July 31, 2012

Spoonflower: Design and Print Your Own Fabric - Susan from crafterhours visits!

Today I hand over the blog to Susan, from crafterhours.  Susan is one half of the beautiful duo (Adrianna, the other half) that inspires me and thousands of other mothers, friends, sewers, and DIYers daily.  Check out their blog and their 59 tutorials, and please don't miss out on their ingenious creation: Drawer Stickers.   BUT first..... a word from Susan about Spoonflower!!

Hi Emmaline Bags readers! I'm Susan from crafterhours. I blog with my friend Adrianna. We write about things we make for ourselves, our families, our friends and our homes.

Janelle asked me to share some thoughts on my experiences with Spoonflower, a digital fabric printing service, and I'm happy to-- it's one of my favorite-est things to do and to talk about! Since there are two ways to use it, I've just written today at crafterhours about using it as a fabric shopperThe second way to use Spoonflower is to function as a designer. 

Spoonflower prints on fabric using giant inkjet printers. Not wildly different from what you likely have at home, just a lot bigger, using longer lasting washable inks and specially calibrated to give consistently good results. There's a quick video of one of their printers in action here. 

Prices start at $15.75/yard and go up based on the type of fabric you choose. You can order a fabric sample pack for just $1, shipping included. Spoonflower also includes a free printed fabric swatch with every fabric order. You can order swatches, fat quarters, half-yards and infinite yardage. Designers also have the option of ordering samplers at lower costs to test prints. Here's an example of a sampler, where I've printed several versions of a union jack cheater cloth design. Each section is 8" x 8":

Designing for Spoonflower not as mind-boggling as it may sound. If you want to keep things simple, Spoonflower makes it easy to do that. You can upload a wide variety of image sizes and file formats to create a design. Once your design is uploaded, you can use embedded tools to edit the image itself, adjust the colors and choose the way it will repeat. 

If you'd like to go a little further than the most basic functions, I have a few tips.

For sure, start by getting a color guide. You can get this one for $1, including shipping. I'd say that's step 1, no matter what you're planning to do. This color guide includes 171 colors-- both a tile of the color and beneath each tile the RGB code you'd need to create it.
The $1 color guide and a few of the printed swatches I've gotten along with fabric orders.
Consider getting the big color map. The $1 chart above is a fantastic start, but the large scale chart is a must-have if you're going to get serious about fabric design. Colors are critical to success. I love this as wall art, but it's entirely practical to have on hand because it doesn't matter how fantastic your monitor is, the colors that appear on a screen will be different from the colors that print on a surface.

In this larger format the codes are included on top of each tile.

Spend some time thinking about the fabric options. This page on the Spoonflower site discusses all of the types of fabric and gives you all of the relevant details like the width and the weight of the fabric. The images of each fabric help illustrate how the same image will appear slightly different on each substrate because of the base color, texture, weight and absorbency of the fabric. Interlock knit, for example, prints differently. It's a substrate that's slightly more oatmeal-ish in color, and the inks are a little more absorbed into the fabric. Not a bad thing, just something to keep in mind.
9 of the 10 current fabric options
At first glance, the price differences seem big in-between the "substrates" or types of fabric. But when you look at the cost of each fabric by the square inch instead of by the yard, the prices aren't that different. Kona (which is PFD white, I learned by asking) is 42" wide and $18/yard. Sateen is 56" wide and $27/yard. Cost per square inch is .14 and .16, respectively. Not too crazy.

If I were to be offered the chance to choose what's next as far as Spoonflower fabrics, I'd like to see a jersey knit option. I'd also like to see larger quantity price breaks. Currently there's a discount of 10% for all designers and 20% for orders of 20 yards or more. I have a projects coming up that could require more than that, at least I'm hoping, so I'd love to see some closer-to-wholesale options.

If you have questions, I'm happy to answer 'em! Thanks for letting me come and play visiting fabric nerd, Janelle!

Thank you so much Susan!  I can't wait to get started on my own fabric designs.  I've got patterns and now colors and fabrics twirling around in my head. 

** Make sure your read more about being a shopper at Spoonflower by reading Susan's post today at crafterhours!

Thank you for stopping by,

July 26, 2012

sewVery's Steph Bag Review AND her Ruffle Neck Romper!


Veronica over at sewVery has done it again!  This is her gorgeous entry to Purse Palooza 2012 (host by Sew Sweetness) last month.  I was so excited to see her entry and also find it in the Emmaline Flickr group. 

I do love this bag.  The blue duck cloth is sturdy and durable and adds a nice weight to the bag, and the solid color does make it a lot easier to wear with more clothes than some of the wilder choices I tend to make for myself!  The lining is so cheerful and happy and screams SUMMER!   The vintage trim on the belt is such a perfect match.

