You've probably seen them: tiny zippered pouches, big enough to carry business cards, or a to use as a small wallet, printed with photorealistic images of hamburgers, vinyl records, etc. And you've probably thought, "kinda cool idea, but I'd rather a cassette tape I actually like, or a camera from own collection."
Okay, no problem. Just make your own.
There are two kinds of bow ties: there's the fancy ones, that you actually need to tie every time and balance and fit perfectly in collar. And then, there's the other kind: the adjustable, pre-tied kind used in rental tuxedoes, restaurant server uniforms, Halloween costumes, and occassional forrays into Redenbacher-ness.
And unless you're a major bow tie officianado, the latter is most likely your best bet.
So, let's make one.
When I got my first guitar at age of 13, I was all over that mid-90s loudness that I thought went with rock and roll: alien faces on my guitar picks, vending machine stickers all over my case, and a loud, bold guitar strap.
As I matured, and realized there were other options than those offered at my local mall-based music shop, I went the completely opposite direction: black or neutral straps, plain picks, etc, etc.
And now, fifteen years later (wow...), I think I'd like something in the middle. Perhaps a handmade, subtle, yet colorful, option?
Take this one to the bank: never give a guy a tie for Christmas. Ever.
Unless, of course, it's a handmade tie, that you not only sewed, but did so from a handmade pattern on fabric that you designed and printed yourself, that is.
Says author Michele Beschen, "When I was asked to share a project that was geared towards geeks and dudes, I immediately started contemplating the many interesting ways I could incorporate code into something. I don’t even know what much of that tech jargon means, but I sure like how it looks — the text, the symbols and the layout. I played around with different ideas and just kept seeing it on a tie: not a stuffy, business-like tie, but a tie that looks great worn loose and casual with a vintage short-sleeve button down. Keep your dude in stylish duds this holiday season, and add a little personality with this "power of code" tie that you can create in an afternoon."
When repurposing old clothing in craft and DIY projects, it's easy to separate the wide pieces of pure fabric for creative fodder. But then, your often stuck with the rest: collars, lapels, buttons, cuffs, waistbands, etc.
Except, if you cut things just so, these "extras" can often be exactly what you need for some seriously clever reuse. Like this shirt cuff wallet: it's exactly the right size, and all the seams are already set. All you need to do is just add the pockets.
At ManMade, we often get emails from guys and ladies asking for help breaking into in the wonderful world of sewing your old stuff. While we're happy to help anyone get started, there are those tips and tricks that can only come with a bit of experimenting and practice.
So, we thought we'd share a collection of these tips, gathered by pros and those-just-getting-started alike.
Shawnee of Life with Monkey whipped up this super quick pattern and technique for making fabric skulls. They're so easy to make that we can imagine these in bulk hanging from fishing line, or mixed in a candy bowl. We also think the shape would lend itself well to more anatomical skulls, or even Luchalibre masks.
Easy. Peasy. Halloweesy?
Riddle me this: How often have you said to yourself, "Man, I sure wish I had something to keep my pants up that shows off my tendency towards making stuff..."
Really? Never? Okay, me either, but I still like this measuring tape belt from the Mother Huddle. Sure, Destri's version is intended to hold up tiny little toddler pants, but the technique can certainly be translated for any size.
Gabrielle's son Ralph was turning thirteen, and asked for some au currant skinny ties, presumably because Ralph knows, as all ManMade readers know, that if you gotta dress up, you might as well do a good job.
Having a hard time finding appropriately priced and sized ties for Ralph, Gabrielle got creative and hit the thrift store. She came home with a pile of $1.00 traditional neckties, and got to work.
She says, "Of course, I forgot about the idea till 3 days before his birthday. At which point, I tried to rush and make it happen. I found 5 great ties at Goodwill and sped them to the tailor. There, I was told it would take 10 days and
When it comes to fair food, I'll always opt for the gritty crunch of an elephant ear over a puffy, powdery funnel cake. But when it comes to plush fair food, I'll take this funnel cake every time.
Plush You LA 2010 is bring out the best in softie artists; first some plushified adult beverages, and now, tough Funnel Cake, complete with bendable arms featuring a hardcore "Mom" tattoo.
The availability of the iPad has brought on lots of clever carrying and nesting options: those that make it look like an iMac, an old arcade console, or a composition notebook. But this tutorial from Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business is the kind we like best: a custom, fabric option, along the thousands we've seen for iPods and mobile phones, that simply stores and protects.
"This case has really served me well. I carry the iPad with me everywhere I go and throw it in my purse, which is always filled with randomness. Since it's just two folds and really just about 3 lines of stitching - this is really easy."
The true DIY and craftsters don't just use all the cool toys and materials - they want to know how they work.
So, bone up on your sewing machine saavy - sure, everyone knows that there are two sources of thread, but peep the above animation to see exactly how the two become tangled.
Seattle-based textile artist and designer Boo Davis creates "modern heirloom quilts just like your metal-loving, half-blind Grandma would...[with] bold designs, eye-popping color combinations and a touch of evil," under her studio, Quiltsryche.
"Dare to Be Square Quilting," her new book, will be published this month, and is a little more tame than her standard fare. And understandably so; recently interviewed by the New York Times, Davis revealed, "I set out to do a hard-edged, metal-infused guide to quilting. My proposal outlined projects like a Blizzard of Oz scarf and a quilt called Snake Pit, as if Slash were to have a quilt on his bed. It made the rounds of the book publishers, and everyone said, “This is awesome, but we can’t touch it with a 10-foot pole.” Finally, Potter Craft came back with, “We love your aesthetic, we love your voice, can you do a completely different book?” And I did just that and I’m actually happy with it.
The pattern she used is McCall's M6044, and it comes with five different options in a variety of styles. Given the adaptibility, something tells me this is the only from scratch men's shirt pattern one will ever need.
Agreed: there's plenty of expensive bicycling clothing out there, designed for aerodynamics and for staying out of the way while peddling. But many of us use our bikes for much more than recreation and racing...namely, from getting from one place to another. So, here are several ways to customize an existing pair of pants for maximum usefulness while cycling, but which you can still wear once you've arrived at your destination.
Pop quiz - do you know your standard street hand signals? They're quite easy. Left arm up for right turn, left arm straight out for left turn, and down for a stop.
And important as they are (and essential! Please use them! It's the law.), I can't help but get super excited about the next stage of signaling technology - namely, actual lights!
Master Seamstress Betz White writes, "I was trying to come up with a fun Father's Day project when I spied my pile of canvas totes. Nice durable canvas...handy cotton webbing straps...then it hit me. These would make great utility aprons!"
And she was right. Minimal sewing, maximum coverage, and if it happens to get unsightly soiled from too many splatters, you can easily whip up another one.