Monday, December 10, 2012

Using sewing patterns {PDF vs. Paper}

When I first started sewing I didn't even know PDF patterns existed. I used to wait until the craft store would have their  99 cent pattern sale and then buy buy buy! Although it seemed like I was saving money because I waited for the sale, I was actually wasting money and giving myself a headache in the process. I always ended up throwing the the patterns away. The huge sheet of tissue paper, the confusing instructions, I didn't like any of it. Then I discovered PDF and I was hooked! I have been called a pattern hoarder more than once. I have been using the PDF patterns for a few years now and have always loved them!

  {PDF Patterns}

Like I said, I own A LOT of PDF patterns. I haven't even tried a lot of them and there is a reason for that. With a PDF pattern, I have to print the pattern pieces, then cut them out, then tape many of them together. And this is for EACH size. I don't mind doing that but I do think it is time consuming and I am using a lot of my husbands printer ink that he needs for school. I also find myself running back and forth from my craft room to my bedroom (where the closest computer is) to read the next step. I guess I could print out the whole PDF and have the instructions there with me but who wants to print out 20-40 pages per PDF? I don't! I am not complaining about the PDF patterns because I will still use mine, I just find them a little inconvenient.

{Paper Patterns}

I have recently started buying  Chelsea Andersen's pattern designs. I have used her McCalls pattens before but I am not a fan of McCalls or Simplicity patterns at all. I did however, buy just about all of her paper patterns from various Etsy shops starting on Black Friday. I LOVE her style and really wanted to try it. I was afraid I wouldn't like it because of the tissue paper they are printed on. After looking through the ONE sheet of instructions I thought it looked very simple! So I gave it a go!

{The dreaded tissue paper patterns}

I know MANY sewers that don't like to use these patterns. Who can blame them? I would get all excited to get a pattern for 99 cents at the craft store. When I opened the pattern there was this giant sheet, and sometimes 2 or 3 sheets of tissue paper. It makes it a pain to unwrap it and cut around that thin paper. You are left with bunch of pieces and they never put away nicely or easily.  I started out using "The Olivia Top" by Pink Fig aka Chelsea Andersen. I found it very simple! I did think the way she sontructed the top was a little strange. Only because it was different than any Peasant pattern I have ever used. It was still simple and the end result was fantastic!  So, here is the very simple method I used to {almost} bypass dealing with the tissue paper. Most of you will say....."Duh! That is a very simple fix!" haha By buying the tissue paper patterns from the Pink Fig line, you will also be bypassing confusing instructions as well. Chelsea's instructions are very simple compared to that of McCalls or Simplicity.

Here is the pattern I used:

What you will need to convert tissue paper to the paper easily. 

Roll of white paper from the craft store.
Black marker
A few sheets of paper
Scissors (you would need those anyway)
Tissue Paper Pattern

1. Lay your tissue paper sheet out on a large table or floor (not carpet or a rug).

2. You are going to trace around the pattern pieces by size. So if you want to make a size 5 trace around all of the size 5 pieces.  Make sure you lay your sheets of paper under the tissue paper before you trace because the marker will bleed through the tissue paper. I just used one sheet of paper and moved it around as I traced.

3 Lay your roll of paper on top of the traced tissue paper and trace onto the white paper from the roll. I used an ink pen to trace onto the white paper. Make sure you also transfer all of the markings on from the pattern. Write Front, back, sleeve, size and all other information you will need to know when referring back to this pattern.

4. After you get everything traced onto your roll of white paper just cut it out. You now have a paper pattern instead of a tissue paper pattern! I have no idea why I didn't think of this before. It's such an easy fix!

                                       Everything is all right in front of me, just the way I like it.

 This also solves my issue of saving printer ink and time running back and forth from Computer to craft room reading instructions because I now have everything I need sitting right here in front of me. The instructions for The Olivia Top are so simple that I won't even have to use the instructions the next time I make one, which will be today since I am so in love with this top.

        Here is my end result. I love it! I wanted mine to be all white because I plan to use it as an under shirt to go with other outfits.I also chose to not shirr the bottom of my Olivia Top.

        I tried it on my daughter and it fits beautifully! Better then ANY other peasant pattern I have ever tried! She gives the option for short sleeve or 3/4 sleeve and both are right on! Exactly where the sleeve should be. I am now hooked on Chelsea Andersen's designs and I cannot wait to try them all!  If you have wanted to try a Pink Fig pattern out but have been afraid of that dreaded tissue paper, Don't be! Just try it! You will be thrilled with your end result! I have many more to try out and I cannot wait to fill my daughters closet with many more Pink Fig designs!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Feeling Productive Today!

