Saturday, April 30, 2011

Making pricetags:

My first craft show in almost a year is tomorrow! I'm so excited. I've spent most of the day getting things together. Social Canvas 2011 will be held on the River Walk in downtown Augusta from 1-4pm. The River Walk is a walkway up on the levee of the Savannah river, and it's right outside of the Morris Museum. I participated in Social Canvas last year, and it was a great show. Local bands play outside, vendors sell their local art, local artists will be painting live, there is painting for kids, and so much more. I'm so happy to help out the Morris Museum and support local art!
I made clothing tags using images I took with Instagram. Along with a little magic in photoshop, I made the perfect tag! It was a little tricky lining up the font so it would print exactly on the backside of the image. Since I'm self-taught in photoshop, I'm sure there are a few ways to make everything I do in that program easier, but I manage. I printed them on 110 weight card stock with my inkjet printer. So easy!
The heart shaped Martha Stewart hole punch and scrap yarn to finish the tags. Then, they are safety pinned to the garments. I think it's important to pay attention to every little detail when selling your handmade goods. Buyers notice these things, especially when they positively affect your product. I think I might just be a control freak and sometimes go overboard with the details, but that's just me. Notice how I use the same font for everything? My blog's banner, buttons, business cards, and now my tags. 
I can't wait to see how my lingerie is received. I love art shows because you get to meet who buys your product. Don't get me wrong, I love Etsy, but 99% of the time, the buyer doesn't leave a message and there is no communication. I love telling the buyer the story behind the fabric, getting to know them a little, and helping them find exactly what they want! And since I have never sold my lingerie at a show before, this will be interesting.
I purchased some brown paper gift bags at Michaels today, stapled my card to each one, and stopped by Salvation Army for some uncut vintage patterns to use in place of tissue paper. That's one of my secret packaging trademarks, I use patterns instead of tissue paper. It's a nice surprise when the customer opens their order and it has added character and recycled properties to it, I think. Guess it's not a secret anymore ha.
Anyone in the Augusta area, feel free to stop by and say hello! I'll be including all my new pieces that haven't yet made it into my Etsy shop. Whatever doesn't sell will be listed early next week. Have a great weekend! Spring is in the air, eh?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Etsy Review: ProChoice Hanger Necklace

I first saw this striking necklace on a girl at the bar. I liked it because it was a hanger and I thought, oh, that's perfect for me since I make clothes. Then I got to talking with the girl, Ashley, she told me that she got it on Etsy and it was for Planned Parenthood, supporting the prochoice movement. Even better! It symbolizes the horrors of the struggle for prochoice, the struggle to gain the right to have a choice, and access to abortion services.

While I don't really like politics or pushing my views on other people, that is not what my blog is about, I'll just say that I am prochoice and leave it at that. Also, religion and abortion issues aside, women need access to birth control and family planning assistance. Planned Parenthood provides many services other than abortions, 97% of their their funds, actually. This necklace supports Planned Parenthood, a great organization that helps women! Women that cannot afford health care, birth control, education on their pregnancy, etc.

$10 from every necklace sold on Sweet Sulka's Etsy page goes to Planned Parenthood; it can even go to your local chapter, just let her know when you buy it! I love this necklace! Buy one for only $16 here. With federal funding to Planned Parenthood being cut tremendously, they need every penny they can get. I highly recommend this Etsy shop!

Great necklace. Super fast shipping! Well crafted. A+!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hat Wall

A fun new addition to my living room: my hat wall! I had way too many hats lying around in my sewing room, and I needed to reduce the clutter. I was inspired by this wardrobe organization post on Apartment Therapy. Such a great site! Check it out. If you live in a small space they have some great decorating ideas. 
I simply nailed long nails into the wall where I wanted the hats to hang. It was that easy! Now to figure out how to add my small headband style vintage hats. They are currently in hat boxes since they can't hang on the wall with the other ones. Hmm... any ideas?

Monday, April 25, 2011

$1 dress!

