Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's Official. I'm Getting Published!

I'm so excited! I have been working on my sewing creations for my Etsy store for some time now. My goal still is 100 items.
I'm working on it pretty steadily.
I'm having a blast creating. I get side tracked so easily. But it always comes out well.

This is one of my favorites. It fits me of course. But I won't make any money putting stuff in my closet.

So back to the getting noticed thing.
I got my courage up and submitted an upcycled red jacket and skirt outfit to Altered Couture Magazine.  Lo and behold within a day after I sent it off, I got an email from the assistant managing editor asking about another dress on my Etsy store.
They hadn't even gotten my package yet!

I guess it was meant to be. I got the "official" email letting me know two of my creations were chosen for a future issue. I'm thinking February. Plus, they still have the red outfit and I sent them another hoping for another submission the future. We will see. Fingers crossed!

Oh, and I get to write two 600 to 700 word articles for the submissions... yea!! (said in a weak voice). I didn't know there would be homework!

I feel like I have finally found my "thing".

Something I love to do everyday. I dream about sewing these outfits. Crazy huh?
I'm working on getting noticed by potential customers.

 Etsy has many areas to get great help. Forums for questions and groups to join for support and education.

I have been reading a bit of unhappiness with the new seller rules. Etsy now allows sellers to have other people make their products. I don't think it will take long for sellers who are actually manufacturers to show up. I have seen them already. It isn't too hard to find them.

However, I see Etsy as a simple avenue for selling to my customers and giving them a place to find me.

I realize I need to be proactive in attracting customers.
Opening a store, adding products and waiting for the sales to roll in just isn't going to happen.
 It takes work!
Sending submissions to magazines is pretty scary. But it is necessary to market myself. No one else is going to do it for me.

I learn new things everyday in both my sewing and marketing. But for now, I'm enjoying the process.

Until next time....

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sometimes Simple is Best

I have been doing so much sewing lately and each outfit ends up being pretty elaborate. I promised myself today I would do something simple. What do you think!

Ok it started out simple enough. But then the little top said it wanted something different for the back. So I ended up with this. How cute is this!!

I took a white t-shirt a friend had given me and cut two inch strips and ruffled them. I cut another strip the length of the dress and sewed the ruffles on. I haven't done this before and thought it turned out pretty sweet.
It's on my Etsy store now...

Upcycled Baby Doll Top Size Small

Enjoy your weekend!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kids Sewing Camp


Teaching kids to sew is an adventure! For the last few years I have taught a few kids sewing classes during the summer. I always forget to take pictures and show how creative kids can be. Here is my group from this year. The quilt is a strip "quilt as you go" quilt. It is great for kids that are familiar with their machines and the ability to sew a straight line is a must. We did have a few dates with the seam ripper I'm afraid.
I also feel this needs to be a 5 day class. We just can't get everything done in 4 days. The class was 3 hours long and trust me, that is enough for them. They really wear out after 3 hours.
The class was taught at Hood River Sewing and Vacuum in Hood River, Oregon. If you need a new sewing machine or vacuum... this is the place!
Here are my students from this year with their wonderful quilts.


You need:
Main quilt fabrics: Eight fabrics 1/4 yard each
Binding: 1/2 yard
Backing: 1 2/3 yard
Batting: I use Warm and Natural crib size because you can leave up to ten inches unquilted. This is very important! We leave about 5 inches unquilted.
505 Basting spray and some newspaper to protect from the spray.
Basic sewing supplies: pins, thread, hand sewing needle and thimble for sewing the binding.

Lay out the batting on a large flat surface. Preferably on something larger than the batting.  Line the batting around the edges with newspaper so the spray won't get on the floor or table.
Lay the backing on top of the batting, right side up. If you have help this goes a little easier. Fold back the backing fabric about half way. Spray the batting with the 505 basting spray and gently lay the backing back down. Use your hand to smooth it as you lay it down. If you get a wrinkle, you can lift it back up and try again. Repeat on the other side of the batting.
Cut each 1/4 yard of fabric in one of four different widths. One strip cut a 4" and 5" strip. Another cut 3" and a 6" strip. Cut from salvage to salvage and leave the salvages on. You will trim the quilt when you are done.
Starting in the center of the quilt. Lay one strip face up. Lay another strip face down matching raw edges and pin. Sew from one side to the other all the way through the strips, batting and backing. Fold back the strip and smooth flat. Lay another strip face down matching raw edges and pin. Repeat until you get to the edge. Go back to the center strip and repeat to the other end of the quilt. Trim the quilt at the shortest strip.
Cut six binding strips 2 1/4" wide and bind your quilt.

