Tag Archives: sewing

Aprons and Eye Candy

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Today I’ve been working on some aprons for the Christian Academy. It’s funny how I can put off making inventory for my shop for so long, but when I know someone’s relying on me I tend to work a little harder, at the very least.

This reminds me a bit of Marie Forleo’s “catch a flight” technique. If you can wake up at 4:00 AM to catch a flight because you know it’s leaving with or without you, you can wake up at 7 AM to work at home. Yeah, it works the same for me. If I can work this diligently on something for someone else, I can surely work up the gumption to do it for me, for my business. I’ve gotta remember this feeling and try to be just as motivated every day, and with future projects. Anyway, let’s get back on track here…

I’ve had quite a few snags with this project. First, I only had universal and leather needles on hand, so I opted for a leather needle, assuming the universal ones wouldn’t hold up. That was a terrible idea. Leather needles are made to cut thicker, non-woven materials, and therefore have to be able to cut as they sew. This makes my straight stitches look really wavy on the underside of the material. Now I’m using denim needles, which are suited for sewing through layers of woven fabrics without cutting and damaging them so much. Problem solved!

Then this happened:

What you’re seeing here was after a little bit of panicking and tugging and a lot of pounding my head against my sewing machine. My needle came right out and was jammed down into the throat plate. The hard part was getting it out of my fabric without making the hole bigger. This is why you need to tighten the screw fully when switching needles! I’m glad the damage wasn’t noticeable, because it certainly wouldn’t have been reparable if it had gone in just a little further. But, a disheartening mistake like this is one of the many reasons I keep this guy close by whenever I’m sewing, just when I need a little pick-me-up.

I made this pincushion forever ago, but recently acquired the eye-pins in a big bag of old buttons I got this summer! Now he’s got a customizable face!

All in all, I’m glad I made the progress that I did. It took me two days, but I finally finished the first apron today. Once I had done this, I figured the next 7 would be a breeze. I was still in the process of cutting out the rest of my pieces when I had to call it a day, but I’m excited and ready for tomorrow!

Afterwards I enjoyed an early dinner with my two favorite people, Brad and Katie. As we were heading out of Burger King, I realized I wanted a picture of Brad in his spiffy new work clothes before we got on the road. I even had the pleasure of snapping a shot of him without a goofy face on. Even Katie made a special appearance in an accidental photobomb.

I don’t know if she’s giving us a wave goodbye or trying to cover her face to avoid the picture. Either way, I’m pretty happy with this shot. My guy can be pretty darn handsome when he wants to be.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that I’m less than 50 page-views from hitting 1000! I’m so excited! I hope you’ve enjoyed my sewing anecdotes! Thanks for reading, internet!

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Featured Project: Croc Clutch

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Yeah, that’s right. I’m starting another Featured Project. Something about knowing when to fold ’em and whatnot. Truth is, I’ve put my dress off for way too long, and with Fall right around the corner, I’ve no more reason to pursue any more pretty Summer dresses. For now.

No, now I’m getting on track with this clutch that’s been giving me all sorts of trouble. I’m making it out of some thick polyvinyl-like croc material, and my sewing machine hasn’t taken to it very well. So far I’ve read that I can combat this issue in two ways.

  1. Use a sewing machine needle meant for leather while sewing with the exterior material.
  2. Use interfacing to help the material slide during machine-sewing.

I found these tips on this very helpful post by Christine  of Chris W. Designs, which has helped me learn more about sewing with thick materials such as faux-leather and vinyl.

So this week I’ll be cranking out my croc clutch version 2. This time I’ll be using the same materials from my first draft, but with the newly acquired knowledge from the aforementioned post, and basically make a little crocodile muslin. Also, my machine has been cleaned and oiled very recently, so hopefully version 2 will be a very informative rough draft with version 3 being Shubette Handmade-quality.

Tomorrow, however, my mom is taking Brad and me back to Ohio to pick up our Jeep! I’m glad it’s finally fixed. We had our little accident over a month ago now, and I’m excited to finally get our wings back. Thanks for reading, internet!

My New Year’s Resolution: A Mid-Year Review

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Hello there! At the beginning of this year, I wrote this post regarding my new year’s resolution. In it, I basically stated these two key points:

  1. Open my creative business. Status: Achieved! (Sort of) I listed my very first item in my etsy shop, therefore declaring Shubette Handmade open for business!
  2. Make and list a new item every week. Status: Abandoned/Failed. Very early on I realized that this exercise would not be a good move to make for my business. I wanted to put quality time and so much thought into my projects, and one week to design and construct a new product didn’t seem like enough.

My main idea was just to put myself out there. The more I make, the more people will see, the more my business will grow…right? Shortly after(I did say somewhere in the previously mentioned post that I’m rather fickle) I decided that I don’t want to make crap. I wanted the items that I would be making and selling to be of the utmost quality. I didn’t think I could provide that kind of quality and I let this keep me from making anything for fear that it would not be good enough.

