September 2, 2014
Going on a rant today that I hope you’ll see as motivational and empowering for your self and for your own business…
Today I’m celebrating me and I’m celebrating all the people out there who are hustling to make a dollar…we’re celebrating YOU! And you deserve NO DISCOUNTS!! Each one of us works very hard to create, to make sustainable lives, to craft to our heart’s content and no one has any right to ask for a freggin DISCOUNT! …it’s okay, you can applaud, I’ll wait.
When I put a price tag on my work, I take into account these 5 things:
1. my educational background (cum laude at FIDM, BS in marketing)
2. my work experience (6 yrs total costume design + apparel design + 10 month teaching gig at FCC)
3. my skill set (sewing 15+ yrs, pattern drafting 8 yrs)
4. the difficulty of the garment construction
5. comparable pricing from competitors of a similar garment
I really do appreciate the likes and comments on my instagram + FB posts, but if someone were to ask me for a discount again, I think I’m gonna go cray! It feels as though they’re hitting the “dislike” button (if there was one) and stabbing a knife in my heart. A bit dramatic, but you get what I mean.
Hours of work goes into the things I create so it’s almost degrading when someone goes, “hook a sista up would ya?!” I get it…we’re always looking for ways to save. But why do people always feel entitled to low ball creatives? Is a piece worth any less if it’s not made in a factory? Does craftsmanship mean anything to anyone? hmmmm…..
There’s a lot of effort and love that goes into each piece that I make (and each piece all of you fellow creatives craft!) and it would feel that much more gratifying if family + friends took me and my pieces at face value.
What’s your price tag?
[ photography by design stitch go + louise edu ]
Comicon Swaggg Dress
July 23, 2014
Earlier this year, my friend Megan (aka The Nerdy Girlie) asked me to make her a dress for Comicon San Diego. Cool yea?! Well, there was a bit of a twist….the dress had to be made out of those swag bags they hand out at Comicon! Eeep!!
But you know me…I love a good CHALLENGE!!
Megan and I started with a meet up at our local coffee shop…she told me about the dress, the bags and I did a quick preliminary sketch.
The bags are loaded with print and color, so I wanted to keep the silhouette simple and place the focus on the type and the print. Megan is also all about the bows, so I wanted to craft a simple hair bow (also made out of the bags) to go with her look. And since this is Comicon and I kinda think that Megan is a superhero in her own right…she needed a cape too yea?!….HELL YEA!!
I didn’t include it in the sketch, but it was a part of the plan from the get go.
After taking a plethora of measurements and sewing a mock up of the dress, I went to work figuring out what parts of the bag I wanted to show off with the dress.
This was the fun part! It felt like putting together a big puzzle. Ultimately, I wanted to highlight the Comicon logo front and center and Megan loves Zachary Levi in Chuck…so that had to go in the front as well. She’s actually gonna get to meet Levi at comicon this week, so this dress is perfect! M, you better bring your silver sharpie and have him autograph your dress!!
I wanted to use as much of the bags as I could, and one of the bags had these strong, durable webbed straps w/ the Warner Bros. logo printed on them. These became the straps for her dress. I criss crossed them in the back + sewed them in place for support. Megan is gonna be doing a lot of walking and socializing, and I didn’t want her to constantly be pulling her straps up. I wanted her dress to be a showstopper, but also wanted her to be comfortable in it.
Happy Pattern Weights
July 7, 2014
Sharing a post that I did from my previous blog back in October….
When drafting, grading or cutting patterns, weights can help hold your patterns in place. They serve as an extra hand and are a definite MUST for any sewer/designer!
But since most of the pattern weights out there are pretty boring to look at, let’s make some bright, happy ones, yeah?!
[ supplies ]
lightweight cotton/cotton blend fabric (1/8 yd. per color), washi/masking tape, pins, needle + thread, printable cardstock, fabric scissors, rice or preferred weight filler, inkjet printer (not shown)
[ step one ]
Cut a piece of fabric approximately 9 x 4.5 in. and tape to cardstock. Make sure to secure both the top and bottom of the fabric to eliminate movement as it goes through the printer. Then place cardstock on the feed tray of your printer.
[ step two ]
Print the desired pattern/happy text directly on your fabric. YESS!! You can print on fabric! But only on lightweight cotton/cotton blend textiles. Anything thicker or with more texture, will jam your printer. Ink is not washable.
Choose from the following FREE pdf files:
Design/Live Your Dream, Sew Happy/Love, You Got This/Always, Smile/You, Blank Template (no text)
Use one text .pdf file per cube, and cut 4 different pieces from the blank template to create 4 sides w/out text. That gives you 6 pattern pieces per cube. Make 4 pattern weights to get various affirmation phrases.
