Sunday, March 30, 2008

Work, Etsy, and Fun Bags

I have a busy week coming up. Work is sending me out of town to a sunny, warm location, so I can't really complain except for the lost hours on my sewing machine. Even though I was Miss Stuffy Head this weekend, I was ambitious with the scissors. Since I will be away, any orders placed Mon-Friday from my Etsy shop will be shipped Saturday.

This is my Monkey from the MonkeyTravelClub. He's been keeping us company for a few months and I finally got a chance to take a picture of him for Ginny's flicker club where you'll find more adopted monkeys. Usually Monkee is sitting on top of our microwave, but every once in a while he helps me with my sewing. The best part about Monkee is that he stays where he is put. :)

I made this bag awhile ago. It was my first attempt at a baby bag that my friend wanted to make. This bag finally made it's way to a happy mother-to-be today. ( Single digit days now!) The lining fabric was given to me and at first I didn't really like it. But when I was rearranging it landed next to the denim pile and magic was born. I love it because it doesn't scream baby. It's a bag that will multi-task for her.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Etsy Shop Update

It's been awhile since I added something new. Before I made the additions, I sat down with a hot cup of tea and made some changes to my shop. I have been him-hawing around in regards to shipping. I finally decided to not be an all inclusive shipping site. I edited all my items and you'll notice some of the prices went down, but then a shipping cost was added.
You've seen this one before, but as previously mentioned I had the bag cut out since last summer. The vintage sheet was so soft, it really makes for a great feeling bag.

Grocery Bags made from vintage sheets.
I did make a minor adjustment to how I listed these bags from previous grocery bags listings. Instead of making them a group purchase I've listed them individually. 3 bags are available. I got rave reviews at my local grocery store today when I used mine. They were passed around from employee to employee as they asked questions about them. I should make so many more of these, but I have found out that I really dislike making/sewing bias tape. Oh well. :p

For Easter dinner we decided on a standing rib roast, au gratin potatoes, salad, glazed baby carrots, homemade dinner rolls, and berry crisp. Now all I need to do is some internet research for a good dry rub for the roast. Have a Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Not a Thread to Spare

I took today off from work and spent the better part of it sewing and thrifting with friends. My friend Lauren wanted some advise on sewing a baby bag for a friend of hers. She came up with all the features and I made up the pattern. We worked out a few kinks and in the end made up a fantastic baby bag, but with not a thread to spare. Literally.
That's all she had left on her spool and just finished her bobbin thread on the last top stitch of the bag. Close call don't you think?

Here is the finished bag. It measures 16'' long by 14'' tall with a 5.5'' gusset. The bag has two exterior slip pockets sewn into the panels along with a pocket on each side of the gusset. Inside she sewed a slip pocket down the middle to hold wipes and diapers. There is also a zipper pocket and key fob. Completely interfaced with 25'' handles. Button loop closure. With some encouragement I think she'll try a magnetic snap next time.

We ran into some trouble with sewing the gusset on. For some reason the one side would match up but the other would not. I guess minor differences in seam allowance makes a difference in the end. I'll have to test this pattern out a few more times to work out the kinks.

I'll have to take some pictures of my thrift finds tomorrow. And tomorrow I plan to do an Etsy shop update. But more on that later.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

First of all, let me send you over to Indie-Pendence. Mary Ann published a Spotlight on my Etsy shop! I had wanted to add some new things to my shop before she posted, but time slipped away. However, I did get some sewing done this afternoon, but I forgot to recharge my camera batteries still, so you get to see some recycled images.

I sewed up three more reusable grocery totes made with vintage bed linens. Not made from the pattern above, but a lovely bright shade of yellow with zinnia and rose flowers.

And a few more of these Betsy Ross bags. They are completely lined and have 2 slip pockets on the inside with a button and loop closure. One bag is made from a very similar sheet pictured above, and then a second one is almost an exact replica of the bag below. I actually had these bags cut out since last summer. Never mind that. :)

Oh, and I ordered my first Moo Cards. They should be arriving this week sometime. Excited, excited.

