Thursday, January 31, 2008

DIY Friday- Sweater Skirt Redo!

This is one way to make a pencil skirt out of an old sweater!

Here's what my old sweater looked like:

First thing you wanna do is chop off the collar. I tried to cut as straight across the shoulders as I could. This is going to become the waist.

Next, I measured a 1/2" and folded that over and pinned it,all the way around the top part that was just cut off.

After the whole waist was pinned, I turned the whole thing under one more time and sewed all the way around.
I set the stitch width at a wide zigzag because that allows the stitching to stretch without breaking.

Then I tried it on in order to figure out what to do next! I realized it would fit well if I chopped off 1 of the sleeves. I put it on inside out and pinned it so that it would fit.

Next I sewwed straight down next to the pins. I used a smaller zigzag stitch so it wouldn't stretch quite as much as the waist, but would still stretch without breaking. I'm sure it wouldn't make a huge difference if you use a straight stitch too. After sewing along the pins I cut off the sleeve.

This next part I wish I had taken better pictures of, but hopefully you'll get the idea. Feel free to ask me questions by the way!

So next I held up the skirt, right side out, and it had only one sleeve left. This sleeve would be made into the pocket. I tucked it in so the sleeve was hanging on the inside. I pinned the sleeve in place and sewwed around the edges of it so it would stay in place intsead of flopping around. I also sewwed straight across where I wanted the bottom of the pocket to be.

Then all that was left was chopping off the end of the sleeve that poking out from under the skirt.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Texture Treasury!

This is my latest Etsy Treasury:


Inspiration Saturday- Unusual Uses of Materials

This week's Saturday inspiration is all about using interesting materials in unusal ways. The materials used are concrete, wood and rubber.

I stumbled on these awesome wooden bags in a magazine (I'm not sure which one) they're by Monacca. They're made out of Japanese cedar.

and hel-lo how cute is this calculator? Definately check out their website at They do furniture too.

This jewelry piece was made out of silicone rubber that was cut with a water jet. It's part of a line of jewelry called Nervous System, developed by Jessica Eve Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg. The line came out of their mutual fascination with biology and math. Check out their website for more background info:

I spotted these great concrete rings on the other day. That website's chock full of interesting new designers. The inside part of the rings are made of stainless steel. The rings were inspired by "architecture and urban life". I love it! it's like a little piece of a building on your finger.

Friday DIY! a day late lol ; )

Ok, so I didn't get to it yesterday. maybe I should change it to "Sometime around Friday DIY" hahaha anyways, without further ado.....

This week I decided to try and make some of those cute little fabric covered stud earrings that you see on etsy lately. Here's an example of a really well done pair by Fluffington. They were on the front page the other day.

I didn't succeed in making my pair as clean looking but they're still kinda cute.

First things first: materials.

stud earrings with flat front
scrap of cool fabric
fimo clay
super glue

I got the glue at a jewelry supply shop on 6th Ave. It's a multi-purpose super glue.

First I made little circular disks out of the fimo clay. I made mine just slightly bigger than the flat part of the earrings.

Next I baked them. Apparently too long because they burned! : 0 haha Fortunately that doesn't matter because they're just getting covered with fabric anyway. I think they were in for about 15min so I guess you should try 5min or so.

After letting my poor burnt-beyond-recognition fimo disks cool I cut a little square of my fabric scrap that fit the whole fimo disk. I glued the front part first and let that dry by placing it face down on the table for a couple minutes. after the front was securely glued I started folding the rest of my little fabric square around the fimo clay disk. I continued gluing bit by bit, holding each fold in place for a couple minutes to let the glue set.

After the fimo clay disk was completely covered I glued the stud to the back. I held that in place for a few minutes too. I then let them sit overnight before I starte playing with them, just to make sure the glue was really strong.

And that's it!

I have some ideas for
improvements, so maybe next week I'll post an update on this one.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Public Space, Critical Mass

This is a link to an article that "Yes!" magazine posted online and it struck a chord with me because Rev. Billy, the author of the article, is talking about the Critical Mass bike protests and all the arrests that have happened involving them.

Personally, I'm usually turned off by his showmanship, but then when I read articles by this guy I'm always impressed. He always has an interesting take on our rights and freedoms ect.

I was arrested in the big Critical Mass protest that happened right before the Republican National Convention in 2004 and I felt like it was a pretty lame cause to be arrested for. I felt like if you're going to protest and risk getting thrown in jail it should be for something more worthwhile than rights for bicyclists in New York City. It was really random that I ended up in the protest in the first place, I just happened to be pedicabbing in Times Square that night, so I wasn't very informed and I felt stupid and naive for jumping in. I pleaded guilty, just so I could get my pedicab back. And that was the thing to do because it was rented! Props to the guy that rented me the pedicab!