So here are my Resolution Amendments:

  1. Sew every day. If I want to sell items that I sew, I need to keep my skills sharp. I should be doing some sort of sewing-related activity every day. I certainly have enough projects piled up to work on at least one thing for an hour a day, even if I’m just doing something trivial like pre-washing and ironing my fabric.
  2. Sew better. This goal is inherent to the primer. If I’m putting in the hours and the effort I will get better at what I’m doing.

Looking back, I’m starting to feel like all of my blog posts are about doing it better and making it happen, but none are about me doing and making. I’m realizing that my blog is not as big of a priority to making my business happen as making things and improving my skills before I start my business is. This business is my goal, and I’m not going to mess this up.

Featured Project & Dressmaking for Beginners

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Hey there! If you’re reading to check up on my progress with my featured project, then good news! That’s what I’m writing about today!

Before I talk about my plans for tackling this dress, I have to admit that I don’t know much about sewing garments. For my senior project in high school I made a great looking party dress, and while I’ve spent a bit of time sewing since then, I haven’t made a garment from a pattern in over 4 years now, so I’ve got a lot of re-learning to do. Plus, I’ve never used a Vogue pattern before! I’m actually a little ashamed of my lack of sewing expertise at this point. The good news is that I know where to find the right information.

One of the most resourceful sewing blogs I follow is that of the Coletterie. Once upon a time I was in a book store with a gift card staring down The Colette Sewing Handbook, but neglected to buy it because there were other books I needed to buy as gifts. I had truly regretted this decision to put others before myself, that is, until I realized that they have so many great tutorials and information all over www.coletterie.com and have a ridiculously useful email newsletter full of handy sewing tips. I strongly recommend visiting this website if you feel you’ve got some learning to do when it comes to sewing, and especially sewing garments. Here’s a few pages from the site that are really helping me through this tough learning period:

In the past, I always rushed into the sewing portion of my projects out of excitement and immediately messed something up for lack of planning. This is why instead of rushing into making this dress from a pattern I’m still deciphering, I’ll first get to work on a muslin. This is going to take me a little while. I won’t have my muslin fabric before next week’s featured project post, so I’m planning something extra special for that day instead! Thanks for reading!

New Featured Project: Flowered Sundress

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Hey, internet! Today I’d like to introduce my first featured project ever – an awesome, airy, warm weather dress that I’ve been dreaming about and not doing for over a year. The very lucky pattern to be graced by my fingertips is the lovely V8727, a stunning little number and the next step on my journey towards a figure-flattering wardrobe.

Vogue 8727Vogue 8727

I’ve also managed to find the prettiest fabric in the valley! I was a little disappointed at its price, and spent hours looking around Joann for something that was cheaper and prettier, but lo and behold, it was on sale after all(and shh! Don’t tell anyone but it’s actually just quilting cotton…) I just couldn’t resist.

A Day in the Garden

Way at the bottom here you’ll see the tippy top of my thumb peeking out, let’s say it’s to help you get an idea of the scale of the print. It’s called “A Day in the Garden” and you just might find it at your local Joann Fabrics. If so, please don’t buy it; it’s mine.

In other news, you’ll be hearing from me again this Friday, as it will be 4-20 and I have a very special post readied for the stonier crafters out there. Not you, of course. Thanks for reading!

Wish Your Friends a Happy 4/20

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Hey, kids. There’s a holiday coming up that all of your friends are talking about, 4/20. Now, I know you may not be interested in a day that’s all about celebrating the ganja, but it just so happens that some of your “other friends” are. Let’s not leave them out of the card-making loop.

This here’s a great card for your neighbor’s troubled son, the hippies that grow your organic vegetables, or your poor great auntie with glaucoma in Michigan. I’ve hand-stitched the silver border. The letters and numbers are scrapbooking stickers and punch-out paper, because, quite frankly, it’s all I have. I thought maybe the card should say SMOKIN’ instead of SMOKINGbut I didn’t have an apostrophe and I like to be grammatically correct.

This card is an entry in two carding challenges! This week’s color palette is inspired by the color story from The Play Date Cafe, while the sketch is from the Mojo Monday blog. The PDC challenge closes tonight, but you can see a new palette each week on Thursday! If you like this layout, head on over to Mojo Monday’s challenge  – you’ve got a whole week to enter!

Thanks for looking, internet! Any advice on making letters that look more professional and elegant? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Nuts over you – a PDCC Submission

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Hey, internet! I’m back this week with another card, this time a submission to The Play Date Cafe! If you’re not familiar with The Play Date Cafe, be sure to roll on over there and check out some of the awesome cards that are my competition this week! Because this week was the last of the month, we’re working with a color splash palette – black and white, with a splash of brown, as you can see in the inspiration image, below. Clicking this image will take you right to this week’s challenge post.

 This week’s color story drove me absolutely crazy, having never been much of a fan of brown, myself. But, what I love about The Play Date Cafe is trying to work with a combination of colors I never would have thought of myself. Luckily, being crazy helped to inspire me, too. Speaking of nuts, the acorn on this card has a hand-embroidered cap and outline. Thanks for looking!