Month: September 2019

How Two Makers Use Spoonflower PRO for Business

Spoonflower PRO Small Business Spotlight - Spoonflower Blog
September Maker Spotlight: Meet Ellen Giggenbach of Ellen G. | Spoonflower Blog
September Maker Spotlight: Meet Michelle Provencher of The Love Mich® Collection | Spoonflower Blog

Have you ever wondered if Spoonflower PRO is right for you? This premium membership service is a must-have for small business owners, frequent orderers, and anyone who loves Spoonflower. With perks like free Standard shipping, half-price expedited shipping and guaranteed turn-around time, among other helpful benefits, PRO has proven to be a key business component among our vibrant maker community. Today we’d like to introduce two makers who have turned their passion for creating into thriving full-time businesses, supported by Spoonflower PRO.

Meet Maker Ellen Giggenbach of Ellen G

Ellen is an illustrator who creates what she calls, “Joyful art made from digitally combining textured paper, graphic shapes and vibrant colours.” Ellen sells her unique brand of homewares, gifts and paper products through her Etsy shop and in her storefront located in New Zealand.

September Maker Spotlight: Meet Ellen Giggenbach of Ellen G. | Spoonflower Blog
A sample of Ellen’s exclusive prints and cushion covers

I would recommend PRO as it is a great service for anyone who is making and selling regularly. It offers support and savings helping to make a handmade business financially viable which is not always easy. – Ellen Giggenbach


Meet Maker Michelle Provencher of The Love Mich® Collection

Michelle is the creator of the Love Mich® Iced Coffee Cozy—a limited-edition beverage accessory that you’d be lucky to get your hands on. Her popular cozies sell out within hours of her quarterly releases and have even become a fashion accessory in New England where Michelle is located.

September Maker Spotlight: Meet Michelle Provencher of The Love Mich® Collection | Spoonflower Blog
Your best option for getting your hands on a Love Mich cozy? Follow the brand on Instagram where Michelle posts previews to her seasonal releases.

As a business, I decided that I wanted to source as much from the United States as I could and that can sometimes be more costly, however, the PRO membership helps offset those costs with a discount, expedited production and free shipping! – Michelle Provencher


I fell in love with making goods when…

Ellen: I believe I’ve inherited my love of hand making from my mum and dad. After arriving in New Zealand from Germany, my father, a volcanologist and my mother a seamstress, designed our house and filled it with lovingly handmade treasures such as folk art carved furniture, groovy hand-sewn orange daisy curtains and 70’s hand-woven macrame. I enjoyed making products to sell even at a young age, I remember picking pebbles from the beach and painting them. I set up a mini shop on the side of the road, I can remember how great it felt making my first sale!

September Maker Spotlight: Meet Ellen Giggenbach of Ellen G. | Spoonflower Blog

Michelle: I was just a little tyke! I always loved making things. My earliest sewing memory is hand sewing little bean bags during a school field trip. As I got older I experimented with different crafts ultimately falling in love with all the possibilities that come with being able to sew. As a teenager, I took apart purses and bags to see how they were made and tried my hand at some simple apparel. As I got older and friends asked me to make them things, I saw the possibility of creating a business from my handmade goods and the sky became the limit!

September Maker Spotlight: Meet Michelle Provencher of The Love Mich® Collection | Spoonflower Blog
All Love Mich photos are by Christina Creel of Honeysuckle + Holly Photography

What was your inspiration for creating your handmade business?

Ellen: The inspiration for creating my handmade business came about when my husband and I took our big trip through Europe before we married. I discovered a little shop down an alley in Venice. It was filled with gorgeous prints featured on a fabulous variety of products. I remember sitting under a tree at our campground sketching my ideas and dreaming that this is what I wanted to do, I still have the drawings.

September Maker Spotlight: Meet Ellen Giggenbach of Ellen G. | Spoonflower Blog
Ellen’s shop is filled with products she designed herself

Michelle: I always knew I wanted to have my own fashion line but I wasn’t quite sure how to get there. I taught myself how to sew and figured if I’m going to own a fashion company, I better learn how to create what I envisioned! I strongly believe in putting in the work and knowing how each piece and process of your business works, hence why I love the handmade business. There is incredible satisfaction in knowing that you created something from your imagination and brought it to life with your own hands. I started with simple items like purses and bags, sold them to friends, hosted purse parties at friend’s homes and participated in all different vendor fairs.  Early on in my business, circa 2008, I created and began to offer our now best-seller, the iced coffee cozy. I hustled our cozies for years before they became popular beyond my inner circle and now we create and sell thousands of them!


What’s in your maker toolbox?

Ellen: My toolbox comprises mainly of my Apple Mac for creating my designs in Photoshop (I’m self-taught and always learning), my Singer sewing machine to sew my cushions, bags, scarves and wall hangings, and my scalpel and cutting mat.  Originally I created all my designs by hand cutting paper, now I scan the paper and digitally play with it till the colours and shapes balance perfectly.

