Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nifty Thrifty: The Return of the Thrift

It's Nifty Thrifty time again! This week is all about thrifted textiles. Sheets, curtains, pillowcases, and fabric are plentiful and cheap at thrift stores. Check out some of the neat sheets and curtains I've gotten:

I love the polka dots on this coupled with the bright flowers. This is definitely getting made into a skirt or dress.

I'm not even sure what this is, there's some weird ruffly bit around the edges. I love the color and pattern though.

I think these are curtains, there are ruffles on one edge but they're made out of what feels like lightweight canvas. I love the pattern though, it's all gnomes and woodland creatures. I think this will make great totes and pillows.

Ha ha, remember those things that were around before mp3 players? Yeah, me neither.

If you sew, thrifted sheets are a great source of super cheap fabric. A flat sheet offers close to five yards for less than $5. Using pre-made items also give you the advantage of having finished edges, which means less time finishing seams or making hems. My ingenuity is a direct result of my laziness and hatred of hemming. I seriously hate hemming.

I've made several small quilts using squares cut from thrifted sheets. The white and yellow floral above is from a thrifted sheet.

The creamy orange stripe, yellow tulips, and larger scale floral on the quilt above are all thrifted. The larger scale floral was a pillowcase and one of my favorite finds; I love the grey background with the springy oranges and greens. I've used it to make a fabric belt too.

If you're so inclined, you can make your own fabric belt. even if you're not inclined, do it anyway. It's super duper easy. You can check out the tutorial I posted here.

My skirts is made of curtains, it's like Sound of Music up in here. I seriously love these curtains and their amazing ugly 70-ness. I have a serious soft spot for horrible seventies things. I may have scared my friend by freaking out about avocado green flocked wallpaper in a random furniture store in Gastonia, NC. (If you've never been to Gastonia, first of all, congratulations. Also going there is like time travel but not in a good way. But there's an gigantamous fabric store and kitschy mini golf, so it's pretty much worth it.)

You can also use thrifted sheets and curtains as what they were intended to be, if you want to be all boring and stuff. The curtains in my craft room are thrifted and I love the bright colors and florals. Fellow Crown Town Handmade member Amanda offers cute sets with coordinating pillowcases and sheets. You can check out the sets at Verabelle's Attic. I love the look of coordinating but not matching linens, it's a much more interesting and personalized look.

That's it for this week. I'll probably post again next Saturday or something.

Stitch Wars Strikes Back

My plush are on the way to Bead and Bird for Stitch Wars Strikes Back, yay!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Something Different

Just kidding, it's more plush! I'm having nightmares about stuffing again. I'm still working on commissions from Heroes Con. Isn't that crazy? The answer is yes.
Anyway, I've gotten a lot of the simpler characters out of the way and I'm starting to work on dolls that require some pattern drafting. Does anyone else have a skill that some days you feel like the DaVinci of whatever and some days it seems like somebody snuck in at night and stole the part of your brain that knows how to do that thing? That could totally happen, I'm an insanely heavy sleeper. That's me and pattern drafting. Sometimes I draw something and sew it together and stuff it and it's like "Hi, I look exactly how you wanted! You should go have some ice cream for being so cool!" Sometimes I sew something and stuff it and immediately unstuff it and hide it under the table and pretend that it never happened.

V.I.N.CENT from Disney's The Black Hole started as a hide under the table kind of project. The little round body base and feet weren't too bad, just some sizing issues. Those little arm things were terrible! I might have made my boyfriend come help and then been kind of mean about it because I was grumpy about the terribleness. Luckily I got it in the end and he turned out really cute and his recipient was super happy and danced around a little. That's what matters.

Choopie from the The Perhapanauts was a totally different story. I think I did his head twice to get the size I wanted. Other than that, the tweaked patterns for his arms and legs worked perfectly. Aw, and he has a little wings and bright green nipples. Adorbs. For some reason I love putting little nipples on dolls.

I'm almost done with the dolls for Stitch Wars Strikes Back at Bear and Bird Boutique. I'll get some pictures and gush about them. Excited!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nifty Thrifty: The Thriftening

Anyone who knows me even a little, or just looks at my Flickr account, can tell I am a big fan of thrifting. It seems it's gaining in popularity, what with vintage fashion experiencing a surge in popularity and also everyone being poor. Prepare for hipsterness; I did it before it was cool. My childhood Saturday mornings, my parents and I would head to the big AmVets thrift store in downtown Fresno. I think the building has since been torn down for baseball stadium parking, which is lame because it was an awesome old building full of little nooks and cranies and hilarious crap. My mom and I would take turns suggesting hideous sweaters to each other and giggling while my dad looked for random junk and the most embarrassing pants he could find. He had a thing for knock off Zumba pants with geckos and chili peppers.  Now you know where I get my fabulous fashion sense. Oh, yeah. 

