For whatever reason, 2012 has me thinking about my age, what I've accomplished, and looking back at certain times in my life. For instance, this year will be my 7th Fan Expo! This means it's been a little over 7 years since I started sewing. I signed up to Etsy June 12, 2006... crazy!
My Nan was the one who taught me how to sew. She showed me all the basics and how to use a sewing machine. I borrowed a couple of different sewing machines before my Dad bought me my own. That Janome sewing machine lasted until this past September. I'm now using a Singer, which is very similar to the Janome I had. It's nothing fancy since I use straight stitches mostly.
Lately, I've been motivated to organize and clean up my photos that I've taken over the years. I have sooo many and I needed an organizational system. I came across my 'crafts' folder... wow. I took so many photos of finished bags and pouches and over 7 years, that adds up. I found it funny how I still use the same fabrics or very similar fabric.... anything colourful, cute, or nerdy! I definitely haven't changed much. I found myself wanting certain fabrics again looking at these old photos.
I was very lucky when I first started to sew that my brother's girlfriend also wanted to learn. Her creativity helped me so much. We'd work through tutorials, changing things along the way, and she was constantly mixing patterns and adding things to the outside of the bags.
She decided to sew hearts to the outside of the tote bags. This took off huge! We had so many orders and requests from students at her school for these heart bags. Looking back, this is when we realized we could sell our tote bags. We signed up for some smaller craft shows and they ended up being quite successful. This encouraged us to keep going.
We kept buying new fabrics and making more tote bags. It was a great start. Unfortunately, we were at a different stage in each of our lives... I had just graduated college and she was about to enter it. So, I kept sewing on my own. A close friend introduced me to comic conventions at this point. I was nervous to show up with my tote bags and pouches. I didn't see myself as an artist and I was afraid people would think I didn't belong. We shared a table and we both saw how the girls flocked to our table. I was accepted and complimented for being unique!
I started playing around with different types of bags after a while. I added the odd pocket inside, made tote bags with more than one fabric on the outside (like above), kept up with the hearts and other cute objects sewn on, and even had my friend make me buttons to add to my bags.
And yes, that is my own Pixel art. I still love my Popsicles!
After re-working and changing a tutorial I found a gazillion times, I found my hobo bag. My mom and Aunts loved them. At one convention I sold out of them and had girls asking if I had more. This design and style of purse has definitely become very popular over the years. But I still love the shape of my hobo bag.
I had a close friend who had parents with some amazing machinery so we thought we'd try some laser-cut designs and used an industrial heat press to put them on shirts, totes, and aprons. I thought they were adorable and I still have a couple of t-shirts. Looking back at these photos makes me wish we were still doing them because I forgot how cute they turned out.
These are my newest tote bags that I finished. I sold the doughnut one at ComiCon last weekend but LSP came home with me.
Currently, I'm still selling at a few conventions each year, trying to keep my Etsy shop updated, and have a possible store to look into selling
at through commission.
I absolutely love what I do and I hope that one day I'll be able to leave my day job to focus more of my time on Sparklegirl.
P.S. Most of those photos were taken in 2007!