Renegade Handmade | Boutique of the Week | Chicago Reader

Renegade Handmade 

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Renegade Handmade

1924 W. Division


Old friends Kathleen Habbley and Sue Blatt used to talk about opening a vintage store--but instead they ended up starting the Renegade Craft Fair, which in the past four years has become a late-summer must-hit for anyone remotely associated with the DIY revolution. Last weekend they opened Renegade Handmade, their first permanent location, and they've folded their interest in vintage duds back into the equation. Along with the expected cloth tote bags and silk-screened T-shirts, you'll find cool hoodies with off-center zippers made from recycled sweatshirts and printed cotton bonnets from Giant Dwarf that look like a cross between 60s Euro-chic and something Laura Ingalls would wear. Vintage offerings include jeans, suede loafers, cowboy shirts, and lots of dresses and skirts with polka dots--I particularly liked a melon-colored housedress with ruffles along the short sleeves and V-neck. Nonwearables include little round paintings of chimps, whales, and pandas, shadow puppets in the shape of mermaids and dragons, and journals with recycled book covers (College Accounting, The Three Musketeers). Most clothes run about $20 or $30, nicer jewelry can go as high as $110, and you can buy pins for a buck. Or go home with a Sublime Stitching embroidery starter kit and bring back something to sell. --Heather Kenny

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Sue Blatt and Kathleen Habbley photo by Audrey Cho.

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