Today is a good {great} day! I woke up rested and refreshed. I am ready to knock out the big tasks that I have fallen behind in....which is EVERYTHING. Dishes and laundry will have to wait today. Today my top priority {other than my children} is to get that craft room FINISHED. I love BEING organized...I don't love GETTING organized. I think a lot of Mom's feel this way. Why can't we just wiggle our noses and have it all fall into place? Wouldn't that be nice! Of course it would. We all know that it always seems to look worse, before it looks better. I have dragged everything out and I mean EVERYTHING. My desk drawers are even empty! I see progress and I am LOVING IT! I am brave enough to show the current CHAOS {this is an understatement} in my craft room. Don't judge. I will first show the BEFORE so you know that I am not a slob {not all of the time anyway lol}

 My before photos look like my room is clean and organized. What you are seeing is an only appears to be organized. I have hidden the mess to post these photos on Facebook. There, I just outed myself! The secret is already out so I will go on to tell you that those desk drawers are stuffed with junk!
 This is my kids side of the room. See the nice clean table and floor under it. It was only like that because I grounded them from this room for a whole day so I could clean that up. They are notorious for getting paper scraps, markers, name it ALL OVER THE PLACE. Their space is getting smaller and smaller until one day, the whole room will be MINE ALL MINE! haha. I am not sure if I could do that to them but I keep telling them I will if they do not pick up after themselves :) Also, that's that scary closet where we shove all of the catch all stuff. That stuff {plus more} is currently spread through out the entire room while I sort through it. I come to realize that less really IS more when you have to organize it.
 This is my iron station that really just doesn't work for me AT ALL. The baskets are not small by any means and they are overflowing with scrap fabric. It's just all mixed up in there.

Okay, are you ready to see the IN BETWEEN {in progress} photos? Brace yourself, this is not going to be pretty.  Here they are!
And this is only one angle. The rest looks just as bad! You can see that I repainted the walls, painted and bronze glazed my desk/hutch and moved furniture around.. There IS progress...I PROMISE.

Before I show the progress pictures I have to include my crowded table. This is an issue I have had for a while. I was trying to make hair accessories at the same table I was sewing at. Not a good thing for me :)

 I moved my desk/hutch to the corner by the window. I have the wall next to it on reserve for something fantastic!  I also painted my desk/hutch a light spring green and bronze glazed it. I love it!
 This is pretty much the same except I painted the table top. These are just 3 cube shelves I bought at Lowes on sale. I put them together to make an island cutting table. I love it! I do want to build one like the blue one in my inspiration photos.
 I am going to just break down and buy a big iron board on a stand. This method just doesn't work for me. The tower of shelves in next to it is my new scrap fabric storage. I originally had scrap ribbon in them but I stored that somewhere else.
I LOVE LOVE this! SO much easier to find what I am looking for! I sorted my fabric by color: Pink, whites, creams, browns, get the point. Then folded up the small pieces and put them into the drawers. I bought the drawers from a Dollar Store for $5 each. They are well worth it. I've used them for just about everything. lol
This is one of my FAVORITE parts of me room now! It's a new addition. I bought this hutch at a consignment shop for $29. It was an ugly blue. My husband bolted it to the wall to hold my hair accessories supplies. I posted about it in a Facebook group and was told I should paint it here it is! Pink and bronze glazed {I LOVE that stuff}. The cube shelf was originally a big wall shelf we bought at Lowe's. It used to reside in our Kitchen. My husband was moving it to our new house and the top of it broke. I also used to use it as the iron table {in my before photos}. The "table top" on it is MDF from my daughters old bed. I just had my husband cut it down. It didn't look good painted so I wrapped it in batting, screwed it to the cube shelf and made a scrappy table cloth for it. I love it!
 The pink hutch holds my hair accessory making supplies. The baskets hold shabby flowers, silk flowers, lace, elastic, trims and fabrics, the little jars hold rhinestone buttons, clips, finished bottle cap images, etc... The drawers hold templates, tools, bottle cap images, bottle caps and more.

 The cubbies hold baskets of supplies. One basket holds gallon sized Ziploc bags {sorted by color} of scrap ribbon. The bottom basket holds wool felt for backing on some of my fabric hair accessories. The ribbon will be on my ribbon shelves I made.

<---- The basket holds gallon Ziploc bags of scrap ribbon sorted by color.

I made these shelves to hold my ribbon. It works great! ---->
I would have put my ribbon on them but the front of the shelves are still drying from painting them. They are so easy to make. I need more and when I make them I will post a how to blog post about them.  The bow board is for finished bows that were ordered or ready to ship.

