(Photography provided by Abby Cakes)
Abby Cakes is an artist who designs clothing and jewelry for her brand Of Mice and Mischief. Cakes is not interested in creating mainstream marketable products that would sell in a dozen shops in Bend. And although she still has some more conventional items for sale in her old studio at The Workhouse, Cakes is setting out to create that which only she can make.
“I’m mostly gearing up to have fun, passionate pieces available at the new shop and eventually online,” Cakes said.
Cakes is beginning a new artistic venture alongside Stuart Breidenstein, founder of The Workhouse and owner of Stuarts of Bend. The concept is to create an artist district located on Ninth and Armour. The district will be called Ninth Street Village and intends to become an artist hub that brings together the largest collection of makers and creators in Bend.
“We’re incredibly excited about the potential especially considering there’s not much happening on the east side,” Cakes said.
Cakes has only just moved into her new studio and she is already at work creating.
“The first thing I started working on in my new studio is a dress made from a vintage hand sewn quilt top I bought a few years back. I loved the idea of taking something that has hundreds of hours of work put into it and turning it into something wearable,” Cakes said.
The designer works almost exclusively with vintage materials that are authentically old and found in various locations.
“Few things in life make me happier than rummaging through old boxes at estate sales and pulling out deadstock fabric or old tablecloths that haven’t seen daylight in 50 years,” Cakes said.
By using vintage materials each of her creations is one of a kind.
“Even if I’m just making skater dresses I like knowing that there aren’t any other dresses out there that are made out of double-knit polyester with giant roosters on it,” Cakes said.
Cakes is so engrained in vintage culture as part of her creation that she uses exclusively vintage sewing machines. She loves the quality and durability of an old metal sewing machine.
She uses a Singer 221 FeatherWeight as her main machine, a White 534 Superlock and a Brother Coverstitch to supplement the designs. With the exception of a few basic sewing classes as a teenager she is self-taught.
“I like absurd but there’s not really a big call for it in Bend. Part of why I moved from The Workhouse to my new studio is because of a shift of focus. I want to make big crazy dresses because it’s fun and something I can get excited about. I want to make niche, one off pieces of jewelry that don’t make sense, but that one random person will love. I think sometimes as a maker you get lost and forget how to have fun. I want to get back to that,” Cakes concludes.
As Cakes sets out on her new creative venture one thing is apparent. She is preparing to unleash her previously constrained creativity to design unbelievable clothing and jewelry which will soon be available at her new studio and at www.ofmiceandmischief.com.