Posts Tagged ‘create’

Tie Dress

December 8, 2009

I’ve been making a lot of “I’ll post soon” statements around here and I intend on catching up on those.

Recently I attended the wedding of my best friend Teale and my new best frenemie, Greg at a local art gallery. This was one of the many things that had kept me so busy lately.

I had promised Teale to wear something fabulous to her wedding and about seven months ago I decided to make my own dress for the wedding. I made this decision having never sewn anything successful in my life but it is with this dress that I bought myself a sewing machine and taught myself to sew.

Everything I have made since this project has gone quite well, but this one was a tough one for a starter! I’d like to do it again knowing everything I know now. I do like the dress, but if you were to look inside you’d say “What on earth is going on here??”

Anyway. Here it is…

I have to apologize. It is a small photo and a post-wedding photo. Alas, it is the only one I have because I took the wedding photos so I’m not in any. This was taken by my aunt to was at my house when I arrived home.

The dress is made entirely of vintage neck ties I collected from the vintage stores all over Sydney. I originally wanted black and white only but It only took me two shops to discover that would be nearly impossible on a reasonable budget so I caved on gray. I accented it with the only semi-full price (from paddy’s market) neck tie in fuscha that matched my hair and pinned at the knot to the top of my strapless dress making it a halter dress. The pink tie can also tie around the waist if I like.

The real work was in combining all of the ties. Each tie had to be torn up the back seam, stuffing removed, and sewn the neighboring tie. Once they were all together I sewed each tie up it’s back seam again. When all of ties were together side to side I treated it like a piece of fabric and used a strapless dress pattern on it making sure I cut the fabric to keep the ties in line. Beneath the dress is heaps of black toole.

I used my new found sewing skills 7 months later when I arrived here in Rochester 3 days before the wedding to correct all of my inexperience and it ended up fitting quite nicely. The shoes were a lucky find last minute at target! Black white and gray satin striped shoes.

I wish I had a better photo. If I find someone else has one I’ll post that too.

The Show Experience

December 6, 2009

My First Show!Friday was my first craft show experience. My brother’s girlfriend Jen got me in last minute (with 4 days notice) to a craft show held in her office building for employees.

As you might be able to tell from my absence, I was frantic and busy for the last few days to prepare for the show. I didn’t want to look like the first timer I was so in addition to bulking up my stock, I put a lot of effort into my display. I think it turned out alright and I’m proud of how thrifty I was in pulling it off.

My banner was made from a sale-item pack of scrap booking sheets that I cut into pendants and linked with black duck tape. (So easy!) I wish I had known the size of my table because it was much much too big for it and I ended up cutting it into two pieces and awkwardly draping “megnificent” to fit it on the table.

I designed all of my signage and put them into plastic stands I got on the cheap for $1 each.

The table cloth was just a black disposable plastic one from the party store but it worked well in hiding all of the black duct tape used to hang the banner.

My First Show!I really wanted to make sure I had different levels on the table so I picked up black crates at the dollar tree (the dollar store where things actually cost a dollar). The crates held my coloring books which to my delight sold quite well. My niece colored a sample of her book and that helped me show people what a great gift it makes. There were a lot of people requesting business cards as well so I was glad I took the time to make more before the show.

My First Show!My camera wristlets got some height on the other side of the table by using $6 locker shelves that are available at Staples. They were bright pink, stackable, and folded flat to fit in my wheely bag. Very convenient! I made lots of extra bags and i sold a few, but unfortunately I was positioned in the room with all of the designer bag knock offs which is hard to compete with. It was surprising how much of the craft show was not actual craft. Although I am happy with the result of the day, I felt like I might do better in a sale with a more craft oriented customer base. I think a lot of the people coming down from their offices to shop around were not the type to be buying hand made.

My First Show!People really loved the swag t-shirt necklaces. Its not something I’ve sold before but I wanted a third and different item on my table and these were something I could make quickly for the show. I wore one to the show and ended up selling it off my neck. I replaced it with another table and sold that one too…the trend continued for the rest of the day! I sold plenty of these and was glad I added them to the table. I have quite a few left over so I think I’ll be adding them to the store shortly if they aren’t given as gifts.