If you'd like to read Veronica's pattern review of the Steph in the City Bag, see more pictures, and hear about her fabric choices, please hop over to her blog, sewVery.  While you are there, check out her amazing tutorials.  This  Ruffle Neck Romper Tutorial is only from a few days ago... how cute is this?! 
Romper Tutorial from sewVery

July 24, 2012

Everything you wanted to know about Google+ EXPLAINED!!

Find out!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, to Shasta at In The Old Road, for helping me learn exactly what I didn't know I needed to really know!  If you aren't following what I'm saying here, that's okay, you don't need to - Shasta will do a better job of explaining it.  If you don't know anything about Google+ and you want to know why you need it OR if you do know everything about G+ and want to join along to help get many, many more followers, her series will surely help.  This is her latest post, #3 in a series of 4. In the Old Road: What Can Google+ Do For YOU? - Part 3 (blogger benefits)   If you click over to that post, there are direct links to posts #1 and #2 that will help you get started with G+.  She explains it all, even how to set up your profile!

Catch up quick so you can learn along with me on July 28th for the final post of the series and get your G+ profile ready and looking good for the G+ Blog Hop on August 4th.  It's sounds like it's going to be a great way to score heaps of new friends and followers.

I hope to see you there!
Thank you for reading,

July 21, 2012

Moving to Canada SALE! - CLOSED

Hi Everyone!

My little family, along with my business Emmaline Bags & Patterns, is moving to Canada on August 22nd.  As much as we'll miss Australia, it's time to move home to our family, friends and beloved Canada.

To celebrate, I'm offering all of my customers a 20% discount on your entire cart when you buy 2 or more items.  (While hardware supplies last, no limit on patterns)

Buy your handbag hardware or PDF Sewing Patterns in the SHOP, and when you are in the shopping cart, simply add the discount code POLARBEAR to receive your discount. Discount only available until August 15, 2012.

Thank you and Happy Sewing!!!

*  Limited to stock on hand, while supplies last.
** Allow 7-10 business days shipping for all international orders.
*** Please email for shipping rates on large orders.

July 16, 2012

Sew a Leather Emmaline Bag - Just Like Rose's!

Someday I'll sew a leather Emmaline Bag just like Rose from rose.is.a.rose did, because she has completely inspired me.  She makes it look sew easy... and soft... and leathery.... and, and... you just have to see it!

Sewing With Leather:
Rose's post on sewing with leather has several pointers and tips on sewing with leather such as leather thickness, leather sourcing, needles, how to press, proper sewing feet, etc..  I certainly am not able to write such a post based on personal experience so I direct you to Rose.  Here is the post, hop to it!! Leather Emmaline Bag with Tips for Sewing Leather

What I found out: I found out that it is possible to sew a gorgeous bag on my own machine, I found out where to buy leather, which was a bit daunting in itself, and found out that I can't wait to try it!  I also found out that I intended to feature Rose's leather bag post, but ending up learning much more.  (See below.)

Rose's Blog: rose.is.a.rose
A Bit About Rose:
I'd like to tell you a little more about Rose Beck, if you don't know her already.  I found Rose when I read her post about her bag contribution to Purse Palooza 2012 on Sew Sweetness.  I immediately loved her lilac leather bag, and I was drawn in by her gorgeous knitting.

Rose calls herself a beginning seamstress, but really, with a bag like that - she should surely call herself accomplished, shouldn't she?  But she doesn't just sew, she is well and truly a very accomplished knitter who designs and sells several (34) knitting patterns on Ravelry.  Gorgeous, beautiful, lovely... shawls, socks, hats.  Really you must look!

RosyPosy Designs

Rose's work makes me smile, and her designs are beautiful, and her story is inspiring.  When I read her designer profile on Ravelry, it just got me right there.  I know that is not an eloquent description of my emotions but, it just really spoke to me.  I can't imagine the personal emotional and physical strife she has endured, as I know some of you will yourself, but her message at the end is simple and inspiring and, those are the words I too try to live by too!  Thank you for the reminder, Rose.

Rose Beck's Ravelry Profile:
"I’ve been knitting and crocheting for over 20 years. A recent medical leave found with me with little strength for knitting but considerable time to explore designing.
I like to knit and design lace shawls, especially simple, elegant shawls that make the most of today’s gorgeous hand-dyed luxury yarns.
Why “RosyPosy Designs” as a name? After going through chronic fatigue syndrome and breast cancer treatment at the same time, I forced myself to take a positive outlook on life, otherwise I would end up crazy and depressed. “RosiePosie” was a nickname my friends and family used when I was little, and I remember hating it. I chose a resurrected form of this name to remind myself of my new take on life, where despite everything, I can choose to view my life as rosy.
Life is short. Make it beautiful."   by Rose Beck

Rose is a Rose.  Enough said, don't you think?

July 12, 2012

More Bag Making Supplies/Hardware in the Shop!

I've ordered a few pieces of handbag hardware in to make up some new hardware kits!  This was just a mini-order for emergency purse supplies, the big one is still coming....

