Staging for Art Show

Saturday is the big day – the Sigma Holiday House arts & crafts show! I’ve only done one other show, which was a few years ago, so I decided to set up a trial run in my dinning room.

Just the Right Size

For the past few months I’ve been using my enclosed summer porch as a display area.  Since the weather had been so cold and the space isn’t ideal, I moved the dining table into the living room and moved in my display. Sorry family! You’ll get your space back next week.

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Using a tape measure and blue painter’s tape I marked off my allotted space: a wopping 10′ X 5′. I am so glad I measured exactly because I estimated when on the summer porch and I was off a bit. It’s amazing how much a few inches can make.

Adding Inventory

After setting up my walls, moving the table a few times and adjusting the angles I finally came up with a good display arrangement. I even have room for Miss Woodwire, my homemade dress form. My daughter, Nora thought of the appropriate name for her.

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My Artfully Sew Store displayed in my dining room.

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Miss Woodwire is looking cute in her new display.

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Taking pictures will help me set up quickly. Speaking of which, I’d better
pack it up. Set up is tomorrow!

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

Blue bird art quilt

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This morning was productive for me. I finally finished quilting this bluebird quilt. Although I am frustrated with myself for rushing, I think it turned out nicely. My problem is I hate to pin. I just want to get to the fun part of quilting. Pinning is so boring. So, I ended up with creases in the quilting and wonkiness around the edge.  I chalk it up to my style.

Now to add the hanging sleeve and maybe even make my own frame!

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

Tangled Costume for Halloween

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Rapunzel costume complete with frying pan!

It was time to take a break from making aprons to making a Halloween costume! My daughter, Nora was determined to be Rapunzel for trick or treating this year. I was hesitant because I am trying to get ready for the Sigma Holiday House craft show coming up November 22. But, mother duties trump business, so we set off for our hunt.

We started at Goodwill and found a green summer dress that had an eyelet lace front.  I figured we could lace ribbon up the middle to look like a bodice. Green wasn’t the right color for Rapunzel’s dress from the movie so we picked up a package of purple Rit dye at Joann Fabrics. (I wish I would have taken a picture of the dress before I dyed it so you could experience the full transformation!) The brown peasant shirt was from another dying project I did last year.

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This wig was so fun and easy to make!

The wig was so fun to make! We found a great tutorial on line by This Mama Makes Stuff. Thanks to the detailed directions, it was so easy. My mom gave us a couple skiens of yellow yarns that Nora cut up for the wig. I sewed it to the cap and Nora braided it.

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Trick or treating with little cousins

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The spoils of trick or treating!

Making this costume was a fun break, but now, back to work! (After a few pieces of Halloween candy – shhh!)

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

Pretty in Plaid Apron

The process of making aprons from men’s shirts has been a learning experience! My design has evolved from a smocky apron to a farm-type apron to this type of traditional apron. All are unique and so fun to make!

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This Pretty in Plaid Apron started once again with a Goodwill shirt I bought for the colors. The pocket is a corner of an embroidered tea towel set on point.

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The pink trim and lace is from the bottom of my ribbon basket. The bodice looks very elegant.

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The back has extra long ties to accommodate many sizes. I think I’m going to stick with this style for future aprons.

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I’m still looking for opinions on appropriate prices for these aprons! What would you pay for a one-of-a-kind apron with embroidery and lace? Post your comments below.

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

Falling Leaves Apron

I finished up a few more aprons yesterday. I keep tweeking the pattern as I go. They all turn out differently which keeps it fun. I really dislike making the exact same thing over and over again. That’s probably why I seldom use the same pattern twice! Here’s the first one:

Apron of Falling Leaves

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This apron is made from one of my hubby’s worn out work shirts. The color is very nice, so I cut it up and used the back of the shirt for the front of the apron. With the leaves falling outside as my inspiration, I matched up an embroidered tablerunner to use as the pocket. The pockets are accessed through the side instead of the top. In fact it’s just one big pocket, nice and generous in size. Isn’t the edging on this embroidered piece gorgeous?

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The other side of the tablerunner will be saved for a future apron. After cutting the pockets, a nice sized middle section was left over. I couldn’t waste that beautiful crocheted remnant! By cutting it in half and sewing the edges together I created a nice skirt edging for the bottom of the apron. It felt a bit bottom heavy, so I found some leaf-like lace in my scrap bin that matched the leaves in the embroidery.

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The back of this apron has a tie and suspender type straps. I’m hoping that this style will accommodate many sizes. The straps are made from the sleeves from the shirt as usual.

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This photo also shows off my recently made dress form I constructed from chicken wire, a wooden hanger, a broom handle and the base of a broken office chair. It’s become a very handy tool in my studio!  Check out the post here to see how i made it.

Now the apron feels finished and happy. I will post more aprons throughout the week.

What is a good price for handmade one-of-a-kind aprons? What would you pay for this apron? Let me know you opinion below. Thanks!

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

DIY Fabric Labels

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This morning I printed off my newly designed labels. The larger one is for aprons and the circular one is for the back of my ornaments. I love running fabric through my ink jet printer for not only labels but also for transferring embroidery patterns. Here’s my method:

To print the labels on fabric, first find a nice cotton fabric that has no print. For these labels I’ll probably use a light tan color to create a vintage look, but you can experiment to find what suits your niche. Press the fabric with a hot iron and starch for best results. Cut the fabric a little bit larger than a regular piece of paper, about 8 1/2″ x 11 1/2″.

Take a piece of freezer paper and cut it about the same size as your fabric. Iron the freezer paper to the backside of your fabric. Make sure the glossy side of the freezer paper is facing the fabric or it will stick to your iron!

Cut the paper-lined fabric down to exactly 8″ x 11″. Set it in your printer the same way you would regular paper, making sure the printed side will transfer to the top of the fabric NOT the freezer paper side. (I find it helpful to run a test through with regular printer paper first to see what direction it comes out so I can set the fabric up correctly). Print as usual. The printer should grab your fabric and print. You may have to trouble shoot, like helping feed the paper through by hand or changing the paper thickness setting on your printer, etc. Experiment to find the best way for your printer.

Remove the freezer paper and iron with a hot iron to set the ink. Don’t use steam or it may make the ink bleed. You may want to add fusible webbing to the back of the newly printed fabric to make it easy to fuse the labels. 

Some printers work better than others! I have had success with a Canon Pixma and a HP Officejet printer. What works for you?

Leave any questions or comments below and I’d be glad to help you out. Now to find that perfect fabric…

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean