Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 The year of new crafts

Oh 2012, what a year you were! It's a full year now of us living in a new place (we love it here!). Discovering a new city and new people *plus several fellow crafty folk*. Going to new craft & arts fairs and venturing out on weekends. For myself, it's been discovering new sewing techniques, patterns and learning new skills.
~ I started to learn about applique and how to do this properly
~ How to better market my etsy goods for sale
~ Taking better photographs of my handy work
~ Visiting local craft fairs and meeting new people
~ Redesigning my craft room *just over the past month*
~ Learning more about 'zakka' and Japanese crafts

The above are some of my favorite things I made this year. I'll start from the top left:
~ Purple owl hand-held plush
~ A 'doodle stitching' embroidery of a cute hooded girl {doodle stitching by Aimee Ray here}
~ A zakka inspired bunny cell phone case
~ Felt food cake roll from a Japanese craft book

My etsy shop {sewingB} has done decent this year but I always wish it would pick up more new customers. Maybe I will try some small craft fairs in 2013, get my feet wet. I really can't handle large ones so I need to start small. And I already have several more items I want to list in my shop!
A beaded bib necklace in progress
Nearly finished tote bag
Mala/meditation bracelets
I hope the New Year finds you in good health and much happiness! Please feel free to write me ~ I love meeting new people and fellow crafters. Have a Happy Holiday everyone! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ribbon Powder Puff DIY

Hello, I hope this finds you well. And may I say to everyone ~ Happy Holidays! I simply can not believe it's already December. With all this gift wrapping, shopping and running around you might be feeling craft-deprived. So I put together a little something for an easy, simple and fun project. The supplies you need are: a 'puff' ball of your choice, ribbon of your choice, thread and needle, some sort of craft/fabric glue.
And if you are still shopping for handmade items, I offer *FREE* U.S.A. Shipping on all orders placed from my sewingB etsy shop. 
Let's get started on the DIY ribbon powder puff tutorial!

Step 1: pick your supplies out
Step 2: starting with the ribbon, cut length for the 'bow' part
Step 3: fold both ends to the middle
Step 4: pin ends in place
Step 5: we have our bow pinned, now cut a second ribbon
Step 6: pin both bow and ribbon in the middle, as shown
Step 7: cut a short piece of ribbon
Step 8: this short ribbon wraps around the middle (pin in place, sew)
Step 9: you now have a pretty bow, decide where you want it on the puff
Step 10: using your craft/fabric glue, glue the ribbon to the puff
Step 11: you are finished! one powder puff with pretty ribbon bow on top
Thank you for following, please return for more crafty blog posts!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Holidays and dog treat bags

Already October is half done, where did it go? Apparently it is going with a slight heatwave for us (feels like Spring half the time!). But the foliage is just beautiful right now, it smells like Autumn outside. I love the golds, reds and falling leafs.
The view outside our place

With the end of October will come - the rush of the Winter holidays! Might as well start yelling out windows after Thanksgiving "Panic! Shopping has begun! Cut the coupons NOW!" I actually can't stand it, all the chaos and too much spending on store gifts. Last year I made soaps and lip balms as part of my handmade gifts. This year it will be felt ornaments, gnomes and globe types. I already have some of the gnome ones done ~ felt, thread and fabric. I did a freehand pattern which came out really nicely.
Gnome felt ornament, in progress
Feel free to make some of your own from this photo! The hat is a triangle, the body - a teardrop, face - a chubby upside down heart and a 'beard'. I don't have photos of the 'globe' type ornaments yet, but I do have a link. I found this globe felt ornament on Zakka Life and she always has some easy, fun, inexpensive craft tutorials. 
Now I did mention 'dog treat bags' in the title of this post, right? Well that is all about this guy here, our dog named Choji. Please see below adorable photo and commence with the "Awww so cute!" comments. 
Our dog Choji with a foster kitten
Seriously, look at that face! Is it not the cutest boy with the biggest bat ears ever? He is a sweetheart, he gets along & plays with our two grown cats. He was about 1 1/2 years of age when we adopted him - he is now about 6 years of age. He was picked up off the streets by animal control, so he is a rescue dog. He is fairly quiet, likes to snuggle with people and is timid. He has not been formally trained beyond my efforts. I use rewards like treats and his toys and it works. But we do want to take him to be better socialized because there are just so many dogs here! Sometimes we catch him acting 'big' and we don't want that behavior. So he is getting refresher courses (doggie home schooling of sorts) by me starting this week. So I need to sew a treat bag, because the treats get crushed in my pockets. The blog I found. Bits and Pieces, has this simple dog treat bag design. I plan on cutting a plastic sandwich bag to use as a liner for this. And it's made so you can put this through a belt loop or just use a large safety pin. I'll share when I get this made and how it comes out. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Autumn arrives, what I'm up to

