| April 19, 2012 | 9:59 pm
I never properly introduced Templeton Goods, and I’m sorry about that. When Colleen and I were writing the blog together I didn’t want to take up post space with personal advertisements, and she didn’t have a craft line she produced, so anyway… I never introduced my craft line and etsy store properly.
Templeton Goods is named for the infamous Templeton the rat from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web because (almost) everything I use for materials is reclaimed or repurposed. I’ve never been very good at buying new materials anyway, so this is really just comes naturally to me. Last year I really focused on men’s wear fabrics: herringbone, houndstooth, chambray, cotton shirting. These fabrics are so abundant and universally stylish I just loved working with them. If you came to Crafty Mart last year I’m sure you saw me hawking them.
This year I’ve moved onto a new fabric to work with. Colleen brought me over a coffee bean bag which she bought from a local coffee shop. The fabric was just so cool! It had prints from the countries the beans were grown in. Some of the bags had rainforest alliance logos printed on them. The weave is loose and summery. I was very inspired. I’ve made some coffee cup sleeves out of the material, which are with a vendor waiting to be sold so I can’t photo them. But the crown jewel of accessories I’ve made with these coffee bags are the purses and totes.
I am in love with them. They are fun to sew (though they create a large quantity of dust). And each one turns out different! I’ve been pairing the totes with fabrics I’ve collected from my favorite trash-dive, Zero Landfill.
I’m so excited about the way these are turning out it hasn’t been hard to stay motivated in the sewing room. Expect more combinations to be revealed soon! And head over to Templeton’s FB page and like me. You’ll be updated when new items get posted in the store.
| April 4, 2012 | 10:44 pm
And so I haven’t been working on this blog. Colleen and I had high hopes of turning Clever Nesting in to a business back when we bought this domain. And that energy really forced me to take my crafting and creativity to the next level. It never turned into a money maker ( really, who were we kidding!) but it was valuable in so many other ways.
I got an email listing a few new comments which came from Pinterest pins. It made me long for some blogging action, and I missed the ol’ WordPress dashboard. So here I am.
Colleen isn’t really blogging anymore, but I plan on leaving her stuff in the archives. I might make a new category to organize stuff… But I’m getting back to my blogging roots and I’m going to just start writing about what it’s like to be a creative mom. I’m also hoping to get better at taking photos… I’ve never been the best at that.
Here’s a photo I took of one of the purses I made last month. I came across some burlap coffee bean bags at a good price, and I made a bunch of purses with them. I am looking for a retail store around Highland Square to sell them for me… but first I have to get the Girl Scout camp out done and over.
I became a girl scout leader this year for my first grader’s troop. It has been the ride of my life. I LOVE these kids, and I’m looking forward to being with them as long as they’ll stay in scouts. We bridge to brownies in a couple of months, so we’re making these shirts and hoodies with freezer paper stencils at the camp out. Any former scouts know what that is? The Brownie Beanie! Good thing it’s an optional part of the uniform now…. I hated those when I was a kid.
| September 30, 2011 | 2:22 pm
It’s chilly here today, so what I should be writing up is a post about amazing hand knit/crochet items, but one of my new favs can’t be posted yet, and the other isn’t photographed. It’s too gloomy to get the light right today but I might even post up a crochet pattern for you once I get a sunny day.
In the meantime, I have just enough time to write up this tutorial on how to turn a men’s shirt into a mitered square cloth napkin before I have to run car pool. This project is a great way to use up scrap fabric in prints you love, too. And it’s an awesome project for beginners.
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| August 27, 2011 | 9:26 pm
Amy asked me to share the inspiration photos and the pattern I started with for my friend’s wedding dress. She sent me this one first:
Then she sent this, which is where I got the idea for the full ruffled cap sleeves (which I haven’t shown yet, but will):
And this is the pattern we chose to work with, though in the end I ended up changing almost everything about it:
| August 27, 2011 | 12:16 pm
I’ve had legitimate reasons not to post lately. Beside the girls finishing up summer, and a week of vacation, I took on a project that really pushed me to take my professionalism to a new level. Not to mention the new level of creativity.