Michelle: A Spoonflower Color Map! I am very specific about the aesthetic of the prints that we choose and confirming that the collections are cohesive, so knowing color tones and hues is essential to me. As far as actual tools, my industrial sewing machine is a lifesaver. I broke and burnt out so many cheap sewing machines over the years until I finally invested in something heavy-duty.

September Maker Spotlight: Meet Michelle Provencher of The Love Mich® Collection | Spoonflower Blog
The prints Michelle chooses for her popular cozies are either designed by Michelle herself or sourced from the Spoonflower Marketplace

My proudest accomplishment over the last year is…

Ellen: Without a doubt, it’s my store here in New Zealand, Ellen G. It’s been open for nearly 4 years now and I’m so happy that I have successfully realized my dream from so many years ago. It has taken persistence, determination, accepting setbacks as learning, spending the time to make sure the financial side makes sense and most of all a huge desire to consistently develop new ideas.

September Maker Spotlight: Meet Ellen Giggenbach of Ellen G. | Spoonflower Blog
Scenes from Ellen’s shop in New Zealand

Michelle: This year I hosted a customer appreciation event that we called the Love Mich Soiree and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. It’s one thing to have a business and regular customers, but it is important to me to also grow and foster a community and make human connections. Being able to thank and hug our community in person was so incredible and I am so proud that we pulled off such an amazing event!


My goals for the coming year are…

Ellen: To keep embracing new technology to grow my product range. Believe it or not, I don’t want to expand much more; I’ve had bigger businesses, with several staff members and have realized it’s not for me. As it is now, I’m able to create new designs weekly without having the business side take over, it’s heaven!

Michelle: To expand our product line beyond our signature coffee cozies while still clothing as many naked cups as possible. 🙂

September Maker Spotlight: Meet Michelle Provencher of The Love Mich® Collection | Spoonflower Blog

How does Spoonflower PRO work for your business?

Ellen: PRO has been fantastic for my business. I can order smaller quantities regularly, meaning I don’t have to carry large amounts of stock and because I create bespoke designs for my customers, living all the way in New Zealand and being able to have the fabric FedExed at a reduced rate allows me to complete orders quickly and cost-effectively.

September Maker Spotlight: Meet Ellen Giggenbach of Ellen G. | Spoonflower Blog

Michelle: It is worth every penny. I order bulk quantities and a lot of samples so having a discount on those things is vital to my business. I also love that the production is faster than a non-PRO membership order because I usually wait until the very last minute to order something I need, oops!

My favorite Spoonflower product to work with is…

Ellen: Eco Canvas. It handles beautifully, especially for my wall hangings that need to look smooth and crisp, it doesn’t wrinkle easily or attract dirt, so customers can hang their wall hanging straight from being rolled up, being eco-friendly is a bonus too!

I’m also using the Celosia Velvet™ fabric more and more for cushions as my customers love the luxurious feel. I use the Linen Cotton Canvas for my tea towels, they’re a bit pricey but customers don’t hesitate to pay more for quality.

Michelle: Petal Signature Cotton™. It is so versatile and can be used for so many different sewing projects.

September Maker Spotlight: Meet Michelle Provencher of The Love Mich® Collection | Spoonflower Blog

Personal achievement or fun fact about yourself:

Ellen: My favourite word is joyful and I try to live it every day. For me, it’s taking the time to stop and enjoy the little delights that make my heart sing—the aroma of my morning coffee, seeing one of our beautiful native birds up close, stunning and unexpected colour combinations. I often wear far too many prints at once and I’ve reached the age when I really don’t care if I’m not on-trend. I think I’ve never truly grown up!

September Maker Spotlight: Meet Ellen Giggenbach of Ellen G. | Spoonflower Blog

Michelle: I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies with the intention of going to law school but got a job as a paralegal instead. I worked full time as a paralegal and worked my handmade business during nights and weekends for almost 9 years before I was able to quit my full-time day job and devote all my time to my business!

Tips for shopping the Spoonflower Marketplace?

Michelle: Have an idea or color palette in mind before searching. The possibilities can be overwhelming if you aren’t sure what you are looking for. The drop-down menu options are helpful to search by a specific theme or color. Also, if you like designs from a specific designer, follow them so you can keep up with their latest designs!


Want to know more about Spoonflower PRO benefits? Click here.

Angel-Wing Chambray-and-Lace Top & GIVEAWAY!!!

Contents:


Angel-Wing Chambray-and-Lace Top

A few months ago Mood Fabrics seduced me in that way they do. I had purchased some denim and they sent me one of those “you may also like…” emails. It featured this Denim and Ivory Novelty Cotton Lace, and I was smitten. This fabric is a bit misnamed: it is not denim. It is a cotton chambray, but it is denim colored. 🙂

I purchased 2 yards. I rarely buy or wear lace, but I have been focusing on hot-weather clothing (for Florence and NYC this summer) and this was just.so.pretty!

