Wednesday Whale Love

I saw this basket and instantly knew I wanted it for the perfect whale-themed picnic.

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No picnic is complete without some fancy glasses like these diving narwhals!

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And while it probably isn’t practical to use glass dishware at a picnic, I couldn’t over look this clever plate set. There’s no questioning where to place the little plate!

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Happy Wednesday!

Craft Fairs and personal doubts

March was the time to seek out summer long Craft Fairs and Farmer’s Markets since most applications needed to be in by the beginning of April. I found a few that interested me, that I thought would be a good fit for me and my bags. I know that the best thing for my business is to get involved in them. But I doubted myself.

I was/ still am afraid of shelling out the application fee, usually$10-$25, and then nothing coming of it. Waiting to hear back it tough-will they keep my application fee and let me down easy? Or will they invite me to pay another $250+ to become a weekly participant?  And if I’m accepted, I’m locked in. I struggle to explain what I do to PEOPLE I KNOW, and now I’ll have to talk to strangers? And convince them that buying my bags is money well spent?

I missed the deadline for the Norwich Farmers’ Market, but printed the applications for the Hanover Farmers’ Market (Wednesdays), Lebanon Farmers’ Market (Thursdays), and the Windsor Farmers’ Market (Saturdays), as well as a couple one-day fairs. I’d still have time during the week to sew, and I’d have a nice little schedule.

I sent in my Hanover application, and held off on Windsor. Their deadline is the week before it starts, at the end of May, and my boyfriend was deciding if he wanted to share table space with me. I was more reluctant about Lebanon. They only accept 5 crafters, and if your materials are local or you can provide a demonstration you take precedence over the other applicants. Neither apply to me. Plus, the application fee was more expensive, and I was worried about losing the money. I didn’t end up applying to that one.

I heard back from Hanover last week and I was not accepted. I was disappointed and relieved. I wouldn’t have to put my self on display every Wednesday, but I also wouldn’t get the exposure from the summer tourists I was hoping for. I’m still waiting to hear from Windsor, which I’ve been the most hopeful about.

I’m not good at selling myself, or my work. I’m not good at talking to people about myself and not wringing my hands or picking my nails. I trip over my words while I try to describe my process as accurately as possible. Here are some actual things I have said at craft fairs:

“All these bags are handmade! Well, with a sewing machine. I use my hands though, to, ugh, push the fabric, well guide it, uhm, through the machine… I make the patterns, with my hands…”

“I create everything myself in my studio! Well, it’s more like a work space, in my home. So I keep my desk in the living room and that’s where… I do all my work at my desk. In my living room. I don’t have pets!”

“I, well, I just sort of… When I get an idea, I have to work it out, like, I test everything I make. I want it to be durable, and I use the things I make… Not these ones, I mean I have my own to use, that I made. That are like these ones, like different versions of these ones. You can put them in the washing machine.”

And I always forget who I already saw and talked to and will ALWAYS say, “Hi, how are you?” every time someone passes by my table/tent/display. A couple years, I did a fair at a school with my friend and we were set up in the entry way. Everyone who went in had to come out again, and if they went back in we saw them even more! I remember one woman who was visibly annoyed that I kept saying hello to her. OH, OOPS. What if this happens at Windsor?! What if the same people come back every week for veggies and I just keep saying hi to them as if I have never seen them before?!

I know, deep down, that this will be a great opportunity and I will overcome my self-questioning. Well, hopefully. Anyway, I still need to hear back from the Windsor market before I get myself ALL in a tizzy.

Group Texting

My parents recently re-vamped their front garden. My brother, Bob (aka Robert) and I were there for the first part, but my Dad sent us a group text of the finished garden. For some completely unknown reason, he included my Mom in the group as well.

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From the Winter

In early March, we explored a local park and walked across a frozen pond! It’s almost hard to believe, since we’ve already had a week of 80+ degree weather. I feel like we skipped right over spring and into summer. Here are some pictures from our adventure- in case you need to remember the days when you weren’t sweating yourself to sleep at night.

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Makeup bag tutorial

I do a lot of sewing but I don’t share too many sewing DIYs on the blog- what’s up with that?! So today I’m going to show you how to make your very one makeup bag!

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Supplies:
– sewing machine
– all-purpose foot
– zipper foot

IMG_3776All-purpose- left, zipper foot- right. Most machines comes with these feet.

– card stock
– ruler
– pencil
– pen
– scissors
– fabric, two colors or prints

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– interfacing, to make it sturdy!
– zipper
– iron
– pins

Let’s get started!

1) First we have to make our pattern. You can use the one I did or you can make your own- the directions will be the same. You’ll start with a rectangle, I used 8.5 inch by 5.5 inch, and then cut two squares out of the bottom, so it looks like the picture. I cut out 1 inch squares.

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2) Grab your fabric and interfacing. What I like to do is trace my pattern onto the interfacing with pencil,

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then cut out the fabric to match the pieces of interfacing I have.

