Friday, December 30, 2011

Textile Friday: My Muse, Papa Jack

      This week, my grandfather passed away and his wake is today. I had another post planned out for today, but it seemed more fitting somehow to talk about the man that got me into the business and is responsible for giving me much of the success I have today. There's a number of people in my family that sew and sell clothing, my Aunt Mimi likes to say it's in the family blood.
        That blood starts with my grandfather. He ran an upscale department store chain Brownhills out of Greensboro, NC that he bought into with my late grandmother back at the beginning. My grandmother was famous for doing the store displays while my grandfather worked his charm.
         It's somewhat funny that they both got into clothing because the story goes that when my grandmother first got married apparently my great-grandmother threw away all her clothes because their family tradition was the man provided all the clothes for his wife after marriage while they were on their honeymoon. My grandmother got back from her honeymoon and suddenly found herself with a week's worth of summer clothes and no winter coat with fall coming. This was right after the war and they were both too poor to buy a second coat so as a kid I was fascinated listening to him talk about them both having to huddle together in his dress coat for warmth walking around downtown from the corner store she worked in the 3 blocks to their apt until spring came.
       It's a great story and being Irish one that grew with the years, but I've always thought that first winter together was what made them fall in love so much with women's sweaters, dresses, bridal gowns, and smart gloves. A clothing affair that started with mutual love and respect. And one cold bride.
        Li Sashay is just finishing up our second year and it's hard to see what the next one will bring. I'm equally excited to see the path that being a textile design company will take us. Many of the things I thought would bring us fame and fortune have not, and other unexpected requests have been wonderful for us. It's been a bit like spending a year freezing in summer clothes, where you show up thinking yourself completely prepared and instead find yourself completely out of your element and under-dressed.
         In the midst of this, I must say that it has been your support dear customers, friends, and family that has gotten us through a rough and wonderful year. It has been a thousand and one little things, most of them probably unnoticeable to you, but that meant so much to us. We simply would not have been able to be here, writing this blog post, without your help.
        It is hard to see yet at these beginning stages if we will have the same love affair my grandparents did, but we are hopeful and can't wait to see where it goes. So thank you. And we can't wait to see you back next year.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

January Acorn to Oak Schedule

           Our Acorn to Oak Handmade Team is so excited and refreshed from Christmas. The new year looks great! We have a lot of exciting new guest speakers and local organizations to introduce you to for the coming year. Given all the local talent and great resources, we are moving to weekly Tuesday night meetings. Thank you so much for making this possible. There are so many great artists in the area, thanks for donating your time and resources. This would not have been possible without each one of you. We will be posting up the events as follows each month. We hope to have you come to have you drop by. Here's a little of what we have in store for Jan

Jan 10th- Quilting Bee with the Linus Foundation

Susie Holmes with the local Raleigh Linus Chapter will be coming to talk to us about this amazing organization that gives blankets to help seriously ill children. We will be do a quilting bee and have fabric, supplies, and pattern books available for you to make blankets. All finished blankets will be donated directly to the Linus Foundation. This event is free and open to the public. Please feel free to bring extra quilting fabric or supplies to donate. There is no cost for event. We will have some pre-cut quilt kits at the event for $60 if you would like to make donation to the Linus Foundation by purchasing one. You may register for free on Skillshare here:

Jan 17th- Live Models and Beginning Lace-making

7-8 pm Shooting Live Models: Allegra Torres and Katy Bashaw will be providing live modeling for anyone who would like practice taking better pictures and interacting with live models. We will have lights and a background set up. This is great for adding an additional level of professionalism to your work. We will be discussing basic techniques and having fun.
8-10 Beginning Lacemaking: We will go over the 3 basic lacemaking techniques: cookie, roller, and sectional. You are welcome to bring your own lacemaking bobbins. We will be providing pillows, needles, and embroidery thread for you to learn to make simple designs. This event is free and open to the public. There is no cost. We will have extra cameras on hand if you do not have one and will be happy to send you any photos afterwards. You may register for free on Skillshare here:

Jan 24th- Glassmaking at Good Harbor Bay 

We will be heading out to my friend Sallye Coyle's Glassmaking Studio to learn about the art of glassmaking. You check out her studio on her website: Good Harbor Bay is roughly 10-15 minutes from our usual meeting space at:
 5520 Lockridge Rd
Durham, NC 27705

You've probably met Sallye at Techshop already as she also teaches Shopbot at Techshop RDU. She's a great person and we're really lucky to have her let us into her studio for the evening. There is a $25 studio supply cost to cover the supplies for this event. You may register on Skillshare here:

Can't wait to see you at any or all of these fun events.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day Seventeen: Consews and Dressmaker

 Note: All machines are officially sold. Thank you everyone who dropped by and picked one up.

