There’s no telling what people will ask of a help desk… until you answer the phone. So to speak.
As far as answering the ringing phone, that’s all me for the moment. Adrianna has just landed on the other side of the world and has three kids to get through jet lag and then two to get into their new school routines. My house has a few weeks of summer left before school kicks in.
Crafterhours’ Help Desk has gotten a bunch of fun questions– some that are best answered with an e-mail and others that will be super fun to respond to on the blog. It’s the variety of it that makes it so fun. I’m ready to jump in, and where better to start than with the very very first question that arrived about 5 minutes after the Help Desk post went live.
One of the things I learned living overseas was how frustrating it can be to read crafty blogs and not have (remotely) similar supplies available. There was no thrifting at all where we lived, (there was dumpster diving) and every upcycle post that started with “look at what I found at the thrift store in one of my 3 trips so far this week” made me tear up a bit. There were no craft stores either. There was some fabric, but nothing like we’d have found in the states. It’s not as if everyone in the states can run down to a craft store, either. Plenty of folks in the US are far from decent thrifting and supply shopping to speak of. But at least there’s reasonably-priced shipping in the states.
As far as making the most of available project materials, I’d suggest:
1) Upcycling. While you may not be able to thrift overseas, you may be able to find adult clothing in larger sizes that can be mined for the fabric– either by locating family cast-offs or clearance rack finds.
2) Embellishment. Using:
Freezer paper stencils. You don’t *have* to use fabric paint, regular acrylic paint will do and will lose the “crunch” after a washing. I found it in stationery and school supply stores in Europe after two years of having no clue where to find it. Can’t find freezer paper? Contact paper works, too. Or masking tape.
Stamps. Use with fabric markers, permanent ink or acrylic paint. Use 1) ready made stamps, 2) use found objects like feathers, potatoes or fruit, 3) cut stamps from erasers, styrofoam, foam toys.
Bleach. Use a pen, a paintbrush or spray. Create stripes, large lettering, simple shapes.
Celebrate the Boy by Dana and Rae offer boatloads of inspiration. As far as an series that’s ongoing, it just so happens that there’s another fun boy sewing series happening now – Sew In Tune by Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy and Melly Sews. I’d suggest checking that out.
That is kind of a big topic for a first Help Desk post. But the good news is that the online inspiration resources have grown SO much in the past few years thanks to so many people sharing their ideas. The challenge as an overseas (or domestic remotely located) sewist is to clear your mind of all of the things you don’t have supplies for and focus on getting creative with what you do have.
Do you have a help desk question? Submit it here! Do you have more suggestions for this reader (who indicated she’d rather remain anonymous)? Leave ’em in the comments!
Don’t have a question yet but want to hang on to the help desk thought for later? Pin this!