*I printed mine on fabric with subtle or tiny prints so that the text can be visible. If you’re unsure, go safe and print on solid fabric.
[ step three ]
Cut out printed pieces, making sure to cut on the solid line and not the dotted line.
[ step four ]
Pin and machine sew the pattern weight, starting with the sides first. Then sew the bottom…finishing w/ the top.
* Remember to leave one side open on the top, so that you can pour the desired material into your pattern weight. I used brown rice. But you can use beans, or any material that is heavy enough for your weights.
[ step five ]
Turn pattern weight over so that all the side seams are inside the cube, and the front of the fabric is facing out. Then fill with rice, or other desired material.
[ step six ]
Pin the weight shut and hand sew. I used a basic stitch, but a blind stitch is perfect too!
My stitches were fairly small (less than 1/8″). You want a tight stitch so that the rice will not spill out.
[ step seven ]
Repeat until you’ve downloaded all 5 templates and you’ve made various happy pattern weights….
. . . . . .
Like any good WhimseyBox Influencer that I am…I included a supply list for you at the top of this post where you can find some of the products I’m recommending. Buy yer sewing stuff through the supply list above or through the link to the right of this blog. It’ll give me extra brownie points w/ the WhimseyBox peeps and it’ll help to put a lil’ cash in my pocket to keep contributing to this awesome blog! But if you find a better deal elsewhere, I won’t use it against you! Use those coupons!
Hand Sewing Supplies
July 3, 2014
Just starting out w/ yer sewing skills or jes checkin to see if you got what you need, here’s the breakdown of what you really need to hand sew…
-Multipurpose Thread (I personally like Gutermaan, because the thread doesn’t get caught in the pre-cut slits that Coats + Clark has)
-magnetic pin cushion (cuz I’m a klutz and when I drop all my needles on the floor, it’s much easier to pick up)
– 18 in. clear ruler
– Sewing kit/case (to hold all your supplies)
– mini scissors (for snipping thread or fraying fabric fibers)
– fabric scissors (yes, you need a separate pair for fabric! – cutting paper w/ your fabric scissors will dull the blades)
– tape measure (these are available in pink on my etsy shop for $1.50 free shipping, get yours today!)
*you don’t really need a thimble…I never used one….ever!
Projects that would require you to hand sew: alterations, embroidery, embellishments, barbie doll outfits, any doll outfits smaller than a foot, a suit for a leprechaun, or if you ever find yourself eating too much on vacay and you rip a seam in your pants (never happened to you?….errr, yea…didn’t happen to me either!) o_0
Like any good WhimseyBox Influencer that I am…I included a supply list for you at the top of the post where you can find the products I’m recommending. Buy yer sewing stuff through the supply list above or through the link to the right of this blog. It’ll give me extra brownie points w/ the WhimseyBox peeps and it’ll help to put a lil’ cash in my pocket to keep contributing to this awesome blog! But if you find a better deal elsewhere, I won’t use it against you! Use those coupons!
July 1, 2014
Finally sharing the costumes I made for my girls, inspired by the hit Disney movie, Frozen!
Elsa’s Coronation Gown (size 7) with removable cape . . .
[ braided gold trim, black stretch velour bodice, green stretch poly cotton, princess seam lines, zipper closure, a-line skirt ]
Elsa’s Ice Queen Gown (size 5) fully lined with attached bodice cape . . .
[ aqua satin foundation, mirrored organza skirt overlay, 2:1 full skirt ratio, white organza detail on bodice and sleeves, novelty mesh cape, zipper closure, fully lined ]
I had so much fun making these for my girls and if you feel inclined to make one for your little…I’m selling the Ice Queen Pattern over at my Etsy shop here! Size 5 is available now, but more sizes will be available soon!! Check back often or email me!
Setting in a zipper
June 2, 2014
Zippers used to be the enemy…at least in my workroom. Setting in a zipper used to make me feel really nervous. When I was a novice sewer, something would always go wrong w/ the zipper and it would take me FOR-EH-VERR just to even sewing the darn thang! ehrrrmigawd! But nowadays, after countless sewing projects and patience…the zipper + I are amigos! =P
You only need to know 3 key steps and you’ll be a zipper pro too! Pin, Baste, Sew!
Sew seam (where you’ll be setting your zipper into) up to the point where your zipper will end.
Pin one side of the zipper to the garment, following w/ the other side. Make sure both zipper sides are aligned properly when closed.
