Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Girls Night Out...

Friday night was so much fun! Over fifty ladies came for shopping, chatting and wine. The atmosphere was really relaxed and everyone shopped and just hung out. I always feel a little uncomfortable with those Tupperware type parties, but this was different. Ladies didn't have to sit through a sales pitch and they were able to focus on the items that interested them. There was , pampered chef, great handbags and gorgeous hand stamped necklaces.

I did learn some lessons - especially from watching the other sellers. The biggest was to have a mailing list available for people to sign (duh!). I tend to think so much about the designs and product, that the business side gets neglected. Something to think about! I also would bring more Jessiegirl inventory instead of taking individual orders. I look at the pictures and even though I had over 20 individual pieces, it looks a little sparse. Over all - it was a success and I can't wait for the next one!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Quick Post...

We are getting ready for our neighborhood craft night. My neighbor is going to have about five vendors at her house ranging from pampered chef to handmade items like mine. Lots of neighbors and friends are coming for wine, cheese and shopping. I am looking forward to it and really busy getting ready. Tried to take some shots of Jessie in new skirt designs - I really need to contact the photographer but here are the salvageable shots! These skirts will be in my etsy shop after Friday.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The leaves are falling...

I don't believe there is a more vibrant season then fall in New England. Last night was Halloween and I have to admit my kids wore store bought costumes. I have little interest in sewing up the costumes... I feel it's alot of effort for one night. This year Jessie was supergirl - I was just relieved she wasn't a princess again. At least Supergirl is out there saving the world! DJ was planning on going as Harry Potter, but when we were paying for the costume the sales lady commented that with his red hair he looked more like Ron Weasly! Perfect!

Here are some shots from today - My DH gave me the strangest look as I brought the chair outside...but he knows not to ask!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Vintage and Twirl Skirts - Pure Inspiration!

Twice a year a local historical society holds a Tag and Textile sale and I always attend. It is held in a old saltbox colonial house and adjacent barn in a small town in CT. I went first thing this morning despite the rain and it was well worth it. The parking lot was filled with all the other fabric addicts who could not stay away. I found many vintage sewing patterns and ribbon - which I love. I find the shapes and colors interesting on the pattern covers - but I find the look and styling of the women irresistible.

I am working on my Christmas skirt and it is inspired by those vintage pattern covers. I need to get some modeled shots this weekend - so I can list it in my etsy store. I tried to take photos similar to those amazing Japanese craft books - but I really need to get them modeled!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Jessiegirl takes Manhattan!

I woke up this morning and realized I needed ribbon. Not just any ribbon - but a certain ribbon I could only find in a small store on 38th st in NYC. I had forgotten the name of the store but figured I would find it. Since soccer was cancelled due to soggy fields and DH and son were scheduled for a scout adventure - I decided that Jessie and I should head to NYC for the ribbon. Not remebering the name of the ribbon store I tried M&J Trimmings first- this store is amazing! It is like the Willy Wonka Factory of ribbons and trim and it is stocked floor to ceiling.

We entered M&J with samples of our ribbon and surpisingly they didn't carry the same style. So Jessie and I started walking down 38th street in hopes of finding the ribbon store I had originally bought the ribbon. Just around the corner was Joyce Trims - a much smaller store but had exactly what I needed - and to be honest much better prices then M&J (which can get a little pricey).

After I bought up all the ribbon they had left - I knew a trip to NYC wouldn't be complete without a visit to Mood. Any watcher of Project Runway knows this is where the designers go in NYC to buy fabric for the challenges. We watch them race around pulling at the rolls of fabric frantically and then leaving with those really cool Mood bags. Guess what I got?

Jessie and I had so much fun. Mood is actually harder to find then you think. It's located in an office building that just has the number on the front and mood signs in the window which are difficult to see from the front. Once you enter the office building you have to ride to the third floor in one of those old elevators with an elevator operator who manually closes the elevator door. Jessie saw this and went "ooohhhh". Once the doors open on the third floor you are in Mood and it is packed with shelves of fabric and customers.

The fabric is divided by type cotton, denim, knit etc. I was surprised they didn't carry quilting fabric - but there are still some great finds. The rows and rows of fabric can be overwhelming but I found the people who work there very helpful and the line at the register moves super quick. It is also fun to see all the creative people choosing their own fabrics - definitely great people watching.

Here is Jessie checking the rolls of fabric out:

All in all a great day - some people take their kids to NYC for the museums or a Broadway show - I take my kid to Mood!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Make it work!

Im getting back in the swing of things - my sewing things of course! After my great day at the craft show things began hopping! Im sure this would be small scale for some - but for me it's a big deal! I finished the customs that were ordered at the fair and had some etsy sales in my etsy store - Very exciting!

