April 24, 2014

Handmade Hand Me Downs, Finding My Passion, and Pursuing My Dreams

Fair warning: this post is rather wordy. But please do read. This is something that has taken me years to finally work up to, and I'd love your support!

Did you know that I've not bought any clothing (except socks, shoes, and underwear) for my daughter since I started this blog? I'm hoping I can do the same for the next year, for both kids.

Since I started this blog (end of May 2013, coming up on ONE WHOLE YEAR!) I've sewn 117 articles of clothing for my kids. That number does not include the things I sewed for our home, for myself, for friends, for newborn babies, or for any other reason! One hundred and seventeen wearables for my two kids. That's something every three days.

I just realized that the above paragraph kind of sounds like I'm bragging. That is absolutely not my intention; I'm honestly shocked! The past year has been quite an adventure. The sewing-blogger community has become family to me. The comment-love and e-support I've found has been so encouraging and has often been the thing that pushed me to keep sewing. And the friends I've made!? I literally only get on Facebook anymore to talk with "my friends I've never actually met who sew, too."

I've always been a creative person-- making friendship bracelets in fifth grade, cutting stencils to print t-shirts in high school (I wish I had known about freeze paper stenciling then!), a stint of Youtube videos at age 17, teaching myself to sew at 19, earning a degree (honors!--this is me bragging) in interior design, working as a seamstress...

I've even run several Etsy shops in the last six years. The first was when I taught myself to sew and decided I wanted to sell handmade dresses for little girls. Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing and it was all so bad. Then the CPSIA thing happened and I got scared. No one really seemed to know how to abide by the guidelines, I was a busy college student, and all the terminology gave me a headache! I gave up. There was another Etsy shop that must have been so insignificant, as I can't even remember what I sold. Then another (I know) where I sold vintage finds, stuff made from paint chips (using up those leftover interior design supplies), finished cross stitch, and eventually cross stitch patterns. In mid-2012 I made the switch to only cross stitch stuff and changed my shop name to Glitter + Wit. I was happy to make a few dollars here and there without having to do much work at all.

I still run Glitter + Wit, but I removed all my cross stitch listings a few weeks ago. You see, after all that (see previous paragraph), sewing is it. It sounds stupid and cheesy and whatever-else, but really: sewing has my heart. Sewing for kids, in particular. Two months ago I woke up and had somehow just decided to do what I wanted to do six years ago. I immediately got to work on making my business legitimate. And I'm now feeling confident enough to, you know, tell people about it. So here it is:

My name is Tasha. I am the owner of Glitter + Wit. I make and sell children's clothing.

So, what's the plan? For now, I'll still be selling on Etsy. At first I'll be sewing from my favorite indie patterns. I have ambitions of selling my own designs later this year. Everything will be CPSIA compliant (now that I know what it all means). I'm currently working on a few limited-run garments that I hope to have listed by May.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned that I'd like your support. As you might have already noticed (huge green banner at the top of the screen much?), I'm selling a bunch of my kids' outgrown handmades on Instagram this weekend. 52, to be exact. Most are clothing, though there are a few things that are not. You can visit this page to read more about the sale and see some of what I'll be selling. The sale will be set up like an auction, so bidders can offer (at or above the minimum) whatever the garment is worth to them. All the money I make from this sale will go directly towards supplies and materials for Glitter + Wit.

How you can help:
I don't expect you to bid on anything. Really. I know that most who read my blog also sew--you have your own handmades! You can still help, though. I'd love it if you'd share my sale with your followers, anyone who you think would like to buy something I've sewn, or anyone who has a thing for supporting (new) small business. The Instagram handle I'll be using for the sale is @ishopstressed (currently private, will go public April 25). I'll also be tagging everything #secondhandmade. I've also posted an image here that you can share on Instagram, if you like:



Please feel free to share anything I've written about here, a link to this post, a link to my sale info page, or the above image on Instagram. You can share now if you'd like, but the @ishopstressed account won't go public until just before the sale (I don't want to flood everyone's feed, so the images will be pre-loaded). Thank you so much for reading, and for the encouraging comments you've all left on my little old blog. I couldn't have done any of this without you! xo

April 22, 2014

Lua Sleep Sack // Pattern Testers' Tour



Someone stop me! I have a million things I need to be doing, but I can't stop signing up to test all the amazing patterns popping up this Spring. If you are a designer and see my name pop up in your call for testers, TELL ME NO. Seriously.


