December 26, 2014

In a Mid-Century Mode + How To

 Mid-Mod is back and I am embracing it with pillows to throw around on your Herman Millers, Eames and Knolls.

With the help of this book, I came up with authentic
 looking shapes evocative of the era.  Mid-Century
Modern Patterns is a coloring book for grownups by
artist and designer Jenn Ski. Look for her HERE and HERE

I do not try to duplicate the pages but choose elements that I like and a general arrangement which I draw out pretty roughly on Kraft paper the size I want the pillow to be.

 I then cut more accurate paper patterns for each element and number them with an identifying number and how many total of that number to cut.

 The most time consuming part of this whole thing is deciding the colors and prints of the fabrics to use. I have great heaps of fabrics in all manner of bits and pieces and I always seem to need another to complete my projects.  I had to go out and buy brown background fabric for these and brought home a completely wrong shade BUT JoAnn's let me return it for another shade. I have NEVER returned fabric before.

The next step was to trace all my pattern pieces onto a sheet of HeatnBond. I love this stuff. You can draw on one side then cut out the pieces and iron them onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut the shape neatly from the fabric and the HeatnBond gives it a nice body. You then peel away the paper backing and it leaves a plasticky surface that can iron your pieces nicely onto the background and holds them in place to do very nice machine appliqué.

Before applying the appliqués I made decorative line stitching to go behind some of the shapes. I chalked out the lines to follow.

  The post-it hangs near my machine with the quick remainder for this old brain as to how to set up the various stitches I use.  You can see that I have a pice of fusible batting behind the fabric which I LATER line with a thin fabric so the batting is hidden. I line the reverse side but do not use batting.

                     Here are my appliqués all iron down and ready for the machine.

I have added echo stitching around
some shapes, too.
 That tear drop shape is cut from a little sample of faux suede. I also used it for some other shapes.

                                                            Here is the end result
And here is the reverse. I hide a zipper under that print fabric in the center and a bit of stitching so that back is usable, too.

                                                       The smaller 12 x 16 rectangle

 I experimented with a diagonal zipper in this one. It made getting the insert in it REALLY easy.

So are you into this old but new decorating or are you "been there, done that".

December 7, 2014

Mixing it up with the Public + My Etsy Reader

Staying at home as a retiree and sewing up stuff all day and trying to support the habit with an Etsy shop makes for a lot of alone time.  Hubby is constantly being asked for his opinion on all sorts of things that he is no expert on but he is also retired and nearby.

So yesterday was one of my few outings into the real, non-cyber world at a crafts fair.  Christmas-by-the-Lake was held at my old alma mater, Avon Lake High School.  It was a scholarship fund-raiser sponsored by the PTA so I felt good about supporting them and the most fun was meeting up with old friends and neighbors.

The front of ALHS as I knew it - pic from the web
For me, it was a good, even fantastic,  show since the one I did in October was a money LOSER!  I was pretty busy most of the day and if hubby hadn't come to assist I would not have survived the set-up and take-down on my own.  We even stayed overnight at a nearby hotel to avoid the long drive in the AM when the weather might have been iffy.  Disclaimer: The expense did not cut into my profits since I used my Hilton Honors points for a free night. I also got out of having to cook dinner for two nights straight :)  Cooking is definitely not my thing.

New Main entrance which is really at the back - low res pic from ALHS page
I was so busy talking, walking and selling I completely forgot to take pictures to put on this post. My selling space did look pretty spiffy and was quite generous. There was extra space around the allotted 10' x 10' so my hanging racks for bags and aprons could angle outward and made lots of room for shoppers to see and finger the wares.

Since I have nothing else to  dress up the post with, here are some items I sold.
               This wool purse was snapped up right away. 

I had just completed it days before.  My favorite part of this is the ruffle made from the selvage.  
The fabric is a herringbone that has been hand dyed by RubyMountainDyeworks. I was trying to match another purple solid to make this style:

                                       However, it was too red. I wanted it for the side pockets.

This gray bag also went to the show with me and was admired often and sold for my full asking price even when the buyer tried to get me to come down.  This little baby got more "favorites" in the shortest time on my Etsy shop than anything I have ever made. Now I am really determined to get just the right coordinating fabrics to go with that nice thick coat weight royal purple.  I have enough for at least two bags, so in the mean time, perhaps solid purple with a stitching detail?

                                                                Aprons went pretty well, too.

 This one had matching potholders that have a sort of bra-like look in this photo.

At right is the apron I wear at shows.  The two giant pockets hold my cash and other necessities.  This was my first show where my phone was one of those necessities.

Etsy has made available a credit card reader, the Etsy Reader , that works like Square and some other similar things but this one connects directly to your Etsy shop so that items are removed from your online shop as you sell them directly.  You can even use it for sales that are not Etsy items and it worked smoothly and efficiently and helped me make more sales. It emails you a record of each sale, adds up your totals, helps you make change and will email a receipt to your customer. Thanks, Etsy!

Oh, and those little cuties I put in my previous teaser post are still with me. I sold ONE but they were all handled fondly by lots of hands.  They will see another show day. Too small and fiddly to list and ship on Etsy.

December 5, 2014

Teaser Post - Mini Key Ring Bags

In a hurry. Packing for a craft show tomorrow that HAS to work out better than the last one.  These are my "stocking stuffer" offerings. They use up lots of scrap fabric but also eat into the hardware and zipper supply.  Watch for a new post soon.