Five X Fifty: Day 16 – Upcycled Skirt Bags

This Five X Fifty entry is kind of a cheat, since I made these adorable upcycled skirt bags for my last 50 New Products in Fifty Days, but I never actually got them listed in my Etsy shop.  Until today!  So that totally counts, right?

These bags are a perfect example of rewondering: taking something unwanted and making it into something new and useful.  Made from girls’ skirts with ribbons for the straps, they’re a fun and playful way to carry around whatever you need to carry.  Each bag is one of a kind, so you’ll be the only one who has it, and people will comment on what a cute idea it is (at least they do when I carry one).

Purple and Pink Paper Doll Upcycled Skirt Bag - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00001 - $19.95

Purple and Pink Paper Doll Upcycled Skirt Bag – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00001 – $19.95

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Tan Corduroy Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Details - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00002 - $19.95

Tan Corduroy Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Details – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00002 – $19.95

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Leopard Print Small Upcycled Skirt Bag - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00003 - $19.95

Leopard Print Small Upcycled Skirt Bag – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00003 – $19.95

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Glittery Denim Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Ribbon Strap - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00004 - $19.95

Glittery Denim Upcycled Skirt Bag with Embroidered Ribbon Strap – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00004 – $19.95

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Purple, Black, and Lime Green Plaid Upcycled Skirt Bag - Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00005 - $19.95

Purple, Black, and Lime Green Plaid Upcycled Skirt Bag – Handmade by Rewondered D201P-00005 – $19.95

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Any of these bags can be chosen as your free item with a $20 contribution to my IndieGoGo campaign, or ask me to try to find a skirt in the colors, size, or style you like best.  I’m hoping to make up a bunch more of these as I get my hands on more skirts.

I have the items for Day 17 and Day 18 done and photographed, just need to edit the photos, list them in my Etsy shop, then come over here to make the posts.  Let’s see how much more I can get done before my body insists I need sleep… 😛

Five X Fifty: Wondiosyncra-Tees

You’ve already had a preview of this item, since I donated one to the Real World Hero charity auction (and you’ll see that one again below).  I call these “Wondiosyncra-Tees: Upcycled T-shirts celebrating the characteristics that make you wonderful.”  You choose the word or phrase (ten letters or less) that best describes you, and I cut those letters out of old t-shirts and create a frankentee with a ransom letter style.  I think they’re a lot of fun!

This is another custom made item, so all the links go to one listing in my Etsy shop.  But of course I have five examples for you, two of which someone can snap up as is instead of waiting for a custom made one.  First come, first served, though I can always create another one with the same word or phrase.  It will just look different, since no two of these shirts will ever be alike.

But first, the three you can’t have. 😛

I made one of these for myself to wear to craft fairs and events, so of course it says “Rewondered” on it.  I’m usually wearing a hoodie over it though, so you can only actually see the “wonder” part. 😛

Custom Made To Order Wondiosyncra-Tees T-shirt - Your Choice of Word, Color, and Size - $20 - Example: Rewondered

Custom Made To Order Wondiosyncra-Tees T-shirt – Your Choice of Word, Color, and Size – $20 – Example: Rewondered

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I made one for my husband to wear to the shows he helps me with, too.  His nickname is “Random” and this style is perfect with it’s mish-mash of letters and colors.

Custom Made To Order Wondiosyncra-Tees T-shirt - Your Choice of Word, Color, and Size - $20 - Example: Random

Custom Made To Order Wondiosyncra-Tees T-shirt – Your Choice of Word, Color, and Size – $20 – Example: Random

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And of course, there’s the one I made for the Real World Hero charity auction, which says “Hero” on it. Congratulations to the winner! I mailed it out this morning. 🙂

Custom Made To Order Wondiosyncra-Tees T-shirt - Your Choice of Word, Color, and Size - $20 - Example: Hero

Custom Made To Order Wondiosyncra-Tees T-shirt – Your Choice of Word, Color, and Size – $20 – Example: Hero

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I wanted to add another color into the mix, so I made up this “Red Hot” one. It’s a size XL, and available to the first person who orders and claims it!

Custom Made To Order Wondiosyncra-Tees T-shirt - Your Choice of Word, Color, and Size - $20 - Example: Red Hot

Custom Made To Order Wondiosyncra-Tees T-shirt – Your Choice of Word, Color, and Size – $20 – Example: Red Hot

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And finally, you know I had to make a “Geeky” one! This one is a 2XL, and also available to the first person who orders and claims it.