I played with the fabric and quickly decided that I wanted to use the lace vertically, rather than horizontally. (I posted these pics to Instagram and Facebook and most people thought I should use the fabric horizontally, but I didn’t like it as well when held up to my body.)

I quickly decided I wanted a simple angel-wing-style top. I didn’t bother with a pattern, so I started with a tape measure. The fabric is 60″ from selvedge to selvedge, or 58″ if you ignore the lace peaks. I measured from wrist to wrist and my wingspan is 52″.

What… you don’t tape your tape measure to your body?

That means I needed to remove at least 6″ from the width. I didn’t want to cut the lace, or mess with the lace at all, so I had to remove the extra fabric from the section between the lace. That section is 16″ wide. To complicate matters, I didn’t want to remove width in the area where I would have a neck opening, and I needed about 10″ for the neck hole, so I had to remove 3″ on each side of the neck opening (or 6″ total). I sewed the tucks so that they would end above the bust—they release above the bust, providing my full bust adjustment (FBA).

Sheesh, I didn’t have a lot of room because, as it was, I had only 3″ on each side of the neck opening. So I decided to take 1/2″ tucks, directly on top of each other, at each side of the neck opening. This required careful marking, sewing, pressing, and topstitching.

Next, I drew a standard round neckline opening, but it was too small for my head. I added a slit. It now went over my head, but I didn’t want a slit, so I turned the slit into a v-neck. (A boat neck would have been easier, but I avoid boat necks – I don’t like them on my frame and, anyway, I didn’t have enough width for a boat neck once the tucks were sewn in.)

I used a scrap of fabric to make a neckline facing.

I wanted to place the hem on a lace “valley”. The valleys occur every 4-1/4″, so I experimented pinning the hem at different lengths, but always landing on one of the valleys. I even tried a hi-low hem, but I ended up choosing a longer hem that was the same front and back. I thread basted the hem.

Thread basting
I hemmed the chambray portions by machine and the lace portions by hand

I finished the top by strategically tacking the front to the back at the side bust and side waist. I also tacked a pleat into the front, below the bust, to control the volume a bit.

Twirling
This top was made from a rectangle and has no shoulder or side seams. I used a 60″ by 69″ rectangle, plus some tucks and tacks for shaping and taming the fullness.

Do I like this top? I think so. I made it specifically for hot weather and wore it over a cream tank top for these pics at 7am this morning. I was freezing, so I take that as a good sign, as far as hot weather goes. I wore it over a sweater for a local arts festival today and it is fun to wear with those lacy wings. I can’t wear a sweater or jacket over it, and I put my cross-body purse under it, which maybe wasn’t the best look, but I didn’t want to carry a satchel. I doubt I’ll take it to Florence, because the cotton has a tendency to wrinkle, but I think it will be a cool and fun wear on a hot day!


Style ’17 & Giveaway

Last year I blogged about Style ’16. The Style show provides a great opportunity to buy gorgeous wearable art and jewelry directly from the artists. I love events like this! I made sure to get Style ’17 on my calendar many months ago—April 29th and 30th. This year the event will be held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View—walking distance from where I work one or two days each week.

Then, last week, one of the co-producers of Style ’17 kindly reached out and offered me two free tickets. I bought my ticket months ago, so I asked if I could offer the tickets to my blog readers. She agreed, so, if you would like two free tickets to this fabulous event, please leave a comment indicating your interest! I will post the winner next weekend, so you have until Friday to enter.

For those who don’t win, you can still save! They offered my blog readers 40% off the ticket price, so it will cost $6 instead of $10. (To be honest, I don’t mind paying full price for this event because it benefits Art in Action, a national non-profit that provides visual arts curriculum to 75,000 students each year, including children in 185 Bay Area schools.)

To get the ticket discount, enter SHAMS40 on the last page of the checkout. If you do come and you see me, please say hi! In short… a fun day at the Computer Museum, great shopping, benefitting arts programs—it’s a win-win-win!

(By the way, two of my artist-friends have booths at this event. Winnie of Eccentric Designs jewelry, and wearable artist Carol Lee Shanks, who sometimes teaches at Design Outside the Lines.)


Can you believe it’s April already? My weekend calendar is becoming uncomfortably full. Things are heating in my History of Italian Fashion class. In fact, we are each giving a presentation while in Italy and I’ve selected my subject. I am giving a short preso on designer Antonio Marras. Mr Marras has been designing for Kenzo since 2005 and he also has his own line—his designs are quite compelling. I plan to visit his high-concept store while in Milan this summer. I hadn’t heard his name before, but it was instant love when I googled his designs. You might check out his Fall 2017 line.

I’ve just washed the fabric for my next Britex project, and I’ve selected a pattern, so that’s my activity for next weekend.

Please join me on Patti’s Visible Monday. I hope you have a great week!

TO PARADISE AND BACK!

Bosque del Cabo, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Truly a Paradise on earth, and we have been fortunate to visit for the second time. This time we went to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. It was the
perfect choice, we were so very well taken care of.