        So far, so good! I am happy with my progress so far. I really  hope to finish up tonight. More to come!
Do you have a clever way to store craft supplies? Please comment with a link to a photo if you do!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A New Craft Space {A New Start}

I have changed my craft space around so many times only to find yet another inspirational photo making me want to change it again. I guess I can blame Pinterest. Although I love it! There are so many photos  of beautiful inspirational rooms online it makes me crazy! I know my room does not have to look like it came from a magazine but I NEED it to inspire and motivate me....especially now that motivation is hard to find. I have been battling this for a while now. I can't seem to find a balance. Being a Stay At Home Mom is hard enough. I have recently changed my title to Work At Home Mom. It has always been my dream to work at home and to be there to care for my children. I want so badly to make my business successful and to also be a successful House Wife and Mother. Just finding time to do laundry and vacuum can be difficult. It seems like if my house is clean and organized, I am behind in my work and my craft room is wrecked. If I am caught up on my work, I am behind on laundry and dirty dishes occupy my sink. How do I balance it all? I keep reminding myself that I am lucky to have a husband who supports me in what I want to do. I keep telling myself that next year will be easier because my two 5 year olds will be in Kindergarten. What 7 hours of uninterrupted work time could do for me! Not that I am trying to push them out, I love the fact that they are home with me. I love taking them to their library activities and getting to spend time with them while I work. I can't help but to think about what it would be like to not have to stop every 10 minutes to answer to them though. So, I have a plan. This is a BIG one! In order for this plan to work, I need order in our home. So this is what I came up with:

1. We need a family command center. This will include a chore chart, calendar for extra curricular activities for my kids, a place for my daughter to put her school papers, a place to hang important papers and write reminder notes. This will be in our entry way where all can see. 

2. A room that inspires us to create. This goes for my children and myself. It would be easier to keep their little hands busy if they had a nice space of their own as well. We have already started on this one. They have a table and shelf in the craft room. We have this very cool closet nook space in our craft room that my girls have always wanted for a reading space. My husband has just installed a light in there for them. It's a work in progress!

3. A different space for each type of craft for me. I was trying to do everything at my sewing table. The problem with that is that the table gets full of stuff very quickly and I spend more time picking up than working on new product. I want to have an office/space to scrapbook (this is just a hobby for me), a table to sew, a cutting table, an ironing table and a place to create hair accessories.

4. A COMMAND CENTER for my business. This is on the top of my list! This is very important to me as I hope to stay organized with my business this way. I will have a place for orders, model bookings, giveaway ideas, design ideas, inspiration, new product ideas and much more! I have a wall on reserve for just this. I've had an inspiration picture for a long time. I plan to do this over the weekend! Here is my inspiration photo.
Mine will probably be more full. The basic idea is here though. The cork board, the peg board, The white board, the chalk board.  I also love the pockets. If I laminate 12X12 scrapbook paper, it turns it right into a dry erase board. How cute and organizational is this! I absolutely LOVE IT!!! As I make progress I will be posting more pictures. I am in a hurry {so I can get back to work} to pictures will come in tomorrows post.

What do you want to do to your craft space? If you have a craft space please leave me a comment with your blog link so I can visit <3

Here are some rooms that inspire me:
{I want to take something from each room and place it in mine. Whether it's a storage idea or decorative}
This would be great to store scrapbooking supplies OR hair accessory supplies. I could also see some sewing supplies stored on these.

 Do you have extra drawers you do not need anymore? How cute is useful is this? I have some in the garage I am thinking about using.
 If only I have a larger room! My kids would LOVE this!
 This set up is a lot like mine. I love the island table made with shelves. Color and all!
I envy that HUGE table and storage space under it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Hair Bow Holders

My girls have an abundance of hairbows due to the fact that I cannot stop making them for them:) I am obsessed with hair accessories and making them! So, I wanted cute hairbow holders that will hold a lot of bows AND headbands. I Google Imaged them (something else I am obsessed with doing) and found some really cute ones! I really LOVE the ballerina bow holders! They are insanely cute! Like this one I found  here. 
This would be adorable to have in a cute bedroom but I wanted my kids to be able to make it.

I made this one for a customer in my shop

I do love to hand paint things and give it that personalization. I was really tempted to do this for my girls with thier favorite colors and thier name on it....still, it would be cute on the wall but wouldn't be fun for them to help with.

Here is something else I considered. This is one of my favorites! She gives great instruction on how to make one! Here they are.

