Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Originally at the beginning of November I had planned to do a whole Mandy's Bytes series of Thanksgiving recipes but here we are, tomorrow is thanksgiving, and I procrastinated too long. This weekend I may do a late Thanksgiving edition when we go home to Oregon for our celebration. For now though I have a few beautiful Thanksgiving treasuries that our aprons have been featured in.

This first treasury is my personal favorite because it showcases the cooking side of Thanksgiving dinner, and the title is so appropriate. I'm never dined out for Thanksgiving, and I don't plan to start anytime soon.
Our That 70's Apron was featured in this treasury which has a primitive feel well suited for Thanksgiving.
Lastly we were featured in this bright treasury which embodies the warmth of the Thanksgiving and the whole holiday season.

As for us, Cami and I are very thankful for all of your followers, and for the success we've had since starting this shop over a year ago. Without the support of all our family, friends, customers and followers we certainly wouldn't have made it so far with this blog and our shop. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Drapes of Wrath See TMBG and Jonathan Coulton!

So you might have taken a hint from our Guide to PAX that we're nerds, it's not really a secret, but I hasn't come up too much here on our blog, but I hope you're ready for a little more nerdity. Last week Cami and I saw Jonathan Coulton and They Might Be Giants and the Showbox SoDo, and it was amazing! Apologies for the low quality cell phone pictures.

Jonathan Coulton at the Showbox SoDo
Jonathan Coulton was the opener for TMBG and he was fantastic, in fact I wished he'd played a few more songs, but hey that's how it goes with openers right?

If you play video games you might know who Johnaton Coulton is, he's probably most well known for writing Still Alive, the song written for the ending credits of Portal. He's also the mastermind behind the song Code Monkey, and my favorite (which didn't get played at the show) Re: Your Brains which is a song in business letter form from a zombie to his former coworker who is still human. Strangely enough Jonathan Coulton was at PAX too, but there was a million mile line to meet him.

John and John at the Showbox SoDo
However, the main event of the evening was our favorite nerd rock back of all time, They Might Be Giants. 
Thier music pops up in the most unlikely of places such as the theme song for Malcom in the Middle, Tim Burton's Coraline, and 2 well-knows songs from Tiny Toons; Istanbul and Particle Man (currently under the tyrannical oppression of YouTube, hence no animated version...)
However, of our favorite songs we were lucky enough to hear "Why does the Sun shine?" and Ana Ng. Sadly "They'll Need a Crane" was not on the set list.

Of the newer songs our favorites were "Marty Beller Mask" (their new drummer truly looks like he is having a seizure while he is playing!) and "You probably get that a lot".  The pièce de résistance was getting to touch Flansburgh's guitar (for the 2nd time!).  This is a good time to note that John Flansburgh, at 51 years old and weighing what appears to be as much as Cami and I put together has hands DOWN more hippity-hops on stage than most 18 year olds. Additionally, John Linnell age 52, even with his crooked teeth and mismatched ears is still as cute as he was in their videos from the 80's - a fact that we attribute to his intense eye contact with everyone within about 10 feet of his keyboard (because he is more or less blind without his glasses. We are all amorphous blobs to him).

One last shot of two very happy girls, status post BO assault by a bunch of sweaty, middle-aged nerds! NO REGRETS!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Drapes of Wrath is One Year Old!!

That's right! Today is Drapes of Wrath's one year shop opening anniversary, and to celebrate not only am I going to share some of our memories here, we are having a sale! There are two ways you can get your savings, use coupon code: ONEYEAR10 for 10% of your entire purchase -OR- use coupon code: 1YEARFREESHIP for free shipping within the USA.
Looking back I can hardly believe it's been a whole year since we decided start our shop. And the precise moment we decided to sell aprons specifically evades me, but here we are so we must have done something right. I thought we'd look back on some firsts from our year.

It seems fitting to begin with the first apron we ever made. We knew from the start that we wanted to do at least a fair portion of our aprons with up-cycles materials. This apron we made from a pretty Hawaiian style shirt and wrap skirt set. The embroidery was gorgeous so that's what we brought to the forefront on this apron. We made it completely from the up-cycled set, no new materials at all. It's still one of my personal favorites. (And yes that is me modelling the apron, we didn't acquire a dress form for quite some time.)