Have Fun!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Inspiration to Lose Weight!

I made this little frock the other day and it seems to be a favorite view on my Etsy site. I even took it apart a few times before I felt it was just right. I so wish I could fit it it myself. It is made with a Tommy Bahama silk button up the front shirt and a women's green cotton plaid. The top is a brown khaki cotton with some pretty vintage lace sewn down. I used another vintage lace and some silk ribbon for around the middle.

Hopefully it won't last long.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Custom Work

I was so excited to get my second order from my Etsy store. A stranger this time. I feel like I might actually make it. Still tons of work to do to get noticed!!! But my customer also wanted another dress. She gave me free reign. (I hate free reign). I of course stressed big time. What if she didn't like what I made? These dresses look easy. Just sew a bunch of scraps together. No such luck. There is at least 8 hours of hard work in each of these two. That doesn't count my date with the seam ripper..... twice. The blue one I actually tore down twice before I was happy.

Here is the second one I made.

I made a sweet little flower from the collar of one of the blouses used in the skirt. I thought it turned out pretty well.

She liked the blue one. So the pink one is now available for sale!!!

Back to the basement :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Finally! Made Something That I Could Wear!

I have been having fun at the thrift store bag day. But I'm terrible at remembering to look at the sizes. I look at style and what I can make from it with blinders on. I get home, wash everything and realize everything is small or medium. Sorry girls, I'm not a small or medium. Not for at least 30 years at least. Going through my basket of possibilities I found this luscious brown top in a large. It was nice and stretchy. Perfect! I found some other chocolate brown tops begging for upcycling. I had a skirt I had attempted to make sooo many years ago. I found it trying to organize my sewing room the other day and decided it was a perfect addition.
So here is my new creation. I tried it on and Lo and behold, it fit. Of course I had to add it to my Etsy store. Can't make a sale if I keep everything cool! Nice thing about this outfit is anyone could wear it and look awesome!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Rose Apple Pie!

I found this on my Pinterest page the other day. Thought it was one of the prettiest ways to do a pie. The apples are sliced with a potato peeler into little slivers and layered onto a pudding like bottom. The crust is shortbread. I think it just needs a little caramel drizzled on top.. don't you think?

The recipe is actually in Bulgarian but my computer did translate it. However, note that some of the measurements are metric and the oven temp needs to be converted into Fahrenheit.
Anyway, check it out!!
Delicious with Yoli

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This Is Not A Cat Free Zone!

I thought I would do a bit of a post about pet safety in the sewing room.
I have to make sure my pins are secure and my scissors are put away. All very nice toys. I actually found his sister with a needle dangling  out of her mouth. She had swallowed the thread and the needle was dangling from her mouth. Thankfully I found her just in time! I now put everything under cover. So think about cat safety in your sewing room. They are slick little devils! Pincushions are pretty handy.. to us and them.
No matter what time of day I head to the basement sewing room. Today I have a Helper. He is very snoopy and always gets in the way.
He has his own special way of letting me know something is OK. Here he is inspecting an outfit I'm working on. I think I got his approval to proceed.

Thankfully despite all his help, I was able to finish up.

Here is the approved project.

Later All! Enjoy your weekend!

Bunny and Alex

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Work In Progress

Yesterday I just couldn't get into the groove. So I kicked back and enjoyed a day off. But this morning this denim dress spoke to me. It took a while and I had to pin everything and take a break to see how it felt. 

I decided I loved it! I used some leftover sleeves from some men's plain shirts and t-shirts. I used one of my favorite Kaffe Fassett fabrics for a raw edged appliqué on the shoulders. 

Here is a close up. 

I love the bottom flair.

I can just see a cowgirl with her boots and cowgirl hat on the way to a BBQ or country wedding.

Here it is all finished.

