“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” My family considers this our motto. In fact, I kind of thought it might be ours until I saw Steven Tyler say it one night on a late night talk show. It’s not impossible that it made it from our mouths to his giant Los Angeles ears, but whether it did or didn’t, (doubtful), dude-looks-like-a-lady has a point.
I’ve been pretty fixated on quilting for the last year and a half. There has been nothing else I wanted to do with my spare time, and getting me to so much as run to the grocery store has almost required legislation at times. (It’s possible that this is how my husband and I have come to periodically elect each other “President of Dinner.”) Occasionally, something forces you to break out of your current fixation, with sometimes diabolical results.
Back in December, our local sewing club did this thing, where everybody makes a pincushion and wraps it up and brings it to the Christmas meeting, then we draw numbers and….ok, it’s a Chinese Pincushion Exchange. It’s an annual tradition that I was partaking in for the first time. Having always wanted a dress form pincushion for myself, I knew that was what I wanted to try to make.
A few dozen trips to Google, several weeks of procrastination, and one far-too-large bag of walnut shells later, it was complete. Five minutes before I had to leave for the party.
Unfortunately, this process had created a monster. I liked that one, but different fabrics would have been prettier. I could have thought of a better topper. The pattern wasn’t made to be filled with walnut shells–so the body was kind of slumpy.
I posted a picture of it on Facebook. My Aunt said, “Oh, that’s lovely!” I said, “Hey, I’ll make you one!” and pretty soon, I was making a few tweaks here and there, and churning out fourteen of them for my aunts. (Yes, I have fourteen aunts!) Four more for my mom, sisters, and sister-in-law. Suddenly, I had a living room floor full of pincushion parts and I was no longer using my kitchen for cooking. The possibilities became endless. I’m not honestly sure whether my fabric stash endured net growth or shrink…but it definitely went through both. And, I’m afraid to say, I’m now working with much more than fabric–notions I never dreamed of stockpiling, in the forms of lace, and trims, and buttons, and jewelry parts…I truly wouldn’t recommend it. For the love of all that is good and sane in your life, stick to quilting, because friends, adding other raw materials will take over your life.
What all of this has come to mean is, I now have a business, making dress form pincushions.
I’m gradually getting them up on Etsy, along with a few other fun items, but I have many more than this. They start at $25 plus ship, and go up depending on the details. I’m also thrilled to do custom work!
The fun thing about these is they make great gifts, and every one is the only one of its kind. I will explain the shop name, “DJ’s House of Denim,” another day. We’ll just say this has been close to twenty years in the works. Where I want to go with it will probably take another twenty!
In the meantime, if you see anything here you like, please visit the links, and by all means, send a message if there’s something specific you’d like to see. I would love nothing more than to help one of my signature pincushions into your hands, or the hands of your many beloved sewists.
The last few months have been spent on a major push to build inventory. I’m doing a lot of custom work now, but it’s also a pleasure to say I’m back to quilting. I’m looking forward to sharing some new work with you as soon as it’s completed.
Stay cool out there, if you can!