Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blast from the past: "Sized down skirt"

Enjoy a tutorial blog post from over two years ago. Haven't changed a thing.. just reposting it. Lazy maybe? Naaah. Matt and I just gutted Shelby and we're tired. Headed to the movies to watch Hooper. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

I could almost fit two of myself inside of this skirt!

When I first moved down to Georgia, I walked into my sister's house in Evans to find a fully furnished bedroom, complete with stickies on everything, my own bathroom, and even projects and fabric for repurposing. My sister had bought this skirt for me to use the material. It was a size 18 skirt from Target, Merona brand.

So big, but notice no specific pleat pattern. Can keep the zipper in it's place an take it in evenly on the right side.
Using the same technique as my previous skirt tutorial, I cut this skirt down to a size 4 in about 20 minutes! It was so easy and now it is so cute! I love the pattern on the fabric. Any skirt similar to this takes just about the same about of time to resize.

Shorthand instructions:

  1. Pin the skirt to your size at the waistband and all the way down the skirt.
  2. Rip open seams where the waistband attaches to the skirt, and the top of the waistband. 
  3. Take in waistband amount that is pinned, both layer of waistband.
  4. Take in skirt where pinned.
  5. Sew waistband back together.
  6. Sew waistband to skirt.
  7. Sew lining of waistband to skirt but "stitching in the ditch"
  8. Cut excess threads.
See the actual tutorial for picture instructions.

I had just woken up form a two hour nap when I asked Rachael to take these pictures. I worked at David's Bridal all morning, got a little break, and I'm headed to the bar soon to work. She says to me, "You gonna put some makeup on your face?", sounding like the broken record that was my dad all through high school. Really Rachael? Haha. I asked her to repeat herself just so I could hear it again. Yup, she's a carbon copy of Paul. My dad always told me to wear makeup but I never really cared enough. I thought I was fine without it. After reexamining myself in the bathroom I touched my face up a little, and then we took some pictures.

Then! I called him to tell him to tell him how ridiculous she sounded, what she said, and he replies, "Well, I hope so!" Never changes. My dad cracks me up.

The finished skirt!
In this one she says, "Sally, you look like a bobblehead. You need to gain weight!" My sister is so nice.
I think it looks great with a plain white tank top. It really brings out the pattern of this skirt.
My necklace is a little mirror!

This skirt is perfect for my fall wardrobe since it never really gets cold here. And being a lightweight denim, it is long enough for breezy days.

Now I'm off to work. It's First Friday here in downtown Augusta, but it's storming outside. Hopefully it's a good night! Hope you all have a great weekend.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A walk down memory lane...

While cleaning out my desk yesterday, I found many old business cards I've made over the years. It made me a little nostalgic and proud of all that I've accomplished professionally. For all you new readers, I established my business back in August of 2008, after I'd spent a few years making purses and sewing clothes for friends. I finally decided to take it more seriously, making it my full-time job. I started an Etsy shop, shut down my Sally Ann Accessories Myspace page I'd used for about a year, yeah that's right, I started on Myspace! And I started a blog. Enjoy some old photos of my development over the years.

From my first photo shoot for my Etsy shop. August 2008. I used to go over to my mother's house with my giant tote of new pieces, and my step dad would photograph all of my week's work. This purse, above, was made out of vintage denim with some silly Elvis prints appliqued to the exterior. All my totes even had "Handmade by Sally Ann. Wash with care" tags inside that I printed on ribbon. It's crazy to think of how long ago this was!

My first "show". I was a vendor at an Earth Day Market in 2009 at the Grand Rapids Public Library. I was so inexperience with shows I just put everything on a big table, didn't even think to bring a tablecloth. Funny old fact: my first purse display was an old IV rack my dad salvaged from his old hospital before they rebuilt their new location. Comparing my recent booth to this is a world away!

September 2009. Purses I used to make from salvaging old handles from the thrift store. This purse was made from old upholstery fabric and the final scraps were finally used in my new line of purses? Recognize this fabric? I loved this purse so much. Sometimes when I look through these old photos I wish I'd kept more of my work, and taken more photos of my workrooms from back then. Another reason I had to go to my mother's house for photos, I was too poor to afford a decent camera. 

Then I moved to Georgia in October 2009. My sister lived here and I was able to fully commit my time to sewing, quit bartending for a few months, and get my head on straight. I continued to make more purses and then took the full plunge into blogging, writing sewing tutorials, and posting more about my life. Read this original post here.

And this one here.

Then I started introducing fun sewing projects, like this one: a t-shirt grocery tote. Here.