You can see all my latest creations on my Etsy site. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

One Hundred Items Goal

I have an Etsy store I'm trying to make a go at. Every indication is that people like what I make, but no actual buyers yet. Not sure what I'm doing wrong as yet. But the grapevine says volume is what I need. So I have been a very busy bee in my little basement sewing room. I have even decided to add some little girls outfits to the mix. I think I have finally found my calling. I love mixing and matching thrift-store finds to make something new. I tried to put together a tutorial but none of my outfits ever turns out the way I first plan. The fabric starts to talk to me and it dictates what it wants to become. So here are some of my latest projects. Maybe someday if I can stay on tract I'll put a tutorial together.

This was made from a very comfy old hoodie my mom gave me. I cut off the bottom and cut up some t-shirts I found. Oh to find more pretty periwinkle purple t-shirts.. my favorite color! They are hard to find.

I loved making this dress. I used some wonderful heirloom linens my Grandmother gave me that I knew I would never use. Here is a picture of the back.
I think it would make a sweet summer country wedding dress... don't you?

Here is a little girls top I made from the bottom of the hoodie.

I can just see this with some cute leggings and girls cowboy boots!
Too bad I don't have any granddaughters..... yet!

A friend of mine took this picture of her daughter wearing my black velvet creation. Spooky and elegant at the same time. I get lots of lookie loos for this on my Etsy site. It really needs to go home with someone!

Anyway, I have been having the time of my life making all these crazy creations. I can only hope that someday they make me the living I'm wanting so bad.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Upcycled Elegant Black Velvet Dress

This was soo much fun to make. I found this elegant stretchy black velvet long dress just begging for some up-cycling. It took a while for it to talk to me and tell me what embellishments it wanted.

Here is a close up of the top.

I added a pretty black lace train on the back that can either stay long or be attached at the shoulders for a different look.

My camera of course messed with the color and made the lace look almost purple.. trust me, it's black.
And one more look just for good measure...
I really need to lose weight. I would love to be able to wear my own creations....

Keep sewing!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Steampunk Sexy Librarian Dress

Ok, so that is quite a title. But I was thinking it would fit that category on my Etsy site. Anyway, my newest creation or re-creation.

I had the BEST time making this dress. I thought about it for quite a few days. I was originally going to do the cutout a little differently but it just wouldn't do what I wanted. So I sewed strips of old sheer curtains and my most favorite table cloth. My dogs when they were puppies had torn a hole in it and I have kept it trying to decide how to fix it. I used strips of it in the center. It looks so much better in real time. My camera phone does not do it justice. It is a size 8. I just have to sew down the lace on the shoulders and then off to my Etsy site it goes. I just wish I could make a living doing this. I could do it all day. Way too much fun!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Upcycled Fun

Well, I have been a bit busy. I have been having way too much fun doing some upcycling with a bunch of clothes I found at the second hand store. Here is my latest creation finished. My camera is terrible with color. I had to tweek the color a bit. This picture almost has it right on! My etsy site it looks pretty drab. Maybe someday I'll get a big girl camera.

I added some pretty antique lace I have had forever and a cute batik and lace skirting in the back.
Too bad it is a small. I would sooooo wear this! but alas, I'm not quite the right size. So I put it in my Etsy store. Curious Orange Cat Etsy Store I can't wait to get back to the sewing room. So many ideas so little time.

Here is another creation. It is a very whimsical skirt made from scraps of an old table cloth, antique lace, silk ribbon. Even some old linings from some really nice cashmere coats. Not sure what to do with them just yet.
But check it out!

Again, a size small. This is the back.
I had way too much fun making this!
Can't wait to get back to my sewing room.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tattered Table Cloth Skirt

My last day before I start school again. Sigh... I was having so much fun in my sewing room. I have been working on a new skirt for my Etsy site. It is made from an old tablecloth I had in my hope chest. It had a hole in the middle and I decided to just tear it open all the way. I decided to fold the torn part over to make a little apron and do a little painting and applique. I think it looks pretty nice. I have been making most skirts wrap around but I decided to do this one with an elastic waist.

So here it is. I had the most fun! I used a fabric dye to do some painting and an old cotton table cloth for the skirt.  I figure it will need to be washed in cold water and no dryer from now on.

Here is the finished skirt.

Here is a close up.

I should have it on Etsy soon.