The change in weather is so welcome, Autumn has arrived! This is our second Autumn in Kentucky, last year it came a little earlier then this. But none the less ~ good bye heat of Summer! Here is the view where we live (from 2011) isn't it pretty?

So layers abound and hot cider is abundant! I'm already wondering what to make for my shop that is winter holiday themed. I might forgo that to simply add the things I've been working very hard on, like the 'zakka' inspired goods I have finished. 
Bags, coasters, barrettes & cell case ~ available soon for purchase!
I finally finished the larger bag from my favorite book "one-piece wearables" which comes with full patterns. I adjusted it to it has pockets on just one side plus a smaller interior pocket. I adored that squash colored fabric but it wasn't quite right for a top (a bit thick in weight). 

In my spare time I've been flipping through some of my sewing/crafty books. I have quite the collection now, some I've only enjoyed reading and haven't even done a project from! This year I've started to learn about applique. My book 'Scandinavian Stitches' by Kajsa Wikman has a lot of new applique for me to learn. Some is beginner while others (like a quilt) is left for the future. 

Just a few of my sewing books
My favorite for simple clothing 'One Piece Wearables'

My current hand stitched project is a top. It had this terribly itchy shoulder seam inside. I couldn't stand it - but I love the top! So what to do, you might ask? Well, I went ahead and cut out the shoulders and hand stitched new cotton fabric in it's place. I'm really pleased with this creative solution ~ I hope others will give it a whirl *and save a beloved top!*

My in-process shoulder repair!
So that crafty folks ~ is what I've been up to these past few weeks. I'm enjoying the transition from Summer into cool Autumn, foliage and all. The chilly mornings, the sunny days and the change in seasons. For those gearing up for the holiday shopping I hope you will stop by my etsy shop, sewingB. I have a coupon code for you to save 15% on any order placed, just type in AUTUMN at checkout! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

My own design, zakka inspired goods

Hello, welcome to August! Isn't it nice? The end of a season, the welcoming of a new one is coming soon ~ autumn. And with a new season I hope to introduce new shop items. I've admired some lovely works on Etsy that are 'zakka' inspired. So I got out my notebook, made several sketches and did some freehand patterns.
I decided on - coasters (2 per set) and a cell phone case * I have other designs to make*. They were quite time consuming with much hand stitched details. I made myself a tester first of the coaster: it has fleece lining inside to absorb liquids, has embroidery and applique face details.

The cell case (above) fits many sized phones. Has soft natural flannel lining so as not to scratch phones. It closes with a ribbon loop and a large bright white button on the back. These are my own original designs and patterns I have tested and made. So please, do not copy them - but be inspired to create your very own unique ones! I spent a lot of time making these and really enjoyed learning how to applique. 
So I hope you are enjoying the start to August with cooler temperatures on the way. My new items should arrive in my Etsy shop soon enough. Thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

2nd G I V E A W A Y!

That's right, my 2nd Giveaway will be up soon! It is being held on my Facebook fan page (listed as CraftinessbyB). It has 5 items total from my etsy shop, one winner will get them all! Shipping is on me :D Here is a review of what I have up for grabs ~

Also going on is a big store wide S A L E in my etsy shop sewingB. Stop on over to my shop, place any sized order and receive 20% Off with this coupon code at checkout: BDAY20. It's in celebration of my July birthday! And as always, I offer *FREE* U.S. shipping!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Who wears short-shorts? Not me!