We spent the days walking, seeing the incredible wildlife, lounging by the pool, napping in the hammock…

and ate fabulous meals, 3 times a day. The fresh fruit was exotic,

the choices many, the bar close by and welcoming…




How lucky we are!

I finally got into my studio, after the usual post-trip activities, and managed to
“save” a vest I had almost made into a wadder…

The pattern is from Cutting Line Designs, the vest from “Light and Shadow’ and 
the fabric is a beautiful striped dupioni I bought from Emma One Sock at least
four years ago. The stripe is red, black and silver, and goes with so many of my
wardrobe items, I was desperate to “make it work”…and I did!

I am in the (pleasant) throes of planning a wardrobe for my trip to Paris in the fall…I am skewing the color scheme a little…instead of the true red I have been wearing, I have chosen some fabrics and RTW items in a claret tone, which has a little more blue/brown in it. 

I found this lovely alpaca poncho and fell in love with it…

It is perfect for travel, light and airy! The hat is by Kangol, I have
the same model in black, and it is crushable, so good for travel. (It’s called
“The Diva”!)


I also found a pair of boots (imagine that!) that go with the claret tones…

Not only is the color right, they’re highly comfortable and will be good for travel.


Based on Sham’s recommendations, I enrolled in Marcy and Katherine Tilton’s 
newest Craftsy class, called “The Artful Teeshirt”.  In their inimitable way, they have made another winner. Their instructions are so clearly spoken, and as always, I learn something new every time I watch it. Highly recommended!

I will pay a visit today to Patti’s Visible Monday… come on over and see the highly visible women! Thanks, Patti….

TTYL…

Your Handmade Holiday Gift Guide Is Here

Featured Designs

A tote bag for your book club friend; a zipper pouch for your favorite teacher; a playmat for your adventurous toddler: there’s a world of gift ideas at your fingertips, whether you want to DIY or just wrap it up. The best part? Whatever they like, we have a design that’s sure to delight.

Playmats

Playmats are a great way to keep little ones entertained at home or on-the-go—just add toy cars, stuffed animals or play food! Design your very own playmat with this tutorial from The Spoonflower Quick-Sew Project Book or shop the Playmat Design Challenge winners on one yard of Minky for the coziest playmat on the block.

Large Zipper Pouches

For the person on your list who’s always on the go, protecting their technology is a must! Using our go-to zipper pouch tutorial as your base, create a tablet holder by measuring the tablet width and height and then add a 1″ seam allowance to your measurements.

Tote Bags

This DIY gift idea is totes a crowd pleaser! From Saturday farmers’ markets to a quick trip to the gym, a handmade tote bag is equal parts function, style and eco-friendly fashion.

Recipe Tea Towels

It’s no secret our family heirloom recipe tea towel is a Spoonflower classic. As seen in Martha Stewart and Southern Living, this Linen Cotton Canvas fat quarter project has withstood the test of time and is a go-to gift idea for anyone in your family, even for those family members who are impossible to shop for!

No time to DIY? Try any of our ready-made home decor items printed and sewn with care in the United States.

Tea Towels

A Spoonflower tradition, tea towels are just the right gift for the budding chef, master baker or hostess with the mostess. From calendars to pun-loving tea towels, there’s a design for everyone. Shop ready-made tea towels for $17 or do-it-yourself by ordering their favorite design on a fat quarter of Linen Cotton Canvas.

Throw Pillows

If you’re looking for a gift that will steal the show, look no further than a Celosia Velvet™ throw pillow. Available in two styles, two sizes and six fabric options, one of the newest additions to Spoonflower is a great gift option for the HGTV fan on your list. Did we mention there’s no sewing required?

Throw Blankets

Want to know the secret to mastering the art of gift giving? If you stick with cuddly and cozy gifts like Minky, Fleece and Velvet throw blankets, you can’t go wrong! Double-sided and sewn in the United States, get ready to add layers of luxury this holiday season.

Sheet Sets

With the start of a new year right around the corner, there’s no better time to give the gift of a bedroom makeover. Whether it’s cat sheets for the cat lover or abstract circles for the artist, create sweet dreams this season with 100% Italian Cotton Sateen sheets.

To help you stay organized for the season of me-made gifts, download a copy of our Handmade Holiday To-Do List. With enough space to jot down the gifts you’ll be making, organize your supply shopping list and even find a few last-minute gift ideas, you’ll be able to stay on top of your giving this season.

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Designing in Collections

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Designing in Collections | Spoonflower Blog

Are you used to designing one pattern at a time? Do you have a few stand-out patterns that are making sales, but the others, not so much? Are you looking for a way to stand out in the Spoonflower Marketplace? If so, then it might be time to start designing in collections. With the help of designer Kristina Hunter —you may recognize her as arthousewife on Spoonflower —find out the benefits of designing in collections to make more sales in your Spoonflower shop!

