Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hanging around

I keep losing my scissors and then I have to track them down. That means I do a loop from the sewing room to the kitchen to the living room and since I tend not to find them the first time I have to do the loop again. Keep in mind I currently have five different pairs of scissors: a pair of embroidery scissors to cut thread, a pair of tailor sheers, a pair of pinking sheers, a rotary cutter and another pair of normal fabric cutting scissors. I leave my tailor sheers in the kitchen because I typically cut fabric on the kitchen table and the embroidery scissors right by the sewing machine. The other scissors I only pull out when I need them, or when I can't find my other pair. I forgot to mention I also have separate set of scissors for cutting paper because fabric scissors are only for cutting fabric.

I was joking the other day about hanging a pair of scissors around my neck, but then I thought why not. So, I bought a pair of wee embroidery scissors from an Etsy shop in the UK, a costume jewelry necklace from another Etsy shop and with the help of my pink needle nose pliers (my mother spray painted a set of tools pink for me because an ex-boyfriend kept borrowing my tools and not returning them. She's brilliant that way!) and voila. I had a necklace with a pair of scissors. Now when I need to snip a thread no matter where I am I can. I may not want to wear them out in public though...

You can see what I have been up to with my fancy pants scissors in my Etsy shop

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Yarn Bomb

While I love crafting, I am finding that it is often a solitary endeavor. In an attempt to get out and meet other crafters I joined a Meetup group that was going to yarn bomb Logan Square. A yarn bomb is sort of like a form of graffiti. It changes the landscape, but unlike normal graffiti, it can be removed. I have heard about them but never seen one. Last week I met a group of knitters and crocheters (it is always nice not to be the only crocheter in the group) at El Cid in Logan Square and over margaritas and tacos we created some items for the neighborhood. We are making cozies to cover trees, sign posts and garbage cans.

I won't be able to make it to this weeks meeting, but I still wanted to contribute and so I sat down the other night and made a sign post cozy out of my left over bits of yarn. I had some red, turquoise, lime, and orange yarn. Amazingly all together they did not look bad. In fact I really liked one of the color combos. Turquoise and red together look really cool and a little reminiscent of the 1970's.  I'm going to have to make a scarf out of those colors.

If anyone else is interested in contributing to the yarn bomb you can find information at the Logan Square yarn bomb site. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Noued Papillon


I love the word for bow tie in French, noued papillon. Papillon means butterfly and it just fits the image of bow ties. Ever since I saw the Earl of Grantham wearing a very unique bow tie on Downton Abby I was intrigued. I started researching bow ties and after much digging I found out that the Earl had been wearing a batwing bow tie. The shape of the tie is a bit different and it looks quite striking. Here's 007 wearing one.

Instead of having the same shape on each side as a bow tie, the batwing bow tie has a straight edge at one end and is tied differently.

Someone requested a plaid bow tie and I could not find a good plaid. I was looking at thrift stores at old ties (that can be remade into bow ties) and still I could not find anything. Even at the gigantic fabric warehouse I could not find what I was looking for. Then as I was looking through my piles I found two men's shirts that I had cut up to reuse and they were both a striking colorful plaid. I think that I was so set on silk that I wasn't even looking at cotton, even though it was right in front of me.

This fabric is waiting to be cut.

I've cut the fabric and I need to sew it up.

Um, anyone know how to tie a bow tie?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Can I get Billy Idol to sing at my wedding?

For those of you are who are not familiar with Meandering Design,  a warm welcome and thank you for stopping by to visit. Meandering Design is a design house that creates eclectic, stylish and sustainable clothing and lifestyle accessories. 

I learned how to sew when I was seven years old on my grandmother’s 1950’s Italian sewing machine. I use that machine today, along with my mother’s 1970’s Singer sewing machine that I ‘borrowed’ in 1995 (and never returned), to create my unique designs. I also learned from my grandparents how to fix and revamp things instead of throwing them away and I still do that to this day. I try as much as possible to use items that are thrifted and locally sourced. I am very excited to be starting this new adventure in life. 

I bought a wedding dress at the thrift store for $6.90 to rip up and reuse. I think it is from the 90's or early 2000's. The bodice is covered in lace and the hem has two layers of lace. It would be impossible to buy that much lace for $6.90, an added bonus is I can reuse the fabric. I have a couple of ideas percolating...

You can find Meandering Design on Etsy. The website, is currently under construction but will be ready soon. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mama said...

The other day I had some great ideas, but poor execution. I could not sew the waistband for a skirt straight and so I decided to set it down and walk away. Then I picked up another skirt that I was adding some hand embroidery to in order to give it a pop of color. I embroidered a couple of flowers that may or may not have been monkeys, or giraffes, or possibly even elephants, regardless they definitely did not look like flowers. This would be the point where self-defeating spice takes over (that would be the spice girl that doesn't think she is as good as the other spice girls and makes snarky self-deprecating remarks) and tries to destroy my belief in my abilities. At that point I admitted failure and called it a day. As my favorite heroine Scarlett O'Hara said, "After all tomorrow is another day".

Today was a completely different day and I got a couple of more skirts made and listed in the shop. I have a couple of more picnic blankets done and a couple more prepped and ready to go. I'm going to need to borrow someone for a photo shoot!

My friend Carey and I went to a fabric warehouse in Pilsen a couple of days ago. I have been many times and I know to walk in without a specific need in mind. It is huge and can be a bit overwhelming, but I love it. I found some amazing Nigerian wax fabric. The fabric has a beautiful texture and drape to it. It is also has vibrant colors and almost modern designs. It is made using wax resistant dyeing.

I will be making this fabric into A-line skirts. If a print catches your eye let me know and I can make a skirt special just for you.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Opening Day

Today's opening day was kind of like the Cubs. It started out with a murmur and ended on a whimper. I have quite a few more things that I need to clean up, shoot pictures of and then list on Etsy. I did manage to put a few things in the shop. Just a few. By the end of the weekend there will be more. I spent the day cleaning up the house and putting my ducks in a row. There is a pile of things waiting to be sewn.

On another note, I got my business cards and they are beautiful. The color looks just right and the printer did a lovely job. I highly recommend Green Printer, especially since they are located here in Chicago and they not only offer recycled paper, but they also print using waterless methods and have so many ways of doing business green.

The website is accessible,, and will link you to the Etsy shop and blog. Dennis is still working on the final layout of the website.

So here is to my anti-climatic very soft opening. Stay tuned for much much more.