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Day 36 – Wonder Woman Boobs

As it turns out, I’m a size 10, not a 14. I finished the bodice of my dress (for the second time… ugh) and tried it on: it fits! Aaaaaaalmost perfectly. The pattern calls for the bodice to have darts that finish at the bust for a better fit. I understand the concept but not the execution. Obviously.

shirt

As it turns out, and you can plainly see, if you sew a straight dart on a bodice, you will end up with Wonder Woman Boobs. Pointiest bust EVER. I did a little internet research and it turns out that I should have used a curved dart?? I didn’t even know a curved dart was a thing! I guess that’s the point of this whole experience, though; to learn new things. Sew, I guess I’m going back to the sewing machine to try to fix this abomination. I most certainly cannot wear a bodice like that to work. 

Also, now that I’m looking at the photo some more, the bodice might be a bit short, but I also have a high waist so maybe I just need to make the skirt longer…. Maybe I should not write my musings on here. It kind of makes me look crazy. Maybe I should stop saying I’m crazy. 

… moving on! I will not be doing any sewing/crafting this weekend because I’m going to visit my two favourite women!! I will finally get to see my best friend in person for the first time since my wedding and will be picking up commissioned crafts from my lovely sister while I’m in town. The weekend will also include sushi, shopping, wine, beer, roller coasters, too much sun, and deep fried foods. See you all after I’ve exhausted myself! 

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Day 33 – Why did I think I was a size 14??

Buying clothes is waaaaaay easier than sewing your own. Hopefully in a year I can say the opposite, but right now I’m frustrated. I measured myself, compared the measurements to what the pattern said and cut my pattern. I don’t know why I didn’t question that the pattern said I was a size 14. For those of you who don’t know me personally: I’m skinny. I got my father’s height (6’0″) and his family’s speedy metabolism. The sizes on the pattern only go to 16. Why did I think I was supposed to be one of the bigger measurements for this piece when I often wear a small or medium? I must have turned off my brain for this one. 

I figured out that I made the wrong size when I finished the top half of the dress and tried it on. Just way too big. So, now I have to re-cut those pieces and trim the skirt pieces I haven’t sewn yet before I can continue sewing. I’m annoyed but, on the bright side, the piece I have finished looks pretty friggen good. I have positive feelings about this dress. 

In other news, I went to a 50% off sale at Fabricland on Saturday to celebrate one month of writing this blog. You wouldn’t know it, but it was BUSY in there. Once I had my fabric cut I had to wait in the register line for 30 minutes listening to old ladies talk about how old they were. It was awkward. 

I bought 3 meters of this gorgeous polka-dotted green fabric(that I have no plans for but couldn’t leave behind), a few new spools of thread, a zipper and an eye-and-hook kit. I only over-spent by $10 this month. 

The budget is probably the hardest part of this project. Some of my spending is categorized as “hobby” (my own clothes, gifts) while some of it is set aside to grow the store. I’ve decided (with some convincing from Adam) that I need to make sales before I can purchase more supplies. I don’t want to sink all kinds of funds into this with no gain. We still haven’t figured out a set budget per listing but having Adam to talk to about how much I should reasonably spend is awesome. I’m not sure I would have self-restraint if he wasn’t helping me. I need sales to justify spending more.

Speaking of sales, I have two new items I intend to list. I haven’t mentioned them here because I totally forgot I could make them and that people would want to buy them!

The first item I’m listing is actually being commissioned by one of my sisters (my other half, really), Gaby. She makes these extremely cute headbands for babies. Seriously, once they are listed you will want to buy one for every pregnant woman you know.

The second item is on the baby theme as well. I can knit these really cute baby tuques. They are multi-coloured and so soft and crazy fabulous.The last one I made was for my niece, Mabel, over a year ago so of course I don’t have any of that yarn left and didn’t have the forethought to save the pattern either so this one will take a bit of effort to prepare for. I’m excited to be making things that I can do while watching tv again. Watch out, Ru Paul’s Drag Race: I’m about to watch all the episdoes. 

Sooooom I have officially finished the first month of this project (Happy One Month Anniversay, self!. Let’s evaluate how far I’ve come:

1. I’ve officially opened my store and have a very small amount of traffic. 

2. I didn’t quit writing this blog. This may seem like a small victory but I’ve been known to quit things pretty quickly. I’m actually quite enjoying this process and the challenge it’s been providing.

3. I have about a million ideas for new items to list in my store. 

4. I have secured a camera connection and will hopefully be taking better photos of my products by September. 

5. I’ve learned so much about being an entrepreneur and couldn’t be more excited about this journey. 

6. I am so much better with my sewing machine now than I was a month ago. I just need a cover now to keep it from getting too dusty on the off days. 

7. I’ve learned just how supportive my husband is. Adam is the greatest person to bounce ideas off and has a level head when it comes to details and keeps me in check when I think I need to spend all kinds of money on all kinds of supplies. Thank you, honey, for not letting spend our bill money on fabric.

