Re-Inspired clothing and gifts – Multiple Threads – an amazing store!

Have you been slogging through the boring old stores this month? Or have you been online scrolling through the cyber corridors of Amazon, Lands End, or the Just-Torture-Me-Now-I-Can’t-Stand-Another-Second-On-This-Darn-Computer Store?

Hmmm… chances are you have! And chances are that you have been underwhelmed with many of the choices for clothes and gifts out there.

Well, do I have a treat for you! Multiple Threads, an eco-boutique, at 1820 Solano Avenue in Berkeley is a wonderful store and so much more! Read on, dear readers…

Pillows, Sweater Quilts and Blankets
Pillows, Sweater Quilts and Blankets

Multiple Threads is remarkable in so many ways, I will just have to start somewhere…

Every square inch of the store is filled with the most amazing things. In this small corner alone you can see the following:

Pillows fashioned from a skirt made in India, pillows made from wool scarves or sweaters, pillows made from crocheted blankets.

Hand-stitched cashmere throw blankets, bed quilts made entirely of sweaters, silk neck-tie pillow, and baby quilts made from vintage quilts.

Candle sticks created out of old spools of thread, lamps made from antique jelly molds, coffee pots, and tart pans (from Panache Lighting), and underwear deftly and humorously sewn out of funny t-shirts (from Petaluma Panties).

OK, I am exhausted just telling you about this one little part of the store, but I know you are getting the jist. Everything in the store is hand-made and everything is ingeniously created using re-claimed and recycled materials. It’s an absolutely eco-friendly, go green, inspired, melting pot of creative energy and genius work!

Dresses and sweaters from Miranda Caroligne
Dresses and sweaters from Miranda Caroligne

There are several Bay Area designers who display in the shop, including the clever Miranda Caroligne. She is a really big-deal designer and also the author of Reconstructing Clothes for Dummies. Her signature look includes the interesting, colorful outer seams that connect pieces of sweaters together to make her great dresses, shirts, and skirts.

Ghetto Goldilocks dresses
Ghetto Goldilocks dresses

Ghetto Goldilocks is a really innovative designer from Oakland who makes wonderful dresses out of “adopted” clothing. They are fabulous! See the fun raggedy edges on the sleeves and necklines. Very urban chic. Visit her website to see a slide show – you’ll be inspired

Ghetto Goldilocks vest and Field Day skirt
Ghetto Goldilocks vest and Field Day skirt

Also from Ghetto Goldilocks are some really interesting vests and jackets for both women and men. The last time I was in the shop, Briget from Ghetto Goldilocks was just bringing in some long, almost-Victorian-style jackets that are really inspired.

Field Day Wearables is another company from Oakland. Multiple Threads carries their cute cotton dresses and skirts with gathered waists and buttons down the fronts. I am in love with the skirt (above) which was made out of a sheet!

Field Day’s vintage ties are hand-printed with unusual graphic images that make an absolutely wonderful accessory for today’s modern man! (sorry no photo)

Shayna's masks
Shayna's masks

Shayna, one of the seamstresses who works at Multiple Threads, has a painting background. These masks, which are painted and sewn on canvas, are really remarkable. She also created the hats seen at the opening of this post, using overstitching on cotton t-shirts to create the wonderful eyes and faces.

Dress out of the Night Kitchen
Dress out of the Night Kitchen

On this dress, sewn from reclaimed velvet curtains, Shayna has created a wonderful face that is evocative of Maurice Sendak’s In The Night Kitchen.

Shayna's remarkable black dress
Shayna's remarkable black dress

This dress is incredible. I can just imagine Helena Bonham-Carter wearing it to a film preview! And I can’t wait to see what this amazingly talented young lady makes next!

Pins and barrettes with a healthy twist
Pins and barrettes with a healthy twist

The gift selection is…

Purses and wallets - reinvented books and maps - from Mugwump
Purses and wallets - reinvented books and maps - from Mugwump

just as interesting and wonderful as the rest of the store.

Scarves pieced from sweaters and embellished with yarn
Scarves pieced from sweaters and embellished with yarn

And such a wide selection of items to choose from…

Brooches created from reclaimed fabrics
Brooches created from reclaimed fabrics

everything is fabulous – you really must go check it out.

BUT STOP!

Stop! in the name of mittens!
Stop! in the name of mittens!

I have yet to even begin to tell you about the boutique’s amazing creators, Diane Austen and her lovely daughter, Martha. So, here goes!

The brains and talent that have envisioned this great store and made it a reality, Diane and Martha, work very long hours and they work hard to make sure everything is just right. The things they make are incredible and they make it all right there in the workshop part of the store – You can even watch them in action if you’re lucky!

Party dress and shrug
Party dress and shrug

From dolls to dresses, sweaters to skirts, and so much more, everything is made from reclaimed materials. Sweaters, shirts, t-shirts and scarves are reincarnated into fashionable, unique, super cool clothing and accessories. Just look…

The doll wall
The doll wall
Little girl jumpers - sweaters given new lives!
Little girl jumpers - sweaters given new lives!
Lovely dress
Lovely dress, cleverly devised from several sweaters
Sweater vests and silk-tie skirts
Sweater vests and silk-tie skirts
Jumpers for grown-up girls, too!
Jumpers for grown-up girls, too!
Sweater leggings - my personal favorite!
Sweater leggings - my personal favorite!
Kids clothes
Kids clothes
Diane's signature skirt - unbeatable!
Diane's signature skirt - unbeatable!

