Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shag Pillow

Shag Pillow by b-a-boop
Shag Pillow, a photo by b-a-boop on Flickr.

Another handmade and upcycled present I recently made. I was inspired by a photo in a book of a denim rug I saw that was similar.

I began with two 14" squares for the front & back of the pillow, cut from a purple tee shirt.

I then cut 12" wide strips from some fleece remnants left over from a top made decades ago. I cut as many as possible from the odd shaped leftovers I had.

I roughly accordion folded the longest strip forming approximately 1" loops to estimate how wide it would end up and didn't think I had enough to cover the whole front. I then cut additional 12" strips from the purple tee shirt.

I started by centering the longest pink strip on one 14" square, leaving 1" of the purple hanging out on each side for the pillow seams. I then sewed a straight seam down the middle.

I folded over a 1" loop and sewed another seam about 1/4" from the first one. I repeated this until I didn't have enough fabric left for another loop.
Since it was knit fabric and going to be stuffed as a pillow, I just eyeballed the loops & seams, some were a bit crooked. If you wanted more precision you could measure & mark each fold & seam.

I then repeated looping the pink on the other half. I trimmed off the remainder of pink strip 1/4" away from the last seam.

I then overlapped a purple strip on top of the pink 1/2" and sewed over the same seam 1/4" from it's edge. Then I continued looping the purple in the same manner. After a few inches of purple loops, I trimmed it off and started another row of pink. As I was working with remnants, some small strips only made a few loops, so I patched pieces together as I had where the pink & purple meet.

I stopped the last loop about 1" from the edge and sewed the strip down to the square with a second seam to keep it from sticking out when sewing the pillow closed.
I thought it would be easier to leave it just with the loops before making it shaggy when sewing the pillow closed. I then placed the other 14" square face down on the loops and sewed the 1" seam around 3 sides of the pillow, sewing as close too the edges of the loops as possible.

I turned it right side out, stuffed in my pillow form & hand sewed the last edge closed.

Then it was time to make the shagging. I just took my scissors and cut the loops approximately every 1/2" (again just eyeballing it) and being careful not to cut completely down to the seams or to slice the base fabric.

And wallah! a cute shaggy pillow out of recycled materials.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Etsy Find of the Day

I came across this while searching for birds on  Etsy. Isn't it just so adorable.
Bird on a Branch by MyWireArt

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Etsy Listing Titles, Etsy’s new search settings, spelling & SEO

If you don’t subscribe to Etsy newsletters and are not aware, this week they changed the default setting for searches to finding ‘relevant products’ first. This means that items with your search terms will appear at the top, not necessarily in the order of most recently listed. I have also been trying to revise my listing titles and tags to optimize for searches. Yesterday, I was revising a set of pillows I have relisted numerous times. The pillows are fuschia in color. I changed the listing title and then did a search on “throw pillows fuschia”. To my surprise it didn’t find my pillows at all. After numerous tries at revising and searching on a few different terms, I discovered that my title had the spelling for fuschia as “fuchsia” because that is the correction that Microsoft word gave me & is the actual spelling of the color & flower (named after a man named Fuchs). On my search, I had spelled it the way I assumed it was spelled, which also seems to be the way the rest of the world prefers to spell it “fuschia”. After revising my listing for the pillows with the incorrect spelling, I finally found them on the search along with everyone else’s fushia pillows. I hope this helps them get more views now.
I guess the moral of the story is - it’s a good idea to find out alternate spellings on your titles. I wonder, if Etsy had a spell check in the search would everyone else’s pillows get lost.

Miniature Journal Pendants are Available

Well I’ve finished the 1st batch of my mini journals and added some chains & chords. Since I’m using these little clip art squares from an old catalog, they feature different pictures on the front & back covers, it’s fun sorting through the book looking for two I like together. I particularly like the one with the old typewriter and adding machine keys. One of the nice things about them is that they are so lightweight, nothing heavy around the neck. I’ve listed a few in my Etsy shop.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Old Sewing Patterns for Sale

I've started listing some old patterns on Ebay. I need to clear out clutter in my craft room. Most all of these patterns are from a company I'm not too familiar with called "Sewing Step-by-Step" and they are from the 1990's. They are uncut, never used and have multiple sizes in each pattern. There are patterns for blouses, dresses, skirts and more to come when I finish scanning the covers & typing descriptions. A lot are basic patterns and can be adapted to update the looks. So if you like to sew, check them out. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Industrial Chic Necklace

I relisted my necklace made from a recycled auto part at my Etsy shop.

The curved piece in the middle is called a c-clip & I think it’s used mainly on the brakes, but you can find variations of these parts for other uses. I added some dangles made from agate stones and shells and put on some old vintage buttons with beaded centers, a gunmetal chain makes the length adjustable. My husband thinks it looks African.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bathroom Window Valance

I finally got around to finishing & hanging my bathroom valance. We renovated the bath over a year ago and a few months later I can across a remnant at Joann’s Fabrics that matched the tile I used to repair the windowsill. I originally planned to make a horn & swag valance, but the pattern showed it was cut on a curve, which didn’t go with the square background on the print. I put it aside for awhile and after passing by the fabric so many times in my craft room, I finally decided to just go with a traditional pleat. It was easy to construct and it really does go perfect with the tile, so I’m glad I finally knocked it off the ‘to do’ list.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Closing my Artfire Shop

This weekend I will be closing down my Artfire shop. I had tried it as a supplement to my Etsy store, adding items that I didn’t relist right and had recently listed old sewing patterns to weed out my inventory. I’d only set it up on their basic plan, which is free and only had 3 sales in 2 years. Artfire is now eliminating the basic membership and I’d prefer to just stay focused on my Etsy shop if I’m going to be paying fees. It’s generated a few views on a few items, but not enough traffic to keep juggling 2 shops. After I close, I will probably list the sewing patterns and other destash on ebay. 
So if you’ve had any items you’ve been watching, now’s the time to check them out again. Most of the handmade crafts will move to Etsy if they aren’t already listed there now. And a big THANKS to all of you who have visited the Artfire site.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Miniature Journal Pendants

I’ve been working on these for a few weeks. I was inspired by a metal charm in the shape of a book. I decided to recycle a bunch of junk mail, scrap paper, magazines and clip art from an old letrastat catalog (picked up in thrift store). I’ve never handmade a zine or book before, I figured a mini one would be a good start. The journals only have about 8 pages, depending on how small you can write, you could jot down your favorite words, spell out your loved ones name one page at a time, or paste in mini photos & use it like a locket. Not sure yet if I’ll just be adding ball chains, or making ribbon or chord necklaces, or just listing them as the pendant alone. How would you hang or list them?
Coming up in the jewelry section of The Reformatory.


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