Workshops Page

Friday, November 26, 2010

New Bags Ready For The Weekend Market

I've been sewing like a mad lady this week to get these pretty ladies finished for the markets this weekend.

The first two are made from Amy Butlers new collection Soul Blossoms, which was released just last week. I've been waiting for it to come out for about 3 months now. I was really struggling for inspiration as I haven't been able to find any new fabric I love love loved...never fear, inspiration is here.

I was hoping it would be out when I was in the states a couple of weeks ago, but alas it came out the week after I got back....poo.

So if you like one of these pretties, pop down to Paddington Markets tomorrow and check them out. Be sure to say hi too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas

Why not get creative this Christmas and make your friends and family a gift.

A handmade gift is so personal and shows that you put a lot of time, effort and love into their prezzie.

Here is a link to a load of free bag patterns for you to get your crafty mojo on.

Oh and this is what my new bag pattern turned out like that I was working on the other week. I'm not in love with it so it won't be going on sale at the markets.

BUT....I am in love with this new bag which I made last week and will be working on some more this week for Saturdays market at Paddington.

Mmmmm Leather strap. Not the best photo as I was in a rush

What do you think?

Friday, November 19, 2010

From A Little Bit Trash To A Lot Of Treasure

For a little while now I've been thinking about how I can increase the environmentally friendliness of my production process. As much as I love vintage fabric, making a whole range of bags out of them is not something I wish to do. I thought instead that I could maybe re-use the frames of old bags and make them into new ones.

I've been looking in all the Vinnies shops but have had no luck. In New York I checked out a flea market and came across an interesting couple selling all kinds of different things. 

Flea market man

I found this old lady (the bag not the man) in amongst a bunch of old bags. She doesn't look too bad in the photo but close up she has wrinkles, just like me and three grey hairs which she discovered this week!

I told the lady I was only going to pull it apart for the frame, so she gave me a good discount. 
I wish I was there the following Saturday as the lady said she had heaps of bags at home that she couldn't sell but the frames were still good :-(.

So, here is the before shot and you shall all bare witness to her transformation back into society. Will I give her "the girl next door" look or will I pimp her ride? Stay tuned for the end result and the survey on how many years younger she looks whilst placed in a perspex box in the middle of the street. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Fabrics For Some New Bags

Yes, I said new bags!

As hard as it was to find the good fabric shops in New York, I did manage to pick myself up this little bundle of goodies.

This fabric will hopefully be the new beginnings of some new bags. I say hopefully, as many times before have I purchased little goodies like this and not used them for what I intended.

As you can see I have totally done away with my previous strategy of having a colour scheme, it's just too limiting for me.

I'm testing out a new pattern this week and will hopefully have a sample made in time for Paddington Markets on Saturday. I'll show you what I get done before then.

So....What do you think of these new fabrics? Favourites please?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Where To Shop For Fabric And Wool In New York City

New York New York, what a huge city and so much to see.

We shouted with the very passionate locals at the ice hockey at Madison Square Garden; drank daiquiris in a mug with flashing lights at the basketball and walked walked walked the blocks of NYC.

How pretty is this bottle? It's just green tea on the shelf for about $2 bucks
I'm going to use it as a vase

I was quite surprised at the limited number of fabric shops in NYC. I googled everything and could only find a few. I really wanted to buy some supplies like bag handles and clasps but couldn't find a store that stocked them. So, for those of you yet to come to NYC, I will share the fountain of knowledge with you on where to go, so that you don't have to research like I did. In doing so I can write it off as a business trip then can't I?

The biggest fabric store I visited was B & J Fabrics. They have EVERYTHING, walls and walls and walls of it. Fashion fabrics, craft fabrics and all that shiny sequin stuff too. You will need at least 3 hours here. Go with a project in mind or you will be overwhelmed. They will send you samples too if you want.
I couldn't get a photo as I ran out of time; I was the last to leave the store :-).

They don't list everything on their website as there is just waaaaaaaaay too much. You have to see to believe. I found a bolt of Anna Maria Horner sketch book fabric for $15.95 yard!!! Most of the craft fabrics were $12.95 yard. That's it! plus a little bit of USA tax of course.

The Brooklyn General Store was very cute. If you're a knitter (Fran) then you will have died and gone to heaven here. Not a huge range of fabrics and quite a walk from the station but nonetheless a pretty shop to visit. They had some amazing leather bag straps that I've never seen, but they were $68 a pop; sadly I had to leave them behind.

The General Store, Brooklyn

For the wool lovers, The General Store, Brooklyn

How cool is my new wide angle lens, I can get everything in the shot!

Purl Soho, Soho, Sorry, I only had my iphone here

Me at Purl Soho

Purl Soho had a larger range of fabric and also a huge range of colourful wools. They also stock some good books. I bought Amy Butlers new book for $30! It's $50 in Australia.

Me in Central Park

Apart from B&J Fabrics, The City Quilter had the largest range of fabrics. Nothing I hadn't seen before but cheaper of course.

How awesome is this. I stumbled across this clothing store and they had old singer sewing machines from floor to ceiling throughout the entire shop! They were everywhere! I don't even know how they would have got so many.

And just for your viewing pleasure, here is a photo of some undies you can buy at Macy's to enhance your BUTT! I don't know about you, but I'm always trying to decrease by butt, not make it stick out like this.

I'm off to enjoy the pork ribs and amazing music of Memphis. I'm visiting Elvis tomorrow. x

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brushing Up On Your HTML With Professor Google

HTML, who cares what it stands for, all you need to know is that it's what makes your blog look the way it does...kinda.

I spent most of the day the other week giving myself a mini degree in HTML from Professor Google. She knows just about anything; in fact I would go as far as saying she knows everything. It may not always be correct but she always has a go at helping you out.

I found THIS website that gives you a crash course in HTML basics. It's worth the read to try and understand what the
etc's mean and how you can edit them to change the look of your blog or online shop (if you have one).

The things I usually want to change on my blog/online shop are colours, spacing, page backgrounds and adding in things like links, a search box, social media buttons, questionnaire's, email sign up sheets etc.

I really have no idea what I'm doing and I have absolutely no IT training, I just experiment by adding in the HTML or gadgets and remembering where I have put them so I can go back and delete it if it doesn't do what I want. This, like I said, can take a long time if you let it.

I often refer to this website when I want to add something; usually what you want to do is listed somewhere here. It also has the codes for all the colours, so you can change your template around.

It would take me a whole lot of wafting on to explain how to play around with your HTML and I don't really know what I'm on about. So what I will do is list the things I really wanted to add to my blog/online shop at some point and give you a link to someone who actually does know what they're talking about.

Now... my blog is hosted by, so I can only tell you where things are on the blogger platform. I'm sure with a little searching you'll be able to find them on your blog too.


Add a background image
Add Feedburner
Add a picture to your banner
Change the background colour of your header
The codes for colours on your blog, scroll to the bottom of the page
Aligning the text in your header, so moving it left, right etc to where you want it
Add a chat box to your blog
Add a search box to your blog
Animate your banner, make the heading change
More tips on understanding HTML
How to make mini photos/links to older posts come up under your latest post

If you want to add a facebook "like" button or a facebook button to link to your facebook page, just search on, they have all the instructions there for you.

Online Shop
Add a link that goes to your blog. I don't have anymore free "pages" for my online shop, so I can't put my blog as a page. Instead I made a link which will take people to my blog.

So, there are a few links to some basic things you can add to your blog to personalise it.

Have fun playing around with it and just remember to save a copy of your HTML code before you start.
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