Tuesday, May 18, 2010

coffee sack madness

I think I'm entering into "the zone." The sewing zone because I'm on a roll and I don't want to stop. I spent the last two days cleaning up my studio and making bags. I added a much needed table and it's nice to have a some what clear floor space. A lot of things have happened in the last week...
This weekend was the Alberta Street Art Hop and it went fairly well for me, but great for Sara. I recently shifted from focusing on adult bags, due to people request for kid bags, and then started working on my kids re-purposed clothes. So of course, once I'm in good supply of kids stuff, everyone wants them in adult sizes! So for the next few weeks I'll be working on making new "kid" bags, but with longer straps and I'm still seeking out more table clothes and bed ruffles for larger sized clothes.
Here's the truck applique Sara and I made for my friend's nephew's bag.

The very first bags I ever made were out of coffee sacks and I spent a good year solely working with burlap. Now that I am going into my 4th year of bag-making, it seems I go through phases where I don't even want to smell or look at burlap because it spreads like a plague throughout my studio... I turn into the hairy burlap monster. Also, the kids love collecting the green coffee beans in the bottom of the bags... leaving them all around to be stepped upon.
I have been wanting to sew more coffee sack bags and due to the attention they received this weekend, I've been cranking them out.

I was also approached by a woman, who works for a roaster, willing to supply me with as many bags as I need for FREE! I have been in a little of a dilemma, since moving back to Portland, concerning coffee sack availability. Most of the small roasters... and even the larger ones, seem to hate dealing with giving away there burlap sacks. Portland crafters/sewers are really into using re-purpsed materials, but I never thought it would be this competitive for supplies! When I finally decided I needed coffee sack bags, I called ten roasters and only five of them would give me bags. I drove around for three hours to get maybe ten sacks. Compared to my supplier in St. Louis, where I got anywhere from 30 -500 bags at one time, Portland has been a pain. So I am thankful that my struggle is over and I don't have to waste anymore time running around in circles.

I mentioned in an earlier post that my brother, Ben, bought me an old Singer sewing machine. Here's a quick shot of it below. It's purrrrty...
Singer Model 66 (circa. 1919) someone added a motor to it later on... no complaints!

Back to work!

Friday, May 07, 2010

a rest

Almost every time I go to upload photos from the camera, I find pictures the kids have taken. They usually steal the camera early in the morning before I get out of bed. The one above in by Whitman. The kids both have crazy hazel eyes and this shows just how many colors are in them.
Sara and I have two big days coming up this month. May 15th is the Alberta Street Art Hop and then Last Thursday on the 27th. At the April Last Thursday a lot of people stopped to look at the tablecloth clothes, but were sad that I didn't have any adult sizes, so I am going to have to make the rounds at the thrift stores and try to find more table clothes. I hope to make adult versions for later this month.

I've been taking a short break from sewing and today made a large pleated bag out of some fabric I got from SCRAP a couple of weeks ago. It took me awhile to find the right match for the yoke and strap fabric, but I think it turned out great.

For the Alberta Street events, we share a space with my friends Ali Cat and Karl, who a part of the Dandelion Collective. They distribute anarchist literature/zines on a lot of DIY projects and themes. Ali Cat is am amazing artist, working mainly in screen printing. I'll be doing a blog on her art soon.