While shopping in Columbia on Saturday, I found so many awesome summer clothes and other clothes to repurpose for summer. It's already reaching the mid-80s during the day and staying in the 60s and 70s at night, so it's time to start wearing summer dresses, yay! One of my favorite finds of the day was this J. Crew dress, a size 6, only $1.00!
Dress: J. Crew, thrifted, $1. Shoes: vintage.
Belt: thrifted, vintage, $1. Necklace: Dinosaur Toes.
Sarah and I, after thrifting all day, had a little bit of relaxing at my place before hitting the downtown for a few cocktails. We never go out on weekends just the two of us, so we decided it was a night for heels and getting all dolled up. I'm more of a high-waisted shorts and tank top girl when I go to the bar. I'm retiring all my jeans unless they're worn for work or it's cold.
At Metro. I love Instagram!
With our friend Reuben. There was a really fun band playing 80s and 90s music at Metro. We danced a little and called it an early night since Easter was the next morning. A great night with friends.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thrifting: golden braids and old lady tables

Yesterday was a beautiful Saturday here in the south. It's unfortunate spring hasn't sprung everywhere yet. We're definitely enjoying this warm weather. My friend, Sarah, and I drove up to Columbia, South Carolina, an hour from Augusta, for a little thrifting and adventure. We hit a few thrift stores we went to last time, and a few that we had driven by and were on our list. 
Since Sarah is moving into a place soon with her kids there was much thrifting to be done. And thrifting is my fabric shopping. It's a great way for me to find new sources of inspiration in the fabrics I buy. I'm currently shopping for fabric for a new addition to my lingerie: two piece sets! I want to make comfortable little bloomers with a tie back bra to match. I've been buying a lot of silks and super soft cotton. A large women's blouse or cozy cotton printed tee are the perfect size. I was in thrifting heaven at His Store, a thrift store where all clothes are only $1!
Hilarious wall hanging! A girl on the phone with her puppy nearby. I love love love how her ponytail is free flowing and not attached to the fabric. I think I want to replicate this technique with an updated outfit and different colors. It reminds me of this Etsy seller's work.
Check out these amazing folding tables I found! They're not in perfect shape, there's a little rusted and bent. But they are perfect for me since I will be using them in my backyard. With a rag and some cleaner and my strong arms to straighten the delicate metal, they'll be just what I need!
They have beautiful painted flowers, birds, and butterflies. If my wicker furniture doesn't already make passers-by think this house is inhabited by an old lady, these will surely do the trick! They'll be great stands for cocktails and food when I have guests or just enjoying the sunshine.
Who remembers these things?! Butane hair curlers. The first cordless curling iron. My sister had one when she was a teenager and I remember it being a really big deal when she'd let me use it. The butane refills didn't last long and they were really expensive (or they just seemed expensive because as a kid you never have money ha).
Another white lamp for Sarah. She has a thing for milk glass lamps, and white glass lantern lamps. This one was only $5! We found her another huge one for her living room. You can never have enough lamps. They're so much homier than overhead lighting. They really make a house a home. I recently fell in love with and watched the entire series of "Pushing Daisies". The Aunts on the show have so many lamps in their house, I just love it! I need to take a cue from them and get more for my house. (But not be a hoarding old woman. I've been getting freakishly close lately!)
$1 wall hanging! For my wall of chaos on my stairway (pictures soon).
Another packed car, kind of. I bought Matt a sweet 60s bachelor lamp. It's something a man with leather bound books and a liquor cabinet in his office would have had. Plus I got bags and bags of clothes. It's hard to say no to clothing when it's 50 cents or $1 and I can definitely make something out of it. I have been exercising a lot of "No, Sally, you don't need that" in my head, and I've actually been putting things back I don't need. Yay! Overcoming hoarding tendencies, kind of. 
This was the small and probably one of the more interesting things I bought. It was at His Store last time we went and I remember thinking to myself that it was junk and it should have just gone in the trash instead of on a table at a thrift store. But an idea struck me yesterday when I saw it. It's a small business card holder, I think. It says "Table Grace. Before we eat we bow our heads and thank thee God for our daily bread. Amen." It's very dirty, rusty, and not much to look at.
Since I have my first art show in almost a year next Sunday, Social Canvas, I needed a new business card holder. It has the prongs holding the little piece of paper, and I thought what a perfect little holder. I could put my card in that one's place and paint it. This was a perfect little thing to repurpose. And such a quick fix!
First, I cleaned it, scrubbed all the grime and dust off it, removed the paper, and dried with a towel. Then about 10 seconds of spray paint. I already had the paint from a previous project. I do not advise using spray paint indoors. Or on such a small piece of cardboard. Step outside and use a big newspaper if you're using spray paint. I'm just weird and the smell of spray paint doesn't bother me. I actually kind of like it. Plus I've been using spray paint for years and years and I don't make too much of a mess.
I allowed for it to dry then bent all of the prongs upward using my small pliers. I trimmed a business card to the perfect size. Then Tacky Glue! I don't trust just those prongs to hold the paper in place, and tacky glue works wonders on crafts.
Dabble a little on surface. I like to use a paint brush to cover the entire area needing glue. Carefully, I sat the card on the metal surface and left it for about 5 minutes. I then came back and bent all the prongs back down. 
It is so beautiful. And I'm not just saying that because there is a picture of me on it haha. It will be great for shows. A shopper will clearly know that they can find cards in this tray. Plus you can never go wrong with gold! 

