Bad News/Sad News

I’m sad to say that I have had to put my business on hold for the foreseeable future… We have a major family crisis going on right now and I do not have the time (or the attention span) to focus on my sewing and crafting adventures. I will still sew and craft whenever I have a spare moment, but I won’t be blogging or updating my website or Facebook page, and whatever I make to sell will be sold through our local library (The Hampton Falls Free Library in Hampton Falls, NH). 

I am very grateful for all the love and support our families have been giving us; they have made this time in our lives a little easier. I am very grateful to my Mom for coming to help me with taking care of my girls and my home; I know she will help alleviate some of the stress, so I can stay sane right now and focus on what I need to do. I am also very grateful to my Auntie Sandy and cousin Jillian for going to the airport for me, so I don’t have to bring my young girls out really late on a cold late-fall night, to pick up my Mom. I really feel like I am very fortunate to have such loving support from so many people. 

I can’t talk about what is going on right now, but I can assure you it will not last forever. There is light at the end of this tunnel, and while I can’t see it clearly yet, I know it’s there and take comfort in that. 

Thank you my friends, family and fellow bloggers in your understanding and patience. 

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How to work with a sicky girl…

I’ve really been on a roll lately, not only with my crafting projects (sewing and crochet mostly), but also around the house (except the laundry of course… that’s a battle I’ll never win). You know, really in a positive groove.

…until my youngest woke up with a snuffle nose and sore throat this morning.

So now I’m asking myself how do I get things accomplished when my little one is wanting to do nothing but snuggle with her mama all day. I keep coming to the same conclusion: everything else can wait, snuggling my princess pretty pants is much more important than anything else that needed doing today.

I have a bag ready for final assembly; pieces for Christmas tutu dresses ready for assembly; a crochet baby beanie that still needs a few more rounds stitched and the beard stitched up and added on; and I’m working on a non-permanent way to add a ruffle to the bottom of my daughters jeans, so she can wear them longer, but they can still be passed on to her sisters. All of those things can wait until tomorrow or the next day.
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Sewing Room is set up!

Well folks, I’m back! I pretty much took the summer off from computer work, so I could focus on my kiddos and just sewing. I went to a family cookout in June, where my cousin saw one of my daughter’s bags and asked if I would make her a purse sized bag; then I had an order for a diaper bag from a good friend of mine whose baby was born 9 weeks ago. I’ve done tutu costumes galore and even did a small craft fair at my local library, that resulted in 4 custom costume orders for adults! I was only slightly disappointed in the fact that I didn’t sell any of the childrens costumes.
This week, I’m working on a messenger bag, Christmas tutu dress for a toddler and pink ballerina tutu party favors, along with a set of beanies with beards for my newest little nephew and hopefully my three nieces and two older nephews For Christmas. Image
I am so excited that I now have my own sewing/crafting room set up, so I’m not battling for space to work in my living room! ImageThe only downer is that I don’t have a computer down there, so if I have a pattern on the computer, I have to print it out or write it all down longhand. I guess it’s really not too bad not having one down there though, having things like facebook at your fingertips tends to be a bad distraction!
Now that I’m really getting back into the swing of things, I’ll be blogging more and posting more pictures of works in progress and completed projects, too.

I’ll be back again soon! Until then:  Image

Revamping my sewing business

Happy May Day all! 

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my business lately. I already knew that success was not going to be instant or easy, but I’ve become very stagnant in the last couple of months. I have been surprisingly sick this past winter; I didn’t want to be sneezing and coughing all over the projects I intend to sell! But now that I am well, there are no excuses for me to slack off! So, I went to the library to check out a couple of books on sewing and starting a business. I found this wonderful book called “The Handmade Marketplace; How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online” by Kari Chapin. She talks about everything from branding and different business types (Sole Proprietor, LLC, etc) to where to find inspiration and where and how to sell your wares! I have found this to be exceptionally helpful so far! I have to be honest, I wasn’t really sure what “branding” was exactly until I read the chapter all about how to create your own unique brand. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I’ve already gotten so much from it that I can’t wait to finish reading!

I have set little weekly goals for my business. First, I have to seriously start on inventory (after I fill my current order, of course). I have plenty of fabric for little girl skirts and aprons, most of it was intended for personal use, but has just been sitting here because I couldn’t make up my mind what to do with it all! I also have a ton of yarn just sitting here collecting dust; “The Handmade Marketplace” talks about not boxing yourself into just one type of craft; if you enjoy pottery and crocheting, do both! So, why not make both sewn and crocheted things for my website? First I’ll work on the skirts and aprons mentioned above!

You might be asking yourself, why would she be so set on making this business work? Well, because we want to save to buy a house, but my hard working husband only makes enough to pay the monthly expenses. It doesn’t make sense for me to go out of the house to work; whatever I made would have to go to daycare for our girls. I really enjoy sewing and creating for others, so why not try to make extra money doing something I really enjoy? Makes perfect sense to me!

I’ll be writing a post in a couple days to show off these cute jean purses I’m working on right now! I’m very excited about the new design I’m working on!

