Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Fabrics!

I've been working on some new fabric designs lately. All the designing part is complete, but I need to wait for the physical proofs to come in before I can make them salable. So, you're gonna have to wait about 2 weeks before you can purchase. I'm too excited to wait to show off the designs though.
I couldn't help but to giggle and giggle as I designed this one. I cannot WAIT to make this into a dress! From a distance, it isn't really obvious, but it's poop! POOP! I think it will be so funny to have a dress made from poop fabric. 

The following is something I've been wanting to do for awhile but just never got around to it until now. I turned my award winning Skelley Baby cut & sew plush doll into a Sugar Skull baby just in time for the Day of the Dead. 

I don't have a picture, but I've also ordered a reduced size Skelley Baby fabric to give that a test run. I'll let you know if it works. 

And, although you'll have to wait to purchase those, I added a slightly different version of the Sugar Skull fabric that IS available for purchase right now.
At a customer's request, I made a new version where the Sugar Skull is smaller. The sample below is printed on Poly Crepe de Chine and I LOVE it! It is lighweight and flowy and the black is very vibrant. It is $20.70 per yard, and is 52" width.
Purchase this fabric HERE


Monday, June 8, 2015

Finally getting around to learning how to use my Serger

I got a serger, oh I don't know, back in 2000? and I've never really used it for anything other than making the insides of my clothing have finished seams. It took me years to learn how to thread the damn thing! I used to serge everything in off-white because that was the color thread that was in it. Change a needle? never! If a needle broke, or it became unthreaded, that meant a trip to the repair shop. 
The woman who worked there was so nice and patient, she would never charge me to re-thread my machine and kept trying to show me how to do it over and over but for some reason it never clicked.
Unfortunately that shop went out of business (maybe they should have been charging me!) and I was forced to learn how to thread the machine myself.
I finally got confident in the threading and began changing the thread color as needed for new projects. I thought I'd conquered it all!
Then, I found Craftsy. I jumped in and signed up for a class called Creative Serging, Beyond the Basics. It is an intermediate class (because you know... I'm beyond beginner because I can thread my own machine, right?). I'm only on lesson Seven but I had to write about it now anyway. I've learned so much!
I never realized that I would be good at learning sewing techniques from an online class. I was certain that I needed one-on-one in-real-life instruction but Crafty has done a wonderful job putting this class together in a workable way. I got so psyched up and signed up for several more classes but haven't had the time to start working on them yet because it's summertime and my free babysitting (aka: school) has ended. I'll report back to let you know if the rest of the classes are as good as this one, although I have confidence that they are. Many are FREE!
I started doing actual sewing with the serger and went nuts making wrap skirts out of tee shirts. I've made probably 20 so far!
 
I didn't really need a class in order to make these skirts, but this class, forcing me to start changing the settings and perfecting the stitches, gave me the confidence to use the serger for something other than just finishing a seam.
This class has also inspired me to step it up a notch on working with knits. I've always loved wearing knits but have been afraid to work with them often. I jumped in head first and bought a cover stitch machine so that I could finish seams easily. I'm so glad that Angela Wolf included a cover stitch machine in this class because honestly, I never knew it existed before! It is the coolest thing ever! I can whip up a hem on stretch fabrics in no time. I am usually a super cheap skate and about flipped out when I saw the prices of these machines on Amazon. I didn't give up and kept searching for a better deal and found the best deal on this site. Shipping was free and it arrived quickly. I am in love with this machine!
I'll report back when I've finished the class with all that I've learned. But for now.... I (heart) Craftsy! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Made a Vintage Reproduction Swing Dress Today

I love this one so much that I think I'm gonna make it in tons of different colors, patterns and sizes. It is classy, flattering, fun to twirl in and has pockets!
This one is in the shop if you're interested... more will follow





I'm so excited about this, but I finally broke down and bought a nice camera. For years I've been doing all of my product shots with either an iphone or ipad. It would take forever and I could only take pictures at certain times of the day when the sun was just in the right spot and if there were clouds... forget it. Today, it took me about five minutes to snap these pictures and I still haven't even learned how to use most of the functions. I'm so happy and wondering why I didn't buy a camera sooner.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dreaming and planning for the future