I've added O-rings and Adjustable slides, available for purchase individually or in a pack especially made up for the Steph-in-the-City Bag Pattern.  Together with the Emmaline Bag Hardware Kit, you are all set!

Taking pictures of hardware.... Does anyone have any pointers??  Flying by the seat of my pants here!!

Please hop over the shop and tell me what you think of the layout... it's work in progress and I'd welcome any input.  Of course, it will have to change when the new items come, but I hope it's good for now.


July 3, 2012

DIY Wedding Invitations!

Do you want to make some easy, yet elegant, wedding invitations?  I've been making some with my friend, Ra, for her wedding and I think they turned out super-fabu-tastic, so I thought I'd share them in case anyone would like to give it a try.  No, this is not a handbag related post, and there will be no snorkeling pictures either... I'm pretty diverse!

The Wedding Invitation:
After scanning pinterest, google and the whole wide webby, we decided it was going to be a single card, no fold, and it would fit in a DL size or business size envelope.  Is that a #9? #9?  (That's a Beatles reference or an envelope size for anyone who cares...) Ha.  Laughing at my own jokes.

A simple card, with a magnet on the back so the recipient can place it on the fridge and admire our beautiful work for months, or maybe even years...!  The Invitation has a silver & black background, two vellum pages (separated by white paper), and a sheer ribbon tie at the top.  Paired with silver envelopes....it's... smashing... or at least WE think so.   Here's a look:

Where I got the monogram:
I won't take credit for the printing layout, I found a great website called WEDDING CHICKS, which offers free wedding template printables and other wedding projects and freebies.  They also have a shop with printed bridal totes, towels, tops, baby stuff, etc.  The invitations are so easy!  You pick the font colors, fill out the template with your details, and boom, you've got an invitation suite complete with menu, table number, and RSVP cards too.   There are quite a few styles to choose from.  The file opens up as a .jpg and I opened this one in Photoshop and made a bunch of changes and edits so it would fit the size we were looking for.

The first thing I did was erase the initial for the surname, and change it to Rawinia & Joel's first initials.  It was beautiful with the single surname initial "R" in the monogram, but Ra wanted R&J so she got R&J!  It's her wedding - and I think it was a good choice!  Make an invitation with an R monogram, and one with a J monogram and use your photoshop skills to put them together, adding an ampersand from a matching font in the middle.

I had to erase some of the monogram curls because it wouldn't fit on our skinny vellum, and I made all of the text in the lower half of the invitation much bigger, because when I shrunk the monogram, they shrunk too and weren't legible.  I also decided to go away from the traditional format a bit on the front because the ceremony/reception description was a bit long and we needed to add a bit on the second page about hotel reservation codes and the wishing well.  Rather than make a separate card with all of these details, we just did a second page!  I was a bit worried that the guests wouldn't know that second page was there and might miss it so I added in some text that reads "See following page for details".  I think it worked out pretty well.  Ra got all the information she wanted in it, including her wishing well poem.  Here is a look at the second page:

You will need:
The place to start is with your envelope size.  Your invitation should be smaller than your envelope so it slides in easily.  The ribbon on ours will have to be folded over to fit in, but oh well!

1 Black paper:  4 1/8"wide x 8 1/4" long
1 Silver paper:  3 3/4"wide x 7 7/8" long
1 White paper (or fancy paper) and vellum: 3 3/8"wide x 7 1/2" long
Hint:  Paper pieces are 3/8" smaller in length and with than each other.)

Ribbon: 8" per invitation
Clear scrapbooking glue tape
Whole punch
Paper cutter with measurements

Your two white vellum layers with printing on them will be the exact same size as the white, but these need to be printed first!  I printed three invitations per 8 1/2" x 11" page of vellum.  The outside measurement of each of these 3 invitations should be: 3 3/8" wide x 7 1/2" long.  I used my guides to lay it out and made little registration marks in black OUTSIDE my cutting area, that helped me line up the paper on my paper cutter.

First Vellum Page - CLICK TO ZOOM

Second Vellum Page with all of the details.

Put It Together:
1)  Using glue tape, glue one silver paper over black, centering.
2)  Glue the tops only of your vellum pages, with white centered in between.   We didn't use glue in the very center, where the hole would be punched, because we were worried it would make the punch a bit "gummy".
3)  Glue the vellum/white paper/vellum unit onto the silver, centered.
4)  Punch the hole at the top.
5)  Add you ribbon by folding in half, inserting tips of ribbon in from the back, and pulling the tips through the loop created.
6)  Done!

What do you think?  I haven't made cards in a while and this is my first wedding invitation.  I'm glad we only made 36... but, it was fun!

If you have found this tutorial helpful in the slightest way, please follow my blog by either GFC, Blog-lovin, Email or signing up for my Newsletter on the right side bar.  


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