Oh, and the winner of the Earth Day Giveaway is: Tess! Congrats. 
I hope you enjoy your reusable snack bag. Email me with your contact info, Tess. 

Another giveaway for Mother's Day next week!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Giveaway

Happy Earth Day everyone! What are you all doing to celebrate Earth Day? I planned on riding my bike all day. Then I was going to go read along the Riverwalk and enjoy the birding chirping and spring flowers blooming. But it's raining and not the best day for riding. It's so gross out today! So now I'm stuck wearing my yellow galoches and trying to stay dry under an umbrella.
For this Earth Day I wanted to give something to my readers. Last year I made the first of these. My sister bought "SNACKS" cloth napkins at a thrift store and made reusable snack pouches. They're great to throw in your snacks and take to work. Forget about buying little bags of chips to take in your lunch everyday, buy a big bag and fill this up a few times to put in your lunch! 
Also, it's a great way to reduce waste of everyday ziplock bags. 
The interior is a vinyl picnic tablecloth, and washable!
If you don't win this giveaway, a few more are available for purchase here.

To enter: comment on this entry and tell me what you're doing to celebrate Earth Day! Extra entries if you follow me on Twitter, or if you're a Facebook Fan (be sure to leave an extra, SEPERATE comment indicating either). Also tweet about this giveaway for an extra entry (be sure to tag @sally_ann AND leave an additional comment here telling me you did)! The winner announced tomorrow night. Good luck!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Roxanne: master seamstress!

Yesterday my Facebook page was flooded with tags of photos posted by my mother. Pictures of my three siblings and I when were very young. One theme I saw in all these pictures, were the handmade clothes. My mom would take her clothes she never wore and cut them down into one-of-kind creations for all four of us. My mom, Roxanne, is amazing! I thought I'd share some of her amazing work and some funny pictures from the 1980s and early 90s. Don't judge the crazy hair. It was cool back then haha.

My "Princess Bride" dress she made. The movie came out in 1987, I was born in 1985, and I remember watching it over and over again, wanting to be the Princess Bride. And I think that's a toy microphone in my hand. I'm pretty sure this was made for my older sister who is five years older than me, but I still loved every second I'd wear it!

The four of us with my mom in 1990 maybe (Sarah, me, Rachael, and Mark). I'm the one in suspenders and red lipstick; standing out even back then. But Rachael and I have matching shirts of course. We spent a lot of time at my grandmother's cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. I'm holding a clay pot I probably had just finished making. Along the shores of the river there was clay instead of sand. We'd fill 5-gallon buckets of clay and make amazing pottery all year round. Imagine my mom as my Girl Scout leader. Best craft projects ever!