 

It’s done!

I have finally finished my very first dress! It doesn’t look as nice as all the dresses I see posted on the blogs I follow, but I’m still proud of it for a couple reasons! The first is that I actually finished it. I have a hard time finishing projects that take more than a few hours, things I have to put down for more than a night or two. The second, is, of course, that with a little help from some of you, and a lot from my Aunt Lisa, I managed to make something that is meant for just me! I’m always making things for my girls, or other peoples kids, but nothing is made for me. I’m okay with that; I am a mom and a wife, my kids and husband come first. But it sure does feel nice, knowing that I made something for me.
I can’t wait to start on my next project for myself! I think I will try something without a collar this time, since it gave not only me, but also my very experienced Aunt, some issues!Image

The pockets are really low on this dress, but I think that is because I’m so short. I’m keeping an eye out for coupons and sales so I can invest in a dress form. I really think I need one in order to make things fit me properly. I’m unproportional, so it’s hard to find the right size in ready-made clothes, it’s also tough to alter handmade clothes without a dress form. Until I can find a good deal on a store bought form, I’m researching how to make my own for a lot less!

Have you ever made a duct tape dress form? Do you know of someone who has? As soon as I make mine, I’ll be sure to post it! 

Important sewing terms for all beginners!

I feel like I haven’t posted in forever! It seems like every other week, I or someone in my family come down with something; this past weekend, it was food poisoning (not from my cooking and only three of us, thank goodness); a couple weeks before that, it was bronchitis; before that it was a head cold. Now that Spring is finally here, all the windows are open in my house and we are feeling better! It has definitely been a long Winter! 

Daffodils!

Daffodils!


Anyway, I figured, since I need to take it easy today (recovering from the food poisoning seems to be taking me a little longer than two of my daughters), I would come up with a list of some of the key sewing words you are bound to come across as a beginner sewer (sewist? which word do you prefer?) and what they mean. I’m trying to put them in alphabetical order, since I couldn’t think of a better way to list them. If I leave something out, or incorrectly define something, please feel free to add it to the comments and I will go back later and edit them in if I can! 

Back-tack (aka backstitch): to reverse direction of the stitches to lock them in. Wicked simple! You just use the reverse button on your machine!

Basting stitch: a long stitch used to temporarily hold pieces together (baste). This can be done by hand or by machine.

Bias tape/binding: looks very nice added to the unfinished edge of fabric. I’ll let The Haby Goddess explain this one! I will openly admit, I have a very strong dislike for bias tape! 

Bolt: a roll of one type and print of fabric. When you go to a fabric store, you choose a bolt of fabric, then have your yardage cut from it. There are different widths of fabric, such 32″, 45″, 54″ and 60″ (I’m sure I missed a few). You will need to choose the fabric type (refer to the pattern you are making, it will always recommend a fabric type/weight for the project), the fabric width and the fabric print. Don’t forget to ask for help when choosing the correct fabric if you need it! 

Dart: a v-shaped marking, used to help shape the fabric to better fit bust or waist curves. Sew It Love It is the place to go for dart instructions!

Edgestitch: to stitch 1/8″ from finished edge of fabric. I believe you don’t usually backstitch unless the pattern tells you to.

Feed dog: the teeth under the plate that “feed” the fabric under the needle to be sewn.

Gather- to make a longer piece of fabric fit a shorter one; to make ruffles. These are also fairly easy to do once you get a little practice! Again, I’ll refer to Ilse, from Sew It Love It! She really knows her stuff! 

Seam allowance: the amount of fabric between the edge of the fabric and your stitches.

Here are some simple tips for beginner sewers/sewists:

  • Always read the instruction manual that comes with your new machine. There could be some very valuable information in there!
  • Follow a maintenance schedule. You want your machine to last for as long as possible, so you need to take care of it!
  • Read a few sewing blogs. They can be very inspirational and informational!
  • Invest in the proper tools! A cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter are very important, not just for quilting! You will also need a measuring tape, thread, bobbins, a stitch ripper, stitch gauge, marking pencil or chalk (specifically made for fabric),  hand sewing needles and of course fabric! I suggest old pillowcases and sheets as practice fabric!
  • HAVE FUN! Try new things and don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask for help! All sewers/sewists (seriously folks, which stinking word do you prefer??) have been beginners at some point! 

I’m hoping to actually complete my vintage dress that I started awhile ago this week or next at the latest; all I have left to do is the hem, button holes and buttons!

Have a great week everyone! 

The Adventure continues!

Thanks to my awesome Aunt Lisa, the collar is now on the dress I have been working on! She has been sewing for a very long time, but even she had a tough time figuring out how to get this collar on! 
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ImageI wish I had a dress form thing, I’m sure these pictures would have come out much better if I did! 
I only have to hem the bottom and finish the front with buttons and holes, then I’ll finally be done! I don’t plan to wear this one outside of my house, but I’ll be proud wearing it as I clean my house! 

I’m also working on an outfit for Easter, hopefully I’ll finish it on time! Image 
 
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

 

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