sleepless in Victoria


I love the colors. So vibrant and yet subtle.

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SewDown Philadelphia-Elizabeth Hartman


I just wrote an article on DIY handbag designs. Perfect timing for this article.

The Modern Quilt Guild

Join us in Philadelphia! New friends, amazing workshops, a swanky hotel and all delicious meals included for this weekend get away!

Each day this week we will be sharing a little about their teaching style.

Up next is Elizabeth-who will be teaching-Perfect Quilted Totes!

elizabeths bag

Class Description: In this class, students will learn a simple and fun quilt-as-you-go technique that combines scrappy patchwork with utility fabrics to create sturdy panels for a polished tote bag that stands on its own without the use of interfacing. Topics covered in class will include fabric selection, fussy cutting, and quilt-as-you go tricks like finding a perfect stitch length, joining multiple areas of patchwork, and preventing seam allowances from showing through. I’ll also go over some of my favorite bag finishing tricks, including making handles, adding pockets, making a stay-put lining, and making a top facing. Students will leave class with a variety of…

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How Stella Got Her Retail Grove Back.


As a dealer of vintage linens, I found this to be a timely article.

Treasure Shoppe Marketing Tips

We all come to a point in our retail life, that we lose sight of the big picture.  Life as an antique retailer requires us to assume so many roles; accountant, buyer, seller, stocker, etc. that just like the movie “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” we tend to lose our stores identity.

In the haste to grow, we often lose sight of what we originally started out doing and that was to have fun.  In the effort to grow profits, our original plan is lost along the wayside; either because we failed to write it down, or failed to read the plan periodically.  Either way, we take this to the point where we lose control over what we offer for sale.  Suddenly, we look to see a booth full of miscellaneous unrelated items we can’t remember having ever purchased.

Eliminate from your store those items that do not fit. …

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Shopping For Fabric When Making Fabric Handbags


English: Handbags, unidentified material, FW20...

English: Handbags, unidentified material, FW2010 Collection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s say you love handbags and you just can’t get enough of them.  In fact, your closet is filled with so many of them, that it seems as if the store has moved into your very own apartment.  The prices of these handbags can range from very cheap to very expensive.  There are many of us who are gifted with the talent to make our very own fabric handbags.  Creative people who love vintage designs, take handles and other hardware from old out of date bags and apply new / vintage material to them making their own design.  However, what material do you use?  That is the subject of todays article.

It is important that you at least have a general idea of the different types of fabric or material that is available for the type of lifestyle you and your bag will lead.  Much of this material can be found in one of our two stores; either The Treasure Shoppe downtown Colorado Springs, or American Classics antique Mall on North Academy.  Our fabrics are on either on the large racks or in the cubbies.

Materials best for handbags. 

There are certain types of delicate material that need the utmost care when removing stains.  You may not want these for a handbag consistently exposed to the perils of everyday use.  While there are other materials that is easier to maintain, you need to that you pay close attention to the cleaning directions of the different types of fabric.

  • Cotton comes in a wide array of choices when it comes to color, weight, patterns and design.  Plus the material is very easy to manipulate and cut.  It is advisable to pre-wash cotton before making it into a handbag.
  • Silk is not recommended for DIY handbags because aside from the fact that it requires dry cleaning, the material is difficult to handle and is more prone to stains.  Satin is the same, never the less, silk or satin make a great liner for some of the more elaborate designs.
  • Linen.  The bad thing about linen is that it easily wrinkles.  However, the wrinkled look is often desired for that one of a kind design.  Dry cleaning is recommended.  Use no bleach and avoid designs that require crimping or hard folds, as linen fibers will break.
  • Leather is a very durable material. The thing is it requires special equipment when you use this plus only a professional can clean it.  Suede can be brushed which sometimes may remove a small discoloration or stain.
  • Burlap makes a very rustic bag.  Great for that trip to the beach or mountains.  Stains don’t show up as bad with burlap, but even if they do, they tend to give burlap a rustic used look.
  • Canvas is another great DIY bag material.  A little fabric paint for a creative design adds to its long-lasting value.

The fabrics I have mentioned are just some of the many that you could choose from.  I strongly suggest that you experiment with a few.  We have the selection and we recommend trying the vintage fabrics we have before you invest in new modern imported fabrics.  Ultimately, you have the knowledge for what works best for you and your skill in crafting the bag.