It's warm, summer approaches and... it's time for shorts! If you are anything like me, shorts can be a blessing or annoyance. They either make them in my size but too long or my size and way too short. I found some in a almost retro styling - high waist, looks like a short skirt, all cotton. Cute, comfy and almost perfect for summery weather. I found they hit so far up my leg, one wrong bend down to pick up something and "whoops!" I'd flash a stranger!
My solution? Add some length ~ with style! This is very easy and any beginner with a sewing machine can do this. Your supplies: some fabric (I used lace) with a scalloped edge, shorts to add length to, pins, ruler and chalk.
The shorts in question, both flowy knit
And here is the lace fabric of choice. I found these near the lace fabric & wedding fabric at my local JoAnn's. Most stores will have them and often they come on very wide rolls, so you won't need to purchase very much.
What you are seeing is the edges, they were scalloped and won't fray
I took my shorts and decided how much length to add to them. I used chalk and a ruler to mark the lace and where to pin it to the shorts leg opening. I actually layered my lace (like it looks above) so it would not be so sheer.
Here is the lace and my handy ruler
I pinned it around the hem of the shorts, perhaps 1 1/2"s from the bottom of hem. I used my machine to stitch it on, nothing fancy. I just matched the thread so it wouldn't be very visible.
Lace pinned to shorts
This is really a great solution to anything that is too short. I might even try this on shirts that are too short or sleeves I want to lengthen. 
Ready to wear

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

the Flea Off Market of artisans

Over the weekend I attended my first craft/artisan fair in a long time. It is located downtown Louisville and called the 'Flea Off Market'. Sellers of a variety of goods can rent a space for the afternoon. It is held once every month during the spring and into late summer. I didn't have enough to rent my own space but my friends did - in fact, they kindly let me rent a part of their own space during the fair.
Welcome all to the coolest market around!
They had sellers of ~ fresh baked food, vegan snacks, vintage clothes & items, books & vinyls {records}, handmade goods and live music. My friends at Trivium Arts let me have a tiny table space in their booth. And it was tiny since most of my goods are quite small ~ but none the less, a big 'thank you very kindly!' to them for giving me a chance to sell at a fair again.
That's my wee spot, a few hung items and a homemade sign to greet people
The weather was cloudy and spots of rain through out most of the day. But still, the people came out to support handmade! I sold one item while there, a plush dolly named Polly. A little girl couldn't quite decide what goods of mine to take home. Her mom said just one, so she picked the largest item I had *laugh* 
The surrounding booths and cool crowd
I hadn't done a craft fair in several years. I don't think I displayed my small bagged items very well, I need to work on that. Plus my stuff didn't quite fit with the cool hipster crowd of shoppers. I mean, I loved the time spent there - awesome group of folks. But my stuff? All bright, pastels and cuteness didn't really fit the vibe. In the future I might try for smaller indoor fairs where my stuff might be better suited. 
My friend at Trivium Arts hand painted and handmade goods
So that was my big weekend out! I had a lot of fun, meet some great, talented people and spent time around other artisans & crafters. I hope more people are discovering their own local artists at craft fairs and markets. It's a great way to support local, meet new people and make new contacts (if you are selling things). 

Friday, March 23, 2012

To sew a travel sewing kit

Like that title? *laugh* Well a while back I think it was Zakka Inspired blog that had a really cute sewing kit mentioned. I remember asking Kat (the blogger and my distant crafty friend) about the kit and any tutorials she knew of. She shared this link for a DIY travel kit by Soap Deli News.
Image from Soap Deli News with permission from owner
You only need a few supplies for this DIY kit: felt, thread, fabric (if you want to mix it in) and the sewing supplies. You can easily make this as big or small as you'd like to fit your supplies. Below is my own version so you can see what I came up with.
My finished travel sewing kit, made with fat quarters fabric
Inside of my kit
I have a spot for pins and my scissors have a ribbon tie
A place for sewing needles, thimble and pocket for chalk
You can really go far with this simply design and have a lot of fun! You can do this by hand or machine. It's easy enough for beginners and those with experience can add more details. My kit gets a lot of use lately and really does travel well, so I'm happy to finally have one.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I received an award, and here are my own picks

Oh my gosh, I feel so darn special! My blogging/crafty/online friend Kat shared a sepcial 'award' for myself and another. I met Kat through her blog {Zakka Inspired}last year, then she started a Facebook fan page and now ~ well, I adore her blog! Many a Japanese craft, many lovely fabrics, tutorials and she was even in a sewing book out on!

Here is the description of the Liebster Blog award! {below was shamelessly borrowed from Kat's post to describe this fun award}
Libster is German, it means 'dearest' or 'beloved' but it can also mean 'favorite'. The idea of the Liebster award is to bring attention to blogs with less then 200 followers in the hopes it will bring many new friends/followers. So with that I will be passing this on to another blogger whom I think deserves it!

A) Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
B) Reveal your picks for the award and let them know.
C) Bask in the love and support of fellow bloggers/friends
D) But most of, all have fun and spread the love!

Here are my picks ~

Flat Boonie & friends! A crafter who has an adorable collection of bunnies for sale in her Etsy shop. Frequently makes donations to rabbit animal shelters & groups. Her blog shows the travels of the bunnies she sells!

Mairuru has a fun, delightful, fresh little zakka blog. She lives in Japan and has a small Etsy shop. Her blog shares her adventures of life, sewing by hand and many new projects for the Western sewer to try. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lisette dress ~ the first of many

Let me say from the start - I've been sewing since I was a little kid. I grew up with it, I've learned from many family members. So I do have experience in trying to sew clothing and zippers and such. But these patterns are by far the best ones for a novice! They have clear instructions, pointers and are really well put together. My downfall is often the arm holes of a top or dress - but not with this pattern. So before I share the finished dress, I have some pointers on sewing clothes ~ I hope they are of help!

Lisette pattern 2245 ~ Dress B ~ dusty rose fabric and ivory with tree branches

~ Always wash the fabric you intend to use, because it can shrink or the colors could even bleed (just follow suggested washing instructions)

~ I'd suggest reviewing the instructions a few times. If you have questions about a step many patterns have a webpage now with an Q's page.

~ Not sure about what size pattern for your measurements? Ask an associate at the fabric store, consult with a friend or even try the patterns webpage for assistance.

~ Don't forget to buy your notions! Notions are thread, buttons, zippers, interfacing - almost all patterns will say on the back "notions" that are needed.

~ Have a fun, it's a project! I take a long time to do my patterns now so I don't mess up as much. Plus, I greatly enjoy a new seamstress challenge.

~ Be creative in solving problems that might arise. For this pattern {after I had it all washed} I learned my fabric hadn't been cut to the right length. I had to improvise so the middle was 2 pieces instead of 1.

Ok already, to the reveal! I made dress B from Lisette pattern 2245. It ended up being much shorter then dress A {which surprised me, but I'm also 5' 7" in height}.
Me and my dress (winterized!) 

So this finished dress I will probably wear leggings or tights under it when its not cold outside. And I did have one problem arise - the guy that cut my fabric didn't measure it correctly! I thought something was off with my ticket, which I told an associate. They had to go back and redo it twice to get it correct. Even then it wasn't until I got home, washed it and laid it out to cut - it was too short! I improvised and made the middle piece (meant to be one) into two pieces (sewn in the middle).

 I purchased these other Lisette by Simplicity patterns

And these are a few of my fabrics I have picked for my future Lisette clothes. 

I adore these patterns, I'm in love with them. Here is the Lisette website which also has a great little blog to follow! I hope to dive into that adorable yellow top on their homepage next. The above picture, the pink fabric (has rosebuds on it) is going to be that top. I'm just a little too excited to sew clothing that fits me *and looks good too!* 

------- Side note -------- Thank you for stopping by, visiting my wee Etsy shop {please, buy my "out with the old stuff" seriously, it needs to go!} and sharing comments and your page links. I'm not a big blogger {as you can surely tell} and I don't blog often. I have few followers, even on my Facebook page few people ever respond to me. But it's all in good fun and it's enjoyable. I'm an at-home seamstress/crafter/artisan. I tend to our pets, our home, sometimes volunteer and hubby works full time for us. I don't work outside the home because I have something called Fibromyalgia {Fibro for short}. It's annoying, bugs me all the time and can make it very difficult to commit to or even have a social life at times. So thanks for allowing me a fun little outlet online, for making new friends and having fellow crafters to chit-chat with (✿◠‿◠) 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

*S*A*L*E* and 'soon to come' pattern books!

Just a short one to catch up on things!
~ First off, hope everyone had a healthy start to the New Year!

~ I have a 35% off S A L E in my 'Out with the Old' shop section (find if here!) Just enter NEW YEAR at checkout for discount!

~ I am venturing into new sewing territory, being: clothes and applique.

~ I will have 3 more pattern books for sale soon, I currently have these ones for sale

~ All my new shop sections, minus sale section, are listings with F R E E Shipping!

The above books will be listed soon: Japanese winter clothes, one day sewing / 
Freestyle handmade skirts & bags / Make good: craft + life Patchwork style