Next I am planning for a trunk show with a twist! Women in our town who sell handcrafts, pampered chef etc. are going to set up tables at my neighbor's house and invite everyone we know! There will be munchies , wine
and shopping - what more could a night out with the girls need? I think this is such a cool idea and really looking foward to seeing what everyone is selling.

Now I need to focus on a couple of new things for winter. I love the skirts and have chosen some new cool fabric to mix and match - look for that in future post. However living in CT the cold months are upon us. It was 50 degrees today with a cool breeze and the summer clothes are being put away and long sleeves are coming out - so I want to add some items that girls can wear in the cooler weather.

The first item I am working on is a jumper that can be worn under a long sleeve shirt. This was my first draft and I like it , but it still needs a little tweaking. The best part was Jessie loved it and insisted on wearing it to school today! I am going to work on it this weekend - I love the concept of the corduroy skirt and cool fabric bodice. I lined the bodice with the corduroy which gives it alot of structure. I think it may need some trim on the bottom and a button in the back to make it easier to take on and off.

But as Tim Gunn says "make it work"...speaking of which it's Project Runway time - I was hoping they would finally eliminate Nicholas - but he has immunity this week. How did Epperson not win with that so cool western outfit ...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's Soccer Time!

It's that time again - Early mornings spent searching frantically for the matching sock or pair of shin guards, grabbing breakfast and a water bottle and heading for the field. Must stop for coffee - of course! In our town all the soccer games are played on one massive field that contains over ten soccer fields. It's crazy on Saturday mornings as kids ranging in age from 4 to 12 descend on the field with parents, chairs, snacks etc. in tow Yet somehow it always works!

DJ is in the older group now and the games can get quite competitive. He plays defense which is a good fit for his temperament. However, it is excruciating to watch him play goalie. It is the worst! There is so much pressure riding on the goalie and it is heartbreaking when he misses it. And let's face it that's my baby!

Jessie on the other hand sees soccer as one big social event. She could use a little more pressure as she sashays across the field waving and chatting with friends on the other team! I have to admit this year is better as she actually seems to understand the need to follow the ball and try to kick it once in awhile, rather then sit back and direct the rest of the team. I'm not sure there is a soccer scholarship in her future - but you never know!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I survived!

The fair has finally come and gone! The day went better then I had dared to hope! We got to the town green bright and early to check in. Set up went off without a hitch and the whole tent came together in about an hour! I was up to 3am the night before (need to work on better prep planning) but the adrenaline kept me going till I collapsed at home around 5pm.
Within the first five minutes we had our first sale and my beautiful lantern bloom skirt went to a new home! It was so exciting to finally get my work out there. People were so positive and I was thrilled! At this point though the money was definitely nice - the feedback and excitement were even better! I learned that I need more of the bigger sizes. Fours and fives were popular and I think I could have sold 6 and 7 as well.
I work so hard on the pattern and designs of these skirts. However - I do this all on my own in my head! To put it out there was a real challenge for me. But it paid off and I can't wait for the next one! I was so happy to be sharing a tent with my neighbor, part of ( - She is so great with customers and makes it look so easy. Her appliqued shirts are adorable and were selling very well also. All in all it was a great day - but I am still exhausted and going to bed - Good Night!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tomorrow is the big day! I am filled with so many different emotions:
Excitement - I love craft fairs and have always wanted to participate - so I can't wait to see what that is like.
Fear - What if the tent falls down? What if everyone walks by my tent and averts their eyes?
Frustration - I still have 1,000,000 ideas of skirts, ruffles and headbands that I could still create if I had an extra week/day/hour
Calm - the time is here - what's done is done and ready to go!
Pride - I have to admit - there are some darn cute items and I feel they really represent my sense of design
Exhausted - I have been sewing for about two days straight - God bless my DH and kids for their patience and independence!
So I sign off - will definitely post pictures and details tomorrow night!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two days left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am only staying for a quick note! I have two days until the craft fair and sooooo much to do! I can't decide if I work well under pressure or if I am a habitual procrastinator. I always seem to get most of the work done right under the deadline. We practiced putting up the tent and it went well...until my DH remarked that I should really make more skirts and ruffles. Easier said then done. So I have been sewing up a storm! In fact I need to get back the machines right now...however Project Runway is tonite and that in my never miss show! I love it! The show reminds me of my days in a NYC costume shop - the hours sewing, gossiping and rushing to get it all done and "make it work". Speaking of which - here are my latest! (The sisboom is from that fabulous sale last weekend)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

so what do you think?

Here is a pair of the capris with boots - they still look a little springy! i love the freshcut line! Tomorrow we practice putting up the tent - I hope it goes well. I am starting to get butterflies and all my insecurities are popping u[. It is really difficult to put yourself out there! Remember to breathe!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The march of the ruffles....

