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Queen City Market- Vintage button barrettes

I have a thing for barrettes.  Almost every childhood picture of me has me wearing at least one- and now I love making them as well (although I don’t wear them anymore!)  Something about an adult wearing a barrette seems so juvenile to me.  No offense to any barrette wearers out there, I think it just brings me back to my childhood.  I had always pictured my girls wearing the same goody-style barrettes I did as a kid, with the one little side swept barrette or the middle part with the two barrettes.  Remember that style?

Well- anyone that has ever met Isabel can see that she has far too much hair and curls for any old barrette to handle!  Eleanor has more of a hair texture like mine and is known to love her barrettes and hair accessories.  She particularly loves to take them in and out of her hair- styling it over and over again.   I am hoping to snag a couple of these for her- even if she only wears them once or twice before she loses them!

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I have made variations of them for each of the queen city markets- and I love the style I am making this year the most!  I have raided my (very special) vintage button stash and chosen a number of sweet buttons to adorn these clips, they are so simple and classic.  A very cute alternative to the blingy huge flower/bow hair accessories people plop on their girls heads these days.  I will be selling them in pairs, some matching and some coordinating.

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Queen City Market- Leggings! Leggings! Finally some clothes…

When I originally started selling handmade goods I focused on girls clothes and a bit of accessories- mainly hats and barrettes.  I have come to change my focus a bit after doing a few of these markets to make and sell more gifts for children (and mom’s!).  I have found it easier to whip up gifts such as banners, bags and home goods since I don’t have to make a large number of sizes and styles.  You know how many dresses and skirts I made for the first market- a ton, and I ended up getting asked for all of the sizes I DIDN”T have- or for boys clothes, or baby stuff.  Although I did pretty well that first year I learned that it is impossible to fit/size everyone- I am not a retail store- so I switched my focus last year to include for kids gift items- more unisex items…and it was great.  I am planning on doing this again this year, but I couldn’t help but make SOME clothes- they are really what I love to sew!

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I am focusing this week on leggings…who doesn’t like a pair of comfy leggings?  My girls wear them pretty much every day and I have been bored by the options out there, so I chose to amp it up a bit and go trendy with my fabric choices.  You can buy a basic pair of leggings anywhere- but where can you find a baby tribal print?  So cute.  I will have a range of sizes- from a few 12months up to 8 years, all sewn and professionally serged and in the most hip and soft knit fabrics.  Prices will range from $12-18 depending on style and size.  I have a feeling the girls are going to claim those grey/cream sweater ruffle leggings above…and I don’t blame them.

I am totally in love with these little fawn and feather leggings- so ridiculously cute.  Here they are in a 6-12 month size.  The baby sizes have a cuffed bottom, but larger sizes will not.  They are all professionaly serged and finished on the inside, and even have small seams tags inside!

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Queen City Market- Crayon wallets

What is the one tried and true trick for keeping kids entertained while out at a restaurant, doctors office or long car ride?  Well, besides the iPad or tablet?  Pen, paper, crayons or any other type of drawing equipment for them to scribble their little masterpieces.  I have been so desperate as to hand my girls a pen and a receipt from the bottom of my purse to give them something to do- any parent knows what I am talking about!

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Well, here is something cuter and much more functional!  In the past I have sold crayon rolls, and crayon bags but this year I am making even simpler to grab something on the go…a crayon wallet.  Inside is everything you need to keep them occupied- a few crayons, markers or little pencils, and a small pad of paper all tucked in a little wallet.

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I will be making a few with less kid-like prints as well…so we don’t have to be embarrassed when we pull them out of our purse to use them for ourselves.  I know I will be putting one in my bag for notes/lists.  I NEVER have paper or a pen when I need it.  These will sell for $8 each or I might bundle them for 3/$20-perfect for stocking stuffers (the paper notepad and crayons are included).  I had better get to sewing more,  my girls have already staked their claim on a few!

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Queen City Market- Hot Water Bottles and Covers

I am so excited about this next item I am selling at the Queen City Market this year…hot water bottles and covers.  Might not sound that exciting to you, but if you have ever snuggled up to one  or used one for pain relief or warmth you know just how awesome they are.  They may seem like an antiquated notion- filling a rubber bag with hot water and using it for comfort seems all too basic to really work- but it does!  I purchased my first hot water bottle online a few years ago after not being able to find any nearby and I instantly fell in love.  But a naked hot water bottle isn’t the most attractive thing is it?

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What makes a hot water bottle even better?  A cute cover!  I will be selling my hot water bottles with a soft flannel and fleece cover that is removable, washable and makes your bottle something you want to cozy up with.  I will be selling each hot water bottle with cover for $20.  I also plan on having extra covers for sale for $5 in case you want to change things up or have a spare.

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I have used mine to comfort the girls when they are sick or putting it in their bed under their covers to keep them toasty warm.  They work great for an earache, cramps, neck pain or a toothache.  There have been times where I have been sick with a cold or flu and I instinctively reach for my hot water bottle before anything else.  I swear- you really need to try one!  If for nothing else than to put under your covers (or in the baby’s crib or child’s bed) before bed so that when you climb in your feet are nice and toasty!  Best part they require no electricity, no microwave- just hot water from your tap.  Simple, easy and effective.  Isabel has been sleeping with ours for the past few nights, ever since I made her this special mermaid cover!