So, no more boring shopping for you – high tail yourself to Berkeley, have a cuppa, and spend some time exploring this amazing boutique. Who knows – I might just see you there!

1820 Solano Avenue  – at Colusa

Ciao!

Sew Fun Kids Class – Winter 2011 report

Happy, happy kid!
Happy, happy kid!

What fun we have been having in my Sew Fun Kids Class!

Once a month we descend upon the classroom at Wooden Gate Quilts in Danville, California. Pretty soon it is filled with positive creative energy and the hum of the sewing machines. (And an occasional hiccup from a broken needle or empty bobbin)

Most of the students begin with little or no sewing experience and they are always ready to jump in and get going! They work fast and try very hard. And we get so much done!

One of our first projects was a totally practical and super cute two-sided apron, complete with fun pockets.

Terrific two-sided aprons
Terrific two-sided aprons
Alaina's attractive apron
Alaina's attractive apron

We were all a little surprised to learn that Alaina was 19 years old, since she looks about 12. But we loved having her in class while she was home from college. Here she is in her yellow gingham apron. Maybe we will see her back in class on the Christmas vacation.

Creative binder covers
Creative binder covers

We had the opportunity to try a little fusible applique on these binder and composition book covers.

Darling froggy binder cover
Darling froggy binder cover

How cute us this?

Great bag with a green lining
Great bag with a green lining

Another great project that everyone loved were these crafty bags. We used fabric-covered hair bands for the button loops – so clever!

Little Bag Ladies!
Little Bag Ladies!

Can you say Dar-Ling?!?

Three-color bag - beautiful!
Three-color bag - beautiful!

Another style of bags we tried are these three-color bags. We used the same technique from a French-seam pillow case and added the straps to make a completely finished , perfect-sized bag.

Hilarious Halloween Cake
Hilarious Halloween Cake

One of our classes was the weekend of Halloween. Our super-mom Hilda made us this fabulous cake.

Amelia made this bag all by herself at home!
Amelia made this bag all by herself at home!

The next day I was teaching another class and Amelia came by to show me the Trick-or-Treat bag that she made at home overnight. She had learned to sew the day before and was already designing her own projects – and finishing them. I was so proud!

Ava's color-coordinated banner
Ava's color-coordinated banner

One of the most delightful things about working with the students is seeing their smiles when they complete a project!

Happy Birthday banner!
Happy Birthday banner!

Our secret to success and those happy smiles is our marvelous assistant, Maddy. Much of the time she is literally run off her feet fixing the sewing machines.

This banner was a special gift, but with all the letters and fabrics it was a huge undertaking for our short class.  Adrine and Maddy worked very hard and finished it just in time! Great job!

Mia's first sewing day and look!
Mia's first sewing day and look!

These banners went together very well, and they look great!

Mia's sachet cache - great work!
Mia's sachet cache - great work!

Our December class fun with the girls making sachets as gifts.

First sewing day ever!
First sewing day ever!

These two darlings had their first sewing day and they didn’t hesitate to jump in and create many sachets and even a pillow – way to go!

Fleece Hat!
Fleece Hat!

We experimented with the new shipment of fleece and will be making everything we can think of out of fleece in the next class.

Until then…

Where Cuckoo Women Create – Crafty Christmas Fair

Mavis Quinn, 2011 Holiday
Mavis Quinn, 2011 Holiday

Happy Holidays and Merry-Xmas from all of us here at Where Cuckoo Women Create Magazine .com.org.biz.

My latest assignment has been an utter joy to complete, as this is my favorite time of year.  I love the shopping, the traffic, the animated drivers and the compulsion to give gifts to everyone I have ever met and some that I’ve never met. Usually, I get my gifts online at Sharper Image (Great prices on personal grooming devices) and the Burlington Coat Factory (Loads of fur (fake) this year! So IN!). However, my editor has sent me out to see what Cuckoo Women are creating for this year’s Holiday Gift Boutiques, and I loved it! I was able to get a gift for absolutely everyone on my holiday list!

My first stop was the West Countie Crafters Holiday Gifte Boutique and Sweet Shoppe.

At the Boutique
At the Boutique

There were so many booths and vendors and I just loved walking through and seeing what everyone has created for this year’s holiday extravaganza! While I can’t possibly show you everything (especially since a strange lady in a Santa hat kept getting in my way and grabbing all the good stuff up and shoving it in her motorized scooter’s carrying basket), I can give you a rundown of the things that I especially liked.

Clown Nutcracker
Clown Nutcracker

Now, this hand-painted gift combines two of my ultimate favorite Christmas themes, the cheerful and positive nutcracker and the soothing and reassuring clown. I couldn’t pass by it without snapping a pic!

