Monday, January 19, 2015

Sewing to Sell - Book Review and Giveaway (giveaway closed)

Have you ever dreamed of making money from your crafty/sewing hobby? If you have then you will want to pick up the new book Sewing to Sell from gingercake's Virginia Lindsay

This book is a great resource for those just thinking about starting a crafty (not just sewing) business to those who already have one and are looking for some new ideas and inspiration.  Virginia goes through all aspects of  starting and running your business, from coming up with your brand and vision (VERY important),  planning, materials, all the way to pricing and packaging.

The book is full of beautiful photographs and a TON of helpful hints (Lots of things I WISH I had been told when I started! :) )

Once you have got your inspiration flowing, and a plan in place, She even includes 16  unique projects to start with, and encourages you to make them your own.

It was hard to choose just one to sew up (they are all pretty great) but I settled on the Kid's Messenger Bag.

I love that all the projects are great 'blank slate' patterns, that really allow you to use your style to make them your own.  I also love that most of them are unisex and work for a diverse customer base (important when sewing for craft/trunk shows)

I made two (although I have a TON of ideas for more) with woodland animal appliques.

The only change I made was to omit the trim and add the applique rabbit and deer in felt. I have included the applique pattern for you to use to make your own! You can download the applique pattern here

 Virginia takes the guess work out of some of the most challenging aspects of starting your business. Each project comes with suggested pricing, ideas for packaging and even how to photograph each item! (super helpful)  
Here is an example of my photo set up , She mostly shows you setups using natural light (which I agree is the best), but I had to use my lights since it was a rainy day out. 

I also LOVE that she includes projects to make the most out of your fabric. This is especially great for those that are starting out and do not want to make a huge investment in the beginning. This bag used every bit of the needed fabric, with only a small scrap left over!

I recommend this to everyone who needs a push to get their business started, it is great for inspiration. And to seasoned business owners, it is a super way to rethink your business and to reevaluate your process.

Want to win a copy of Sew to Sell?  Of course you do.  Just leave a comment below by the end of Wednesday, January 21st!  (**Open to American and Canadian residents only)  And follow along on the tour for more chances to win  ***GIVEAWAY CLOSED***

 **thank you to Virginia Lindsay who graciously provided me with an e-copy of the book for review, all opions are my own :)


Friday, January 16, 2015

Casual Christmas - a relaxed holiday outfit and tutorial

I know this is coming a little late....but with a busy holiday and a household of sickies afterward,  I finally got the time to edit our Christmas pictures!

I wanted to share the outfits I made my girls this year. Every year I make elaborate dresses for them, and every year parts of the outfit slowly come off so they can run around with their cousins (they usually end up in tights and tank tops by the end of the night :)

So this year I decided to make a really comfy outfit that they could jump around in all day/night! AND still look really cute and 'dressed up'

I made them plaid leggings (fabric from girl charlee) with matching tunics (fabric also from girl charlee) The tunic was a self drafted simple hi-low sweatshirt that I embellished with a sequin collar and cuffs.

Really simple...a bit time consuming...But...SUCCESS - they kept the outfits on the entire evening and no complaints! :)

For the red one I added a little trim of organza (it was a little short after hemming)
I  Love that they now have pieces they can wear again and again, not just for the holidays :)

Here is what I did:

I sewed the neckline and sleeve tops into the sweatshirt but left the sides OPEN. I marked the center of the neckline and drafted a collar piece on cardstock. I literally just cut a rough collar piece and kept laying down on the sweater and trimming it until I was happy with the shape.

Using a white chalk fabric marker (seriously - you NEED to invest in one of these when marking dark fabrics, epecially if you are doing embroidery and don't want it to rub/dry off easily) I traced the collar shape

I cut out some interfacing a little larger than the collar shapes and ironed them on the inside of the sweatshirt for stability

I also drew out my lines for he sleeve cuffs

then I just sewed on the sequins by hand.  It took a few nights, and a few movies and they were done!
 I sewed up the sides and hemmed to finish . You can see more detailed instructions for sewing on the sequins in my tutorial for sparkle heart elbow patches

Hopefully this will inspire you to make your own sparkle top...for any occasion! ( I think this would make a really great Birthday outfit for a very active little girl! )

~ Christine

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