Custom Made To Order Wondiosyncra-Tees T-shirt - Your Choice of Word, Color, and Size - $20 - Example: Geeky

Custom Made To Order Wondiosyncra-Tees T-shirt – Your Choice of Word, Color, and Size – $20 – Example: Geeky

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I meant to have more items up today, but I decided that the contributions I’ve received to my IndieGoGo campaign so far should be put to good use and I should take advantage of the really awesome sale that JoAnn Fabrics was having today. I picked up a ton of stuff on clearance, too! I was showing my husband my “loot” and telling him the ideas I was going to make with my purchases, and he mostly just smiled indulgently at me and nodded, with an occasional “ooh nifty!” I have him well-trained! 😛

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to take advantage of any Black Friday or weekend sales, since I’ll be at the Cornucopia Craft Fair selling my own stuff.  Though if sales/contributions and time allows, I may try and sneak in on Saturday and get the Dritz Dressform that will be on sale for $99.99, which would be immensely helpful for creating custom clothing.  We shall see.

For now, I am going to continue to be in MAKE ALL THE THINGS mode until Thanksgiving, and I’m seriously contemplating not taking the holiday off and spending it sewing instead.  I know, I know, all work and no play and all that.  But I’m 3000 miles away from my family, and my husband’s family is 1500 miles away.  We’ve been invited to dinner with our housemate’s family, but being away from my studio all day, knowing I have to be up at 5 or 6am the next day for a 3-day show that anticipates 5000 people coming through… eep!  Again, we shall see.  I suppose it really depends on what all I get done by Wednesday.  So I better get back to it, methinks! 🙂

Rewondered: Before and After – Prom Dress To Wedding Dress

The Rewondered: Before and After series will feature some of my favorite transformations in rewondering.  I’ll show you what I started with, tell you what I did to rewonder the item, then show you the finished piece.  We’re starting with my wedding dress.

I picked up this silver prom dress at Goodwill for $5.  It didn’t look very exciting on the hanger, and I figured I’d use it for the fabric or something.

BEFORE - Silver Prom Dress on Hanger - Front

BEFORE – Silver Prom Dress on Hanger – Front

BEFORE - Silver Prom Dress on Hanger - Back

BEFORE – Silver Prom Dress on Hanger – Back

It’s not easy to see in the pic, but I like the gathering on the back around the zipper.  I decided to try the dress on and was amazed at how well it fit me, and I began to envision what I could do to it to turn it into my dream dress.  I had originally planned to do separate pieces: a corset top, layered skirts, a shrug to cover my shoulders, etc.  I (badly) drew my idea in a notebook while I was in Florida last March:

Wedding Dress Design Idea

Wedding Dress Design Idea

So with a little tweaking of my design I got to work on a lot of tweaking of the dress.  First, I fixed the halter strap, which was missing a hook and eye to keep it together at the back of my neck.  Next, I sewed elastic under the front seams of the skirt, causing it to gather.  It didn’t end up as short as I wanted, so I tacked the edges of the hem up at the waist underneath, forming more of a bubble skirt.  I decided to leave the back as is, but the front needed something, so I took eye pins from my jewelry supply stash and made hooks that I hand sewed to the bodice along the front seams, then threaded a dark grey ribbon through them, corset style.  I found this adorable white tulle with silver stars on it and made “sleeves” instead of the originally planned shrug.  I ended up with this:

AFTER - Finished Wedding Dress on Hanger

AFTER – Finished Wedding Dress on Hanger

Add the multi-color tutu petticoat I made earlier underneath, and this is what it looks like on me (without my hair done or any makeup on… I’m a great model, huh?)

AFTER - Me Wearing My Wedding Dress

AFTER – Me Wearing My Wedding Dress

I still need to do a few more tweaks to it.  A couple of the hooks came off (as you can tell in the picture if you look closely) so I need to fix those and rethread the ribbon, and work on the sleeves a bit.  I’m thinking about removing some of the tulle or making a new petticoat that is a little less full.  All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  Also, for any of you superstitious folks that are going to freak out about Lorne seeing my dress before the wedding if he reads this blog (which he does), it’s far too late, as he’s the one who took the pictures.  We don’t believe in any of those superstitions, and we already feel like we’re married, we’re just making it all legal and sharing the day with our friends and family.  Besides, if he took a picture of me doing “I’m a Little Teapot” while wearing this dress, and I post it on the internet, it must be love, right? 🙂

I'm A Little Teapot

I’m A Little Teapot

The Final Countdown – 2…

Two days left in my IndieGoGo campaign!  I suppose I should have done this one for 8 days, but I found it after I’d already posted day 8 so it gets to be day 2 instead.

