Monday, August 25, 2014

Sewing A Camera Strap

When it comes to sewing, the possibilities are endless. You dream up a design, you can do it! I love sewing things that aren't a part of my normal inventory and repertoire, and to have the freedom to create a custom one-of-a-kind surprise piece for a customer is one of my favorite things. 

My friend, Jessica, of Jax Vegan Love, has been in the market for a new camera strap for a while, and we've been talking about it for months. Finally, I was able to get my hands on the cord and hardware necessary to recreate a camera strap to replace the boring Nikon strap that came with her camera. 
Using scrap upholstery fabric, scrap faux leather (she is vegan after all, so she appreciates cutting out leather), and knowing that Jessica was a fan of chevron fabric, I made her the above camera strap. She was over the moon in love with it, and at the end of the week, it goes with her on her 9 day trip to London! 

What is your favorite thing to sew?

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Idiom Collection and The Story Behind The Clutches

Wednesday started out rough. My intention for the day was what follows in this post. Challenge myself to cut out and sew an entire collection of clutches from a found piece of fabric. That's right, an entire collection in a day. I start out finishing something from the day before, a small clutch to get my wheels a turnin'. I attach the zipper on one side and BAM! The belt snaps on my Brother. I had known this time would come, as the belt was cracked in a few places, but it slipped my mind last week to order another, and I was, pardon my French, shit out of luck, as that is my main machine. 

Slightly bummed, I took a coffee break and came back to my work room. I wasn't going to be spoiled as usual today, bouncing off three machines. A typical handbag in my shop is sewn on all three of my machines, with dark thread on the Brother, my Kenmore ready with white thread, and the overlock machine, serger as needed. It feels like a symphony as I glide around on my vintage doctors stool with wheels. I'm determined to have that finesse with this workday.
So this collection... First, let me give you some history on the fabric. Not my first choice for a collection, but I love a challenge. The challenge to make something beautiful and functional out of something ugly and discarded. This stale quilting fabric was facing a grim future until it hit our studio. When I was given an old sewing machine to find a new home, there was a strip of fabric inside the box with the machine. Maybe it was the previous owner's next project. This quilting fabric contained nine rectangles on one piece of fabric, cut with pinking shears, printed with classic idioms and pictures. My favorite: "A Stitch In Time Saves Nine."

First, I backed it with medium weight fusible interfacing, grabbed my bag of leather and faux leather scraps for reinforcing the corners, and got out a stack of upholstery fabric and scraps, and also my trusty scrap bag. Literally, everything that is about the size of the palm of my hand or bigger is saved and tossed into this back. I love to make the interior of handbags really complex and a story in it's scraps, not just the exterior having a rich history or interesting tale to tell.

Above, a scrap piece of cotton attached to the top of the zipper before it's sewn to the exterior piece. There's always a use for something small that many others would just toss in the trash. Am I approaching hoarding territory or what?! 

After a few hours in the morning, I broke for lunch with Matt and then got back at it. Within my 8 hour work day, I miraculously finished all nine pieces. That's right, nine. Above, is my favorite, and hard to not keep for myself. After all, it does have a sewing machine on it. 

On all the clutches, all corners on the are reinforced with leather, brown, black, gray, and a combination of all three. The backs are also all different. From purple denim shorts to upholstery scraps, it's all over the place. To see the collection and all the pieces, head on over to our shop.

Like a mama with her baby, these are my babies that make me proud. I'm sorry, this post is a little silly, but I'm still just so stoked that I finished these all in just one day! 

Matt and I rounded out the day having dinner with friends. Taco night was wonderful and I slept like a baby that played outside all day. Hard work feels good, and there isn't a better day for me than when I'm working in my office, sewing to my heart's content. Ahhh. If only that could be everyday.

Go on, you know you want to check them out in our Etsy shop, they're all very reasonably priced, at only $45 a pop. Check 'em out and tell me what you think. Maybe one has a saying you remember from your childhood. Find your favorite idiom. More listings and fun little one of a kind collections are coming soon. I've got a lot up my sleeves coming soon.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lazy Clem

On a day off of sewing for me, Clementine can almost always be found basking in the sunshine next to my favorite machine. She loves my vintage pink Brother sewing machine, almost as much as she loves sunshine. I just had to share a few photos of the lovely fat girl.

Happy Monday, friends! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

How To Tie A Head Wrap

It's pretty simple. And they're so convenient for all hair types! I love to wear mine on crazy hair days when I just can't handle my thick curly hair. 1] Start by placing the head band at the back of your head. 2] Pull it up on top of your head, slightly covering your ears. 3] Tie a knot, left side under first. 4] Tie a second knot, right side under. 5] Tuck in ends of the wrap on the back side of your head. 6] Tuck your hair in as you please.
Our head wraps are now available in our Etsy shop in packs of 5 and in baby sizes. As always, they're also available at our Market days, this weekend at Riverside Arts Market and a few more. Check the side bar of our site for stops and details.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Void Live: Featured Local

