Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pattern Review: Hazel Hipster E-Course from Two Peas in a Pod

I'll let you all in on a little secret - sewing a bag together is by far my favorite type of sewing! Promise me you won't tell the other items in my shop :) And, what's not to like? For me, its all about instant gratification, and bags can give it to you in spades. They go together quickly, you can make it totally personalized with fabric choice, zipper or no zipper, long or short straps, you get the idea.

So, when Trish Preston from Two Peas in a Pod put out a call on Twitter for pattern testers for her Hazel Hipster E-Course, I jumped at the chance!

And I'm SO glad I did! Isn't it the cutest bag ever?! I used one of the most popular color combinations in my shop right now, yellow and grey, and I just LOVE how it turned out. For inquiring minds, the yellow fabric is Amy Butler Lark and the grey polka dot is Michael Miller Ta Dot in Stone.

Hazel Hipster Bag By Two Peas in a Pod

This bag pattern was absolutely perfect, as it met all of my criteria when choosing a pattern: 1) Its cute - hello ruffle on the front!, 2) it sews together quickly, and 3) the instructions were very clear and it made sense from step to step (which is so hard to find in my experience!). And, I love that I was able to make it mine - as I used yellow satin ribbon I had on hand and I added a ruffle flower for a bit of extra, as to me, I thought it needed a little something on the top.

Since the first bag I ever made, I have been designing my own bags and patterns since. But let me tell you, it was REALLY nice to sit back and listen to Trish and just sew without thinking for an afternoon. Yup, the entire bag from fabric selection, cutting, fusing and finishing was done in a single afternoon - 3 hours total. So, if you are looking for a quick gift and have little time, this is your pattern! And, the E-Course videos (available on a password protected website) really added something that typical paper patterns don't - insight from the designer. Throughout the videos, Trish is offering helpful tips, tricks and ways for you to make the bag your own. Plus, she actually sews a bag from start to finish in real time, so she really does show you every step.  And, although I've never met Trish besides a few emails exchanged, after watching the videos it felt like I had spent the afternoon sewing with a friend.

This is also a great beginner friendly bag, so if you haven't taken the plunge into bag making yet, this is a great first start! Along with being able to pause the video and replay, instructions for cutting and yardage needed is all written out, so you can refer back to it when you are cutting and prepping your fabrics.

I usually don't include photos of myself, but I really wanted to show how cute it looks on, and I just love the cross-shoulder strap. I'll be gifting this bag to my niece Alexis, as I owe her an 8th grade graduation gift, and I think she'll just love it! And, because they go together so quickly, I might make up a few Christmas gifts for my Aunts :)

If you want to get started on your own Hazel Hipster, you can purchase your registration online for $20 here.

But wait, there is a GIVEAWAY!

Trish has graciously offered a free course registration to a lucky reader!! So, leave a comment below and tell me how you would personalize the bag to make it your own. 

Giveaway will end on Thursday, September 6. Please be sure you leave an email or login with your blog so I can contact you!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Photos {And a Winner!}

Decal via WallumsWallDecals on Etsy
 Happy Friday! Time seems to be going by so quickly these days - I guess time flies when your having fun, erm, I mean sewing! This week I had help with sewing, and it was great company and productive time in the sewing room - as I am happy to report I am 99% caught up on all Etsy orders.

Its a great feeling, especially because next week will be a full-on sewing marathon week of new samples for our Christmas photo shoot! Yes, I said it, the dirty word spoken at the end of the summer that sends most into panic! The holiday season will soon be upon us here at Love Elaine, and I am SO EXCITED for all of the new products we'll have in store!

The fabrics above are a sneak peak at some of the fabrics we'll be using this year from Christmas items - I cannot wait! So bright and fun - perfect for the modern home for Christmas! And, who doesn't love Chevrons?!

But, as I mentioned, I did get a few orders out since my last update. The above is a custom ruffled adult apron for a return customer who LOVES purple! Be sure to pay Julie at Table For Two a visit, she's got great recipes!

Everyday Tote Bag by Love Elaine
I also finished an every day tote bag (seriously, this is my most popular bag!) in yellow and grey - first time making it in this color combination! I just love it, and I'm considering listing it in the shop! What do you think? This version has extra long handles, as requested, and I think it looks great! Lots of pockets, and perfect for teachers going back to school (it fits notebooks, files, etc.) or moms looking for a more compact diaper bag/all in one bag!