Two days… well a day and an evening.  My campaign ends at 11:59pm Pacific time tomorrow night.  I’m a little late with this post because I had the bright idea that since I was posting an 8-bit rendition of The Final Countdown, I should post 8 bits of new products.  So I made eight new bags!

The first six are more skirt bags, upcycled from little girls’ skirts and dresses.  Any of these are available as choices for the $20 Recreate Perk.

Blue and White Striped Skirt Bag with Gold Ribbon Strap

Blue and White Striped Skirt Bag with Gold Ribbon Strap

Purple Corduroy Girls Skirt Bag

Purple Corduroy Girls Skirt Bag

Tiny Leopard Print Skirt Bag

Tiny Leopard Print Skirt Bag

Purple Plaid Skirt Bag

Purple Plaid Skirt Bag

Denim Skirt Bag with Embroidered Handle

Denim Skirt Bag with Embroidered Handle

Brown Corduroy Skirt Bag

Brown Corduroy Skirt Bag

The last two are made from long-sleeved t-shirts.  I cut the sleeves into strips and braided or twisted them to form the handles, knotting the pieces at the top.

Girls Rock T-Shirt Bag

Girls Rock T-Shirt Bag

Music T-Shirt Bag

Music T-Shirt Bag

This brings me up to 44 new products, so I need to post six more tomorrow to meet my goal.  I’ve got two already done and one very nearly done, so I think I’ll make it!  Then comes the task of putting new listings up on Etsy.

Speaking of Etsy, one year ago today they started keeping track of the number of views our shops and listings were receiving.  So in the past year, my Etsy shop has had a total of 2,853 views, consisting of 986 shop views and 1,867 listing views.  My shop has been favorited 31 times and my listings have been favorited 139 times, for a total of 170 favorites.  I’ve had six orders in that time frame.  Considering the amount of upheaval my life and business have been through in the past year, I don’t think those numbers are too shabby.  I’d like to see them grow a lot more though before the year is out, so getting new items up is going to be a priority in the coming months.

As I wrap up this post, there are 32 hours left in my IndieGoGo campaign.  Not much time left to make a contribution, so please go claim a perk! 🙂

Regeneration

Regenerate – to re-create, reconstitute, or make over, especially in a better form or condition.

Yep, that’s my thing, that’s what I do.  I take things that are generally unwanted or unusable in their present condition, and re-create them into something wonderful.  I love taking something plain and boring and making it interesting and fun.  I love taking something broken and giving it new life.  That’s the whole premise behind Rewondered, and a lot of what I’m trying to do with some of the new products I’ve been introducing.

As I mentioned on Sunday, I’m going to start posting three items at a time as I get them completed and photographed, though I do have a few items that I think deserve a post all by themselves.  You’ll see what I mean when I get them posted.  But today I’m posting three.

First up is an item for our wedding.  Lorne often jokes about getting some popcorn whenever our friends are getting lovey-dovey, so I asked if we could borrow a popcorn machine for the wedding, to give people something to snack on before and during the ceremony.  I stole a line from Lorne, “Ah, Love. I can watch it for hours.” and put that on the labels of these cute little cups.  They’re a little small, so people will probably have to get refills, but there will be lots of food at the reception so they won’t want to fill up on popcorn too much anyway.

Wedding Popcorn Cups

Wedding Popcorn Cups

I made another pillow from a shirt, this time a dress shirt that I loved, but the material was just a little too “weird” for wearing.  Not really uncomfortable or scratchy, but a little clingy and just didn’t feel right on my skin all day.  But it works great as a pillow!

Dress Shirt Pillow

Dress Shirt Pillow

And finally, I’ve been working on some ideas for rewondering hoodies.  I love hoodies and have quite a few, but you wouldn’t really expect me to wear something plain and boring, would you?  So I’m dressing them up a bit.  This one uses a reverse applique technique.  I cut out star shapes on the front and back and sewed a piece of red fabric with white stars to the back side of the hoodie so it would show through the star shape.  I figured I’d do this particular design in Rewondered’s red and grey colors, since the star is my symbol.  I might have to see about adding my logo to the other side.

