In October we made a trip down to Austin for the Maker Faire. We had lots of fun during the two day event at the Travis County Fair Grounds. It wasn't to hot or too cold, just right. During the two days, I attended the Swap-a-Rama event. This is where old clothing is donated and placed on tables in a tent. Then you take the clothing and alter it right there. With the assistance of some wonderful sewing gents and ladies and Singer sewing machines, you can walk away with an upcycled piece of clothing.
In addition to sewing alterations, Studio 3 of Austin manned silkscreening tables. They provided the volunteers as well as the screens, ink and imagery you could have screened onto your new piece of clothing. The owner of the business was in the Bizarre Bazaar giving demonstrations on how to make a simple screen image with an embroidery hoop, sheer material and resist. Beatrice Thomas was very informative, kind, energetic and helpful. I was lamenting about Spoonflower to her and how frustrated I am with Illustrator not being able to flip an image so I could have a mirrored version of it. Beatrice, coincidentally, used to teach Illustrator classes and was able to walk me though the right steps to get Illustrator to flip the image.
Everyone at the Maker Faire, Swap-a-Rama, and Bizarre Bazaar were friendly and excited to share techniques with the attendees of the faire. Coming from an art background where share is not always freely given, this was a refreshing change. The vendors, volunteers and presenters were all about sharing knowledge and empowering people to go out and do things themselves. I highly recommend attending one of the two fairs, either in Austin, TX or San Mateo, CA. I came home all pumped to do my crafts.
Now back to the alterations I did at the Swap-a-Rama. I found a pair of extra-extra wide leg green jeans laying on the tables. I kept going back to them while I was looking to find clothing that struck my fancy. I snagged the jeans and proceeded to cut off the bottom two legs for totes. I had been wanting to learn how to square off the bottom of a bag, so I thought I could use the opportunity to ask the volunteers for assistance. The ladies volunteering that day were lots of help. Thanks!
The other fabric on top of the bag was from scraps laying around on the sewing table. I was fine with the raw edge applique for this bag, so I just stitched it on. The lines are inspired by Raspberry. I love her work.
I wanted to have a screened image on the two bags and I was okay with the screened image overlapping the applique. I think it gives some depth and interest to the bag. The image on the bag is from Studio 3, of course.
I made the handles from army belt material purchased in bulk at Sun-n-Fun airshow in Florida. It was fun to get the roll into my suitcase for the flight home, but it was well worth the effort. I have been using it for most of my bag handles. Very sturdy. So sturdy it was munching up my older thread and breaking it :)
The interior fabric was from my stash. I had actually purchased the fabric to line a bag. It has a nice olive green strip in it that ties it to the green of the jean fabric. I wanted a splash of color to contrast with the green of the bag. I also placed a wide ribbon at the top edge to give it a nice finish.
I plan on giving this tote to my nephew's girlfriend for Christmas. She is a senior in high school. I hope she likes it.