Thursday, April 26, 2012

Match Made in Upcycling Heaven

Upcycling is so often a case of kismet. I have a crazy giant collection of fabric, about half bought new and half from thrift stores and my friend the Dumpster  Diva. One of the best things about sewing is pawing through what I've got and finding things that will look great together.

This gorgeous thing is  made from home decor fabric samples on the outside, and on the inside a batik fabric Paula found for me at a thrift store (or estate sale? I don't remember which). They are a match made in heaven, don't you agree?

Oh, and the leather-like strap is actually pleather I got in one of my Thrift Town grab bags. I'd have never knowingly brought something like that home but it turned out to be just the perfect thing. No animals were harmed in the making of this tote bag!

Hippie Bags

Crossbody bags with straps that hit at the hip are all the rage, so I just had to try making a few with the home decor fabric samples (the lining is thrift store fabric) I got last week. The black ones are a little larger, but the ones on the bottom are just big enough for a pack of clove cigarettes and a hacky sack. I'm totally picturing some crunchy granola chicks dancing around on the grass wearing one of my upcycled creations. Is that crazy?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Upcycling With People

I hope you're sitting down. This may come as a shock. In honor of Earth Day this year, I decided to ... wait for it ... SEW SOME PURSES. Boy, that came out of nowhere didn't it? Ha ha.

Anyway, a longtime fan of reuse (in theory), I now have the sewing skills to (actually) repurpose tons of stuff. Since I started sewing I've been a regular at Thrift Town, where I am always sure to find bags of fabric for around $2 that hold untold treasures. And the East Bay Center for Creative Reuse is my other mecca, and thankfully closer to my home. There I get fabric and tons of notions, and the last time I was there I got a boatload of zippers for 20 cents each. You know how excited I get about zippers!

Then last week at the Martinez SWAN Day I met a woman who calls herself the Dumpster Diversion Diva and I traded her one of my bags for a bunch of fabric samples she'd collected from an interior designer who was going to throw these gems away!

So this weekend I made a bunch of stuff from that fabric, including my favorites: The three rope bags in navy blue, brown and red/white. The crossbody was pieced together from some smaller samples (strap included) and the larger tote was a sample that I put a grey bottom on from some scraps I had around.

On the left is a patchwork beauty from some thrift store pieces. All in all, a productive weekend of upcyling.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Two Great Things ...

Jim's art and my sewing: Two great things that go great together.

This is officially my favorite bag ever because it is the first collaboration the Jim and I ever did. Last week we remembered some iron-on transfer paper we'd bought forever ago so we gave this a try. You have to really iron the hell out of it to make it stick but his beautiful drawings and my mad sewing skillz (not to mention ability to pick out the perfect fabric to go with it) are resulting in some really cool bags. We made eight (four zipper bags and three totes) and five of them sold this past weekend at the craft fairs, but I snagged this one for my very own. I will love it forever, I'm sure of it.

Stay tuned, because Jim is working on another drawing so I see more zipper bags in my future. Yay!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Getting Schooled

Another awesome collage from Paula (thanks!), this time from the Sonoma Charter School Flea Market on Sunday. I sold six or seven purses, I think, and several zipper bags (a couple to some very adorable little girls). I was only one of two craft booths, and the people there were mostly looking for bargains I believe, but Jim and I had fun and I learned some things. Another smashing success.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Fair to Remember

You always remember your first time. Thanks to my friend Paula, who took tons of pictures at the Martinez SWAN Day fair and made this lovely collage. I had a blast setting up the booth then watching as people admired my bags and other creations. There wasn't a huge crowd there but I made some sales nonetheless. Plus I got to see my aunt and uncle from Danville, my sister and nephew came out, plus tons of friends. It was a great day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Totes Adorbs

Is it normal for sewists to be inspired by the scraps sitting around their sewing areas? Sometimes when I am just trying to tidy my space I wind up making something, like the quilted panels above that are made with the crazy triangle squares left over from the banners I made two weeks ago. And the second photo, a tote made with the remainders of my lining from the turquoise blue polka dot bags I made last week. Even though they started out as afterthoughts, I think they turned out totally adorable.

P.S. I wish my photography skills were as good!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

For the Table

Boy did it storm this morning! Wind and rain and cold! It's good I opted not to participate in the scaled-down SWAN day art fair. I am pretty sure I would have been miserable. They're having a make-up day April 14, so I'm crossing my fingers that will work out.

In the meantime, I had all this pent-up energy I'd been building up so I spent the day sewing quite a few things including a couple of table runners and a set of four reversible place mats. You like?