Create More Options for Your Customers 

Perhaps an interior designer is creating a custom, tropical bedroom for their client, and they stumble upon a pattern of yours that fits their chosen theme. It’s possible they’ll want several design ideas to present to their client for the room’s bed linens, curtains, and even wallpaper. Having a collection available for them to look through means less work for them in finding coordinating textiles, which hopefully means more sales for you.

A bedroom set featuring Kristina’s Bohemian Tropics collection | Spoonflower Blog
A bedroom set featuring Kristina’s Bohemian Tropics collection.

Designer Tip: Collections don’t have to be gigantic! Even small collections, like two or three designs give your customer additional items to choose from. 

Prevent Lost Sales

Say someone has fallen in love with a design you’ve created for one of Spoonflower’s Design Challenges. The dinosaurs are exactly what they are looking for to use on a baby bib set they’d like to gift to their friend. When they head to your shop they’re also on the lookout for at least three additional patterns to round out the set. Wouldn’t it be great if you already had something created and available to print and ship? Would you be surprised if they passed on your design for a designer who has other coordinating options available?

A collection of fabrics a client chose for a custom bib set featuring designs from Kristina's collection Dino Ice Cream Party | Spoonflower Blog
A collection of fabrics a client chose for a custom bib set featuring designs from Kristina’s collection Dino Ice Cream Party.
Kristina's entry in the Boy Wonder Design Challenge, Dino I Scream Party, inspired an entire collection | Spoonflower Blog
Kristina’s entry in the Boy Wonder Design Challenge, Dino I Scream Party, inspired an entire collection!

Designer’s Tip: Don’t forget to share photos of your end products or mock-ups on your own website and social media channels to help customers see how your designs work together as a collection.

No Design Left Behind

As you’re sitting down to create motifs for your newest pattern, do you often discard one or more of them because they didn’t quite work in your final design, even though you still think they’re great? If you start designing in collections, those motifs won’t just collect dust in your sketch book, you’ll use them in a complementary pattern.

Designs from Kristina's Winter Flora collection | Spoonflower Blog

Designer’s Tip: When working in collections, try thinking about the end product(s) of what you’re designing for, rather than the designs themselves. For example, when creating a pattern for the Winter Flora Design Challenge, I chose to design specifically for dining room linens. Knowing what subject matter, scale and direction of motifs looked best on napkins and placemats made it easier to come up various designs that complemented each other.

A fabric roll mockup and Spoonflower home decor products made featuring Kristina's Sweet Winter Wishes Collection | Spoonflower Blog
A fabric roll mockup and Spoonflower home decor products made featuring Kristina’s Sweet Winter Wishes Collection.

Stay Organized with Collections

It’s easy to lose track of all that you’ve created over the years. Luckily, Spoonflower has a helpful page for all your design collections, making it easy to group them in a multitude of ways. You can sort them by theme, color palette, room, etc., and you can add each design to more than one collection. Another great feature is that you can group your designs with those from other Spoonflower artists. It’s a simple way to collaborate and share yours and others work together for more visibility!

A glimpse at some of the collections I’ve sorted that feature both mine and other artist’s work | Spoonflower Blog
A glimpse at some of the collections Kristina has curate that feature both hers and other artist’s work.

Use Fill-A-Yard® with Ease

Spoonflower’s Fill-A-Yard feature is a simple way to get multiple designs on one yard of fabric for projects like quilts, infinity scarves, proofing and more. And if you already design in collections, it takes the guesswork out of matching coordinating designs; they’re already organized and ready to go.

Creating dinner napkins with Spoonflower’s Fill-A-Yard feature | Spoonflower Blog
Creating dinner napkins with Spoonflower’s Fill-A-Yard feature.

With the introduction of home decor on Spoonflower, creating collections can help your customers easily curate coordinating bedding setscozy living room scenes and swoon-worthy tablescapes. Find even more advice for your Spoonflower shop from other designers in the Seller Handbook.


About the Guest Author

Kristina Hunter, arthousewife | Spoonflower Blog

Kristina Hunter is an artistic housewife living outside of New York City with her husband, two young boys, two cats, and one dog. When she’s not house-wifing, you will find her in her studio, designing patterns, painting, and sewing. You can find her on Instagram at @arthousewife or at her website, arthousewife.com.

The young people of West London want to keep Hammersmith Bridge car free

Hammersmith Bridge. Image: Getty.

The young boy, his face creasing into a frown, was anxious to remind his mum that he did have asthma and that fewer cars would be a good thing. “Yes, you’re right,” the mum conceded, before replying that, having initially been in favour of reopening the bridge to all vehicles, public transport, cyclists and pedestrians only would now be their choice. 

This was just one of the 120 or more interviews I recently conducted regarding the closure of London’s Hammersmith Bridge to motorised vehicle. The survey suggests that the closure has led to a range of benefits for bridge users, and that they are open to alternatives for how the bridge could be used in the future. 

