Archive for the ‘miscellaneous info’ Category

And the Winner is…

thislittlebirdcreations!   I thank everyone who participated in my survey, your answers are vey helpful to me!

I will be contacting thislittlebirdcreations very soon to get started on their bowling shirt!

 

Fit to be tied.

So yesterday I visited Tamara at Rare Funk where some of my kid stuff is for sale.  I had some new baby bibs to drop off and I wanted to discuss how things were selling.

The bibs I make seem to do well.  I usually make them with recycled fabrics and scraps that I applique on them.  One design that does really well are the ones for the boys that have a tie on them.  It’s a cute way to dress up the little man and it keeps his clothes protected from drool and such.

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My problem is that the t-shirts and onesies I make are just not selling.  In order to clear out my stock to make room for new stuff, from October 1st to Christmas all my older stock at Rare Funk will be on sale for 50% off.  It’s a great time to get an original gift for your favourite little punk!

The shirts and onesies I make get lots of compliments but rarely any sales so I’m hoping that I can get some insight into why they aren’t moving and what you may be looking for when shopping for clothing for little ones, whether it’s for your own offspring or a gift for someone else.      As a thanks for completing this poll, your name will be entered into a draw for a custom sized bowling shirt.  The shirt will be made from black poly/cotton with a fun contrast stripe, collar and pocket in a boyish or girlish print (depending on who the shirt will be for 😀 )  I’ll make the draw on November 1st so the shirt can be completed and delivered/picked-up in time for Christmas.

Click Here to take survey

After my discussion with Tamara we both agreed that fun boy clothes are in fairly high demand so I tried out a thought last night.  Let me know what you think!

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Remake, Redo, Reuse

Perhaps I’m just inspired by earth day, or maybe I’m just inspired in that ‘special’ way but I’m in the mood to recreate stuff.

I’m in a craft show this weekend called Bloomin’ Earth and it’s at the Kitchener Market downtown.  It’s actually more of a earth-day festival and you can get all the info by clicking on this link – BLOOMIN’ EARTH.  The whole show revolves around handmade and the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) so it’s going to be a great show for all ages.

I make a line of kids clothing called Punkn’s Alternative Clothing.  I take a combination of new and recycled fabrics and findings and turn them into really cute onesies, t-shirts, bibs etc and that’s what I’ll be selling there.

Anyhow, on to the real subject of this post.

I was recently emailed information about a competition and a photo shoot opportunity.  Two separate events but the subject is the same.  They are looking for remade wedding dresses.  The photo shoot is pretty loose as far as what they are looking for and for budget.  They want some designers to take an old thrift-ed wedding dress and make it into something edgy and high fashion.  The competition is similar but more rules.  They have three photo’s posted and each entrant is to use one of those photo’s as inspiration for their re-design.  The budget is $75 and that includes the cost of the dress.

I was lucky enough to have a wonderful person from Kitchener Freecycle donate a dress to me.  (if you aren’t familiar with Freecycle, you can check it out here to find your local chapter: http://www.freecycle.org/)  Now I just need to sit down and decide how I’m going to remake it.  I plan to use only things that I already have and keep my budget as close to $0 as possible since the amount spent on the dress is one of the judging criteria.  I will try to take pictures as I progress and post them here for you to see.  For now, here’s the dress in it’s original glory.

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My other new project is sewing a new bra.  I hate bra shopping.  I am the type to go maybe once every three years to buy a new bra because once I’ve found one that fits, I don’t want to try on any more.  (Usually about that time my kids are running around like crazy people, hiding in the displays and sneaking peeks in the change rooms so you can understand my haste in bra shopping or any shopping for that matter)  Well, the last one I bought was so nice and comfortable you can imagine my dismay when I pulled it out of the washer and the strap was no longer connected to the bra.  And I know what you are all saying, but when you have to do at least one load of laundry each day, sometimes 2 or 3, ‘hand wash’ and ‘lingerie bag’ are just not part of your vocabulary. You can see the damage in the picture below.

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So, yesterday my friend and I made a trip to Hamilton.  We were told about how great the fabric shopping is there and all the deals and such so we decided it was time to check it out.  Before I left to pick up my friend I went online to check out the fabric shops so I knew exactly what area we were going to.  One of the sites that came up was The Bra Makers Supply.  Now, I’ve been to their website before and always wanted to buy stuff from them to try making my own bra but I hesitated because I didn’t really know what I needed and how much.  Well, to my suprise and delight, they are located in Hamilton!  I plotted out their location so if we had time, we could stop in and check it out.

