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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Purse Kits on: August 12, 2013 07:47:49 AM
I've been selling purses and bags for a few years now, on Etsy and at craft fairs, and although I love it and have done pretty well at it, I simply don't have the time to do it anymore. I work full time and have a 7 month old so my sewing time is very limited. The problem is that I have a TON of fabric and notions and I will never have time to sew with all that fabric.

My idea was to write up some of my patterns and sell them with the fabric as kits. I'm not sure if it will take off though for several reasons. One, some people like handmade bags but are not confident enough to sew one themselves. Two, a lot of people who would sew a bag like to choose their own fabric for purses. So, would you buy a kit that had the pattern, fabric, interfacing, and any buttons, zippers or magnetic snaps you needed?

Also, I was thinking of doing a variety of difficulties. Simple clutches and zipper pouches, all the way up to a fully interfaced, many pocketed messenger bag. Any advice is appreciated!
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Is there a market for purse patterns/kits? on: August 12, 2013 07:35:41 AM
I've been selling purses and bags for a few years now, on Etsy and at craft fairs, and although I love it and have done pretty well at it, I simply don't have the time to do it anymore. I work full time and have a 7 month old so my sewing time is very limited. The problem is that I have a TON of fabric and notions and I will never have time to sew with all that fabric.

My idea was to write up some of my patterns and sell them with the fabric as kits. I've seen it done with quilts. But I'm wondering if there is a market for this product? I did an Etsy search and found some kits for clasp style clutches but that was about it. I was thinking I could put these on Etsy or sell them at a popular local craft fair where I've gotten a lot of purse sales in the past. The main clientele is hipster/crafty types. It's a holiday fair and a lot of people are gift shopping.

I'm not sure if it will take off though for several reasons. One, some people like handmade bags but are not confident enough to sew one themselves. Two, a lot of people like to choose their own fabric for purses. Also, I was thinking of doing a variety of difficulties. Simple clutches and zipper pouches, all the way up to a fully interfaced, many pocketed messenger bag. Any advice is appreciated!
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Handwarmer Pouch on: February 19, 2012 07:24:55 PM
Does this count as a Purse, Bag or Wallet? I wasn't sure what else it would be. I designed the handwarmer pouch because my grandma asked for handwarmers for Christmas. She wanted them to stay on the back of her hand while driving. A search of the interwebs came up empty handed so I came up with my own idea. Basically it's your typical reheatable rice bag which goes into a cozy flannel pouch. The pouch is stays on the back of your hand with an elastic band, leaving your hands free for driving, typing, knitting, anything that makes your hands cold!

The pouch covers the hand nicely! It would still fit under a pair of big gloves or mittens though.


Here is the rice bag. There are channels so the rice doesn't move around.


And the back has elastic to keep it in place!


I was just thinking this pouch would probably fit chemical warmers too, Hot Hands is the brand I've seen at Wal-Mart. I like to use those when skiing so this would be the perfect way to keep it off the skin and in place!

If anyone is interested, I put together a tutorial while I was making this set for myself, which is posted on my blog here: http://londonpurple.blogspot.com/2012/02/hand-warmer-tutorial.html . I'd love to see if anyone makes their own! I chose a wintery blue flannel, and my grandma's had snowflakes on them, but I think they'd brighten any chilly day in a sunny shade of yellow! Thanks for checking it out!
4  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / My Fancy iPad Sleeve - Tweed and Leather on: February 15, 2012 06:33:43 AM
It's been awhile since making any sewn items for myself, and this design has been in my head for months! I'm so glad I finally turned it into a completed project.



I used tweed fabric from Jo-Ann's, which is actually pretty flimsy since it was in the suiting section. I'm used to working with heavy canvas for bags. I had to interface with fusible fleece and line it with wool felt for enough support. The leather also helped a bit. It is upholstery weight from my local leather store.



My favorite part is the Apple logo applique I did on the front! I just traced it from our Macbook since it was a little bigger than on the iPad.

