Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Craft and Hobby Association show, Chicago

In July I went up to Chicago to participate a bit in the huge trade show of the Craft and Hobby Association.  This is the group of manufacturers and vendors who supply the large (and small) craft stores with beads, glue, scrapbook papers, stickers, crafting tools, etc.  There is a place for designers in all of this and I went up to participate in the Designer's Showcase.  I also submitted a dress, made of ribbon and tulle, to the Crafty Couture exhibition, where better known craft project designers than I presented their ideas for dresses out of myriad kinds of craft supplies, largely paper and various embellishments.  There was one made of oilcloth & duct tape trimmed with a skirtful of bright scissors in holsters: somehow I missed photographing this! 

My dress, co-sponsored by Renaissance Ribbons, who produce all of my ribbons and sell them to the wholesale market, was made of a woven ribbon bodice and a tulle circle skirt with radiating sewn-down ribbon stripes.  I based it on the basic dress from the fabulous Party Dress Book, by Mary Adams.  I wove the entire bodice in a flat sheet with ribbons, then cut out the bodice pieces to sew together into this fitted little bustier.  The dimensions provided for the mannequin were miniscule but fortunately I have a good friend who is just that small, and she agreed to be my dress form as I made it.  It took YARDS of ribbon, and I didn't keep track of the quantity (!), though I did take photos along the way and will post them soon on this blog with a step-by-step.  I used the Lacy Flower ribbon, as it has a square repeat, which is essential if you want the pattern to work well in a woven design, and it comes in three colors which all coordinate well.  I supplemented the patterned ribbon with an array of Renaissance's beautiful grosgrains.

Below are some of the dresses on display, and the placards give the names of the creators andthe materials used.

So here is my dress, and a few of the others on display.  The color isn't great here as the light at these shows is ghastly!  Renaissance Ribbons now has the dress and will be photographing it in a much more flattering light soon, so watchthis space!

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