I’m also inspired by travel, the people, the food, and the excitement of never quite knowing what to expect, including the selection of my fabrics. While I always return to my same fabric sources, I am constantly delighted by the textiles they have made for me during the previous months.
Hello! My name is Selena and my shop is ‘a recurring dream‘. I am
a stay at home mom living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh with my husband and our
My shop takes materials that are unwanted from my local
community and I have been making quality home goods and accessories,
and started adding clothing this year.
As a young woman, I had sewn patchwork dresses, skirts, bags, purses,
etc for many years that I would vend at local concert lots and festivals.
In my mid 20’s I wanted to move to the city and started working for a
young restaurant group. I grew into adulthood along side an innovative
and maturing local restaurant group that emphasized the importance of
farm to table food, craft beer and spirits, and embracing and utilizing
the individuality of each of its employees to its advantage. I spent a
decade managing restaurants for them. The demanding schedule did
not afford me much time for sewing and once I started a family, I realized
the schedule did not allow much time for them either.
So I said good-bye
to my home away from home and a couple of months later dusted off my
sewing machine and picked up a gig doing piece work for a local clothing
company to make money for Christmas. I slowly began finding and
unpacking my sewing items and making space for them in my home. Then
I started making gifts for people and trying to come up with ideas of items
to make with materials I had on hand, or could source inexpensively, and I
found myself building a small inventory of items.
A new street fair started
that year and they were looking for vendors. I had just enough inventory
to send photos of my work along with the application and I was accepted
to vend the street fair, and started sewing A LOT in order to have enough
items to fill my vending spot!
Vending regularly was not reasonable for me with my kids in tow, and I had
researched Etsy shops for months before opening my shop. Once I started
I felt so lost! I had zero experience with internet sales. I tried finding teams
for support with little luck in the beginning, then,…. One of the articles in the Sellers Handbook
suggested using an interest as your search keyword when trying to find
a team. I searched “patchwork” and that is how I found the DHAA and I
This team has been such a source of knowledge and support
for me and has truly been a comforting support that has kept me on Etsy.
I also never would have guessed that there would have been an online
market for patchwork clothes, but maybe that is just me showing my age.
I work mainly with up-cycled clothing and de-stash items that I collect from my
community. I have an overwhelmingly diverse stash of fabric, and it can
make it hard for me to focus on one project for a very long time.
get a new idea, I have no problem abandoning a project in progress to start
on a new item. I always have a collection of items in progress…sometimes
I go back and finish them, and sometimes I take them apart to use the
materials for something else. I rarely feel committed to finishing a project I
am no longer enjoying. I find inspiration from so many places in the world
around me. It sometimes surprises even me the things I will suddenly
decide need to be made next!
I grew up with a very crafty mama who loved to sew and craft with
whatever materials we had on hand. She always encouraged us to try
new things and was never afraid of us getting dirty or making a mess. It
was a wonderful way to grow up. I was never allowed to use her machine,
but when I was a teenager and started showing interest, she was quick to
find me a hand me down machine to call my own.
I taught myself how to
sew and quickly burned through a string of hand me down machines. In
the height of my young adult sewing days my parents helped me purchase
a refurbished metal Singer machine. I was always concerned about the
quality of my items and the following year my parents gifted me a serger.
Their support meant the world to me and I still sew on the same machines
today. What a great investment they turned out to be…when I think of what
I have made on them it is almost unreal to me that they are still keeping up
Making patchwork was a natural fit for me. When I started sewing, I
made a basic dress pattern and made a couple of simple a line dresses from
lightweight vintage curtains I had found at Goodwill. My friends mother
gave me a box full of scraps she had collected over her years of sewing,
and I decided to make a pattern for a patchwork dress for myself. As a
child I had often been mesmerized with Holly Hobbie’s beautiful apron,
and wanted a dress that was a grown up version of that amazing childhood
image. After some drafting and a lot of math…I did it! I couldn’t believe
that I had actually made it! It is still my favorite item I have ever made.
I made well over 50 dresses from this pattern and never upgraded my
personal dress from that original, and I look forward to handing it down to
my girls. I have always been so proud of it, and I am hoping to revive the
pattern this Spring.
My children are the most amazing force to have ever touched my life. I
am a very active parent, and enjoy my time with them immensely. I am
also committed to my community, and spend time volunteering at my
children’s schools, helping with coat and food drives, and volunteering at
our community garden.