Rachael and I playing dressup, 1988. Mom made the best costumes! Rachael was always almost the same size as me and shortly right around this time, she caught up with me. It's great having a sister the same size as you when your mom makes you whatever you want! Of course, convincing that sister to share, another story..

Christmas 1986 I think. Mark, me, Sarah and Mom. She made our matching outfits and out family portraits were always super cool. I wonder where Rachael went. She was 5 months old when this would have been taken.

My older sister, Sarah, on her fourth birthday, 27 years ago exactly! Today is my sister's 31st birthday. Happy birthday Sarah! I wasn't yet born, but check out that awesome dress she got to wear! And even a matching bow in her hair. She is clearly very excited about it.

And lastly one of my favorites. My mother and I in 1987. The overalls I'm wearing she made from a pair of jeans she had in high school. Very impressive, Mom! Notice the butt pocket on the front bib. She even added a little ruffle. I vaguely remember being really excited to put things in that pocket.

Here's a more recent photo of the two of us, Thanksgiving 2006. She's going to kill me for posting these pictures of her, but I don't care. It's her fault for putting them on Facebook for me to download. So tough Mom!

I'm so thankful for my mother. She taught me everything I know. At a very young age she taught me how to sew, and that is definitely one of the most important things about me. It's what I do. She is an amazing artist and there is nothing she cannot do! If she can't do it, she learns how and does it better than most people. The genes she gave me and the things she has taught me are hands down the reason I can see things the way I do and create the things I create. Thanks Mom! I love you and miss you!

I can't wait to go home to Michigan! I'll be there for 9 days in May and hopefully again in July. I hope you all enjoyed a little trip down memory lane. Did any of your mothers make your clothes when you were little? I'd love to hear your stories and see some pictures.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stumbled upon while sewing..

I think maybe I should have made a bigger cat bed:
 Or Clementine needs to go on a diet.
Make your own suitcase cat bed. Tutorial here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Goodbye cassette wallets

Sort of. I just finished boxing up and addressing three large flat rate boxes full of all the tools and supplies I had for making cassette wallets. I'm shipping everything to my sister, Rachael, in Florida. She will be in charge of making cassette wallets for my shop. Looks like I'm expanding, eh? 
I haven't made any in months! I let the supply in my Etsy shop dwindle down to just a few. Since they used to be my most popular products, I want to keep them around. They're so much fun to use and I LOVE them. But making them, that's another story. Rachael has been wanting to learn how to make them for a long time and now she has her chance!
I love that now I'll be able to focus on clothing exclusively. Throwing in a few accessories here and there. Plus it will help Rachael become more familiar with Etsy. She's great on buying things on Etsy of course, but she hasn't yet learned about the selling side of it. It will give her some practice for her vintage shop she is opening soon! 
When I visited her a few weeks ago I brought her my Dremel (so hard to let it go) and an extra tripod I had bought at Goodwill for $5 (it was depressing finding a good one that cheap after I had bought one at Best Buy for $50 the previous week!). Along with the supplies I'm sending her, hot glue gun included, and her D3000, she'll have everything she needs to make them. Then she gets to photograph and list them in my shop. I think she needs to get a Mac, pronto!
So be on the lookout for more cassette wallets in my shop soon! Rachael -- get to work! Haha.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I swear I'm not a cat lady...

