Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guest Speaker for our July 12th Meeting Etsy Meet-up, Kaeti Lindquist

Hey everyone, I am so excited to announce the guest artist for the month will be Kaeti Lindquist of TylerPoncho Etsy Shop. Her website is amazing if you get a chance, check it out: She makes sock monkeys here in our fair Raleigh as well as a collection of fun and quirky stuffed animals. I am excited to have her come show us her magic. She will be bringing some of the creatures she sells on Etsy plus Sock Monkey Kits and Embellishments. You may purchase her stuffed animals in the $3-40 range making a great custom Christmas gift for a child. We will have complimentary stuffing, buttons, and thread available if you would like to bring your own pair of socks to make a monkey for free. Patrons and starving artists are both welcome.

If you can not attend the Etsy Meet-up this month or would like to purchase your own kit, the sock monkey kit will be available through her website for $25. Free shipping. They make great Christmas gifts.

Have a wonderful day. Look forward to seeing everyone in 2 weeks.

As always, our meeting will be in the conference room of Techshop RDU from 7-10 pm. The adresss is:
5905 Triangle Drive
Raleigh, NC 27617

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day Thirty-Four: Full Circle Skirts

I love skirts. Especially, full or gored skirts. I've made a variety over the years and it's one of the things that I honestly hope to keep getting to create until I'm 80. You can make a slightly tailored or fitted skirt with a fraction of the fabric (see left), but it's the full skirts that flutter and twist as you walk that I adore. I feel they just move better. And while they're not as impressive on the rack, they always seem to garner the most compliments for women on. I'm looking forward to the ankle-length calf grabbing skirts that I've seen on the runways hitting the stores this fall. And maybe...just maybe....making a few myself.

Have a great day. Thank you everyone who has supported us on the kickstarter campaign. We are loving having you follow us.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day Thirty-Three: My Boyfriend's Jeans

When I first got into fashion, I thought women loved clothes more. But over time, I've come to realize that guys love clothes just as much in a different way. Women love fashion, the change, the flash of color, the twirl of a skirt. Newness, fit, motion. A women loves the act of beauty.

A guy loves how a piece wears. They'll tell you at length about their favorite jeans that took them years to break in right. Ralph Lauren, fashion ion, is famous for wearing the same pair of lucky jeans for 30 years. My father has been wearing the same style of dress shirts as long as I've known him. Ask any wife whose husband still has college shirts or boxers he's worn for 10 years.

The best pieces of clothing do both. So today, I'm fixing my boyfriend's beloved Wrangler jeans. He ripped them at work, but loves them too much to part with them. And so today you get a repair design job fixing a small treasure.

Have a great day. You can continue to follow us on Kickstarter:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day Thirty-Two: Custom Printed T-shirts

Today, we're going old-school and doing custom bleached t-shirts for the August Etsy Meet-up. Printing is a lot of fun to do and I'm pulling out my favorite navy color to demonstrate. Silk screening printing is another favorite, but I like bleach because of how fast it is. This is a great evening project. My friend Ruthan and I are inviting you to come make your own for the August 9th Etsy Meet-up from 7-10 pm. We're partial to wheels and robots, but we will have a laser cutter on hand and tons of colors for you to design your own. Bring a pdf or stencil if you have something creative in mind. My favorite color is navy of course, but we will also have sky blue, red, pink, orange, blue (several shades), black, purple, and lavender. There will be t-shirts for kids so little mad scientists are welcome to create their own.

You may either bring $5 or a blank t-shirt.

Plan on at least a solid hour after you get done to allow the shirt to dry.

These are my classic favorite band shirts. Best of luck on your week and have a great day. You can see the finished shirt here hanging above the desk at Techshop starting July 12th through August 9th.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day Thirty-One: Acorn to Oak Handmade

So yesterday, I spent the day doing paperwork and all the necessary bits and pieces to help our monthly meetings with the Etsy Team: Acorn to Oak. You can now follow us on our facebook page or on etsy. We've been sponsored through the rest of the year by etsy and while this falls more under the labor of love, there's a lot of design and paperwork that go into making it happen. We look forward to seeing everyone come out this month to enjoy lounging around and making sock monkeys.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day Thirty: STEM

This past week, Li Sashay was asked to be part of 2 video productions. The first was for reality tv and the second is for NC State's STEM program which features adult's showing high school math in real-world careers. STEM was a great chance for us to give back and hopefully form a positive impact on future generations. Or, make a really dorky video. We will leave you to be the judge. You will be able to see the final project at teacher conferences July 13th and 27th. Most people don't realize a fair amount of algebra and geometry goes into pattern drafting, and I loved the chance to give back. Given the huge number of CAD programs out there today, there is no way that I would be able to use them without basic math skills. Lots of fun with the camera gang. Hopefully, this will be it for Li Sashay's limelight this month. I must say, I've spent more time on video talking the past month than the rest of my life combined. It''s a lot more work than I expected.