This week I also made homemade Banana Bread - it was so yummy! And, I'll be the first to admit, that I ate most of it! The bf only made off with about a quarter of BOTH LOAVES that I made. Well, I'm home, and its great for breakfast, and a snack to keep me sewing. What can I say? You snooze, you lose! I modified a recipe from Pinterest, you can find it here. I didn't put vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg, and I left the bananas really chunky.


Thank you to everyone who entered the Giveaway for the Cloud 9 tote bag! The winner was #7, Cal who said "I love the Grey and Plum Polka Dot Clutch on your Etsy store."

Stay tuned for next week, as I have another giveaway, a pattern review, Love Elaine news and lots more! Enjoy the weekend!

life rearranged

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cloud9 Geocentric Tote Giveaway {Plus a Tutorial}

Love Elaine/Cloud9 Beach Tote in Geocentrics Circles in Metal
I'm so excited to share today's giveaway with you! Back in April, I was lucky enough to meet Michelle of Cloud9 Fabrics at their headquarters in NJ, as I was helping with a few projects for quilt market. While I was there, Michelle gave me a sneak peek at the upcoming Geocentrics Canvas line, and I've been waiting not-so-patiently for the sample yardage to be here to work up a fun beach tote ever since!

Michelle sent me enough fabric for 2 bags - one to keep, and one to giveaway to one lucky reader! How excited are you?!

Love Elaine/Cloud9 Beach Tote in Geocentrics Canvas Fabric
To enter the giveaway for the Geocentrics Circles in Metal tote, leave a comment below on your favorite item from my Etsy Shop. And, for another entry, like Love Elaine on Facebook, and then come back here and tell me that you did by leaving another comment. The winner will be chosen by random number generator by Friday - just in time to enjoy this great tote for last few lazy days of summer!

But, if you don't win the tote, all hope is not lost! I've written a tutorial for this bag that is posted on the Cloud9 blog. The bag goes together very quickly - you'll have a new bag in no time!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Photos {InstaFriday}

Studio Mela via Pinterest
 Well, chalk up the end of another week. What a whirlwind week it has been! If you caught my post last Friday, then you know that today marks the end of week #2 of unemployment.  And, if you know anything about me, its that I don't do anything half way. So, now that I'm on the hunt for employment, I have been on.the.hunt. This week I had 2 in person interviews, 2 phone interviews and I'm set up for another interview next week. Crazy!

With all of that going on, I did find time to sew (a bit, not as much as I would have liked) and socialize with friends. I'm trying to gather advice about this new journey and taking the leap into Love Elaine full time or how to get comfortable with taking the leap. And, I realized, that although it seems that a lot of things are falling apart, and I'm worried about how to pay our bills this month, I'm happy. Happier than I have been in a VERY long time. And, I just LOVE this print (I have it in blue and red in my Kitchen). It makes me happy every time I look at it :)

I finished up a custom order for a play kitchen that included 2 of the above tea towel with a cupcake and ruffled detail, along with pom pom trim.  It also included a ruffled curtain. Loved the fabrics!

As I mentioned, I also got some socializing in with a couple of friends this week. I met up with my friend Sara at Barnes & Noble and saw some laminated cotton eye candy in the form of pencil cases and zip pouches. Just LOVED them! The conversation was also amazing, as I'm trying to get as much advice and perspective as possible on this new journey of mine. Trying to navigate unemployment, trying to find a job and realizing that I want Love Elaine to work full time is so taxing sometimes. Sara owns her own business and has been in my shoes before, so its really great to listen to her stories and advice!

Speaking of laminates, the lovely folks at Michael Miller fabrics sent me samples of their Polyurethane Laminates and Laminated Cotton samples for a meeting I have next week. I'm working with a local company on some pretty exciting custom products. I'll share more once they are launched! But, I am having SO MUCH FUN designing and selecting fabrics.

And, on the fabric and socializing front, I had lunch with my friend Lyanna of Purple Panda Quilts and gave her a bit of fabric candy to play with for helping me out with a project a few months ago! Lunch was great and I'm excited to work together in the next couple months!!

life rearranged

Monday, August 6, 2012

Baby's Got A Brand New Bag {New Girls Ruffle Tote Bag}

Girls Ruffle Tote by Love Elaine

Introducing the newest tote to the Love Elaine family - the Girls Ruffle Tote! Measuring in at 9" tall by 12" wide at the bottom, with a RUFFLE detail along the bottom and a tie closure - this tote bag is sure to be the perfect accessory for any little girl. The inside also features 5 pockets - perfect for holding treasures or dance shoes.

