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Window Shopping
Design of the times
By Brittany Kress
blog I e-mail

Crafting has moved way beyond the sewing circle. In fact, you might even call it cool.

That makes Amy Dalrymple happy. She learned to sew at the age of eight and opened her own clothing and accessories shop, AmyD, a month ago inside Java Central in Westerville, coinciding exactly with the recycling and buying-local trends.

"It's weird, isn't it?" Dalrymple said, adding that things have changed since she started sewing in the '90s. "I always loved embroidery, and I do embroidery all the time, but I had to hide it because it wasn't cool."
At AmyD, shirts and sheets find new life in pieces that defy trends.

A men's button-up shirt loses its sleeves and becomes an apron. T-shirt logos become patterns covering a flared skirt. There's also plenty of reversible skirts, shirts that minimize the appearance of "armpit fat" and "beer holsters" on aprons. Together, they form a "useful" collection with a sense of humor, Dalrymple said.

"If I have to go to the park or something, or I'm hanging out or I'm scrubbing the floor, I need something I can wear," she explained. "So everything is a version of something I have worn."

Growing up with her mom — who makes knitted tunic belts that are for sale at AmyD — and grandma in the rural town of Amanda strongly influenced the resourcefulness that shows up in her line. Dalrymple gets a regular stream of fabrics from friends, along with the clothes her kids have outgrown.

Her favorite new item is the Easy Step Gift Set, which includes two coffee cup sleeves made from recycled soda bottles, a grocery tote made from drapes and four reusable napkins made from T-shirts. It's a green gift that will hopefully prompt lifestyle changes, Dalrymple said.

The shop also carries things like journals, messenger and baby bags, pins made from kimonos and oversized rings, all handmade by local and national vendors.

20 S. State St., Westerville
Inside Java Central
Web: madebyamyd.com

It's all neatly tucked on racks and shelves in a small room adjacent to Java Central's counter, which is where shoppers take AmyD merchandise to check out. Sizes are marked with terms like "smallish" — which, Dalrymple points out, is bigger than most smalls anyway, because her sizes aren't standard.

"A small is like an 8. When I started making clothes, I was an 8, and I always wanted to be a small. So I was like, 'This is my own — I can be whatever I want. I can be an extra-small!'"



May 8, 2008

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