That future is to be decided by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, which owns the bridge. The council, working alongside Transport for London, which operates the bridge as part of its Strategic Network, has reaffirmed that it will be re-opened within three years and restored “to full working order and to its Victorian splendour”. 

Despite the council’s proclamation, there remains much uncertainty — not least, as to who will foot the bill for the repair work. One thing that is clear is that the bridge does need to be repaired. But is reopening it to all modes of transport really the only option?

Whilst it cannot be denied that the closure of the bridge to motorised vehicles has had a negative impact on some, a greater number of those surveyed (48 per cent), acknowledged that it did bring some benefit. One Barnes resident reflected that the bridge “feels very natural as it is”, while an elderly lady confided that “before I felt nervy crossing on foot, with vehicles constantly going past”. 


Those who believed that there were some benefits cited improved air quality as being the single biggest (38 per cent). Others believed the biggest benefit was an improved experience of crossing the bridge (29 per cent), whilst one in five (21 per cent), identified that the closure of the bridge to motorised vehicles as something which had encouraged a positive lifestyle change. 

A young couple explained that, although the closure of the bridge to motorised vehicles meant ordering a takeaway, or getting an Uber after a night out was problematic, it had encouraged them to make positive lifestyle choices. “Yes, we’re trying to cook and he’s definitely walking more now.”  

Foregoing luxuries such as taxis and takeaways may not resonate with those who depend on the bridge for essential day to day activities, although the way in which respondents want the bridge re-opened in the future just might. Almost as many people (41 per cent) believe that the bridge should be reopened to public transport, cyclists and pedestrians only, as those who believe it should be reopened as it was previously used (43 per cent). 

The former choice was the preferred option (48 per cent) among those aged 29 years and under. One teenage girl explained that, although re-opening the bridge to cyclists and pedestrians only was her first choice, she believed that it was public transport which would help “provide for the elderly”.  

Many respondents suggested smaller electric buses, whilst others are clearly concerned that returning to a high-volume traffic flow is a threat to the future of such an iconic structure.

In a new-found appreciation of the bridge, one respondent seemed to echo the thoughts of many; stating that the bridge had the potential to become a “sublime public space”. 

When respondents were asked whether they could see any benefit for the use of the bridge as a community market one day a month, three quarters (76 per cent) answered yes. This figure rose to 8 out of every 10 respondents (83 per cent) of those aged 29 and under. Two boys suggested that “a market would bring the two sides of the bridge together”, whilst a nineteen-year-old beamed that a street performance space “would be next level”. 

With London holding its first Car Free Day last weekend, it certainly seems that there is an appetite among city users to reconsider how we use our streets. Although the wheels are already in motion for motorised vehicles to be rumbling over Hammersmith Bridge within three years, it seems that the young are already imagining alternative ways in which this iconic structure could be enjoyed by future generations.  

Charles Critchell is the founder of Fare City, a city transport think tank. You can find it on Twitter at @fare_city.

MEOW!

I’m not sure whose hide this is supposed to be…

but it would surely be fearsome to come upon the owner in the jungle…

This lightweight jacket isThe Minoru Jacket, by Sewaholic Patterns. My friend Shams recently made this and I fell in love with the pattern, particularly the collar. This is an audition for a pattern to use for a Paris Coat; I used a cotton
stretch jacquard I bought some time ago from Emma One Sock.


I made a few changes to the pattern, eliminating the hood, the sleeve bands, the elastic at the waist,and darting the shoulders rather than gathering them. I also lengthened the jacket by 4 inches, added fish-eye darts, front and back, and added two zippered welt pockets. I lined it with a lively polka dot.


The jury is still out on whether I’ll use this pattern for the Paris Coat…I’ll wear it for a few weeks and see what I think.





Enough people have expressed curiosity as to my “saving” the Cutting Line Designs Light and Shadow Vest  in my previous post, that I decided to explain what happened and how I fixed it…non-sewers may skip down to the Food Porn…

 The pattern consists of a right front, a left front, the back and the cowl collar. The two fronts are quite different in order to provide the asymmetrical shaping.
The problem was definitely “operator error”…even after close to 70 years of sewing, I still need to be aware!

 The fabric, a striped silk dupioni, looks the same on both sides. I cut each front out as indicated, and (I thought) labeled them with pieces of tape as I do when
using fabric that is identical on both sides. 

 One of the joys of using Cutting Line Designs patterns is the written instruction, 
which is always clearly written, illustrated and covers all details. Per the instructions, I serged the hems of the front pieces, folded up the hems, mitered the corners and used Steam-A-Seam to fuse the hems. Then I top-stitched them. When I started to join the two fronts to the back, I realized I had somehow hemmed the left front on the right side of the garment. And since I had serged, mitered, hemmed, fused and topstitched, I couldn’t undo 
my work. So I covered the error with bias tape, added the same tape to the other side and to the back, so it looked (unless you were too close) like it had been planned!


