Friday, October 21, 2011

Shop is open!!

We are open for business!!  Yahoo!!  I am so excited to introduce to you, my Etsy shop:

You can click right on the photo to go check out my rather slim selection.  And to kick things off, you can use coupon code SHOPOPEN to receive 20% off your order!!

Phew!  I made it!  Sort of.  Remember how I said that I would open my shop today even if I could only list ONE item??  Well, that's almost exactly what I did.  I actually listed 5 items, but they're all the same zippered pouch, in different sizes and fabrics.  I actually have more things finished and ready to sell, I just need to get them photographed and listed.  Isn't it amazing how much life can get in the way of these things?  What's funny is that if I were opening and actual brick and mortar shop, I wouldn't be able to miss my opening day.  But because it's online, it seems so much easier to say, well I only got a few things in, but at least there's something there.

This all sounds a bit like I don't take this seriously.  I assure you that I take it very seriously.  I have wanted to sell my own handmade items for years and years and this is the beginning of that dream coming true for me.  I know that these items aren't my own designs yet (well, one is), but I'll get there.  Plus, I would rather list a few quality items, rather than loads of stuff not made to my standards.  So, please bear with me as I get the rest of the items I currently have available online.  (You can look at the category list on the left of my storefront to get an idea of what will be coming.)  I'll post here each time I list new items.  Almost everything will be available on a made-to-order basis as well. 

Please go take a look, and tell your friends and family to take a look as well.  Please help me spread the word.  YOU are my advertising!

Later on, I'll be posting some ideas for future items, and I'd like your input, since you are my customers. *smile*

Monday, October 17, 2011

FO and Book Review

I finally got back in the studio for the first time in almost two weeks.  No sewing for the shop this time.  Scooch desperately needed a new fall coat, and I had my eye on one I knew he would like.  It just happened to be in the new Sewing For Boys book; the book I won a copy of from Sew, Mama, Sew! during the book's blog tour.  Cute boy clothes patterns are a rare commodity, and to have a whole book dedicated to our little bug-hunting, tractor-loving, sticky fingered rascals is just bliss!  I chased the blog tour, entering every giveaway along the way.  I almost did cartwheels when I won!  Then I had the long wait as it was shipped from the U.S.  When it finally arrived, I got right to work ordering the fabric for the things I wanted to make first: the Luka Hoodie and Paulie's Pullover.  Then I had to wait again for the fabric to arrive *sigh*.  The hoodie fabric arrived first:

With fabric finally washed, dried, pressed, and cut; it took me part of just two evenings to complete the Luka Hoodie.  I used brown baby wale corduroy that I ordered online from Germany for the majority of the hoodie, and then I used the adorable owl print from the Urban Zoologie line from Ann Kelle for the front and secret pocket.  The lining is a brown knit which I wouldn't use again for something like this.  The pattern called for less than 10% stretch.  I couldn't find anything about the amount of stretch in this fabric when I ordered it, and it ended up having far too much stretch.  Luckily, my walking foot saved the day, and the hoodie.

I love this little jacket.  For reference, Scooch just turned three, and store-bought size 3 tops are a tiny bit big on him just now.  I made size 4/5 of the hoodie because I wanted him to get good wear out of it.  It's quite big on him now, but he LOVES it, which makes this mama super duper smiley.  I love that the hood has elastic in it instead of a tie, and Scooch got a big kick out of the secret pocket.  I think I can expect to find all sorts of 'treasure' hidden away in there in the future...

Such a cute little design, and loads of potential for changing it up.  I kept my alterations minor this time.  I put slits in the side seams, changed up which fabrics I used where, and added a little flap behind the buttons to prevent drafts from getting in.  Oh and yes, I still have to add buttons.  I wanted to see it finished before deciding, and I think I'm going to have to go with covered buttons.

Now for the rest of the book.  I just love this book.  The designs are adorable, simple and practical, and the patterns are straight-forward, and not fussy.  You really can make a whole wardrobe for your boy (or girl) with this book.  I'm not sure that I would recommend it for complete beginners though.  The instructions are more basic and there is not a lot of hand-holding with extra explaining and diagrams.  I really love how simple the designs are, leaving loads of room to be creative with them.  Just for starters, take The Henry Shirt; a cute, short-sleeved, snap front, collared shirt.  Replace the snaps with buttons.  Make it long-sleeved.  Use linen for a casual look.  Use shirting for a dressed-up look.  Embellish the front with pin-tucks or machine- or hand-embroidery.  Leave off the pockets.  Add extra pockets.  So many options and now I can't wait to make this top in many different versions!

Friday, October 14, 2011

where did the beginning of October go??

Oh my, I do apologize for my huge absence.  I'm not even completely sure I can account for my whereabouts for the past couple weeks.  It seems like I've been planning my Goals for October post (I really liked the idea of setting a few goals for the month from the 30 Days of Lists) in my head for just a couple days, but then this morning I realize it's October 14 already!!  Better trim up a few of those goals...  *ahem*  It's even taken me all week just to get this post up!  I kept having to change the date as the days went by and I still hadn't finished it!

Let's see, I was doing loads of sewing for my Etsy shop opening, but I haven't sewn much in about a week now.  Monkey is have some new sleep troubles (completely not his, or my, fault this time; we have some loose tiles on the house and the wind was super gusty last week, causing much banging right next to Monkey's bed) and so I've been really sleepy the past week or so.  I've found out the hard way that I can't sew when I'm tired.  I learned a long time ago not to rush, even if I only have a small bit of time to sew, but I make more mistakes when I'm tired, and because I'm tired, I don't take the time to correct them.  I always end up unhappy with the results.  So I just don't do it.

I also had some delays with my shop opening due to some supplies getting lost in the mail.  hrm...  BUT: I'm opening my shop NEXT FRIDAY!!  So, come hell or high water, even if I can only list one item, the shop WILL open on Friday, October 21, 8am GMT!  I currently have 12 different items I plan to carry in my shop, some on a made-to-order basis, some ready-made.  Then, depending on how these items sell, I have a few (ok, a LOT) more items I plan to add.  Only one thing is my own design at the moment, but I am licensed to sell the rest.  I'm hoping to design some more of my own items, you know, when I have time, ha!

You'd think with no sewing or blogging going on for a week that the house would be pretty spic and span.  I wish that were true.  Unfortunately I've had a string of migraines and then a head cold; so I've been pretty out of it for a bit.  No wonder I can't believe how far into the month we are, I was in a fog for most of it.  On top of that, Monkey turned one (ONE!) almost two weeks ago already.  Being the loners that we are around here, we just had some cake and presents, and Skype chats with family.  It was nice.  I can't believe my boy is one.  He's walking, chattering away, very independent and stubborn, and quite a comic.  I love him so.

So, I wanted to let you know where I've been.  Now, I'm going to get back to some sewing, hopefully, so I can get a few more things finished for MY SHOP OPENING!  Don't miss it!  There might be a good deal, or a giveaway or two, you never know... *smile*

PS-I edited this post in the dark as the power is completely out in our house while the electrician fixes something that was burning in our fuse box (that's never good).   It's so nice and quiet and peaceful in here.  Mr. R is reading by torch to Scooch, and Monkey is sleeping soundly.  I think I might institute an In the Dark time once a week or so.  Maybe not a full power cut (not so good for the food in the fridge); but lights, tv, and electronics off.  Games and stories by torch are just way more fun than with the lights on anyway, didn't you know?