PS-This photo comes from NC State's STEM mission calling page. Li Sashay does not own the photo.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day Twenty-Nine: Trim The Waste

We've been asked to help compete in a reality design show from that found us on Kickstarter to help trim the Waste in Fashion. This should be starting up as we finish our campaign so it's a nice dovetail between one event and the next. To help show the average waste, we compiled a short video clip showing the average waste involved in cutting and manufacturing 100 tote bags. It's a full 55 gallon garbage can. Plus some of our solutions for what to do with all the waste. We trimmed it all down to make a nice dog bed for the pup. We are submitting the video footage this next week and really excited to be part of the show hopefully. Tanner is helping us put the final touches on. Sirius B did the music for this piece.

This project is near and dear to my heart having worked on a factory floor for so long I've seen the sheer fabric by-product created in several hours of work is generally taken away in fork lifts. An average cutting machine can cut 5,000 pieces every 3 hrs. which is roughly 100 garbage barrels and that's before you get to serging. We are really excited to be competing and hope to bring some great ideas to the table in terms of reducing carbon footpring and waste.

To celebrate, we are selling the zero waste Totes on Etsy for $10 if you would like to pick one up. We hope you are as excited about the environment as we are. Check-out the video and please vote for Team Li Sashay.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day Twenty-Eight: Maker-Faire Booth Design

This weekend Nash and I got to pack everything up for Maker-Faire where we had a lot of fun setting up and meeting people. There's a fair amount of design that goes into making a booth work at a show and some unspoken rules. Matt, my print guy, used to do booth design at tradeshows before he got into design work. It's a nitty-gritty necessary part of the process.

People love to pick up business cards, small ticket items, and just generally chat with the business owners. I always have a great time.

Thanks everyone who came out. We look forward to seeing you next year.

Etsy July 12th Party: Sock it to Me Baby!

For July Etsy meet-up we are putting on some trashy socks and sliding around sliding around Techshop's floor with a pair of our favorite winter socks. Bring in your favorite pair of wild, crazy, or well-loved calf or knee-high socks. They can be any color, weight, and pattern. We will be cutting them up and sewing on buttons at Techshop Durham from 7-10 pm July 12th to sew sock monkeys.

We will also be discussing the new Google SEO changes and what it means for owners of online shops to increase sales. Guest artist to be announced.

Can't wait to see you all there.

Techshop RDU
5905 Triangle Drive
Raleigh, NC 27617

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day Twenty-Seven: Playing With Packaging

Today's post is produced with a big thanks for my friends over at Blocklets. Gabe and Mark just finished up a successful Kickstarter campaign and they designed sweet custom gift boxes for our Li Sashay Kickstarter campaign. The boxes come assembled and can be broken apart to form anything. You can see our hat boxes on left. Now everyone who orders from Kickstarter can have the added bonus of fun packaging.

Thank you guys! You are awesome!

Please continue to follow us:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day Twenty-Six: To Shannon With Love, Paul

Today's post is love story. I got asked last week to help Paul redo a beloved family leather comfy chair. His wife Shannon loves estate sales and picked it up a leather chair that with 9 kids later has seen better days. Last week he wandered in with a beat up cushion and a few days later, voila.

The guys at the office had fun making a him a custom leather label and everything. I love projects like this.

Thank you everyone who has been following us on the blog. Please continue to support us on our Kickstarter campaign. :-)

Tomorrow we have a surprise in store from our friends over at Blocklets.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day Twenty-Five: Etsy Artists

Hello, this is Li Sashay's jewelry artist, Nash Page, speaking in place of Dara. She managed to wear herself out due to all of the excitement with the Etsy Artists and asked me to fill in for her this evening. So, today's post is not one specific design, but twenty. Tonight a group of artists from Etsy had the monthly get together to demonstrate their various skill sets while Roth Brewing Company supplied beer for the guests.