Reverse Applique Hoodie - Front

Reverse Applique Hoodie – Front

Reverse Applique Hoodie - Back

Reverse Applique Hoodie – Back

And that’s going to do it for this post.  I’ll have more for you later, as I’m continuing to finish up all these half-started projects.  The next two weeks will be kind of hectic, with school starting up again yesterday, my IndieGoGo campaign coming to an end on the 29th, getting invitations to the wedding out, figuring out hotels and other travel arrangements for our guests that are coming from other states, and deciding if I want to pursue two other possible opportunities I’ve found that have deadlines of June 30th.  One is a very nice grant for my business, but would require 250 likes on Facebook and answers to some essay questions.  The other is an “audition” for a design team which would require me to make four items using a particular company’s products.  Because really, I don’t have enough on my plate, right?  😛

Working for the Weekend

Or I guess “on” the weekend would be a better description.  I’ve been diligently working away in the studio and have several things completed, some half done, a handful started, many with the components needed put together in one place, and umpteen still in the idea stage.  I’m going to start posting three at a time as I get things finished and pictures taken.

First up is an idea stolen from one of my other products, the bubbles wedding favors.  I love the saying on the middle bottle, so I decided to make a text art print of it.  I had a lot of fun playing around with the fonts available at dafont.com.  I only use fonts that are completely free (not just free for personal use) or public domain, but there are still thousands to choose from.

"Dreams, Like Bubbles, Should Be Chased" Quotation Text Art Framed Print

“Dreams, Like Bubbles, Should Be Chased” Quotation Text Art Framed Print

Secondly, another entry in my Rainbow line (remember you can get 20% off all of June using the coupon code LGBTPRIDE in my Etsy shop), a pair of snap barrettes with ribbons in rainbow colors.  These would be great for bridesmaids while the bride wears one of my ribbon veils.

Rainbow Ribbons Snap Barrettes

Rainbow Ribbons Snap Barrettes

And finally, a cute creation I’ve been making for years and giving to children of friends, T-Shirt Throw Pillows.  This one was made from an infant size t-shirt with a cute saying, but ones I’ve made in the past used superhero shirts and pajama tops.  I need to find some more of those!

"Wasn't Me" T-Shirt Throw Pillow

“Wasn’t Me” T-Shirt Throw Pillow

This is a great way to upcycle clothes the kids have grown out of, and provide them with a cuddly and useful toy.  I was told the Batman one I made for a friend’s little boy went everywhere with him.

I haven’t had a chance to work on my wedding dress yet, as upon further inspection I realized it was in desperate need of washing.  It’s all clean now, so I should probably get back to work, huh? 🙂

Monday Musings: Back To Work

It’s Monday!  I know most people hate Mondays, and most Mondays tend to hate people back.  But I think most of my friends would describe me as a bit of a Pollyanna, an optimist who always looks on the bright side of life.  So I don’t subscribe to the “Mondays Suck” newsletter.

Don’t get me wrong, I really didn’t want my weekend to end.  I don’t take a lot of weekends completely off (and admittedly, I did some posting about my IndieGoGo campaign this weekend, so I guess I didn’t take this one completely off).  But I thoroughly enjoyed just hanging out with Lorne and playing Diablo 3 and petting the cats we were taking care of for the weekend.  It was a great weekend without much more to do other than making sure our friends didn’t have to worry about cleaning the litter boxes or having clean sheets and towels when they got home from their vacation.  We thought about putting mints on their pillows but it was kind of warm and coming home to melted chocolate in their bed would have totally ruined the effect. 😛

So here it is Monday and I’m happily puttering away in my studio.  I really enjoy what I do, taking something “useless” and making it wonderful.  That’s another aspect of my Pollyanna personality, I see potential and inspiration where other people see junk.  I took a torn t-shirt that was way too big for my anyway, and created a cute summer top by cutting off the sleeves and tying up the back and sides.

Rewondered Tied T-Shirt Top - Back

Rewondered Tied T-Shirt Top – Back

Rewondered Tied T-Shirt Top - Front

Rewondered Tied T-Shirt Top – Front

I took a pair of men’s pants and some scrap fabric and lace and made a skirt.

