Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hydrangeas - The Upcycle Big Pay Off

A few years ago I met a woman at my daughter's gymnastics class that said, "Oh, you sew?  Would you like an old bridesmaid dress?"  I replied, "Ugh, sure.  Free fabric, I can be ridiculously cheap."  That was three years ago.  And, up until this afternoon I've been storing this rather large (skirt yardage, not dress size) 1980's purple hydrangea garden bride's maid dress in hopes that I would someday find the perfect project.  Three long years, this dress has been sitting there folded at the bottom of a stack of rather unloved fabric castoffs. 

As I checked my inbox yesterday I read that I had a client who was looking for a hostess gift.  She wanted a set of tee towels in pink and purple hydrangeas, could I help her out?  I immediately thought of this old dress sitting in the bottom of a fabric stack.  Ahh, the ultimate payoff for me...storing something for years and then finally having an opportunity to use it.  In my world, that is Christmas. 

So here it is, upcycled bridemaid dress which has now become lovely little hostess gift towels to hang in a  kitchen.
  See the crocheted trim?  Also sitting in my sewing room for years.  I met a lady a few years ago who gave it to me hoping I could use it somehow, someday.  I could swear she told me her mother or aunt hand crocheted that trim.  Even though I could never get it to work on a bag, I simply couldn't toss it if someone took the time to crochet it.  I have personally tried and failed crochet 101 about 3 times now.  I have to appreciate someone who had the patience.

If by some chance the bridesmaid of that original wedding ever reads this, please know your garden party dress lives on, cleaning one cook's hands, but lives on nonetheless.  It's making me think about calling my bridesmaids and offering to make that horrid black taffeta number I made them wear in 1991 into tablecloths.  Karmic payback. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

And Then There Were None

 Look at the side bar, notice anything missing?  Fall shows, where I attempt to sell hand sewn widgets and more, they're done.  Finitio, completo, all done and removed from said blog sidebar.  Yesterday's show was well...ummm...sadly the best kept secret in Hamilton County.  Great organizers, wonderful vendors, nice venue, awesome lunch delivered to the booth (I love that part) and yet apparently most of the good folks of Hamilton and surrounding counties were at Best Buy seeking out their $75.00 off coupon for the flat screen television big enough to eat San Francisco and perhaps not as interested in my new funky tee towels with ball fringe made from super cute over the top holiday fabrics.  Seriously? 
Before we get all teary eyed and righteously indignant about my rather slow show yesterday, I did sell the pair of tee towels with the leopard Santa Hats.  Clearly nothing else was needed to make my day.  Other than the 3rd chocolate chip cookie I ate while sitting calmly in my booth out of sheer boredom.  That made me happy yesterday and my pants tight today.

While I had some time to reflect on my rather chaotic existence the last few months while being a full time mother, full time small business owner, full time wife, part time school volunteer, and full time house cleaner (fine, part time...we all know the dust bunnies are now rhinos around here) I had this Oprah'esque light bulb moment.  And it went something like this.  Wow, tomorrow I'm done.  No matter what happens at this show, I've got the fam to go home to.  And, they want Christmas baby.  The decorations, the tree, some gifts, some home baked goods (although we are going to have to go next door for that one since I can't bake even boxed brownies)  They could really groove on the whole ball of wax this year. 
And so, it's suddenly the end of the year.  I've worked hard.  And loved the wee little business 2010.  I even have some some thoughts for next year's creative ideas.  But now, (after I list a bunch of inventory on Etsy this week...see how I slipped that one in?) I'm focusing on Rudolph's friend in the photo above. And the little kid standing in front of the preschool cubby below.  She wanted to have her picture taken at preschool.  See the pony fabric?  It was pink and brown day at preschool, so I made her a pink and brown outfit.  I know, that one was neurotic even for me.  wink. 
Bring on December festivities.  I'm ready.  Or will be as soon as I sweep up the 3 months of dust rhinos and shake them out the door.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Christmas and A School Play

Here are the Christmas dresses I mentioned yesterday.  It is sort of dress central around here right now.  They were ordered for a pair of sisters.  I hope they have a very Christmas'y event to attend next month.  Maybe Santa would like to see them in their dresses?  So, off they go to be delivered in one of the first neatly wrapped packages of the season tomorrow. 

In other news Snow White has taken over the house.  Yes, the Snow White.  Ava's school is performing Snow White this week. It has been 9 weeks of practicing everyday after school for the main cast.  There are no less than 136 kids performing in this play.  Ava landed a coveted role as a dwarf, as in Snow White and the 7. The kids all had to audition with a solo for this play, can you believe that?  We are one grade school only a 1/2 step from the Great White Way it seems. 
   Ava is on the left posing with two other delightfully adorable dwarfs.  She knows 2 hours worth of dialogue and a huge handful of songs by heart.  She told me in complete confidence that she thinks she should be Snow White's understudy.  I thought this was a rather Soprano'esque statement for a little dwarf third grader but apparently she's thinking big for next year. 
Can you imagine the massive amounts of kidly chaos with dress rehearsals full of 136 kids?  As complete gluttons, Olivia and I are headed back over to the school for the first full performance tonight.  Then tomorrow it is another round for the all school performance and then Friday night?  Yes, of course yet another full performance.  I will have one very tired purple dwarf on my hands at the end of the week. 

