Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Sorry that i have not been posting...i'm on vacation but will be back in a couple of days.  i will show you the treasures i've uncovered and the pieces that i have made....yes, i work on vacation.  but i don't have my own computer so typing on a laptop is frustrating...not what my hands are meant to do.  Thanks for your patience and may peace be with you....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Girls, Girls, Girls....

Yes, girls. I have been gingerly (due to my fickle sewing machine) creating....yes....clothing for girls.  I have made two new girls' items - a top and a dress - and I am pretty pleased with them.  I can't wait to see how they are received at the market on Saturday.  I have more girls' clothing to make, but may not get to it this week...we'll see.
  I just wanted to share what i've been doing and some of the detail on this adorable girls' dress,  embellished with parts of a girls' everyday kimono..  It was such fun to have this piece unfold as I was pinning it together and trimming parts off, etc.
The front includes a pocket in the center; one side that comes flush to the side seam down to the waist; the other side goes up straight to the shoulder strap.  I left the embellishment's bottom hem loose (as in not connected to the dress), and completely covered the left shoulder strap from front to back.
I brought the fabric past the strap in the back and had it end in a semi-circle at bottom of strap, showing off the colorful fabric much more than it would have with just the strap being covered.  I then took the two tie straps off of the little kimono and centered them between the two waist seams, all the way across the back.  This little addition was really exactly what the dress needed as a finishing touch.
I can't wait to see it on its person, whenever she happens to come along.  Having sold a dress last Saturday, and watched its person put it on over her clothes and see that it was simply made just for her.  I think sometimes it is like when you go to the animal shelter and no matter what idea you have in your head upon entering the shelter, you are the person of one of the animals, and it will show that to you, that is your perfect fit, tailor-made just for you.  I know that a dress if not the same as a pet, but I see a similar thing happen when someone finds an item that is meant for them.  Sometimes they come back a few times before they take the plunge.
This is one of the reasons that I so enjoy about my work.  It is a great feeling to watch someone fall in love with something that I have made, a puzzle that I have solved for them.  Crazy, right?
I plan to continue and expand my "girls' clothing" line.   It is great fun for me and I think, just as with my Plus-Sized apparel, there is a void out there for custom or one-of-a-kind pieces for girls.  And there is a richness to it, when I think of a girl walking into school or a party with an Abercrombie & Fitch top (for example) that has been morphed into something original and something that has embellishments that are from another culture.  I like it....peace to you!...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cross Your Fingers, Please...

Alright, it is just about noon here and I finally have the courage to see if that sewing machine of mine is with me or agin' me today....I do so want to sew....I will let you know how it goes....

Just so ya know....my sewing machine...it kind of works....i will baby it until my new one comes this week and i can put this one in the shop.  i think i can still get things done, just have to be careful....so keep the peaceful thoughts going as we all get ready for yet another hot summer week...stay cool, ya'll!

Friday, July 20, 2012

I Feel Like A Man Without A Country...

but really, i'm a sewing and upcycling artist without a working sewing machine...really not having a whole lot of fun...i just want to sew....all of that inspiration has been stuffed back in for now...it is not very comfortable for me...i like to work!  well, i will let you know what happens...my husband and myself have been and are attempting to repair the machines.  i am so disappointed that i can't type in capital letters...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Machines Are Not Inspired!

Oh yes, I got up this morning thinking I would get tons of sewing accomplished.  I have a studio full of things that want to be made into other things...not today.  My sewing machine has other plans.  I have been looking on google and youtube and ratings on amazon...the consensus is that the problem I'm having is very common and I may not be able to fix it.  I have babied it and finagled it into behaving most of the time...this has happened before, but I fixed it.  I will try to perform open-machine surgery in a little while...I'll let you know how it comes out.  Hopefully the operation will be a success and I can sew...because I really want to.  Trying to stay peaceful....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Inspired? Yeah....

