Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Recycled Sweaters

Last month, I started turning adult-sized wool sweaters into baby and toddler felted-wool sweaters and coats.  I love watching a gigantic sweater emerge from the wash as a 2T, cutting that sweater apart, and sewing it back together with elements from other sweaters or woolen items. Most of these creations you won't see on Etsy so I thought I'd show them here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Dwell" on it

I am a magazine-aphile with an appetite for design and craft magazines.  I devour them.  It is a mandatory stop in almost any store so you might see columns like this every once in a while on Plainly Jane Handmade.  I like to share what inspires me, makes me think, or is just plain innovative.

Today...  Dwell (dec./jan.).

For my inner-crafter...    
For woodsmen whose facial hair isn't quite up to snuff.  This woolen knit cap is by Icelandic design collective Vik Prjonsdottir.

The landscape architect in me finds this two-for-one quite interesting.  Is it a fence or is it climber?  I suppose it depends on the user.  Bends and bulges make fine places for children to play or for adults to, literally, park it.  Produced by Tejo Remy and Rene Veenhuizen .

A shadow of what used to be.  In Montreal, its painfully obvious what existed before this parking lot and its tiny shack.  I love the evolution of old cities and how unintentionally their character is sometimes developed.  Photo by Matthew Monteith.

I love the grocery store, but I'd move in if it looked like this one.  This MPreis is situated in Wenns in the Alps and was designed by Astrid Tschapeller and Rainer Koberl.  Dwell: "By virtue of progressive architecture, excellent siting, and stunning environs, MPreis elevates an often mundane fact of daily life."  Way to take advantage of the natural landscape.

After grocery shopping, I'd serve dinner on these plates.  City Plates collection by notNeutral turns cartography into stunning dinnerware.  Not only interesting to the landscape architect or urban planner, but mighty crafty as well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Inspiration

Who couldn't help but love a face this sweet?  And the dress...  so so cute.  This book is on the way to my mailbox as I write.  I love new inspiration like this.  For those of you who don't know, Japanese pattern books like this are written in, well, Japanese.  I don't know a lick of Japanese, but I could look at the pictures and schematics forever, making each piece in my mind.  I would much rather follow a Japanese pattern than an American pattern - they get right to the point and draw everything out for me.

So, a few more pictures from the book to drool over before it arrives in my hot little hands.  Maybe you'll see a new little dress for Livy next week, or even something for the shop...

Seven Sticky Pairs of Shoes

I must have been in a really crafty mood when I started this.  Seven pairs of baby shoes - each a little different.  I generally sew all layers together, but it takes a mighty long time with lots of room for error.  So, I tried something new this time.  I used a heat bond product to adhere the layers of fabric together.  "I am so crafty", I thought, "and I'll save so much time."  Neither were true.

It turns out that sewing through heat bond leaves "sticky" on your machine needle which causes skipped stitches and frayed thread.  Who knew?  I thought thats what heat bond was for - adhering applique pieces to a base to be sewn through at a later time.  I must be doing something  horribly wrong.  Does anyone know what I've done wrong?  You would be saving me from 7 pairs of handstitched shoes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

New work

I thought I'd show you a few things I've been working on, variations of which might show up at plainly jane.

A Lunch Bag for my niece:


Its felt with vintage fabric applique and small leather handles. The finished size is about 8"x8" with a 1" gusset. I'm really liking this - possibly to sell in the shop.

Next, just a few things I found thrifting yesterday:

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Store is Open, and now so is the Blog

I figured that since I've been selling the things I make on Etsy and other places, I should have a place to document my current projects and ideas. I have a blog already but I haven't used it much lately. I suppose it was much more for exploring the materials I find at the thrift stores and the vintage fabric that I just love. This blog will be oriented more toward what I've made with those findings and what might be in the works.

My goal is to update this blog often, even if its just with a picture. Feel free to comment - I love comments.