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Crafty Couture: Sewing with Mrs. Waxx

Over the weekend, I had my first sewing lesson (a write-in-card Christmas gift) with Mrs. Waxx.


For anyone not familiar, Mrs. Waxx is an artist with a love of couture. She flips through Vogue and says, "I want this, I want that." Then she buys the shoes on eBay, finds the clothes on sharp discount at outlets, or just goes ahead and makes designer clothes and bags herself. Husband Mr. Waxx has made a bust molded from her body so she can tailor pieces for herself, using one of her retro sewing machines found at thrift stores.


Here is a bag Mrs. Waxx made herself, without a pattern, inspired by two designer bags, with extra features of her own invention added on. Mrs. Waxx looks for good deals on leather and hardware and uses a heavy-duty, old school sewing machine. Apparently many of the new models have trouble stitching through leather. Better to hit up the Salvation Army for a sturdy machine.


This Ohio Travel Bag company is amazing. It sells all the hardware you need to make all your own leather goods, from Birkenstocks to Birkin bags to... bondage gear and pony training accessories?


Like I said, it has EVERYTHING you might need to attach to leather. But I'm still at the level of beginner, and my first sewing lesson was all about repairing items I already had.


Remember that vintage winter coat I picked up thrift shopping? It's a nice coat, made of thick suede, with a rabbit fur collar and plum satin lining. But I couldn't wear it, because the bottom hem had fallen out. Mrs. Waxx showed me how easy it was to use a sewing machine to fix the hem. Five minutes later, I have a new coat. We also went over how to fix a torn hem in a knit sweater by hand. No more throwing away sweaters with holey armpits!


Speaking of thrift store finds... Here is a Dior jacket in line for tailoring.


...And here is another chic artist friend, da Windian from da UP, in a touchably soft Kenneth Cole knit, also found on a Lansing thrift raid.

Oh angels of mint condition hand-me-down couture, we cannot imagine who you might be, stinking rich people of the ghetto Lansing area, but thanks for donating your once-worn duds.

Never pay retail, friends! Recycling and home-crafting are eco-friendly and help keep us low-wage-earners looking haut at our barbecues and local art shows. I'm very excited to learn this new skill... Now to find a powerful sewing machine of my own!

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