Bed Spring Tree Topper
Bed Spring Tree Topper

GO GREEN is a mantra of our modern society, so these clever tree toppers and ornaments made from old bed springs were just flying off the wooden barrel they were displayed upon.

I'm not sure, but heck, it's Christmasy
I'm not sure what it is, but heck, it's Christmasy

And this Santa-like skeleton thing – so seasonal!

Also in the GO GREEN holiday department were these fetching items:

Reused foil - thank you, Thanksgiving turkey!
Reused foil - thank you, Thanksgiving turkey!
Cotton Balls - thank you Macy's makeup counter girls
Cotton Balls - thank you Macy's makeup counter girls
Cotton Balls and Tongue Depressors, too - Thanks, Dr. Heller's phlebotomist
Cotton Balls and Tongue Depressors, too - Thanks, Dr. Heller's phlebotomist
Nothin' like a peanut ornament! Thanks to the Duckville Little League
Nothin' like a peanut ornament! Thanks to the Duckville Little League
Ohhh, a peanut gnome, how cute is that?
Ohhh, a peanut gnome, how cute is that?
Fall Garden Trimmings, thanks to the neighbor's green barrel left out on the streets on Wednesday Mornings!
Fall Garden Trimmings, thanks to the neighbor's green barrel left out on the streets on Wednesday Mornings!
Save your Jar Lids - they make CUUTE snowmen! Thanks, Auntie Marge
Save your Jar Lids - they make CUUTE snowmen! Thanks, Auntie Marge
Crafty Tree Topper - thanks to the Stunville School Custodial Staff
Crafty Tree Topper - thanks to the Stunville School Custodial Staff

Speaking of tree toppers, there was a whole booth of clever tree toppers at the faire!

A Red-Eyed Octopus Thing get's one in the holiday spirit, for sure!
A Red-Eyed Octopus Thing get's one in the holiday spirit, for sure!
I'll have the Blue Christmas, please!
I'll have the Blue Christmas, please!
Love Christmas, I do!
Love Christmas, I do!

I have to say that at the next booth I bought one of everything and crossed most of the people OFF of my list. Boy is that LIBERATING!

A Princess for my Niece Griselda
A Princess for my Niece Griselda
My niece Brunhilda loves glitter, so I had to get this for her!
My niece Brunhilda loves glitter, so I had to get this for her!
Santa Yoda for my cousin Yancy
Santa Yoda for my cousin Yancy
R2D2 delivering gifts for my dear friend Lynn
R2D2 delivering gifts for my dear friend Lynn
Marvin loves Chewbacca - perfect!
Marvin loves Chewbacca - perfect!
Stormtrooper for my nephew Stanley
Stormtrooper for my nephew Stanley
Bobba Fet for my nephew Bavid
Bobba Fett for my nephew Bavid
C3PO for my nephew Cedrick
C3PO for my nephew Cedrick
This guy is just perfect for my brother, Marlon
This guy is just perfect for my brother, Marlon
The Wool-Felted Aircraft I had to have for my tree - sorry relatives, they're MINE!
The Wool-Felted Aircraft I had to have for my tree - sorry relatives, they're MINE!
These cuties are also for my tree!
These cuties are also for my tree!

I couldn’t believe that I got so lucky this year! So many great gifts in one spot.

There were some other really interesting things that I saw, and, while I am not quite sure what they are, they look pretty special!

What?
What?
Humm?
Humm?
Um?
Um?
Really?
Really?
How?
How?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Well, dreary readers, that’s all for today. I have to take my pet chinchilla to the vet because he is making the most appalling sound- I think he ate my wool-felted Millennium Falcon. There goes the tree!

Editors note: No animals were harmed in the making of this post. The opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the feelings and beliefs of this magazine. Some names were changed to protect the innocent.

Ho Ho Ho and a merry crafty boutique to you all

Ho Ho Ho pillows - so cute
Ho Ho Ho pillows - so cute!

The Ho Ho Holidays are here and what fun this season is!

After three, yes count them, three Thanksgivings I am turning my sights to … Crafting!  And you thought I was going to say Christmas!

I am madly preparing for a three-day craft boutique this weekend in Lafayette, California.  I know many of you dear readers live too far away to come, but you are all welcome just the same.

I do Love to Sew and have enjoyed making some fun fabric gifts.

Let It Snow pillows with lovely silver stitching!
Let It Snow pillows with lovely silver stitching!

My favorite are these darling pillows – but I only made two sets and I feel sure that they won’t be left over at the end, boo hoo.

More crafty gifts…

Darling flower sachets
Darling flower sachets
Sexy closet sachets - Yes, please!
Sexy closet sachets - Yes, please!
Micro Mitts - darling - and they work!
Micro Mitts - darling - and they work!
Paper Banners - are you kidding me? Fabulous!
Paper Banners - are you kidding me? Fabulous!

Here are the details of the show – come if you can.  I will be there all day Friday and early and late on the weekend days.

2011 Email Flyer for Lafayette Santa's Bag
2011 Email Flyer for Lafayette Santa's Bag

Saturday day is my Sew Fun Kids Class and I can’t wait to teach the girls to make little sachets!

Little sachets
Little sachets