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The last Pattern Maker~This is the story of US

A story of US. Of America. Of Small Business. Of Dreams. Of Passion. Of love of craft.

People who love their craft, live it every day.

I just saw this video today, and I was simply moved. Not by the memories of my Grammy who was a noted seamstress  in San Francisco, nor because I am also a creative type.

But because this grand lady, Chris Ellsberg, lives and loves her craft of pattern making. By ‘craft’ I do NOT mean ‘crafting’… It’s more like craftsmanship, or trade.

You see, Chris is a pattern maker. One of the last the United States.  It is an old trade. One that is difficult to master.

In her 80’s now, Chris strutted into Raleigh Denim Workshop   and volun-told  the owners, Victor & Sara, that she was going to work there. (Love her Moxie!!) For  FREE, until they could afford to pay her.

She has been passing on her knowledge and love of craft to a new generation.   It is thrilling to watch their story unfold.

I would love to meet them all! It sounds like they are a ‘family’ working at Raleigh Denim Workshop.

Helping each other to hold fast the dreams.

I am inspired. This story has so many lessons we can all learn from. Lessons about community, giving, teaching and inspiring. Of holding on and letting go.

It is much, much more than just a story of an old woman and a young couple.

~Katy~

 

 

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The Fashionably Fabulous SakHat™ ~

SakHat ~ What is it???

Nicole modeling her hat

The fashionably fabulous SakHat is just what the name implies. A hat made from a sack! Mainly they are made from repurposed burlap and linen coffee/feed/seed bags.

Get one now!

Get one now!

Many of the bags I use are vintage.

Sustainable Couture.

Buffalo Style.

I love being able to make design fashionable, useable items! These are my way of merging America’s agricultural history with fabulous vintage graphics into something new and exciting. Each one is fully lined.

You can wear your SakHat  while on the river or on your yacht.

Nicole on the River

Nicole on the River

On your horse, in the garden, at work, the beach, the football game, camping, glamping, bicycling… anywhere!

Nora in KY loves hers!

Nora in KY loves hers!

Wear it to shade or eyes or just to show off a unique fashion accessory! Either way- you’ll look fabulous!

Order yours at http://www.buffalogalsmercantile.comcom or click here SakHat

~**Custom orders and special requests are always welcome**~ and latest creations can be seen on our Buffalo Gals Mercantile FB page.

~Katy~

 

L-A-R-D you are a friend of mine!

LARD.

How do I love thee? Let me list the ways~

Mouthwatering cakes, finger-licking good fried chicken, crispy onion rings….well you get the idea. But I could go on.

Potato Pancakes…. sizzling!

In todays world, most people cringe when you say LARD. “Whaaaaat?? Lard???? That’ll kill you! ”   In the past century some of the greatest recipes called for rendered lard.  Pork. Beef. Chicken. What do you think people used before all these processed oils???

(*ok.. besides the Italians, Greeks and Spanish that had a direct line to God with their olive oils.)

In the years we butcher a pig, we render our own.~ otherwise I suffer with Armour or Morrell  because it’s what we can find locally. Want to know how to render your own lard?? here’s a great link for making your own in the crock pot : http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/01/the-mystery-of-the-missing-pig-fat-and-how-to-render-lard.html

My grandmother made the moistest, richest chocolate cakes with lard. And I have made some incredible Chocolate/Apricot COOKIES with a recipe gleaned from an old boyfriends mom…. It was in  her WW2 era cookbook.1305759103-minimalistic-cookie-monster-pac-man-wallpaper

 Happy cooking!

~Katy~

Why Burlap??

 Why not?
It’s versatile, biodegradable, recyclable and more.
Hessian or Burlap as it is called in the US, is made from a tall, grass like plant called Jute. It is cut and woven.jute%20oogst

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  I use burlap in many of the projects I make at Buffalo Gals Mercantile. I love the rustic-ness of it. The graphics on the vintage bags are fabulous and truly speak of our Agricultural roots and early advertising.

Burlap is biodegradable- we actually use the scraps on the garden. It’s a natural soil enhancer and weed barrier. We just till it in at the end of the season.  “Post consumer burlap compost creates a constantly renewable product that increases soil fertility, rather than depleting it” -The Green Building Handbook

10256824_501759616595111_2700429621183935268_nBurlap is recyclable. –  Use old bags to make purses, chair covers, window treatments, accessories, table runners, stuffed animals, lamp shades … the ideas are limitless really.  Here’s a link to Pintrest  with fabulous ideas!

Did you know…. Statistics show that Burlap is quickly gaining  in popularity and  may surpass Cotton as the most used natural fiber?

Burlap is Eco-Friendly & Eco- Chic .   A great way to use it is as a market tote. No more plastic bags! And it’s quite the fashion statement as well.

~Katy~

 

 

 

Sewing for Victory!

 

I have decided to join the Sew For Victory challenge. I stumbled onto to the Lucky Lucille blog.  And that’s how I foundvictory out about the challenge.
The goal is to sew an outfit from the 1940’s.
I think…NO…I KNOW  I can!!  My Grammy Helen was an accomplished seamstress and taught me many tricks. Grammy sewed for San Francisco’s upper crust. Many of mgrammyy outfits in the 70’s were made with scraps from these ladies. 😉

In fact, I sew on my other Grammy’s 1960 Kenmore !!

Though I will say I was NEVER a fan of polyester!

My Grammy learned to sew very, very young. And later as a war bride, she learned to make do with whatever was at hand. Including flour sacks.

It’s interesting that off and on over the years I have used the skills I didn’t really realize I had, to earn a living!

So in memory of her, I am doing the Sew for Victory Challenge.  I have not quite decided on a pattern yet, though I have an idea of what I want. The 1940’s were a great time for ladies fashions. Very flattering and feminine.

Lucky for me, I happen to posses a number of vintage 1940’s patterns… (Shhhhh… don’t tell!…taken from Grammy’s ‘stash’)  Ranging from kidspattern3pattern1 clothes and aprons to evening wear….

Keep an eye out for updates on my outfit!

~Katy~

 

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