Thursday, June 28, 2012

One Sweet Slice & Material Girls... Heaven

Last night, these wonderful women who run Sewing Summit (Erin) and SNAP! (Tauni) hosted this fun blogger gathering between a cupcake shop and a fabric store. Thanks to Tauni Everett and Erin Singleton. How lucky I was to be able to just drive up the street, here in South Jordan, Utah, to attend.

The cupcakes were so cute and little and yummy. And thank goodness that One Sweet Slice uses cream cheese frosting on their cupcakes because some shops don't and they aren't half as yummy as these little guys were.

Chocolate is always my favorite though, and these little towers of delight didn't disappoint.

My cute friend, Ruth, was my date for the night, and we both love cupcake, so we were happy to be a part of the whole shindig. Ruth has a great cooking/gardening/lifestyle blog: and I highly suggest that you check that out because those recipes are good, and she is one smart cupcake.

Personally, I think I love cupcakes more.

It is always fun when worlds collide. This cute lady, Cynthia Bee, I first met backstage during the Republican Convention in Utah when my husband went up to give his speech (he ran for US Congress up until Convention in April). I noticed Cynthia's SNAP name tag, which was going on the same weekend as convention, and we struck up a conversation. She blogs about gardening. And I think she is great. The best part about these events is that you get to get out and visit with friends that have the same interests. And all of these women are just so sweet. You will notice this skirt I am wearing. I will post about that later.

That was a lot of talk about cupcakes, but I love Fabric most... and it was a busy night at Material Girls Fabric Store. I feel like Material Girls is my second home. Sometimes I come into the shop when I make something hard just because I know that the nice, talented ladies there will appreciate my work and understand why I love it so much. So I was so excited to use this opportunity (sans children and with a little discount) to stock up.

And stock up, I did. There was much goodness to partake of in last night. And I purchased the stack in my arms in this picture... then went back for more when I saw this adorable Robert Kaufman Roar Stripe in Bright. I fell in love. And I purchased some of this cute, circular aqua fabric to go with it, also Robert Kaufman. So fun. A great night out. And so many great people to enjoy it with.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A new website and a deal for you...

My new website is up and running. I am so excited about it. I would love for you to visit. Here you can purchase my patterns, headbands, and bags... along with other things.

To save some money for my readers and friends, here is a coupon code:

Coupon Code: blogcoupon20
Expires: August 31, 2012
Discount: 20% off Headbands

I would love your feedback!

Among the Greats. Well, sort of. :)

I have been designing patterns like crazy lately. And I have been seeing my patterns pop up in some stores and online. Today I had a moment where for just two seconds I felt like I had arrived.

We were told that my pattern was listed on the Hawthorne Threads site. Surely they purchased kits from Riley Blake with a pattern that I had designed. So I looked at the site and on their list of pattern designers by name, the list went like this:

Amy Butler
Anna Marie Horner
April Cobb
and who knows who else was listed below? Who cares? My name appeared somewhere in a list of designers next to these two names. Of course that only happened because of alphabetical order. But who cares? It still happened.

Well, I am back in reality now where I fully comprehend that I am not nearly the designer that either of these women are, but it feels good to be among them in some random, alphabetical way. He he.

The Bebe Dress by Sew Serendipity Studios (Kay Whitt)

I knew I loved this dress when I saw the pattern on Kay Whitt's blog. Shortly after the Spring Market, I purchased the pattern at Pine Needles in Gardner's Village. (Cute quilt shop.) I had a zillion things to do but I somehow found the time to make the dress, and I really like it. So I made the Bebe Dress No. 123 with Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 in Saffron fabric. I am loving orange more and more so this was a fun couple of prints to make the dress with.

I felt like Kay's Pattern was easy to understand and well written. I didn't get stuck on anything at all and zoomed right through it, until I realized that I had sewn one sleeve on upside down. Oops. But in the end, it worked out. I also did my own thing on the waist band. It is an optional step, and I believe that she instructed to stitch the waist band on in between the bodice and skirt. I actually cut a strip of fabric and ironed each long edge under 1/4 inch then top stitched it over the top of the already connected skirt and bodice. I like the look.

I also lengthened the dress as well as the contrast along the bottom of the dress.

Unfortunately I am not as skinny and petite as Kay Witt is when she models the dress on the pattern cover (and I feel big next to her in real life too.) So I think the dress looks better on her but it is a new fun dress for me and no one will ever see us standing next to each other in our dresses at the same time to compare. So I think I am safe. Thumbs up on this fun pattern.

Amy Butler A-Line Skirt Pattern Review

I love Amy Butler's Patterns. They are well written and usually have something unique about them. A couple of years ago I made the Barcelona Skirt. Sadly, I either measured wrong or somehow misinterpreted the sizing because I made a medium. I usually wear a medium. But it turned out a bit small. In fact, it is supposed to sit below the waist, and mine goes up high above my waist because it is the only way I can get it to fit over my hips. I feel like a fatty in it so I don't wear it very much. 

In my effort to create some fun skirts to wear this summer, I purchased some fabric from Amy Butler's Love collection. I don't see this fabric used much, but I love the colors and design. It is Sandalwood  Turquoise.