Another fun display item I made for the show you can see in this photo. While the entire table had a black plastic table cloth, I tried to make it look less cheap by adding a piece of cotton that I had stamped with my hand-carved logo stamp that I made in my blog tutorial. The piece was stamped mostly in black but with a rainbow colored stamp scattered at random. I really enjoyed printing on fabric like this and I’ll be trying it again soon for sure.

All in all, I really enjoyed the experience. I’d call it a success! I’d love to try another show and I’m going to look into finding what’s going on in the Rochester area. If you know of any upcoming shows let me know!

Keep an eye out this week for another How-To from me. I really tried hard to keep costs down on the show but had trouble finding inexpensive paper bags to stamp with my logo for the show. I ended up buying a $5 roll of shipping paper and machine sewing it into bags with bright thread and stamping it with a rainbow logo. They turned out really pretty with tissue paper stuffing for the show. Customers thought they were beautiful! For just $5 I was able to get 70 bags of different sizes. Compare that to 13 bags for $6! I’ll be sharing this tutorial this week…complete with pictures as always!

Craft Show Virgin!

December 3, 2009

I have my first craft show this week!

It’s a small one being held in the offices of Blue Cross Blue Shield (a major insurance company here) and I have my brother’s girlfriend Jen to thank for getting me a last-minute table!

It’s short notice (a few days to prepare!) but this small craft show is perfect for a first timer like me. I still want to do it right though and I’ve been frantic.

First things first I’ve had to unpack from my move (Australia to New York). I’ve dug out my mom’s sewing machine and a folding table to set up a space in my room. I’ll have to find a way to organize all of my sewing things while I’m here or I’ll never have any table space!

Craft Show Prep

Sewing with my mom’s machine is so intimidating. It’s much more powerful than mine and pounds away like a jack hammer. My machine in Sydney feels so delicate compared to this, although it has made sewing through all the layers of the purses a breeze!

Speaking of purses, they will be one of my main items for the show on friday. I’ve made an extra 15 to take with me (minus one I destroyed) and managed to pull them all out in just two days.

Craft Show Prep

As far as I know, Jo Ann’s is the only fabric store around here. I managed to find some fabrics I liked, in addition to some I brought from Sydney. The children’s fabrics and quilting cottons are plentiful but their fancy fabrics are a bit lacking. They seem to range from Halloween costume to asian inspired silk patterns. I’ll have to look around on the web for another store in the area to try, there must be one!

Craft Show Prep

In addition to the purses I’ll be selling these swag t-shirt necklaces. They were really easy to pull off in a hurry and I’ve already got a stash of 15 from one afternoon. I’ve got more fabric to make some more before friday. If they go well at the show…or at all…I might add them to my etsy shop!

The third item I will be selling will be my custom coloring books! I plan on having my niece’s book on display, and the fabric books on hand to sell with crayons and blank paper. I will give along with the book a coupon for their 12 photo coloring pages that they can redeem online. I think that might be the best way to work it out.

I’ve put a lot of thought, and work, into my table display. I don’t want it clear that it is my first show! I’ve made a swag of pendants out of craft paper and black tape to hang across my table that says Megnificent Made. I also used the stamp I made in my blog tutorial of my logo to print heaps of fabric to put on parts of the table (I also have a plain black table-cloth). I made sure I have different heights to my table and that there will be good signs for everything as well as new business cards made up… which means I still have plenty of work to do.

Please excuse me from the blog tomorrow and I can promise some news on Friday after the show. Wish me luck!

ps…My brother shared with me today that my sweet little niece Riley, my inspiration and recipient of the first custom coloring book, is taking it to school with her tomorrow for her first show and tell. I’m so honored! Would it be tacky of me to send along some business cards? :p

2 for Tea

November 22, 2009

Cups of Tea

Cups of Tea Screen Printed Cards by Larara

LaRara is an artist working in Sydney Australia that sells to local shops, occasional markets, private commission and on her etsy store.

I really love her illustration work and this eclectic little collection of tea cups is charming! She also has a set of cards for sale with a variety of wooden chair designs. Her shop has a great inventory of thank you cards and holiday cards, so get your orders in now!