This Week in Crafts: Fashion Shows, Swaps, and Making It Work

BlogHer Original Post

I'm home from spending 24 hours at Pacific International Quilt Festival.  This west-coast weekend is a blend of hundreds of vendors, hundreds of quilts and a fascinating mix of wearable fashions.  I was there to work the Fashion Show -a Friday night tradition which is organized by wearable quilter Karen Boutte.

This year's fashion show featured designs from Margaret Linderman, Rachel Clark, and the pattern company: Decades of Style.  I was one of the dozen models at the show.  Lucky me!  I got to wear beautiful items created by each of these three talents.  Consider it my own personal experience as a Project Runway Model, except nobody was sent home at the end of the night!

While I was getting my fashion on...

...Stefanie Girard of Sweater Surgery organized and ran a Swap-o-rama-rama.  If you are unfamiliar with the Swap-o-rama-rama fun:

Swap-O-Rama-Rama is a clothing swap and series of do-it-yourself workshops in which a community explores creative reuse through the recycling of used clothing.

The SwapWhen you attend the swap bring at least one bag of your unwanted clothing and a small donation (each swap varies depending on available funding). Every swap begins with a giant collective pile of clothing, the unwanted clothing of all who attend. Everyone is welcome to dive in and find their next new/used items from the pile. Take as little or as much clothing from this pile as you like, it's all free.

DIY WorkshopsAfter you have chosen your new clothes slide on over to one of the sewing stations and attend a workshop. Learn to make modifications or totally transform your finds. Each swap features a variety of workshops by local artists who are there to share their sewing and modification secrets with you. All the materials you need to sew, embroider, bead, fix, repair, knit etc, are suppled.

On Site DIY StationsSwap-O-Rama-Rama also offers on site DIY with skilled artists to help you get started. You'll find designers with sewing machines ready to teach you how to make modifications to your new/used duds. Or you might try the hand sew area and decoration station where you can learn to embroider, knit, crochet, etc. A silk screen station offers many amazing designs for immediate transfer as well as an opportunity to make your own screens using a YUDU silk screen machine.

This past August, BlogHer Burnadette Noll took place in a Back to School Clothes Swap based on the Swap-o-rama-rama idea:

We based it on the Swap a rama rama we had participated in at Maker Faire: seamstresses, silk screeners, swappers and more all gathered together in the school gym to help people modify the random selections they had made from the piles. It was amazing fun and an incredible display of abundance with more than enough of everything for everybody and not a single, solitary penny was spent. All the kids were psyched at getting "new" duds for back to school. All the parents were ecstatic at both getting rid of what they didn't want and gaining what they both wanted and needed while at the same time satisfying the societal urge to gussy up for back to school. And some cool fashion statements were made as various items were silk screened and altered and radified to suit the wearer.

Meanwhile, Kristen at ThimblyThings received a wonderful journal page with notes on a dress for her friend Erin.  From the notes we can determine several things: this is to be a flirty dress with a fitted bodice and a swingy short skirt with lots of volume.  And Erin does not like bows on the front of her dresses.  Kristen has

made the bodice, trimmed it with a tulle ruffle, lined it, and put in boning.  The boning is not particularly comfortable.  I rounded the ends, but I guess I didn’t round them enough.  And they are stuck in there (They’re melted slightly to the fabric.  Oops.).  Any suggestions? :D

This is where Kristen could use a visit by the charming Tim Gunn -with some guidance, perhaps, on how to deal with the boning and an encouraging Make It Work!  Does anyone wish to stand in for Tim with encouragement or help?

Debra Roby blogs her creative life at A Stitch in Time and her journey to fitness at Weight for Deb.

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