Today we're offering up a little of our shop goodness in 3 machines we have for sale from our huge shop upgrade. These are great machines to get started on in the business of textiles. They are machines I used at the start and stood me well as reliable through my first few years of sewing in the business. It's great for you if you're looking to get into the business or simply want a reliable machine to use from time to time. I hope they will bring you happiness as well.

Sold Dressmaker- Super Dial Sewing Machine with Table

This first fun zig-zag machine has been used on everything from making bags to the 40 ft. kite I sewed on this blog. Many (probably most of the items) on here have been sewn with this model and I love her dearly. She's light weight solid metal and a great bridge between home and commercial sewing machines if you're looking to branch out but not yet ready for the full speed of an industrial. Comes with her own table, extra bobbins, and a great machine. I've loved using her and you simply can't go wrong with the Dressmaker brand.

Consews- Heavy Duty with Table and Motors

We have 2 lovely working Consews available for sale. They are both in working order and similar heavy duty models ideal for making bags and accessories. The first model is in working order with all parts. The second model is also in working order, but is missing a head-plate and thread take up-lever. You can cover the head-plate with cardboard and replace the lever for $8-12 on ebay or we can do it for you, but since it's not in perfect working condition we are offering it at the lower price. I'm told that the parts are easy to find and replace, we simply have not had the time to do so. 

If you would like to view the machines or test them out, please drop by our studio at:

5905 Triangle Drive
Raleigh, NC 27617

Email beforehand is always appreciated to let us know you are coming:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Textile Friday: 3D Printed Clothing

    I loved the idea of replicators in Star Trek, the idea that you could take base molecules and make them into real things. Today I wanted to show you that clothing became 3D printed this past year by designer Iris van Herpen. We're seeing a concept of plastic used as clothing this season. It's beautiful to watch and exotic. I love the idea of going home from a long day and simply dropping your old outfit in a bin to have it recycled into a new clean dress for you to wear the next day. Imagine what you would do with all that extra closet space. If you've ever seen Lady Gaga, you've seen her handiwork. The rest of us would probably prefer something more normal today. However the future is an open book. What looks normal today will probably look strange or exotic to our future descendants.

Now before you see this video as the wave of the future, this technology is still several years out (probably closer to decades) and even on these only a portion is made using a 3D printer. Most of the 3D effect is very time consuming (it took 1 printer 7 days printing 24 hrs. a day to produce even the smaller pieces)and very uncomfortable. So, a lot of the pieces are still fabricated using traditional methods and equipment with portions made with a 3D printer. This makes it more of a exotic animal than a real mainstream method. 

The major drawback to this besides current technology that I see is that plastic for most people isn't that great of a material. It doesn't breath well and sewing it tends to give people headaches. Also, 3D printed parts are extremely delicate. They tend to lack the advantages of strength that weaving a garment provides. Nor does plastic last as long as most natural materials. I think either the printing time would have to come down significantly or the materials would have to improve dramatically for clothing. Probably both.

However, there are very few of these drawbacks in the accessory market (items are more static and there is less need for motion or touch). As a result you are already seeing 3D printed shoes by several houses and I predict bags as well in short order. Such as this pair which walked for Mercedes Benes Fashion Week by Andreia Chaves. I think that this is a more commercial twist that has promising trends. The guts are still handmade which shows that the technology still has a way to go...however if you're a fashion icon with money to burn you can own something very few if any other people in the world will be able to.

Have a great weekend everyone, see ya next week. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day Sixteen: Acorn to Oak Holiday Craft Show

We're back from the show this past week and wanted to show you this fun video Melsie Glass took of the Acorn to Oak Handmade Etsy Team Craft Show. I'm going to start shortening Etsy Team Craft to ETC for laughs. We loved everyone who came out and made us laugh and can't wait for the next one in the spring right before Mother's Day.

It was so much fun to have you.

