Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ain't nobody here but us chickens, andros chapter 6

one of the best features of pete's pink house was his chickens. i have met many chickens in my life, but never any as friendly as these. i tell you, they were downright cuddly! it was hard to open the door most of the time, all they wanted was to come in the house. they were our morning wake-up call, our burglar alarm system, our welcome wagon and, oh yeah, egg providers. we kept grilling pete on what his secret was; he would only say that he loved his chickens. their coop is an old volkswagon bug.

i think george was even more taken with them than i was!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

handmade portrait: built by wendy

etsy has an addictive series of videos called Handmade Portraits, and the newest installation is about Built by Wendy designer Wendy Mullin. i have always felt that wendy and i were kindred spirits, and i've been a fan for about fifteen years! apparently we both moved to nyc to become clothing designers around the same time (i arrived in 1991, just out of college), and i remember discovering her clothes in two record stores, Rocks in Your Head in soho, and later Adult Crash in the east village, and thinking that she was a genius for choosing her own marketing channels. i still remember buying my first BBW item: a green corduroy mini with little patch pockets with funny buckles on them. and i remember the time i saw a hand-written sign on her rack at AC stating something like: "to the #$%#& a**hole who STOLE clothes from this rack, i want you to know that i am up late every night sewing them in my bedroom, and i can't believe you would do such a %@#& disrespectful thing!!!" and i thought 'wow, that Wendy sure don't take no crap!'

well, i'm sure it's that pluck that's gotten her where she is today. though we chose practically opposite paths toward becoming designers, we have both landed on the independent, DIY end of the industry, where home sewing is as valid (if not preferred) as buying something off a rack. i recommend her books, Sew U, and the new Home Stretch, to my students all the time, and her patterns are the only commercial sewing patterns i've ever used! so watch the video and check out some of the others too, as they're all inspiring and fascinating. i love peeking into the lives of makers...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

bathing suit, andros chapter 5

one fun thing about my trip to andros was that i made my own bathing suit! i have been in need of one for years, so a few weeks before the trip, i decided i should try to find one. i went to one of the big closeout stores (ok, Daffy's) and everything was super cheesy, or just kind of 'eh'. so i looked on etsy, and saw lots of great stuff, but all pretty expensive and i just won't be wearing a suit enough to justify spending like $100 on it. plus, the styles i like are really so simple, so eventually i realized i could, and should, just make it! it's basically a crochet-edged reversible cotton/lycra tank top, with some reversible matching shorts (i just chopped off my leggings pattern). a tankini! then i cut a big piece of the brown, and used it as a sarong skirt/shawl/sun-shielder, and i'd have to say it was quite a success, imho! i don't know why i don't seem to have more pics of it, except that all of my photos were taken by me, so i'm not usually in them. maybe next year i will make some to sell... what do you think?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

look at that!

remember way back in april, when i did the crochet-neck t-shirt tutorial on threadheads? well, in june (i know, i'm slow) i got an e-mail from lemoncakes aka godzilla of white bread and high heels, with this picture of the shirt she made after watching! i was just bowled over that someone could actually follow along and make one, so i promised to post it here. she did a beautiful job, with five or six rows of crochet. i'm wondering, has anyone else out there tried it? i would love to hear from you! if you send me a pic i'll post it here too...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

july classes

this is your last chance to take Sewing 101 (in which you'll learn to sew and make a wrap skirt like those above) with me at Brooklyn General this summer! (it will, however be taught by the skilled seamstress heather love in august, and i'll be back in september.) it begins this tuesday, july 8, and you can find all the deets here.

also this month at Brooklyn General, i'll be teaching crochet, starting wednesday, july 16. you can make lots of summery things out of crochet, and be ready for fall!

also, another round of my Beginner Sewing: Design Your Own Tote at the Etsy Labs begins this thursday! sarah came by Renegade sporting her new adorable bag that she made in the class. if you can't make this session, it will run again in september, so reserve your space while you still can... we've also got patternmaking and crochet lined up at the Labs for fall.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

renegade roundup 2008

well, you've probably heard that this was definitely the most dramatic Renegade Craft Fair to date! as one friend put it, it was 'a meteorological extravaganza'. but all in all we had some fun, sold some stuff, and look forward to next year!

i shared my booth with the talented callie of CallieCo, and on sunday we were joined by jeweler to the stars nan kraskin.

as usual, i didn't have time to photograph the new stuff i made, so i tried to remember to take pics of the customers who bought them! the following lovely ladies took home some hodge podge:

jen from raeburn ink always completes her colorful ensemble with something from my booth (see last year). and i scored one of her gorgeous printed organic tanks ;n)

the sunhats flew out during saturday's blistering heat; if only i'd had more! this was of course, before the thunder, lightning, and flooding...

emma got a different shirt but i snapped her in this one. and barbara and i swapped green shirts we'd both been eyeing for ages!