Monday, November 24, 2008

Recycling clothes and Amy Butler patterns

So I went shopping this weekend, at Goodwill, for some "new" clothes. Being that I sew, I knew I could make some alterations here and there if I saw something I liked, but wasn't a perfect fit. Now, I'm not a label snob by any means....but for used clothing, you just have to rummage through the racks to find the good stuff - Ann Taylor Loft, Talbots, Old Navy, J Jill - clothing that is made with good fabrics that will stand up wash after wash, so that by the time it ends up at Goodwill, it's still in great shape!

I made a killing! I found 2 skirts, 2 pairs of pants, and 4 tops, and my grand total was $32.00. So, that brings me to the above picture.....a great pair of pants/Old Navy. One size too big....I took out the waistband and took in the sides, then replaced the waistband..... the do I move those hooks over to meet up with the 'claw' that hooks around them? They're not sewn on; rather, they seem to be either glued down really well, or are wrapped/hooked through the fabric, like with magnetic snaps. Any suggestions?!

And here's my Weekender Bag! (Not quite finished - the lining gets made/attached today) I worked on it Saturday at our workshop - with Dolores, who cut out her Messenger Bag, and Chris, who made the bias tape cording cover for her Sophia Bag.
There was some frustration with this bag....a bit on my part - cutting out some wrong pieces, having to read a direction 3 and 4 times to understand it. But then it all came together! (Robyn, I can relate to your frustration w/the Sophia Bag - I had to do some major stretching of the fabric to get it to work around the cording. It wasn't a perfect fit!) But, I love the bag - it's size, it's look...don't know if I'll be doing another anytime soon!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A few nifty hints

Last night I was cutting out a new pattern, and thought I'd pass along 2 suggestions....I'm in the habit of putting my pattern in a big manilla envelope, instead of trying to stuff all the pieces back in the original envelope. Just tape the original envelope onto the front of your new one, and there you have a new pattern envelope!

I read this hint somewhere sometime, and thought I'd take a few extra minutes to do it - refold your pattern pieces with the numbers showing, so when you need them, you don't have to unfold every dang piece to find the right ones!
I'm off to make, not buy, a Christmas gift!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Good Grief - the holidays are approaching!

Let's start with this website: Will you take the pledge?! I admit, it'll be tough with some recipients who ask for specific items for Christmas - my 10 yr. old daughter wants an MP3 player....hmmmm, don't know if that can be handmade.

I'm now going to talk fabric for a moment. I just finished ironing the hem on some curtains that I'm shortening for someone - one of my occasional side jobs. The tag tells me they're from Walmart, made in China, 100% polyester. And the smell that is coming from them as I heat them with the iron is nauseating!! (I machine washed them to pre-shrink) What is that smell? It reeks of toxicity, chemical, just plain horrid. Now, I'm not anti-polyester, and I'm not about to spout off about Walmart and the working conditions in China - this just isn't the place. But how in the heck was this 'fabric' made?! What is it exactly?! Blech!

And on another note, let's get makin' for the holidays! We have lots of ideas at the store for just about anyone on your list - and don't forget - November's craft night is this Friday, the 21st, and Saturday the 22nd is our "come work on your Amy Butler pattern" in the lounge. No excuses for not getting to work!

(A note to Erin - I'm so sorry you recently came by on a Friday and we were closed! We recently changed our hours around....Thursday is our late day; open 'till 7, so please come back if you haven't already!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

A quote I love and creations for my kiddos

Here are samples of the men's tie pattern that's so easy-peasy to make:

Thanks so much to Pastor Harold, our landlord, who came down to model a tie 'cause we needed a man!

So, my family again went to the Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe - it's becoming a favorite of ours to go to on a Sunday afternoon. My girls love weaving at the Needles + Pins exhibit, and we all love to wander through the miniatures room. It just feels like we're tourists on vacation when we go. So, yesterday, I sat and wrote down what was written on one of the placards on the wall. It's as follows:

"The recent popularity of knitting, crocheting, needlework and sewing among a younger crowd points to a rennaisance of interest in the handmade garment. Personal aesthetic expression embedded in the culture and society of the times is a universal impulse. In 21st century North America, the urge to make something flies in the face of the mainstream, mass-produced consumer culture, signaling an understanding of the human connection wrought by the work of the hands."

I don't know why, but that spoke to me. Summed up why Hip Stitch came into existance, why we love this store and what we do and why we do it. There I go, rambling again....

And here's a shot of my girlies in Hip Stitch handmade items: Claire, who makes her own scrunchies....these are made out of our Tina Givens ladybugs line. The messy hair is just part of her these days.

Jane, who chose Michael Miller's Apples & Pears for a new pair of pajama pants. (look closely and see that the pattern on the fabric is upside down - an fabric estimating error, but she loves them all the same)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's a non-stop party here!

OK, maybe not non-stop, but between the Amy Butler trunk show and last night's party, we're having some gosh-darn fun! You've just got to come in and see the trunk show and the new fabrics we have in if you haven't yet!

The lounge was rented last night by a group of 80's music-loving moms to celebrate a birthday, and they set to work creating some awesome projects! A purse, skirts, aprons, a huge bean bag cover - man, these ladies could sew!
And for the 3rd time in the last 2 weeks, our adorable UPS guy (are there any who aren't adorable?!) delivered yet even more fabric - our Michael Miller order!! Striking black & whites, more Christmas cottons, including an adorable vintage "holiday hostess" - I'm visualizing aprons, skirts, gifts galore!