Our community garden is one of my favorite places
to be! In addition to our own plots, my husband, children and I spend a
lot of time helping to tend the common grounds, and tending the donation
garden. All of the harvest from the donation garden benefits our neighbors
through our local food pantry.
My family and I also love taking advantage
of all of wonderful things Pittsburgh has to offer. Pittsburgh is a beautiful
and exciting city, and we particularly love our time spent at the Carnegie
Museums and all of the surrounding State Parks. The woods are truly my
home. I like to be busy and active, and I am never at a loss for things to do
in my area.
I always loved vending at festivals and shows, and I was excited when I
started vending at the Artisan Market in the Strip District neighborhood of
Pittsburgh this year. I love people, and love getting to talk to people about
my work. I find having an internet shop to be so isolating, and it is always
nice to come face to face with someone who truly appreciated what you are
Music has always held an important role in my life. My father is very
passionate about music and ensured it was part of our daily lives. He took
me to my first concerts, and to many more later in life. The concert that left
the biggest impression was attended when I was about maybe 12 years
old. It was a music festival at Camp Lejeune Naval Base during Operation
Desert Storm. The energy in the crowd was unlike anything I had ever
experienced. I remember that Chicago was the headliner and that Sinbad
was the MC for the event. It was my first experience seeing how music
could bring people together and give them hope, joy and a strong sense of
togetherness. When I first moved to the city in my early 20’s, there was an amazing
theater that had live music almost every night. I went there just about
every evening, I didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else. Some night
they had national acts, sometimes they would even have high school kids
who raised enough money to rent the theater to play for their friends and
family, and everything in between. Often times the younger bands playing
were my favorite nights. They always played with a passion that I truly
My favorite quote is by an author named Richard Bach from No Such Place
as Far Away.
“Not being known doesn’t stop the truth from being true.”
This resonates deeply with me. It is a simple statement of truth that I feel is
too often overlooked.
This past year I have had opportunities to do so many things that I never
would have imagined. I have made my first full size quilts, I have started
making bereavement items to console the families who have lost love ones,
and have written my first tutorial to be published in a national magazine this
Spring. It has been such a whirlwind and I am looking forward to what lies
“Many thanks to all of you who have supported me on this journey” Selena
Artist Contact info:
Social Media Links:
Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team
Fire and Ice Headband by: Knotty Mama
Sew Crafty and Made with Love!
You can see this dreadlocked angel wears these herself to hold back her locks, you know a artist is true to their work when they make their work to wear themselves. I’ve personally had long long long hair since I was I child. Mine is thin and blonde and flows down my back. All through life I’ve worn pony tails more because ribbons and headbands never stayed in my hair well. Enter the Rag Werks headbands by Knotty Mama and my story has changed. I love wearing my Knotty Mama headband., its a good amount of material so it feels good on your head without weighing you down at all. Some headbands are real headache givers… not these, I have to say they are the most comfortable thing I’ve used to pull my hair back with… Ever!… and no slipping either!
Great Gifts and a wonderful addition to any lovely goddess’ look
Eco-Friendly Upcycled Clothing for Human Beings
Deadhead Art Alliance Gives this Product 5 stars
★ upcycled fabric
What more could you really ask for .. we are happy and hope you too will be satisfied.
You can even custom order a headband! You tell her the length and width of your desire.
——Custom order means, it is made just for you!—-full payment required prior to start of project, and then allow one week for it’s completion!
Made from the smallest knit scraps available (Which I love!)
sewn with love and care!
Lined head band
with knit braided ties
Built to last!
***********Inspired by uber talented artists such as
Feel free to comment or ask questions with wild abandonment, just message Maggie-Jane anytime 🙂
“Buying American and homemade is an investment not only in your fellow humanoid, but in your wardrobe, because my clothes (and other estians’) are likely to outshine and outlast factory assembly line “run of the mill” garments!!!” quote by Maggie Jane herself 🙂
You can read about this artist by going to her about page
If you love this hair band it will be available in the team store in July… but for now check out these other hair accessories in her store
Dragonly Fly Tiedye Rag Werk Hippie Gypsy headband KNottymama Hair Band
SPiral Sun Burst Rag Werk Hippie Gypsy headband KNottymama Hair Band
Peace Love and Light to All of you and Don’t forget to pack this in your festival gear pack, It’s finally summer out there!