The first thing you notice about Bra Makers Supply is it’s not your usual fabric store.  Infact, it’s located in more of an office setting.  All the bra findings, notions, fabrics and patterns are neatly laid out on the shelves.  The woman that helped us was Beverly Johnson.  If you don’t know the name, she is the expert at making bras.  She owns the shop, she has written manuals, she sources out the best patterns and supplies, she designs bras and she teaches classes.  She let us wander around and check things out for a bit and then approached us to find out what we were really looking for.  So I explained my dilemma and that although I could just reattach the strap to my bra, I felt it might be time to consider re-making it since it was obvious that it’s getting time to retire it.  I had tried to make my own from a pattern once and it was not good.  For some reason the idea of making a bra from scratch was extremely intimidating.  Mostly it was the fitting process and the lack of available notions.  Did you know that there are three standard lengths of wire and that you can get them in plastic?  Me either.  I’m pretty sure Fabricland just has one length and only in the metal wire type.  They also have around 100 sizes of bra patterns (yeah I was a bit stunned to hear that too).

Remaking a bra using one that I knew fit seemed less intimidating.

Anyhow, after discussing my old bra and what I was looking for in my new bra she helped me pick out fabric and make sure that I had all the proper notions.  She even told me that if I was having trouble I could call or email them, or if at all possible, I could come in with my bra and sewing machine and she would help!  That last part floored me.  When was the last time the staff at the local fabric store told you to bring all your stuff in and they would help you if you had trouble putting your sewing project together?

So I made a decision that I would try this.  I purchased everything that I needed in order to make one bra and it cost me just under $25(that’s with taxes for all you Ontario readers).  I have enough fabric though to potentially make 2 bras so if the first one works out I can either go back or order the findings from them online to make a new bra.  They also ship worldwide if you aren’t as lucky as me to live close by.

I’m so excited to get started and I will try to get pictures of the progress of this project too so you can perhaps be inspired to try it yourself, or maybe I can do it for you. 😀

Thats all for now, have a great Earth day, Earth week, Earth year!!

Trade with Me!

Just a quick post to let you know of a couple of additions to my service/price list.

I would like to bring to your attention that I am offering denim repair services.  Jeans are a wardrobe staple for for us and denim is used to fashion everything from pants and shirts to skirts and jackets and more.  The price of denim can range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars but I’m sure we can all agree that price is  no consideration when we finally have that one pair of jeans that fits like no other.  Sadly, denim does not last forever and while I can’t  make your favourite jeans immortal, I can perhaps extend their life a little longer.  I use a technique that does not require a patch and can be virtually invisible.  I am able to repair just about any hole, tear or wear spot in just about any location on your jeans.  Please note that I will assess the damage and provide a price.  I promise to make every effort to repair your jeans as best as possible but I can’t be held responsible for disagreement of the results.  Prices are pretty reasonable as well, visit my price list page.

That brings me to my next addition to my price list.  I would like to let you know that I am willing to make trades for my services.  I am happy to discuss this if you need something  made or repaired and possibly have something you could trade with me.  What kind of things could you trade?  Services like hair cuts/colour, clothing, food, home baked goods etc.

Again, visit the price list page to review my prices and services.

Closet Clean-out

My last post touched on what to do with your UFOs but what if you don’t sew?  A large majority of people have a closet stocked full of clothing that they don’t wear.  We keep things because we spent a lot of money on them, they have sentimental value, we think we will fit them again someday, and sometimes we keep things just because.  There are dozens of reasons to hang on to an item of clothing but unless you are actually wearing it, there is no good reason to keep them.

So lets clear out the closet.  Depending on how full your closet is, I would suggest setting aside at least one full day to do this.  The first thing to do is take everything out of your closet and dressers and lay them out.  It may be easier to do this in a large open room so if you have a small bedroom, take it all down to the living room.

The next thing to do is separate into two piles.  Be honest with yourself when doing this.  The first pile is going to be the stuff you wear regularly and by regularly I mean at least once every two weeks.  These items must fit and must be in good condition.  Don’t try to fool yourself by thinking that you might want to wear that item tomorrow when you haven’t worn it in over a month and it doesn’t matter if you are still 5lbs from fitting those jeans you wore every day before the kids came along.  Be honest and be harsh.  The second pile will, obviously, be everything else.  Once you have your first pile sorted, fold it up and put it away, keeping a mental stock of what you now have in your closet (or keep it set aside if you need the visual reminder).

