Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Etsy Meet-up: Sunday May 8th from 7-10 pm

This year, the local Etsy meet-up will be held by Li Sashay at Techshop RDU in the conference room. Snacks, drinks, and local crafting supplies will be provided. Feel free to bring a project to show us you're working on, extra crafting supplies you might want to exchange with other members, or tips and tricks of the trade. We will be constructing light-boxes from local recycled boxes and talking about improving online picture quality, something we all can use a hand at. There will also be people making jewelry, knitting, sewing, and a host of other crafts. No experience necessary.

Everyone is welcome.

Free to the public.

Please click this link: http://www.meetup.com/etsy/Raleigh-NC/99944/ and post your reservation if you will be attending. If enough people sign up, we will plan a second meeting from Etsy for June 10th and they will send us a free design kit (yeah!).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stolen Sunshine Bucket Hats

This week was a birthday one and I took a few hours to throw together some bucket hats for the lovely outside weather that blew through after the local tornado. The hands down favorite is the golden brown one that keeps getting stolen by friends and random strangers to try on. Water and stain resistant, they're a good mix between fashionable and practicality. They have a light weight lining and hand-sewn in label. You can pick them up for $20, we are going to be doing limited runs for local shows. Except mine of course. Because it's awesome and I'm keeping it.

Have a great week everyone. Hope you're doing well.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Li Sashay Is Growing: Summer Interns

Spring is finally getting started and I'm pleased to announce as part of our growth, the first of our summer interns starts June 1st. Ella Brooks is a rising senior at NC State University (my old stomping grounds). She has a strong costuming background and works in the costume department of NC State Theater production. We're looking forward to having her on some fun and unusual projects this summer to share with you. The first involves renewable energy in the form of wind. I can't wait to have her share this new green project we are embarking on. Check back weekly over the summer to see some of her new thoughts and designs.

If you would like to see about applying to our internship program, please e-mail us at: dsmcginn1@lisashay.com

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Redress Raleigh Fashion Show 2011

This past weekend I had a wonderful time at the Raleigh Redress Fashion Show in downtown. Participants create clothing lines from recycled or re-purposed items. I really was not sure what to expect when I arrived and I must say overall, I was very impressed with the level of creativity and energy of the show. It's always fun to see other designers out there and see what ideas people are dreaming up. There were a number of ideas and concepts that really pushed the edges in ways I didn't expect. The seating was great, the stage was lovely, and 50% of all profits went back to the local community. You could really see the love, time, and effort the creators had put into making this show a success.

There were many neat ideas and collections, however 3 stood out in my mind as the best in the show for different reasons. The first and clear winner in my mind was LLLavender, a collection by Lauren Smith out of Raleigh. It focuses mostly on re-purposed sweats and athletic wear. I must say, of all the shows I have been to, and all the model walks I've seen, these were some of the happiest, bounciest models I have EVER seen. You could really see each girl LOVED the clothes she was wearing. They looked great, moved amazingly, and seemed incredibly comfortable. You can check out her more up-scaled clothing line here. She's also been a SparkCon in the fall several times as a local Raleigh talent. Great designer, really fab clothes. I often struggle with knits (more of a woven person myself) so it's wonderful to see another designer pulling it off in such a lovely way.

The next collection was a favorite for it's creativity was by April Morgan who created a small collection of dresses from children's bedsheets. Bedsheets are a fairly typical old-shool project and I've seen and done it before, however this was a really humorous twist that I had not seen before. Having made a line of shirts from bedsheets last summer, I must say that it's not nearly as easy as this designer made it look. Overall the fit is decent and the colors/prints were very whimsical. Made me think of the Art Deco print ads of the 1950s. It's always fun to see something old done in a new unexpected way. Like meeting an old childhood friend all grown up and sophisticated out for a drink. I really hope to see more of this designer because so few people are creating clothing that makes one laugh. Also, GREAT job on matching the prints. This can be hard and the designer nailed it.

The 3rd and last favorite collection was by Revamp Clothing which if LLLavender was fun, and April Morgan was clever, Revamp was just hands down breathtaking beautiful. It was an unexpected surprise really. All the dresses floated. The models looked lovely, but what was really amazing in person sadly does not show in very well in the photos. Each dress or piece had trails of LED lights sew into them and woven through the models' hair. It left each girl glowing like something out of a movie set for a picture of beauty. I have to say, this is one of the first times I've really gotten to see LEDs done in such an accomplished and beautiful manner.

