the tshirts and shapeless tanks I usually default to. 
I snatched up this Gertie pattern right when it came out months ago, but haven't made it yet.  Back when I was a teen, I loved tie-front tops.  Then years of fat shaming chipped away at my self confidence until I was hiding in huge, shapless tees.  I want to break out of this pattern of dressing.  And how cute are the pants!
I think this housedress, shortened a bit, would make an awesome swimsuit cover-up. This might be a good candidate for the retro novelty cotton, if there's enough.

Here are some candidates for shorts.  I love the look of the outfit in the original 1960's pattern, but I'm not sure if I can manage the alterations.  I've done a FBA, but haven't tinkered with pants patterns much.  So I may use the pattern on the bottom instead.  I may also make up some capri's with the Butterick pattern on top, but I have to cut that one down a size, since I made some earlier this summer that ended up so big I swam in them.  WTF is with all the ease in some patterns?
I'm also considering adding the modern McCall's shorts to the mix, because I like shorter shorts as well.

Dresses for date night/aimless browsing.  I've been wanting a maxi all summer.  Can't decide between doing the short sleeved or sleeveless version of the faux wrap one.
Tops:  I think I'm going to give the tank from this 1970's "seams slimmer" a try.  I also plan a couple tie front tops, maybe a sleeveless top from the plus size pattern referenced earlier, and a flowy peasant-y blouse like this:
That's all I got for now.  Happy sewing!

Vacation wardrobe planning-fabric

As I mentioned previously, I'm attempting a mini-vacation wardrobe.  I want the overall feel to be vintage, but after reviewing my fabrics and patterns, it won't fit together like a perfect capsule.  I'm so jealous of the perfectly curated capsule wardrobes I see on polyvore.  If only I could have such great style.

So here's the fabrics I'd like to use:
I picked these up at a yard sale.  They're so fresh and summery looking.  I'm thinking bermuda shorts, or some high waisted shorter shorts.
A nice dark denim for some capri pants.
I bought this poly-cotton blend for another project and then never used it.  Tie front top, maybe?
This was pulled from my mom's stash, where it had rested for the last 20 odd years.  It's a lightweight denim and I have a ton of it.  I'm thinking a kitchy beach tote, and some shorts for the kiddo.  If I had the right pattern, it would make a rockin' playsuit.  But I've only got 3 weeks to work.
A nice lightweight twill from the same stash.  I'm thinking shorts of some kind.
I had to grab this awesome remnant from the sale table at Gaffney's.  Only problem is, there wasn't quite enough left for a dress.  Funky cover-up?  Novelty blouse?

I may have to buy some fabric to fill in the gaps, but this gives me a starting point.  Next, I'll discuss the patterns I plan to use.  Happy Sewing!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Back in town!

Hi everyone!  I've just arrived back from a much needed vacation in the deep woods with no access to the internet.  I found the break quite refreshing.  I never realized how much my facebooking addiction had taken over my life.  Sometimes it's good to be in a cave away from all media.

Now that I'm back home, I've got a few items on my schedule.  On July 26th, I'll be selling my purses at Mt. Airy Final-ly Friday.  More info forthcoming.

Also, I'm fortunate enough to have another vacation on the horizon.  My husband's family makes a biennial trip to the Outer Banks, and this is a beach year!  I've decided to sew up a vintage inspired beach capsule wardrobe.  I'll supplement with a few purchased items, but I'd like the bulk to be me-made.  I'm still in the planning stages, but I'll be sure to share which patterns I'll use and some glamour shots of the fabrics. 

Hope everyone is staying cool in the heat of this summer!(or warm in the winter for southern hemisphere visitors).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Hey folks!

Welcome to my blog!  This is my little corner of the internet devoted to stuff I like, including but not limited to my sewing projects, awesome thrift finds, cool vintage stuff, the occasional cute pic of my kid, and other random bits that catch my attention.  If you've followed me over from my old blog, you rock.  Seriously, you rock. 

Have a great week, everyone.