Another milestone for us was our first sale, and oddly enough it was not on Etsy from our shop. When we first started out we also posted quite a few of our aprons, with links to the Etsy shop, on Craigslist in the Seattle area, and that's where our first sale originated. The best part is that I was able to get this picture, a lasting remembrance of the moment, because the apron was delivered in person. (Even if I do look incredibly short...) This apron meant a lot to me since the strawberry you can see on the pocket was hand embroidered by yours truly.

Unfortunately not all of our memories can be positive, in the world of the online sales there will always be problems. This apron represents our first real test of customer service, it is our first casualty of the United States Postal Service. It was shipped and then marked delivered, and weeks after we come to hear from the customer that it never arrived. We may never know what happened to it, but I just hope that someone out there is enjoying it. We've been lucky to have few problems like this one, but every mistake we've made has helped us to constantly improve our methods.

It has been a crazy year, and none of it would have been possible without our family, friends, fans and of course, our customers. Thank you Mom and Dad for teaching us how to sew and craft, and for drilling into our heads that what we can dream, we can accomplish. Thank you to all those who have lived with us and tolerated our cloth hoarding and constant sewing mess. Thank you to everyone out there who put your faith in our work by purchasing an apron for yourself or someone else. And especially thank you to every single one of you who reads this blog, or shares our aprons with your friends on Facebook, or told a friend of a friend where to find our shop, it is you guys that keep people coming to our shop.

Thank you so so much, and here's to many more years of aprons! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Goodwill to Good Lookin': Linen Scotch Broth Recipe Dishcloth

Up until we found the linen calendar dish cloth that we made the That 70's Apron out of, I didn't really know that these linen decorative dish cloths were a pretty big thing. But they make such cool aprons that I've been keeping an eye out for them ever since. And I'll be honest, a lot of the ones I find are pretty hideous, like the one this one was paired with when I bought it (something to do with coffee), but I had to buy it to get this one, because this one is so damn cool.
I would have bought this based on colors alone, it so vibrant and fun. I went through a long punk/goth phase of fashion in high school, and my dad is very involved in genealogy (we're part Scottish), so I have a secret love for tartan plaid. And I don't know what it is about the veggies, but I love them, they're so cute.
For the process of making it into an apron, we wanted to preserve as much of the original design as possible, so any pleating or darts were out of the question. We went with a simple butcher style apron design, and added additional chartreuse linen around the skirt to make it more full.
Since we were adding this extra fabric, it was easy to do a simple pocket across the front, as I like to call it a kangaroo pocket (baby kangaroo not included). And because Cami has an obsession with ric rac, we added some around the edge of the dishcloth to give it a extra pop of color.
Plus Size Up-cycled Linen Dishcloth Apron
I love the way it turned out, and I'm glad we found a good match for our yellow linen, too, it's a very unique color but it compliments the blues and greens in this apron very well.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Goodwill to Good Lookin': Green Plaid Linens

Todays Goodwill to Good Lookin' project is one that I'm really excited about. The up-cycled item is the green plaid shown in this photo, which is a top sheet that we picked up at a thrift shop.
We picked it out originally because the colors were very crisp and there was no fading evident, which is often the deal breaker on using up-cycled linens. That and because Cami's favorite color is green. The problem was, once we got it home, nothing else we had matched it. We've had this fabric for months, and we would never remember to bring a swatch with us to the store, and it clashed with everything!
Last week when we used our awesome coupon to stock up on fabric we got this awesome leaf print. On a whim I pulled out this green plaid just to see if it
Green Plaid & Fall Leaves Apron
might match and lo and behold it did! I was pretty surprised, it was a total coincidence, but it turned out looking great.

It's really nice to bring fresh inspiration to a piece of fabric that has been sitting around forever, when you've almost given up hope that you'll ever use it. We've got a couple new man aprons in the works, too and I'm excited about those. It's definitely been too long since we had one in the shop.

Do you have a piece of fabric or other supply that has you stumped? Tell us about it!

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