Archive | June, 2012

Let’s Get Down to Business

26 Jun

The good news: business is picking up! I feel like I’ve been giving out my business cards left and right.

The bad news: my business cards are terrible, ugly, no-longer-correct VistaPrint freebies. Giving out my business card is always accompanied by a pang of shame.

What it all means? Time to make myself some sick business cards.

So I called my mom and asked her to dig out my old Print Gocco, a super-cool small-scale Japanese home screen printing system. 

I started by drawing out my design in pencil:

Then, I went over it with a carbon-containing pen:

I picked up some business card blanks in a few different colors at Paper Source

… burned and inked my screen…

… and got to printing!

And I’m in business!



The Basics of Fitting and Alterations at the Brooklyn Brainery

18 Jun

On Saturday, one of my students from my first alteration class at the Brooklyn Brainery just happened to stop into Kill Devil Hill (my place of business), wearing the romper she altered in my class. 

It was a beautiful coincidence.

I’ll be teaching another session of The Basics of Fitting and Altering on July 2nd. It fills up quickly, so get on the wait list to be the first to find out about future sessions! It looks like I’ll be teaching more of these as time goes on, as well as a more in-depth, multi-session version of the class. So keep your eyes peeled!



A Quilt for Computer

13 Jun

A few weeks ago, my 2005 iBook finally croaked. Years I’ve been waiting for it to die so I could upgrade without guilt. And while browsing the Mac Store case selection, hugging my brand new MacBook Air I thought, “$45??? F-that. I can make my own G-D case.”

My own G-D case

True, I don’t have the fancy neoprene, but there are other ways to protect a laptop, right?

The following week I was in Park Slope and spied some beautiful hand-quilted pillows in the window of a home furnishing store. I couldn’t find any terribly similar images online, but something along these lines:

Your laptop needs a little padding (I assume, since laptop cases always have it… When it comes to technology, I mostly have no idea what I’m talking about). Who needs neoprene when we have QUILTING!

A quilt is like a sandwich. Fabric is the bread and batting is the good stuff.

I pulled out some Guatemalan ikat to be the face of my case and some basic whatever for the backing (I also lined the case, so the backing will never see the light of day).

Cut your pieces the size of your computer (or whatever it is you may be making a case for) plus 1 1/2″ all the way around to account for ease and seam allowance.

(Pay no attention to the pathetic girth of my batting. I ended up combining this batting I had laying around with a layer of stuffing that I also had laying around. If you’re buying batting, get some nice fluffy stuff, at least 1/2″ thick.)

Quilt Sandwich

Now you sew your sandwich together. There aren’t really any rules for this, sew it any which way you please. By hand, by machine, in stripes, zig-zags, diamonds, around the shapes in the pattern of your fabric. The world is your oyster! I hand-quilted mine with stripes to reiterate my striped fabric, using four different thread colors that coordinated with the colors in my fabric. 

I like the hand-made aesthetic of purposefully imperfect stitching.

Once I finished quilting both sides of the case, I dug out a colorful zipper (long enough to go around the top corners, so getting your computer in and out of its case isn’t infuriating) and a lightweight lining (to hide the yucky innards)…

And assemble! 

You know how to do that, right? My apologies to anyone who actually wants to know… I didn’t document it and I don’t have the patience to type it all out at this moment. Surely there are other helpful resources out there…

Happy quilting!


Just When You Thought You Had to Throw Them Away…

5 Jun

For over a month now I’ve been working at family-owned Greenpoint general store, Kill Devil Hill. We sell an assorted collection of antiques, gifts, house-made candles and soaps, products from other local artisans, custom-made aprons and denim repairs (among other things).

It had never occurred to me before I started at Kill Devil Hill that a tear in a pair of jeans was reparable (apart from, perhaps, with an unsightly patch). But oh how wrong I was! If you have a pair of jeans that are full of holes (or just inappropriate thanks to one inopportune crotch hole), but you just can’t bear to part with them, you are not alone. As it turns out, we Americans really love our jeans. Bring them on by the shop — 170 Franklin St @ Java — and we will mend your holes!

This new-found knowledge, of course, inspired me to dig out some of my old trash-bound jeans and fix them up.

Sad jeans…

Happy jeans!

Close-up jeans…
mended hole on left,  original denim on right

Never give up!