That’s my bag baby!!

My latest go-to gift item has been bags – I find a fun and unique pattern, or come up with my own, and then put a bunch of awesome stuff inside! For a few bridal showers I made bags and then purchased small items from the registry to put in it. Saves on wrapping, looks really pretty and makes a great keepsake gift!

Here are some of the bags I’ve made recently…

Nautical themed bridal tote bag ~ designed by Tara White Studio

Bag handmade by Tara White Studio using pattern from the Purl Bee. Apple tree designed by Tara White Studio.

 

Green duck shoulder bag ~ designed by Tara White Studio. Available for purchase on Etsy!

Chipmunk shoulder bag ~ designed by Tara White Studio. Available for purchase on Etsy!

Custom penguin and duck shoulder bags ~ designed by Tara White Studio.

And here are some of the many, many bags that I have accumulated over the years…

Tara's bags ;)

Uh oh, I think I might be hoarding bags, maybe I should donate a few of these, hehe. Thankfully, for my wallet’s sake, most were gifts!

That being said, I definitely enjoy finding unique and interesting bags when I shop. Modcloth actually has an amazing collection of super cute bags. Here are some of my faves…

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

ModCloth may be your go-to for cute dresses and clothing, but did you know they have a flourishing decor department? Think fun and unique adornments for your home, kitchen, bedroom, office space, and more. If that’s not incentive enough to check it out, they just so happen to be having a 20% Off Decor Sale that’ll give your place a pop of personality. No code needed, so just shop ’till your heart is content and there really will be no place like your home! Hurry while it lasts!

If you like bags as much as I do, I hope you found something you like here! See you next post!

~Tara

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Spring Craft Projects

Here’s a peek at some of the things I’ve made this Spring…

I wanted a beachy but rustic welcome sign for our front door so I painted the word on a piece of old driftwood, attached it to an old, weathered basket and embellished it with scallop shells and vintage mother-of-pearl buttons.

Welcome Sign ~ Handmade by me out of a worn shallow basket, driftwood, shells, buttons and paint.

For Mother’s Day, I knew I wanted to make gifts for my mom and my mother-in-law. I had acquired a huge bag of vintage fabrics, including tablecloths, dish towels and doilies, many, many doilies! So, when a doily bag post from Sew Mama Sew came up in my blog feed, I was beyond excited. I came up with this bag for my mom. I altered the pattern a little by using the trimmed outer edge of my green doily as an accent for the top edge of the bag.

Vintage doily flower bag ~ handmade by me following pattern from Sew Mama Sew.

I was able to use a combination of some fun fat quarters that I had in this adorable little tote, pattern courtesy Oliver + S blog. I gave this to my husband’s Mom along with the Family wall hanging inside.

Multi-fabric tote ~ handmade by me following tutorial from Oliver + S blog.

Family wall hanging ~ collaged book pages, acrylic paint and metal leaves on canvas.

I decided to make something for my Mom to hang as well. She now works from home, using my sister’s old bedroom as an office, so I thought an office sign would be neat. I attempted to make it look old-fashioned, and even painted a vintage rotary telephone on it.

Office door sign ~ collaged book pages, printed text, acrylic paint on canvas ~ a Tara White Studio original.

The wall hangings / signs were relatively easy and fun to make, so you may see some in my Etsy shop in the near future!

Pattern Making

Pattern Making

Hello and Happy Thursday!

Back in January I wrote about the sewing machine that my husband gave me for Christmas, and how I was teaching myself the basic techniques.

Since then, I have made a ton of things, mostly from free patterns I’ve found online…

photo by Tara White Studio

Kitchenaid Bowl Cover (Pattern from Keeping it Simple blog)

photo by Tara White Studio

Lunch bag (pattern from Pink Penguin blog)

photo by Tara White Studio

Child’s Apron (pattern adapted from unknown source)

photos by Tara White Studio

Baby boy shower gifts (patterns from multiple sources)

The baby shower gifts in the last photo were made from patterns from the following blogs: clockwise from bottom left – Make it and Love itNalle’s House, The Crafted Sparrow (pattern no longer available).