Next we tackle that huge pile of clothing that is left over from the first sort.  This is where you need to keep in mind what is in your closet now.  Go through the pile and sort it out into one pile that fits and one that doesn’t.  It doesn’t matter if it’s in style, or if you haven’t worn it in years, just sort it out.  Set aside the pile that doesn’t fit, we’re now going to sort the pile that does fit.

Go through the pile and sort out anything that is not in good or wearable condition.  By this I mean anything that has holes, faded colours, is threadbare, has broken zippers or missing buttons etc.  Next you want to take a good look at each item and decide if it will fit in with your current wardrobe or not.  Try to set aside any feelings of sentiment.  If there was anything in this pile that fits with your current wardrobe and you will definitely wear, fold it up and put it away.  From what is left, if you have anything that would fit with your current wardrobe and all it needs is a quick fix, like replacing the zipper, you can put it aside in a fix pile.

Now it’s time to decide what to do with everything that is leftover.  The obvious would be to donate anything that is in wearable condition (no holes, fades or broken closures) to good will.  You can then flesh out your wardrobe with a shopping trip.  While I’m all for the shopping trip and who wouldn’t be, if you are trying to save some money you may consider going through the pile to see if there is anything else that is salvageable.  $10 + cost of zipper is usually way cheaper than buying a new skirt or pant.  Some things you need to take into consideration, however, are your sewing skills (if you plan to take this on by yourself), time, and necessity.  If you plan to do any fixing/altering on your own you will need to have both some sewing skill and the time to complete your projects.  Again, you need to be honest with yourself.  If you don’t see yourself being able to fix/alter on your own, then you have the option to take your stuff to a seamstress.  Also consider whether it is really necessary to fix that skirt or put new buttons on that jacket.  Just because it may fit in your wardrobe doesn’t mean you need it.  Who really needs 5 black blazers anyhow?

Tired yet?  Take a break, have a cold drink and something to eat.

Now that your closet is cleaned out you have three options for all the left over clothing.  Option one would be to simply pack it all up and make a trip to the local good will store.

Option two would be to have a clothing swap.  Never been to or heard of one?  It’s pretty simple.  Pick a night to get together with a group of your girlfriends, the more, the merrier and the better the clothing selection.  Tell everyone to clear out their closet of anything they aren’t wearing or don’t want and this can include shoes and accessories too.  It doesn’t matter if everyone is the same size, chances are someone has lost/gained weight and has something that will fit someone else in the group.  You can be organized and sort everything out by sizes/styles, draw number to see who goes first etc, or simply dump everything in the middle of the room and dive in, just make sure to have some wine and snacks available. 😀  Once everyone has picked out what they want, everything else is packed up and taken to good will.

Option three is a little more involved so I’ll write a separate post about it but this is where you can get creative.  Take stock of each item of clothing you have leftover from your closet clean out and decide whether it can be repurposed.  Maybe you have a dinner party coming up and that old bridesmaid dress could be remade into a cute cocktail dress.  Perhaps you have children, the younger the better since they love anything you make for them, and that old pair of jeans or that huge corduroy skirt could easily be cut into a pair or two of  new pants for your toddler.  There are hundreds of options if you take the time to consider them.

I hope this has been helpful and if you are in the Kitchener/Waterloo area, remember I’m available to do repairs and alterations for you!

UFOs

If you sew, you no doubt know exactly what I’m talking about when I mention UFOs.  In fact, I would wager a guess that you probably have a few of your own, hiding deep inside your closet under a pile of forgotten fabrics and notions.

UFOs (UnFinished Objects) started out as something new and exciting but somewhere along the line there was  a distraction that caused it to be cast aside.  Perhaps it was a test fit gone wrong, I mean, you were a size 12 just last year.  Maybe you were short some fabric, interfacing or notion.  There is nothing worse than getting ready to put a zipper in that white skirt only to find that you have zippers in every colour except white!

So the inevitable happens.  The item is cast aside until you make a trip to the fabric store or you lose some weight but to keep busy in the meantime, a new project is started.  The old item is soon forgotten and joins all the other UFOs hidden in the closet.

