Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Catching up....

Long time no post! :-)

I have been really busy with my little Facebook shop, learning about social media advertising/marketing, etc, sewing stuff for the shop, sewing for my kids, painting the house inside and outside, organizing activities and roadtrips in the summer, etc. I have sold some stuff via my shop but I'm still not sure who my target market is and how to let them know about my wares. Everything seems to be hit and miss.

One of my friends who has been operating her home based craft business for a few years told me that it took her 2 years of hardwork to get everything going. She now has a steady amount of sales from regular customers and steady increase of new customers. She rarely did craft shows because of the high cost of tables and she had to arrange childcare which ate into her very small profit. I guess I have a long way to get to where she is now!

I am sewing a lot but nothing for moi! I need to make some fun summer garment for myself. I'm itching to make another swimsuit even though I have already made 4 for myself. Seriously, how many swimsuits does one need? :-)

So what do you think? What should I make that's quick, fun and summery?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

My pop-up store display

I really need to learn more about marketing and display. I set up my first pop-up store this afternoonand it looks like this:

I sold 3 bags today. But think I can do better than this. I need to go online and see what other bag makers do to display their wares!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

An Addition to my Sewing Library

I'm a self taught sewist so I really need a good sewing library to teach me proper sewing techniques, help me solve problems, and give me new ideas. I was at my local thrift shop and found this book:

It's a book written by Nancy Zieman in 1994. It's in excellent condition, as if it was never read/referenced. I am fascinated by Nancy's pattern alteration techniques, which includes lots of pattern pivoting. Her techniques are different from the slash and spread methods that I have seen. And for $4 I think I got a good deal!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A little purple bucket bag for a toddler girl

I have made this little bucket bag for my friend's little toddler girl. Her favourite colour is purple. This is the only purple fabric I have in my stash. I  added some home decor material on the top and some thrifted silver trim to embellish it. The straps are made with upcycled jeans remnants. The bag is fully lined with an upcycled bed sheet. I hope she will like it!

I quite like the combination of the purple with the green trim. Perhaps I'll make another purse for grownups with this particular fabric combination.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A revamped Facebook Store - I'm learning to set up as I go

I'm not the most savvy with Social Media. Believe it or not, I don't even have a data plan on my phone! So setting up my little shop on Facebook is quite a learning experience. I just revamped my little shop and now I have created a button for it:

So if my dear blog followers have some time to give me some feedback on my dismal attempt in setting up this Facebook store, I would greatly greatly appreciate it!

A New Date Night Red purse!

As mentioned before, I love red. It's my favourite colour. So when I'm thinking of an outfit for date night, or x'mas or any special occasion, I think red. I made loads of red garments but never a cute red purse. So I decided to design one.

I used this piece of remnant red faux suede for upholstery that I thrifted a few years back to make the exterior of the purse. I embellished the flap with trims from a thrifted bag of embellishments I bought earlier this year from my local thrift store. The chains are thrifted from the thrift store as well. The interior lining is a remnant quilting cotton that I have in my stash. The zipper was salvaged from a too tight skirt.

I designed the bag to be worn either as a long chained shoulder bag or it can be double chained into a hand held purse. I'm pretty happy with the look of it. Now I just need a special occasion to test this baby out!

If this prototype bag works out well, I'll make another one and add it to my little shop!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A New Summer Purse for me

I'm still in a bag making mode. I decided to make a new cross body bag for myself this summer. I have been using the same thrifted one for a while now. I decided to make a new refashioned one. Cross body bags are excellent for moms who need both hands to manage their children!

This cross body bag is part of the EcoChic line. The exterior is made with upcycled jeans, upcycled curtain material and seat upholstery fabric. The inside lining is made with an upcycled bedsheet. The zipper was thrifted and the straps are upcycled from an old camera bag.

I am pretty happy with how this bag turned out. I like the colour/fabric combination. It looks quite cheery. I will be using this tomorrow to 'road-test' it for durability and practicality.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Is a Summer Tweed Dress to hot to wear?

I had wanted to make a summer tweed dress for a few years now. I tried making one last year and it was a disaster.

So this year, I really want to try to make another one, especially after I have seen this incredible one on Pinterest:

The colour, the various self fabric trims.....it's a magnificent tweed dress! I'm salivating just looking at this picture. Of course I don't have that gorgeous tweed in my stash and I am not buying any new fabrics. So I'll have have to make do with whatever tweed I have. The only question I have is: is it too hot to wear tweed in the summer?

Friday, June 9, 2017

A little something for a toddler

When my kids were born, I made them stuffed letters that represent the first letter of their given name. I also made that for my expectant female friends. The letters usually make good gifts at baby showers because the expectant moms can use them as decorations for the nurseries. And when the babys grow bigger, they can play with them like a stuffed toy.

This time I'm making a stuffed letter for a friend's little toddler girl. She can either use it as decoration or a toy. I'm using this rainbow striped fabric that I think will go with any decor in the little girl's room. I hope they will like it!

Another Elsa inspired bag - this time with a Cape!