Sometimes I just need to see the fruits of my labor to get me revved up to get to work...in this case, it is seeing the birthday girl in the blingy dress...she loves it, and it is her, headband and all!  Nothing feels better...I made that for her!  I love my job!
I have managed to get a little work done in between having a little socializing time (much needed and overdue).  One bag completed and another 90% complete.  A cool maternity top on my dress form!  A wall of clothes waiting for their transformation.  Tomorrow I have my work 'cut -out' for me...I also have a whole day to myself to lose myself in the work.
I will let you know what I manage to get done between now and the weekend.  I am brimming with ideas and inspiration....can't wait....peace to you...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I had a good Saturday at the Durham Craft Market - sold a bag and two tops, on a day when everyone else was not selling - so I felt blessed.  Still feel blessed, always feel blessed, and right now I am overwhelmed with inspiration.  I want to make these awesome maternity tops, because every week I see a great number of pregnant women at the market, and I'd love to have something for them.  I want to make more plus-sized tops and need to make more small tops.  I want to make more girls' tops.  And the dresses - well, I almost shiver with desire at the thought of the dresses I want to make (or re-make, to be more precise) - all beautiful dresses.  This doesn't even take into consideration the bags.  I have bags, or the puzzle pieces that will become bags, ready to make....tote bags, duffle bags, grocery bags, handbags, gift bags, yoga mat bags, all the bags you could imagine.  Its all there waiting for me....along with the picture frames I'm trying to redo for SpecialHorses.org, to frame custom haikus that people purchase to raise money for the horses.  And I have horse bags to make and dog bags and cat bags, all to be fundraisers for charities that help our fellow creatures.  I even have an idea for a ladies' bag - a cute bag to donate to Pennies for Change, which is a thrift store whose proceeds go to run battered women's shelters.
So what should I do?  I know I will get in there and just do it....probably not today, but certainly in the morning.  Maybe tonight....I'll let you know what I decide to re-make - what will be first - and maybe some pictures, too.  Until then....practice kindness and peace.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Creative Process: The Blingy Dress

Finally I am here, with my blingy dress pics and a look into the process of creating a custom item for someone.  I happen to know the person that the dress was commissioned for (a birthday present) and so I had a clue as to her basic style.  She likes whimsy; she is in a band, front and center; she has dark hair and fair skin; she is bold and cheerful.
So I had at least some insight into what she might like; she is also a very original kind of person - very unique and very genuine - with a big happy beautiful smile!
This dress was commissioned by her future mother-in-law.  So to start the process, my first questions to her were about size and colors and lots of info about how far to go with the bling, how subtle to be, etc.

fter I found out the size (medium), which of course I had none in stock, so I started looking around during my shopping trips for a few choices.  I ended up with four very different dresses to choose from.  I then invited the 'commissioner' over to like and decide on one of these or to send me back out looking for more choices.  Luckily, the choice came down between the one on the left, a Patagonia mid-length dress with thin straps and a built-in shelf bra - and made out of a wonderful blue organic cotton and recycled spandex...a nice quality dress.  The other dress we looked strongly at was the lavender - a shorter length, with a cut-out neckline and short sleeves with super swishy 'wings'.  The other two didn't make the cut, which is okay, they will make awesome dresses for                      someone else down the line.  I let the 'commissioner' take her time in deciding, looking at the pros and cons of each dress, and she decided the blue would be the best choice for the recipient. And so the first part of the process was complete.

From here, all of the creative choices regarding the dress and its embellishments were left solely to me.  As luck would have it, I could find nothing from my deep, vast closet of 'raw materials' that was a good match for this dress, its color or its cut.  Luckily I knew of a thrift store that had a couple of racks of Indian tunics, saris, pants, etc.- I found a couple of possibilities and brought them home to see if they would work with the dress.  I looked at them against the dress, both inside under indoor lights and outside in the daylight.  These first two pics are of a lovely woven floral blue woven into copper with copper bling.  It just didn't match like I had hoped it would.  The color would have worked, it just wouldn't really improve the dress or give it the look I was starting to envision.  The warm-toned copper just wasn't complimentary to the cold tone of the blue of the dress.  
I did the same 'testing' with the second outfit I purchased, this one was a tunic and pants with 'bell bottom' embellishments  It was very different material from the first, stiffer and more formal, lots more 'bling'.  Where the first used copper this used silver, which went much better with the cold-toned blue of the dress.  You can see the embroidery and beadwork, sequins, and the fabricin the left-hand picture is from the 'bell bottom' of one of the pants legs. I could see that this was going to be a good match for the dress, keeping the proper tone and giving some lovely bling with some body to it as well. 
Out came the scissors....that point of seemingly no return....and then the pins.  As I started pinning the bodice trim for the front neckline, I could see that I had chosen well...the first 'puzzle piece' was fitting just right!! Yes, I was excited!  It is a good and very special feeling when your vision starts to become a tangible thing.  So I pinned and unpinned and repinned  - until I had it just the way I wanted, or maybe I should be honest....I had it just the way IT wanted to be.  I removed the dress from the dress form and hit the sewing machine!

Lovely, like it was meant to go on this dress...getting excited...what to do next?  
Well, the back seemed lonely...so I thought I might add a little bit of decoration there....
I used the pieces that I cut off of the piece that I had just put on the front of the dress.  Perfect...I wend below the 'bra bottom' seam so that the embellishments would be a little lower on the back, where the back starts to taper into the waistline.  It seemed like a good place for a little shine.

