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Design A Day – Day 1: A Wristlet

Patchwork Wristlet - View 1

Gemmafactrix recently issued a challenge via a flickr group, Design a Day. Her challenge: to make something new every day for a month. She wrote, “Often I get so caught up in selling my work – taking photos, packaging, shipping, updating my website – that I forget to just enjoy creating. Hopefully this group will help me – and you – do that. ” With the start of the new month, I am taking the challenge. Here is my first design: a new wristlet that I’m absolutely in love with. I made it for someone else, and now I’m sad that I have to give it away! I will definitely be making more.
Patchwork Wristlet - View 2

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Ice Storm = Productivity

We had our second ice storm in as many weeks today, and it looks like it’s going to continue into tomorrow. It was bad enough that the university was closed and I got to spend the day at home, instead of at work. I planned ahead this time and went grocery shopping yesterday, so SciFi Man and I were able to watch a House episode we hadn’t seen and warm ourselves up with beef stew from the crock pot and biscuits.

Paisley Sea Denim Card Wallet

I also finished up a bunch of card wallets I’ve been working on through the week and listed them in the shop. I’ll try to do a few more tonight and get them listed tomorrow. I’ve got some pretty cranberry red ones coming up next that I think are going to be lovely. One of the wallets I posted today is a bit more environmentally friendly that my other wallets have been. It includes a denim lining made from recycled jeans. The jeans were still in great condition, and I hated to see them go to waste, so they went to wallets instead. I think it makes the wallet a bit more “heavy duty,” too.

If you’ve read many of the recent posts on this blog, you know I’m interested in doing what I can to have a smaller impact on the environment, so the idea of recycling clothing into something new appeals to me. But what do you think of the idea? Would you buy a new product made from recycled fabric?

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A New Machine and a Finished Project

What happened to this morning’s post? It was delayed, because I was happily sewing away on my fancy new sewing machine! It was time to retire my good old generic home ec machine and bring in the new Baby Lock Creative Pro. So far, I’m loving it.

Nap Time Baby Tote

This afternoon I finished up a tote bag for a friend. She’s giving it as a baby shower gift, which I think is the perfect thing to do with a bag like this. The bag has large pockets for everything baby needs, and best of all, it can be unfolded and unzipped into a soft, flannel blanket for baby to rest or play on. My friend picked out the fabrics. She chose a gorgeous blue paisley for the exterior and, to keep Dad happy, a pale blue camouflage flannel for the interior. I hope they love it.

Nap Time Baby Tote in Action!

I’ve got a little bit of the paisley fabric left over, so expect to see it in my next project.

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Custom Order Finished

Custom Laptop/Overnight Bag

I just finished a custom laptop/overnight bag for a friend. It’s nice and roomy, with a zippered inside pocket and a smaller, non-zippered inside pocket. The exterior has a large pocket across the front. The bag has handles and an adjustable strap, and just to make sure nothing falls out, the whole thing stays shut with velcro. I hope she likes it.

Custom Laptop/Overnight Bag Detail

We went shopping together to pick out the fabric, and I think she really chose some wonderfully matched colors and patterns. The lining of the bag is the cream fabric with small blue stars, which matches nicely with the blue body of the bag and multi-color blue and tan stripe. I really love when someone I live near asks me to make them a bag and we can pick the fabric out together. I’ve had the pleasure of doing this with a few friends, and I’m always so pleased with the colors and patterns they choose. So far, they have never been the ones I would have chosen but they always work together just right and they reflect something about the person who will be carrying that bag. What could be better?

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Online Swapping

Wallets for “Look What I Made” Swap (Based on That*Darn*Kat’s Tutorial)

After my fun trade with KeelyB, I did a little poking around on the internet to see if I can find another way to do some trading. I found Swap-Bot. Swap-Bot is a site that makes it easy to set up swaps for all sorts of things–it matches participants for you, helps you track when items are sent and received, lets you share photos of the things that have been swapped, and most importantly, allows swappers rate each other, so that you can have some assurance that you aren’t trading with an unsavory swapper. There’s still risk involved, but it’s comforting to see that someone has managed to send their swaps out and that the recipients have been pleased with them.