I have been dreaming about having my own sewing studio for years. I am not sure exactly why having my own dedicated space is so important, but it is. It isn't about making money (because if it were... I can think of several much more lucrative options!) it is more about creating a physical place to call my own and share my love of stitches. I've always wanted to teach people how to sew. I would also love to have a shop. When I described the kind of shop I wanted to my husband, he said "oh, like a craft show, but in a store". YES! Exactly. I want to have the selection and style of handmade items but available on shelves all the time. Where everyone can have access.  I live in a tourist destination with a growing artsy downtown area that would be perfect for this sort of thing. Beautiful shop in the front, space to teach sewing classes in the back. However, as I just mentioned, I live in a tourist destination.... therefore, retail space in that downtown area is at a premium. Crafting isn't a lucrative career choice so those two things just don't match up.
Yet.
I've been putting together a plan to have my dream but it is at least a year and a half away, but a more realistic goal would be 3 years. For now, I plan to start with the sewing studio and build my classes and clientele until I can afford to move into a larger storefront location. I am on the hunt for the perfect location for a sewing school, but for now... I will be brushing up my teaching skills around town at any place that will allow me some space. 
Stay tuned, dreams will be coming true soon. 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wonder Woman Spoonflower fabric order


I ordered this fabric in Performance Piqué. I am so excited at the result. I'm nervous to cut it because I'm still a novice at working with stretch fabrics but the way this fabric feels will be worth the extra stress. It is so smooth! This design came our very vivid and true to the image that you see on the computer screen. I love the way the fabric picks up the light and shadows too. That is an unexpected bonus. And, it comes in a 60" width!

  www.spoonflower.com/designs/3199111



I ordered this fabric one in basic combed cotton. The blue is lighter than it appears on the computer but this is the shade that I wanted so I'm happy with this purchase too.

 www.spoonflower.com/designs/3199091

I'm gonna have to wait before cutting into either of these though. I've got customers who have claimed the next 3 weekly dresses and this fabric is for ME!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Weekly Dress Project Update

Things got a little hectic back in October due to Halloween costume constructing, my volunteer commitments at the elementary school, prep for the Day of the Dead and show planning for our upcoming Holiday Market so I've been feeling like I'm pulled in every direction. Things have slowed back down now and I'm getting caught up on everything that I've been putting off (like dusting!).
I have kept up with my weekly dress making, so here we go (excuse some of the not-so-professional pictures...yes, I've been that busy).
Week 12 'Walkaway Dress' made from a vintage reproduction pattern
Available for sale if you are interested.

Week 13 Pin Striped Dress (kept this one for myself. Love it. And it's got pockets! I love pockets in dresses.)


Week 14 Brown Taffeta shift dress
This dress above doesn't look like this anymore. This picture was taken after the dress was complete but before I appliqued flowers and Sugar Skulls to it for the Day of the Dead. It is available, I'll update when I get it re-photographed and listed online.

Week 15 Sally Dress. My client wanted a dress like Sally in a Nightmare Before Christmas but she wanted it in this mix of colors instead of the colors that Sally had. We also pieced two different dress patterns together because she liked the top section of one dress but the waist and skirt of another.

Week 16 Anna Coronation Day Dress

Week 17 Snow White Dress (my costume)

Week 18 Elsa Coronation Day Dress
I made two of these.... here is a customer picture of one of them (I made the sparkly Elsa too, that was Week 11) I'm pretty sure they liked them.

Week 19 Elsa Sexy Cosplay Outfit (available)

Week 20 Candy Corn Dress (kept it for myself but will probably list it on eBay next fall)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sugar Skull Penelope Dolls

Although I've been concentrating most of my time on clothing (and costume) construction, I still make dolls and monkeys. I'd been so busy with Halloween and prepping for the Day of the Dead that I haven't had much time to share everything that I've been working on. Well, the Day of the Dead was a huge success and just about everything that I put out on my display quickly disappeared. The day started off really bad. I got lost trying to get to the unloading spot, smashed my finger so bad trying to move the barricade that my nail is totally black, had grease spill all over one of my dresses and all down the front of me and then some other vendor screamed at me for the parking mess that was going on outside the venue at load-in.  But, once I got unloaded and took a deep breath, everything turned out great. There were so many shoppers and everyone was so kind.
I only have four Sugar Skull Penelope dolls left!

***** updated *****
none left sold them all :)