I’ve also made some things from my own patterns…

Photo by Tara White Studio

Fingerless zippered gloves from upcycled pants

Photo by Tara White Studio

Drawstring whale bag (pattern by Tara White Studio)

Photo by Tara White Studio

Owl bag (Pattern by Tara White Studio)

 

The gloves were made from a pair of old pants, the ankles of which had awesome zippers on them.

The two animal bags were inspired by a pattern for a fish bag from Make it Love it blog. I had made that bag for my friend’s daughter’s 2nd birthday and it was so adorable, sadly I forgot to take a photo of it : (

Having designed my own patterns, I was very excited to hear that I could actually sell my patterns on Craftsy! Keep reading for more information!

 

How to Add & Sell a Pattern on Craftsy
(This post contains affiliate links which means I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking these links.)

CraftsyPatterns

In addition to wonderful online courses and craft supplies, Craftsy also has an independent online pattern store that lets anyone upload and sell downloadable e-patterns with no fee!

How do you add a pattern to Craftsy and start your pattern store? It’s easy!

1. Make sure you have a Paypal account. All pattern transactions happen through Paypal, and Craftsy requires that you have a Student, Premier, or Business account in order to sell patterns.
2. Put your pattern in .pdf format. You can’t upload any patterns to the online pattern store unless they’re a .pdf file format, so if they’re currently saved as a Word doc, .jpg, or other file format, you must convert it to a .pdf before you upload it to Craftsy.
3. Include a photo. All patterns must have at least one photo to accompany them, but you can add up to five photos. Colorful, interesting photos tend to work the best for catching our members’ eyes!
4. Fill out the pattern description. We will ask you some basic questions around your pattern making it easier for Craftsy folk to find your pattern and know what your pattern is for. Make sure you have info about your pattern handy for this step.

For more information on how to sell a pattern through Craftsy, or to get started, visit Craftsy today!


Thanks for reading, check back soon!

~Tara W.

 

Update: Romantic Jacket Makeover

Hola!

Yesterday I posted about a jacket makeover that I began. I finished it this morning and thought I’d update you.

As I mentioned yesterday, I followed a tutorial for adding pockets to a garment without them. The elbow patches were hand-stitched.

I also added the same floral fabric to the lapel for some color. This fabric was from some old curtains, so there were some finished edges which came in handy. I just lined the fabric up to the existing lapels, pinned it and trimmed accordingly. I then used a zig-zag stitch to attach them.

I scrapped the large white doily I had in yesterday’s image and decided instead to go with two square pink ones, lined up vertically on the back. Since these are crocheted and pretty loose, I decided to treat them more as appliques. Using the overcasting foot, I sewed an overcasting stitch carefully around much of the doily, leaving spaces for the belt to loop under.

Of course I never know when enough is enough, so I added some bling to the front in the form of some vintage jewelry. I also added an antique metal eagle to the back to contrast the slightly girly pink doilies!

I most likely won’t be wearing this until the Spring, but I think it will be great to wear antiquing!

~*`Tara`*~

Upcycled vintage doilies, curtains and jewelry as embellishments on a plain jacket.

Upcycled vintage doilies, curtains and jewelry as embellishments on a plain jacket.

 

Valentine’s cupcakes and a romantic jacket

Valentine’s cupcakes and a romantic jacket

Yesterday, as you all know, was Valentine’s Day. It was also the 15th anniversary of when my husband and I started dating. That’s the reason we celebrate it, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be that into it. We don’t do cards though, usually just dinner and being extra nice to each other!!

Side note: I actually never purchase cards, it is a huge waste of paper, so I always make my own from recycled materials.

Anyways, I woke up really early Valentine’s morning and decided I wanted to make cupcakes both for my husband and to bring to work. So I searched Pinterest as I always do for recipes and other ideas. I came across a pin for sweetheart cupcakes from http://www.glorioustreats.com.

