Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Adventures in Cashmere...

Okay, so every girl dreams of a beautiful cashmere sweater to call her own.  I have at least 20.  Jealous?  Don't be.  Get your butt over to your local thrift store and dig.  I've been going through and collecting them for about a year now, and I've gotten enough to make any diva feel pampered.  For around $3 each.

Here's the problem.  As a crafter, a person who knows the joy of gifting wonderful handmade creations, as well as a knitter who knows the warmth natural fibers can give- I want to give them away.  But then you run into size issues.  And the whole sticky issue of gifting something that is used.  People just don't seem to want a used sweater.  So I came up with a solution.  As difficult as it was, I cut them up.

*gasp*  Ruined cashmere?  What are you thinking?  Why would you defile a beautiful orange cashmere tee?

For this:

Because what girl wouldn't want a 100% cashmere blanket bound by a beautiful vintage sheet to warm her up in those freezing January days?  
This was my second attempt to make a gift.  The first one, in my favorite color combo of greens, neutrals, and pinks ended up camped out on my recliner.  My excuse is the loose binding job I did on my first attempt at backing a quilt.  Nobody wanted it, I'm sure.  I mean- I didn't ask or anything, but I'm pretty sure this needed to stay out of sight.  And warming up my legs...

I couldn't help it.  It kept me warm while knitting or hand stitching.  My door is drafty.  Forgive me intended giftee, but I needed that cashmere lap blanket.  Sometimes I just sit and pet it.  Real Housewives of Orange County, eat your hearts out. 

ETA:  I got the idea from Betz White's book Sewing Green

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Christmas List

Isn't it amazing how when we make things, our Christmas list seems to grow with each apron, hat, quilt, scarf and pair of mittens we make? I want everyone to have something, and no one to feel left out. My entire month of November, and most of December leaves me scrambling through the fabric and yarn stashes, looking for just the right combination for that someone who needs handmade goodness.  It will take me a few posts to get all the photos in- I just realized I've taken over 40...  My, my- I've gotten carried away.  Go figure.

We'll start with the simplest...

My upcycled aprons; I've been making these on overdrive, and desperately trying to match the personality of each finished object to the future owner- (ignore my knees... knees aren't just weird to me, right?  How do you lose weight in a joint?  Still haven't figured that one out.)

A bit of whimsy- 

Old Fashioned with a girly twist- 

Fun and frivolous- 

Old Fashioned and Industrious- 
And, last but not least- a new twist on a classic from Betz White's book Sewing Green;

So, that is it for now- can you imagine how many women you know that could use a cute, upcycled apron?  I can think of about ten more.  I'll keep pumping these out, as they make wonderful "Oh crap, I forgot to get Lory a gift!" last minute wrap-ups.

Up next- upcycled wool and cashmere....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beginning Anew

So here I sit, forging a new path into the wide world of crafts, Etsy, and upcycling. In the process of making gifts for my entire family for Christmas- we've decided that this is a handmade Christmas, and in order to afford making for everyone, I've begun refashioning/upcycling using fabrics from thrift stores.

Here's the thing; I really feel exhilarated when I buy 6 cashmere sweaters for $20 at the local goodwill. In order to keep that exhilaration going, I come home, chop them up, and make something completely unique and luxurious for a friend.

Will I enjoy doing this as a side-business as much as I enjoy making gifts? Only time shall tell.