I'm still in bag making mode! And now I seemed to have infected my daughter with the same bag making fever. My daughter saw the first Elsa inspired bag I made and urged me to make another one. So I used the idea of Elsa's chiffon cape and made a bag with a cape!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A New Elsa inspired bag for girls

Since I started making the Teachers bags, I'm in a bag making fever! My daughter is always asking me to make girly accessories. So I decided to make a Elsa-inspired bag for a little girl, based on the Elsa dress I made for my daughter:

So this is the final result. It's a little bucket bag that measures about 8.5" x 7.5".

I am adding this to my little shop. I hope little girls who like Elsa will like it!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Grand Opening of my Little Shop! Teachers' Appreciation Gifts

I have been giving handmade upcycled bags to my kids' teachers for the past few years. They were popular with the teachers and I still see them using my bags year after year. These are the ones I have made so far for this year:

Some of the teachers have encouraged me to set up a shop to sell my handicraft. I have sold my handmade handicraft via friends/colleagues before but I have never set up an online shop until now. So I decided to set up a small shop on Facebook and see how it goes. These one of a kind, EcoChic bags are made with upcycled clothing and home furnishings.

Drum roll......

The Grand Opening of ByLovenicky little shop!!!!!!!!!

If you have time, check out my little shop on Facebook and let me know what you think! 20% off on all purchases until June 23.

More stock will be added as I 'sweatshop' myself away each night after the kids have gone to bed! :-)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Me-Made-Made 2017 final post: May 30 and 31 outfits

It has been a great Me-Made May 2017 challenge. Thanks again to Zoe Edwards for organizing this. Here are my outfits for the last 2 days:

May 30:
I'm wearing a me-made lace dress, a me-made pearl necklace, a pair of thrifted red leather pumps and a thrifted blazer. I don't get a lot of special occasions to wear this lace dress so I'm trying to make it more casual looking with the blazer. But I think the necklace makes it formal again.

May 31:
I'm wearing a me-refashioned chiffon tunic (from a scarf),  me-made stretch woven pants, a thrifted scarf and thrifted ankle boots.

So what I have learned from this challenge is that I still have loads of me-made clothes that I haven't worn for this challenge! Time to purge the closet!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Summer outfits challenge - 14 pieces to 30 outfits

One of the things that the Me-Made-May 2017 challenge has informed me is that I have way too much clothing in my wardrobe! In order to simplify my wardrobe, I'm trying to see if I can work 14 pieces of Me-Made/Me-refashioned/Me-tinkered clothing in a full month of outfits. the objective is after this challenge, I should have a good idea on what summer garments to toss/donate from my massive wardrobe.

I rummaged through my me-made clothes and here is my 14 pieces to 30 outfits challenge for June 1-30. I have chosen:
- 5 tops
- 4 bottoms
- 3 dresses
- 2 toppers

All in all, only 1 top (the thrifted black beaded tunic) is NOT a Me-Tinkered garment.

This summer challenge will actually include a road trip for a week. Let's see how this will work in June!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Me Made May 2017 Outfits: May 25-29

The Me Made May 2017 Challenge is almost over! Here are the outfits for the past few days:

May 25:
I'm wearing a me-refashioned silk shirt, me-altered jeans, a me-made necklace, thrifted merino wool cardigan and thrifted red patent flats.

May 26:
I'm wearing my me-made stretch cotton shirt from the Wardrobe Sudoku Contest, and me-made baby blue jeans, a me-made necklace and thrifted ankle boots.

May 27:
It's a bit cool but I was determined to wear one of my cotton voile sundress. I'm wearing a me-refashioned cardigan, me-made sundress, thrifted leggings and thrifted red patent flats.

May 28:
It's not very hot but since I would be doing indoor activities, I am wearing a me-made red linen sleeveless top I just made last week, a me-made linen blend maxi-skirt, a thrifted scarf and thrifted flats.

May 29:
I'm wearing a me-made maxi dress, me-refashioned scarf and a me-refashioned cardi.

2 more days to go!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

More Summer Garments! A Red Linen top

I'm not sure if other sewists do this. I'm quite lazy when it comes to changing the threads on my serger. So when I want to sew something, I always look at what colour threads are already threaded in the serger and then proceed to make something in that colour.

The serger has been threaded with red threads for a while, and I have been making red garments. So to continue with the red trend, I made myself a sleeveless top with the same red linen blend that I used for the cargo shorts I made a few days ago. This top is based on my stash pattern Butterick 5364 which I have used previously.

I used a size 10 because of how 'blousey' this pattern is. But I had to enlarge the armhole as the  size 10 armhole is too tight for me. I also added side slits this time to make it easier for me to sit down without wrinkling the bottom half of the top too much. I didn't use the facing pieces in the pattern but instead used bias tape to enclosed the edges. I found the facing pieces too cumbersome and too warm to wear on a hot, sticky summer day. I sewed a short line of satin stitch right on top of the side slit to stop the slit from splitting from wear and wash.

I'm pretty happy with this top and I can't wait to wear it. Now what else can I do with the remaining red linen blend fabric?

The review of this pattern is at PatternReview.

Me Me May 2017 outfits: May 21-24

Here are the outfits for Me Made May 2017 from May 21 to 24.