Since thrifting holds a special place in my cheap little heart and Saturday is my traditional thrifting day, every Saturday is Nifty Thrifty! I'll be showcasing my recent finds and older acquisitions, as well as cool stuff other people have thrifted. I'll also be including tips for thrifting, projects for thrifted goods, and probably some other stuff. Yay stuff!
The first installment of Nifty Thrifty is going to be dedicated to some of my favorite thrifted clothing. Clothing is most of what I thrift, and I have to say it has totally spoiled me when I shop in real stores. I was seriously debating buying a $30 dress at Target. THIRTY WHOLE DOLLARS I CAN GET LIKE 20 SKIRTS FOR THAT. But it was super cute and the last one, so I'll deal.

This outfit is all thrifted and has some of my favorite pieces. I got the summery little dress last year, but the denim vest is a more recent acquisition that I'm predicting will get massive amounts of wear. Want to know why?

Check out the sweet rainbow studs; it's like hardcore adorable. I'm pretty sure this is a little kids vest and I don't care. It's all soft and stretchy and broken in, which is another good thing about thrifted clothes. Also, it makes my boyfriend roll his eyes which I enjoy because we basically live to annoy each other. We're mature.

Speaking of vests, I made this one sort of. I was having trouble finding a vest I liked, and then I remembered vests are just blazers with no sleeves. So I thrfited a blazer and cut off the sleeves. If you want to make a blazer into a vest, cut the sleeves off about an inch below the shoulder seam. Fold a double 1/2" seam and sew. Magic!

These are some more of my favorites. The dress is super cutesy and fun to pair with less girly things like wide belts, black tights, and boots. Here's a better view of the top of the dress. I also wear the crap out of this giant scarf when it's chilly because it's basically like wearing a small blanket around your neck, except you look slighly less crazy.

It seems I'm developing a proclivity for clothing with big birds on it. Two of my all time favorite finds are the owly skirt and the peacock dress. The owl on the owly skirt is a pocket, and skirts with pockets are automatic win. It also has little built in shorts from lining material so I don't flash people when I fall over. Which is often.

Dresses with giant peacocks on them are totally versatile

Then, of course, there is the peacock dress. My cost per wear, even after having to translant the peacock to a new dress, is probably below $1 at this point. If I had to describe my style in one word, that word would be "peacockdress". Because I am a cheater. But also because I love this dress like chocolate cupcakes and adorable piglets and I am going to cry when this poor peacock is too beat up to wear anymore. I might make a montage video with sad music too, we'll see.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Long, Long Time Ago...

Star Wars is probably my longest running nerd love. I used to watch the all day marathons of the Original Trilogy with my dad during the holidays. For a long time I had no idea what order things went in as I would wander in and out. I have the attention span of a goldfish. An easily distracted goldfish who likes shiny string. I did always love it though, and even more so when I actually sat down and watched the movies through. I even met my boyfriend on a Star Wars forum.

So of course I had to bring some cuddly friends from a galaxy far away to Hereos Con with me.

They want to hug you or eat your face, they haven't decided yet
These little Hutts were a last minute addition and sold very well. At about a foot tall they're a great way to use up smaller scraps of  browns, greens, and greys. I love their nubby little arms!

It's not a trap, it's a doll!
Guess how many times I heard, "It's a trap!" over Heroes Con weekend. A MILLION that's how many. Apparently this is a nerd reflex. Tap your knee in the right spot and your leg will switch, when you're in danger you have a flight or fight response, see Admiral Ackbar in any form and you must yell "It's a trap!" Seriously, I had a lot of fun making this little guy. The bulging eyes are extra cute and mouth looks vaguely like a moustache. Some of them were SeƱor Ackbar.

The Star Wars love continued after the convention as well with several custom orders.

I made a Boba Fett a long, long time ago as part of a Secret Santa exchange on a forum. I think this little guy turned out very well for my second attempt at everyone's favorite bounty hunter.

My backpack's got jets
There was some love for the Jedi too. I was also commissioned to make this cuddly Kit Fisto, which I had to wrestle away from my boyfriend to get in the mail. This was one of those ones that was incredibly hard to put in a box and send away, and I am definitely making more of him.

These are all going to be good practice for my first ever gallery show! I was invited to participate in Bear and Bird's second Stitch Wars gallery show and of course jumped at the chance. It was amazing to see all the talented people involved in and the beautiful artwork that was part of the first Stitch Wars show. I'm so excited to be part of the second show! I'll be posting progress pictures and updates as I get my submissions finished over the next few weeks.