Next week, we will be shopping for a full time agent in NYC.  I mean shopping for a turkey at the local market and spending lots of time in front of the Wii. 

Oh yeah, I made Snow White's costume!  Really, I did.  No, seriously I did.  It almost made me toss a sewing machine through a window but I did it.  And, no I'm sure the local community players won't be seeking my costume making skills. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sweet Dress

This little dress is going out today for a custom order.  I wish it was staying here for Olivia.  It is so darn sweet.  The gal who purchased the dress for her daughter chose the fabric line, but then allowed me to enjoyment of pattern placement.  I do love it when someone will trust me enough to let me play around with the design. 

I took a few custom orders for little girl dresses at a show I did last week.  I thought I had too many to keep me busy and didn't want to over promise the delivery before Christmas issue, but I'm done with this one and am about 1/2 way through 2 more.  I'm thinking about opening up just a few more dress orders.  Thinking, hmmm.  I will post the photo of the two more Christmas themed dresses when I finish them.   

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Eleven Twelve.  The twelfth day of the eleventh month and there it was, Olivia as an honest to goodness five year old.  Five whole years.

She started the day by asking me several times if this day was her real birthday.  Yes I told her, it finally was her real birthday.  She's been waiting for quite some time to turn five.  And then she asked again, "Mama, is it my real birthday?"  I know she was excited, it was the finale to counting down the days over the last 2 weeks.  She was simply confirming that her day to be five was really upon her.  It was her day to wear the birthday crown at preschool, her day to eat anything she wanted for dinner, her day to open presents and receive well wishes. 

And yet an hour later I drove away from preschool wondering if that was what she was really asking.  Is today the day, I asked myself?  The real day of her birth. We have some paperwork to suggest that yes, indeed 11-12 might really be the day of her birth in Yangxi County, Guangdong, but we don't really know for sure.  We probably never will be quite 100% sure.  Was that newborn baby born before midnight?  A while after?  Was that baby born 2 days prior to her finding?   I thought to myself on that drive home from preschool would a birth family be more likely to remember her on a nice round anniversary like five years?  Where are they now?  I bet they would think its funny that she hates princesses and asked for Spider Man toys.  But she is also interested in lipstick.  My Spider Man loving, lipstick wearing five year old.  Our clever, sweet hearted girl.  

Over the years I've learned to have my private moment thinking about what may or may not have happened on the days we celebrate as birthdays for the girls.  I don't dwell on the unknowns like I did several years ago.  I have my thoughts, my wonderings about the truths, and then I focus on chocolate cake and paper crowns with paper candles on top.

Happy Birthday my Spiderman Loving Lipstick Wearing amazing Olivia Xi GeGe.  Happy 5th.  May you have many more.    

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Projects Galore

Ha! Binkie clips.  Wow, Ava (my eight year old) and I could have used these circa 2002 and 2003 when she had a serious addiction to her pacifier.  She called it her nuk, and simply would not leave home or sleep without it.  We are over the nuk, here at Pink Evita home but these darling little Binkie Clips are headed out in a wholesale order.  You simply must go see Basket Pizazz if you are in the central Indiana area.  Sherri, the owner will make any sort of gift basket you would like and ship it anywhere for you while you simply walk around her shop picking out items for your basket.  You can choose any dollar amount you would like, including the shipping costs and Sherri will make some sort of basket work for any budget...love THAT.  I've done it several times.  Hopefully these clips will make some mommy and baby addicted to the binkie very happy!

In other news the sewing room is smokin'.  Sew much use.  I have another big show coming up.  St. Luke's Holiday Bazaar.  It might be their 30th year?  Don't quote me on that but it is a big holiday handcrafted show here in town that's been around for decades.  It's my first year as a vendor there.  Come see me.  My mom is going to help me at the show.  Can't wait.  See my side bar for the address and grab a friend and come see all the goodies at the St. Luke's Holiday Bazaar 2010.  I'm ordering boxed lunches to be booth delivered as we speak.  :)  Oh, they are having a bake sale too.  Seriously, baked goods made by nice Methodist ladies...why would you miss out? 

Oh yes, and that little binkie addicted baby I mentioned?  Yes, she's all big and growing up.  Sniff.  She's in the school play.  She's a dwarf...as in Snow White and.... Snow White's mom was in a costume predicament and I offered to make the dress.  It's a gown really.  Why would I do that during my busiest time of the year?  Insanity.  And I just wanted to see if I could.  I really didn't know whether I could make a gown that would really fit a super adorable and talented 10 year old.  Here it is so far.  Fitting is tonight.  I have a few fingers crossed that it will fit.  The skirt has been sewed to the bodice 2 times and the zipper has been in and out too many times for me to admit.  Stretch velvet and chiffon skirt overlay that can't be ironed = one huge headache and a few swear words tossed in to keep it real.  But it does sort of look like a Snow White gown doesn't it? 
Gotta run and finish a bunch of bibs to match those binkie clips.  I need 5 more hours each day...just until the end of November when I settle down and start to think about my own family's holiday season.