Potential Has a Shelf Life

Margaret Atwood wrote that “potential has a shelf life.” In this case, sometimes potential lives on a shelf.

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Quick and Dirty Oilcloth Travel Bags

Living in cities for the past seven years has taught me that a good bag can mean the difference between aching shoulders and complete comfort or the difference between buying a new metro card after losing it in my bag (again) and getting to work on time, cool and collected.

I handle a day out with the matryoshka method: bags within bags to keep things organized. In the past I’ve used ziploc bags and bandanas, but in my new capacity as a Working Woman, I decided I needed something a little more official. Desafortunadamente (say it, it just rolls off the tongue), tiny bags cost way more than they should. Afortunadamente (considerably less fun to say), bags are really easy to make.

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Tying the Knot: Make Your Own Skinny Tie

Let’s talk some more about DIY clothes. Sometimes that’s what has to happen: you’ve got to do it yourself. When it comes to girls who like “menswear,” it can be hard to find what you’re looking for. I know that lots of times I get frustrated when I go shopping because they don’t have what I want, and if they do it’s priced outrageously. There’s really no good reason why you should have to spend twice as much for the women’s version of the exactly same shirt that’s sitting over in the men’s department but isn’t quite made to fit your body. So we’re going to do something about that. This is mutiny: arts and crafts style.

This projects is fun for bois and grrrls of all genders. Are you having trouble finding anything but black skinny ties? Have you been dying to raid your dad’s/brother’s/uncle’s/grandpa’s closet for ties but just can’t figure out how to make their giant ’80s ties work with your getup? Well, the slump is over. Gather up your craft boxes and your nimble,nimble fingers. This one is just as easy as last week, but it requires a little more finesse. Despite traditionally being men’s clothing, ties are delicate silky things that require a light touch and low iron settings.

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This is a Holdup: Make Your Own Suspenders

Maybe you’ve caught yourself staring longingly at the expensive pairs at Urban Outfitters or American Apparel, maybe you dig the JBeals look, or maybe you’re just looking for something new, but I think we both know that it’s high time you get your own pair of suspenders.

Suspenders — which are apparently called braces by British people — are slick little babies that make pretty much any outfit look just that much better. With jeans and a t-shirt? Obviously. Over a button down? Hello! Clipped onto a high-waisted skirt? Why not?

Today I’m going to teach you how to make suspenders for yourself. It’s the first in a few installments I’m going to be writing on DIY clothes because sometimes that’s what has to happen: you have to do it yourself. When it comes to girls who like “menswear,” it can be hard to find what you’re looking for. I know that lots of times I get frustrated when I go shopping because they don’t have what I want, and if they do it’s priced outrageously. There’s really no good reason why you should have to spend twice as much for the women’s version of the exactly same shirt that’s sitting over in the men’s department but isn’t quite made to fit your body. So we’re going to do something about that. This is mutiny: arts and crafts style.

If you have no idea what you’re doing, don’t worry! We’re starting small. Grab a friend to help you with measurements, pull on a pair of pants, and you’re ready to go.

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Craft A Bow Tie With Your Own Two Hands

58_party-1Ahh ze ineffable necktie. First we have the traditional tie. That utterly incomprehensible piece of silk worn around the necks of men and bois everywhere. Next, we come to the ascot. Seen at polo matches, horse races, and on the uniform of one Mr. Fred Jones (of Scooby-Doo fame), the ascot says “I have money and I’m not afraid to use it” unlike anything else. And the bolo tie. Who could forget the bolo? Once the domain of cowboys and their southern counterparts, vaqueros, bolos are making their sartorial comeback with the rockabilly set. Finally we arrive at the bow tie. While skinny ties and scarves each have their place in a dignified queer’s wardrobe, it’s the bow tie that lends a certain je ne sais fab to any outfit. But where does one find a bow tie? How exactly does one procure a properly sized and attractively styled cravet? Thrift stores, to be sure. Perhaps at the shop of a gentleman’s clothier. But there is another way to go about the selection of a bow tie. It is, of course, to create one with your own hands.
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Sew a Wearable Guitar

It’s a well-known fact that making presents for people makes the world a better place. Not only are you taking time to create the perfect gift for your mom, brother, or girlfriend, you’re making sure there’s one fewer person at the mall and lessening the chance that someone will get trampled to death by the shopping masses. If you’ve got a little extra time and want to use your very own hands to show someone you love them, this is just the miniseries for you.


I saw this tiny child on the Internet one day and nearly died. How cute are they? I decided that my two-year-old cousin definitely needs a shirt like this so that she can pretend to play the guitar like her mom and dad. Love this sweatshirt but missing a baby in your life? Don’t worry, you can make it for anyone from 0 to 1,000 years old.

inspiration

inspiration

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Bound and Determined: Coptic Book Binding

Now that we’re well into January, can we talk about resolutions for a minute? Real talk: not all of mine are going so well. Drinking apple cider vinegar, for example, is actually disgusting. As much as I want to have world’s strongest immune system and hair that glows with all the might of the godesses, it’s just not something that I can ingest a tablespoon of every day. Writing in my journal, on the other hand, is something I can handle. I made the executive decision to starting working on two of my resolutions at once (attempting to learn crafts that appear to require years of apprenticeship, I’m looking at you) and make my journal with my own two hands, and you know what? So can you. Learning coptic binding has been on my crafty to do list for a while now. First of all, it’s ancient. I mean, who doesn’t want to learn how to make books in the style of Christian Egyptians from the 2nd century? It’s also damn impressive what people can do with a stack of paper and some string.

L: unknown; M: Natalie Stopka; R: Stephanie Dean-Moore

L: unknown; M: Natalie Stopka; R: Stephanie Dean-Moore

Functionality-wise, Coptic binding doesn’t use any special glues and results in a book that can open flat. If you’re left-handed or have a southpaw who you hold close to your heart, you know how irritating spiral-bound notebooks can be. You can make blank journals so you have somewhere beautiful to store your thoughts, or print your own book using our template or doing some crafty Microsoft Word margin-tinkering of your own. Continue reading