I am working on my ruffles for the craft fair. I can't believe it's a week from tomorrow! I am trying a pattern out for denim and corduroy ruffles. I thought I was being very efficient by cutting up some beautiful cotton ruffles, only to discover I cut them out in capri length. Now the question... do I sew them up or wait till spring? I sewed a couple because I thought they would look cute with boots...we'll see.

Today was bittersweet. A local quilt store closed its doors today. They had some beautiful fabrics and a great selection of sisboom basics(which we know ...are my favorites). A week and a half ago everything was 50% off and I picked out my favorites. Then on Wed everything went to 75% off and I made sure to pick up the black and brown zebra. Today all fabric was 90% off. That is about 92 cents a yard. And if you finished the bolt another 10%. Needless to say, I pulled all the sisboom of the shelves, I felt like I was rescuing the fabric (lol).
While the deals were amazing and I spent about $70 on $700 worth of fabric, it felt bittersweet. The owner was there and it was sad to watch the store disassemble around her. We are living in such tough times economically and it is disheartening when a small local business closes. It is a deep hidden dream of mine to one day own a fabric store and I imagine it must be heartbreaking. However I did "rescue" quite a bit of fabric and I can't wait to play with it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sisboom Chillin!

The skirts keep coming and coming! This skirt has three sisboom fabrics - I m not sure which of the lines they are from - all the sisboom lines coordinate so well together that I lose track. I loved this skirt so much I made it twice. The fabric on the top tier is gorgeous! The blue is very vibrant and this pic does not do it justice. I end up trimming alot of skirts with the black or brown zebra - they give everything a bit of pizazz. Jessie was a good sport, it was so hot when we took these pics - at this point she was done. She definitely saw an ice pop in her future! Quick note - I have opened up an etsy store. I am adding things slowly but surely! So please check it out!

My DH is taking a website class this semester and I am hoping he will help me with this blog. I still can't figure out the spacing of pics and texts and it gets frustrating. I just noticed the leaves on the ground in the picture - fall is coming! My baby girl starts Kindergarten this week and I still have to make the fairy dress - I promised! Better get to work...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

17 days and counting....

AAAHHH! The art/craft fair(not sure what to call it)is getting closer. I keep wondering if I have enough creations for the fair? Is it better to have a variety or less variety but more sizes of each item? I think the answer is probably both!
This is my Lantern Bloom skirt - I love this fabric! It is truly like a work of art. The fabric appears to have texture and the colors have so much depth! The birdcages are adorable too. I made this skirt in a size three and five - Im not sure this is typical little girl fabric, but that makes this skirt unique and I hope a little sophisticated. I think the blue on the bottom brightens in up and it is perfect for fall! Jessie loved it!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

From this to that...19 days and counting to the art fair

Nineteen days left! I am starting to get very nervous! I have so many ideas and time is running out. I posted a calender in my sewing room to help keep me focused. My problem is I get distracted with new ideas and fabrics and fabric combinations. It all goes back to editing. Obviously the answer is to stay out of the fabric stores - but for some reason they are all having fabulous sales this month.I think my skirts are almost complete - though I may do some more Halloween twirls if I have time at the end.

Remember how I "organized" all the fabrics on my dining room table (picture above) well here is a first peek at the results.

First look at the green, pink and zebra fabric with the ribbon on the table...well it became this:

I love this skirt - I call it the perfume twirl. The top fabric is an Alexander Henry pink fabric with cute old fashioned perfume bottles on it. The main fabric is sisboom casey scroll - this fabric goes with anything and the trim is obviously sisboom's zebra. I found the ribbon in NYC while exploring the garment district and should have bought more. The green and zebra is kind of my homage to the Gymboree Mod Zebra line, which I loved.

This is where I find the joy in sewing these see a pile of fabric and ribbon become a skirt that will be worn by a girl as she conquers the world!

A stormy summer...

It has been an odd summer in New England weather wise. We started June and July without a day over 90 degrees. August has been a hot and stormy month. Last night around five thirty the clouds came rolling in. I love thunder and lightening storms! I'm sure this makes me odd, but I love the drama of it. The colors are amazing as the sky turns from blue to gray and the relief the wind brings as the temperature begins to break and you feel the anticipation of the heavy rain. last night was not a disappointment - it reminds me that we are really not the one's in charge!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's finally hot!

Yesterday we went to the local oyster much fun, but very hot. We went on the rides, painted shells and drank lots of water to keep cool.

We visited the crafts that were on sale and I am really getting excited and nervous for my own craft fair debut. In some ways I feel very confident about what I m creating, there was nothing similiar at the craft show yesterday. There was a variety of things including handbags, three or four booths of tye dye clothing and lots of jewelry. Im starting to look for a tent - apparently I need a 10x10 canopy tent - I hope someone knows how to put that up (LOL)