There was a wide variety of crafts shown tonight ranging from baby booties, feather clips, painting, sewing pin holders, glass painted hearts, zipper roses, and a number of other things. Jeff Sgroi even showed some of his new Corian designs with a special piece made for his father. All in all, the group had fun and, with plenty of added guests, there were a lot of friendly faces that we hope to see again in the future.

Thank you to everyone who showed up to make this night a great success, and we hope to see all the new friendly faces next month. Special thanks to Jeff Sgroi and Amber Gorski for their hard work and interesting ideas.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day Twenty-Four: Artist Messenger Bags

Welcome back from the weekend. We hope you had a wonderful time. We spent the weekend with our friends at Blocklets getting ready for Maker-Faire. We will have a number of cool gifts for Dads at the show which we invite you to come see and sample. Several are made with Blocklet's inventors help. They designed some cool custom one packaging with us which you can see later in the week. Pick one up. On the right, you can see my favorite messenger bag pattern from last summer. I designed them to be reversible for an artist friend who wanted to do paintings and engravings on them. We also did a number of different models from fabrics I fell in love with. The bags sold out quickly, but it was a fun project. Have a great day. See you all tomorrow.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day Twenty-Three: The Waverly Tote

Today's post is a fun project I designed for a friend in Charlotte. She was a college student and wanted an over the shoulder gym bag with a pocket in front so she didn't have to dig for her keys. They were a lot of fun to make with custom prints and swede linings.

This remains my hands down favorite project I've probably done because of the smile Waverly gave me on handing it to her. Most beautiful smile I've ever gotten. I wish I had a photo of it to this day, but some moments are priceless and fleeting.

I hope you get to impact someone who adds joy to your life in a positive way today. Have a lovely night/morning where you are in the world.

Link to our kickstarter project:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day Twenty-Two: Here Be Theatre Dragons

Today, we're headed into the realm of fantasy. My jewelry designer Nash, also does metal work including chainmail and theatre set design. If you've been to NC State University Theater in the past few years you've probably seen his or my intern's handiwork. While I love the jewelry and wire work, there's something impressive about seeing some of his larger pieces. He's made chainmail jewelry, plates, helmets, and a variety of other pieces.

Because we all love a good show. Have a great day everyone.

Thank you everyone for supporting and following us on Kickstarter:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day Twenty-One: Fashion House Totes

I'm getting ready for Techshop's Thursday sewing class today and wanted to post pictures of our totes we teach people to make. I love selecting fabric from high-end fabric sample sales I go to semi-annually. We ship these all over the world for $7-20 each. Each one makes a unique one of a kind bag that holds up to years of abuse. You will be able to see a number for Maker-Faire NC next Sat at the show. I hope to see you there.

As always, please continue to support us on Kickstarter and we thank you for reading.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Etsy Craft Night June 14th!

We interupt our normal broadcast to bring you the awesome Etsy crafting box we got today in the mail. Please come out next Tues (June 14th) from 7-10 pm for food and a lot of fun. We are still wiping collective drool off our chins from this mad stash of goodies. Even the box is cute. The best stuff was clearly Martha Stewart. Yeah, she rocks like that. We also got several hundred different items from different vendors. There were too many for me to take a shot of and fit everything in which is never bad. We plan to set everything up in stations and you can wander around and sample cookies and crafts. There are also some sweet coupons from local craft companies such as Jo-Anns, Spoonflower, and others. So come out and enjoy free stuff.

All are welcome! Free to everyone!

Please bring something you're working on. And come share crafting supplies.

Conference Room
Techshop RDU
5905 Triangle Drive
Raleigh, NC 27617

Day Twenty: My most successful bag failure

"The difference between successful people and failures, is not that successful people don't fail. Because they do. But successful people in life find a way to take life bumps and get back up. "
~ Dr. Flowers, best advice I got in college.

Welcome back from the weekend. We hope you had a good time. I've decided to take a break today from talking about the shop's design successes and stop for a moment to talk about one of our design failures. It's always fun to show off one's successes, but I've found that it has been the failures that caused me to grow the most a designer. While we could just show you our successes, it seems somehow right to balance them against one of my failures.

One of my early failures can be seen here. The evening clutch. I originally designed these as a medium-sized bag made from recycled upholstery fabrics that I fell in love with at a store closing. I was so proud of the initial design and the first few sold quickly. However, once I got through the first few models, I ran into an unexpected problem. While the bags looked cute on the outside, I had not thought to put pockets on any of the insides. I invested most of my time in fabric quality selection and looks, and not very much on customer usability. Customers loved the bag, but wanted pockets! No girl wants to stand there looking silly while she digs for her keys.

