My mother tried to teach me how to sew when I was a child. We mutually abandoned the project when I was about 11 or 12 years old...thinking that one of us might be driven to madness if we kept working on this task. It was only after tackling a sewing project later in life, completed while recovering from an injury and unable to do much else, that I realized the value of all of the lessons in my youth. I learned that sewing could be comforting and quite creative.
Imagine the response to the phone call home when I informed my mother that I had purchased a sewing machine. The line went dead...my father confirmed that she was still upright and breathing, yet had no idea how to respond. She must have thought that I was joking with her - especially after struggling so much to teach me the foundations of textile arts and sewing in my youth! My sewing skills continued to grow, and I explored more unusual projects over the years since my first sewing machine purchase.
The first unique or unusual project was sewing a pieced pillowcase using fruit and vegetable print fabric squares. Creating the pillowcase became my first experience working with the food-print fabric. I found the material to have vibrant colors and fun food images. The squares of fabric were sewn together similar to quilt piecing. I sent this pillowcase to a friend. The next project was a vegetable shirt that I wanted to make to wear to a healthcare conference.
The shirt was quite unusual, long-sleeved, and featured broccoli, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and spinach prints. I called it my “Salad Shirt”, and it was the topic of conversation when I wore the shirt to the conference! After that response, I figured it would be fun to wear to the clinic where I worked. Patients and providers expressed amusement regarding the composition and design of the shirt.
Friends and colleagues encouraged me to start a small business featuring the bags and clothing that I had been making. At first, I was unable to picture trying to balance a home business with a full-time job. I made scrub shirts, button-front shirts, lunch bags, tote bags, pillowcases, and placemats per individual order for years. I called the products “Salad Dressing” and donated the money to patient education programs.
“Salad Dressing” was not a workable business name for these products in eCommerce as anyone searching for that term would expect consumable dressings. The search for a new name involved making a list of any synonyms that came to mind. Nutrients, nourishment, sustenance, and diet just didn’t work as name options or components. Then two slang terms came to mind: “grub” for food and “duds” for clothing. The domain name was unavailable for grubduds, so I opted for GrubDudz.
Our unique products often have a little design twist that makes them stand apart from other items. My view is that the stitched product should have a little twist - something that is not found elsewhere and provides a new function for the product. I added a drawstring pocket to the back of the waistline of an apron for protection of a cell phone or other materials. Sometimes the design twist is in the collection of fabric prints pieced together as in the “Grill-n-Grub” items featuring grilling prints, flames to represent grilling, and fixings (produce, sauces, condiments).
Picture yourself cooking while wearing a colorful GrubDudz Apron and a matching GrubDudz Oven Mitt. These bright and beautiful items feature all kinds of fruit, vegetable, protein, fast food, breakfast, or desert images featured on the kitchen gear are fun to wear and can be a topic of conversation. While cooking and visiting with friends and family you could talk about your favorite food item or an apron print that brings back a particular memory of some event in your life.
Another example of design variation is the “A-Maize-ing” print selection – featuring corn on the cob, mixed veggies with corn, and popcorn. We can create your item with the “Sweets-n-Treats” assortment of sugary images, a vegetarian prints, Seafood, or Mix-n-Match collection. Just include any preferences in your order comments. We will do our best to accommodate your requests. GrubDudz now has over 460 different food-print fabric pieces featuring everything from apple pies to zucchini!
GrubDudz uses food-print fabric to make everyday products unusual. We piece or sew strips of fabric together, similar to quilt piecing, then make the merchandise from the fabric panels. A full array of kitchen items, clothing, and household accessories is created to feature a specific group of foods or a mix-n-match variety. The GrubDudz recently began making our buttons, earrings, and pins featuring images of different foods sculpted out of polymer clay (see image of the buttons and pins at the top of the post).
Explore the website and have fun!