A typical music cassette stores about 300 feet of tape! Sadly, I have probably trashed miles of tape over the past decade. Sound artist Alyce Santoro held onto her mixed tapes and invented sonic fabric,a textile woven from 50% cassette tape and 50% polyester thread. You can actually listen to the sounds embedded in the fabric! (Here’s how to make a sonic fabric reader from an old walkman.) Check out these sonic wears.
Over the summer, I helped a very talented friend/director/cinematographer Paul Yee with a music video he directed and produced for the Japanese punk band Peelander-Z. The video “Mad Tiger” is part live-action lolcat and part kiddie show weirdness. I made the Peelander-Z dolls (P-Green, P-Yellow, P-Pink and The Squid) that are viciously attacked by a mad tiger, known in real life as Cobi the cat. The prop budget was limited, so I used scrap fabric for the bodies, buttons for the eyes, and catnip and cotton balls for the stuffing.
Did I mention the karaoke subtitles?
Welcome to the first installment of Best Kept Secrets, a running list of useful and often overlooked tools for creating.
- A tool generally used by quilters to cut fabric. It consists of a handle with a circular blade that rotates, thus the tool’s name.
- Rotary blades can be found in different sizes: usually smaller blades are used to cut around corners, while larger blades are used to cut to straight lines.
- Several layers of fabric can be cut simultaneously, making it easier to cut out patchwork pieces of the same shape and size than with regular scissors.
A few months ago, on a whim, I purchased a Fiskars rotary cutter from a sewing supply store in midtown Manhattan, took it home, read the instructions on the back of the packaging, and immediately started slicing through fabric. The tool (in combo with a mat and ruler) makes perfect cuts. It’s basically the textile version of a pizza cutter. I find it especially useful for cutting thin, slippery fabrics.
FYI, the Purl Bee has a great tutorial on rotary cutters.
THE GAWKERVERSE FAMILY
I have been sucked into the black hole of The Gawkerverse: craftgawker, foodgawker, dwellinggawker, and weddinggawker. In a nutshell, Gawkerverse is an ever expanding collection of well-curated, user-submitted photo galleries. The design is smart, clean, and best of all– simple. I just started my Favorites page, which is a great way to keep track of things you want, things that you want to make, and things that inspire you. I’m really excited about one of my finds, a clever mason jar sewing kit. I clicked on the photo and found an awesome tutorial with detailed instructions and photos! This is favorites page as of today.
And this is hopefully what my DIY Mason jar sewing kit will look like.
And I still have to gawk at the food, wedding, and dwelling sites… creative overload!
Hi everyone! I wanted my first post to be about an early love of mine, fabrics. When I first learned how to sew, I couldn’t get enough of our local fabric store. I would spend hours rummaging through rows of calico fabrics like a kid in a candy store. And apparently, nothing has changed. My new obsession is California-based fabric designer Alexander Henry. His fabrics are conversational print designs, a description that sounds contrived but makes perfect sense once you take a look at his latest collection.