Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Zippers and I, Back Together Again

So zippers and I broke up for about a week.  It would have been longer but a sweet customer of ours wanted a custom order pencil case.  I begrudgingly said I would make it.  I didn't like the idea that we would have to make up.  They had been so mean to me. Mocking me at every turn, but we had a good long chat and decided to make it work.

For the pencil case I wanted to use laminate fabric, which has become my new obsession!  Who wants a bag lined with normal fabric that gets gross and dirty!   Never making a bag before I used this tutorial to get me started.  However, I somehow didn't follow the directions all that well and my bag turned out like this:

This wouldn't be so bad if it were supposed to be the size of a make up bag and the zipper was actually going the correct way.  Don't get me wrong, it's super cute but not what it needed to be.  Let's call it a happy accident and now it's in the shop.  :)

So here goes round two.  I found a new tutorial that helped build upon my knowledge of the original zipper bags and the first boxie tutorial I used.  I now know what I should and shouldn't do.  How I can make it my own and the best way for me to not only sew with zippers but to sew boxy pouches.

Here you can see the true difference in size.   Oopsies.  :)  I am grateful that I was made to have this opportunity to learn and grow and become one with zippers again.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Art of Buttons

So I took a week off from sewing to do something fresh.  After my long frustration with zippers I needed a break and I just so happened to have 2 blank canvases.

I was introduced to the fun idea of using buttons as art a few years ago.  I have ALWAYS had a passion for buttons.  Buttons remind me of people.  They come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities.  And lets be real, buttons are just fun and cute!  So needless to say I have a big button collection.

About 2 years ago, I had the wonderful privilege of going through my great grandmas button collection.  I was very lucky to walk away with some unique and amazing vintage buttons which I use in my art today.   I love mixing the old and the new and decided to create some art for the shop.  What better way to show off your love for your state or your country then by having a shape of it in the form of buttons!!  I made these 2 for the shop to see how my buttons would fare.  It turns out that people like them!  So I ended up making a few more and thought that y'all might like a patriotic Texas as well!  I will do custom orders if you happen to not live in the great state of Texas.   Just shoot us an email or send us a PM on our Facebook page and I can definitely get something made for you!

I also wanted to share that button art is great for gifts!  Our very own Penny had a birthday and in honor of her I made some art to help add to her growing collection of J's.  Embellishing with lace, ribbon, or rick rack can help turn something your not sure about into something amazing! Never forget to have fun while creating!  If something starts to look off or funky or you simply
 hate it...just walk away.  Come back a few hours later after you have had time to cool off, eat something, and clear your mind.  I hate the way the J looked before I added the rick rack.  It looked too simple and plain.  But I got something to eat, looked around my craft room at stuff I could throw on it.  I tried adding Scrabble letters, a fabric rose, lace, etc.  I kept digging and searching until I saw that rick rack!  And BAM!  There it is!

Don't forget to follow us on our Facebook page for the latest button art projects and to add your feedback!  We love hearing from you!  If you make your own button art, we would love to see it! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Zipper or No Zipper

So I have a TON of zippers! I'm not sure where all of them came from but somehow they all made their way to my house.  I have sewn a zipper into a costume a few years ago but let's just say it didn't go that well.  So in prepping for the shop I thought that my first sewing project should be cute zipper bags! Right! 
So fun and easy! 
Wrong! Oh. My. Gosh! I swear they hated me! I even did a practice bag and it turned out great, but the ones to follow all laughed in my face.

I did three different sizes and planned to make them all in a triangular shape. I carefully picked out fabric and the different colored zippers to match.  This part is always so fun to me!  Plus I am a fabric hoarder so I didn't even have to buy any fabric!  

 I used this tutorial from Noodle Head to help me out. I even learned what a zipper foot looks like and how to use it. The one thing that the tutorial doesn't tell you is don't get too close to the zipper when sewing. When you finish the bag and do the finishing stitch around the top you quickly learn that if your original stitch is too close to the zipper it's really hard to sew it in such a way that the fabric won't get caught in the zipper.  Oopsies.  I can't even tell you how many times I had to rip a seen out and start over (or how many times a bag was flung across the room).  Or I forgot to sew in a label or I finished a bag and realized one of the teeth on the zipper broke so now I can't sell it! Ahh!

However, after all was said and done they turned out pretty cute...and flat because in the midst of frustration I forgot to make the bottoms square.  The medium and large bags have pockets inside which I am quite happy with.  I am sad to say that I officially broke up with zippers and have refused to look at them since. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Shop is Open!!

So for some reason we have not done a great job at keeping our blog up to daten but guess what I found...the blogger app! Woohoo! So now you will find us on here all the time!

Now that we are all pumped up about the new blogger app, lets get even more excited about our shop opening! We just launched it on June 1st. We rented a booth at Wishes and Dreams in Arlington, TX. We couldn't be more excited about the location within the shop! We love it so much! Here's a picture of us after we finished setting up. We looked a bit crazy from scrambling around all day getting everything ready. 

Shortly after opening though we realized that we have lots of friends and family that don't live nearby that like our stuff.  So with that being said, we will ship any items except furniture to you! Follow us on Instagram @thegaragingmavens to see all of our items that we have made and that are for sale!

Thank you to all of you for reading our blog and giving us support!