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That way, when I go to iron it, I’m not trying to match two perfectly-cut makeup bag pieces together and worrying about them not lining up just right.
3) Iron your fabric and interfacing together.

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4) Cut out your pieces, along the pencil lines. But tracing the pattern just once onto the interfacing, and cutting it after you iron, you only have to cut the pattern once! And I specifically use pencil because you can’t see it once the project is done AND you don’t have to worry about it getting wet and running (like with pen and markers).

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5) It’s zipper time! Zippers can seem intimating, but they’re really just scared and acting out in aggression.

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Take one of your inside fabric pieces and lay it right-side up. Lay the zipper right-side up on top of it.

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And then lay your outside piece right-side down. Make sure the pieces line up with each other on all sides, and that the zipper is tucked nice and close to the tops

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6) Secure with pins.

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7) Using your zipper foot, sew along the edge with the zipper pinned in place.

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It should look like this when you are done.

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8) This part is optional. I like to flip the fabric right-sides out and sew along that zipper edge again. It helps hold the fabric in place and I like the clean look it gives the finished bag.

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Next) Repeat with the other two pieces of fabric. Make sure you place your pieces on the right sides! Inside fabric should be right-side down on the inside fabric side, and outside fabric should be right-side down on the outside fabric side.

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So when you are done stitching it together and open it up, it will look like this:

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10) Flip your project around so that the inside fabric pieces are touching and your outside fabric pieces are touching, with the zipper in the middle. I like to call this butterflying but I know that can mean different things and I don’t want anyone to, like, fillet their bag or anything.

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11) Very Important! Unzip the zipper halfway! If you skip this part, you won’t be able to turn your bag right-side out when the time comes!

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After that) Before we pin anything in place, make sure the zipper teeth face up into the inside of the bag.

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Still facing up.

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13) Secure with a pin.

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14) Again, make sure your zipper is facing teeth up into the bag before you pin anything down.

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Pin in place. Sometimes I add an extra pin here or there to hold it together while I sew, and sometimes I only pin where the zipper is.

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15) Switch your sewing foot to the all-purpose one and sew all the way around, making sure to leave an opening along the bottom inside-fabric edge.

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Just sewing.

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Be Careful!) Because I lined my zipper up with the edge of my fabric, there is a little metal nub hiding in there. And that nub is a land mine to your sewing machine needle. As you get close to it, check to make sure you aren’t going to run it over.

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And Remember) Leave that opening! You’ll need it later.

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18) Trim off the extra threads and zipper.

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19) Remember those little squares we cut out of the pattern? It’s time for those to come into play. Where each corner should be, line up the edges of fabric…

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and pin them in place.

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Now) Sew right along that edge.

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It should look like this when you’re done.

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21) Repeat for all 4 corners. Or lack-of-corners. Anyway, this is what will give your bag a proper bottom and will allow it to stand up on its own.

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22) Remember that opening we left?

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Reach in and pull your bag out. Well, pull the fabric right-side out.

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23) Push out the bottom corns,

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24) and the zipper. It’ll look like this when you first flip it right-side out. But with a little pushing…

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it will look like this!

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25) Now we just have to close up that little hole in the bottom.

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So pull the inside fabric out a bit, and pin the hole closed.

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26) Sew it up.

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27) Push the inside fabric back into the bag.

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28) And you did it! You made a makeup bag!

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I love this pattern because it’s so easy to tweak. Need a wider bottom? Cut bigger squares. Need a longer bag? Elongate the width. I use a pattern close to this for my extra small – large makeup bags in the shop, shaving just a little off the pattern as they go down in size so they are actually nesting bags.

Let me know if you have any questions, need anything clarified, or if you make one yourself! Thanks for reading!

 

Wednesday Whale Love: Decorative Boxes

I have a lot of trinkets and knickknacks, and that includes an affinity for small and fun boxes. Great to decorate with and to hide things in! I found these beauts and I want every single one of them.

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Find any neat whale-themed items while trolling the Internet? Let me know! And have a great week, everyone!

Recent Projects

Another diaper bag project. This one I left open and gave it a couple of snaps to hold is closed. It makes the construction a little easier, but I have some new ideas for adding zippers to large bags in the future ;)

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More chia heads!

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Stuffed whale for my friend’s boyfriend’s friend’s girlfriend’s baby :)

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Bag for my Mom! It has an extra long strap (a comfortable 64 inches) to accommodate her orangutan arms (her mother’s words, not mine). I always worry when I make her something that she won’t like the print. And she has one of those faces where she can’t really hide her disappointment. But I think she really likes this one! I made a matching makeup bag and clutch to go with it.

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Extra long knitting needle pouch. This is the third request I’ve had for one of these, so maybe I should start carrying them in the shop..?

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And I still have an essential oil bag project and a fanny pack to work on!

What have you been making lately?



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