Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Made in the USA Christmas

Take the Made In USA Challenge!

It's holiday season, which brings along the stress of making gifts. As a crafty person I cannot make every single gift I have to give, it's exhausting just thinking about it. Every time I get asked "did you make that?", it's followed by "Make me one too!".  I'm more of a "selfish seamstress" and do not have the time to make that many things. 

After reading the book Overdressed: the Shockingly High Price of Cheap Fashion, I have been very wary of the things I buy. I also watched a documentary on Netflix which really made things click for me. I want to make my purchases matter, so this year for Christmas I am only buying made in America gifts. This way I know that the people making what I buy are treated fairly well (at least better than big factories in China), and the money is going back to the American economy, which badly needs it. I can feel good about what I buy, and not feel guilty for not making everything. 

I've never been into the rush of Black Friday shopping, and now it has even spread to Thursday, which is beyond crazy. If you have even seen the shoppers of Black Friday on the news, they are always fighting and over-stuffing their carts with imported, cheap, and useless crap. I have absolutely no desire to shop like that. 

It is a challenge finding the perfect gift, plus something made in America. So far I have bought 3 Made in America gifts. I even started a pinterest board of Made in America stuff. I've found everything from made in America shoes (cute ones!) to made in the USA beach chairs! Another great source for made in America clothes is Pinup Girl Clothing. Cute and made in the USA, so exciting. Also if you just search "made in USA" on you can find a ton of USA goods, in a range of prices. Etsy and buying vintage are also great ways to buy USA. There are a ton of options out there once you start to look. 

Tiki Dress made in USA

What are you making and buying for the Holidays? Will you sign up for the Made In the USA challenge? What do people outside of the USA think, will you buy local too?

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Falling Leaves Hat!

I am officially obsessed with HATS! If you follow me on pinterest, you will see I am constantly pinning hats, especially ones made by the fabulous and inspiring; Frollein Von Sofa. She has the most adorable hats and I am completely in awe of her talent. Just take a peek and you will be hooked! One day I hope to own one of her hats (or shoes!) but until then I'm going to try and make my own. 

I wanted to make my own hat, originally to go with my Halloween costume, but it has since evolved into a Autumn hat. I had these pumpkins from the dollar section of Target. The suede, colored leaves I collected from this amazing store in NYC, Tinsel Trading co. According to their website it's Martha Stewart's "most favorite store in the world". If its good enough for Martha its good enough for me! 

The brown teardrop hat base is from etsy, as well as the comb that I hand stitched to the base. The trick to making a dimensional hat is to have some height with the pumpkin. I originally started to play with the leaves leaving them flat, but that made the pumpkin look silly. I used the hot glue gun to attach everything. The leaves are glued to the side of the pumpkin, and the glue is hidden with a sprig of berries. Of course I added some brown sparkly rick rack to the edge, which is from Fabricland.

I really loved how much fun this was to make and wear. I got some mixed reviews while wearing this in public, the lady at the post office yelled across the store how much she loved it! But I also got some confused faces and second glances. Lol. Guess it's not for everyone!

This was a no stress project, and I'm collecting stuff for some holiday hats! Heading to the garment district this weekend for some millinery wire to make my own hat bases with buckrum. Once I get the hang of that I can use my own fabric to cover hats! The possibilities are endless! 

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Liberty Madness

OMG you guys, I have hit the jackpot. I recently found a bunch of vintage Liberty of London fabric on the remnant table. It is kind of rare and expensive here in the USA., and to see it anywhere except NYC around me was kind of amazing.  Some were full yards of fabric others were bits and pieces already cut. There was even some for free in the scrap basket! AHHH! I'm the kind of person that squeals for joy in a store. People think I'm crazy.

I can spot a liberty fabric from a mile away. There is just something so distinct and lovely about it. And they are SO SOFT.  These fabrics are all Tana Lawn and 36 inches wide. There is no writing on the selvage, the print goes all the way to the edge. From what I gathered on the internet both of these facts= vintage. They were from group of fabrics that were dated from the late 80s early 90s. 

I went home and sorted it into piles on the floor. Most are recognizable prints, (Nike is even using them for sneakers now) and some I have never really seen before. One piece even has the tag on it from the Liberty shop!

I listed some of the 1 yard and over pieces in my Etsy shop. Now to decide what to do with all the scrap pieces. Some are very long (maybe 10 inches in width and 2 yards) some are square sizes.I could make a quilt for myself. The liberty quilts online are gorgeous but I find the idea very daunting. Quilting just may not be fore me..cutting out all those little pieces with the rotary cutter gives me anxiety. I have seen bags of Liberty scraps sold on Etsy, not sure if I should do this and am open to suggestions. 


I did make myself a headband with some of the scraps. The tutorial can be found on the Liberty website.           


These are the fabrics I HAD to keep for myself. This paisley is everything. There is 2 yards of it. Not sure what to do with it yet, but it will be beautiful. The floral on the bottom may become the Simplicity blouse 2154. There are a lot of versions of this blouse floating around the internet and they are all cute. 

So have you ever found some Liberty? Have you ever sewn with it? Any advice as to what to do with the scraps?
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