Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Pillow Case Dresses

I know I've said it before and I'll probably say it again but sometimes having your own business is a bit like being on an island. Yes, it is wonderful to be on this fabulous sunny island but sometimes it can be a bit isolating. There isn't anyone to bounce ideas off of, as in should I really spend THAT amount of money on new fabric woven labels for the business? Should I invest in 16 yards of black fuzzy trim? Should I spend an entire Saturday at an art fair exhibiting and selling wares? This week my silent partner...the Muffin Man, husband extraordinaire had to help me choose a font for new labels. At about the 16th shade of pink, well, he sort of died on me and went back to selling widgets in HIS office. Poor guy.

So, what's a small business owner to do for inspiration? Well, invite the crafty preschool moms over for coffee and sewing time. This morning I had the pleasure of sewing with my friend Tanya. Her infectious enthusiasm was just that, infectious. She sews but wants to learn some techniques. And me? Well, I just wanted a crafty morning focusing on someone else's projects. Tanya chose a pillow case dress for her project today. This is her daughter's new dress. Isn't it too darn cute? And, yes it's made from a pillow case, some gros grain ribbon, a strip of material sewn into a fancy band and some buttons and bows.

She completed her new pillow case dress in under 2 hours and I must say I had to laugh out loud with how pleased we were with her project.

Since I scored bargain basement pillow cases at a clearance sale last week myself...Ava and Olivia got these cuties to wear this summer!

Tanya and I had a serious discussion about how young you'd have to be to get away with wearing one of these dresses. She argued that we could in fact get away with wearing a similar dress in grown-up size if we wore leggings too. Ha, I told her "Maybe YOU could get away with it." I suspect Tanya is a wee bit younger than I am. I think they will have to be made for the under 10 set here at this household.

Oh well, it was a fun creative morning, just spending time with a friend, the sewing machine and some really pretty ribbon!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pink and Black on White

Here is what I spent my weekend doing.

This is the latest custom order. My client chose the material and then gave it to me to work with. She told me what she'd like and I had a ball molding three different fabrics into 5 little spring bags. She even lent me her favorite bags to use for sizing and pleating ideas.

Now she just needs some hot pink and black tee shirts and she'll be all set for spring and summer.

You know, this project has been making me think. I've recently had a few requests from people to work with vintage material that they have or material they ran across on a shopping trip. I really love this idea of making something new and beautiful out of something old or tired or unused any longer. (Of course this material in the picture was new, but she found it and fell in love with it, I only supplied lining materials and hardware, and the labor of course!) Maybe I'll think about using this recycle angle to see if people want to recycle old dresses, table cloths, vintage linens, favorite but battered clothes into new bags that they'd use more frequently.

What do you think? Is this a good idea?