Rewondered Skirt from Mens Pants

Rewondered Skirt from Mens Pants

I took a plaid jumper and made a bag out of the top.

Rewondered Jumper Top Bag

Rewondered Jumper Top Bag

And I took two skirts, one denim and one velvet, that were way too small for me and made a new, two-tone skirt.

Rewondered Velvet and Denim Skirt

Rewondered Velvet and Denim Skirt

This is what I love doing, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life, this is how I want to make a living.  And this is why I’m pushing my IndieGoGo campaign.  Because in order to be successful, I need the money to implement my plans.  The blood, sweat, and tears I continuously pour into this business will only take me so far, unfortunately.  As the saying goes, you need money to make money.  Thank you for spreading the word about the campaign, thank you to anyone who makes a contribution, thank you for helping me make this dream come true.

I have a wide variety of perks available, but if you have an idea for something I could make for your contribution, email me and we’ll see what we can work out.  I am definitely open to suggestions! 🙂

Reworking and Renewing

I’ve been pretty busy the past week and it shows no signs of stopping this coming week!  But I’ve found some time to make a few new items.  Today I’d like to introduce to you two new lines: handmade earrings and Rewondered bags.

I’m working on earrings that can match my current necklace designs, as well as some new designs.  There are three styles I made last week:

  • Simple Charm Earrings – each earring has one single charm
  • Beaded Charm Earrings – each earring has a headpin strung with beads
  • Charm and Bead Earrings – each earring has an eyepin strung with beads and a charm
Cat Key Simple Charm Earrings

Cat Key Simple Charm Earrings

Rainbow Beaded Charm Earrings

Rainbow Beaded Charm Earrings

Rainbow Star Charm and Bead Earrings

Rainbow Star Charm and Bead Earrings

I think they turned out pretty good, and I should be getting them listed in my Etsy shop within the next couple of weeks.  There will be a lot more earrings designs soon, and I have some ideas for a few other styles as well.

But what I’m really excited about is my new Rewondered Bags line!  I finally got some time in on my sewing machine and turned a pile of pants and skirts into some new bags.  This line will mostly be one of a kind items, since I am upcycling old clothing into a new, useful item.  I finished three this week, and have my eye on a few more.  These are so much fun for me, I hope to make them a major part of my overall product line.

First up, we have a little tote bag made from an old pair of shorts that had a skirt over the top of them.  I removed the shorts part and sewed together the bottom seam of the skirt part.  From the big box of trims I received from a friend, I found a nifty piece of light blue trim, braided it with a piece of white, and sewed it to the side seams of the waistband to form the handle for the bag.

Blue Bag Rewondered from old shorts/skort

Blue Bag Rewondered from old shorts/skort

Next, we have what I call a “Pocket Bag” since it’s made out of a pocket from a pair of pants.  I rescued these pants from being thrown out because I had this vision in mind as soon as I saw the pockets.  I didn’t even realize the pockets had built in zippers!  I carefully cut out the pockets and sewed up the back, then made a strap out of a bit of the pant leg.  I’m glad I ended up with 3 pairs of these pants so I can make six of these bags, because I am definitely keeping one for myself!

Rewondered Pocket Bag

Rewondered Pocket Bag

And last, but certainly not least, because this one is definitely my favorite (and those who know me well can probably guess why), we have this adorable pleated skirt bag!  This one was easy, because the skirt had a lining so I just sewed that shut and added the strap from a piece I found in that big box of trims.  That box was a goldmine of a gift, let me tell you!

Rewondered Pleated Skirt Bag

Rewondered Pleated Skirt Bag

I have another red skirt just like this one that’s going to get the same treatment.  These bags, and others I will be making, are available for the $20 Recreate perk during my Indiegogo.com campaign.  The regular price will be $25-30 once I add them to my Etsy shop, so if you want one of these or something like it, hurry and make your contribution before the campaign ends!  You can also choose any necklace or bracelet currently listed in my Etsy shop for the $20 Recreate perk, instead of a custom made one.  One of a Kind and Limited Edition items are available on a first come, first served basis – contributors will get their choice of available items (or a custom made one) in the order I receive their contribution.

I’m hoping to get a few more items made this week but I also have two final projects due on Friday for my Marketing classes and a yard sale to get ready for on Saturday.  But after taking my finals next week I am done with school until June 18th and you can bet I’ll be taking advantage of that free time to make more new products!

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