I had a little time this afternoon to do a quick and easy mod to a plain guitar gig bag. Most gig bags have an outer pocket for accessories, and that single layer is easy to go through when attaching studs. I happened to have a few of these unusual star studs and couldn’t resist putting one on along with the pyramid studs, arranged in triangular fashion. This bag will be a small donation for a local fundraiser this weekend, Marianarchy http://www.renohipsters.com/events/marianarchy-xii-day-two-a-benefit-for-kula-dunn/ from Betty https://www.facebook.com/betterbettyrocker. Looking forward to playing some new songs at this show!
Did you enjoy making square loomed potholders with yarn loops when you were a child? There are some fun retro crafting tools in circulation, as well as new takes on some of the older ones.
This round Hazel Pearson flower loom from the 1960s was a lucky thrift store find a few years ago. In fact there were two identical looms included in the purchase; the other was gifted to my very clever friend Mary, who seems able to craft anything out of thin air-loom or no!
Check out this page on knitting-and.com http://www.knitting-and.com/small-looms/loomsandyarns.htm to see what’s possible with these flower looms-beautiful things that could be used in conjunction with many projects. Apparently the loom was designed originally for use with raffia to make the straw flowers so popular back then, and indeed some beautiful examples are to be seen on knitting-and.com.
I’ve not yet made raffia flowers. These simple yarn flowers I’ve made are sewn on casual fabric and knitted bags, but I’ve also used them to jazz up the side of a basic knitted hat.
Clover has some great knitting tools (I have their little counter that I love), and indeed they make a modern version of the flower loom https://cloverusa.wordpress.com/tag/flower-loom/ should you desire one and are unable to find an original.
Next week I will look at another useful little vintage crafting tool.
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!
So I’m two weeks away from the craft fair, and still working on the booth props and decor. I’ve found a simple garment rack on wheels for $10 through Craigslist, and a tall, metal CD storage tower for $5 at a local thrift shop. These should serve for a hanging display for jackets and vests.
Spied a really beautiful piece (well, two pieces in fact) of green fabric for .25 that became a banner after sewing together and finishing the edges. I then used some leftover fabric paint for lettering, and twine for stringing up.
I am thinking about some of the elaborate booths I’ve seen online and off, and hope that I can somehow duplicate a bit of an element of invite into mine; I’m actually toying with the idea of bringing some of my musical gear to use purely as props.
What invites you into a craft fair booth?
I have a terrific fashion guide book from the early 80s, Short Chic by Allison Kyle Leopold and Anne Marie Cloutier. I’ve been turning to this wonderful book, directed at women under 5′ 4″, for all these years; it’s one of those timeless reference books that applies at any age or stylistic inclination, and indeed there’s much good fashion sense in there regardless of height. Continue reading How Short Is Too Short?
I think I must have seen a thousand denim jackets and vests today-truly! Some weeks back I glimpsed a very slighted modded denim jacket in a mall shop in Reno for around $50. So today I went on the hunt for an inspiration jacket or vest that would be simple to recreate at home with basic sewing skills, for much less. My field trip took me in and out of Bebe, J. Crew, Gap, Dillard’s, Chico’s, Tilly’s, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Maurice’s, and finally, Rue 21, where I found my inspiration piece. Randomly checking price tags showed a range of $26.99 up to $128, with most of the pieces priced in the middle. That’s a good chunk of money for something that functions mostly as an accessory in the wardrobes of many.
Here is the inspiration vest spotted at the mall for $26.99:
The lace on this vest is sewn in the inside of the cutout, allowing the edge fray to be highly visible. The trashy chic of this piece is a bit over the top for me, and appears overly contrived and downright cheesy. $26.99…really?
Later, at the Salvation Army thrift store, I found this printed denim jacket:
The price for this one was $4.99, but I was in luck-today all green tags were 50% off, so the jacket was just $2.49! My plan is to remove the sleeves, add a lace inset to outside of the yoke cutout, and run some color matched eyelet around the bottom edge. Maybe some studs or buttons if the mood strikes… maybe not… I believe it will look super over a summer dress or tee!
My next stop was Mill End Fabrics http://www.millendfabricsreno.com/contact-us, a fantastic local shop where one can purchase trim as needed, rather than as packaged:
From all of this and more, I chose some eyelet lace (currently enjoying quite the comeback!) and lace panel for the project vest:
All that I need for the project, plus a bit extra, cost just .97!
First, some simple prep work and gathering of supplies and then, off to the work table…
I washed the jacket and trims in cold water. Best to put the trims in a lingerie bag and let hang dry, which takes almost no time at all.
For this project you’ll need: sewing machine, thread, pins, sharp fabric scissors, any button or studs you may wish to put on at finish, and less than an hour. You may want to press the jacket, but just out of the dryer ought to be fine for this project. Something I recently learned and would like to pass on is to never use waxed thread. This is intended for ease in hand sewing, and could damage your machine.
Pin lace over cutout, using plenty of pins to avoid shifting. Take advantage of any nicely finished edges in your lace, as here on the bottom edge. Place to avoid trimming finished edge later.
A tip: Those thin, flexible plastic chopping boards? Placed under fabric, make for really easy pinning.
I also decided, as I often do, to give the vest a bit of a rocker edge with some low profile stainless steel studs from Studs & Spikes http://www.studsandspikes.com/blue buttons would have also been a fun choice.
Shop for upcycled and embellished jackets and vests here!