So exciting! We are Void Live's Featured Local. Head on over to their website for the write up or read the exempt below:
Michigan Native, Sally Keiser, has always dared to be different. At the tender age of 8, Sally learned how to use a sewing machine. Who knew that this simple act could lead to a life of booming business? Well, she did! 
Sally’s business ideas rooted at Michigan State University where she snuck flyers under doors advertising “Alterations by Sally.” Her company, “Sally Ann,” began shortly after college where she created and sold her tote bags on Myspace. Eager to flourish, she moved to Georgia and switched to Lingerie. That change didn’t quite catch due to a relocation that landed her in right here in Jacksonville, Florida. However, Sally soon came full circle focusing on handbags once more. With this alteration, her business was about to shine.  
Hungry and prepared for that fresh beginning, Sally arrived to Jax in June 2013. After hearing about the Riverside Arts Market from a friend, Sally knew Jacksonville would be the ideal place to debut her mobile boutique. “ I was so excited for a start with a city that was so supportive of small locally owned businesses,” Sally said. For awhile, she was working as a seamstress and a bartender to help grow her company. But, due to local support and Saturday markets, her company has truly taken off. Sally competed at One Spark this past April, coming in 39th place . She is proud to say she can now completely devote herself to her line of work. Sally has officially operated her own company for 6 years.  
Sally has high hopes of opening a small sewing shop in Jax in the future. Until then, her company acts as a “middle man” giving sewing machines to those in need of one. Have an extra machine? Bring it to Sally and she will provide it to someone with desires to learn at no cost to them. With sewing tutorials on her blog, paired with in home one-on-one lessons, she victoriously spreads her love and knowledge of sewing. “I love to create one-of-a-kind pieces that tell a story while being 100 percent sustainable. Young or old, man or woman, sewing is relevant to all of us, and knowing how to mend or make something changes the sustainability of a household in so many ways!” Sally exclaimed.  
Sally Keiser is the type of woman who looks challenge straight in the eye and gives it a wink. She’s motivated, innovative, creative, and unafraid of any trial that comes her way. She sees life as a series of beautiful possibilities, and with that simple, pure attitude, she is “altering” Jacksonville by giving it a brand new definition of individuality. 
-Article by Jessica Cooper of Void Magazine 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Skirt Making Sunday

Sunday was my day off. A much needed break from work and a good excuse to head to the beach with Matt. Since our washer and dryer are broken, and time to fix them is hard to find, my favorite skirt was still in the hamper from our Pensacola trip. Well, what am I to do? I have nothing to wear! Why not make a skirt. I pull out scraps from a jersey bed sheet, and a few yards of sheer tissue cotton, and also grab my trusty go-to beach skirt.

Matt was ready to go and walk out the door. I yelled back at him, "Give me 20 minutes!"

It's super easy to make clothing using your favorite pieces as a pattern. Simply lay them on top of your fabric, with respect to the pieces of the garment, and cut out a piece in the same shape. Be sure to pay attention to the direction of the stretch, and leave room for a seam allowance. My skirt had four panels because of the pattern on the fabric, so I simplified it a little with just a front and back.
And it was perfect. Quick and easy, and bam, I have a new breezy beach skirt. The fabric is a little sheer, allowing for wind to pass through it, and it's much lighter to wear than my other skirt. If you read the tag of many "cotton maxis", they are actually 100% polyester. Where is the breezy cotton feeling there? While I love my aztec print maxi I modeled this skirt after, it's HOT. Not breathable at all. Another bonus to making your own clothes, you know what you're making!

While the weather wasn't perfect, it was a perfect day. Any day Matt and I get to spend together, without an agenda, and just do as we please, I'm happy. As soon as we got to the beach, we knew rain was imminent. Two choices: beach or Lemon Bar, a bar and restaurant on the water. We chose lemon bar, left our beach gear in the Jeep and walked over. Not even five minutes later, the storm hit. We had to spend about a half an hour hiding from a monsoon under the awning of Lemon Bar. We made a few friends, saw some people we knew, and watched Nascar while the sideways rain hit us just enough to keep it a cool day. When the rain subsided, we sat out on the patio, did some people watching, and then went down to the beach, it was the perfect quick beach trip. 

 Now another Monday, and back to the grind. It's going to be a busy week! Hope you will enjoy yours! And please! Try your hand at some home sewing! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In the Studio: Behind the Scenes with the Hotel Collection

When I found a hideously beautiful Saks Fifth Avenue Blazer at a local thrift shop, it called to me, "Make me pretty again!" And I love a good challenge. Paired with a yellow carry-on, the two complete a limited edition collection from Sally Ann. Every usable piece is sewn to create a collection of gorgeous, one-of-a-kind pieces. So far, I've finished five pieces. All are available in our Etsy shop.

Small collections are so wonderful, aren't they? I love the story behind a bag, and it truly makes for an original piece unlike any other. I mean, that blazer was never going to see the light of day again. Who knows how long it had been at the thrift shop, and the print was too good to pass up. The carry-on, I purchased at the same estate sale where I purchased my vintage Brother sewing machine, and the teacher tote that made the recently listed Teacher Foldover Handbag.

Please pass along this collection to your friends. Share the video. As a small business, and one woman show, we can't survive without you guys, and all our supporters!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pop Up Stop: Revolve Parking Lot Sale

One of our favorite vintage and modern shop's in Jacksonville, Revolve, invited us to join them for their one year anniversary party this past Sunday outside their shop. We had such a blast setting up Shelby, as always, and meeting new people around our neighborhood.

If you're in the North Florida or South Georgia area, and are interested in hosting a pop up stop with our handmade goods, contact us via email,