Monday, June 1, 2009

I'm still out here! And a meme

I've been so quiet. I got SUPER busy with orders, which was awesome. It meant I shut down the shop entirely so I could catch up. I'm now essentially caught up and actually developing some new projects including some cute little grab-n-go bags, some loyalty/credit/business card holders and my first pattern! And finally I have a brand new skirt to share with you all very soon. So stay tuned!!

Meanwhile I thought I'd participate in the Sew Mama, Sew meme on sewing machines:

What brand and model do you have? Kenmore model 19153

How long have you had it? um, 5-6 years I think? not the original owner.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)? it was $900, retail.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? everything. primarily clothing but I've done it all. did lots of quilts, a few handbags, tons of craft and gifts, a few home dec projects. I've also taught a few kids to sew on this machine and they've used it to make gifts for others.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? daily. Sometimes hours a day. Sometimes just a minute here and there. LOTS of wear and tear. LOTS.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I love it mostly because she has been so very reliable to me, although terribly abused and neglected. I think she's getting old and to be honest, my machine before her was an ancient singer so this was like High Tech Luxury by comparison. She deserves a name but I hadn't considered it. Thanks for that! I think I'll call her Audra.

What features does your machine have that work well for you? I like the quick threading, easy drop-in bobbin and easy swap-out feet.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? The embroidery letters are a nice touch in theory but too small and ugly to really be legible or useful.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
A friend of mine who was a professional seamstress had TONS of machines and was purging. and her greedy sister-in-law who she detested wanted this machine, in particular. So, to spite her, she decided to find it a quick home with someone who she knew would appreciate it and she chose me! Even if it was given to me with family drama attached, I have really REALLY appreciated this machine for years and years!

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? Well they don't make it anymore and for the cost of buying it used you could probably buy a newer, more technological machine retail. I would recommend Kenmore/Janome in general because this machine has been a workhorse!!

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Ease of use, how much use they can handle, availability of service and parts locally for sure!! Plus if you have lots of feet for an old machine, it might be beneficial to buy a machine that can use those feet.

Do you have a dream machine? Actually it would make me crazy to shop around for a dream machine knowing I'll NEVER be able to afford it. But I have picked out this economical replacement for when Audra hits the hey: Brother SE350 Computerized Embroidery-and-​Sewing Machine

By the way, all sewing machine, fabric and notion donations WELCOME :) ha.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Introducing: the Princess Charming Skirt

I asked Addy to name this skirt and she named it Bob. I think we need to work on her name choices. I veto'd and now presenting the Princess Charming Skirt....

It got it's name from the charm pack - a group of 5" x 5" squares of fabrics in a variety of coordinating prints. I absolutely LOVE working with charm packs becuase what better way is there to get a feel for different fabric prints and styles than working with a dozen or more different varieties in a single project? Also? I love that I don't have to cut. And I don't have to coordinate fabrics myself.

So the Princess Charming skirt it is!!!

These skirts are different from a lot of my stuff because they are not sized to fit other than the waistband. They are sized to grow with your child over a few years. As you can see, this dress on Addy is pretty long. She should get another 1-2 years out of it, for sure.

Here are just a few of the fabric groupings that I would love to see made into this skirt:

And my absolute favorite not-yet-available but coming-soon group:

These skirts are now available for custom order in the shop.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

By popular demand: ruffle pants!

ruffle pants, originally uploaded by steppingonlegos.

Well...not quite pants. Capris. They could be made into pants or shorter capris but, for Addy, I like this length and so does she. I just love how she twirls and spins and dances in these pants. She calls them skirts because of the ruffles around the bottom and how they flow and twirl just like a skirt.

This week I'll be posting this outfit as a custom in the shop. I haven't offered a tiered twirl knot dress before but I love them so much and so will your little girl! They are so full, so twirly and so much fun. I'll be offering them alone and as an outfit with the ruffle pants.

I also have a new surprise listing for this week. Keep an eye out on the blog and the shop for more details. It's a super fun new item that you will just adore!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A new skirt!

I've been working hard and making great progress. It's been a really fun few weeks working with some really amazing and awesome customers. One customer totally took a chance on me and sent me a brand new pattern to try - for Easter no less - for her three girls. It also gave me a chance to work with the Farmer's Market line of fabrics which I'm totally addicted to. They are so fun to work with and so super soft. After working on her pieces, I just had to get some fabric from that line and make Addy a skirt from the collection. This is a great skirt and will be my newest listing in the store. Isn't it fun?

Toward the end of this week I hope to share with you a few pictures from some satisfied customers! I've wrapped up my sewing for the Easter holiday and everyone who is waiting on an order should have their packages in the mail tomorrow. I'll be listing a few things in the shop in the next few days, as well.

Thanks everyone!

Monday, March 30, 2009

SewMania and New Listings

I weathered the first two weeks of SewMania here at the home shop and made it to the other side alive. All packages are in the mail except one that I should be able to get out tomorrow. Whew! That was a lot of work! My shop has seen better days. So I plan to spend a good solid day this week doing nothing but vacuum up stray thread and organizing patterns and fabric. I've never wanted to clean and organize so much in my life!

I've listed items in the shop! In addition to the old ones I also added my favorite, the Frills stripwork top. Can I just say that I totally adore making these stripwork tops and anything with an applique? I am such a geek. I just like the creative stuff.

I worked with a customer to try out a new pattern recently with mixed results. I worked on a skirt and matching dresses and the skirt pattern is a keeper, for sure. I love it and will work one up for the store later this week. The dresses, though, will never see the light of day on my shop. It was fun and a privilege to have the opportunity to work on something new with some beautiful fabrics. I hope the new owners can get some use out of the end results!

After my last few weeks, I've reevaluated how I want to handle custom orders in the shop. I admit I hadn't given it much thought prior to the launch. I figured I would never have more orders than I could handle at any given time.

In other crafty news, I'm working on these adorable bunnies for my babies for Easter. Aren't they just so sweet? My little ones are going to FREAK!!! And they use up all my little scraps - bonus! I'm still working up a few ideas for my big kids. Figuring out bunny-themed handmade gifts for 11 and 14 year old boys is NOT easy! But I actually have about 4 ideas to work with. Stay tuned for photographic evidence!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

All Sold Out

Wow. I didn't expect that kind of support at all! Thanks to all the orders and inquiries I received. I sold several times more than the number of items I listed and my store sold out in less than 24 hours. I'm excited! You guys are the best :)

I'm going to be out of town next week so I'm not listing anything new until I'm done with the orders I have. I don't want to promise something I can't deliver on time. I promised 7 day turn around and I'm sticking to that. Obviously if I'm out of town, that's not going to happen :) I am not dedicated enough to haul my supplies and machines with me to our hotel room in Dallas! Although, to be honest? I considered it! Not out of dedication but just out of addiction. Taking a week long sewing break will not be luxurious, it will be torturous!

But I will tell you that the next few items I'll be listing will be twirl dresses and the awesome new ruffle stripwork shirts I posted the pictures for. I'll also probably post another knot and apron dress each. So keep your eyes peeled!

Until then, here's a new fun dress. It's a knot twirl dress. Lately its been cold enough for layers again so I've been taking advantage while I can.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A new stripwork shirt

Oh this shirt! How I adore this shirt. It's fun, funky, airy and soooo so cute. It's my new favorite.