8. Turns out my family have been waiting for this to happen. They all have requested things to be made. I’ve never had so many requests for crafts in my life. 

9. People actually read this blog and are interested in what I’m doing. This is a new one for me. I’ve never been one to be in the spot light intentionally. It’s been a strange month of bragging about this project to everyone and switching gears into bringing the attention to myself instead of others. It still feels rude to me and kind of prideful but I’m working on it. 

I’ve got 11 months left until my deadline. Here goes nothing!

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Day 28 – My full-time job is my full-time job.

I am lucky to have a full-time job that I don’t hate. I would even say I like it. I don’t have any negative relationships with any one in my office, I get to dress in my own style (to a point, of course. It is still an office), my daily tasks are interesting and varied, and my boss is extremely nice and invested in my education and progression of career.

It just makes me a bit sad that it took me this long to figure out that I desperately enjoy crafting and that I should have made this my goal from the beginning. It’s easy to say “I should have gone to school for something creative and started an apprenticeship instead of studying math theory and becoming an administrative assistant”. (I hope you are making your voice deeper and sarcastic when reading that.) I can say those things but honestly, I wouldn’t really change the last 8 years of my life. (Holy shit. It’s been 8 years since I started university.) I met my husband at my first week of university and my best friend through the part-time job I got trying to finish university. I wouldn’t really change anything.

I am, however, trying to change the present. Every day I go to work I wish I were staying home instead. I have day dreams of spending my working day at my table: cutting, sewing, measuring, walking to the post office to ship items, and maybe taking myself out for lunch every once in a while. I really want this to work.

The problem is that I think I need the full-time hours available to make my dream come true as quickly as I want. I barely have part-time hours to commit to it. Maybe that’s why I gave myself the year to do this. Past Naomi knew I wouldn’t have the time to make a running start at this. She knew it would have to be a slow crawl to the finish line. For once, Past Naomi didn’t screw me over. She was actually helpful. Does that mean I’m growing up?

I got an hour or so last night to keep working on my dress. I have one piece left to cut out and then I can start sewing! I will also be going to the fabric store down the street from our apartment tonight to pick up a zipper, a hook-and-eye set (eek! I’ve never sewn one on before!) and some nice fabric to make a blouse next.

I may have to prioritize. I’m doing a lot of sewing for myself in the next few weeks. I’m justifying it by saying it will help teach me to use my sewing machine in ways I’ve never been able to. Yeah, it’s like school. You can’t be a professional until you go to school, right? Riiiiight?

Anyways, I will update you when I’m done, whether it’s good or bad or some of both. Hopefully it’s good. It’s summer and I have no summery office clothes. I’m about to reach my breaking point and I don’t think my boss would appreciate if I wore my tiny bunny-print dress to the office….

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Day 27 – My Patterns Arrived!

When we got home from work last night I was so excited to see a large brown envelope sticking out of our mailbox! It looked as though the mail carrier could only shove a corner in the mailbox to make it stay. But, I didn’t care if it looked cramped: they were here!

So, I can finally start making some clothes! I forgot how much work was involved in a fresh pattern. So far I have only cut 6 of the 10 pattern pieces I need to make my new dress. It doesn’t help that I inherited these extremely shaky hands from my father. Thanks, dad. The constant vibrating makes it really difficult to cut the delicate tissue the pattern is printed on. But, success! I haven’t ripped a pattern piece yet!

Hopefully tonight, after softball, I can get some more cutting done! And maybe even start sewing! Here’s hoping! My goal is to have this dress finished within the week.

How does this apply to my etsy shop? It doesn’t…. yet. I can’t sell my clothing for a reasonable price yet because it would take me too long and the cost wouldn’t justify the time spent. Adam says it would be ridiculous for me to think that I could open an etsy store, start sewing again for the first time in years, and sell well-made clothing right away. I hate when he’s right.

In the meantime, I have a whole list of ideas to sell:

1. Baby swaddlers with initials embroidered on them. Made from 100% cotton muslin. Mothers I know swear by these, especially when they are rather large.

2. Adam really wants me to embroider closed eyelids with eyelashes on the sleep masks. I might make one and force him to use it. 😉

3. Small home decor. I’m working on an embroidery piece right now for my brother and his wife that will say “Home is where your stuff is”. Sell it with a frame to hang as a house warming gift?

From the research I’ve been doing about etsy, the most successful stores are the ones that have over 50 listings. I better get to work if I want my items to sell, I guess. How am I ever going to come up with 50 things to sell? I can’t just list 50 different colours of sleep masks.

Send me more ideas! I love feedback and I love stealing your intellectual property using your ideas with your permission!

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Day 21 – Nothing to Report

It’s been a week since my last post so I thought I might give a quick update but then I realized I have nothing to update you about. 

I haven’t made another sale. No one has visited my etsy in the last week. I didn’t sew anything in the last week. I haven’t even cleaned up my craft area since the last time I sat down there. 

Life got in the way this week. We started painting the kitchen which was incredible necessary because the people who lived there before had never cleaned and for some reason thought the colour of peachy flesh was appropriate for a kitchen. We chose green, and because our kitchen is small and has ALL the appliances in it that can only be moved away from the wall one at a time, this painting project is taking over my life. I keep reminding myself (and Adam) that once it’s done we don’t have to do it again so we might as well get it over with. The worst part is the cleaning behind these appliances. The previous tenants were disgusting. I’ll leave it at that. If you use your imagination I’m sure you won’t be far off. 

We also decided that starting a puzzle two weeks ago was a good idea now that we have a large table. Which means that we no longer eat dinner like adults and all my crafting has to be done on the small table in the living room. Not enticing. 

I’ve also been waiting (not so) patiently for my four patterns to show up so I can finally make some summer clothes. All of my work clothes are very dark and winter-y and I need some pep in my step.

In other news, my wonderful dad has agreed to lend me his camera long-term and even teach me how to use it to make my product jump off the page. This won’t be for a few weeks but better late than never I suppose. 

Well, back to life this week. Back to painting the kitchen, cleaning up the mess we inherited in this apartment and constantly vacuuming dog fur.

Side note: apparently, “vacuuming” isn’t a word. Is it not a verb?! Have I been mislead my entire life?! I feel betrayed by the English language somehow…

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Day 14 – I actually opened a store?!

One of my oldest and dearest friends requested a sleep mask for her upcoming travels. This was probably the most encouraging thing to happen to me all last week. Not only did she make me feel like I was capable of doing it but her request pushed me to work hard at it the last few days so that she could have it on time. 

Last night I finally made one I was happy with. The seams are decent and I didn’t botch any one part severely. I feel confident in my sewing skills and know how to improve even more from here on out. I will be making a bunch more of these over the next few days to be able to photograph them for the store. The below photo shows my progression so far from left to right. If you’ll remember, the first one was made from scrap material to just see if I could do it. I was SUPER unhappy with the detail results. The second one is my attempt with better materials. Love the fabric and colour but I couldn’t figure out how to get my seam to look good at the top after I flipped it right-side-out. The third one is after Adam suggested I use the strap areas as holes to flip it right-side-out. Yes! Finally I was happy with how it looked.

sleep mask compare

I feel great seeing these side by side and seeing myself actually getting better at this. 

So I used my friend as my guinea pig to test out my store. I made her a custom order but it turns out you can’t do custom orders until you have at least one product listed. So….. ladies and gentlemen, I give you my official etsy store

I will be taking requests for specific orders and practising my embroidery to customize these with weird things like eyelashes or names or maybe animal shapes. People are weird and like weird things on their beauty products. Yes, family, I remember the things you have asked for too. Have patience. I’m only one woman! Dresses and cross-stitch art take a bit more time and effort than sleep masks.

I just wanted to take a post to brag that I’ve actually sold one thing and I’m only two weeks in! Haha!  And I wanted to say thank you to my friend for being awesome. She is awesome. 

 

 

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Day 13 – Fighting my Self-Doubt

I’ve been working on these GD sleep masks all weekend. I say all weekend. What I mean is I’ve sat down to play with my sewing machine twice for about an hour at a time. I have been, however, stressed about it and dreaming about it every night. It probably doesn’t help that I wear one of them to bed every night now. 

The first time I sat down this weekend I was very discouraged. I couldn’t figure out how to make my seam look perfect. I went to bed thinking I would never be able to make these look the way I want them to. Adam, wonderfully encouraging husband that he is, told me I was looking at it wrong. Instead of making my seam opening at the top, why wouldn’t I make it where the straps attach? Duh! So, with my tail between my legs I sat down at the sewing machine again last night. It worked! Why couldn’t I see the solution myself? That’s what bugs me. Only, I was sooooo sleepy that I ended up sewing a rectangle instead of a sleep mask. BUT the seams looked the way I wanted them to even if it did look more like a geometry lesson than a beauty product.

Maybe tonight I can finally do everything the way I want. I’m going to need to pick up more stretch lace if I’m going to keep making “practice” masks. 

It takes a lot for me to encourage myself to keep going when I fail at something. I have to pretend that I’m talking to someone else and tell them that they CAN do it. They just have to try again. I have a habit of dropping a project as soon as I can’t do it perfectly. Maybe that’s why I gave myself a year. So that I could fail and start again numerous times. 

This post got a bit depressing. I’m sorry. But, also I’m not sorry. This is a journey and I’m bound to have bad days while becoming a super star. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Or was it? I was never that keen on history. Whatever. I’m sure Caesar had bad days too.