I just really love taking pictures of my cats. Like, really love taking pictures of them. I guess I can understand obsessed parents always taking pictures of their children. And since my cats are my kids, I do the same thing. I can only imagine how bad I'll be when I actually have children someday, many many years from now of course.
Poor Clementine had a rough night last night. My boyfriend's Great Dane, Zeus, tried to play with her. Zeus thinks Clem's hitting, very loud crying, and hissing means playtime, but really, Clem just wants to kill him. She was more aggressive than normal, and he was probably thinking "Ooo! Let's go!" He's about 115 pounds and she's about 10. But she still wins. Clem isn't declawed (I don't believe in declawing my cats), and I'm currently out of Soft Paws. I'm sure she got his face a few times. Ha.
Looking at that face and her sweet pictures, you'd never know she's a ruthless bitch. Since her night was so rough, she's been a big sweetie all day, wanting nothing more than to cuddle up with me. Doesn't she look so nice when she's sleeping? She's such a beautiful girl. As soon as I sit down, regardless of what I'm doing, eating, or reading, she has to be on my lap. Being the bitch that she is at heart, she still groans at me if I move the slightest bit and it affects her. It's almost like she's saying, "Uhhhh, I'm sleeping here! Do you mind?!"
You knows she's having a hard day when she lets me hold her like a baby, and she falls back asleep. And a rarity (below). Clementine is actually laying on my chest, close to my face. Such a tired face, both of us.
What would I do without my cats? They keep me sane! I shudder to think of the day that I will have to part with them. Clem's already 6, and Stella is 5. Luckily, keeping cats indoors prolongs their life along with a healthy diet and regular exercise. My girls prefer a laser pointer and wet food no later than 7 A.M. every morning. If I sleep in, they let me have it! Throat stomping is routine around 7:30. Maybe a few head butts from the nicer Stella.
Anyone who doesn't have a cat should get one. But please, rescue one! Don't bother with breeders or specialty cats. There are so many cats that need homes! Thousands of animals every year are euthanized because they do not find homes. And it is so rewarding to rescue one. I'm trying to convince my boyfriend to get a rescued cat for his dog to play with, and I think I've succeeded. Maybe it will make Zeus nicer to my cats. Or at least understand what hissing means ha. We'll see.

All pictures taken using my iPhone and Instragram! I love this app!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Etsy Review: She Belongs There perfume

Since I'm such an Etsy addict, I thought it'd be fun to start sharing and reviewing my purchases. Anyone who has not heard of Etsy, you should check it out. It's a handmade marketplace where you can find almost anything! I buy clothes, beauty products, jewelry, stationary, vintage housewares, and more. And since I've had my shop on Etsy for about 3 years now, I also use it for work.

Last week, I purchased "She Belongs There" Perfume Oil by Lulu Beauty. It is "an evocative entanglement of plush gardenias, exotic pikaki, and night-blooming jasmine, layered with notes of lush, smoky vanilla." Since it is an oil, a little bit goes a long way. Based out of Seattle and hand-blended, each scent Lulu Beauty creates contains 15-20 scents!
I LOVE THIS PERFUME! I keep it in my purse and apply it to my inner wrists and below my ears. And at only $35, it's quite a steal. Also, buying something handmade and produced on a small scale, you won't smell like anyone else! Don't you hate it when someone is wearing the same fragrance as you. I know I do.
I've been on the hunt for a new scent for a long time. I generally wear Burberry fragrances, but I've been wanting to find something handmade. And I believe I couldn't have found something that I like more.  Plus the label and packaging is so lovely!
Their Etsy shop is currently on vacation, but they will be back on May 1st. In the meantime, you can purchase it here:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sterling Sewing Machine