I am so excited for this bag, as its been in my mind for a long time, and I finally had the opportunity to whip one up (well, two actually) for my friend Sandi who is getting married and giving these totes to her flower girl nieces, Charley and Andie. Don't you just LOVE the purple and orange?! Those are the wedding colors, and this bag just makes me absolutely GIDDY!

Girls Ruffle Tote by Love Elaine

I am SO in LOVE with this bag. It was a great bag to put together and exercise a bit of creativity for me this weekend - not just the same old! I can't wait to make up a bunch more in different fabrics and have stocked up in the shop for Christmas. What little girl wouldn't want a bag with her name on it and a RUFFLE?!

Girls Ruffle Tote by Love Elaine
 And, now that I think of it, I might just have to make a few BIG girls totes with ruffles, since I am loving it so much. So, tell me what you think. Are you in love as much as I am?! Let me know what you think and what color combinations you think would be best for little girls OR big girls!

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Beginnings - My Week In Photos {InstaFriday}

via JayHell on Etsy

Today I have a milestone to share, as today marks the end of my first week of unemployment. Most of you might not know that I had a full time job in marketing, but now it is no more. I can't say I was shocked, as I knew it was coming since the beginning of July, however, I wasn't really prepared ( I don't know anyone who ever is?!). 

Out of all the emotions that I have experienced since finding out, this week has truly been about embracing the situation and trying to navigate the right path. I've been struggling for many months with having a full time job and a growing business, as Love Elaine usually gets the "left over" time after work and me time (working out, cooking, cleaning, etc), and I have been blessed as Love Elaine has flourished anyway, continuing to grow, almost in spite of the little amount of time I am able to give it.

So, what's next? I'm going to look for a full time job, because unfortunately Love Elaine isn't at a place to support me with a comparable salary, Love Elaine just isn't there yet. But, I think the important thing I've learned through all of this is that it will be, soon, and that I want it to be.

In the meantime, while I look for the right job, I'm going to put my all into Love Elaine for the first time in 3 years since I started the business. I'm going to be blogging, and sewing, and tweeting, and facebooking (yep, that's a verb!). Oh, and I'm going to work out, and take time to cook my meals, and I'm going to water and pick vegies from my garden (I haven't done this as an adult, on my own, ever). And, I'm going to have lunch or wine with friends - ones I see often, and ones I don't. I'm going to go to the pool, work on my tan (which I haven't had since starting full time employment) and read trashy romance novels. While this time is SUPER scary and I often want to break down in tears with the weight of it all, I'm choosing to be positive and look at the time as an extended working vacation, a working vacation for me, as an investment in my future. So, without further ado, here's my week in photos :)

Ruffled Tea Towels by Love Elaine
This week I finished up a wholesale order for Handmade Happiness in Chester. Yep, now you can get your Love Elaine fix in person! Mary Ellen's new store (while I know its in Chester) is a MUST VISIT - all handmade items by local artisans - everything from jewelry, aprons, prints, totes, paper goods, you name it! And all handmade!

Cloud 9 Fabrics - Geocentric and Simpatico - LOVE!
Interesting measurement device at Pleasants Hardware - a sewing field trip!

I also finished up a tutorial for a fun beach/pool tote for Cloud 9 fabrics - be on the look out for the tutorial on their blog soon! I am just in LOVE with their new canvas fabrics. And, what isn't more fun than Navy & Orange or Grey & Yellow?!
Baby Quilt in Riley Blake Indian Summer by Love Elaine

Finished up a baby quilt - don't you just love pink and green? I am also a big sucker for large floral prints and that polka dot makes my heart go pitter patter! Just LOVE these fabrics!

 This is the first ripe tomato from my little container garden out back. It was definitely a proud moment for me! I usually have a black thumb for all living plants, but my garden is doing great after a slow start. So far in the past 2 weeks I've picked 3 cucumbers, 1 pepper, 2 tomatos, and 1 yellow squash. I've got at least 10 tomatos on their way, plus numerous cucumbers, and a few squash! (Can you tell I'm excited?!)

And I'll leave you with this shot. I was there earlier in the week, and I'm headed there now.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

life rearranged