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These are by far some of the richest, moistest chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had. The batter is made with eggs like typical cupcakes, oil like brownies and boiling water (seriously) like, I don’t know, hot chocolate?!? I didn’t have the cherry juice for the frosting so I experimented with cooking down raspberry jam and deglazing with red wine. The color was good but the flavors were very subtle. Regardless, these cupcakes won over all of my co-workers and more importantly my husband! Oh I also didn’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter but was able to improvise with a mini heart-shaped candy mold and some sprinkles.

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In keeping with the Valentine theme, tonight I decided to give a little romantic makeover to an army green jacket that I got for free. It is cute and fits well, but oddly had fake zipper pockets on the front. The zippers were functional, but there were no pockets inside. That was my first step, adding pockets. I followed a tutorial from http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Add-Pockets/step8/Tack-down-the-Pocket-and-Done/, also found on Pinterest. The fabric for the pockets were some old floral curtains that I got through my local freecycle network.

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Another side note, if you are unfamiliar with freecycle, “It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.” Check it out in your area, https://www.freecycle.org/.

I love the vintage feel and shabby chic style of this fabric, so I decided to add some cute heart-shaped elbow patches. I hand stitched these and they look adorable. I have to admit though, ever since I got my sewing machine this Christmas, any time I have to hand stitch I feel sad.

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I’m planning to add a bit more romance to the jacket, such as with more floral fabric on the lapel, although I haven’t committed to that yet (see pins in pic). I recently inherited a trash bag full of vintage fabric and doilies, which I would love to try to incorporate somehow. I pinned one of the dis colored white doilies to the back, but I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. Here’s the look so far:

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I’d love to hear what you think about the jacket. I’ll be spending more time on it tomorrow and I’ll try to post a quick update when I’m finished!

Adding sewing to the repertoire

This Christmas, my husband gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten, a computerized Brother sewing machine! I’ve wanted a sewing machine for years, so I was thrilled when he surprised me with it.

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This model has so much to offer in the way of ease and versatility. It has 59 pre-programmed stitch patterns and10 different feet, so the possibilities for creating are endless! My first project was the sewing caddy that’s in the photo of the sewing machine above. It’s not perfect, but I think it came out pretty good for my first attempt!

I’ve spent quite some time trying to get comfortable with the machine and have gotten used to the foot pedal, sewing straight stitches, adjusting tension and troubleshooting if something goes wrong! The poor machine has errored quite a few times I have to admit!

I also had to reconfigure my craft area to better accommodate my sewing efforts. I broke out my folding craft fair table and made an L-shaped work surface.

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My two main goals for sewing are to create special and functional items to give to my friends and family as gifts and to be able to create clothing that I can wear without people knowing that I made them. I am a huge Project Runway fan so I’ve been rewatching all the past seasons for inspiration and techniques!

Last weekend I attempted a pair of shorts using fabric from some old curtains and blanket edging for the trim. I wanted them to be a little loose, with a drawstring waist. Well they’re loose all right! They are probably about 3 sizes too big and even though I can get them to “fit” by cinching the drawstring, it is not exactly the look I was going for! I am proud of the fact that I was able to do all of the seaming, especially the crotch and have it all line up and remain symmetrical. I think that it was at least good practice, plus I didn’t follow a pattern, I just measured a pair of shorts I already had and went from there. I’d like to try to take in the waist a bit, and put in elastic for a better fit.

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While I did purchase some small amounts of fabric, I have been relying on old clothes for the majority of my materials. Not only does it save money but I am a big proponent of repurposing things that you already have in order to reduce the amount of new things that are manufactured. So I’ve been deconstructing my old clothes. When I was about to cut apart a tank top I realized that it resembled a bag. Of course this was not a novel idea, which I came to find out when I googled it, but I did think of it on my own, I swear! It was very simple to make and I even added a little fabric flower made from the scrap material. It will be the perfect little on the go bag for the summer!

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I am so excited for all the future projects that are in store! I created a new board on Pinterest that I’ve filled with tutorials, patterns and ideas for some really fun things!

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