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Behind the Design: Fashion DIY Kit Collection Commonthread Lab Edition

05 August, 2016
Behind the Scenes
At Home With
Alexandra Tavel
Behind the designs of the new Commonthread Lab Special Edition Fashion DIY Kits.

COMMONTHREAD LAB

Big news here at Commonthread! We are launching an amazing new initiative called the Commonthread Lab. The Commonthread Lab was started as a way for our creative team to collaborate with artists and designers around the world. Together they fashioned a collection of thoughtfully curated all-inclusive kits that offer a fresh and modern spin on handwork designs. This is truly one for the #ModernMaker.

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AT HOME WITH: ALEXANDRA TAVEL, TWO OF WANDS

To say that working with these artists was incredible (and seriously fun) is an understatement. We loved getting their fresh point of view on living life handmade. And since they were such an integral part of the Lab, we thought it was important that you have a chance to hear from them.

We couldn’t think of a better way to launch our first Commonthread Lab collection than with artist Alexandra Tavel’s designs. Each one features DMC’s super soft Natura XL yarn. It’s not just the fact that she fell in love with our yarn (even calling it a “dream to work with”), that we decided to launch the Lab with Alexandra’s patterns, it’s that her first experience with any DMC product goes way back to elementary school. A true maker from a very early age, Alexandra took to the playground to sell friendship bracelets and hair wraps that were made using DMC embroidery floss.

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Which DMC threads are your favorite to work with?

I've always been a huge fan of DMC embroidery floss, and now having worked with Natura XL it has quickly become my favorite cotton yarn!

What’s your favorite DMC product?

The Natura XL cotton yarn is a dream to work with, and it produces the most lovely, soft, and durable knits. It is so rare to find a bulky weight cotton, and the fact that it comes in so many colors is just amazing!

Where do you find your inspiration?

Hailing from a small town in the Midwest taught me the importance of making functional pieces that are approachable and not too out there, but living in NYC and traveling around the world gives me great inspiration to design unique and stylish items at the same time. My style is chic but playful, and because as a consumer I tend to shop and wear so many different styles, my designs also have influence from many different directions.

When did you start creating?

I've been making things as long as I can remember thanks to my artist mother. I studied fashion design and costume construction technology, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I started designing full-time.

Who got you started or taught you your craft?

I learned how to knit from my mom when I was really little, and I taught myself how to crochet about 10 years ago.

How did you come to launch your business?

I'm so lucky to have been able to travel all over the world, and I always draw inspiration from the different countries I've visited and the local artisans who create such unique pieces in their communities. It was on one of my travels that the Two of Wands label was solidified. In 2013 I climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, and when I reached the other side I met a woman who offered to read my tarot cards. The Two of Wands was drawn and my future was set in motion. This card is focused on taking the path of discovery and creativity, taking your ideas and desires and turning them into a solid plan for success. It is about stepping into that scary but exciting unknown and believing that you have the potential to shine. The name represents energy, spirituality, inspiration, creativity, ambition and expansion. I had been thinking about leaving my day job for a while, and that experience really pushed me to finally take the plunge.

What words describe you?

Bohemian and creative.

What does Commonthread mean to you?

It's a way for makers to come together and have a shared experience.

Can you share a story about your first introduction to DMC’s products?
My first "job" was selling friendship bracelets and doing hair wraps with DMC embroidery floss on the playground in elementary school!

Name your favorite song to stitch to?

Heartbeats by The Knife will always be a classic for me.

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ABOUT THE COLLECTION

Our collaboration with Alexandra Tavel had a theme—every pattern uses DMC’s Natura XL yarn and the patterns are super wearable and are sure to become a wardrobe staple. From charming crochet dusters, to utterly enchanting blankets, every piece feels original while maintaining that approachability that Alexandra offers in all of her work. These kits cater to every skill level, so go ahead and find your favorite.

 

Love and Threads,

The Commonthread Team