Inspired by my few friends who’ve taken their interest in photography and turned it into a wedding and portrait photography business, I took on my first commissioned wedding dress project. My friend Paula was wedding dress shopping, and her sister joking/half-jokingly suggested she ask me to do it. I’ve sewn many many baby slings and gifts for their family in the past. So I asked to see some inspiration photos, determined the project to be within my skill level, and said “you sure you’re just kidding, cause I can totally make that.”
And thus it began. We shopped for a pattern to alter. I altered that pattern to match Paula’s vision. Then I put in the hours, and hours. In the end, I couldn’t have been more proud of my work, and Paula really looks stunning. Here’s a sneak peak of the hemline, can’t show too much before the wedding!
And here is a shot of the fascinator which I threw into the deal, modeled by my sweet nearly five-year-old daughter. I have no idea what her hair style plans are, so I don’t know if it will be worn or not, but I loved her color choices for the flowers and I wanted to throw something together with more color.
After the wedding next weekend I’ll be sure to share some better shots. And just in case anyone was wondering what the fee was, I charge $25 a hour for sewing, and Paula purchased the fabric.
| May 6, 2011 | 10:28 pm
Sub-titled: Much Belated.
But we went right from Easter to Crafty Mart around here and I had a hard time keeping up. I think I missed a week’s post. Sorry about that. Those of you who follow us on facebook (link over there ——->) know that I have decided to scale back my posts to once a week. Therefore you’ll probably find more info in each post and I’ll be able to spend a bit more time with my kiddos.
I tried my darnedest to get some good pictures of the girls in their Easter Dresses. But, goodness, it is really hard to get three children to stand still. It’s even harder to get three girls who love their spinny dresses to hold still. And yet even harder to get them to hold still in their spinny dresses long enough for a clear shot in indoor lighting because it was about 40 degrees and raining. Blah! But this will have to do!
Olivia’s is my favorite. I spent the most time playing fabric against each other for her dress and I gathered the under skirt to make it much fuller and princessy. Since hers is the biggest each girl will get the chance to wear that dress, so it got the most attention to detail.
The other amazing thing we did this Easter was head over to Rob’s parents’ house to dye eggs the Martha Stewart way. We wrapped them in cut up silk ties. They turned out absolutely amazing. We had so much fun seeing them when we unwrapped them I think we dyed at least 3 dozen eggs. Maybe 4. It was a real shame to eat them.
| March 21, 2011 | 9:31 pm
It’s Easter Dress sewing season, and I’ve been so busy with being creative on other things I haven’t had time to even think about designing a dress for the girls this year. This turned out to be a blessing, really, because Creative Publishing International had sent us some books for review and now I had the opportunity to try one out!
Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn has been on my night side table for a few months as evening reading (yes I read sewing books for fun) but I haven’t sewn anything in it yet. Since I have gotten very familiar with the designs from reading through it so many times I had already picked out the Feliz Dress as my pattern of choice. Feliz is a two layered dress/skirt which has a sort of pinafore look to it. Perfect for spring.
The authors challenge their readers to be creative in their fabric combinations and trims. All of the samples in the book are over-the-top colorful, a real treat for the eyes. It inspired me to dig through my stash and pair things I wouldn’t necessarily put together. My final choice was to use a yellow cut-out cotton for the over dress and a purple gingham for the under dress. I added the bird applique and used the fabric the birds came from as the straps and sash.
Finding the pattern pieces for Feliz was kind of challenging. All of the patterns for the book are on tissue paper, and some pieces for the Brooklyn Shrug were on the same sheet. Really, the only real criticism I have for the book was the choice to use tissue for the patterns. The sizing for the patterns run from 18 months to 11/12 which is great, but I can’t see the tissue holding up for the life of your child. If you want to sew the patterns over and over, it would make sense to transfer all the pattern pieces for your favorite garments to sturdier paper to add to their longevity. I’m not going to do that because I’m lazy, so I might not get as much use out of this book as I’d like.
As for sewing Feliz up, it came together like clock work. The directions don’t hold your hand, so I’d say you have to be an intermediate sewer to not get frustrated. An advanced beginner would be able to make it work, but there might be some unpicking and sweating involved. But the complexity of the patterns lead to clothes more inspired than a simple circle skirt or a-line dress. And this is true for each pattern in the book. These patterns are for unique garments, well worth the time invested in sewing them up. They are also wide open for changes and embellishments.
