Thursday, September 22, 2011

Six more aprons . . . yes, six.

It looks like I've been pretty busy this week, with all these aprons! Though, each apron takes about an hour from cutting to final sewing, so it's not as impressive as it looks. lol.
Yellow swirls
These six aprons (and the first from a few days ago) were cut on Sunday and ironed/sewn throughout the week.
Ivory w/ turquoise, brown, and yellow flowers (this is my favorite!)
The ties are VERY long (80" from one tie end to the other, around the waist) and made of bias tape--so they are nice and strong!
Gingerbread men
These are are available on Etsy for $14. Click on the description under each picture for the link :)

Coffee cups
All the fabric was purchased at my favorite Amish fabric store near Goshen, IN :) Love love LOVE that store!!! So many cotton fabrics!
Coffee beans
I have 4 of each of these aprons in stock (except carrots, of which I have 2), and all aprons without black bias tape have matching child-size aprons available (not on Etsy yet, but will be $6).

Have an idea for an apron fabric? Want a custom apron for a Christmas gift? Leave a comment! I'll try to find anything you want!
Even more aprons coming soon!!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

So . . . Many . . . Aprons!

Ahhhhh! Aprons have taken over my living room!!!!

Well, not quite. But there are quite a few, especially for our little one-bedroom apartment to hold! As I write this, 27 aprons are cut and pressed, ready to sew!

I spent last weekend with my family at my childhood home in the countryside, 45 minutes from where I live now. My mother and I have a booth in a craft show just after Thanksgiving, so we needed to stock up on fabric! Everyone seamstress needs a reason to stock up on fabric!!!!

Listing here
We went to my favorite fabric store: Calico Point. It's run by sweet Amish ladies and has the best quality cotton fabrics and the cheapest lace/bias tape/elastic I've ever seen! This is a quilter's paradise, I think. I absolutely adore it!!!

And what are good quality cotton fabrics good for? Aprons, of course!

How much fabric did I buy? My husband would say, "Too much!" Ha ha. I think it ends up being 20 yards, but from 11 different fabrics! That makes 40 adult-size aprons and 28 child-size aprons! WOW!!! And each adult aprons needs 3 yards of bias tape for ties (each child apron needs 1.5), so you do the math on that! I was so glad to find bias tape for $.50/yard!

Fabrics still to be cut!
Years ago, when I was in junior high and my grandmother was still alive and going to craft shows every year, my simple aprons were a big hit! Though I love making skirts and dresses, I know aprons are good Christmas gifts, so I'm focusing on those for now. If I finish all of these with weeks to spare (as I intend to), I will make up other clothing items or doll clothes to the craft show, as well.

When we went to craft shows in the past, we used to sell the aprons for $7.50, I think, which barely covered the price of fabric and bias tape. My grandma would buy the materials for me AND let me have the money from the sales! So generous!

Now that I'm buying materials (which are more expensive, now) and making them, I need to set the price higher in order to pay for my labor plus fees from Etsy & PayPal (when sold online). So, on Esty, I think I'll sell an adult-size apron for $14 and a child-size apron for $6 (and maybe a matching set for $18). At craft shows, where I don't have 12% extra fees, and so people will buy them on the spot (that's the point of a craft show, after all), they will be $10 and $5.
Yellow child-size apron, along with cut aprons: carrots, coffee cups, coffee beans, gingerbread men,  & turquoise and brown flowers on ivory.
Check out the super long ties!

Needless to say, my husband is struggling with all of this. We haven't been together very long, and we haven't done a craft show in a long time anyway, so he hasn't seen results of buying so much. He was quite the trooper, though, and had a great attitude! I need to sell a few on Etsy before he is convinced, though, I think. Anyone want to buy an apron? Ha ha.

The pictured finished apron (black w/ autumn leaves) is listed here:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Flowers and Aprons and Pumpkins, Oh My!

Goodness gracious! My Etsy shop has seen so many changes in the past week! On Friday, I began listing digital photography in three categories:
Autumn Photography (click to see it in the shop!)

Flower Photography
Produce Photography
All photos are available for immediate digital download ($3 each) in a high quality JPG format, so anyone can print them in small or large sizes. Also, any can be professionally printed in 2 business days--a 4x6 is $4, a 5x7 is $5.50, and an 8x10 is $8.