Overall lessons learned -

1. Don't turn seams on leather. My machine is a tough old bird but cannot sew through two layers of leather plus the tweed and interfacing and leave nice stitches, even with a leather needle. You can buy edge finishing tools at leather stores and that is exactly what I will do next time.

2. Even when you trim your seams the leather will be extra bulky. You can see the top of the iPad sticking out because of this. One inch for seam allowance above the vertical measurement of the iPad was not enough.

3. Leather stretches! At first I couldn't even jam the iPad in and I got really nervous. After sitting in the case for a few days it slides in perfectly.

Thanks for checking out my iPad sleeve!
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Quilted Linen and Patchwork Kindle Case on: June 09, 2011 09:17:45 AM
My husband got me a Kindle for Christmas so I just had to make myself a case for it!



I wanted something mostly neutral, but I do love pink! I reached a happy medium with this design. I also wanted it to be extra tough and durable but I wanted to branch out of my comfort zone a little bit. The challenge was making it sturdy without using duck cloth (my staple bag making material) so I went with some nice thick linen I had on hand. The close lines I used on the quilting really stiffened it up.

I love to use multiple layers of interfacing on my bags. I used Pellon Fusible Fleece on the linen and sandwiched two layers of natural cotton batting between the linen and a layer of muslin. The lining is just a quilting cotton I had but it's super soft.



The patchwork and quilting is a new thing I've been trying lately. I love the way it turned out! I showed it to someone at work and they asked me to make one for a birthday present. Unfortunately I don't have any photos. I did end up using duck cloth for the body because they wanted it Steelers themed, so I used black for the main part and chose Steelers fabrics with yellow backgrounds for the patchwork part. I had to fussy cut a lot of it to get the logos and everything pieced just right.

I can't wait to make them in more colors! My goal is to have a rainbow of linen Kindle cases with monochromatic patchwork details.
6  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Patchwork Squares Quilt for Baby on: June 09, 2011 07:41:15 AM
This is a baby quilt I made as a shower gift for a coworker. I used the tutorial from craftlog: http://craftlog.org/craftlog/?p=2445. I love this design because it sews up so quick. I finished it in just a few hours.

The parents told me they were using blue and green in their little boy's room so I went to Jo-Ann's and just started piling bolts into my cart. I think they ended up going together really nicely, and I didn't use one fabric from the baby section! I prefer more modern quilts but I wasn't sure of their style so I kept it pretty basic. It ended up being sort of a dots and stripes theme.



On the back I used a super soft fabric that I think is called Ultra Cuddle. It really is ultra cuddly, I want to make myself a quilt with this backing! It's the perfect shade of light blue. The binding is sewn on using a super quick zigzag stitch. Instead of quilting it, I just used my electronic machine to sew a decorative stitch at each intersection. I figured the less I stitched onto the Ultra Cuddle, the softer it would stay. Plus it saved a lot of time.



The gift also included an elephant stuffed animal from the book Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. I've never really made this type of project so it actually took me longer than the quilt. Handsewing was required for the closure and the eyes (made of felt for safety!) I made sure were on really really tight.



I love this quilt tutorial and I've used it several times before to whip up quick gifts for little ones. And now I love the elephant pattern too! Let me know what you think!
7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Fun messenger style purses! on: April 01, 2009 09:48:36 AM
Let me preface by saying I LOVE messenger bags! I carried one in both high school and college for my books and I'm so excited that the "cross-body bag" is back in style for purses. Plus spring is a great time to start carrying one because in winter I always get the strap caught in the hood of my coat, it's a bit more flattering when you're not wearing a bulky parka, and you can also engage in hands-free springtime fun like picking wildflowers. So I designed the Sunbury Messenger!