 So I tried the size large. I could tell when I put it on before it was done that it was too big. So I took it in a bit, and with the lining, it fits fine. I probably should have taken it in more, but this is all about comfort so who cares, right?

I can never seem to leave a good pattern alone so I added this ruffle at the bottom in Amy Butler's Love Sunspots Mint. It is more like a bunch of pleats that I sewed on as I went. They are not uniform or measured. They are just folded and sewed as I went along, and I like the look. It took three 5" by WOF strips to make that pleat/ruffle. 

I think maybe one person has complimented me on this skirt since I wore it and I am sort of always looking for such compliments because I worry that being immersed in this SUPER-creative fabric world, my taste is getting a little loud. But I don't really care what other people think because I love what I love and I really like the way this skirt turned out.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A pattern printing press right in my home. Who knew?

My husband has done quite a search to find a printer to print the many patterns that I have to deliver soon for Riley Blake. Printing in large format is so expensive. For one print, we were getting quotes like $1.75 each. How do you make any money selling a pattern when you are paying so much? We were bound to printing 100 prints at once to get a decent deal. It was like 66 cents per sheet. We called today to have them print for us, and they told us they had misquoted us. Shoot! What to do?

My husband pointed out that my vinyl cutter has a plotter on it that we have never used. It comes with a flimsy little ball point pen attachy thing, which wasn't quite good enough. So we wound some tape around a gel pen, cut off the top of the pen so it didn't get in the way of the top of the cutter. The printing was quite nice. 

Then we took my patterns in an illustrator file and imported them into my vinyl cutting software. Guess what!! It worked like a charm. We bought a role of 18" x 32 yards of paper from IKEA for $4.99 and will now be printing each of my Messy Macy Bib/Smock patterns ourselves (or rather letting my plotter draw the patterns for us.) It works so nicely.

It is such a miracle when something like this works out the first time around. And now I know that I have a pattern printer in my home!!! Oh the fun I will have. I can't wait. I am going to save hundreds of dollars this time around. And who knows what it will lead to?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Joel Dewberry's Fabric Room... Heaven

When I accidentally met Laurie and Joel Dewberry, I didn't even know who Joel was. I was totally into the fabric and sewing world, but somehow I hadn't committed his name or designs to memory. We laugh about it now, but he had to get out his iPhone and show me his website so I could see his work. It didn't really ring a bell. Then he and Lauri came to my booth later that day and he began to point out all of his fabrics that I was already using on my headbands. Oops. he he. 

Anyway, perhaps it is because I didn't know who he was that my husband and I were able to become such fast friends with this wonderful, kind and talented couple. Now, less than a year later, I have been able to work with them on pattern designs using his wonderful fabric. And I really do love his fabric more than any other designer's fabric (though I really love a lot of designs by other artists. 

Last week I spent some time over at their home and needed to get some fabric for the upcoming farmer's market season. I have so many bags to make. Well, again I was reminded of how much I love Joel's work. The Dewberry's have a cold storage room in their basement with metal shelves filled ceiling to floor with bolts of fabric that he designed from his many lines. It is like heaven with concrete walls. It is like going into a fabric store that doesn't have any of the ugly fabric by designers with different taste. I love going in that room.

Anyway, Laurie and I cut and cut and cut piles of fabric (see all that fabric stacked up behind Laurie in this picture? It is mine... all mine (imagine the sinister laugh here.)

And when I loaded up garbage bags of fabric to leave, we laughed about how I was "making out like a bandit," black bag and all. Not that I didn't pay for the fabric, but that bag is funny.

I love these people. they are so much fun. And I think they love me too because do you see these three stuffed kitchen bags? These are the Joel Dewberry fabric scraps going back a few years. Joel and Laurie have given them to me. What an honor. What a surprise. What a lot of work I have before me to use all of them. But use them I will.

I think I will be sewing for the rest of my life, even if I never buy another piece of fabric again.I have a stash. Thanks, Joel and Laurie, for being such good friends and for letting me be in your fabric heaven.

I blog about sewing and don't sew to blog. And hooray Farmer's Market!

You know, I like to blog and keep records and journal, but I really really like to sew. And sometimes I cruise around and look at people's wonderful craft blogs and think "How do these people constantly keep these blogs up and full of new ideas and projects?" But the reality is that I want to sew what I want to sew, and I don't want to sew to keep my blog fresh and relevant. I blog because I like to keep track of what I have done and show others and get their input.

I would hate to feel like I was sewing to blog about it. So I will keep puttering along with my blog the way it is. I have been up to lots of stuff lately and will try to stay up to date on projects but I have to live to be able to blog. So I put living and experiences first.

So as I head into life, I must mention that a big part of my every year is starting up again this week. The downtown farmer's market in Salt Lake City begins this coming Saturday, June 9th. Every year I look forward to my weekly journey downtown for Saturday mornings filled with interesting people (and people watching) and a lively customers who are so kind. I love getting out in public and talking to people about what I have made and hearing their feedback. I also like the income. Who wouldn't? So now I have 16 or more weeks ahead of me of this fun before I again hibernate for the winter.

These are some of the fun bags I sold last year. I have a lot more up my sleeve for this year. I can't wait.

Hooray for the farmer's market and hooray for summer!