Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 16th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Craftacular

ae_jumpHart’s Fabric hosts a craft fair

They’re crafty, smart, savvy seamstresses. Meet the youthful trio that’s behind what will surely be a magnetic and rather spectacular upcoming event hosted by Hart’s Fabric—Craftacular Wonder Fair. They are: Megan Werdmuller von Elgg, Chelsea Gurnoe and Dana Harris, all Hart’s employees and part-time crafters. Decked out in handmade clothing, they meet up with me for a serious conversation about handmade goods and the upcoming Craftacular Wonder Fair that they are curating. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28 in the back parking lot of Hart’s. There, 17 local vendors will sell their wares—clothing, jewelry, knit projects, sewn goods, print pieces and paintings. For crafty types, it’s definitely going to be craftactular.

And for Gurnoe in particular, it’s her swansong. As the buyer and web developer for the longtime store, Gurnoe is getting ready to depart on an out of the country adventure. She pitched the fair as a “last hurrah,” she says. “A legacy to leave behind … Hart’s is reaching out into the community. … I’ve always wanted to have a craft fair.”

ae_chelsgreenteeThere’s no charge to attend the event—just browse and maybe purchase a few early Christmas presents while you’re there. Or, simply get inspired. There’s an enormous community of textile artists and fashion-based creative types in the area. Many of them will be showing at the fair, and wandering through.

While there, visitors can peruse the crafts of people like Gurnoe, who on this particular day is wearing an adorable frock—a cute, forest green print dress that she made, which features rows of spectacles. It actually is a sight to see. To recognize that at 23, Gurnoe is capable of constructing this type of a garment is impressive. As are the works of her fellow colleagues: Werdmuller von Elgg is wearing a pair of classy linen sailor shorts. There’s no sign that these were handmade—the tailoring is exquisite. And Harris wears a nearly head-to-toe outfit that she made, including a fashionable pair of pants with a sailor-style twist. Together, the threesome makes a statement for why sewing has come back in style and why it’s worth it to make your own clothes.

ae_chelswhitetank2“It’s not the economical choice,” Werdmuller von Elgg says, “it’s the cool choice.” Indeed, back in the day (when I was a child) it was more affordable to sew your own clothes. Fabric was remarkably cheap, as were patterns and the like. These days, just like everything else, sewing supplies can be costly, but even so, making a shirt for yourself will still prove cheaper than buying it in a boutique, and the time spent making a garment, crafting something with your own hands, and proudly wearing it later on are elements of creativity that can’t be financially compensated.

“There’s power in creating your own thing,” Werdmuller von Elgg adds. “The made-from-scratch mentality is really big in Santa Cruz. People make their own kombucha and yogurt. It’s about making something that wasn’t there before. It’s empowering. You don’t make your own clothes because it’s easier, you make it because you want something and it isn’t anywhere else.”

Adds Harris: “You can pick the fabric, fit it to yourself. It’s a creative process just the same as anything.”

ae_danawalletEach of these women started craftmaking and sewing at an early age. Gurnoe’s grandmother taught her when she was a child, and she went on to fashion school, but ultimately dropped out because “people there didn’t understand fashion in the way that someone who works at Hart’s does,” she says. “I learn more from my peers here [at the store]. I think home sewers have a lead on what’s going to be hot next.” Gurnoe will be showcasing some of her sewn clothing items at Craftacular.

At the fair, keep an eye out for Harris’s charming messenger bags and prints of her paintings, as well as Werdmuller von Elgg’s knitted hats, fabric buttons and felt zipper bags for makeup.

“I feel like everyone should know how to make things,” Werdmuller von Elgg says. “They need to know how it feels to make something out of nothing. For me, that’s sewing. For other people that might be gardening. You need to know how to take care of something and make it your own.”


The Craftacular Wonder Fair will be held in the back parking lot of Hart’s Fabric from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28. A raffle will take place and proceeds will go to kiva.org, an organization that provides micro loans to disadvantaged women in Guatemala. Hart’s will also begin offering sewing and knitting classes in mid-September. Visit hartsfabric.com for details. Class prices are $25-$50 and include projects like making an apron, a skirt, an introduction to knits and more.

Photo captions:
1. Do it yourself Local crafters (left to right) Chelsea Gurnoe, Dana Harris and Megan Werdmuller von Elgg are the creative minds behind Craftacular.
2, 3 & 4. Craft projects made by employees of Hart’s Fabric, including the two garments by Chelsea Gurnoe.

 

Comments (3)Add Comment
...
written by Ctgb, August 26, 2011
So cool! I love all of the creativity!!
...
written by ;), August 26, 2011
They all look magnificent! Are any of you crafty ladies going to go on Project Runway?
...
written by Craftlover, August 26, 2011
The spectacle dress is so cute!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.