I can't believe we're at 670 members for the year. We have grown so much. We started with just 16 good friends at the beginning. Glad to have met each and every one of you and so looking forward to seeing what the new year brings.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Textile Friday: Shop Upgrade/Come Learn with Us

                  This week, Nash and I took the plunge and bought a dozen high-end industrial sewing machines. Everything from Consews, Merrows, Rimoldis, and Singers. We've been debating this for almost a year, but finally had the opportunity to do so. Included are two of my beloved Merrow sergers so I can do high-end work. We are so excited to grow to this new level. And we are inviting you to come with us. While we plan to use the studio during the day, we are opening Li Sashay up on evenings and saturdays for you to dream your dreams. You may take a basic $60 3/hr. class on how to use industrial sewing machines or rent time in the studio starting Jan 1st for $10/hr.
              My hope is to provide a place for people of all ages to dream in fabric.

Have a great weekend everyone. I will see you on Monday.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day Fifteen: Pieceables Basic Kit

Today we're covering the basic 43 Pieceable Kit. This basic beginner kit features enough Pieceables to get you started making accessories: bracelets, necklaces, small bags, wallets, hacky sacks, and small flying robot space craft. The large easy to snap buttons go together easily and are machine washable. Katie is sporting a Pieceable necklace that took 10 pieces to put together.
Lots of fun! I love how it matches her eyeshadow.

You can get your own kit on Kickstarter here:

One of the things that constantly suprises me about having people betatest Pieceables is that you can make a tremendous amount from a small amount of Pieceables. Here's some typical things people make with just a few Pieceables:

6 Pieceables:

Cat Toy

 Book Mark
Hacky Sack
Pot Holder

12 Pic
Coin Purse
Child's Belt

And various other fun experiences. I can't wait to see what this Friday's group comes up with.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Textile Friday: Alibaba

         If you ever read Arabian Nights as a child, you remember Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. As an adult, it's the largest small business internet platform based out of China with supposedly over 65 million users. It was launched as a way to connect Chinese manufacturing with business entrepreneurs. As a small business, it can seem like an incredible tool to access much lower than typical retail rates in the US. The math generally puts at you around 1/17th of the cost. But like the cave of wonders, the cave holds both treasure and thieves. Trust the Chinese to offer such a tongue and cheek warning.
        First the treasure: unlimited access to world-wide manufacturing. You can outsource your ideas on a budget. The treasure is pretty obvious the first time you log on and comparison shop.
        Now the warning: It can not be under-estimated how dealing with Alibaba opens you up to dealing with thieves to come into your home. Thieves are not your friends and the same rules of fair business do not apply with someone halfway across the world who likely will never meet you. There's an old proverb that states that "A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy". Switched packages with inferior products, low quality goods masquerading as higher quality, and worst of all artist theft.
        The last part is the hardest to combat against if your artwork is stolen off your website and ripped. China has a "embrace, extend, and exterminate" policy used by Microsoft in the 80s and 90s which seeks to create a monopoly and drive other competitors/players off the field. Dealing with them is best like Ali Baba, sneak in at night, get what you need, and leave without telling them where you live. Many people set up a separate account just for dealing with Alibaba to prevent information theft. Watermarks are rapidly becoming obsolete as technology gets more advanced. So what is an artist to do? The problem that has plagued name brands like Chanel and Polo has come home to roost for smaller artists as well. Etsy seems particularly plagued by this infestation of late. Frankly it's been something I've struggled with and failed at. The only solution seemed to be in trying to stay ahead of the curve as much as possible. And then I ran across this little gem this week that seemed worthwhile to share with you. Please note, this applies primarily to your PHOTOS. Sad, but true. Your photos are one of best protection you have these days.
         One of the best articles I've seen was by the Nelly Van See family run shop out of Canada. The following is reprinted with their permission from the forum threads: 
"Someone on Alibaba stole my pictures... After 3 days, I managed to get my pictures taken down. Here is how." :

"On alibaba, there is on each product item : ' Report Suspicious Activity '. You need to go in the company's profile, go in product, find your items ( you can use search ) and then on top of the picture there is this link.

Report suspicious activity
Alleged picture copyright infringement
This supplier is using a product picture(s) that does not belong to them. Note: Please provide the URL (website address on and specify the location of the picture(s).