My Instant Pot got more of a work out lately; for Valentine’s Day dessert, I made this


It’s a Meyer Lemon Cheesecake made in the pressure cooker…and it was
VERY GOOD…we seldom eat dessert, so it was a treat!

I also used the I.P. to make the herbed beans in this recipe…



And tonight, we are having 

up my Bean Club beans!

A few more days in my studio, then DD and DSIL are coming up for the weekend. Yay!

I’m linking up with Patti’s “Visible Monday“. Come on over!

TTYL

Made by a Fabricista: Everyday Fall Pieces

Happy Saturday Loves!
Now that summer is winding down and the stores are showcasing fall pieces and colors, I am slowing transitioning to creating a few fall pieces in between.  Even though South Florida doesn’t get too cold and it is hot most time of the year, when I travel up north during winter months, I always want to be prepared.  When I came across this wool jersey black fabric, I  knew I had to grab a few yards for a top.  Unfortunately, this fabric is sold out, however this black polyester/lycra double brushed jersey knit or black ponte knit is perfect.  I have been on the hunt for a light-weight wool jersey for months and knew this fabric would be perfect for a top.

The pattern I selected for the top is one of the latest Simplicity latest pattern (S8982), a great fall pattern with basic pieces.   I fell in love with the sleeves and the mock turtle neck and cut the size 10 for a more closer fit as I do plan to wear it under a tailored jacket with jeans. I absolutely love it and will probably lengthen the sleeves and the bodice by 1 inch the next time around.

Can you believe this is my second pencil skirt from a woven fabric? For years I have avoided making a pencil skirt out of woven as I dread the issues with my butt.  I have had this pattern (Simplicity 8175) in my stash for over a year and was hesitant to cut it. Unfortunately the cotton twill fabric I used is sold out but Fabric Mart has a wide selection of twill available here.
  I decided to try a simple  tweak to the dart for a better fit which was all I needed to do for this pattern. I wasn’t sure if I needed to slash and spread the back pattern piece which is the typical adjustment I have to make for pants.   I am absolutely thrilled with this make and definitely plan to try more pencil skirt.
For the skirt, I cut the size 18 based on my hip measurement and removed about 4 inches off the waist (1 inch taken in on both sides which removed a total of 2 inches for the front piece and back). I also added an extra inch to the length of the back dart and 1/2 inch more on the top.
 Due to the fact that I will be wearing this skirt to Open House, I opted to lengthen by 1.5 inches and adjust the slit in the front.
I am totally in love with both pieces and plan to make the pattern again sometime soon with the right fabric.  I love to make separates and this classic black top will definitely be on rotation this fall.  If you know me, I absolutely love skinny jeans and heels.

Thank you so much for stopping by and don’t forget to check out my latest Instagram makes.
One Love,
Marica – Overdriveafter30

The Pine Dress – Free Sewing Pattern

Dramatic shoulders don’t seem to be dissipating this fall, and we jumped on this trend with a new free sewing pattern that’s perfect for structured fabrics. The Pine Dress is an otherwise simple silhouette with a gathered sleeve that lends itself well to brocades and jacquards. Bring this adorably chic dress into the holidays with a stiff velvet, moire, or even a mikado print!

Purchase Materials Used Below:

Alternative Recommended Fabrics:

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PATTERN

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All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.

Mood Sewing Pattern Size Chart

Begin by sewing the darts onto your bodice and skirt pieces, following the guidelines on your pattern. With your iron on a low setting, carefully press your darts down and out toward the side seams.

Repeat with your lining pieces.

Attach your bodice pieces at the shoulders and side seams. Press the seams open and then do the same with your skirt panels at the side seams. Then, attach your bodice at skirt at the waistline, again pressing the seam open.

Repeat with your lining again.

Create your sleeves by sewing the inseam and then evenly gather the top in between the two notches on your pattern. This can be done manually as you set your sleeve into the armscye of your dress, or you can stay-stitch between the two notches with a wide stitch and then pull on of the threads to gather.

Once gathered, sew your sleeve into the armscye and repeat with your lining.

Close the center back seam of your dress, starting at the hem and working your way up about 10″. Do the same with your lining, and then attach your dress and lining at the neckline and hem, fabric faces together.

Turn your dress right side out and insert your invisible zipper to the main layer of your dress. Slip-stitch your lining and the remainder of your center back seam closed.

Lastly slip-stitch the hem of your sleeves, attaching the lining to the main layer and lightly iron your new garment!

The post The Pine Dress – Free Sewing Pattern appeared first on Mood Sewciety.

Angel-Wing Chambray-and-Lace Top & GIVEAWAY!!!

Contents:


Angel-Wing Chambray-and-Lace Top

A few months ago Mood Fabrics seduced me in that way they do. I had purchased some denim and they sent me one of those “you may also like…” emails. It featured this Denim and Ivory Novelty Cotton Lace, and I was smitten. This fabric is a bit misnamed: it is not denim. It is a cotton chambray, but it is denim colored. 🙂

I purchased 2 yards. I rarely buy or wear lace, but I have been focusing on hot-weather clothing (for Florence and NYC this summer) and this was just.so.pretty!

