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Friday, September 23, 2011

Planning a Successful Homecoming Friday

Just thought I'd put this out there. I am working on it still,tweaks and more info is needed. Feel free to add your advice or any corrections you might have!!! I wanna have this be part of a series of Homecoming posts for the next few years.

First Timers Guide to Planning a Successful Homecoming Friday
After blogging for the past few years about Homecoming Overalls and showing my work, I have decided to share with you some tips to make your Homecoming Friday event successful.
On my blog, I have a widget called "Feedjit". It is a tracking tool. I can see when someone comes to visit my blog (not WHO they are), what search engine and phrase they typed into the browser, what post title they went to see and then what (if any) link they exited to. It sounds kinda nosey, but it really is not. Its is just a tool I use to help me help you find the information you are looking for on the internet. And, I have found, there really is not much information regarding Texas Homecomings as there should be!!
Hence: the reason I am writing this now!!
So, what do you need??? What is your budget?? What is your childs final goal goal??
I'll start with the overalls, since that is my particular speciality.
You will need to start shopping for overalls in early August. Earlier if you KNOW what size you will need and the earlier you shop, the more choices you will have. Also, for those who are on a tighter buget, if you get the overalls purchased, having someone decorate them later will not seem like a huge expence.
Personally, I think the best deal around is on eBay. The overalls you can find are generally new or very close to new. Women buy them to wear once or twice and then forget about them in the back of the closet. It's not like overalls are the most attractive articles of clothing, LOL  Just search "womens overalls" and add the size, S, M or L. I have gotten Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein for $10 plus shipping. Not bad considering at retail the men's overalls go for $50-70. Ouch.
Next I would try resale. Around Katy, we have two Katy Christian Ministries, Platos Closet and the (newer) Salvation Army (where JoAnnes Fabrics used to be).
If you are shopping retail, Bass Pro Shops @ Katy Mills carries 2 brands. Academy on I-10 sometimes has smaller sizes, but the Academy on Westheimer @ Voss has 2 or 3 brands and they carry many sizes. Tractor Supply right in front of the Merril Center also carries o'alls, but Katy High students are swift to pick up all the smaller sizes there.
On line there are a few retailers that carry women's overalls. However, they are costly and the shipping is heavy too. As August 2012 rolls around, I will update this and post some places I have found good deals at.
Plan at LEAST 3 weeks to decorate these new overalls. Especially if you plan to have someone else do it for you. Artists need plenty of time to do their best work. And this time of year, decorators become swamped or stop taking orders for certain schools so they can deliver on time.
Of course I want everyone to look their best, and have my overalls on. But I am real and know that not everyone can afford Custom Appliqued garb, nor would I be able to sew that many in such little time. So, to decorate, you have choices:
Custom Applique
Do-it-yourself-fabric lettering
When I applique, it is a process. Each pair I do is different (but the same, KWIM?) individualized for that person. I have fabric swatches, samples of different elements I can add to your overalls. Every year I add more and more. Each pair, start to finish, takes about 25 hours. Pockets have to be ripped off, patterns need to be made, tracing, cutting, ironing.... and thats all before the sewing!! I take the inseam out so I can sew all the goodies onto the legs and then I sew them shut. Just when you think they are done, the bling comes out!! WOOT!! The finishing touch!!
Fabric paint is fun, if you are artsy. It can be expensive to do, because denim is dark and thirsty. My tip: Everything you plan to paint, paint it in white (like nail polish, several thin coats works better than a heavy coat. Paint peels and chips). Once the white is dry, then paint your color. The color will be more true. Then outline as much as possible to make your things defined and pop. Finish with Bling.
Fabric letters. First you need to find some fun fabrics. JoAnnes Fabrics (Next to Ross, I-10 & Fry) has a great new selection!! They have some little folded fabrics, called Fat Quarters, arranged by color at hip level across the calico wall. They are perfect for the overalls because you don't have to buy a large quantity and you don't have to stand in line to have the fabric cut. Next you need "Heat-N-Bond HEAVY" . In the RED package. It is made for NO SEW projects. Just iron it to the back of the fabric, draw your whatevers (letters? Numbers?) and cut them out. Unpeel the paper backing and iron to your o'alls. Technically, you are done.... But I would not be. You will need some fabric paint to outline and add details. And, don't forget the bling!!!
I do not make mums.... I wish I did!! I probably will when my girlies get to High School. :0)
Where to buy/order them? 
Try your school first. The Band Booster Clubs usually have order forms in the Cafeteria for students to pick up at lunch. If the school has the order form as a file they can send me, I will upload it onto my blog so you can print one out and take back to school with money.
If you don't want to get one from school, try Kroger or Randalls. They almost ALWAYS have some premade that can be added to or customized there or at your house. Also try local Florists. I will try to get some places and phone numbers next year (early) and post them for you.
For you crafty ones, not unlike myself, go to Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JoAnnes.... any crafty place and start garthering your ribbons and hanging things. Hobby Lobby keeps a great selection of backs, ribbons, bells and all sorts of what-nots to keep you busy for weeks making a mum. An even craftier TIP: Shop AFTER your Homecoming and get great deals on the things left over when they go on sale. Keep a box handy and start a collection of things throughout this school year to make one for next year!!
I hope this helps someone... Homecoming preparation can make people panic! I would consider it a whole school Prom of sorts, but with a bunch of other stuff thrown in, topped with a football game!
**I decided to write this after seeing people hit my blog with searches for overalls and mums 3 days before that Homecoming. I think they realized Homecoming cannot be bought or built in 3 days.