May 21:
Furniture shopping with the family. I'm wearing a me-refashioned yellow lace skirt (from a table cloth), a me-made shell necklace (from a shell I picked up in the South of France) and thrifted ankle boots. I don't wear this skirt often because I think the shape is not flattering on me. I'm going to refashion it into something else.

May 22:
Visiting an outdoor National Historic Monument with the kids today. I'm wearing a me-made cardigan jacket, me-refashioned ribbed knit top (from a turtleneck to crewneck) and a thrifted belt.

May 23:
The weather is getting warmer. I"m wearing a me-refashioned denim shirt, a pair of -me-made stretch woven pants and thrifted shoes.

May 24:
It's cool in the morning and much warmer in the afternoon. I'm wearing a me-refashioned jacket (from a pair of men's jeans), me made baby blue jeans and a thrifted scarf.

It's getting warmer and warmer. So I will probably be able to wear all those me-made sundresses soon!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Refashion: Women skirt to Girl Jeans

My daughter has all of a sudden shot up almost 5cm in height this past month. So I needed to make her some new pants for school and play.

I thrifted these 2 women long jean skirts at my local thrift store for $5 each. One of those skirts had a stain on it but I can easily cover it with some applique. The reason I like using 2nd hand denim is that they have already been washed, shrinken, broken in. The fabric is soft and durable at the same time - excellent for kids' clothes:

I used one of my daughter's current too-short pants as a guide and made a pair of jeans that is longer
and wider.

I also used some remnant red linen fabric from my previous project to make a heart-shaped applique for the side pocket. Since the serger was already threaded with red threads from the last project, I simply cut a pocket shape from the jean skirt and serged the edge in red.

The length of the jeans skirt was just a tad bit short of the side length I wanted for my daughter. So I cut a piece of remnant red knit, encased a piece of elastic inside it and serged the whole thing to the top of the pants as the waistband.

I hope my daughter likes it! If so I'll cut the other jean skirt and make another pair of mama-made pants for her. There are still lots of remnants from that first skirt that I can make lots of accessories!

Monday, May 22, 2017

More MAGAM Merry May projects - Red linen Cargo Shorts

It's a 3 day weekend this weekend but I still sewed something! Between forest hiking and visiting National Historic Monuments with the kids, I hid away from them for just enough time to make some new shorts.

I used my tried and true Butterick 5044 that had been tweaked for my body. I made View A in size Small. The red linen blend fabric has been in my stash for years. It's a brilliant true red which I love. The only change I made was to position the side pockets higher than suggested by the sewing pattern.  I used an existing black shoe lace in my stash for the waist tie.

Surely one can always use a pair of linen shorts for the hot and sticky summer! The temperature right now is still in the mid-teens Celsius so I'm not wearing these shorts yet. But I can't wait till I will be able to wear them!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Me Made May 2017 Outfits: May 18-20

Here are my outfits from May 18-20.

May 18:
Today is super hot and humid! I'm wearing a me-refashioned top (from a men's shirt), me-made linen cargo pants, a me-made necklace and thrifted shoes.

May 19:
The temperature suddenly dropped 20+ Celsius! I'm wearing a thrifted top, me-made silver knit scarf, and a me-made long skirt.

May 20:
I'm going hiking in the nearby forest with my family. I'm wearing a me-refashioned merino wool sweater (from a huge XL men's sweater) and a me-made hat.

We are very fortunate to be a very short drive to a nearby forest. My kids love going there.  All over the forest there are these white Trillium flowers that thrive on the forest ground. They are the symbols of my province.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Me Made May 2017 outfits: May 14-17

Here are my me-made and me-refashioned outfits from May 14 to 17.

May 14:
It's Mother's Day! I'm wearing a me-made dress, me-refashioned scarf, thrifted leggings and boots for a lunch with my family.

May 15:
I'm wearing a me-refashioned black dress and a me-made jacket that I made for the Wardrobe Sudoku contest.

The temperature is creeping up to the high teens. I'm wearing a me-refashioned jacket, a me-refashioned silk tunic.

May 17:
Today is super hot and humid - getting ready for a rain storm. I'm wearing a me-refashioned cardi, a me-made cotton sun dress and thrifted red patent flats.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Me Made May 2017 outfits: May 9-13

Here are the Me Made May 2017 outfits from May 9 to 13.

May 9:
Here I'm wearing a me-made white tweed jacket, me-made denim jeggings and thrifted red patent flats.

May 10:
Here I'm wearing a me-made stretch woven cotton shirt, me-made gold brocade skirt. Very office appropriate!

May 11:
I'm wearing a recently me-made cotton floral tunic, me-made charcoal jeggings and thrifted mary-janes.

May 12:
Today I'm wearing a me-refashioned jean jacket (from 1 pair of men's jeans), a me-refashioned glittery sweater skirt, and a me-refashioned green chiffon scarf (as a belt). Daytime Glamour! :-)

May 13:
It's not raining so I can bring out the white jeans! Here I'm wearing a me-made grey sweatshirt tunic, me-made white slim jeans and thrifted ankle boots.