Creativity Before Consumption

MAKE: Idle Hands Make Crazy Pillows

Being a freelance stylist and designer definitely has it’s benefits. I get to set my own schedule and work only on projects that interest me and when I’m working, I really love what I do. But it also has it’s downside. Mainly the dreaded “Will I ever work again?” syndrome that hits between jobs. I can go from working on quite big projects and feeling pretty good about myself to twidling my thumbs and wondering, really wondering, will anyone ever hire me again?! Am I actually really bad at my job? Do I smell funny?

It’s true that idle hands can sometimes be the devil’s tools (not that I believe in the devil, b/c I don’t), so today I am trying to keep them busy. So January’s been a slow month, big whoop! I’m not going to sit on my bum and cry about it. Maybe for about 15 minutes, but then I’m going to distract myself, and often that means getting out the sewing machine. It’s always a good way to keep me inspired and out of trouble.

I found this amazing shirt the other day. I’m a big fan of sixties prints and I’ve been lucky lately at thrift shops. This one is a nice heavy, but soft broadcloth.

I’ve recently dressed my daughter’s room in a mix of sixties prints and I thought this would make a nice addition as a cushion on her bed. It already has buttons so I hardly had to do anything.

15 minutes later:

For any vintage purists out there, I know, I know, don’t hate me. I realize it’s frowned upon by some to cut up nice pieces of vintage, but really when am I ever going to wear a shirt like that? Is anyone?  My husband actually might have worn it, so even more reason to cut it up. I could throw in some embarrassing pictures here of when we met 15 years ago and he had a thing for vintage hawaiian shirts, but I’m not that cruel.

Here are some of my favorite finds similar to the Hawaiian shirt, but that will never see scissors because I love them too much, and yes, I may actually wear them again.

You can see my daughter’s bedroom (and that pillow) and in fact, my whole house in the Spring 2011 issue of the lovely Anthology Magazine. (Update: click here to see the Anthology pics on my portfolio site). In the feature I’m actually wearing caftan number one above, so you can see it in action.

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  • Reply Holyoke Home 13 February 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Oooh! Congratulations on the upcoming feature! That's AWESOME!!!

    Can you tell me more about the robe in the third image from the bottom? I clicked to make it bigger, but I still can't tell what kind of cloth that is.

  • Reply Emily Henson 13 February 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Hi Holyoke!

    The robe in the third image from the bottom (or second one down, right?) is a soft cotton, nicely worn it. It has a vintage Japanese label although it doesn't have kimono-like sleeves. I bought it at a thrift store in LA for about $7.


  • Reply Anna 17 February 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Love this tutorial and that shirt makes the most beautiful pillow!

    Love that last dress — gorgeous fabric.

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