After giving it a lot of thought I decided that my girls would have more fun creating something they could be proud of. So, we went through some canvas and settled on the simple canvas bow holders. They had a blast! I think this was one of the best projects we have ever done together!

My girls loved choosing thier paint color and painting thier own canvas. Don't mind the mess on the porch. We always have multiple projects going on. lol
I think they made good choices for thier canvas color:)
Next they got to choose thier ribbon from my scrap ribbon. That was fun!

Here is a small tutorial for how to make these cute simple bow holders.
1. Paint your canvas (or let your little one do it.)
2. Choose your ribbon. I like to use different width ribbon. The bigger bows stay on the 7/8" and 1 1/2" ribbon better than they would the smaller width. I like to put the clippies and small bows on the 5/8" and the 3/8" ribbon. Also, when you are laying out your ribbon and deciding where to glue it, keep in mind the type of bows your child usually wears. If you don't space the ribbon far enough apart you will not be able to use all of the ribbon and you will lose some space on your bow holder. Here is an example of that:

Notice that lavendar 3/8" ribbon in there? I'm sure when we move some bows around we can eventually use it.

3. Cut your ribbon pieces long enough to where you can tuck them in to the wood frame just a little on the back of the canvas. This make it tighter, it lays flat against the wall because the glue is on the inside of the canvas frame and not right on the back.

4. Glue all of your ribbons spaced out.

My little girl chose all of these herself. I should have put the 3/8" ribbon closer to the edge of the canvas.
This holder does not just hold bows. We needed something to hold the headbands as well. So, this is what we did. Cut a longer piece of ribbon to loop to hold the headbands. Here is an example of what it will look like.

I left the space (like you see on the pink plaid) so I could put clippies there too. That ugly space will be covered with clippies.

Here's how to make the loops. Glue the end of the ribbon right between the frame and the canvas as shown below.

Then glue down the frame and press the ribbon down as flat as possible so the frame will sit against the wall flat.

Your ribbon will hang down as shown in the photo below.

Now loop your ribbon up and glue it and you're finished  :)
Very simple, cute, colorful and your little one will have fun making it and be very proud of her creation when she is finished. Tip: Obviously you wouldn't want your little one to use a hot glue gun. Pick up a cool temp glue gun for these type of projects. I will be doing that this weekend. Happy Crafting!

Here is our finished result. They have a lot more bows than this. They will be on there today.

I am planning on picking up some wooden letters for thier initial to go above thier bow holder. I will paint those to match thier room:)

I LOVE LOVE that we can store thier head bands! I made my loop kind of big so they will hold more than one head band.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A new wardrobe for my little {big} girl

My little {big} girl is going to public school this year :( It's bittersweet. I'm excited for her but I will miss homeschooling her. After 3 years of her not having a real birthday party with actual friends there because we don't really know anyone here she came to me asking to go to public school. If we lived in a big city that answer probably would have been a firm NO but we live in a small town and the schools here are not bad. Now, for those of you that think homeschooling makes a child socially awkward. We do not NOT know anyone here because we homeschooled. We moved 6 hours away from everything we knew so my husband could be closer to his parents and get a better job. My child is not in the least bit socially awkward. She is quite opposite actually. I am always having to tell all 3 of my girls to stop telling people we don't know our whole life story. lol

I am happy that I get to make her an adorable wardrobe! I have a million little outfits in my mind! From Peasants to apron knots to twirl dresses....It's all there! She has informed me that she wants a new outfit for the first 2 weeks of school! She is her mothers daughter and a little clothes horse! I suppose that is my fault. None of my 3 girls will wear anything from a clothing store. They all want one of a kind outfits that no one else has. My husband says that I am heading into trouble because they will eventually become teenagers. Some say they will grow out of it and want clothes from the Mall when they are older. If they are anything like my Mother they will have me working at all hours of the day to create them that one of a kind outfit. My Grandmother was an amazing Tailor! Not just a seamstress, she could make anything fit like a glove on anyone.

I have been searching high and low for the right kind of inpiration for this wardrobe. I love many pattern makers. Mama Stellato, Little Lizard King, Tye Die Diva. One that really has me in awe is Create Kids Couture. Mostly because of their choices in fabric combinations! I have one pattern by them. I will eventually have many more. What are some of your favorites? Free patterns are my favorite of course! Who doesn't love something that's Free right? Speaking of Free. I was trying to think of what to do with all of the scrap fabric I had. My daughter asked for a "patchy dress". So, I made a bodice, we sewed all of the square (after cutting them of course) together and this is what we got! Isn't it cute?

What ideas do you have? I would love to hear {read} about them! If you have a crafty blog, ready a crafty blog or know of any great patterns please post them:)