All in all I was in my studio working on this dress for four hours, from tracing the pattern pieces to the final pressing. The next time I work through it I should get done a little faster because today was my first run through, and I had an argument with my serger. I plan on making each of my older two a dress in the same pattern so I’ll share those as I finish them. I would show you the cute action shots, but Cressida is 18 months now so she won’t hold still for pictures in low light. They’re all blurry, so hopefully there will be a sunny warm day soon and I can get a picture of her outside. The fit is perfect, so I really want to show it off!
| February 23, 2011 | 2:43 pm
I must say, the dress from Casey’s Sew Along is very wearable. I LOVE the sweep of the skirt, I love the fabric choice, I love the sleeves. I do not LOVE the bodice. I had to make sweeping changes to it, and I just couldn’t get the right mix of blouse-y and fit for my frame.
That’s OK though. I do LIKE the bodice and I wore the dress to church on Sunday. No one asked me if my dress was handmade, so that must mean it looks pretty good to the average person, right?
I want to make this dress again, but I’d like to change the bodice a lot. Maybe I’ll draft something up for an Easter dress for myself. I have to make the girl’s dresses soon too, so we’ll see how that goes. I am also about to cut and make a swing dress for my sister. That’s quite a bit of sewing… It’s good for me to keep busy.
Don’t forget to enter our give away, it closes tonight! 2 yards of vintage fabric in your choice of print!
| February 14, 2011 | 5:33 pm
I’ve had my muslin for the Swing Dress Sew Along finished for about a week now, and I’m just getting around to posting the pictures. Last week I had big productivity plans that involved pattern drafting, tutorial writing and dress sewing, but instead I dealt with a flu knocking my family over one by one. We are now 2 antibiotics into the thing, and looking like this week might prove less of an impediment to my accomplishing anything more than meager meals.
But anyways, back to the dress. I made some mistakes and had to rework the bodice three times. First time through it was WAY too long, so I measured and shortened the bodice and skirt. So the second draft the hem was great, but the bodice was an inch and a half too short, so that meant that the skirt was actually and inch and a half too long! Argh!
But I’ve been following the directions with Casey, and I’m ready to make my final dress out of my fashion fabric. In fact I started cutting out the pieces last night. But I’m taking my time with this step since I already have put so much time into it, and this fabric is a once in a lifetime fabric. It would be a real shame if I never wore the dress after I spent all this time! No mistakes! I am hoping to have it done before the end of our fabric give away so I can wear it for a birthday date of some kind.
By the way, did you enter the give away??? Please do! I really want to be able to pick two winners and we need fifty comments to do that…
| February 8, 2011 | 12:10 pm
It was January in 2009 that Clever Nesting went live. In these 2 years we’ve come a long way. From no readers to our best month yet. January 2011 had 20,000 pages views. I’d say that’s pretty exciting and well worth celebrating. Plus, my birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and that’s ALSO well worth celebrating.
decorator weight fabric. Cotton blend.
Polyester, dress weight knit. Lovely Drape!
Cotton/poly blend. Seersucker. Beautiful!
Cotton, seersucker. Great for Easter dresses!
That means good things for you! I am going to give away some fabric to one reader. All you have to do is comment on this post with some sort of indication that you are human (like a congratulations or something), and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a cut of vintage fabric. Comments will close on my birthday at 11:59pm, February 23rd. The winner will choose between four prints, each from the late 70s/early 80s.
If you want to be entered more than once, you can follow us on Twitter @clevernesting and come back and write a comment letting us know. Or if you already follow us on Twitter, you can let us know that too and it’ll count as an entry.
And! If you “like” us on Facebook, which there is a link to do so right over there in the sidebar, you can put in another comment for an entry.
What the heck, just to up the odds, if we get 50 comments to this post, I will draw a second winner and they can choose between the 3 fabrics which are left over. I am just feeling that festive!
Thanks for reading, sharing and tweeting about us, Friends! We’ve met so many fun crafters in the 2 years we’ve been here, I feel so blessed!