Friday, October 26, 2012

Week 43 or The Bakery Bag Collection

Yes, I am going to do the craft fair on December 1st. Thank you very much for asking.

A & J King's rack o' bread.
The epi is on the bottom shelf.
It's a pull-apart baguette
without an end for everyone.
I had to make myself another baguette bag, since I am now buying two loaves of long, skinny bread at a time. One baguette for school lunches and an epi for an group snack when I have 2 extra kids between school and gymnastics. You can't expect them to make it all the way from lunch to 4:30 without some extra calories! Especially when you're also asking them to 75  minutes of gymnastics and half an hour of running around on the playground. No sports drinks, though. That's why they make water fountains, girls!

I used a different font on the upper edge of the bag. It didn't turn out nearly as well, so I'll be going back to the original font. On the machine it looks like a printing font but it turns into cursive when it's sewn, since it doesn't cut the thread between letters. To the lady at the bakery who said people would buy them: be at the fair; the bags will.

The cookie bag.

I also sewed up a bunch of small bags from the scraps of the apple bags. It's the beginning of my Bakery Bag Collection. There's the cookie bag, which will hold a large chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin or peanut butter cookie. Then there's the biscotti bag, which I realize is just cookie in another language.  It's a tiny version of the baguette bag.
The biscotti bag.
Perhaps next week will bring the sandwich bag. But probably not the cake bag, although you never know. Carrying those boxes can be a challenge. And they certainly don't fit in a regular bag. Definitely not a sticky bun bag. That would just get too gross too quickly. If you have any other suggestions, write them in the comments.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Week 42 or A Bushel of Apples

This week's crop
I think I'm going to go through with the craft fair. I have yet to shell out the $20 table fee, but I made another 6 apple bags this week and put some work into making little drawstring bags out of the remnants.

If you can't make it out to Salem for the fair on December 1st, stop by Shoplocket and get a bag any time.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weeks 40 & 41 or Pick an Apple

In an effort to get back on schedule, I made 4 bags. It feels like cheating to make the same bag over and over again. But hey, I've made it all the way to October and I've fallen back a bit on the schedule. Just one week. Which can be made up by going back and counting the number of bags I've made instead of the number of posts I've written. I need to cut myself some slack here. To be honest, I didn't think I'd make it this far.

Another way to look at it is that I've figured something out. A friend asked if I wanted to sell at her church's craft fair in early December. I'm considering it, and trying to apply the lessons I learned selling at craft fairs before I had kids.

  1. Nobody likes a sourpuss. If you're going to sell something, you have to talk to people.
  2. Variety may be the spice of life, but too much spice will sink a craft table. Pick one thing and do it well.
  3. People are cheap, especially at craft fairs. Price accordingly. Or make some impulse purchase items.
If I am to do this craft fair, I will need to swallow my not-so-inner introvert and be nice to people for a whole morning. I need to make a LOT of one or two related things. And I need to make a LOT of some little throw-away thing that kids and cheapskates can pick up, feel like they're doing a good thing and buy.

So I made 4 of the Apple Bags. Not iBags. Bags that fold up into an apple shape. This time around, they're all red, but at some point I will make green apples. They're actually the perfect bag all around.

  1. I can make lots of them relatively easily, although this time they took longer than I expected to sew up. And that was only partly due to the fact that my sewing table also has my computer on it.
  2. I have a TON of lightweight material that isn't really suited to most other bag patterns.
  3. It's a cute concept which will store and display nicely.
  4. With the scraps, I can make little coin purses, gift bags, whatever, to sell as impulse items.
  5. They satisfy MY need to sell something useful and unique. Yes, I got the fruit concept somewhere else, but I believe I have made it mine.
Buy it here.
I'll let you know in a week or two whether the fair is going to happen or not. And what I'm making out of the scraps. Until then, save your pennies and save the 1st of December for a winter fair. And hold your horses, because I feel like I've bought myself 2 weeks off from writing with this crop of bags.

Buy it here.
Buy it here.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Week 39 or A Chalkboard Lego Box

Well, first off I'd like to thank Cynthia for the chalkboard fabric. I've got yards and yards of it. Enough to make bags to hold all my Lego's and those of the Junior FIRST® Lego® League teams at school, plus one to send back to Cynthia as "payment." (Not that she's asking to be paid, I just want to get rid of fabric!)

All closed up, the box looks pretty good.
Next I'd like to state that chalkboard fabric is a horrendous combination of stiff, floppy, thick, and weak. It's perfect for covering a corkboard and having a dual-use surface, except that it would show all the pin holes. It's good for little insert panels on larger projects. It's probably even great for making simple sewn shapes. What it's frustrating for is making large projects with complex seaming and topstitching away from the very edges. Which is to say it's been quite a workout for my sailor language as well as my sewing machine.
This side doesn't look too bad, just wrinkled.
It's vinyl(?), so I can't really iron it.

The stitching went just fine when I was sewing together the simple edge seams on the side panels. Things went swimmingly when I added the velcro and the handles, probably largely because I did that before assembling the whole thing. It even went well when I sewed the center panel in between the side panels. Topstitching at the corners was another matter entirely. I kept getting loops on the back of the fabric, and they got big enough to gum up the machine. At one point, the cover to my drop-in bobbin even popped off from the mangling. Somehow it landed under the far corner of my desk.

Don't look too closely at the stitching outlining the corners.
That's where things broke down. Also do not notice how crooked
the label on the left edge is. I sewed it blind, from the other side. 
I already cut out a second bag and started sewing it up. I have a feeling it will sit half finished for a few more weeks before my wrists recover. Oh well. I cut up a plastic sign to stiffen the sides. By the time I finish the other one, the election should be over and I'll be able to get my hands on infinite amounts of corrugated plastic.