AND, I listed 3 aprons this week!

Purple paisley half apron (click to view listing)

This is upcycled from leftover cotton fabric. The ties are long enough to fit any size! (up to 54" waist)

Purple polka-dot half apron (click to view listing)

This is also upcycled from leftover cotton fabric and large enough to fit any size. I had used these fabrics to made a custom-ordered reversible purse. I absolutely love these fabrics!

And a very unique full apron: Wide Smart Apron in Autumn Leaves Print

This has built-in hot pads!!! There is a pocket on the back (it's reversible, by the way).

Since it's made of pre-quilted fabric, the pocket is thick enough to be a pot holder!

I love this idea!

While cooking or baking, you don't have to reach for hot pads; instead, just slip your hands into the pocket!

It's nice and wide, so it will catch any amount of splatter. Pretty nifty apron, huh?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Contemplating Photography on Etsy

I love photography!

About a year ago I bought a semi-professional camera (Nikon L100 with 15x optical zoom, but not with removable lenses, etc.) and have had fun with it!

I've been thinking about listing some photos on Etsy.

For digital copies (emailed to purchaser), I would probably charge $3 or $4.

I'd love to print them (say at Wal-green's) and frame them--a 4x6 would probably be $12.

Feedback? Are those reasonable prices? Around this blog post are samples of pictures I'd like to list :)

Which of these photos do you like? Would you like to have any of these in your home or in a calendar?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wedding Party #2: Amber and Paul

This June, just a few weeks after sewing my own wedding, my mom asked me if I would sew another wedding dress for Amber, a young mother she mentors. Amber is the sweetest thing, with two small boys (3 years and 18 months) and not a lot of money. After her husband left her, Amber re-met her former neighbor Paul and fell in love (it's a really sweet story!). My mom wanted to pay me to make Amber's wedding dress as her present to Amber.
Of course I said I'd do it :)

First, my mom took Amber to David's Bridal to try on dresses and figure out what she wanted. Amber loved this dress, with a halter top, lace insert in a split skirt, and colored sash. As you can see, it's over $500--we made it for about $200 (including labor). Awesome!

Mid-July, I visited Amber with my mom, brought patterns to look at (we combined two), and took measurements. Then I made the dress out of muslin as a test dress. We fitted that late July, also taking measurements for the bridesmaid, flower girl, and her two little boys. Then I went on my honeymoon for a week. Then I got busy!

Basically, I sewed everything (1 man's shirt [best man, Paul's teenage son], 2 boys' shirts, two ties for the men, two bow ties for the boys, 1 bridesmaid dress [also combining two patterns], 1 flower girl dress, and 1 elaborate wedding gown) in about 3 weeks. Good thing I had experience sewing my own wedding a few months before!

We purchased the sash from DB to make sure it was the right color. It came with a gathered waistband and embroidery on the ends, and it was probably cheaper (and easier) than making one. I sewed a modesty panel and snapped it in, then appliqued pieces of lace on the bodice and sash. And I did the hem completely by hand. LOTS of hand sewing!
Aren't they adorable?

I worked like crazy! But I loved it :) I loved replicating Amber's perfect DB dress and making something she loved! I enjoyed making matching dresses and shirts and learning how to sew shirts and ties! The wedding was quaint and beautiful :) I'm so glad I could be apart of it!

Mother and daughter. Precious!
P.S. If you know of anyone who wants homemade wedding attire, send them to me! I love it!

Meal planning - Sept 4-10

I've been inspired by others who have started posting weekly menus, like Paper From Heaven, and I love organizing and have been meaning to do this. Parker and I went shopping today and stocked up on our favorite meats! So, here goes the tentative meal planning for the week (just dinners)...

Homemade pizza

Monday (we're having a friend over)
fried chicken legs
sweet corn (from the garden!)
fried zucchini or zucchini bread
peach cobbler

oven-fried steak
mashed red potatoes
green/yellow beans (from the garden!) w/ bacon


chicken stir-fry
brown rice
sweet corn

steak (grilled, hopefully)
fries of red potatoes and sweet potatoes
green/yellow beans w/ bacon

beef stroganoff
egg noodles
(whatever we feel like eating)