So in short: fun, creative, and beautiful. Great show. And for everyone not mentioned in this post still cutting their teeth in the fashion world congrats on the courage to take a risk and plunge into the fashion waters. It's always hard to take that first step. Good luck and hope to see you all again.

Note: All photos are courtesy of Chris Florio of Florio Photography. He did an amazing job. Thank him for the great work. You can check out his work on his website: http://www.floriopics.com/.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Wallet of Your Needs

This month, after lots of secrecy, I'm unveiling some early releases online for some of our up and coming new hot products and concepts. My favorite is a collaboration with Matt Santelli who runs Exhibiments Inc which is a print and design house. Li Sashay is teaming up with them to start producing completely customized wallets, handbags, and clothing.

The idea for this sprang out of a lunch discussion one day over what makes the perfect wallet. We all went around the table listing different things we loved in a wallet. The perfect number of pockets, the right color, the weight, photos of loved ones, slices of memories folded into each layer. The interesting thing was at the end, while many people agreed on the important features for them and many of them overlapped, they weren't the same. It's often easy to find the right style or the right fabric/print, but not both. And preferences tended to change based on what you wanted to use your wallet for.

We all concluded that the perfect wallet is one that fits a person's needs and it was why many people spend so much thought on a piece that ideally lasts them years. It was also why over time, a person's perfect wallet may change. Some similarities emerged, a perfect wallet must have enough pockets, be lightweight and easily fit in a back pocket, be durable, and fit the personality of person involved. At the end of the lunch we all laughed, Matt and I thought this was too fun of an idea not to make real. After all, we are in the business of making dreams real everyday. He can print anything on fabric or leather, and I can sew it. Now you can own one.

So began one of the most fun projects I have ever done. We gathered construction materials from all over the US: New York high-end leather, furs, python skins, carbon fiber, Thai silks, French linens, poly-blends, you name it. After a lot of dryers, abrasive chemicals, other tests, we settled on a bi-fold design for durability. You can customize it to have between 1-6 pockets on each side with an option for fold-over tri-fold design if you need more space to stick credit cards.

Our basic model starts around $49.99 for standard fabric or leather options, but we also include more exotic materials like python, stingray, and kangaroo. We will also line a wallet with a favorite t-shirt, baby blanket, or other light-weight treasured memory. Please allow an extra 2 weeks for your custom fabric selection. There is no additional cost for using your own custom fabric for the lining. Most of these will break May 1st, but you can purchase a limited selection early for 25% off from our online store.

Fabric $49.00

Leather Standard Colors $55.00

Deerskin $65

Kangaroo $75

Sting Ray $85

Python $180

Rabbit Fur $100

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dying and Finishing Leather

I've been having a lot of fun dying stuff this past week. Dying is a fun and easy process in leather and can be done in a few minutes. This allows you to create custom looks or one of a kind colors particular to your project or needs. Most professional leather makers use them and then put a finish on top. There are several major kinds of dyes. The two most common are oil and alcohol.

Oil dye is generally considered better as it does not fade over time and holds hue better. The downside is it comes in more limited colors. It generally comes in natural hues. Fiebings makes great oil dyes. You can buy it in small 4 oz. quantities for testing and larger amounts for commercial applications. You don't need a lot for a particular job so a few ounces is often more than enough.

If you're planning to do fun colors, you will want to use alcohol dyes. They come in a variety of colors including green, red, purple, yellow, and others. The green is my favorite. You can purchase dyes at most shoe repair shops, sears, walmart, and my favorite: Tandy's Leather. A small bottle will run you $2-6 on average.
Now, you have the bottle, what do you do? Taking a paintbrush, slowly apply the dye in clean even strokes. You can pick up a bunch cheaply at dollar tree. The post before this is a great 4 min tutorial on how to do so. When you finish applying the dye, allow to dry. If the color is too light, you can reapply for a darker shade. Then
Next, consider if you want to apply a finish or not. Finishes come in a variety of styles. Wax is popular as well as acrylic sprays. Acrylic sprays can leave a plastic feeling finish sometimes so some artists avoid it. You will need to decide it for yourself. At the end you have a custom leather piece all your own.
Have a great day. Til our next post.