Monday, August 24, 2009

New shirts and learning

In some things I am so practiced that I don't think to much about how to do things. I can sew a seam, line a blouse, gather a skirt and not think twice. Embroidery is new to me and I am beginning to believe that no matter how long you have been doing it you never know it all.

This weekend was a learning experience for me, I thought I did it all the right way. I found my pattern, stitched it out on a sample piece of fabric and I believed I was ready to go. Centered and hooped my fabric and said a prayer. Started to stitch and the end result was awful. Now this was not just any shirt, it wasn't an order for a customer, NO, this was for my husband. My wonderful supportive (most of the time) husband who bought me this embroidery machine. The same husband for whom I have never successful made one item. I have made lots of beautiful items for others, but when it comes to my husband I cannot successfuly make one shirt.

It is very frustrating when your crafting projects don't pan out the way you had hoped. You can quickly become discouraged and give up. I urge you to take heart and use my new motto: Keep moving forward.

Whatever happens use it as a learning experience and see what you can do different next time, where did you make your mistake this time? Yes I said your mistake for no matter what you craft your item is inanimate, unless of course you use live materials and in that case, I really don't want to know about it. You are using papers, fabric, foam, clay, or whatever, It can't mess up. It was something you did, BUT IT IS OKAY. Treat it as you should treat life and look at every goof up to learn from it.

So here is my example. I tried to embroider on a 100% cotton polo style shirt. I have never embroidered on this fabric before, when I begin to stitch the stitches sunk into the fabric. It looked terrible. I thought back to tips that I had gotten from a fellow seamstress when I first started embroidering. She mentioned that sometimes you need to uses a water soluble stabalizer on the front to prevent your stitches from sinking down. Had I thought more about the fabric before I just slapped it on the machine I could have avoided a ruined shirt and a lot of aggravation. My over excited, overly aiming to please attitude caused me issues, it has done this in the past as well.

I have learned from this mistake and I am moving forward. The ruined shirt will be used to test pattern to make sure that I don't make this mistake again. I am moving forward. I made another shirt that turned out beautifully and the night ended on an up note with an order for 2 shirts.

Not to mention I was back in the Etsy chat rooms last night, and they are always a boost for my self esteem :)

Happy Crafting ....


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Etsy Chat Rooms

I accessed a portion of Etsy last night that I had not used before. Etsy Chat is a wonderful way to connect with other sellers. Just last night I made several new friends that I added to both my Etsy site as well as my Facebook personal and fan pages. I had a great time talking to these sellers and exchanging ideas. I got some really great feedback on my site and some wonderful insight on how to drive more traffic to the site. Thanks so much to JunkerJane for her tips on tags. I was up until the early morning hours adding and changing my tags to increase my views.

I was beginning to get very discouraged with Etsy. I have been on the site for 10 months and only had one sell. Last night was a great ego boost, everyone was super nice and helpful and they all had great things to say about my site. Sometimes you just need to know that you are not working in vain.

If you are on Etsy and you haven't tried out the chat rooms, I would highly recommend it. If you aren't on Etsy check out my site, then check out my favorite sellers. I am sure you will find something you love in there.

Happy Crafting


Monday, August 17, 2009

Wedding Centerpieces- Monogramed vase cover

I created these beautiful wedding centerpieces for my Dad's wedding this past weekend. The vision I originally had was to monogram in the center of a large dinner napkin and then gather it around a canning jar or Mason jar with a ribbon at the top. What I found was that it was very difficult to determine where to place the monogram in order to have it line up as nicely as I wanted. So as all great creative people will find, you improvise. " necessisty is the mother of invention" right? Sooooo I purchased some inexpensive fabric at a local dollar store, that was a large rectangle. I cut two panels size 11 x 9 allowing for 1/2 inch seams on each side. I folded under a 1/4 inch seam at the top which I ironed down, sewed a scallop satin stitch right along the edge so that the scallop is right along the top edge. Then centered the embroidery hoop right on the front of one panel and embroidered a large C right in the middle. From there I made the two panels a "bag" by just sewing along the three unfinished edges.

The results are a simple, elegant and unique centerpiece that is inexpensive. Now simply place a canning or mason jar style jar down in the bag and fill with flowers. I ran out of mason jars and used an old cleaned mayo jar which was plastic. The great thing is that you can't see it so it can be plastic, or glass, it doesn't matter.

Below are some pics of the cover just on my sewing table as well as a couple from the wedding. If you are interested and not crafty you can purchase these from me in your wedding colors and monogram from my etsy site. or click on the title of this blog. Discount prices for bulk orders.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Summer Blues

I am experiencing the summer blues when it comes to crafting. My busy life has gotten in the way of my crafting and sewing in the last few weeks. I am now readying myself to use my powers for good and creating very simple, yet very elegant flower arrangements for my Daddy's upcoming wedding.

I got this idea on several of the great blogs out there that showcase wedding DIY items that aim at saving you money. I have been on the prowl for several of these ideas since I agreed to plan and execute the reception for this wedding. This wedding started out as a smallish affair with approx 50 people in attendance, it has grown to twice that in a short period of time. While the food budget has had to grow, the need for decor is about the same. KEEP IT SIMPLE.

So here is what I am going to do. I am purchasing 4-5 large white dinner napkins and in the center of this napkin I am going to embroider a "C" onto the napkin. Then I will gather this napkin around a plain quart mason jar (like you would use for canning), tying at the top with ribbon. Inside I will place several different types of red and white flowers and scatter them around my buffet table, cake table, etc...

This would work equally well if you were doing an outdoor wedding, or a rustic wedding, just change up the fabric choices and embroidery fonts. I would recommend a burlap for a more rustic appeal and maybe a block format for your letters. The possibilities are endless.

The examples that I found online used tissue paper which would be just as pretty, but I wanted something a little more substantial. As soon as I have them done I will be posting a picture.

Happy Sewing..... and to those of you planning those weddings out there......Congratulations and Many Blessings!!!!!