Nevertheless, I was surprised by the request I received when I was poking around at a yard sale a few weeks ago. The yard sale had advertised neckties, so I went out of my way to stop by. Indeed, I found the mother-lode: bags and bags of gorgeous, unusual ties. The owner told me about his life as a magician and collector of ties. I told him of my life as a craft-artist and showed him my necktie purse. His eyes lit up. "Can you make a suit out of ties for me?" The challenge of this project both intrigued and intimidated me. "Hmmmm....... How about I start with a vest?"
I was pretty young when my mother taught me to sew. I loved the sense of freedom that came from choosing a pattern and fabric and making clothes that actually fit (I maxed out at just over 5 feet tall - my mother knew that knowing how to sew would come in handy). I eventually realized that patterns were merely guidelines which I could alter to fit my needs. Over time I learned that I could even make my own patterns from scratch. As a result, when I started working with neckties, I was able to create my own purse designs. And I was able to expand the product line to include e-Reader and iPad cases when these were requested. I have even made cases for weekly planners. As long as I have the dimensions, I can make a case. And now, challenged with making a suit of ties, I know I can do it - though I might need to add more hours in my day and perhaps grow a few more arms to do the work!
I am looking forward to more custom orders around the holidays. Is there any gift more meaningful than one that is specifically made to order? A friend recently gave me 7 ties which had belonged to her husband who died this past year. He had been a teacher and artist and his ties reflected his life and interests. I made 7 iPad cases for his grandchildren. They now have memories of their grandfather to carry with them.
Here are some examples of my custom creations. Perhaps I can help you personalize your gifts this holiday season!