Several of the FaveCrafts editors were lucky enough to attend the Winter 2012 Craft & Hobby Association Trade Show last week at the Anaheim Convention Center (yes, we were right across the street from Disneyland!), and I’d like to share some of the cool, crafty stuff I saw there! At this show, I was especially impressed by all the wearable crafts I saw. Fashion seemed to be a common theme in the exhibits on the show floor, and I couldn’t help but notice the number of booths that employed mannequins in their displays. Some of the crafty outfits were more pieces of artwork than actual garments, but it was clear that the female form was a serious source of inspiration for soft crafters and hard crafters alike at this show.
The Ranger booth perfectly captured the influence of the runway at this show with a Designer Challenge that tasked crafters with creating a miniature mannequin decorated with Stickles and Liquid Pearls. The results of the challenge showcased a range of styles as varied and unique as the designers themselves. The diminutive fashions ranged from the retro dresses of Sharon Laakonen and Paula Cheney to the steampunk creations of Shari Caroll and Wendy Vecchi.
The theme of crafts as wearable art continued as I explored the show floor. I’m sure most CHA attendees caught sight of an extremely patient model being decorated with Tulip Body Art in the iLovetoCreate booth at some point during the show. She was hard to miss! Although the paint is marketed primarily for Halloween costumes and carnival-style face painting, the model was showing off the body paint as wearable art.
Some of the crafty outfits I saw at CHA were more works of art than actual garments. This skirt made from broken dishes in the iLovetoCreate booth was one of my favorites. I doubt you could actually wear it (can you imagine how heavy it would be?), but I thought the mosaic of glazed pottery as a fashion statement was very creative!
Likewise, this sparkling floor-length gown and waistcoat made of crystal beads and flowers certainly isn’t something you could wear to your next gala event, but it brought the extravagance of the runway to the CHA show floor. This masterpiece by Connie Tawfick showcases the incredible range of crystals sold by Connie’s Crystals.
Of course, much of the crafty clothes we saw at CHA were more than just wearable art. Particularly in the yarn booths, displays of handmade clothing reminded us that crafting can be just as practical as it is creative. Armies of mannequins in beautiful knit and crocheted garments demonstrated that something as simple as yarn can be used to create functional clothing that’s stylish enough for the fashion magazines. Lion Brand Yarn held a fashion show that featured simple hats, scarves, and afghans alongside inspirational garments made by design students around the world. All of the items on the runway were created with the same Lion Brand yarns that you can find in your local craft store, proving that crafters are only limited by their imaginations when it comes to making clothing! Here are some of my favorite garments from the Lion Brand Yarn showcase (Designers and yarns used, from left to right: Elissa Eriksson, Fishermen’s Wool; Paula Cheng, Fun Fur and Vanna’s Glamour; Kirsty Emery, Wool-Ease Thick & Quick; Kirsty Emery, Silky Twist; Santiago Venegas, Fishermen’s Wool andVanna’s Choice).
Although I spent at least an hour drooling over the pieces in the yarn booths, I was actually most fascinated by a different sort of crafty fashion at the CHA show. In the FolkArt section of the Plaid booth, I was surprised to find a display of shoes and matching handbags personalized with Extreme Glitter. Before this show, I had never thought seriously about unleashing my crafty talents on my footwear, but the shoe showcase sparked my creativity! Plaid had upcycled accessories for a slew of cultural icons, including Dolly Parton, Marilyn Monroe, and Lady Gaga. Even the demure Princess Kate had a slightly sparkly wedge made in her honor.
So now that I’ve got your creative juices flowing with all of these fashion photos, it’s time to get crafting! I’ve put together a list of tutorials for crafty clothing and accessories you can make at home. Enjoy!
- Fleur-de-Lis Bead Paint Tank
- Fleur-de-Lis Tee
- Charming Hair Flower
- DIY Studded Leggings
- Painted Scroll Belt
- Simply Stenciled Jeans
- How to Make Studded Shoes
- DIY “Sex in the City” Shoes
- Bubblegum Tie Dye Sleeveless Top
- Upcycled Ruffle Shirt
- DIY Studded Flats
- Fashion on a Shoe String
- Simple Flats with Rhinestones
- Animal Print Tie Dye Dress and Shoes
Have you made any wearable crafts? Do you wear them often?
P.S. Want to win a CHA swag bag? Find out how to enter here.