Sunday, June 28, 2009

See me at Charm Stitch!

The big announcement...

I'm sneaking this post in (it's backdated!) to announce that I have a new website called CHARM STITCH. The site is not the final version, just a mere holding page to help me feel official as I place wholesale orders and plan all the things that come next.

Momentarily deterred by the economy (and baby two coming this October), I have long term plans to open a modern sewing boutique in Baltimore and short term plans to start with trunk shows (first sometime in September) and a website where I will sell many of my favorite fabrics and notions. Immediately, I hope to offer intimate sewing workshops which will be held at a borrowed studio in the Woodberry/Hampden area. Taking it slowly to gauge interest and see if anyone else local is as addicted to fabric as me.

Currently, I'm developing free tutorials for fabric bucket bags and the reversible cafe apron blogged above. I hope to post these the first week of August.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hello! Big changes ahead!

I am planning to start a new blog but can't decide between typepad and wordpress. Typepad is $8.95/month with a 14 day free trial that requires a credit card to begin. Wordpress is free, but when I read pros & cons on this site I got scared away. It seems like it has some server issues.

My new favorite blog: is done on Wordpress. And I like it well enough, but all the techno talk seems to indicate that Wordpress lacks the flexibility of Typepad. Not that I know what I'm doing. I don't. But it seems like I should, and maybe I will... one day.

But I will be announcing my next business venture soon. I have a domain and a little homepage image ready to sit with you. Just getting my hosting worked out. Really needing to get this web design worked out but not feeling informed enough to pull the trigger.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The B

Originally uploaded by llculverwell

Here is the first of the napkin monograms.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Modern Trousseau

Originally uploaded by llculverwell

On Tuesday I was able to take the Modern Trousseau class at Purl Patchwork with Heather Ross. Woohoo, right?! It was a fun two hour introduction to the lazy daisy chain stitch and some french knots. I came with no embroidery experience and left with a partially finished "L" monogram. Today I was able to do a dainty little napkin with our "B." Eric declared it too flowery for his taste but I have already determined that I will complete a set for us. I'm thinking of using a different font for each napkin.

I've really started to love having more than one kind of project to work on. I have quilts, burp cloths, dresses and now, monogramed napkins & kitchen towels to work on. Raise your hand if you want one for Christmas. I'm addicted!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weekend Away Bag: Take 1

I worked on this project a few evenings this week. It wasn't too complicated, I had the errata sheet and was able to use some of the first fabric I ordered in 2009. I had long intended to use the yellow garden roses for an apron, but changed my mind at the last minute because it goes so nicely with the pink Cathedral print - which I thought would make a fun binding. Even with the errata sheet, I still feel there is an error with the fabric required to cut the handles & binding "on the bias." I wound up only having a fraction of 1/2 yard of the pink cathedral so I just went for it without going bias. It seems to be fine.

I'm thinking that the next verision should have a little tie, or use some hooks on the inside for key straps... something snazzy like that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Call for Sergers

Serger? Are you out there?

Looking for one... just putting that out there. Used or new I just need to have one come my way. Suggestions of where to look? Preferred brands and such?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Meetings

I am officially almost official. I am starting my own business. Just waiting for state approval of my "articles of organization" and then I get the FEIN number... the tax traders license... and then I shall be buying wholesale and making the most out of my time and self. All this before baby number two in October. I have serious work to do! And I think by November I'll realize how crazy I was this month.

Monday brought Brian over to talk about websites. I can't wait for this part to develop and even spent an hour that afternoon mocking up my sketchbook so he would know exactly what I meant. I actually like what I designed and am starting to see my ideas come together from my weathered, dirty, Mira-mangled sketchbook.

On Tuesday I met with Mary at Typecast Press (just look at this place, is it not amazing?!) and regret only thinking to take photos on my way out (just the one above). The studio was incredible! So colorful, so clean and so inspiring. I am more than excited about logos and letterpress right now that I find it hard not to think of new projects needing paper design. 

I think it will be Friday before I hear any word on estimates and follow-up meetings. But I just want the universe to know that I am ready to get started right now.

Following some inspiration mentioned in Stitch magazine I found this blog from the owner of The Workroom in Toronto. I declare that this is my most favorite blog, and I will follow it wherever it goes.

Speaking of {blogs}(and in the meantime) I'm going to have to get a more professional blog together. Any comments on Wordpress or Typepad?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

20 weeks and counting

I don't recall saying so, but should note that all of my recent domestic endeavors may have been enhanced due to pregnant brain and all of the idiosyncrasies that come with it. If only that meant I had higher standards for cleanliness! Oh no, not me. Finally, this morning I cleaned up several of my work areas and organized the mess of bags that I have long intended to take to a consignment shop. I may fear the rejection of my unwanted items. I recall one block long trip down to Normals' Bookstore in Charles Village (1999? 2000?) carrying so many books only to find that they did not meet their standards. Who would have thought! Most of my books came from Normals back then and these books seemed good enough for me to read. 
...So all I have to do is decide on a consignment shop and verify the hours. We loaded up the clutter and it is waiting patiently in the trunk to learn of its next destination. Any ideas? Vogue Revisited? I went to Fashion Attic (or was it Fashion Attack?) right before I left 1904 Fleet (they took everything and a few months later I received a check for $84). 
In the meantime... I am brainstorming about what project is best to start next.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Weekend Away Travel Bags

These are the bags I made.. I really like the fabric and zipper colors. The pattern was from the weekend sewing book (of course!) and by the time I got to the second one I had decided the inside pockets needed restructuring and that the bag was too big not to have a handle somewhere. I was mildly certain that the first bag (on the left) needed more structure, but after I added the interfacing to the second bag I started liking the floppy nature of piggy brown.

Grrr... errata!

And while it may seem like a delightful treat to buy a book about sewing and to have it contain tens of patterns of fun projects to attack, what is not fun is when said book is a first edition. Grrr, the dreaded first edition.

I've been doing pretty well with the heather ross weekend sewing book. I've made the baby kimono, smocked sundress and two weekend away travel bags. Today I finally laid out my Underwater Sisters fabric to make the cuts for pajama pants for everyone (me!). And while it is convenient to have 15 or so patterns printed on the front and back of two enormous sheets of paper folded within your beloved new book, you can imagine it gets a little confusing. Thankfully, the design team had the brains to color code each pattern. Hooray, right? So I lay it out and unfortunately the paper does not accomodate the full length of each pant leg, so you have to do it piecemeal - I assign this flaw to the reason why I did not notice that my fabric (though cut to recommended size) was not long enough. So now I have cut pieces of pajama highwaters. I'll probably have to make them into shorts. I think the back pair of legs are just too short to add trim to the bottom.

So the joys of sewing continue...

Sewing Rule Number One

If you think something looks wrong, it is wrong.

I could tell you about the second time I wound a bobbin on my brand new machine only to find that the thread was coiling under the bobbin and not on the dang thing and it took me an hour to untangle the mess... or I could tell you about the time the bobbin got jacked up with elastic thread and the sewing needle thread causing it to pull and self-eject at an angle, eventually causing me to snap the needle... but no, I'm going to tell you about tonight, the time the bobbin looked like it was loading up thread properly but it really wasn't. Then I had to pull and cut and tug all of that fabulous thread away (running precariously low on my beloved Gutermann off white color!). Once properly loaded and sewing happily I notice a little spare loop in my top sewing line. "Oh, its nothing" I say. Yeah, right. I keep sewing. sewing on down the 80-something inch line. Go back up the other side... something tells me to look at the other side... come on, just a peek. I look and it's not good what the bobbin and threader have been doing. Oh it is not good at all.
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