Monday, November 28, 2011

Scrap Fabric Herpetology

It's a tradition for me to staunchly refuse to take part in shopping activities on Black Friday. I instead prefer to visit family, eat leftovers, and generally not accomplish much. This year I spent the day at my parent's house sewing with my mom. And hatching a rare species of snake.

This is Boa foris, normally referred to by its common name, the door snake. This species is difficult to identify by its coloration and pattern since it varies widely in appearance. They can commonly be found lazily stretched out straight beside the inside of doors in cooler climates. If you discover one in your home, it's best to leave it be - this harmless snake can play a small but beneficial role in your indoor environment. Some people even choose to introduce door snakes into their houses or apartments, as I have, because of their helpful habits.

Snake

The attractive green geometric patterning on this door snake bears a striking resemblance to some curtains I sewed a couple years ago. Hmm.

Door Gap

As soon as I released the door snake into its new habitat, it headed toward our front door that opens to the main hallway of the apartment complex.

Snake

Snake

Door Snake

The snake has been hanging out in this spot for a couple days now and seems very content. I've already noticed less noise as people pass in the hallway. As the days get colder, maybe it will feel less drafty as well.

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I thoroughly enjoy little projects like this where I can just chop into fabric with no pattern and no worries about messing it up. The little tongue didn't work out exactly how I wanted, but other than that it turned out ok. I made my door snake with a velcro closure on its belly so I can empty it out if I need to wash it or for storage. My mom had some old yellow popping corn that we started filling it with but it didn't get very far. I filled it the rest of the way with beans. Great Northern Beans, to be exact. I'd like to say I chose them because I thought they'd soldier through the winter better, being from the north and all...but they were actually just the cheapest beans I could find.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I think it should be a new tradition to make things on Black Friday out of supplies/materials you already own instead of buying stuff.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Brachio Wrap

Many of you have already seen this illustration, but here are some photos of the finished scarf/shawl in Spoonflower cotton voile.

Brachio Wrap

Brachio Wrap

I'm just starting to get a bit of a method down for taking photos of my fabric stuff, but it still takes dozens and dozens of shots for me to capture even one or two that will work. Even when the lighting and angles are ok, the model keeps ruining most of the photos with her gangly awkwardness. I really wish I could fire her but I don't have a replacement. I'm tempted to track down a mannequin, yet I think a real human body is always better for seeing how clothing and accessories look...no matter how unsuited this particular human is to be a model.

The edges of this piece were done as a rolled hem on a serger. You can see the rolled hem and the semi-transparent texture of the fabric in the photo below:

Brachio Wrap, detail

Cotton voile isn't the easiest fabric to work with and it took some effort to get it to work on the serger. It's not as bad as thin synthetic fabrics that like to unravel like mad (organza, I'm pointing at you), but more of a challenge than I expected from a cotton. The next sewing machine investment on my list is a hemming foot (similar to this one), which could possibly work better for finishing the edges on this type of fabric (and many others). It'll be nice to have another option to try so I can choose what looks the best going forward.

I finally broke down and bought a ruffler foot and a walking foot last week so I'll share my thoughts on those in an upcoming post, for anyone interested in sewing processes. Honestly, I had no idea there were so many specialized presser feet and accessories available for home sewing machines! I'm used to doing every step the old fashioned way - carefully measuring with a seam gauge and pressing every hem manually, creating skirt pleats/gathers by hand with a removable pull stitch, etc. The fine folks at Heirloom Creations have pointed me in the right direction now with some (hopefully) time-saving new feet for my trusty Viking, with the ultimate goal of streamlining the long process of getting from raw fabric to finished product. Though I love sewing, I love designing even more...so less time sewing means more time designing!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Omegafauna on Etsy!

Stego Gully Tote Bag

Yes, finally, FINALLY, it's the grand opening of my little shop on Etsy! I've been so excited to get this going for months now, but there was always just one more loose end to try and tie up before jumping into selling online. I've come to realize that I'll probably never feel completely prepared, being the exhaustive researcher and perfectionist that I am, and so I'm opening up shop NOW. I'll keep learning as I go. So, take advantage of the probably-too-low shipping prices and no tax charges while you can before I know any better! My ignorance is your bliss!

The Omegafauna Etsy Shop

More items will be listed next week as I work on taking more photos. My flock and I (it's appropriate to call my family a flock when two of the four of us are birds, right?) moved into a new apartment and I'm still figuring out where and when to stage my pictures so they turn out well with fairly accurate colors. Winter is settling in so it's too cold and windy to work on the photography outside as I did for the items for sale currently. Happily, our new apartment has large south-facing windows so I hope I'll manage to get consistently decent photos with natural lighting.

I'm also working on a bunch of new fabric designs for sewn items, including kitchen stuff like napkins and placemats. It will probably be awhile before the final versions of the new products see the light of day, but I'll share my progress along the way. I'll also add (at the risk of sounding like I'm just trying to get you to buy something immediately) that if you really like any of the items you see currently, get them now because I don't have enough of some of the fabrics to replenish some items in time for the holidays. My budget demands that I have to use up whatever I have on hand before ordering more fabric. I know, I know...I don't like it either. But student loans have come calling and they are UGLY.

Take a look through the items I have in my shop and let me know what you think. Is there enough detail in the descriptions? Are the photos doing their job ok? Constructive criticism is always welcome here. I'm experienced at being an artist and creating, not at anything business related. There's so much to think about when it comes to the business end of this...it's very much going to be a work in progress! Anyway, I hope you enjoy browsing my shop regardless of whether you're buying or not!