I played with the fabric and quickly decided that I wanted to use the lace vertically, rather than horizontally. (I posted these pics to Instagram and Facebook and most people thought I should use the fabric horizontally, but I didn’t like it as well when held up to my body.)

I quickly decided I wanted a simple angel-wing-style top. I didn’t bother with a pattern, so I started with a tape measure. The fabric is 60″ from selvedge to selvedge, or 58″ if you ignore the lace peaks. I measured from wrist to wrist and my wingspan is 52″.

What… you don’t tape your tape measure to your body?

That means I needed to remove at least 6″ from the width. I didn’t want to cut the lace, or mess with the lace at all, so I had to remove the extra fabric from the section between the lace. That section is 16″ wide. To complicate matters, I didn’t want to remove width in the area where I would have a neck opening, and I needed about 10″ for the neck hole, so I had to remove 3″ on each side of the neck opening (or 6″ total). I sewed the tucks so that they would end above the bust—they release above the bust, providing my full bust adjustment (FBA).

Sheesh, I didn’t have a lot of room because, as it was, I had only 3″ on each side of the neck opening. So I decided to take 1/2″ tucks, directly on top of each other, at each side of the neck opening. This required careful marking, sewing, pressing, and topstitching.

Next, I drew a standard round neckline opening, but it was too small for my head. I added a slit. It now went over my head, but I didn’t want a slit, so I turned the slit into a v-neck. (A boat neck would have been easier, but I avoid boat necks – I don’t like them on my frame and, anyway, I didn’t have enough width for a boat neck once the tucks were sewn in.)

I used a scrap of fabric to make a neckline facing.

I wanted to place the hem on a lace “valley”. The valleys occur every 4-1/4″, so I experimented pinning the hem at different lengths, but always landing on one of the valleys. I even tried a hi-low hem, but I ended up choosing a longer hem that was the same front and back. I thread basted the hem.

Thread basting
I hemmed the chambray portions by machine and the lace portions by hand

I finished the top by strategically tacking the front to the back at the side bust and side waist. I also tacked a pleat into the front, below the bust, to control the volume a bit.

Twirling
This top was made from a rectangle and has no shoulder or side seams. I used a 60″ by 69″ rectangle, plus some tucks and tacks for shaping and taming the fullness.

Do I like this top? I think so. I made it specifically for hot weather and wore it over a cream tank top for these pics at 7am this morning. I was freezing, so I take that as a good sign, as far as hot weather goes. I wore it over a sweater for a local arts festival today and it is fun to wear with those lacy wings. I can’t wear a sweater or jacket over it, and I put my cross-body purse under it, which maybe wasn’t the best look, but I didn’t want to carry a satchel. I doubt I’ll take it to Florence, because the cotton has a tendency to wrinkle, but I think it will be a cool and fun wear on a hot day!


Style ’17 & Giveaway

Last year I blogged about Style ’16. The Style show provides a great opportunity to buy gorgeous wearable art and jewelry directly from the artists. I love events like this! I made sure to get Style ’17 on my calendar many months ago—April 29th and 30th. This year the event will be held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View—walking distance from where I work one or two days each week.

Then, last week, one of the co-producers of Style ’17 kindly reached out and offered me two free tickets. I bought my ticket months ago, so I asked if I could offer the tickets to my blog readers. She agreed, so, if you would like two free tickets to this fabulous event, please leave a comment indicating your interest! I will post the winner next weekend, so you have until Friday to enter.

For those who don’t win, you can still save! They offered my blog readers 40% off the ticket price, so it will cost $6 instead of $10. (To be honest, I don’t mind paying full price for this event because it benefits Art in Action, a national non-profit that provides visual arts curriculum to 75,000 students each year, including children in 185 Bay Area schools.)

To get the ticket discount, enter SHAMS40 on the last page of the checkout. If you do come and you see me, please say hi! In short… a fun day at the Computer Museum, great shopping, benefitting arts programs—it’s a win-win-win!

(By the way, two of my artist-friends have booths at this event. Winnie of Eccentric Designs jewelry, and wearable artist Carol Lee Shanks, who sometimes teaches at Design Outside the Lines.)


Can you believe it’s April already? My weekend calendar is becoming uncomfortably full. Things are heating in my History of Italian Fashion class. In fact, we are each giving a presentation while in Italy and I’ve selected my subject. I am giving a short preso on designer Antonio Marras. Mr Marras has been designing for Kenzo since 2005 and he also has his own line—his designs are quite compelling. I plan to visit his high-concept store while in Milan this summer. I hadn’t heard his name before, but it was instant love when I googled his designs. You might check out his Fall 2017 line.

I’ve just washed the fabric for my next Britex project, and I’ve selected a pattern, so that’s my activity for next weekend.

Please join me on Patti’s Visible Monday. I hope you have a great week!