While working at on Monday, a customer came into the bar, a friend of mine, Trent, with a huge surprise. He said, "I have something for you." He began to explain how he was driving by a house in Harrisburg, a part of Augusta a few miles away, and he saw that the house was being gutted, everything going to the dump. Trent saw what appeared to be a briefcase, but to his trained eyes, he saw something else. He thought, "that's a sewing machine or a typewriter!" And alas, it was a sewing machine! "Surprise Sally! Here's an awesome sewing machine for you!"
A Sterling sewing machine. In it's original case! After the little bit of information that I found online this morning, I have discovered it is from the 1930s! I was originally guessing it was late 1940s to mid 1950s, but it's much older than I thought. I found two similar machines on eBay that are from the 30s. The ones on eBay are "Sterling De-luxe" models, and there are a few differences between this one and those. But it's basically the same machine. Maybe this one is even older!
The bobbin case is top loading (the bobbin is still there!), and the scratch on this metal plate is one of the only signs of wear and tear on the machine. I can only imagine the garments a mother in the 30s and 40s made on this machine! My imagination is running wild! I absolutely adore things with history. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy thinking of the things this machine has seen.
I think this is the reverse on the machine. I didn't think machines this old had reverse. It is probably also the way to adjust the length of the stitch. Look closely and you can see me standing at my tripod ha. This machine is so shiny!
Serial number. The electrical cords. I plugged it in and could not get it running, but Trent said he plugged it in and pressed down on the petal and the machine actually worked. I think something came unplugged underneath the machine. I need to take it to a professional and find out more information!
Look how beautiful the gold scrollwork and metal plate is! Things aren't made like the old days. I wonder how much a machine like this originally cost?! It's very similar to the probably more popular Singer Featherweight. Maybe this was like an off brand back then. The similar Singer Featherweight was originally $84 in the 1930s, which would cost over $1,000 today. I guess that explains it's excellent condition. This machine was probably a little cheaper than the Singer. I can't wait to find out more!
The motor. "Universal Motor. 1 AMP. Model 20. 100-115 Volts. 25-75 DC. Made in the US." The belt is even in perfect condition! The case is a very hard cardboard material covered in paper that has seen better days. Maybe it was a machine you'd buy and then later on get the wood cabinet that it sat in. 
It was the best day ever when Trent brought this in! So kind of him to see a sewing machine and pick it up for me! I'm inadvertently starting a collection of antique sewing machines ha. I don't see myself ever using this machine, but what a great thing to own huh?! I don't know what I'll do with it yet. For now I'll do more research.

If anyone knows anything about this machine, please let me know! 
Email me or comment below! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DIY: How to make an apron from an old pillowcase

New sewing room meant time for a new apron! This tutorial will show you how to take a pillowcase and a belt to create the perfect sewing apron. I modeled it after an apron I bought at a craft show year ago. It has three front pockets and ties in back. Check it out. It takes less than an hour!
You will need a pillowcase and something to use for the tie. 
I chose a pillowcase with a fun pattern to work in to the pockets. Also, I found a braided belt lying around. I love the woven rope and the texture. You can use anything (like a men's tie, ribbon, a cloth belt, or even make a long strip of fabric, folded and sewn) as long as it is about 40-50" long.
 Rough sketch of apron.
Cut out these four pieces.
Sew together the two 6" wide pieces along one edge, good sides together. Press and top stitch. This will be the edge of your pocket, so by top stitching, it gives the pockets a crisper edge.
Lay down one large piece. Lining up the bottom edge (or in my case, the geometric pattern that is printed on the fabric), pin the pocket piece down. Next, cut your tie in half, and pin to the large piece, about 1" above the edge of the pocket. Be sure to check that they are symmetrical.
If you are using a woven belt, like I did, be sure to stitch over the edges of the belt before you cut it in half or it will unravel! You don't want that. Simple fold the belt in half, mark the middle with a pin, and stitch back a fourth a few times on either side of this mark. Then when it is cut in half it will not fray.
Pin the other large piece down, good side down. Sew along the two side seams, then sew the bottom edge. Be sure you don't catch the strap in any of these seams. Remove all pins! 
 Clip the two corners.
Turn right side out. Fold the raw edges of the top of the apron in, and pin. Sew.
After sewing the top closed, top stitch along all the edges. Be sure to go back and fourth over the straps to make sure they are nice and strong. This will reinforce them and your apron will be nice and strong!
Last step: sew dividers for the pockets. I chose to have three pockets (white lines depict where to top stitch pockets down), but you can have less or more. Maybe even a 1" wide pocket on far side for pencils, markets, rulers, etc. However you'd like it.
Voila! New apron! Have some fun with it and express yourself in the apron you make. 
Use some crazy fabric, play with color combos for the tie!
Questions? Comments!
Be sure to email me photos of your versions of this! 
I'd love to see what you all are sewing!