And in the fall of 2010, I decided to start designing and repurposing lingerie. Here I am with my friend Sarah, the night before my first photo shoot to launch the mini line on Etsy. Read more here.

Posing with some of the first pieces I repurosed into lingerie. I started with simple vintage slips. Hand dyed them. Repaired all the lace. Shortened them. And made them fit today's styles.

Sewing. Learning how to change my sewing for apparel was quite the task since I'm 100% self taught. Around this time I was also mentoring Kaitlyn, sewing with her about 20 hours a week. Progress on sewing lingerie was slow, since I wanted to take my time learning how to sew stretch fabric, something I wasn't completely familiar with. Throughout 2011 I because quite versed in sewing vintage knits and finished a line of lingerie for my first fashion show in December 2011. 

Hope you all have a great Friday! I'm getting back to work on my new line of lingerie and clothing. Can't. Stop. Working. Need more coffee!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shop update

Last week Zeus helped me photograph some new cassettes wallets, and I finally got around to listing them on Etsy. Well, he laid there in protest huffing and puffing while I photographed them, but I'd like to think he helped. There's a handful of new things in my Etsy shop, so check them out!

Homer's The Odyssey, read by Sir Ian McKellan. Pretty awesome eh?
An old Christian music tape, all of them from this company are bright blue and super fun!

You can't go wrong with Elton John!

I promise I'll have more clothes up soon. I've been so swamped with work, and *fingers crossed* I got my camera working again. It broke the day before Arts in the Heart and I borrowed a friend's camera until last Friday. I'm afraid it's time to shell out a ton of money for a new one. *sigh*

Also! I've changed my weekly newsletter to Wednesdays, so click here to sign up for the weekly video I send out.

Happy Wednesday everyone! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meet Shelby

She's home. I did it! At last! I finally became the owner of a camper. This beauty is a 1971 Shasta Compact. Matt and I purchased her from a lovely lady in the mountains of South Carolina, for whom our camper is named. Shelby was a bargain and will be a great project for Matt and I this fall. We brought her home yesterday.

Shelby is about 10 feet long, 7 feet wide, and full of potential! We plan to completely gut and refinish the interior, making it a mobile shop for Sally Ann shows and festivals, and then someday I can be a crazy street vendor in a big city. And Shelby will also be capable to be transformed into a camper for our travels.

All the windows are original and functional! I love the little wheels inside that open them.  

American made! My kind of camper!

Shasta was the ideal camper for me, because it is one of the most popular camper brands from this era. There are countless forums that will be very resourseful for Matt and I during this renovation. I'm good with tools but this is a whole new kind of project for me. We'll be rewiring the entire interior, replacing the sunroof, resealing the top, and possibly, just possibly, looking into solar panels for the top as a power supply. I'd love to have a few car batteries inside that can be charged entirely by solar power. It may be pricey, but it's definitely something I am considering.

The entire process will be documented and shared with you all on this blog. I'm looking forward to the countless hours I will spend in the near future making this camper my dream mobile! More soon!

Next weekend is the scheduled interior demolition. Tentatively.

I have to give a shout out to the rad chick that sold us this camper, Shelby herself. Visit her Etsy shop for some fun photo booth props! Also, you can follow her on Twitter, and like her on Facebook.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Welcome to Sally Ann

Welcome to my booth, kinda. A little virtual tour per se. Enjoy some close up shots of my booth at Arts In The Heart from last weekend. These photos were from the last day, so it was a little more bare, thankfully. When we first set up on Friday there were so many pieces! A great total of around 280 items in my shop. Now almost 100 of those were little hair bow, but still. That's a lot of inventory. I'm glad it's dwindled down. I marked down the previous lines of lingerie, and priced the clothes very reasonably. 

Are you an artist that sells your work at art shows? Get the Square! It's amazing. Over half of my sales were paid for with a credit card. It works with smart phones and is very easy to use.  When you sign up for an account they send you the reader for free! Check out their website for more info.

Cute little cassette wallets. A venture between my sister and I. We both make these fun little accessories together. I can't wait until she gets out of the Navy, finishes business school, and then we take over the world with our awesomeness and talents! She is actually coming for a visit this weekend! I haven't seen her since June when she came for a weekend to see my gallery show at Mass Canvas (formerly Gaartdensity). We're going to have the best weekend ever!

Cute little hair bows attached to French barrettes. I made a million of them (about 100 actually) and clipped them to belts that hung up around the canopy, location changing throughout the weekend. They're a great way to use up the scrap fabric I'd otherwise throw away in other projects. Good thing I bought the metal French barrettes in bulk, because I'm going to be making a ton of these really soon!