Now, this all looked really nice, but still a bit plain.   I got down on my hands and knees and pinned one of the 'bell bottom' pieces to the side of the dress, thinking that I would put one on each side at the bottom hem.   The thing was, it just looked too big, took away from the neckline, and even when I made it smaller, it still seemed like it wasn't going to hang right.  I had to walk away for a little while and consider what I wanted for the dress...what would be the finishing touches, pulling the dress together.
I came back to the dress with a clear vision...I took the front hem trim from the Indian tunic and , because it was the right 'puzzle piece', it fit perfectly across the front hemline of the dress, from side seam to side seam. I brought the piece up above the bottom, so that it was kind of framed with the dress's fabric, which emphasized the blue embroidered flowers in the trim.  Easy as pie, this front part....I had a gut feeling that the back might be a little different!
It really wasn't so bad.  I just had some things to consider, such as that the bottom of the piece was frayed and worn from being at the bottom of a pants leg.  So that had to be considered and the rest of the piece brought down to a size that worked with a reduced bottom line.  I placed this 'puzzle piece' above the dress's hemline as well as I did in front.  I looked at it both ways before sewing anything on, and it looked better 'framed' by the dress.  I whittled down the upper portion of the triangle shape so that the piece was the right size, big enough to balance the rest of the dress, but not so big that it was overbearing.

  I think it came out very well.  The 'commissioner' was very pleased, and everyone who knew the recipient felt that she was going to seriously LOVE it!!  Music to my ears!!!

So the saga of the blingy dress comes to a close.  I am going to try to get a picture of the birthday girl in her new, one-of-a-kind GoodKharmaReThreads original garment that was custom made just for her.  Every one should get to have a piece that was made just for them....it makes you feel so special, and you shouldn't have to be rich to feel that special feeling....I hope I am honored with the opportunity to do that for many more people....it is a joy!
I hope you enjoyed this  installment of my blog.  I'll be back soon....every day, every piece is a new adventure!  Keep the positive, the peaceful, the happiness....or maybe not keep it...share it!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Storm is coming...

getting ready to storm....i'll blog after it passes...must disconnect for now!!  peace to you!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Little Preview....

Tomorrow I promise you a wonderful story about the dress....along with pictures from start to finish....it was a hit with the person who ordered it....it is a birthday present for someone that I know....and I had a lot of freedom to do it my way!  I'm worn out today, though, haven't even sewn anything.  I'll be here tomorrow with my story of the blingy dress! Thanks for tuning in....have a peaceful evening and some blissful rest!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Dress...Bling in a timeless look...

Well, I'm just thinking about what I"m going to write about tomorrow.  Its too late for me to get excited...so I'll wait till tomorrow morning....hope you don't mind.
The custom order dress was just fantastic to make.  And it turned out just right.  I sure hope that its recipient likes it....I'm pretty sure she will flip, in a good way, of course.  I have documented this dress's rebirth and I will tell you about it and supply some pics that go along with the rebirth....I so do love my job.  I am truly blessed...tomorrow...till then, practice kindness, find snatches of peace and enjoy them.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Handbag for Spirit!