This was a great lesson I've since learned and the next bag I designed that I added pockets to sold really well. And this brings me to today's thought which is that long-term success as a designer involves a willingness to learn from one's mistakes. It would be nice to be perfect, but my customers continue to surprise me with ideas and needs I would have never thought of in the first place. Answering their needs and designing for them has become more important to me than being perfect. Most good designers go through 5 or 6 designs to come up with a final product. There's nothing wrong with putting a some sweat and elbow grease in to make things work. Especially if you are doing something new, interesting, or challenging.

So I leave you today with the most important secret I've learned to successful design, which is learning to leave yourself room to fail and get back up. It's slightly messy and complicated, but also very honest. I hope you enjoy the rest of our designs we present over the remaining 20 days.

Please continue to support us on Kickstarter.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day Nineteen: 3-D Printing Buttons and Cufflinks Hardware

Today we're talking about 3-D printing. We have a 3-D printer on site for making custom hardware. I love this option because when I was younger I was fascinated by Chanel's coats with the custom buttons and hardware. Now I get to design my own. And I love that anyone, anywhere in the world can use it in a few minutes and make something to print for themselves. If you haven't tired it yet, Autodesk Inventor is a favorite. Or if you don't have the cash to shell out, google has a great free scaled down version called Sketchup: . It generally takes 5 min to download and you can start designing in minutes. Take this to your local 3-D printer and they can make custom designed hardware for you in 1-10 days depending on volume. The cost on this technology is really coming down which makes buttons in the $1-25 range depending on plastic or metal (average is $5-10) and metal cufflinks in the $40-60 range. The metal is a personal favorite, but the most popular thing in the industry right now is bright blue plastic.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend and happy designing.

A big thanks to everyone who has supported us on our Kickstarter campaign so far! We are having a fantastic time with you. Please continue to facebook, tweet, and e-mail about it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day Eighteen: Get Off of My Blue Kick Shoes

We love to dance at Li Sashay. Today's post is for my dancing friends. The idea came from Drew who is with Fab Labs of the Carolinas. He needed soft dancing shoes that would turn easily with leather soles. Everyone needs to cut loose from time to time. Thank you Kevin Bacon's Footloose. If you haven't seen the classic, I encourage you to rent it one night for fun. Dancing shoes are great, but they have a number of requirements as turned shoes. Turned shoes are little jewels of history as they originated in the Middle Ages due to durability. They have the unique property of having no exposed stitches in the final piece so they last much longer than standard shoes which is great when you're going to be subjecting them to serious wear and tear.

Normally I post up the final product pictures, but we had an unexpected last minute job from a client today and our shop is pulling an all-nighter. You can see the final Kickstarter blue shoes tomorrow when we get more time to post them. Thanks everyone who dropped by to help.

I hope you love your pair. You can pre-order a limited edition Kickstarter pair from the website:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day Seventeen: Princess Dancing Circle Skirts

Dance with us today as we have fun making Contra Dancing skirts. When I was in school, Swing Dancing was all the rage. Today around here, it's Contra Dancing. Over the years, the dances may change and the hemlines, but the theme stays the same. It's a pure bliss moment to spin around in a floating skirt to the twist and turns in the music. I believe dancing will always be a favorite. One of my treasured memories is learning to dance on my grandfather's shoes as a small child. Then later, I measured out the steps of the Foxtrot, Swing, Two-Step, and Jive with parents, cousins, and friends. In college, it was an escape from my courses. And a way to meet cute boys.

My poor brother was co-oped on these scouting exhibitions. Today, we craft a number of unique pieces for dance competitions or date night out. Our two biggest are what I lovingly think of as the Grace Kelly skirt that floats as you spin and thin leather dancing shoes that give you enough contact to pull those killer moves without landing on your face. Today our wonderful new intern Ella will be showing off the circle skirt she designed for a night out on the town.
The final proof moment came when she put it on. Lots of laughter on her part which meant success. I've always felt that the true test a piece of clothing is it's ability to make a person smile when they put it on. Today we succeeded.

Check-in tomorrow with our custom Kickstarter dance shoes. Thank you everyone who is following our posts. We hope you continue to follow us and please continue to show your support on Kickstarter: