Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pattern Update

Small victory = finishing up designing the front of my pattern envelopes. Also, updating Craftsy and my shop with them. So exciting to create.

"The compelling thing about making art - or making anything, I suppose - is the moment when the vaporous, insubstantial idea becomes a solid there, a thing, a substance in a world of substances.”
-Audrey Niffenegger

xoxo CBB

Monday, May 19, 2014

Open Call....

For pattern testers that is! Do you love sewing? Want to try out something new? I'm currently looking for people to give my patterns a try (and get some feedback in return!). How it works? You get in touch & I send you a pattern free of charge. You give it a try (promptly, within 2 weeks) and then let me know how it went, what needs improvement, if you find errata, etc. Oh and send a pic of your finished product. Sound like fun? comment below or send me an email at caitlinbetsybell AT gmail DOT com.

xo CBB

p.s. I'm especially looking for testers for my clothing patterns since it is my first attempt at grading patterns, so if you have a little babe to sew for (0-18 months) drop me a line.....

Friday, May 16, 2014

endless hours staring at the computer screen...

I'm doing it--I'm making my patterns available in print (and not just digitally!). Why, you might ask? Because I decided to sign up for the summer artist market. Initially, I thought there was no way that it would ever be a possibility (the first sign up was during my first trimester when I had zero energy and felt like I could hardly get anything done). But it was just my luck that not enough people applied and the application deadline became a rolling one and now I've decided to give it a try.

Which leads me to why I'm making an attempt to have my patterns available in physical form since I would really like to have them for sale at the artist market. Which means I've been spending A LOT of time on the computer designing packaging, and writing, and editing, and the list goes on and on. At least I know that once done, I can just continually print more without having to repeat all of this initial work. This is definitely an advantage over being a little sweatshop and focusing on just sewing enough goods to sell every week. It will be exciting too to see what sort of feedback I get from my shift in focus with my business since the last time I took part in the market.

Here are some of the pattern envelopes that I've got in the works-- I'll be excited to get these printed and assembled. Although the first market is tomorrow, I'm shooting to start in two weeks and do it every other week (or as much as the weather allows!). I've got lots more to do but at least this is giving me a deadline to get it accomplished by!

xo CBB 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

handmade for baby: toys & perhaps another dress

I've been doing so much sewing I've pretty much run out of knit fabric to keep making baby clothing with (and since it's not in my budget right now to buy more...) I've shifted gears a little and done some toy making. Initially I was concerned that I'd end up with so many toys and just a little clothing for baby, but that was before I discovered my love of sewing with knits! After all, I've been running a toy-making business for 10 years. I had a few new things that I really wanted to try... and I've almost completed all of them (with the exception of one more stacking block which has been put on hold for an exciting reason--I'll get to that in a minute)
 I started out by making the stacking ring toy, which had been driving me crazy trying to envision how in the world you can sew a circular shape with a hole in the middle AND a gusset. I knew it could be done after seeing this pattern. I was also stuck on trying to figure it out myself instead of paying for a pattern. Turns out--- not that difficult. I'm happy with the result and I'm so glad that at the last minute I switched to using different textures of wool fabric instead of patterned quilting cottons that I had picked out.

Then I made the little happy cloud. He was such a fun and quick little evening project--and he has a rattle insert inside! My love of arranging things in rainbow order was definitely satisfied by this little guy.

My latest toy endeaver has been making stacking & nesting blocks from this tutorial over at Sew Mama Sew. Definitely a lot more time consuming than I first expected but that's mainly because you have to make 5 quilt blocks essentially for EACH stacking block. I've got the smallest two sizes done and I think I will get one more done but I've taken a little break because of a lovely little early mother's day gift that arrived in my studio today-- a serger!!!

This has seriously opened up the apparel sewing possibilities for me and of course I got right to work on one of these little dresses from See Kate Sew. I'm in love with how quickly and nicely the serger finished edges. I have a few more little clothes patterns picked out and I'm thrilled that I can make such nicely finished garments now, that are handmade but not homemade feeling if you know what I mean.

I might have to make myself some dresses with the many fabrics I have purchased to make clothing but never actually done anything with. Especially with the ever expanding baby belly that is starting to limit some of my current clothing options.

xo CBB