My darling Ursula. She's always an attention getter. So gorgeous. We changed her outfir a few times over the weekend. She's a fiberglass mannequin my mom bought for me in Michigan at an antique store. She's very fragile and a few times over the weekend, had to really yell at some jerks posing with her and leaning on her. I looked over in one instance and they were grabbing her arm and her arm fell off (to remove her arms you just lift up on them, since they have to be removed so often to change her clothes). I about killed that woman! I yelled at her and shoed her off. Guess that's the price you pay for participating in an art festival that serves beer, there are always intoxicated people that don't know how to behave in public. 

My new collection of totes and clutches. The clutches are all listed in my Etsy shop, totes will be up soon. I promise. As soon as I get my DSLR fixed. I can't wait to make more of these soon! My next fashion show, that I just announced this week, is set for December 8th. It's going to feature clothing, lingerie, AND accessories! My previous two runway shows were only lingerie, so this will be fun to dress women for day time as well.

Embroidery from my June show hung on an old door. My gallery show featured 30 pieces of embroidered work, mostly nude portraits, stitched on vintage fabric and framed in salvaged frames, most of which I traded for old housewares at a local thrift shop. Talk about recycling! I can't ever buy new things, and I think it's awesome. Yesterday someone gave me advice I shouldn't emphasize that the word "recycled" or "repurposed" in the tag line of what I "do". That it might discourage customers from buying my work. Au contraire, mon frère. That is what I am about and what I stand for. If it makes people uncomfortable to have second hand materials used in what they buy, then frankly I'm not interested in them as a customer. I want my clients to appreciate what I do for the same reasons I do what I do. And the most important part of my work is that I don't use "new" materials.

The back side of this door was a full length mirror for ladies to step behind and hold up or try on their possible purchase over their clothes. I can't wait to soon have a mobile boutique with a changing room and what not. Possibly even a little sewing station for alterations while people wait. More news on my future plans next week!

People that didn't know their size and didn't want to or couldn't try the clothes on, I'd measure them and measure the garment to show them it would fit well. Nine times out of ten I don't need to measure because I can tell someone's size just by looking at them and know immediately if a piece will fit them. It's a handy little trick I picked up over the years and while being a bridal seamstress. I've been measuring and fitting women for so long, I see in sizes. But most women like to be reassured with numbers. 

One woman I know used her excuse that my booth "didn't have anything that would fit her" for not looking at anything. I pulled out three pieces and said, "these are all your size!" and she said, "no, I'm bigger than that, trust me." and I wanted to snap back, "uhhh... I'm kind of a professional at this, and these will  fit." But she just didn't want to spend money on my stuff, which is fine. Just don't make excuses. I hate that. Just because I know you doesn't mean you're obligated to buy something from my shop. People drives me nuts sometimes. I know my work isn't for everyone. And that is fine. I don't expect to cater to everyones tastes. 

New clothes! I can't wait to post the remaining pieces in my Etsy shop. As soon as more daylight hits my house this morning, I'm photographing all that is left before cleaning for Rach's visit. Then I'm be in Etsy listing heaven for the next few hours (sarcasm: I hate listing things on Etsy!). But at least it's better than it was a few years ago. Etsy admins have done a fantastic job of making it more user friendly.

New lingerie! These were very popular and sold pretty well. I can't wait to list all of these either. Well, rephrase that, I can't wait for it to be online! It's all so feminine and fun. It was hilarious to me how old men would sneer at the wording "Lingerie AND dresses".. The fact that they could be both was so sinful and disgusting to them. Then I'd do the friendly, "Hello, this is my work and I can hear you" look and then smile at them. They'd be embarrassed for being an ass and walk away. People have no common decency anymore. Be respectful of other peoples art. Sure, what I do isn't rocket science, and a seamstress with a good eye could do the same, but the fact of the matter is, this is what I choose to do for a living, and I do it damn well. So shove off and shut up. I'm proud of my work and I think it's wonderful, haters! No one will get me down or change my opinion of how awesome I am! Maybe that's a little braggy but oh well.

The "about me" I hung on a dressform opposite of Ursula in the other corner. 