I spent all of yesterday (Sunday) making a bag to help a young, blind, injured and beaten-up horse named Spirit; you can catch her story on www.facebook.com/goodkharmarethreads if you don't already know the details.  Anyway, I wanted to make a bag that I can sell and donate 100% of the proceeds to the NPO that has Spirit in their care.  I had posted a picture of the 'raw materials' that I would be using last week sometime, and yesterday I dedicated the day to getting the bag done and ready to offer to the public.
I thought it would be cool to take photos and take you through all of the steps for making Spirit's bag.  The first picture is basically the 'raw materials' that i would be choosing from.  I had already chosen the black shorts to be the base, or bones, of the bag, and the white with black cloth napkin for inner lining.
The second picture shows the inner lining attached
to the inside of the shorts aka bag.  I love the weight and touch of fading that the black and white cotton napkin offers to the whole package, along with its soft feel. I knew I would be adding interior pockets to the bag, thus having to cover up some of the lining.  If not for wanting more pockets I would have been happy for it to look just like this...simple and neat.
Next I decided to put the bottom on the bag.  I used a salmony-pink and white checkerboard cotton placemat.  This placemat has just the right color of pink and a nice weight and thickness for the bottom, pretty as well as durable. I also chose to sew the bottom onto the bag (I had already split the middle of the shorts and reconstructed them so that they resembled a skirt instead of shorts.) in an inset fashion so that the edges of the bag and the bottom 'rolled' together, allowing the bag to 'sit' flat when put down.
Before I could change my mind about putting pockets on the inside (since I so love he black and white lining and hate covering it up) I went ahead and devised a couple of pockets with the salmony-pink and white colors.  The first pocket I made was from a pair of baby girl's seersucker gingham- checked  'panties'.  I sewed the little leg openings together to close the bottom of the pocket, and used the waist as the top of the pocket.  The elastic in the waistband should work to hold items in the pocket, at least to some extent.  I would be happy to add a piece of velcro to the top of this pocket if it were requested by the buyer.
The other inside pocket was made from a pair of our special salmony-pink with white polka dots (big dots) in a soft but sturdy terry cloth.  I closed the leg openings to use as the bottom of the bag, and then I sewed up the middle of the bag so that it splits into two pockets, with mild elastic tops.  Each side also has a small outside pocket (like a back pocket) for stashing the little things.  I made sure that even with the added pockets there was still plenty of the black and white lining to see (yes, I am enamored!).
 Probably the most difficult part of designing this bag...the horsey part!  I had an adorable little girls' cotton knit skirt to work with...white with the salmony-pink (a bunch) or black (a few) horses doing various things, from trotting, cantering, rearing, etc.  It also was topped with a wide white knit fold-over waistband....i ultimately decided to cut the waistband off of the skirt, as it just didn't look like it belonged.  I cut the skirt in half at the side seams, and at first pinned the pieces to the front and back of the bag.  Well, it really didn't look right, and when I pinned a strap on to see how it would look when being carried, I knew that it was just not right that way.  I re-pinned the two skirt pieces to each side of the bag, with the center of the piece lining up with the side seam of the bag.  I pinned on the strap and went back to the mirror to see how it
looked....big improvement....really cute.  This also gave me a place to
add two outside pockets, one front and one back, in between the skirt
pieces. So everything finally fit together like it should.  I had managed to put this oh-so-cute puzzle together, for the most part.

Of course, the bag would not be complete without some type of closure at the top.  I took a black scrap of fabric and made the two pieces for the two parts of  a magnetic snap closure.  I attached the snaps to the fabric pieces, and then sewed them onto the bag so that it could be snapped shut instead of gaping open while being carried or while sitting around.
I had a hard time deciding on the handle/strap for this bag.  Ultimately I went with the leather-look woven belt with buckle, as it was soft and infinitely adjustable.  The daintier belts I had to choose from were simply too short to be anything but a handle, and I know most people these days want a bag they can sling over their shoulder or over their head and shoulder and just go.  Once I got the belt attached to the bag and had a look in the mirror, I realized that it didn't detract from the bag in any way.....yay!!!
Lastly, I sewed in the GoodKharmaReThreads label and whew!!! I had completed the Bag Full of Spirit for Spirit!
As I have posted elsewhere, I am asking $50.00 for this bag, and 100% of the price will go to the Beauty's Haven Farm and Horse Rescue as a donation toward the ongoing care of sweet little Spirit....
If you or someone you know are interested in purchasing the bag, just message me on facebook or google+ or e-mail me at sheynascv@gmail.com.  Would make a great gift....thanks & peace 2 U!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Whew! I've Been a Busy Bee....

I have been so busy sewing this week, trying to get ready for the craft market.  However, it will be over 100 degrees tomorrow and I will be staying home after all.  I wanted to post some pictures to show you what I've worked on, completed, etc., and what's next...Taking it item by item...the green top above...I had major technical issues with my sewing machine when I sewed this one the FIRST TIME!  I ended up completely removing and repinning and resewing this top.  the second time wasn't nearly as traumatic...only change was I replaced the three buttons (they were white and plain and looked like a bad afterthought) with three pearl black vintage buttons, and it was a lovely improvement.  The light turquoise top had the interesting feature of double sleeves, each with crocheted hems.  It gave me the idea to cover the bottom layer of the sleeves with my embellishing fabric, leaving some of the crocheted hem showing at the bottom.  I think it worked out very well and is a unique look that accentuates the crochet work in a subtle way.

The little girls' top is finished and pictured above.  I showed a picture of this one (incomplete at that point) in my last post.  I embellished with a collar from shoulder to chest and the little frog closures all the way down the front (non-functional, as I didn't open and reconfigure front of top).  The back, which of course you can't see, has the collar pieces leaving the neckline at the back of shoulders and coming down to form a 'V' between the shoulder blades, which looks very crisp and neat.  I added a pocket to each side, near the bottom hem and centered on the side seam.  This top turned out really nice and I'm proud to offer it as my first Girls' item.