--->In the box you write a description why its your item. Say you made it, nothing more fancy then that.
--->You need to send links that prove this is your item, a very good proof is transactions on etsy, as they state the date of purchase. I sent the oldest transaction link for each item stolen.
--->Then I also sent a link to the item listed in my shop. If you have multiple shops, send links from all your shops: artfire, shoply, flickr, photobucket, deviantart, etc
--->A link of the picture on etsy they stole without the watermark.

And a very good proof, a picture of your photography set up.
I take all my pictures on the same small black rocks, I took pictures of those and took pictures of my hands. I sent those also as a proof.

Then in the box, to upload a picture, I just sent the original picture, straight out of my camera that hasn't been photoshoped yet. If you don't have that, just send the original picture without their watermark on it.

There... this is how.

Now everyone who got their pictures stolen, please do this"

Pretty simple. I don't know if you can actually do business with Alibaba and come out ahead. Paypal just ended their year long partnership and Yahoo is currently in disputes with them over the financial gutting of their company to create Alipay. I've had artist friends who tell me about the great deals they have gotten and more quietly mention sheepishly the equipment that never works right or materials that fall apart literally as the fabric is being sewn together. As Wired Magazine pointed out in one of the best thoughts I've read lately there's a growing trend to substitute American automation for Chinese sweat labor. Working smarter, not harder seems to be the US thought lately similar to the Germans and it's a trend I approve of. :-) Well, that's all folks. So the next time you have to deal with Alibaba ripping your artwork, remember these simple steps to stop it by the NellyVanSee family.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day Fourteen: Linen Labels

      Well, Friday was a big crazy day. Nash spent most of the day bottling. And Roth released their much anticipated newly bottled FoeHammer Beer. While I can't take credit for the delicious beer, the cool linen tags sitting on top come to you courtesy of our little shop. Each label is hand-printed using 12th century traditional techniques developed as a quality seal to by shipping merchants. I hope that this beer has an equally long and profitable career ahead of it. And if you get a chance, pick up a bottle at your local store.

I have just been informed that people are using the labels as Christmas decorations! Awesome! Glad to see people enjoying a little holiday flare.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Textile Friday: 24K Goldplating with Jon Danforth

            We're running a little late on Textile Friday with the Thanksgiving holiday, but I think the wait is completely worth it because I have a special guest for you. Today we are hanging out having with my friend Jon. Jon is a lot of fun to be with and we're lucky to have him here today telling us about custom goldplating. Precious mineral plating occurs by putting a charge on the metal to be plated and then exposing it to a solution. In the industry these can be huge tanks, but the principle is the same on both the large and small scale. Thankfully, Caswell makes some great inexpensive kits to allow custom production for small scale runs in the $35-68 range. After purchasing a kit, you simply order refill bottles which are a cheap and effective way to do small runs. This gives you a great way if you need occasional plating for prototyping or finicky clients who may change their mind about finishes.
             You can generally plate a small piece in 5-10 min by following these easy steps.

 1. Clean out a glass beaker or clean jar to hold the gold solution. T-shirts work great for this. You can hold it under a light to check for residue. As you use the goldplating solution, it will leave a gold film on the inside.

2. Unscrew the gold solution and pour in some of the goldplating solution. Wrap the flat of the electroplating kit in cloth, fabric, or other absorbent material. This is what you will be using to goldplate your material.

3. Plug in the clamp and fix it to your item to be plated. Dip the fabric in the gold solution and begin rubbing it up and down the surface of the metal. As the reaction occurs, it will cause visible bubbles along the surface of the metal. You can also hear a popping sound like faint Rice Crispies Cereal.

4. Move slowly around the piece you are plating. An average piece such as this picture frame will take 5-15 minutes. Rub back and forth. You can move the clamp to plate the entire piece.

5. When you get done electroplating your piece, you will need to polish it for a shiny finish. Your final piece will have the same characteristics as the orginal piece. The gold is covering your metal, it does not change it's initial properties. You can take a polishing cloth, those wrapped in a block do best, and rub it over the surface of the gold to bring out the finish.

6. Voila. Your piece is done. Pretty awesome huh?

You can see the final contrast below.

Thanks so much for tuning in and a super big thanks to Jon for all his help and interesting help.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day Twelve: Pieceables: 3D Fabric Design

Have an idea over your morning coffee? Want to program your bag with your iPhone? Now you can.

