Fabric artisan to share secrets at lunchtime session in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — Faced with hundreds of fabric swatches, Trisa Chomica got busy — and this Wednesday at lunch time, she’ll show others how to do the same.

Chomica, owner of the interior design firm Trisa & Co., hates to throw anything pretty away.

So when McCrorie Home Furnishings gave her a small sea of discontinued decorative fabric swatches, she started making tote bags. She gave them as Christmas gifts, and then switched to making wine bags and water-bottle bags. Those have just one seam to sew, so they’re quicker.

Next came a drapery — a display backdrop or a window treatment, depending on the day — made from some 200 fabric swatches. After Chomica finished that, she used more swatches to make a vest from a McCall’s pattern; she wrote an article on it and sent it in to Belle Armoire, a magazine devoted to “artistic clothing and accessories.”

Much to Chomica’s delight, the article came out in the summer issue.

Galvanized to share her “repurposing” ideas, she got in touch with the Center for Community Design at The Landing mall at 115 E. Railroad Ave., and scheduled a sewing workshop and brief fashion show for Wednesday. Admission is free, and Chomica encourages brown-bag lunches for the program from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the mall’s upstairs banquet room.

Participants will be given a choice of fabric pieces, she added, to make a water-bottle bag or purse to take home.

Bring friend to the fun

“We know this is going to be an especially fun workshop, so come over and bring a friend,” said the Center for Community Design’s Carol Gentry. Children and teens are welcome, she added.

The fashion show will feature repurposed materials, and then Chomica will hand out the supplies for making “wearable art,” Gentry noted.

“I saw these fabrics and thought of things to make with them,” Chomica said, adding that she’s just doing what people have always done to conserve resources.

Recycling fabric is a tradition, of course, among quilters. Now, Chomica quipped, people are using castoff swatches to dress as “eco-minded fashionistas.”

She’s owned Trisa & Co. for seven years and has recently added a division called Remagine (www.re-magine.com). It grew out of her penchant for using leftover fabric — from furniture upholstery, say — to make stylish accessories.

“I have an overactive designing mind,” said Chomica. The only new thing you need to make old stuff fresh again, she believes, is a swatch of imagination.


Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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