Tonight for dinner we are having roast chicken. Our local grocery store have chicken roasters on sale for $.79/lb. That's cheap protein. I bought three chickens. One to bake, one to freeze, and one to boil down to make stock for chicken pot pie. I am also making these homemade rolls again. I tell you, they are the best. I marinated the whole chicken in lemon juice, basil, and garlic then generously salt and peppered it all. I have used this marinated for boneless/skinless chicken breasts before so hopefully it will work well with a whole chicken too. I will probably quarter some potatoes, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them along with the chicken instead of mashed potatoes. Might as well use the energy my oven is already creating.

I am looking forward to chicken salad later this week made with apples and craisins.

What are all of you making/eating for Easter next Sunday? I have made no plans but already donated my free ham from Giant to the local food bank. We were thinking of something non traditional. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Checking in

I was *thisclose* to having pictures for a crafty post, but my camera batteries died before the photo shoot was over.

Some recent sewing activities include- sewing up house warming coaster sets, using left over fabric scraps for zippy pouches, reusable grocery bags, and most recently a diaper bag.

I have been carrying this purse around. Even though I had initial misgivings about it, it's really growing on me and getting constant positive attention. Seems that people don't even notice the zipper.

I had some down time during work this morning, so I checked out some blogs and found three give-a-ways. Go check them out!

Jenn Maruska's Blog- Got a quippy quote? Get a tasty treat!

A Very Mary Design- She claims she has enough stash for a 2 year give-a-way streak, but we will settle for another 8 days!

Old Red Barn Co.- Is she out of her mind? Giving away that gorgeous quilt! I hope it's my lucky day!

Monday, March 3, 2008

The clock on the wall says 3 o'clock!

I had a fabulous time thrifting with a friend this weekend. Among the $.10 sewing magazines, zippers and trim, there was a brand new stainless steel fondue pot (minus the forks) for $5 and this beautiful non-working alarm clock.

I spent 65% of my thrift store budget on this cutie. That's pretty huge. I had to talk myself into buying it for $13 since it didn't work. But last night I took it apart and with the help of the internet I got the alarm to work. Now if only the hands would start moving. Yellow pages here I come!

I also grabbed a few pictures of my new work bag. Again you'll find this denim with contrasting green thread. This is the bag that started it all. It has 23'' handles (great shoulder comfort!), a 12'' zipper pocket on the inside, a sewn in divider to hold my laptop with two additional large slip pockets for random folders, and two pockets on the exterior.

You'll see my little (major) mistake on the exterior pockets. I should have known better. I wanted 10'' deep pockets so I cut and sewed to make that happen. What I didn't take into consideration was the boxed corners would remove some of the depth of the pocket and now it looks really low on the side. Silly, silly mistake. But its sewn so well I won't be taking it apart. They are still functional, but I know I made that error.

I can't wait to take this on my plane ride at the end of the month. It will work really well for that. And it will hold all the junk (educational material) at my conference. I really loved how this turned out and will probably make another.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I finished another work in progress. The idea was to make an over-sized clutch/wristlet with pleats. I struggled a lot with this. The zipper is what really got me. The slight curve and extra bulk of the pleats really caused some problems. My sewing machine was even getting cranky. While I think the idea is still a good one, I do not feel this version is the best execution.

I did use some of the hardware I upcycled from the thrifted purses. That worked out really nice.
A very colorful interior. My top stitching is not as smooth as it usually is because of the added bulk. My machine usually whips right through these challenges, but not this time.

I may put this up on Etsy for cheap sometime soon to see if anyone would like it. I think the zipper is a bit too wonky, but it works just fine.

I did finish the bag just for me this week. But the pictures I took were all off. The exposure wasn't right. It might have been the reflecting light from the snow that was throwing everything off. I'll try again later.