Monday, November 29, 2010


Okay, forget everything I said about hating Christmas crafts.

This Octowreath (made by the amazing Hine Mizushima for the Luv-able + Hug-able (+ Wearable!) show) has changed my mind. You can make me any Christmas craft you like, as long as it has tentacles. (Or serpents.)

Hine also photographed a squid in the very act of creating holiday crafts:

Everything about this image is wonderful to me; I love the way it looks like it's been taken from a craft magazine circa 1975! And I am desperate for that teeny-tiny sewing basket...

You can see more of her wonderful work at her blog and buy things from her at her Etsy shop!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the grinch of craft

Image: Three girls making a "sandman" at the beach, by Ozzie Sweet. State Library and Archives of Florida, 1964.

I have a confession to make: I hate Christmas craft.

I was at Spotlight (a large craft chain store) the other day, and there were pile and piles of (mostly very ugly) Christmas fabric. And women were snapping it up! What the hell are they making with all this fabric? Tablecloths? Wall hangings? I am honestly unable to fathom what all that fabric is going to make. And why are they spending all this time and money making something that will sit in the cupboard for 11 months of the year?

Then there's all the snowmen and Santa Clauses and elves and snowflakes to make, to sit on the mantlepiece or the dinner table and then take up more storage space for the rest of the year. Why are they bothering?

Perhaps the reason that none of this stuff resonates with me is because it's all geared towards the Northern hemisphere. Snowflakes, reindeer, holly, candles, sleighs and fir trees don't have much relevance to an Australian Christmas. The other source of imagery is Christianity, and I'm not a Christian.

I'm not saying that I scowl every time I see a Christmas tree. In fact, we have a tradition of watching Christmas movies all through December, and I put out my little Christmas decorations. I love Christmas! I just don't understand why you would want to spend your precious crafting time making things that have such limited use and limited relevance.

Friday, November 19, 2010

the pledge

Friday, April 30, 2010

sewing a skirt

I'm not going to feel bad and apologise for neglecting this blog because that is how life goes. It is 2010 and everyone is neglecting their blog. I am a busy lady! But lately, even though I have been busier than ever (or perhaps because of that?) I have been itching to make things and talk about making things.

I bought the most beautiful boots: brown leather, almost knee-high. This made me realise that a) I only have black skirts and b) my winter skirts are all very long. After a brief look for non-black, knee-length skirts I quickly realised it would be quicker and cheaper to make my own, so I've bought some nice brown material with tiny stripey checks (I know, very confusing, photo forthcoming). I'm thinking of making it along the lines of Angry Chicken's 5-Minute Skirt: cut on the bias (so the check forms diamonds instead of squares, and also so I can check out the magical qualities of bias-cut clothes for myself), but with a casing and elastic instead of fold-over elastic (I think the fabric might be too heavy for that). I have heard that hemming a bias-cut garment is a pain in the ass but I think it's worth it.

Here is my only concern: the fabric has a little bit of stretch, but only in one direction (across, not top-to-bottom). Is that going to ruin the bias cut? I would very much appreciate feedback from more advanced sewists!

(Image: Neighborhood House Sewing Club, St. Paul)