I wish the circumstances had allowed me to fight it and plead not guilty because the whole thing was just wrong! The cops were wrong, Bloomberg was wrong, the courts have called the whole thing illegal and unlawful. I'm glad that so many people did fight it.

Rust Treasury

My latest treasury! An ode to rust:


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Inspiration

Lately I've been thinking it would be exciting to keep track of my inspirations and projects all in one place- this blog! So this is the first of my Saturday Inspiration blogs. It'll be a weekly wrap-up of interesting art, design, ect.

This week I was flipping through the Jan/Feb issue of ID and they're doing profiles of artists'/designers' studio spaces. I love textile design and toy design so I was really interested in Donna Wilson's work after seeing her studio space stuffed with handmade textiles and plush toys.

How awesome is the red and blue Canibdoll? so cute!

Ok, so I also have some fashion inspirations for this week, from designers Hussein Chalayan and Balenciaga. I love the strong structural shapes in Balenciaga's collection from the Paris Fashion week in Oct. And Hussein Chalayan is just awesome! He uses a combination of big concepts and experimental materials but still makes clothes that look great on people.

....and how bout that giant floral print mixed with super structural shapes on the Balenciaga line? Sa-weet!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Simple Tank Top Re-Do Project

So I tried out a little diy project idea I spotted in this month's Blueprint magazine. They did tiger stripes on a little black dress using a bleach pen and I said to myself, "Hey I have one of those bleach pens at home". So I gave it a try on an old tank top.

I put the shirt on my mannequin so as I was drawing I could see how it would look while being worn. If you don't have a mannequin, some large cylinder shaped object would probably work, maybe a tall bucket or an empty wastebasket.

I covered the mannequin with a left over drop cloth from painting my apt. a few months ago.

Next I drew one continous stripe using the bleach pen. I started at the bottom and worked my way up in a spiral until I ran out. I think my bleach pen was just a little less then full when I started.

When I was done drawing the stripes, I let it sit for about 30 min. because I wanted to make sure the bleach got a chance to really work and become pretty bright. After the 30 min. I slipped the tank off the mannequin by pulling on the plastic drop cloth. Then I washed it in warm water with a little detergent.

and voila! the finished shirt!
Now I'm eyeing all my other old tops for a re-do.... : D

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Etsy Eco Friendly Art Picks!

These are some of my latest favorite environmentally friendly artworks that you can find on etsy.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Bill About Recycling Electronics in NYC- what you can do

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great New Year's.

I'm reposting a post from the No Impact Man blog in order to help get the word out about recycling your gadgets and gizmos. There's a hearing coming up this month on Jan 14th about a bill that would "require manufacturers of electronics sold within the City to take responsibility for the "end-of-life management" of their products." The electronics companies are trying to beat it down so we need to let Mayor Bloomberg know that this bill has support from the public!

No Impact Man

An end to e-toxins just a phone call away (please make it)

Posted: 02 Jan 2008 02:00 AM CST

First off, let me ask you please to forward this post to every New Yorker you know, and ask them to make the calls...

Some say that e-waste--trashed computers, cell phones, printers and other gadgets--is becoming one of the biggest toxicity problems facing our culture. In the US, municipal incineration of e-waste is the largest source of cancer-producing dioxin and among the largest point source of heavy metal contaminations in the atmosphere. I've written about this here and here.

Good news around the country: Organizations like New York's Lower East Side Ecology Center stage free recycling events to collect our e-waste and make sure it doesn't end up harming us or our planet. In fact, LESEC will be collecting our old gadgets this Sunday, January 6, from 10 AM to 4 PM at Unions Square (see here for more details). If you live outside New York City, click here to learn how to recycle your e-waste.

Even better news in New York City: Municipalities around the world are working to make electronics manufacturers responsible for cleaning up their own e-toxic mess, including New York City. In fact, on January 14, there will be a hearing in the City Council Chambers about a bill that would require manufacturers of electronics sold within the City to take responsibility for the "end-of-life management" of their products.

The important thing about this legislation, modeled on systems already in place in the European Union and Maine, Maryland and Washington, is that it provides financial incentive for electronics manufacturers to make their products less toxic and design them with recycling and reuse in mind. In other words, this system greens not only the disposal but also the production of electronics.

You can read more about the New York City bill in the New York Times and Gotham Gazette. You can read the bill itself here.

New York City residents have to help: Needless to say, some in the electronics industry are presently trying to kill the bill. They want the financial costs of recycling to fall on consumers, which would leave manufacturers with no incentives to green their production processes. So, here's your call to action.

Please contact both Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Tell them that you "support Intro. 104 as written" and ask them to move it forward. You can contact Bloomberg's office online here. You can contact Quinn's office by calling 212-788-7210.

Fellow bloggers and journalists: Would you mind too much transmitting this call to action, too?