Deadhead Art Alliance
Hello my name is Leda May Jones. My store name is Ledamay. I live in a small town of Willits in Mendocino Ca. I would have to say I love Northern California and hope to own my own little piece of it someday. I am a mother of three beautiful daughters and one son that is adored by all the lady’s in the house. My shops philosophy is to create everything with love and passion and to never get tired of what I’m making by always making it unique and different giving each piece Life!
My purpose with it all is to share a piece of myself with the world
My creative process is forever changing. I love finding old beautiful fabrics that inspire me and because I have four children and am homeschooling one …waking up early is the time I do most my creating. The kids will wake up for school and I will have fabric flung all over the house with sewing machine running and a cup of coffee in hand or will be twirling around in my newest creation and my daughters will tell me “ Mom I think that one is the prettiest one yet” haha ( they tell me this with each one.)
I am always changing my work place but I realize I prefer not hiding away I have to be near my children when I’m working and sometimes I think the background noise helps.
I love finding perfection in imperfection I use new fabrics when I can’t find something I need, But the older fabrics just have more character to me ,creating with them is so much more fun!
After I had my first two children I was a single mom needing a career so I decided beauty school was something attainable for myself so I finished and passed state board where then I got a job at Shag salon and would have to say I enjoyed being a hair artist for many years. It was after I got married and had my third daughter that my husband bought me a sewing machine for our anniversary.
I found the love for sewing and I haven’t put my sewing machine away since …………………..today is six years later……….wow………………
I would have to say the joy in creating for me is not the in the pieces I’ve made its who I have made them for, like this beautiful lady that came to see me from Oakland I created a dress for her wedding and now on the 25th she wants me to come and do her hair and makeup at the wedding, she has become a friend, and who could ask for more , I am just so blessed to know what I make brings these lovely peaceful people into my life .
Going back to thinking about my childhood and the first thing I saw being made …My mom had five children and we lived in many different trailers and pieces of property growing up, I was in awe that she always could make a home out of nothing. We would make furniture out of old tires, rugs out of old rags. She was definitely ahead of her time with creating things out of old T shirts but we never had a sewing machine and I always thought boy what I could do with one of those!!!!
“What you do really does reflect you and what you reflect comes back”
You ask what inspires me to create……… Love inspires me
I mostly sell my handmade art on Etsy and I have only done one vending booth and I loved it .
I would have to say you should give artists working out there some major credit because it is… very hard work! I think once my children are older I would love to do more.
I am very lucky to have a hardworking husband that has a job that allows me stay home with the kids. The only hard part is that it can be seasonal work so it always seems when he slows down with building my shop picks up the slack, but my dream is to own a home of our own someday that is definitely a driving force when I get tired I just have to pick myself up and find my creative flow.
I love to paint, cook beautiful food ,play on the beach and go hiking with the kids … but I am sad to say I haven’t gone to any music festivals yet. Growing up we all just played music by the campfire every night we never really had the money or transportation to do so, and having a baby at sixteen… I never got to explore that life, this team has definitely made me realize what I have missed all these years so I do hope to experience one someday !! I will be thirty this month I better get movin Time goes by so fast !
What would I like the world to know about me?
I would like to let the World Know I am a Dreamer
I never dreamed that I would be making women’s clothing let alone wedding dresses My shop on Etsy has been truly magical to me in how it has transformed and created this web of imagination and creativity in my soul I can say I am just excited to see what happens next !!!
My favorite quote is
“ everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree , it will live its whole life believing it is stupid “ (Albert Einstein)
Artist Contact info: Ledaandfamily@gmail.com
Social Media Links: on facebook L.may gowns, and Leda jones photography
Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team
Hello! I am known to my fellow cohorts as Maggie-Jane O. I was born under the sign of Pisces in the first year of Reagan’s presidency. I am a dreamer of change, an organic farm-ess, a booty shaker, a naturalist, I vote, homesteader, wife, renegade seamstress, but more to the point, I am a Knotty Mama! Knotty Mama is my business, a giant hunk of my life, designing and creating handmade upcycled clothing and accessories out of second hand and orphaned clothing and fabrics.
My artist process is dominated by the material itself. I would not be surprised if most upcycled artists begin the same way. Most of my fabric collection consists of pieces that right away I knew what I would create. A vintage table clothe with a lace border is already a skirt in my minds eye. I have stacks of old clothing made from every conceivable material in a rainbow of colors. I love to go to yardsales, and buy those mismatched sheet sets!