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What is cozier than warm fleece and flannel? Winter IS coming…be prepared!

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Queen City Market- Chalk Cloth Banners

I am so excited to participate in this years Queen City Market– for the third year in a row!  I have been selling in this market since it started, and am so happy I was chosen to continue on this year.

This means I had better get to sewing!  Now that my new sewing space is finished- almost, I can get to work.  I plan on featuring two items a week on this blog that I will be selling at the market…or hoping to at least.  The first of which are these sweet Chalk Cloth Banners.

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One side of the banner is made of chalk cloth- which is just like a soft chalkboard you can write on, erase, wash off, and repeat.  Great for decorating a child’s room, for holidays or parties.  The banner is double sided, with the back being a cotton fabric print or solid.  They can be hung either way, I have taken a picture of two of the banners to show you the front and back.  They are around 6 feet long and feature 10 flags (around 5 1/2 inches across each).

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I plan on using one on my display for my shop name at the sale, and the girls are already claiming some for their rooms.  I love the idea of hanging one and sharing little messages to each other every day…and I am sure the girls will soon fill theirs with all sorts of doodles- hearts, faces and names.

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Need a custom order let me know- I am open to adding more flags, doing a custom fabric backing or extending the length.  Or come check me out on December 7th at the Queen City Market where I will be selling these for $20.  I will also be adding all of these items to etsy after posting on this blog…check out my page at smallseams.etsy.com.

Here’s a little hint about what I will be featuring next…anyone know what this is?

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The place that dreams are made of: my new sewing space

It has been over a week since my last post because I have been busy, busy, busy.  Not necessarily with sewing, just with life- work/interview (for full-time- yikes!) and Halloween craziness.  BUT- my largest project of all over the last few weeks has been the transformation of my attic sewing studio!  Woo hoo!  I cannot believe I am lucky enough to have a space like this all to myself- I am in LOVE.  I turned a once dirty baby blue/grey and white space into a bright white dream oasis.  Really, I can’t stop gushing over the transformation.  This is a really long post- lots of pictures- bear with me!  First lets start with the Before!  I loved this Library sign on the door- of course I am going to leave it.

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I was so excited to get started I didn’t start snapping pictures until midway through- darn it.  But, you will have to picture it…mismatched furniture, tons of fabric and scraps and threads all over the floor.  A huge mess, with the girls sewing supplies scattered around no real flow.  Not to mention the old attic floor which had been painted grey/blue at one point and had been splattered with some sort of resin or shellac which also was splashed over blue and white walls.   The previous owner of our house built furniture, so I imagine he used this space to finish his pieces?  Either way it was horrible, but with so much potential!  A bright space in the attic, with finished walls, electricity and heat.  ALL TO MYSELF.

Here is a mid-process shots of the space. Already starting to improve!

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This is after I cleared out all of my old furniture, bins, fabric, and “junk”.  You can see the charm already; the slanted ceilings, the large windows and painted wood floors.  I chose to paint everything white…and I love it.  I probably could have used another coat of paint but I couldn’t wait to set up.  I had to do a coat of oil primer on all of the walls and slanted ceilings since I tested the original blue paint and it came up as oil.  I used my favorite primer- zinsser cover stain oil primer.  It covers everything- including the shellac splatters.  Awesome stuff (but pretty smelly- so use ventilation!).  I also primed the floor with a coat of this primer as well, to ensure my topcoat would cover well.  After my coat of primer on the walls I covered them in 2 coats of white paint- mixing whatever random white paint I had in my basement- I was trying to be thrifty (or cheap).  The floors were painted with 2 coats of Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor paint in white.  I can’t say enough good things about Sherwin Williams paint- it is more expensive but well worth the $$…I need this floor finish to last!

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What is a sewing space without furniture?  I ordered all of my furniture from IKEA online, and had it shipped right to my door- so easy.  I ordered the separate tables and legs (where else can you do this besides IKEA?) and it worked out perfectly.  I was able to get two drawer cabinets and a large tabletop (extra long to fit my serger and sewing machine) for my main work space (with an extra leg for support in the center) and another table top with extendable sawhorse legs to raise it up to counter height- perfect for my cutting table.  I love that they include shelves for storage, and can easily be lowered down if the girls want to pull up a chair for a special project.  I also ordered a bookcase to store my fabric- worked out perfect.

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When all was said and done I still had plenty of space to fit in a retro chrome and white round table I had, along with a few wooden chairs I used to use in my kitchen.  I think this will provide a great craft space for the girls, so that they can work in there with me while I sew.  Now that Isabel has been showing such an interest in sewing herself she can even set up her little machine there and claim out her own little space- which she did right away!

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I can’t wait to finish decorating the space and setting up all of my stuff, but for now I am really enjoying the minimalism and “clean” look of how it is now!  I know this won’t last long….

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The details:

From Ikea

Sewing/Serging table:

LINNMON Table top, white (Length: 78 3/4 x Width: 23 5/8 “)

1 SJUNNE Leg (in center for support)

2 Alex Drawer units, white

Cutting Table:

2 Finnvard Trestle with shelf, white

Linnmon Table top, white (Length: 59 ” Width: 29 1/2 “)

Shelf- Expedit