Wallet Bound for NorwayRight now, I’m involved in a crock pot recipe swap (mmm!), a CD swap, a lip balm swap, and a “look what I made” swap. I’ve been making up some pretty fabric wallets for that last swap, using a tutorial from that*darn*kat. These wallets are a bit fancier than my simple card wallets. I’m quite pleased with how they turned out, and I may have to make one for myself. If you’re looking for a way to trade crafty goodness with others, I recommend you check out Swap-Bot. I haven’t been disappointed yet. (Oh, and of course, it’s free to use.)

Do you swap or trade? If not through swap-bot, then how?

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Big City Fabric Shops

Light Brights and Secret Garden Card Wallets

I got out of town this past weekend to spend some much-needed time with a good friend, good food, and all the fabric the city has to offer. Living in a small town, my fabric options are limited to the local Jo-Ann’s, a lovely but pricey quilt shop, and a Hobby Lobby with a small fabric section. I managed to find some fun new fabrics that I think will make cute card wallets and some wool for a coat I’m going to start working on for winter (I’m going to try to make the pink one, but in gray). I’m still searching for some insulated-type batting to make oven mitts with, though. I also got a few card wallets done this past weekend. Two of them went to new homes with friends in St. Louis, and the rest should be going into the shop sometime today.

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A Wristlet

Mystery Prize Revealed - Olive Green Wristlet

A few days ago, ConnieC won the “6 weird facts about me” contest and along with the satisfaction of winning she also won a mystery prize. The prize was mysterious because I hadn’t made it yet. It’s now finished up though, and I hope she won’t be disappointed. It’s a wristlet, made with an olive green Tracy Porter fabric with butter-yellow designs. Connie told me she preferred small bags, and at 7 inches wide at the top (9 inches at the bottom) this wristlet is just that. It’s pleated, though, so it’s a little roomier than a flat bag would be. I’m able to carry my over-full key ring, cell phone, credit cards, and cash in one of these and still have a little room to spare.

Connie, I’ll get the wristlet in the mail in the next day or two. Thanks again to everyone who entered my contest. And if you want a wristlet of your own, I have a few in my shop, and I’m always open to custom orders. Just email me or send me a convo on Etsy.

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New Card Wallets

Fresh Batch of Card Wallets

I made up a batch of card wallets yesterday. These are are a fun little project to make. And the wallets are so versatile. I first made one to hold my business cards, but really they can hold all sorts of things–money, credit cards, small gifts, jewelry, feminine products, and anything else that’s no larger than 3″x4.75″.

Some of these wallets already have new homes and the others will end up in my Etsy shop today. I have more of all of the fabrics in the photo, so if there’s something you would like that you don’t see in my shop, please feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to make one up just for you! And if you’re just waiting until one catches your fancy, keep checking back. I’ll be making more soon.

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Card Wallet

Card Wallet

After getting my pretty new business cards, which turned out just lovely, I realized I needed a way to carry them around with me. So, always ready to grab on to a reason to avoid what I really should be doing and run with it, I whipped up a quick little card wallet.

It’s just the right size for business cards. I made it with a piece of brown corduroy lined with a pink and purple berry print and sealed it up with a brass snap. This was also my first chance to use one of my new sew-in labels, and I love it. I feel like the label made the whole thing look more “official” and finished.

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Compass Rose Handbag

Compass Rose Handbag
I’ve finished up another new purse. There’s so many things I want to make, I have a hard time sticking to old styles. So these new on is in a style I haven’t offered in my shop before. It’s a handbag sized tote, big enough to carry all you need plus some, but not overly huge. I think it turned out really nicely. The body and handles are made with twill cotton and the outside pockets (all six of them) and lining are a great blue fabric with a print that makes me think of a compass rose–combined with the blue, it’s rather nautical. Maybe a good bag to carry to the beach? It’s got a zippered top to keep things you want in and things you don’t want out. I’ll be adding it to the shop later today. I’ve got a bit of the blue fabric left, so I may put together a matching wallet next.