Nash and I love to do prototyping design, especially e-textiles.  For Christmas, we thought we would share our joy with you by creating modular fabric design kits called Pieceables. Simply snap the Pieceables together and program any electronics with your smartphone. Voila, the resulting art pieces are washable and can be endlessly modified to suit your taste.

We've taken a lot of the heavy lifting out of understanding various fabrics and connections to allow you to focus on the fun part of design...making. I love watching friends and family surprise me with their inventions, ideas, and coffee creations.Over thanksgiving we took a bunch home to family, a lot of fun cat toys were made. Not what I expected, but hey...if lol cats can take over the internet, then I don't see any reason they can't take over Pieceables. :-)

Over the next few Fridays, you are welcome to drop by Techshop's conference room and try out Pieceables for yourself. We are marketing these for Christmas on Kickstarter where you can pick up one of 3 basic Pieceable kits: Standard (Machine Washable/CPSIA compliant), Beginner Electronics (smartphone light programming), and Advanced Electronics (allows you to also program buttons, sound, directions, and temperature). You can also program these electronics with any computer screen in case you prefer to use a desktop or laptop instead of smartphone. Simply answer the simple 4 question order form so we know what fabrics and colors you would like shipped.

The last day to order one of the kits for Christmas is Monday, December 23rd. After ordering, simply print the gift certificate. The gift certificates may be redeemed any time in the next 6 months. We plan to start shipping Jan 1, 2012. 

We hope you enjoy your Pieceables! Happy Holidays everyone. And thank you so much for your support over the past year.

You can check out the brand new website here:

Copyright 2011 Li Sashay
Patent Rights Reserved

Friday, November 18, 2011

Textile Friday: Speed Knitting Handmade

Today we're going to talk about something I love: handmade knits. Even in the age of machine knitting, a good handmade sweater stands in its own category as a piece of quality art. Sadly not all knitters are created equal. I'm an average knitter at best after several years of lunch and evening groups and my sweaters are NOT works of art YET. This weeks post is dedicated to helping normal knitters like myself get faster. If you want to see someone really fast check out Hazel Tindall, the world's fastest knitter. This week I ran across a lovely blog called "A Fisherman's Knits". It's a fab blog for better tools to knit faster, not be super human. Most of my tricks/tips come out of hitting a wall while my friends would go "Oh, I knit a sweater last weekend." The girl friends you love and hate at the same time. :-) Love you guys.

1. The first easy answer is to make your movements as small as possible and relax. Check-out this great video by Lisa Stockebrand on continental knitting and wasted movement. If you hear nothing else about what I say, hear me...CONTINENTAL KNITTING. I also included a video by former knitting champ showing her tutorial on continental speed knitting. Great video, but she's so fast it's hard for me to follow.

Knitting Faster from Lisa Stockebrand on Vimeo.

2. Belt Sheath- These can either be wood or leather, but having one of your needles fixed and most of your weight going into your waist takes the weight off your hands. You can see this in the first video where Hazel is wearing one. A typical belt will run you $20-40, but is so worth it in terms of saving your hands. Some people knit one-handed with a knitting belt. These are what the professional knitters of Ireland and Scotland used to use supply the British navy, etc. a hundred years ago. Great stuff. You can get a leather one at JourneyMan Leather or make one yourself. The wood ones you can turn yourself or find on ebay for roughly $30-150. Like antiques, there's a wide variety in price, mostly it seems based on the story behind the piece. You can also cheat if you can't spring for this and take your belt and slide it to the side then rest your knitting needles in one of the holes. It's not nearly as good, but it will give you an idea of what to expect.

3. Good needles- I will save you the debate between wood and metal. Both are good. Wood seems to work much better for me. I find ebony a favorite, but the major gift of wood for me is that my stitches don't slide around as much. I knit twice as fast with wood as opposed to metal needles. Some people add texturing to the wood in x, y, or z formations. However, it seems as if the really fast knitters use metal needles, especially long ones out of the leather belt that they bend forward from the waist so wood is probably a crutch in some ways for an intermediate knitter such as myself. I'm still looking for a pair of lignum vitae needles (yum self-lubricating wood), but until I can afford a pair....a girl has got to dream.