The design of any given piece is determined by what kind and how much of fabric I have. Patchwork is an obvious way to handle any combination of colors and patterns! One of my favorite parts of the creation process is the choosing of the materials and draft up patterns. Makes me glad I listened to my grade school teachers about math being really useful in the real world! I use geometry and algebra and arithmetic everyday. My notebook is full of chicken scratches.
I sew all my garments on my Sears Kenmore from the seventies! My Aunty Caroline is kind enough to temporarily share her sewing room with me. We split the glass windowed porch down the middle, though I must admit my chaos does often flow over to her side. I love my hard core metal beast! I use flat felled and french seams instead of serging. These seams are professional and long lasting!
I love the process of creating, so it is hard to pick a favorite piece. I am constantly in love with the piece I am currently working on, if I don’t like the way it is shaping up it ends up in what I call the crap pile. The most rewarding pieces are the ones that challenge me. I have been honored enough to get to create some amazing wedding dresses. The joy of creating the perfect garment for someone, is only intensified for that very special occasion.
Everything inspires me to create. I have to make art or I will just die. I love growing things, it blows my mind that you can take a tiny seed, add a little love, leave the rest to mother nature and you end up with a giant pumpkin or delicate chard. That’s pretty much my life in a hand bag. The seeds of imagination can culminate into any dimension of the magical.
I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I have been able to make a semi living from sewing my entire adult life. I literally love all of it, except maybe having to seam rip something I have sewn wrong, twice. Nothing beats finding the perfect score at the thrift store. I love designing something challenging and using pure force of will to make the material do what I want with the proper tools. I really like going to show and meeting new people! The most rewarding part of sewing for me, is when I see someone wearing the clothes I have made!
-here is a link to a 2003 article from a local newspaper my old partner and I were interviewed while vending http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Farchives.dailyegyptian.com%2Fimported-20111018203805%2F2003%2F12%2F10%2F25th-annual-craft-sale-draws-large-crowd-of-students-and-com.html
My husband, Ethan, is extremely supportive, in fact he basically set up my etsy half a decade ago. He serenades me while I work and picks up the slack when I am working over time on the sewing machine. No matter the situation, he encourages me to keep creating. My family has always been my biggest supporters. Fortunately, simple living requires little money.
I am busy as a bee, when I am not in the sewing room, I have a wide variety of tasks. My husband and I also run a growing organic farm aptly dubbed, ” Dirty Feet Farm”. From spring to fall I spend a lot of time in our garden, there is always weeding and mulching not to mention the planting and the harvesting. I put in a lot of time in the summer kitchen, canning and pickling produce and jamming. We have a pack of mutt dogs, and chickens that require attention. Sometimes when it feels like it’s too much, I lay in the hammock all day with a good book to recharge my energies.
We are trying to get to the point of 100% off the grid. We currently reside in a military tent, on top of a deck, like the one in Mash. We have solar power for light and for charging our electronic devices. In the summer when the panel is getting good light I can even sew there. This is temporary. We have been scrimping and saving to build our dream docile for several years. We have plans to build an earthbag dome this summer, complete with a studio for my sewing and Ethan’s music.
Growing up, the first live music I was exposed to was around the fire at my parent’s parties. My mother, sisters, and I would compose impromptu operas doing house work or in the car. But, I had little experience with contemporary or popular music, I was only allowed to listen to the oldies radio station until I was in Jr High. My first live concert was George Clinton and the P funk, a free concert at the local university. It was pretty amazing!! I was introduced to the Grateful Dead through some beautiful people, who have become life long friends. The fist time I heard “Fire on the Mountain,” I was instantly addicted!! I had these old boot leg tapes that I would listen to over and over. The first festival I attended was Woodstock in ’99. Three friends and I packed up in my 1987 Monte Carlo and drove to the east coast. It was a life altering experience, especially because when I came back I made my first mama top.
Living a simple free spirited life is my main goal! I truly believe that everyone needs to be the change they want to see in the world! For me, running my eco friendly sewing business fits in perfect with my homesteader bohemian view of the world. I do not have to sacrifice any of my morals, Knotty Mama allows me to make a small living off of other people’s waste. I also really like the fact that I am offering people a different choice, they do not have to buy poorly constructed clothing made by unfair labor practices, sold in earth destroying big box chains. Soon I will be able to do all my sewing with the power of the sun, then I will be really dancing down my path!!
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do”-Rumi
She is also the leader of our DHAA team in charge of the Quilt Team and we’re happy to say that 20 artists and almost a year later we’ve completed something special!
Artist Contact info:
Social Media Links: