Fabric "Shopping"

January 4, 2009 in Fashion, Textile Addiction by Analogue Chic

Eighty percent of my fabric stash, scraps, trims, and unfinished projects are were still at my parents’ house (I haven’t lived there for more than 2 years).  I went over for a short visit yesterday, with the idea of specifically looking for some clear vinyl I used to have which I could use for a project I’m making for my craft club’s gift swap.  Well, the vinyl was no where to be found, but I did find a lot of crazy fabric I’ve collected over the years, as well as a lot of projects I’m excited to finish or remake anew, and some very DIY-Goth materials that I will be donating… to some one…  So while I’ve been itching to buy more fabric, notions, ribbon, tools, which I absolutely CANNOT afford right now, I made out like a bandit because I found things I’d forgotten about.  Now I feel like I just went shopping for free!! Yippee!!

Some highlights:

  • a hybrid zebra-cheetah print knit fabric – many yards
  • a vintage Waverly upholstery fabric with pink and purple roses the size of dinner plates
  • my Great Gramma’s aprons from her restaurant – white polyester with white embroidery or scalloped hem, cute!
  • a scratchy faux-lambskin scrap – big enough for a footstool? table runner?

And with my newly documented and organized catalog of UFOs (unfinished objects), I plan to be very productive and responsible with my sewing and other stitching. I promise.

In stitches

January 1, 2009 in Craft and Art by Analogue Chic

Gads, crafters are funny people.  I’ve found some taglines recently on various blogs and sites that make me laugh out loud.

Did you just craft your pants? / What the Craft? – #1 most laugh-inducing.

Where my stitches at?

Knitta, please!

Ohhhh man.  Good times.

Add to the list!  Have you found some crafty comedians?

Warm Spirits

January 1, 2009 in Design by Analogue Chic

Well, kids, it’s 11:00 and I’ve already lost my left foot to hypothermia participating in outdoor New Year’s festivities.  Now I’m home recuperating, and sipping a Hot Toddy made with St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur.  It’s better than chamomile tea, let me tell you.

I found this darling in the checkout line at my liquor store, drawn to it by it’s Belle Epoque-Paris bottle design.  It really looks like a bottle of perfume, and it smells and tastes fresh and lively.  Their website is equally charming, in an Amelie but sarcastic sort of way. 

Do check out their drink recipes.  At least pour some into your tea next time you have a cold.  Or are recovering from amputation.

Bonne Annee! Happy New Year!

Debut, Again

January 1, 2009 in Costume, Craft and Art, Design by Analogue Chic

My masterpiece is complete: I installed some lighting in the Salvation Army window display to kick it up a notch in conjunction with our local First Night events.

I used these instructions from Martha’s now defunct (RIP) Bluelines magazine for the lights.  And I did it for much cheaper than the materials she lists– thank you, post-Christmas clearance lights.  The directions are a little vague, but trust me, just start doing it, and think about building a chic Lite Brite for grownups.

And hopefully you’ll notice that I balanced out the right side of the window with a teepee-tree made of store-bought birch limbs.  So for what it is, I’m quite happy with it.  And I’m also pleased to hear that the staff has been getting a lot of questions and compliments about it.

Now, I need to start brainstorming the next display for late January-February…

Lines

December 24, 2008 in Craft and Art, Design, Fashion by Analogue Chic

I am always drawn to crisp, bold lines with sharp contrast:

 

Lines by AllieAnalogue
 


Outlined by AllieAnalogue

 

A recent visit to the Beardsley Zoo offered up these plants as textile inspiration:

...it was Capt. Peacock in the greenhouse, with the nippers...

reminiscent of corset boning

reminiscent of corset boning

 

quilting? fabric sculpture? possibilities...

quilting? fabric sculpture? possibilities...

Another love I recently came across: one more Alexander McQeen Fall ’08 favorite.

(Actually, just look at that whole show, lots of GORGEOUS b&w goodness.)

And look at the girl in the middle on the blog header, up there.

I didn’t mean for this post to be so ‘Goth’ on the fashion side– unfortunately, the fashion cycle always favors black for fall/winter, and recent trends use a lot of white-piping-on-black– actually, I could probably produce a whole blog dedicated to b&w trends (the black-floral-on-white a couple years ago, the more recent b&w ‘antique’ scrolling…)– ANYhoo…  

I don’t see too much piping  in other color combinations, sadly.  I think it was more popular in earlier eras, I’m thinking the ’40s– maybe it was phased out of ready-to-wear as production continued to be pushed into lower-quality, faster-turnout… quel dommage.

New Toy

December 22, 2008 in Design, Fashion by Analogue Chic

Found a new toy today: Polyvore.com.  Oh, the fabulosity!  It lets you create collages of clothes, decor, whatever, by pulling images from all over the web, and of course you can add your own.

This is going to be really helpful to me, since I tend to collect lots of links and pictures from the internet, magazines, etc., “just in case”… and they sit in my hard drive, or in files in my bedroom, never to see the light of day.

If you’re at all into textiles, fashion, graphics, or interior decorating, you should give it a look.  It could be great for playing with color, pattern, composition…

I’ll put my first collage in a new post soonish.

New Tutorial: Sweatshirt –> Capelet

December 21, 2008 in Design, Fashion by Analogue Chic

Being cooped in the house for the last 3 days (blizzard) has forced me to finally put this together: Directions for converting your sweatshirt into a cute little cape. It’s very long and wordy, as my writing usually is, but please post comments if things are utterly unclear, or if you have suggestions– although I will not be doing one-on-one sewing lessons through this blog. (If you’re a new sewer, please try to be resourceful about things like, what is a seam allowance? or how do I get sharp corners when I turn the seam right side out? There are lots of good sites for sewing basics on the web.)  Just forgive the wonky layout and first-tutorial flubs. If you do end up making your own, please register on Craftster and post yours as a reply to my original post. Well, have fun and be creative with it!  Get thee to a stitchery!

Some Thoughts on Shoes

December 19, 2008 in Craft and Art, Design, Fashion, Fashion Anthropology by Analogue Chic

Spotted this silly news video on Yahoo today [vid no longer there– about "the psychology of shoes"], and it just sprouted this little stream of consciousness. Enjoy.

A vintage shoe archive?! Such a thing exists?! I love this logo: 

"'The Red Shoes' […]Here is a Magyar-Germanic version my Aunt Tereza used to tell us when we were children. In her version of the tale, she always began by saying, 'Look at your shoes, and be thankful they are plain … for one has to live very carefully if one's shoes are too red.' […] 

"As we shall see, the loss of the handmade red shoes represents the loss of a woman's self-designed life and passionate vitality, and the taking on of a too-tame life. This eventually leads to loss of accurate perception, which leads to excess, which leads to loss of the feet, the platform on which we stand, our basis, a deep part of our instinctual nature that supports our freedom. 'The Red Shoes' shows us how a deterioration begins and what state we come to if we make no intervention in our own wildish behalf. […] "In the tale we see that the child loses the red shoes she has fashioned for herself, those that made her feel rich in her own special way. […] She had progressed from having no shoes to having shoes that gave her a sense of soul in spite of the difficulties of her outer life. The handmade shoes are marks of her rising out of a mean psychic existence into a passionate life of her own design. […] Socially, shoes send a signal, a way of recognizing one type of person from another. […] Shoes can tell something about what we are like, sometimes even who we are aspiring to be, the persona we are trying out. The archetypal symbolism of the shoe goes back to ancient times, when shoes were a mark of authority: rulers had them, slaves didn't. Even today, much of the modern world is taught to make immoderate judgments about a person's intelligence and abilities based on whether he or she wears shoes or not, as well as whether those who wear shoes are 'well-heeled'or not. […] 

"The symbol of shoes can be understood as a psychological metaphor; they protect and defend what we stand on– our feet. In archetypal symbolism, feet represent mobility and freedom. In that sense to have shoes to cover the feet is to have the conviction of our beliefs and the wherewithal to act on them. Without psychic shoes a woman is unable to negotiate inner or outer environs that require acuity, sense, caution, and toughness. "The fact that the shoes are red indicates that the process is going to be one of vibrant life, which includes sacrifice. This is right and proper. The fact that these shoes are handmade and pieced from scraps point to the child symbolizing the creative spirit, who, being motherless and untaught for whatever reasons, has pieced this all together for herself using native perception. And brava! what a fine and soulful accomplishment."

Quotes from Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes (Ballantine Books, 1992), pp. 215-223.

And another story, from my Grandma, to which I will ascribe absolutely no psychological analysis whatsoever:

... She saved up her money to buy high heeled alligator shoes and a matching handbag …

Coincidentally, this week I also ordered the shoes for my wedding…

My Big Debut

December 14, 2008 in Design, Fashion, Fashion Anthropology by Analogue Chic

I half jokingly hatched this plan several months ago, but after seeing the same window display at the Salvation Army since this summer, I got serious.  I volunteered to dress the window display.  And it's a win-win: hopefully, it will attract customers, and I get to practice styling and composition, and also play with clothes and decorations that I otherwise have no way to include in my collection.  It took about 2 hours to strip the window and find the clothes and objects I wanted to use, and then about 4 hours, with the help of The Fiance, to dress it completely.  And the results: 

Once I had permission from the store manager, I thought for a while about a couple of themes, and finally went with an Enchanted Winter Woodland (the losing theme was a sort of Nutcracker-New Year's Eve party melange).  Ultimately, it was determined by what I could find among the clothes and bric-a-brac, and the dress selection was woefully slim. Anyhoo, on the left hand side, we have the Faerie Queen in green, with one of her attendants in red, and 3 wood nymphs in the background (worst mannequins ever!); and on the right is the Woodsman and his Wife– I really wanted to get a Red Riding Hood-like character in there, but no child-size mannequins :( I was influenced by, like, all of the picture books, fairy tales and fantasy novels I read over and over as a child, Celtic mythology, British literature, and Alexander McQueen's Fall '08 collection (although it was much more Russian than Celtic).  And I was looking again recently at this beautiful paper fashion by Violise Lunn— we have similar influences also. 

I'm pretty pleased with the way it came out, what with limited resources and for a first try.  Ideally, there would have been a lot more fabric on the backdrop, with more of the brown ribbons-suggesting-trees.  And, conveniently not in the pictures, the far right hand side is pretty bare.
Some more highlights:

I

December 10, 2008 in Fashion by Analogue Chic

I also heart checks, stripes, polka dots, and classic, graphic patterns.

Mmmm, plaid   And I LOVE my local Salvation Army Store– they have HUGE discounts on all clothes on Wednesdays, thereby enabling my fabric-stash-addiction and closet overcrowding problem, without hurting my wallet!  Mwah! The button-downs above are for conversion into tote bags/gift wrap for my homegirls, a la this project— whoops! just gave away 50% of my holiday gifts! Here are some more new members of my textile collection: Mr. and Mrs. Wool-Checkshirt Now, on the left there, that is a Man Shirt: it is big, wooly and warm, literally a working man’s shirt– that shirt does not mess around.  And there’s a cute, vintage, lamb’s wool and angora Lady Sweater with semi-batwing sleeves.  And a very cute, kid’s belt from LL Bean.  Lots of possibilities with these: not sure if I want to reconstruct the Man Shirt, it would make an awesome cape, or a felted bag, perhaps; I may wear the Lady Sweater as is, also possibly a felted something- beret?; belt is obviously too small, and it would be a pain to reclaim the hardware, it may become a handbag handle. And for dessert– too sweet!–   How cute am I? Again, a real toss-up between wearing it or felting it– what do you think?  Comments, suggestions? I’ve never actually felted anything (intentionally) before, I need to do more research on how to do it, and I’m not sure what I would make from the felt with any of these, but I would like to try it.  I’m just scared of committing a great garment to felting, and then wishing I hadn’t so I could do something else!  Oh, well, I’m sure it will come to me in the middle of one of the sleepless nights I seem to be having lots of …

Creative Quilting – or, indulging my obsessions

December 8, 2008 in Craft and Art by Analogue Chic

Mmmm, indexing

Mmmm, indexing

Oooh, lucky me!!!  I’ve inherited/rescued from incineration my Grandma’s collection of back issues of Creative Quilting and Workbasket magazines from the 80’s into the 90’s and 00’s.  From what I have found in my research, both of these magazines are now out of print.  CQ‘s theme is obvious, but it’s not just bedspreads and wallhangings, there are some cute and/or interesting projects with the potential for updating and re-interpreting.

Such as:

Chicken of the Sea purse

Chicken of the Sea purse

 

I plan to update this kind of tacky bag into something a little classier, but still cheeky enough for the rockabilly/roller derby/neo-pinup girls.

And if and when I plan to really get down with my stitching roots, I might make a quilt in this gorgeous Hawaiian pattern, using naturally died organic cotton or hemp fabric:

Aloha

 

Workbasket is a more general needlework and craft project digest, with a little of everything.

The plan is to index all the issues, and hopefully scan and PDF the photos and instructions and make them available on the web.  As a crafter, and a feminist, I feel a sense of obligation to archive and preserve these projects, articles and other tidbits, because clearly a lot of work went into designing them and producing these magazines for 20-odd years, and it’s a lengthy record of Women’s Work in a continuous line from the past…. in spite of their propensity to use cheezy pre-printed quilt patterns and come up with RIDICULOUS outfits like these:

 

Is that woman wearing a quilt?!

Is that woman wearing a quilt?!

 

Because in the end, I’m just indulging my obsession with organizing, indexing and archiving.  Crazy quilt-vomit craft projects are just icing on the cake.

I’ve already started indexing CQ, so if you’re crafty and on the hunt for new, wacky projects, or just classic quilt patterns, stay tuned here for updates.

Show and Tell: other recent projects

December 8, 2008 in Craft and Art, Fashion by Analogue Chic

Here are some of my other recent projects as posted on Craftster:

Ahoy

Nauti' Girl Top - reconstructed men's shirts

*well, for some reason, wordpress is not letting me put a link in the photo captions…*

Nauti’ Girl Top

Tote bag - men's shirt recon

Tote bag (no clever nickname- suggestions welcome)- men's shirt recon

Tote bag

If you dabble in crafts of ANY kind, at any skill level, I highly recommend registering with Craftster and getting up the courage to post in the forums.  There are great tutorials that people have patiently put together, you WILL be inspired by other folks’ work, and your projects that you’ve worked so hard on, alone in your dark garret craft room, will get the mad props and love that you deserve.  I <3 Craftster 8<.