five non blondes

Simple Sewing
August 3, 2008, 2:06 pm
Filed under: DIY, fashion | Tags: , , , ,

My mom’s a home-ec teacher, so I grew up making little projects all the time, but for some reason never made it much past pillows and a few vests.  Over the past couple of years, I renewed my interest in sewing and decided to really step it up and see if I could make my own clothes.  I started out small, taking a basic class at Stitch Lounge.  It’s an amazing little studio where you can take sewing classes or even rent machines/studio time by the hour.  It was actually the first one of its kind in the nation.  Unfortunately, I think they’ve made enough money off of the books they write, that they’re going into early retirement, but supposedly there are many more places like them now for you to choose from. 

I graduated from there to a few patterns in Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing.  The book comes with all the patterns and the instructions are very easy to understand.  I highly recommend it! 

After a few of those projects, I finally felt ready to take on some real clothing.  I’d gathered a pretty large collection of my mom and aunt’s vintage patterns from their high school days when they made all their own clothes.  I picked one and headed to a wonderful little fabric store called Peapod Fabrics out in the Inner Sunset.  They have so many beautiful prints and all the prices were affordable, so it was hard to make a choice.  I finally settled on this super bright, vintage looking pattern that I thought would fit my dress quite well.  I’m excited to report that I just finished the dress and it turned out nice enough to actually wear in public!  Success!  I have to say, it feels pretty cool wearing something you made yourself and I had a lot of fun doing it.  After I make a few more things from patterns,the next step is both designing and making my own clothes. 



Be Jane
June 29, 2008, 11:02 pm
Filed under: DIY, savvy tools | Tags: , ,

I’m constantly googling women + tools, women + home improvement, etc. to find the latest news, trends etc. in the market.  Just recently, I came across– an online forum to help women with home improvement issues.  It was started by Eden Jarrin & Heidi Baker (pictured above) to inspire women and give them the knowledge & confidence to achieve their goals at home and in life.  You can get advice on just about any home improvement project you can think of and watch how-to videos for all sorts of things.  Not only that, they have a whole section under lifestyles dedicated to going green with instructions on things like how to start composting.   I think it would be hard to find another company with a mission more in sync with our own.  As to be expected, the forums are filled with women lamenting about the lack of good tools appropriate to their needs.   Hopefully, we’ll be able to provide those for them.  We’re getting closer, but it’s definitely a long process.  In the mean time, check out be jane and tackle your own DIY project.


Homemade Sun Jar
April 23, 2008, 9:13 pm
Filed under: DIY | Tags:

I came across the sun jar probably a year ago.  It’s a wonderful little invention made from a jam jar.  It’s full of solar cells, LED’s, and batteries and it’s made to store sunlight all day and glow at night.  You can see it on suck uk  and buy it through all sorts of places like Target for around $45. 

If you’re strapped for cash or just feeling like taking on a project of your own you can do it yourself with these instructions for about $15.  I’ll get around to it someday.  It’s on my list of projects for a rainy day.

-Rebecca, SF