That being said, I am thrilled to have been selected to test An of Straight-Grain's newest pattern, the Lua Sleep Sack. An's patterns are always so well done. It's no coincidence that some of the garments I'm most proud of are from her patterns (pictured and linked above). Of course, the Lua is no exception; the result is a professional, functional, convenient sleep sack.






Pattern: Lua Sleep Sack by Straight-Grain Patterns
Size: 1y (6-12m), I chose the pieced & piped view
Fabric: Soft lightweight cotton denim for front, lime green [something] for back and top front, gold-green polka-dotted quilting cotton for lining. There's also a layer of batting in there, from Hancock. Buttons from my stash, kelly green invisible zipper from Hancock.



















This sleep sack is awesome! The generous sizing means F (at seven months) will get plenty of use out of it (this is the middle of three sizes). I love the buttoned shoulder and zipper closure combo. Plus the pattern gives very specific instructions for ensuring that the buttons are secure and safe for your little one.




He loves it too, in case you were wondering. In fact, he is going on his third night of sleeping through the night in his crib. Is this sudden (very much welcomed) milestone the work of the Lua? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe! I mean, he couldn't even keep his hands off it as I was taking pictures yesterday. ;)






Yes, I realize that last photo is exactly the same as another in this post, but... that fat baby foot!!! And did I mention he's crawling now? It's only been five days and he's pulling up on everything, too. (Pardon the snotty nose below. We just can't seem to kick these bugs!)





I know. You just scrolled through a lot of (admittedly, probably too many) photos of a sleep sack, a baby, and a sleep sack and baby. If you haven't gotten your fill of the Lua, hop on over to Straight-Grain to see all the other testers' Luas! And if you plan on purchasing the Lua pattern, use coupon code LUALAUNCH to save $1.

I'll be back on Thursday to talk about my Instagram sale happening this weekend. Did you know that two of the garments at the beginning of this post will be sold? Get excited!

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April 18, 2014

The Caroline Party Dress // Perfect Pattern Parcel #2



Today is the final day to purchase Perfect Pattern Parcel #2. I shared my first PPP look yesterday and decided that today's project needed its own dedicated post. While yesterday's outfit was all about cozy comfort + play, today's outfit is at the opposite end of the spectrum-- a fancy party dress for Easter!

[I started writing this a couple nights ago, but when I got to this point in the post I decided it would be fun to post E's first and second Easter photos. I went to find them on the external hard drive and discovered that EVERYTHING before March 2013 is GONE (E's first 14 months of life included). Vanished without a trace. I cried a lot. I'm running a recovery tool right now. I doubt I'll find them. Fortunately I had posted some to our old neglected family blog, Easter photos included! Still, cross your fingers for me. Ugh.]

Even just a year ago I was buying all E's clothing. Since I started sewing again I think I've only bought shoes and underwear! So, here are photos from Easter 2012 (three months) and Easter 2013 (15 months):

Both dresses were from Target and I really loved them. BUT! There's something really special about making a fancy dress (or anything, really) for your daughter. I actually sewed this dress last summer and it was too big so I was going to have her wear it this Easter, but then I found this amazing gingham organza on clearance at Hancock and the Caroline was part of Perfect Pattern Parcel. Match made in heaven and I couldn't resist! Sorry in advance for the unruly bed-head. :)


Pattern: Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations
Size: 18m, no collar, no inseam pockets, no adjustments except for the use of an exposed zipper instead of an invisible zipper
Fabric: red gingham polyester organza, white polyester lining, robin's egg blue vintage metal zipper










I actually don't have a whole lot to say about this dress. The pattern is flawless and sewed up really easily despite working with a new-to-me fabric. I backed my organza bodice pieces with the white polyester so my seams wouldn't show through, and that worked really well. The zipper is a hair too long, but it's the only one I had that was long enough. I think if I had hemmed as instructed I would have had a bit more length, but I turned it two checks for a really nice hemline. Too bad I wasn't as careful in lining everything up at the zipper! Oh well... Personality!

If you haven't purchased Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 yet, it's not too late! After tonight (11 pm CST) this pattern 'parcel' will no longer be available. Visit the PPP website or my post from yesterday to learn more about what patterns are included. And if you're ready to buy, just click the button below:



And you didn't think I could stand to omit an 'angry face' photo, did you?



And of course a 'happy face' photo to even things out...


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