Sunday, January 24, 2010

Art Studio Clearance Sale

On January 30 and 31, Sew Darn Simple will be at the Ohio Designer Craftsmen Art Studio Clearance Sale at the Lausche Building at the Ohio Expo Center (717 E. 17th Ave.). We have booth 114, which is five spaces right of the Info Center at the main entrance. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $6 (good for both days) and parking is $5. Those 12 and under get in free.

Sew Darn Simple is joining 150 other vendors from across the country, all selling merchandise at reduced prices. Just like at Kmart, blue-light specials will be announced throughout the show.

For more information, visit Ohio Designer Craftsman at

Friday, January 15, 2010

Making a flat handle for a purse

In a previous post, we discussed how to make a fabric strap for small purses and wristlets. This week, we are looking at how to construct a flat-handled strap that is reinforced with polypropylene webbing.
  1. Cut your fabric 3" wide, at your desired purse-strap length. Be sure to leave room for stitching the strap into the seam.

  2. Fold the fabric in half, inside out.

  3. Stitch a 3/8" seam along the open side. (Note: a 1/2" won't give you much wiggle room.)

  4. Use a turning tool (pictured) to turn the fabric outside in.

  5. Press the fabric so the seam is on one side.

  6. Put a safety pin through your length of polyproplene (so you can pull it through the fabric).

  7. Feed the polyproplene through the fabric.

  8. Stitch a 1/4" seam along both sides of the fabric.

  9. Attach the strap to the purse body. (Hint: it is easier if you attach the straps into seams, otherwise you have to finish the ends.)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Purse straps

By definition, "strapping" refers to something large and robust. When it comes to strapping purses, however, straps come in all sizes (and materials for that matter). Although purse straps can be made of acrylic, lucite, plastic, bamboo, wood, yarn, ribbon, and many other materials, I typically limit my purse straps to four categories:

  • Strapless (also called a clutch purse)

  • Round-handled fabric (reinforced with piping filler cord)

  • Flat-handled fabric (reinforced with polypropylene webbing)

  • Folded fabric (for wristlets and adjustable straps)

Folded fabric straps are typically reserved for my smaller, lighter purses, including my mini pack purses, small zip top purses, and wristlets.

To make folded fabric straps:

  1. Cut a two-inch strip of fabric to desired length.
  2. Fold the fabric in half (widthwise).
  3. Iron the folded fabric (thus creating a crease).
  4. Fold the raw edges of the fabric to the crease.
  5. Iron the now one-inch wide fabric again, creating a total of three creases.
  6. Fold the fabric in half again, making it half of an inch.
  7. Iron.
  8. Stitch both sides of the strap, along its entire length.

Monday, January 4, 2010

From window to closet

Unless I'm making a custom order, I choose a fabric that suits my fancy and convert it into something useful, such as:

  • a tissue cover

  • a resusable baggie

  • a mini wallet

  • a cell phone case

  • a glasses case

  • a backpack

  • a purse.

Then, I place like items together in metal baskets made for metal gridwall. That way, I'm organized and I have less work to do to prepare for a show (such as the upcoming Art Studio Clearance Sale at the Ohio Expo Center January 30 and 31).

My metal grid used to lean against a bookcase near the window, but I noticed one day that the sun was creeping through the blinds and fading the tops of some of my glasses cases. So, the gridwall now rests on the back of my closet door, on the other side of the room.

Raw materials and finished products now have to share the same dark space. More customers would give them a "coming out" party.