Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Clutch Crazy

I love making clutches! It's ironic because I really don't like to carry them, lol, but I may have to start!
This first one started with the fabric, the circles just begged for a curved flap...

I added the handmade yellow piping (no more store bought for this girl) to highlight the curve and bring out the yellow in the fabric. It was actually my boyfriend's idea, I love that he is interested enough to give me suggestions!

I squared off the bottom to add some roominess to the interior. I let the fabric dictate the size of the flap because I wanted to highlight that circle. The finished size is about 7 1/2 x 10.

It closes with a magnetic snap and has a yellow interior. It has multiple layers of interfacing for some padding on the interior and also to help keep it's shape. I'm going to sell these for $28.

The next clutches I worked on were with metal frames. These took some work to figure out correctly but I really like how they turned out once I got the hang of it!

I want to try a few different sizes of these but started with the 6 inch frame. I was ready to give up after the first one but I'm glad I kept working at it and figured it out! I'm going to sell these for $28 also.

I have some more ideas for clutches, including an envelope style flap, that I'll be working on soon!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Isabel Bag, A Variation

I've been working on different variations of The Isabel Bag and here's the first one!

I started by making it bigger, actually almost twice the original size. To give the body of the purse some visual interest I gave it a top panel and added some piping. I made the strap adjustable so it can be worn on your shoulder or crossbody.

The inside is super roomy and has a ton of pockets! On one side I added a zipper pocket and some divided pockets. I always carry pens and hate digging through the bottom of my purse for them so I love having slots for my pens!

On the other side there is a taller divided pocket that will hold some larger items. The bag closes with a magnetic closure. 

I have a few more ideas on ways to change up this bag that I hope to work on in the next couple of weeks. Designing my own bags is fun and challenging, not having a pattern to follow means a LOT of trial and error! I  don't have as much extra time now that I have orders coming in, 2 craft shows next month to prepare for and my kids are busier then ever! I'm learning to balance my time as I go along by keeping in mind what's really important and reminding myself that Rome wasn't built in a day, lol!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

All Zipped Up

I made some little zipper bags last week for my cousin's friends since they like the one I gave her for Christmas.

They are 7" wide x 5 1/2" high and either have a flat or rounded bottom. They are the perfect size to keep makeup or other small things organized in your purse!

I'm about to be making a ton of these for my upcoming craft shows. They are $5 each.

Since it was my cousin's birthday I made her this wristlet. She loves music and green is her favorite color so I made the piping (first time I made my own piping!) and zipper green  to pop out from the black and white fabrics. The handle has a swivel hook and can be removed if she isn't going to use it.

I have a few ideas for some bigger zipper bags that I'll be working on in the next 2 weeks. With my first craft show right around the corner I'm going to be concentrating on building my inventory, wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crayon Roll and Reversible Tote Sets

Perfect for the little artist in your life, these crayon rolls and reversible tote sets carry their crayons and coloring books while they are on the go!

Each crayon roll holds 16 crayons and has an elastic closure, which is easy for little hands to close.

The matching  reversible tote is roomy enough to hold coloring books and some toys but with sturdy straps the right length for kids. It has a divided pocket both on the inside and outside to stash things too.

Though I don't usually use licensed fabrics (they cost more and there are too many other cute prints to choose from!) I didn't want to leave the boys out! Here is a set I just made for a recent order.

For the toddlers I make the bags a little smaller and the crayon rolls big enough to hold 16 fat crayons.

These can be made in any of my fabric choices (see the end of  my reusable snack bags post) and I sell them for $16 a set or $6 for regular size crayon roll, $8 for fat crayon roll and $12 for tote, $10 for toddler tote. These take a bit of time to complete so allow up to 3 weeks from payment to delivery.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pleated Purse

The first purse I ever made was this pleated purse. It was right before Christmas so guess what everyone got as gifts, haha.

 I had originally bought these fabrics for a dress, but wanted to try something new. I've been hooked on bags ever since!

Then I found a pattern for this organizer and loved the idea. It has a few layers of interfacing to both pad and protect your items and also to give it enough structure to stand upright in your purse. They're great for those of us that have more than one purse, it's designed to fit into whatever size bag you have!

 I like the details on this purse-the pleating, the handles with both exterior and interior fabric, the flat bottom makes it roomy enough to hold everything you need and there's 2 divided pockets inside.

