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1  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Purses and Messengers based around t-shirts on: April 27, 2012 06:09:47 PM
Thank you!  But I have to ask...can you really ever have *too many* bags? Wink
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Purses and Messengers based around t-shirts on: April 27, 2012 03:28:29 AM
I've recently been not bitten, but DEVOURED by the bag/purse-making bug, and our closets have been thoroughly raided as a result.  All of my bags are made using a very basic messenger bag pattern with different varying pocket placements.  Where the fabric isn't t-shirt, it's either quilting weight cotton fabric, upcycled old jeans, corduroys, or canvas.  I like to interface them with fusible fleece, I think it gives them a nice soft weight without being too plush, but still with some strength to them.  

I hope these inspire you to go breathe some life into your old shirts and dig out some of your old fabric stash.  They've been awesome for me to burn through old supplies that have otherwise been sitting around without any real purpose.

Feel free to ask about any particulars on these projects!  I've got a printable template for bags in this style over here in the discussions forum, if you want to plan your own.

I've had this Woot t-shirt for years and needed to turn it into something awesome! I just love how the print on this shirt framed up so perfectly for a bag, and I got to use up a bunch of my "mystical stars" type prints on the inside.

A messenger bag I made using two of my old Jinx! WoW shirts and lots of quilting fabrics. I did a splatter paint technique on the Horde symbol on the end, using a large Horde shaped sticker and then flicked red paint over the top of it.

A small messenger bag/purse I made for a friend using an old Dr. Pepper t-shirt! I loved combining a bunch of fun fabrics with some of her other favorite things, too!

I haven't worn this old Miss Monster shirt in a very long time, and wanted to try out heavyweight fusible interfacing, so I made a messenger bag with some of my surplus fabrics. This ended up not being nearly as tough as I wanted, but I did have the chance to do a zippered divider pocket, which was neat.

I saw this adorable children's dinosaur shirt at the thrift store and knew I had to make a bag out of it! It's absolutely covered in glitter and had such great dinosaurs on it. Also tried out a new shape for the bottom of my messenger bag flaps, I think I like it.

Thanks for looking!
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Messenger bag template pattern to print on: April 27, 2012 03:07:10 AM
I've recently gotten way into making messenger bags and purses, and to keep track of my patchwork and fabric choices with pocket placement, I made this printable template to draw/write in info as I'm working. Thought you guys might enjoy it!

I work with each surface of the bag as a separate piece, so visualizing things this way really helped me.  Also helps to note things like which pockets will have buttons/velcro/zippers, so when I'm digging through my notions and findings later, I remember which little pieces go where.

4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Friendship is Magic! on: April 27, 2012 03:01:47 AM
Holy cow, so cute! Love the subtle batik(?) you used for the background.
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: my painted bugs on: April 27, 2012 02:37:08 AM
I remember making these as a kid! Yours came out so cute!
6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: Fabric Basket/ Owl pincushion. on: April 27, 2012 02:36:21 AM
I love that surprised look on his face! So cute!
7  CLOTHING / Costumes: Discussion and Questions / Re: Tutorial: How to pattern foam costumes on: April 27, 2012 02:25:13 AM
You have just absolutely blown my mind. This is so simple...but so brilliant. Thank you so much!
8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / Re: How to attach sculpey to plush/fur doll on: April 27, 2012 02:17:26 AM
The way I've found that works for me is:

1: Shave down the fur away from the surface I want to attach the sculpey piece to
2: Before baking the sculpey, I'll score the backside of it with a cross-hatch pattern, to rough it up. The part I'll be gluing.
3: After painting the baked sculpey, I like to use E-6000 as my glue of choice. It's flexible and really strong.
9  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: "Feed Bag" Reusable Shopping Bags on: April 27, 2012 02:07:22 AM
Oh wow, I should do this with our huge dog food bags. Great idea!
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: pearls of wisdom: what do you know now... on: April 27, 2012 01:59:37 AM
Something that's been a huge help for me is that I bought a 12-section accordion file, and then put each month's paperwork in corresponding sections, one section per month of the year.  All invoices in and out, all receipts and shipping info, everything is neatly stored in one easy to find place.

I also keep a manilla folder each month for my international shipping.  I write the date and the customer's first initial, last name in a list on the outside of the envelope, like this:

4/2 C. Smith
4/5 J. Hancock

Inside the folder, we keep our copy of the customs form, along with the receipt from each time we go to the post office.  That way, I have a very easy reference for mailing dates if there's ever a question from my customers.  At the end of the month, I'll close the folder, and put it in the above mentioned accordion file.  Then I'll start a fresh envelope for the new month!

I also never knew that Paypal could organize your multi order shipping by the customer's first initial, so when we're packing orders, we will write their name as "C. Smith" so when we're printing shipping, we can find their name quickly on the list. Also helps when we've got more than one person with the same common last name.

I've gotten in the habit when buying supplies online that before I finalize any checkout, I'll go to Google and search for "(site name) coupon code" just in case there's a 10-15% code out there, or free shipping.  I'm about 75% successful on this - there's no reason not to spend an extra minute if it'll save you a few bucks!

I'm sure I'll think of a few more to add to this list. Smiley
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