Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book Highlight - 99 Ways to Cut, Sew & Deck Out Your Denim

"How many pairs of old jeans do you have in your closet?

Everyone from the sewing novice to the fashion guru can appreciate the 99 ingenious projects that will reincarnate your denim has-beens into fashion must-haves. The techniques are simple, the supplies are easy-to-find, and every project takes ninety minutes or less, from start to finish."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Highlight - Refashioned Bags: Upcycle Anything into High-Style Handbags

"Handbags are the ultimate accessory. Fortunately, you don't need a cookie-cutter designer bag to make a fashion statement. In today's greener, more fiscally responsible world, it makes a lot more sense–and is a lot more fun—to make your own. Whether your closet is already an amalgam of hand-made clothing and remastered mash-ups or you're diving into DIY for the very first time, bags are one of the easiest accessories to make over and require little more than a needle, thread, and everyday items you can find in the closet, garage, attic, or flea market.

That's why the authors of 99 Ways to Cut, Sew, Trim & Tie Your T-Shirt into Something Special show you how to make boutique-ready bags on the cheap. The Blakeney sisters twist and weave, turn inside-out, and reappropriate just about anything and everything to fashion radical accessories with mad style and a message.

In Refashioned Bags, you'll learn how to create carryalls, clutches, laptop bags, totes, and more. And all of them will get a unique look, whether from the use of an old wool sweater, an ex-boyfriend's neckties, extra shower curtains, dad's hand-me-down suit jacket, a quilt, an umbrella, or even a bath mat."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Book Highlight - Sweater Surgery: How to Make New Things with Old Sweaters

"Why repurpose your sweaters? Because you can't buy sweater fabric by the yard. Sweaters get damaged or go out of style but we still love the prints, colors, and textures. You don't have time to knit it from scratch. It's ecologically correct. And most of all--it's fun!

Sweater Surgery shows you how to upcycle all your slightly worn, slightly damaged, or plain old out-of-style sweaters into fabulous new items for your wardrobe and your home. Readers learn how to choose, cut, restitch, felt, and embellish old sweater fabric, transforming it into beautiful handbags, mittens, scarves, hats, hoodies, skirts, jewelry, soft toys, pillows, and more!"

Monday, November 8, 2010

Book Highlight - The Sweater Chop Shop: Sewing One-of-a-kind Creations from Recycled Sweaters

"Recycle, Re-create, Re-enjoy

You don't even need a sewing machine to upcycle old sweaters into new wearables, blankets, pillows, and dolls that are fresh, playful, and utterly captivating.

It's easy as felting the wool, cutting the pieces for your new project, and stitching everything together using simple hand-sewing skills.

Noted designer Crispina ffrench shares her techniques and passion as she introduces you to the beautiful possiblities in old sweaters."

Friday, November 5, 2010

A way cool upcycled wedding dress.

Imagine creating a one-of-a-kind wedding dress of entirely second-hand fabrics. Read all about it at the Offbeat Bride.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Highlight - Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures

"For many of us, our home is the center of our life. It is the place where our families meet and mingle, where we share our meals and share our dreams. So much more than just a space to live, our homes offer us a place of comfort, nourishment, and love for us and for our children.

In Handmade Home, Amanda Blake Soule, author of The Creative Family and the blog, offers simple sewing and craft projects for the home that reflect the needs, activities, and personalities of today’s families. As Amanda writes in the introduction, “As a crafter, I’m always looking for the next thing I want to make. As a mama, I’m always looking for the next thing we need—to do, to have, to use—as a family. The coming together of these parts is where the heart of Handmade Home lies.”

Filled with thirty-three projects made by reusing and repurposing materials, all of the items here offer a practical use in the home. From picnic blankets made out of repurposed bed sheets to curtains made out of vintage handkerchiefs, these projects express the sense of making something new out of something old as a way to live a more financially pared-down and simple life; lessen our impact on the earth; connect to the past and preserve a more traditional way of life; and place value on the work of the hands. Also included are projects that children can help with, allowing them to make their own special contribution to the family home. "

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010 Geisha Costume

Here's Kivi's 2010 Halloween costume. Not pictured are the matching trick or treat bag made from remnants, and the other flower ornament in her hair (it's on her other temple).

This year, aside from picking what she was going to be, I chose most of the individual details of her costume. She's currently very big on the color teal/turquoise, so when I saw the fabric, I knew it would be perfect. I told her about it, and she OK'd the choice from my description, so I acquired it the next time I was at JoAnne's with a 50% off coupon. She picked (and paid for) the parasol on her own, and chose which style of flip-flops she wanted (pretty slim pickings this time of year!).

She's wearing Teva flip flops (instead of the elaborate - and tall - wooden sandals that Geisha wear) and the tabi socks are converted from regular socks.

Here are the individual stories about the different parts of her costume: