Make it Yourself this Holiday Season

Times are tight this Holiday Season but nothing says "thinking of you" more than a gift you made yourself or bought from an independent crafter. Better yet, recycle something old into something new!

If you're in the Los Angeles area, there are a few events worth checking out.

The Unique LA independent design and gift show and Renegade Craft Fair are always winners. Here's their list of things going on:

+ Shepard Fairey's Studio No.1 has partnered with this event so that every attendee will get a free cotton tote bag featuring exclusive artwork

+ Over 300 designers/artists selling their goods

+ Free DIY Workshops all weekend

+ Eat from the amazing Tiara Cafe, Gram & Papa's, and Platine Cookies, who will all be serving up meals and treats at their pop-up locations within the show

+ Get snapped by the amazing Oh Snap Studios


The Sew/Fit Method with Ruth Oblander and Nancy Zieman

Years ago, a very talented Chicago seamstress went on a talk show and spoke about how professionals alter clothes to fit their clients. The talk show was flooded with calls from viewers wanting to know more. The seamstress, Ruth Oblander, decided to write a book about fitting for the home sewer and the Sew/Fit Manual was created. She hired a young woman who was a talented seamstress and as beautiful as a model - Nancy Zieman - to help her.

Thirty years later, the method is still widely practiced and the Manual continues to be a top seller at our website and with some top fashion and apparel schools. Nancy Zieman went on to run her own very successful business, Nancy's Notions and wrote Fitting Finesse based on the Sew/Fit Method.

The Sew/Fit Manual addresses some key points:
  1. How to take proper measurements of your body
  2. How to understand how patterns are made and how to properly measure a pattern
  3. How to use this information to buy the correct size pattern
  4. How to alter that pattern to fit your body with a pivot and slide method
With a little time and a little patience you too can make your clothes fit! This method works with any commercial pattern. Try it today with our books and DVDs at Hip Line Media!

Throw in A Little Color!

So I am constantly switching furniture, changing pillows out, rearranging my world. I noticed one day as I stood at my counter how utterly BORING my eating area is. It has a small seating area with 2 chairs I love, but desperately need to be recovered. Also a piece of furniture I bought 25 years ago and painted black and my hubby accused me of going to PB and buying something new! And a skirted table. I love a skirted table, there is stash room under them for hiding whatever, and they are so easy to recover and what an impact they make. So following the great instructions on the Basic Home Decor DVD from Hip Line Media, I made a new tablecloth for about $70. I opted not to add fringe, went simple because the fabric is so dang cute. Here is the before and after. What a difference a little color can make! Crank up the air and sew!
Hmm, maybe I need to redo those pillows.....

Duct Tape Skirt Sloper

Recently at one of our ASG meeting I brought in an article on how to create a basic skirt pattern from duct tape by Jean Haas. Jean has been designing sloper techniques from duct tape for quite some time. If you need a good laugh, check out her website and envision yourself swaddled in duct tape. But seriously, her techniques and simple and efficient.

Starting with a 1/2 yard or so of a cotton tube knit (I used a cheap ribbed tube knit) you slip on the knit over something form fitting. Next, taking small - 6 inch or so - pieces of duct tape, begin to cover the entire tube knit "skirt". Once the tube knit "skirt" is covered, carefully cut it off your victim at center back.

After getting your shape in duct tape, you can open darts to flatten the pattern and you've got the perfect fitting tool!

Selling Handmade Goods on the Internet

I am the West Los Angeles Neighborhood Group leader for the American Sewing Guild. We meet once a month and tackle some crafting related subject. Our choices have ranged from how to sew in zippers to making a duct tape skirt sloper. It's fun and informative. I'm lucky to have a diverse group - men, women, old, young, experienced and beginners. But they all have one thing in common - a love of making things!

Our last meeting was all about selling handmade goods on the internet and it created a lively discussion. Unless you've been living in a cave, you already know that Etsy is the place to sell. What you may not know, is that the top 10 sellers on Etsy don't actually sell handmade items but rather supplies to make your own handmade items. That surprised everyone, myself included. But honestly, we crafters have known all along that making things is only getting bigger and better!

I left the meeting with a goal to post some of my own handmade items to my Etsy Hipline site. First off will be a case for the Kindle. I have a Kindle e-reader and I'm in love with it. But the options for carrying cases were limited and unappealing to me so, I created my own.

Turns out people really like it. The exterior fabric is fleece and I quilted it to cotton batting for the inside. This protects the Kindle face and gives added protection. I used snaps to close mine but I think in the future I'll do velcro. A few buttons for ebellishment and a cute photo of a girl reading and there you have it. The photo was copied onto photo fabric paper and sewn in. So, what are you making?

Happy 2010

First Monday of the New Year means time to hone those resolutions and get back to work. I'm feeling like it will be a very good year. We're making the move of all our products for sale on Etsy and adding some handmade, recycled goods too. Swap O Rama Rama is on the mind and dates are being worked out as we speak. There are lots of things happening so I guess I just better get working so I can have them to post for you.

It's tough to let the Holidays go so I leave you with an end of the year glitter party video. Happy New Year!