I was so nervous about adding the magnetic closure that I actually left it out on the first one I made, lol! To my relief it's really easy and now I put them in without a second thought.

 I LOVE this fabric! It, too, was bought with a dress in mind, I was going to make pants out of the houndstooth for my son for matching Christmas outfits...needless to say I never got around to it. Since I started making purses the only clothes I've made were because someone ordered them.

I noticed that I have some things on my facebook page that I haven't put on my blog, this is the first one. I'm trying to find extra time this week to make sure I have everything I've made on both pages. Crayon rolls with matching reversible totes are up next!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A little help from my friend

     Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend time with my best friend, Sharon. We used to see each other several times a week, but since I moved in July I've only gotten to see her a handful of times. She and I have been friends for almost 20 years, we usually tell people that we are "adopted sisters." We have always been close, I met her when she was pregnant with her daughter and I was in high school and I started babysitting her kids. She, in turn, took me under her wing and helped guide me through the crazy high school years. We stayed in contact after I left for college, she was my matron of honor in my wedding, when my son was born and we moved back home she was at my house almost daily.

     In August 2010, both of our lives were changed forever. Within a weeks time my husband and I separated and her doctors found a tumor on her lung. I'll never forget sitting at that first oncologist appointment with her and her mom...hearing him say "stage 4 cancer to the lung, liver and lymph nodes."

     This is meant to be a happy post so I'm not going into the details too much. She's been through hell and she's been strong and brave throughout the whole thing. At the same time she was my biggest support as my marriage ended. It's been 17 months since she was diagnosed, she's done chemo, radiation,  had surgery on her liver, and had an allergic reaction to one type of chemo that almost killed her. The tumors were shrinking at first, but there has been no good news since the spring, they found spots on her brain and spine in November. They started a new chemo and radiation and will retest her in March, and here's the thing, she looks better then she has since this all started and she feels great! The docs told her this new stuff has the possibility to work miracles, and we're counting on it!

 This is the day she had surgery on her liver to remove the tumor. Unfortunately I realized as I was putting this post together that it's the only picture I have of us together in the last few years. Anyway, she's been feeling really good lately and had offered to come help me with cutting and interfacing. I really HATE interfacing, lol, it's so time consuming, so I jumped at the chance to not only get some help, but also spend some time with my friend!
 I have 6 crayon roll and tote sets due this coming week (with 15 other orders in line behind them!) so I figured we could get those ready to sew. She started out cutting but quickly realized she didn't get along with the rotary cutter, lol!
 I started cutting and got her set up at the ironing board. It took her a few pieces before she got the hang of interfacing but once she did she whipped through it. Lucky for me she said she LIKED it!
 We even had time for her to mark all the lines on the crayon rolls. in about 4 hours of work we accomplished what would usually take me 2 days! We had fun hanging out, she said it was nice to get away from the house and do something different and she would gladly come back to help again. With orders piling up and 2 craft shows coming up I'll definitely take her up on that!
Izzie hasn't seen "Aunt Sharon" since the summer and she was so happy to get some snuggle time with her. She asked her, in her cute little 4 year old voice, if she was still sick and "Aunt Sharon" said with a big smile "I'm feeling better and getting healthier every day!"

It was so wonderful to spend time with my "big sister" I can't wait to do it again!

I love you Sharon

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Go Green with Reusable Snack Bags!

I don't know about you, but at my house we use 3 plastic snack bags daily in my son's lunch box and usually at least 2-4 more for random snacks for my daughter through the week. When I bought a new box earlier this week I started thinking about how much waste this adds up to every week-if every kid in his school used 3 bags a day that would be 1,200 bags a day and 6,000 a week just at one elementary school! I came home and did some a LOT of research and found out that rip stop nylon is completely food safe, waterproof, and washable!  Then I made these

If I assume that we use 3 bags a day, 5 days a week that's 120 bags per month and 1,440 a year. I usually buy a box of 100 snack bags for about $3 which means I'll spend $43 a year, and that's if we don't use any extra! By using these I'm helping the environment and saving money, talk about going green!

I'm selling them for $4 a piece. They have a velcro closure and I triple stitched the top edges to keep it sturdy and easy for little hands to open. They can be wiped out after each use or thrown in the washing machine whenever necessary.  They can hold dry snacks or wet snacks,since they lining is waterproof, I used them for apples and pickles (not together,lol!) and the outside stayed dry.

Sandwich size coming soon!