4. Large Stitches- Obviously larger stitches knit faster. However, I hate to mention this because with the right equipment investment you can actually knit faster even with smaller stitch sizes.

Ok, I think that's everything. So people, watch the videos, check out the blog and enjoy! Good knitting is amazing and the quality makes unforgettable gifts. Happy Holidays and have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day Eleven: Free Jewelry Making Kit Listia

Today we're winding down the last of Listia Give-A-Ways. You can find our beginning jewelry making kit by the front desk of Techshop which Katie is modeling for us. It has a variety of items in it including:

1. Glass Oven Bake Pens/Paint
2. Needles
3. Twine
4. Seashells
5. Feathers
6. Beads

Most items are unopened in orginal packaging. We are still accepting donations, but after doing a number of these, I've found the shipping is more than the item is worth. We will go back to offering the supplies for free at our meet-ups. Did I mention how much I love our Etsy Group? Thanks guys. You are the best.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day Ten: Seige Warfare

This week it's war in our neck of the woods with the Avalon Reenactments coming to town. Techshop is getting involved building small and large scale trebuchets. Trebuchets are an ancient launching device that armies used to target cities under attack. Pretty cool. This means that Nash has basically died and gone to heaven. Actually, most of the guys in the studios have. So where you may ask does fabric come into this? It's easy to see the wood and metal, but what a lot of people miss is the fact that the slingshot mechanism is made of rope and a fabric cup. Yes, fabric is everywhere around you. When you can cut your own desktop trebuchet in a few minutes on the laser cutter, or a larger seige size in a few hours (car drums are popular counterweights), you get a lot of fun fielding requests for how to make the fabric cups to place the projectiles in. The laser program is available saved on the epilog upstairs, or if you are doing a larger scale model, the measurements are 12 inches by 6 inches as follows to make a huge polygon on a larger standing model.

Simply place a hole in each end and sew the sides. We will be field-testing each division this coming weekend for the open house. I will be competing in the small division, Nash in the large. Good luck everyone who is putting theirs together this week. If you have any questions, you can find Nash at Techshop. Oh, and I will be launching flaming fire projectiles from mine so fair warning to the opposing team :-).

This is great week for mayhem.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day Nine: Free Skirt Making Kit on Listia

This is our second free fabric drawing on Listia this fall for a basic skirt sewing kit. Skirts, aprons, and pillows are the staple of beginning seamstresses as they allow you to flex your sewing muscles and can normally be completed quickly so you don't get bogged down in the process. The kit includes pattern, materials, and fabric to make it. I picked a lovely heavy-weight red double-knit jersey fabric so the finished skirt will be both warm and functional. You can bid anytime this week on Listia. This item ships free in the US. Happy Holidays from all of us at Li Sashay.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Textile Friday: Green Tea Clothing

I love unusual fabrics, some of my favorite new ideas, are actually twists on old ideas as previously mentioned such as the new plastic and vinyl trends for spring. New fabrics often tend to be impractical and of poorer construction quality than traditional so I try not to use them in commercial work, but oh you have to occasionally give in because they're so much fun! So check out this cool Friday video on making CLOTHING from green tea and sugar. Ah, I wish everything I designed was so yummy and earth friendly.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day Eight: Battle Signs

Today we're kicking back and getting ready for the local Avalon campaign. It's fun to create the unexpected and guys are all about tribes. A group of guys getting together to play paintball, outdoor soccer, SCA reenactments, and other event is something intrinsically masculine. I honestly believe that if you leave 4 guys in a room with nothing to do, they'll invent a new game, sport, or activity in roughly 15 minutes. This is a wonderful, fun thing.

The second thing you need is a sign, an emblem to hoist in the air as a battle cry and this is where we come in. We have 2 types of textile signs we do. The first type is today's show which is an athletic or military sign. These are primarily for outdoor sporting events, naval, or military reenactments. They feature a fabric sign with an applique that is finished with embroidery. The signs are weighted, machine washable, can be left outside and hold up to mountains of abuse.
Teams often purchase matching iron-on labels which can be put on arm bands, belts, hats, or other clothing. Overall very cool. Check it out and we look forward to showing you the other type of sign we make.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day Seven: Custom Sewn-In Mirrors