Red woven upholstery exterior with grey canvas accents, lined with red/white polka dot cotton



Blue/tan/brown boucle exterior with chocolate brown canvas accents, lined with brown/white polka dot cotton



Black canvas exterior with hot pink canvas accents, lined with pink stars fabric



Pink and green plaid canvas exterior with chocolate brown canvas accents, lined with Amy Butler Daisy Bouquet



And the original prototype, in green woven upholstery fabric with green canvas accents, lined with green floral print



Measurements are:
12 wide at the top
14 wide at the bottom
10 high
2.5 deep at the top
5.5 deep at the bottom

I love the closure, the swivel hook just clips right onto the D-ring. Or you can just leave the flap unclipped and it still stays down (this is more convenient when running errands and I am constantly in and out of my purse to access my keys). Each one has a small zipper pocket inside. I also love how all these are made with totally different colors and pattern combinations but they all look great!

This style is a bit slouchy but I like that. I'm usually constantly trying to imitate commercial purses that are made of stiff vinyl with buckles and gathers and whatnot, but I've found that sometimes my own simple style is what works better.

The canvas "stripe" extends all the way around the bag. I was thinking about putting an open pocket across the back and having the stripe divide it in two, but I'm not sure if it will ruin the aesthetic. Right now I love the way the back just has the stripe going up. Plus if you have too much stuff in the back pocket, would it affect how the bag sits on your hip? Looks like more prototypes are in order!

What do you think? Thanks for looking!  Grin I'd love to hear your comments!
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Another Zippered Tote! **IMG HEAVY!** on: March 07, 2009 10:31:07 PM
Here is another zippered bag that I made. This was a custom order for someone who saw these bags I posted about: handbag and tote. I hope she doesn't mind I'm sharing it but I love the fabric so much! It's Amy Butler's Water Lotus in Spinach and the accents are just a light blue canvas. The lining is a pretty green print from Jo-Ann Fabrics.








I made the bottom very stiff with Pellon 70, so it stays flat and helps the bag to stand up on its own. I really love self supporting bags! This is actually just filled with tissue paper to puff it out a bit, otherwise it's on its own. The topstitching is light blue thread that matches the canvas. Oh and the zipper is centered, I just couldn't get a good lining shot from further away.

I made it a bit bigger than my prototype tote, it is 19" wide at top, 15" wide at the bottom, 12.5" high and 5" deep. Really a great sized tote, I currently carry the prototype and I can't seem to fill it up. But the handbag version was too small! My neverending quest to find the perfect sized bag...

What do you think of this new variation? Comments and criticism welcome! Thanks for looking  Grin
9  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Scrappy journals! on: March 03, 2009 05:39:16 PM
I hope this is in the right spot, I've never posted in this board before!

This is a project in Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I believe it's one of the "less than 2 hour" projects. If not it should be, it took me less than an hour to make all three!









I really enjoy using my scraps and this is such a simple way to do it. Plus there's no fussy cutting like in patchwork, and if your stitches are uneven then it just looks that much cooler! I really love how you can just work with the shape of the scrap. It was really easy to finish the edges with a zigzag stitch.

Check out more on my blog!

What do you think?  Grin
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Fabric Calendar on: February 28, 2009 10:48:55 AM
First off I must say that this was not my idea! I pretty much blatantly copied iheartlinen's calendar here. I think mine is bigger, I was trying to match it to the size of my fabric mail holder. Now they are next to each other on the wall in the kitchen!





I love green and brown together, and I use this fabric combination so often that I had a ton of scraps available for the patchwork and buttons. The back is linen (clearly iheartlinen has a huge influence on me  Smiley) and the back is just unbleached muslin. I put a little pocket on the back for extra buttons, so I hope it doesn't stick out from the wall too much when I use it.



I used iron on transfer for the days of the week, but I'm out of paper so I didn't get to do the months yet. Originally I tried stamping on the ribbon but it bled like crazy. Oops I haven't brushed away my chalk lines yet!



Here's a closer view of the patchwork! Not my strong suit really, and neither is binding, but practice makes perfect!

This project took a really long time. In some part because it took awhile to select fabrics, cut, piece, attach, buy more velcro dots because I ran out, make buttons, blah blah. I'm so happy now that it's done though!

Comments and criticism very much appreciated!  Grin
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