"Hello everyone. I am Sally of Sally Ann. Established in 2008, I set out to bring the world clothing and accessories made exclusively from vintage and recycled fabric, things that were discarded. I have always had a love for all things old, and respect for things handmade. My passion is transforming old abandoned fabric to something beautiful and fashion forward, giving it new life. 
Enjoy ♥ Sally
All negative Nancies aside, I had the best weekend. My feet were bruised and it hurt to walk, but it flew by too fast. I love seeing people in my clothes and buying them, and it's so amazing to meet people who read my blog, hello to those of you I met this weekend! I met one amazing girl, you know who you are missy, that totally made my weekend, month, year, with her kind words about inspiring her to sew and being happier with herself. She said the sweetest things and make me close to tears. Thank you to all of you that came out and enjoyed yourself. Can't wait for next weekend where I'll set up at Saturday Market on the River in downtown Augusta. See you there!

Thanks to my handsome man for the photos. He's the best, isn't he? I'm such a lucky gal to have such a good partner.

Hope you all have a great Friday! I'm about to clean up my house to prepare for my sister's visit, so she doesn't clean my house herself (she's done it before!). Also, this afternoon I'll be sending out a new video newsletter, so be sure to sign up for it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Guess who turns three today?!

Zeus does! Get ready for cuteness overload. The big dummy is three years old now. I've been fortunate enough to spend almost the last two years with him, as Matt and I have been together about two years. We've now merged our little families into one, and Zeus is the sweetest boy in the world. He is a Great Dane and Black Lab mix. About 75% dane, he weighs in around 100 pounds, and stands about 5'8". Thank goodness he's not full blooded Dane, he already steals whatever he wants from the kitchen counters when no one is looking, and thinks our king size bed is his that we borrow.

Here he is at six weeks old, when Matt first brought him home. Isn't he the sweetest thing you've ever seen in your entire life? I can't imagine him so small. Gah, I want another Dane puppy. Matt and I toss around the idea now and again, and then we travel somewhere with Zeus and realize how much work a big dog can be. We recently got busted for sneaking him into a motel, not everywhere is dog friendly, and then think of those problems times two. I think we'll wait a few years before we introduce another monster into the mix.

And Zeus at 10 weeks. Those ears just melt my heart! I wonder how long before he outgrew that harness. I'm sure a few weeks after this was taken he was needing another. When Zeus was a puppy the vet predicted he'd be 150 pound dane. 

That face. "Play with me. Puh-lease!" The first time I met Zeus, Matt warned me, "my dog is big and playful." What is the first thing I do? I put Zeus in a head lock and he gets so excited he jumps up, scratches my face and then arm from my shoulder to my wrist. But I kinda had it coming. 

Hipster Zeus. He wants to go hang out downtown with all the cool kids.

What is Zeus' favorite thing? The beach. Hands down. I can't wait for a weekend where we can take him to the ocean and swim now that it is the off season. This photo was from our Michigan trip in July. He LOVED Lake Michigan! Our first day at the lake, Zeus played fetch for hours, eventually learning to jump over the waves when going out to get the stick, and he'd body surf in and catch the waves. We even got him up on our kayak for a few minutes before he jumped off and swam with me to shore.

My boys. Love these two so much. Sometimes they forget I'd like to spend time with them too and they take up all the room I'd occupy. Nothing like a man and his dog though. Since Zeus is such a daddy's boy, it took a while for him to grow on me, and I hadn't really been around a dog since our family dog that passed when I was a senior in high school. For years it was just cats, cats, cats. I had to make an effort to open myself up to the item of a big dog again since I wasn't used to having something so obedient and loyal (as we all know, cats are brats).

When I'd notice his excitement to see me, or when I'd leave and he'd cry, I realized he loved me too and his attachment to me now is so heartwarming. When Matt and I get home from being gone a few hours and Matt enters the house first, Zeus looks for me and then "phew, okay she's here too" and back to his dad. Now we have our own little tricks and play games. 

It took the girls a LONG time to warm up to Zeus. For months and months, when Zeus came over they were never seen or heard, and hid under my bed. I read somewhere they'd never be truely acclimated until they live together. Matt and I have lived together for 9 months now, and this photo above was a few weeks ago when I had our new king size bed delivered. They stayed on the bed together for about 10 minutes before Clementine left. SO CLOSE to being friends. She still beats him up now and then, but my other cat Stella is secretly in love with him.

Always a lap dog. God it's so uncomfortable! Haha!

Slowly but surely, Zeus and I have become very close. Since I work from home, he spends all his days with me, we go on adventures around town, he sits in for all my little outfit photo shoots, and is basically the most spoiled dog ever. Just yesterday, he tagged along for my trip to the bank and he got to jump in a fountain downtown. A homeless man sleeping on a nearby bench was quite shocked when he woke up to see Zeus jumping on his hind legs trying to attack the falling water. 

We're headed to the dog park soon to hang out with his best friend, Klaus and my friend Katie. Someone is going to get spoiled rotten today!