Today I am being a fashion snob and creating something beautiful, just because. I've been falling in love with Spring Fashion and one of my favorite new trends is the glass and mirror tops made from safety glass. They have this lovely captured light effect that makes models float and sparkle. Lucite has an old history dating back to the Bakelite Fashion on of WW II (1925-1940s) and is experiencing a resurgence. The Charlotte Mint Museum did a wonderful show on this last year and I was inspired to create my own engraved pieces from mirrors.
The pieces can be sewn or riveted to tops, clothing, bags, or other creation. We have a host of colors, the silver and blue are my favorite. You can also find: pink, dark blue, medium blue, gold, purple, yellow, bronze, slate gray, red, green, and colorless in 1/8 inch thickness. You can order a sample online at our Etsy store for $12 per 8 or $85 per 100. Please contact us for larger orders. We accept wholesale orders.

You can find our sample in the shop here:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Textile Friday: Pet's Wear

One of the big growing local unexpected trends is Luxury Pet's Wear. Some of you remember when the crazy dog costumes and anthropomorphizing trend that started almost a decade ago. This is mostly cheap Halloween costumes ten years later, not a lifestyle. The following photo comes from as an example of a fun season costume you can pick up for under $10.
These days pets are not seen so much as human as separate and equal with the ability to have reasoning powers of their own. As a result, the advertising has gone upscale in many way though anyone who has seen a LOL Cat knows cat owners ascribe all types of intelligence to their feline guests. Nash's favorite is the I CAN HAS CHEEZEBURGER? cat which has been reprinted in a million and one locations.
This shift in perception has also led to an interesting shift in product. One of the quiet growing trends has been people creating really great hand-tooled collars, leashes, and other fun creations at affordable prices. You're also seeing great quality dog beds, cat bowls, and simple practical presents. Franky, as a pet owner, I LOVE this. I don't know if it will go big, but a lovely elegant trend Chino, our dog, is loving.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Etsy October Recap

Just got the pictures from the Car Restoration meeting back. I am putting them up on flickr. Thanks everyone who came. It was so much fun to have you. And a big thanks for John and all his hard work. Everyone loved their starburst medallions.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day Six: Free Quilting Kit On Listia

This week I'm listing the first of a new series of kits for our 2012 Etsy Meetings. This one is for a free intermediate quilting kit on Listia. It will be available until Weds next week for our Jan 10th meeting. I'm not an expert quilter by any means, but there's some great tools on the market to save you weeks of time cutting and sewing.
It's wonderful to use on left-over clothing or old linens. And the added speed makes it possible to do some of the more complicated styles like Amish Quilts. I love making interesting projects like this that create one of a kind works of art.
If you've ever heard Alabama Chanin talking about heirloom creations, quilts in my mind are a personal private one of a kind work of art. I will post more details on the meeting as it gets closer, but for now enjoy bidding on a kit for you to learn this week.

Have a great day. Look forward to tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day Five: Under $100 Open-Source Arduino Moving Projection Instructions

Today, we're venturing into the world of open-sourced prototyping. While a lot of what we do at Li Sashay is commercial, a good bit of it is also whimsical and fun. This is one example.
Jeff dropped by one evening asking me what I knew about sewing. One of those down the rabbit hole questions that is always promising. A few days and I had his prototype in my studio. Jeff is busy designing an open-source Arduino driven moving projector screen.
This is a really brilliant design and incredibly simple. I won't speak to the electronics (You can check out his blog for exact details and open source code), but you create a basic projection screen from blackout-fabric ($30) at any Jo-Anns. Use a basic straight curtain rod curtain design. At the top you attach straps at 8-12 inch ($2 for a yard) intervals that wrap around a hollow pole, I've seen plastic hollow tubing used ($10 Lowes). You then attach a controller to the entire curtain and for under $100 depending on where you source your parts. If you scrounge the board and motor, you can do this for closer to $50.
Voila, a moving projection screen that rolls up and down at your command. Now all it needs to do is Tweet.

Well, that's all for today folks. Have a great day. Check in tomorrow for more free ideas.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Textile Friday: Listia

This week I'm having fun starting to raffle off the left-over art supplies from the Hello Etsy Event we had last month on Listia. Hopefully this will allow you to pick up items or craft ideas that appeal to you. The entire system is cashless and everything ships for free afterwards so I hope that everyone can pick up something they like without breaking the bank over the next few months. An early Christmas present from us to you. A new item or two will be listed every week. I will try to mail out the kits complete with enough fabric or supplies to actually correctly make them. Perhaps we'll see some cool photos in a few months from our fellow artists of their creations.

