April 25, 2011

Carbon Presents Mother Earth Inspirations: Earth Day Eco Fashion Show Benefits DC Threads

Here is a little something from BisNow DC! Thanks much to Katherine for your amazing vision and incredible generosity! What a great evening!

Eco Chic!

BisNow went to Woodley Park’s Carbon for Mother Earth Inspirations: Earth Day Eco Fashion Show for an exclusive look Friday at NY eco designer Auralis' Spring 2011 line. Proceeds went to DC Threads, a volunteer-driven initiative promoting the art of sewing and stitch crafts, whose reps, Laura Lee and Allison Lince-Bentley, are with Carbon owner Katherine Limon.
(um - notice who is the only one holding a drink!!)

Auralis’ Suset Laboy and Jenny Macgregor-Dennis look chic in pieces from their line. The ecologically conscious designer uses hemp, organic cotton, and bamboo to create trendy apparel.

Guests enjoyed organic wine and hors d'oeuvres while browsing Carbon's sustainable items. Before the fashion show, we saw Kenya Wiley and fashion blogger Fashion Cloture’s Telena Cassell.

And thanks to those wonderful folks at MetroMix for some more fine pics of the evening!


April 10, 2011

Incomparable Buttons = Incomparable Women: SA and DC

Incomparable Buttons was started as a small company in 1984 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Working around a kitchen table, often late into the night, Jennifer Pascall was busy transforming small pieces of clay into buttons of all shapes and sizes. Many of the first designs, which are still popular today, were inspired by Africa’s rich ethnic artworks and distinctive wild animals. Over the years Incomparable began specialising in the creation of handmade buttons, craft pieces, craft kits, painting kits, greeting cards and jewelry.

As the company evolved, ladies from the local community were hired and trained in the art of button making. Today, Jennifer’s entire family, as well as 45 women from the local community are involved in the business. Most of the Incomparable team had never held a paintbrush before they joined the company and are now absolute masters of their brushes and justifiably proud of their work. The ladies sense of belonging within the company and skills as crafters not only gives them tremendous pleasure but also provides them with economic empowerment and has uplifted all their families.

Jennifer Pascall and her team contacted us to inquire if we would be interested in GIVING AWAY some of their B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L buttons to our DC Threads Community! Buttons from heaven!!!! After we read about Jennifer and had the opportunity to "chat" with her about her South African community and her crafting philosophy we immediately were interested in sharing Incomparable Buttons' art with our community - and the reception was incredible.

We gave away cards and cards of exquisite ceramic hand-crafted buttons at two DC Threads events - the Betz White Sip and Stitch and our April Sewing Lounge! Here are some photos of the events and the lovely buttons! We also asked the "winners" of the buttons to share with us their impressions of the buttons and also to imagine how they might incorporate the buttons into their next grand creation! Here they are..............

"I’m so excited about my beautiful new buttons!
(L490 Button Card – square buttons with heart shaped and blue glaze)
They are subtle but stylish and have the kind of weight and quality feel
that will be perfect for one of my more special projects.
Maybe the wool coat I’ve been working one!!!"

"The cupcake buttons are adorable. I love baking so it shows off my other interests.
I would like to attach them to a big canvas bag and use it everywhere."

"I love the cute sheep buttons!
They’re unique and I love the fact that they are washable. Thanks so much!"

"Lovely buttons – nice colors and a great size!"

"The butterfly buttons are BEAUTIFUL! I love the blue, purple, and indigo glaze.
They will be perfect on a jacket."

"I love the buttons!
I chose the 4 white and 1 black sheep.
I want to make a jacket that will use all 5 of them with the black one in the center.

I think I will make a bag where one or two of the buttons are used as buttons
but the others will be used as decorations."

"I won the button collection with the scissors -

"The yellow buttons are the color of the desert sand – a very natural shade.
I will probably use them on a dark colored shirt or dress. Thank you."

Many thanks Incomparable Buttons!
We promise to post photos of all the fabulous garments embellished with these lovely buttons!!!

Be sure to check out the Incomparable Buttons blog!

April 3, 2011

It's a Mad, Mad, Madmen World

Hi Darlings!
Good news on the home front - my vintage jacket is done! I love it and will definitely make it again! I love the quirky design and it was easy peasy to construct! This go around the "pop" is on the inside of the garment - take a peek at the lining! For the jacket I used yardage from my stash that I have been itching to use for years so I'm happy to have it put to good use but I think the quirkiness of the design deserves a little more life! Whereas I like the fabric (I wore it with an ivory pencil skirt to work) I know that I will definitely be less conservative with my next iteration of this garment! And - - I've included a photo of the infamous drunken, kidney donor bound buttonhole (see Facebook post below) - not my best work but you'll understand why, in my view, it's just perfect!!
I love love love the sleeves on this jacket! Perhaps it's best design feature!


Vintage button - I love that the geometry of the button matches the weave of the fabric!

The drunken, kidney donor Facebook post:
"Just in case anyone was wondering - bound buttonholes and drinking do not mix!! Here's the backstory.... my good friend, Jack, recently donated one of his kidneys to a neighbor (I know - how insignificant do YOU feel right now??) - anyway he had a HORRIBLE post-op course but he turned the corner this weekend. So yesterday my friend Ava and I were having a sewing marathon and we decided to take a bottle of wine to the hospital to toast Jack's road to recovery with his wife, Julie! Well we did that and I apparently am now a light-weight because when we came back and resumed our sewing the resulting bound buttonhole was not pretty (not awful but not pretty)! I thought about taking it out and trying again - but ya know, I am leaving it there with all of its imperfections so that I will remember the night we toasted my friend Jack, the hero!"

Thanks to Joanne and Meg for organizing and hosting the sew-along! What's next up on the sew-along queue??