Now for this lovely pink creation....the first picture shows the stage where I start seeing where I want things to go and why, and how each part of the garment affects the other parts.  It is always great to see a garment 'filled out' on the dress form.  From this shot, you can see that while this top is a Medium and is ample and flowy, the embellishment will bring in the waistline and make the garment rather fitted when all is said and done.  I wanted to find a way to be as unconstricting as possible while achieving the tailored look.  As you look at the second picture, the finished top, you can see that i pared away a good bit of the area from the neckline over the upper chest area.  I felt like this would give a better look to the garment and also allow more freedom of movement. The other thing I did to 'free up' things...i attached each side along the side seam of the top, but i merely hemmed the part from center of chest to side seam,

leaving it unattached from the top to allow for movement and also accommodate various chest sizes (at least, this is my theory...we'll see if it works out...i'll let you know when i know).  The top is rather unimpressive on the hanger and I plan to put it on my womannequin for display when I return to the market (after this heatwave has done its work and moved on), showing off its fitted features.
With all of these pics, the color is off and doesn't do the clothing justice.  I need a better camera and better lighting, and probably, a better photographer...but hopefully you can see past all of that .  Later I will be working on some bags, picture frames, and the dress I have to have ready by next Wednesday.  I will come back to you with more inferior photos of these things....until then...stay cool (literally and figuratively) and let yourself be clothed  in peace and happiness.  Life is too short for anything else!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!!! to all....i do revel in my independence...don't take it for granted.  that is what small business is all about.  Today i have independently finished two lovely ladies' tops.  i am working on a girls' top and hope to have it finished tonight...we'll see..it is pinned and ready to sew, for the most part.  it is pretty cool, too.  my first 'girls' top...it is really going to be a nice top, too.  i took a picture...lets see if my phone will come through....it got stuck.  technology.....why i make bags and clothes....okay, here is the picture...the color is too light and red...it is a darker cranberry and the gold in the oriental embellishments is darker and more subtle...the whole thing is more subtle...just bad lighting....anyway there it is....
i like it so far...still have pockets to add...probably one the sides near the bottom hem.
i also have a dress that i've been commissioned to create.  i think i will take you along on that adventure...i will get some pictures and start tomorrow.  for now i am filled with the love and light of the universe and it is so good!!!  i have picture frames to cover to help some horses!!  till tomorrow....peace.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Why Not Good Kharma?

I am no technological genius so this may be easy for me or not...ah, not so hard after all!!  These are photos of a handbag that I made for a fundraising auction for the Louisiana Horse Rescue Association (www.facebook.com/LHRA1).  I missed the deadline to get the bag to LA for their silent auction, so I told them I would sell the bag and send them the proceeds as a donation.  So here is the handbag, quite lovely and original and a one-of-a-kind treasure that will be great as a handbag or tote or combination thereof.  The price for the bag is $60.00 - 100% of the proceeds goes to LHRA.  I can take debit or credit cards, or paypal.  Just let me know if you are interested in purchasing this wonderful bag for such a worthy cause!
So as I said, why not good kharma.....this is my favorite part of being GoodKharmaReThreads....seeing my work turn into love and help for others who can't help themselves.
And even as I offer this bag for one group, I have already picked out the 'raw materials' for the next bag, this one for a young horse named Spirit, who is blind and has been beaten up by the herd of horses she was with, and had injured herself just because she tried to go with the herd but ran into things due to the blindness. So I want to raise a little money for her, too.  People have her and are treating her wounds and giving her a chance...I'm on board and will make a great bag for Spirit....i found a piece with 'spirited' horses all over it...kind of cool!

Why Good Kharma?

To give you a bit of insight into why my business is 'GoodKharmaReThreads'....most obviously, I only purchase my 'raw materials' from thrift stores in order to insure that my money goes to help someone or something.  The more rewarding and, at the moment, kind of overwhelming part is creating pieces to donate to various non-profits for specific and/or general fundraising.  Today I will post my first piece that will have a set price and a way to purchase through me....and I will be sending 100% of the purchase price directly to the non-profit so that they can continue doing what they do, or, in some cases, deal with overwhelming influxes of animals/people in need. I will also begin work on another piece for a different non-profit.  When I get back on today, I will share with you some pictures and links so that you can better understand 'why'. The things I keep asking myself are 'why is this even necessary?, 'why do people do these horrible things?', 'why do we as a society let things go so far without doing something about them?' Must go, but will be back soon!  until then, practice peace and kindness....