Raffle List:

This Week: Sock Monkey Kit
Next Week: 23 Skeins of Yarn, Scrapbooking inserts

First Week of November: Complete Quilting Kit
Second Week of November: Charcoal sticks and paper
Third Week of November: Skirt Pattern, Zippers, Fabric, Buttons, Thread, and Needle
Fourth Week of November: Beginner Jewelry Kit

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day Four: Engraved Leather Cards

I am so excited dear readers to announce that Nash and I got officially engaged this month. It's been a wonderful year and we're looking forward to the holiday season. One of the fun additions we've done for several friends is custom leather wedding invitations and we can't wait to mail our own out next year. An additional unexpected request has been people looking for custom 9th anniversary leather engraved cards. And then we got cards for special events. So now we're making them public for you to enjoy. We use light weight purse leather that melts in your fingers and puts you just under 1.5 oz to ship (very important when calculating shipping costs). The standard size is 4 by 6 inches for $20 or you can select any size smaller you may desire.

Custom Engraved Leather Card

Friday, October 14, 2011

Textile Friday:

This week celebrates 10 years. If you get a chance today, you can go check out their new video push which I am loving watching. Style is a great website for following fashion's icons and noted designers, you can check out the latest shows, looks, or upcoming trends. Tim Gunn is one of my favorite speakers anywhere. There's other sites that are more technical in nature, but for sheer fun, I love ice cream and

Etsy Holiday Craft Show

Where: Techshop RDU
5905 Triangle Drive
Raleigh, NC 27617
When: December 13th from 6-9:30 pm
Who: Lots of local artists in Techshop bringing their wares to show and display.
Fees: Free and open to the public, artist submissions by Nov. 15th to

December is the month of gift-giving. It's cold and we all need something to warm up our hearts and hands. For this Christmas season we are featuring a craft swap with local artists. If you have never been to a craft show or you've done the professional circuit for 10 years, you both are welcome. We will be setting up 1/2 tables for local artists to come for the evening and show their work while we feature traditional holiday merriment such as warm cider, baked cookies, homemade cards, and a number of Swedish seasonal crafts.

If you would like to try your hand, we have a number of demo tables. All the local artists have donated the supplies to allow some free events as follows in the Kitchen.

6-7 pm: Paint Your Own Pine Cone Ornaments: Learn how to brighten up your table with festive handpainted pine cones. Shannon Talton will be leading the demonstration. A big thanks to Katie Bashaw for picking up all the pine cones for us to use for this event. Location: Kitchen, Cost: Free
7-8 pm: Custom Wood and Leather Ornaments: Create turned and laser wood ornaments into works of art. Shannon Talton will be leading the demonstration. A big thanks to Mark Plaga for his wood donation for the laser. Location: Kitchen, Cost: $1 per ornament recommended.
8-9 pm: Sewing Custom Santa Stockings: Create fun custom Santa Stockings to hang up by the fireplace this year. Shannon Talton will be leading the demonstration. A big thanks to Etsy for the fabric donation. Location: Kitchen, Cost: Free

As always, free and open to the public.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

November Etsy Meeting: Regretsy White Sale

November is a time for a little crazy fun. We are paying tribute to one of my favorite sites out there: Regretsy. For those of you who have never spent an hour laughing milk through your nose, I invite you to click on this messed up site which features the worst, not the best of Etsy.

This coming month we're going to kick back, drink some ROTH beer, and have a $5 Regretsy White Sale. For those of you not familiar with White Sales/Swaps, it's an event where you bring the most hideous, messed up craft idea you've ever had and exchange it with others. We will have tables set-up to display goods and take photos. Votes will be given for best in show and prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

That's right, for $5 and up you can take home something that will terrify small children and horrify hated relatives without having to say anything. All gag gifts welcome.

The only qualification is that you must have made the actual piece you are submitting.

We will be streaming the best posts of regretsy, serving snacks, and generally goofing off. Can't wait to see what some of you come up with. :-)

Please note: This event is geared for 18+

November 8th from 7-10 pm

Located at:
Techshop RDU
5905 Triangle Drive
Raleigh, NC 27617