Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Dec 26th
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

 

Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her