Wouldn’t it be nice to clear them out? Perhaps a fresh perspective is all that is needed.  First things first though, finish what you are working on now before starting anything else! 😀

The next thing to do is dig out all your UFOs.  They could be anywhere so this may be a good time to organize your sewing room.  Once you have all your items out and everything else is put away, take a moment to admire your clean sewing room since it’s not like this for very long.

Lay out all your UFOs to take stock.  Try on any items that are in style and can fit within your current wardrobe.  If it fits, set it in a pile to finish asap.  If it doesn’t fit, see if it’s possible to fix it so it does.  Sometimes letting out/taking in seams is all that is needed.  Anything else that doesn’t fit or can’t be fixed needs to be put in a different pile for now (I’ll refer to this as pile B from now on).

Take a look at the rest of your UFOs, the ones that are out of style or don’t seem to fit in your wardrobe.  If an item is not currently in style, but may fit in your wardrobe, see if there is anyway to update it.   Excess fabric can be removed to create a more tailored look.  Make pleats into darts, change buttons, remove shoulder pads and take in the shoulders of those 80’s jackets/blouses.  Anything that you don’t feel you want to put the effort into finishing or just can’t be fixed, place it in pile B.  As for the items that may not currently fit in your wardrobe you may want to re-assess them.  If you feel that they can be worked in then add them to your finish pile, everything else goes in pile B.

Pretty simple.  This sorting process can work for you ready made clothes too.  I’ll write a new post on that though.

Your next task is to take a look at each piece in your finish pile.  Make a shopping list of anything you may need to finish these, ie. zippers, proper coloured thread, new buttons etc.  Stick that list in your purse or wallet and make a specific shopping trip as soon as possible to get these things.  Of course, now that you have cleaned your sewing room, you may have discovered that you have some of these things.

Take it one piece at a time.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed and want to start on something new and fresh so just take the first thing off the pile and finish it.  You will probably surprise yourself at how quickly you were able to put that button on.  🙂

As for pile B, once you have completed the finish pile go back through the rest of the UFOs.  Is there someone in the family that might like anything? Can you use the fabric for something else? (Perhaps that bright flower pattern wasn’t such a cute pair of pants after all).  If anything in pile B is completely unsalvagable it’s time to dump it.  Remove any buttons or zippers etc that you could use for something else first though.  If you have items that you are going to finish to give away then finish them, now.  Same as before, make a shopping list for anything you may need to complete the project and hit the fabric store asap.  Then get to work.  If there were any items that you were going to cut into something else I would highly suggest working on that as soon as you can, otherwise you will just have a pile of UFOs again and you may forget what you were going to do with it.  If you can’t start on it right away, make a note about what you plan to do with it and pin it to the UFO before putting it away.

There.  Depending on the number of UFOs you have it may take some time to complete but it’s a wonderful feeling to finally finish something and to no longer have that dreaded pile of unfinished clothing stareing at you.  It will make room for some new fabrics too!  That’s a bonus. 🙂

Of course if you want to finish your UFOs but just don’t have the time or motivation to do it you can always contact an experienced seamstress like myself to finish it for you.  Prices would be similar to the prices for a similar alteration.  For example, if you need a zipper installed, it would be the same price as what I have listed for replacing a zipper or if you need the hem of a skirt finished, it’s the same price as doing a hem alteration.  When in doubt, I’m just an email away.  I’d be happy to help you out!

Show me the Money! :D

I thought I might take a minute and let you know the different types of payment I can accept for my sewing services.

I want to be as flexible as possible to make things easy for you.  Here are my payment terms.

Cash is probably the easiest though I’m terrible at keeping change which is why I try to keep my prices in even numbers.  

I accept cheques too.  Be aware though, that if a cheque bounces, I will expect you to repay in cash and cover any bank fees I may incur.

I also accept paypal.  This allows you to pay using a credit card, using your paypal balance or directly from your bank account.

If you do online banking you can also pay me via email money transfer.  Check with your bank to see what the fees are for this service.

I don’t require a deposit for alteration services though prepayment is always nice.  If you are paying via paypal or email money transfer I do ask that you send your payment before picking up you clothing.

I require a 75% deposit for any custom or re-construction projects with the final 25% due when you pick up the final product.

Clear as mud? 😀  If you have any questions about payment don’t hesitate to ask!