But there’s a struggle at play here, too. It’s the resistance I encounter within myself when I’m inspired to cut loose and just try anything. Last year I found a lovely, simple, ivory short-sleeved lace bodice wedding dress with an elaborate floor-length bow in back; I’ve had so many ideas for making a denim wedding jacket (a denim wedding jacket??) but have yet to take scissors to that piece and begin. And then there’s another part to the struggle-getting the word out. Just yesterday afternoon I was having a phone conversation with a very dear old friend about how my very own shyness gets in the way of self promotion; it’s a tough thing to manage in this endeavor, but I’ve decided to soldier on…
End of the first week of January already, and I’ve not begun any of the projects that escaped me during the last few months of 2015. I had envisioned, from day one of this new year, new creations emerging from the sewing table, signing up for springtime craft fairs, cramming for a rock show, etc. But! Not one of those things has happened; the slate’s instead been full of mundane catch up.
Sometimes the desire to just check out and escape in a good book nearly outweighs the desire to make exciting things happen-ever feel like that?
In the case of that happening-or if I find some time-this looks like some truly entertaining rock and roll reading:
Life sometimes has a way of preventing the happy swirl of creativity in my head from turning into something real, be it a song or a piece of art. The swirl seems to break up into tinier and tinier bits until it’s just dust. But it’s also the signal that I have too much on my plate, emotionally and otherwise, and that it’s time to clear it away and seek some fresh inspiration.
Some months ago I was given a copy of The Art Of Fabric Collage by Rosemary Eichorn http://www.tauntonstore.com/the-art-of-fabric-collage-rosemary-eichorn-070703.htmlas a gift and flipped through, dismissing this type of fabric art as being far beyond any sewing ability that I might have. But, there is some amazing art in there, and so I have lately been again flipping through with more of a sense of adventure; I’d love to do this!!
A while back I spent a number of years working for a major retailer. I didn’t work in the children’s department, but as a member of the store management staff, I regularly listened to complaints from parents about the offerings in that department, especially around back to school time. The upset nearly always seemed to be levied toward the clothing styles aimed at so-called tweens, those girls aged 9-14-too old for toys but too young for boys. And I had to agree with those concerned parents-much of the clothing was devoid of practicality, a sense of fun and innocence, and often seemed entirely inappropriate for a young girl.
I came across a really nice, sturdy jean jacket recently and modded it out a bit for a fun back to school item:
Have you ever wondered about the origin of that closet staple, the blazer? Likely closets everywhere have at least one of these in residence. It would be tough indeed to find another garment with such broad style range, and one that serves us in so many ways throughout our lives. So varied is the blazer that it can top off your power interview outfit or lend you ultra coolness for your next rockshow.
From around 1825 to the Mod revival of the late 70s through today, the blazer has done it all! The Wiki history of this iconic wardrobe staple makes for entertaining reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blazer
So you’ve got this great, one-of-a-kind denim jacket, jeans or vest-but how do you wash it? You can, of course, carefully do it by hand in a large sink or tub, but that can be really tough on your back and even tougher to wring the water out without damaging the piece. Machine washing is the easier way, and achieves a far better result.
1. Empty all pockets, button and/or zip all closures.
2. Fold like a shirt. If you have jeans, fold in half with front of legs touching, then into thirds.
3. Use a lingerie bag, inexpensive and readily available in most markets and department stores.
This one is 16.5″ X 20.5″.
4. Carefully fit the “package” into the lingerie bag; it should be mostly flat.
5. Set your machine to cold/delicate/cold rinse/medium size load (if your machine does not have a sensor), and wash with one other denim item of similar weight. Use just a tablespoon of your usual detergent.
6. Flat dry on drying rack. Denim can also be hung to dry. DO NOT put such items in the dryer, and use care with an iron. DO NOT iron trims or paint.
My booth at the local downtown festival was a success last weekend! I was grateful to have had a loaned tent, and some assistance early the first morning setting it up. Having never dealt with an event tent, I was unaware that putting it up solo would have been nearly impossible for me. And by the time the temperature climbed to 102 that day, I was just grateful for the tent, period!
But before the heat really cranked up, I set up my space. I covered Uncle Bob’s old sway-backed folding table with gorgeous red fabric that had once served as floor length dining room curtains. On top of that went two guitar stands holding small handbags. A couple of jackets hung from my mic stand, configured into a T. The clothing rack picked up through Craigslist held most of the jackets and vests, a thrift store black metal cd tower held a couple more. At the back of the tent I hung an old black mosquito net on its round frame. Lastly, I had Marvin the Martian holding down my band’s tiny merch table near the front. My trusty old amp cart made hauling all this stuff from car to space easy.
The two days were long and very hot. Planning ahead with an ice chest full of water, some cold salads and a washcloth for bringing my body temperature down helped tremendously. The ice chest kept me about as comfortable as I could be and allowed me to schmooze with a smile. When the afternoon breeze came along, the black mosquito net flowed luxuriously. The feedback was great! Even dubious looks from passersby counted as feedback in my book! But many were jazzed with some of the items, and some even took home things-ten items sold over the two days!
I may do another such event over the summer. I’ve not decided yet whether the purchase of an event tent is worth it, or if it’s even the direction I want to go in. However, this experience made me realize how much I miss doing vis-`a-vis retail. We’ll see!
After thinking it over, I’ve decided to rent a booth at an upcoming outdoor event here in Downtown Carson City. My desire to witness reactions to these first pieces of Betty Rockwear outweighs my desire to keep the cash in the bank…
And it’s not only the booth space fee! Those of you savvy in the world of craftfairdom know that that is simply the beginning-ha! Table, tent, fabric for draping, garment rack and/or grid for clothing display, and surely many things not yet thought of will have to be assembled in the very near future. I am excited by the idea of creating a vibrant display space, and on such short notice!