For this top, I’m leaving a 1/8 in. space between the top of the garment and the end of the zipper because I’m adding bias to the neckline.
You can fold the excess zipper tape in, but that just adds bulk to your garment. Just cut off the excess zipper tape when you finish.
After pinning, baste the zipper in place, using a brightly colored thread.
The bright thread helps me differentiate between the finished sew line and the loose basted line. Makes it easier when removing the basted thread.
Using your sewing machine, stitch the zipper in place. Sew the sides of the zipper and the bottom. (Visit my IG http://instagram.com/designstitchgo/ to see a couple vids on zippers)
Take a seam ripper or exacto blade and remove the basted seam. I like to use an exacto blade because it’s actually thinner than a seam ripper and can get into tight spaces.
See how easy it is!! Pin, Baste, Sew…not threatening at all right?! If only I had a Bernina when I was learning how to sew! Gahh!
. . . . . .
A few suggested supplies if you can’t make it to your local craft store ….
Mia’s Frozen Party
May 13, 2014
Our lil’ Mia had her 5th birthday party recently, and I just wanted to share a recap of all the Frozen themed decor and details of her happy party…
We have a big family and we’re lucky to be surrounded by many friends, so I knew her party would be huge…but I still wanted her to have some girl time w/ her very best girlfriends from preschool. So I carved out a 2 hour window, before the main event, so that she could enjoy a quiet tea party w/ her gals…
They had a great time! I served homemade mac + cheese, fresh fruit, “tea” (juice), and we had a plethora of fun activities..
making snow globes…
singing along and dancing to “Let It Go” of course…
and later during the more crowded event, I set up a “Do you wanna build a snowman?” cookie table…
I made sugar cookies from scratch and hand cut snowman shapes to resemble Olaf. Then I placed frosting, candy corn, pretzels and chocolate chips so that the kids can make their very own snowmen.
This table was a hit!
I was also able to sew Elsa dresses for both my girls…
I made the coronation dress (w/ detachable cape) for my oldest and Mia wore the infamous ice queen dress. These dresses have so much detail, and I wanna share it all! So I will do a separate post of the costumes soon!
Our lil’ Mia had such a great time…
Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with her!
March 26, 2014
I was working on a new look for the shop and as I was sitting there, I was thinking you guys might want a peek! So I decided, on the fly, to start a new series, and I’m calling it “Workspace Wednesdays!”
Whatever mess I’ve got going on in my lil’ workroom, I’ll shoot it and give you all a peek! Interesting? Yea? What the hell, let’s give it a go ehhh!
This week, I’ve actually got several projects I’m working on, but this one in particular has my heart….
I found these 2 great prints in the clearance section at Joann’s a month ago, and they keep staring me in the face! So today I had some time to finally sketch out some ideas that have been swirling around in my head. I’m thinking of using that floral poly silk print (aren’t those colors great?!!) as a blouson tank w/ a bow detail in the back. Perfect for Spring! And the dark cheetach-esque stretch cotton twill print…those need to be some cute cropped pants!….And pair the 2 together and you got one sassy fashionista on your hands!!! Ahhh, I need to make these ASAP!!
I was also thinking, if I have any leftover twill print, I’d maybe draft a simple cropped jacket? So many ideas swirling around in my head right now! Gonna sketch a few more options and see what I come up with.
DIY Network Creative Genius
March 25, 2014
Apparently, I’m being dubbed a creative genius by DIY Network standards….heyyyy!! My fellow blog gal pal of Minnow + Co, Ellen Foord (xoxo), is a contributor on the Made + Remade blog, and she contacted me a few weeks ago, asking if I’d be interested!….who wouldn’t be right?!! So I answered some questions, gave Ellen some pics and “voila!” Yay me! And a big big HUG + THANK YOU to my lady Ellen!! Here is the full article.
I find it so interesting that I would even question, “really… me? They think I’m that creative?” when the truth is, I need to be saying “Heck YEA I freggin ROCK!”
Modesty inhibits creativity…so let your pride and confidence shine! Got it?!….Awesome!!
[ image from We Heart It, edited by Design Stitch Go! ]
March 18, 2014
Well…no one entered the giveaway…booo! Honestly though, I really wasn’t expecting much, because I’ve been out of the blogosphere for a while. I figured, I might as well just do it and put it out there! Ain’t no shame in that game right?!
So for right now, the Elsa inspired sparkly number will sit in my Design Stitch Go! studio til someone wants it! I’ll also list it in my etsy shop Anna + Mia Clothing today. I’m still working on adding products to the shop, so bear with me. Happy Tuesday everyone!
[ image from pinterest, edited by Design Stitch Go! ]