diy: simple leather clutch

simple leather clutch
Simple Leather Clutch

Supplies:
9″ zipper
2 – 1 1/2″ x 2″ pieces of leather (about a 1.2mm thickness)
2 – 9″ x 11 1/2″ pieces of leather
Sewing machine
Leather machine sewing needle
Coordinating thread
Scissors
Pins

Inseam: 1/4″

Directions:
1. Place one of the 1 1/2″ x 2″ leather pieces, with the right side facing down, 1/4″ down from the top edge of the zipper, and pin in place. Stitch 1/4″ away from the leather edge (the long side), and snip off any excess thread. Fold the leather on the seam (away from the zipper), to have the right side facing up and top stitch along the folded edge. Repeat this for the other zipper end, and then proceed to trim the excess leather and be equal width with the zipper.

simple leather clutch
simple leather clutch
simple leather clutch
2. Place one of the 9″ x 11 1/2″ leather pieces with the right side up, lay the zipper on the 11 1/2″ side edge with the teeth side down on top (make sure the entire zipper length is centered on the leather piece), pin in place if you feel you need the extra support to keep it lined up. I didn’t want to poke more holes into the leather, so I didn’t pin the zipper to the leather piece. Sew along the entire length of the zipper (you can use a zipper foot if you have one on hand, but I did without it). It’s best to pull the zipper down to the middle when starting, so that it won’t get caught, then when approaching the zipper pull, leave your needle down in the leather, pull up your presser foot, pull up the zipper, put down the presser foot, and then continue sewing the rest length of the zipper and leather. When done, fold the leather on the seam and top stitch the entire length near the fold. Repeat for the other 9″ x 11 1/2″ piece of leather and the remaining zipper side.

simple leather clutch
simple leather clutch
simple leather clutch
3. Pull the zipper down to the middle, place the leather with their right sides together, lining up all the edges, and sew around the 3 edges of the clutch. Snip any excess thread and trim any excess leather. Pull open the zipper and turn your clutch right side out, and there you go!

simple leather clutch
simple leather clutch
My best friend has one of those fancy Clare Vivier clutches. It is quite lovely, but I’m not really a bag person, I’d rather spend the money on shoes. I’ve had these leather scraps I’ve been hoarding for like 7 years (back when I used to make True her baby shoes!) and I took those scraps out and got little leather clutch happy. I had been using a 99 cent store wallet for myself, so I was happy to make a little one out of the leather too. I ended up messing up a smidge on the zipper part, but it does the job. I got the silver stripe on accident because I had painted a bright pink one on, but it didn’t stay and was peeling off, so when I peeled it all of, it lifted some of that bronze color and what was left was a silver stripe. It wasn’t my original idea of pink, but it was a good accident.

simple leather clutch
simple leather clutch
I didn’t put any lining inside because my best friend’s fancy one didn’t have it, so I thought I could do without it. Although, should I attempt to make another (because I just need more clutches in my life, obviously), I’d add in the liner. I originally wanted to make one to put my planner and sketchbook in, but now, I’m thinking Ben needs to take me on a date because the clutches feel a little bit too fancy just for my planner and sketchbook. Am I silly or what?! Maybe now I need to make a fabric clutch instead!

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calligraphy with laura hooper

calligraphy with laura hooper
calligraphy with laura hooper
calligraphy with laura hooper
calligraphy with laura hooper
calligraphy with laura hooper
calligraphy with laura hooper
calligraphy with laura hooper
I love calligraphy! I took a semester worth of classes eons ago when I was in middle school, and I love to play around with it when an occasion requires, but my calligraphy knowledge is definitely limited. Thus, I am especially excited that this Sunday I will get to hone my (barely there) skills further under the teaching of Laura Hooper as I will be joining in on her beginners’ workshop in Manhattan Beach at the Shade Hotel. I know she has a few slots open, so if you want to join in, you better hurry (I’m in the 10am class, but there’s also an afternoon class if you can’t make the morning one). I don’t know anyone else who’s going to be part of it, so it would be fun to do it with a friend (dear readers, I definitely consider you friends!).  If you aren’t local and want to learn calligraphy, don’t you fear, Laura teaches all over the place. If you’re in Brooklyn, Seattle, San Francisco, Georgetown, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Denver, or Salt Lake City, she’s coming your way, and you can get more info about it here.

Laura’s beginner’s workshop in modern pointed-pen calligraphy will teach you about the tools of calligraphy, basics in brushstrokes and technique, as well as cover a full alphabet. If you are just starting out or are looking for hands-on tips and techniques to improve your beginner’s hand, these workshops are for you!

Each workshop will include:
- 3 hours of instruction with Laura Hooper
- 1 pen holder
- 2 nibs
- 1 pot of black ink
- 1 instructional alphabet w/tracing & practice sheets
- 1 keepsake Laura Hooper Calligraphy tote bag
- light refreshments

Investment: $225 (includes all supplies)
To register, please click here to select your workshop of choice.

Don’t forget to email me if you do sign up! It would definitely be nice to have a friend to do the class with.

*All photos courtesy of Raya Carlisle.

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read & make: fairy birds

fairy birds
fairy birds
fairy birds
We went to the Fairy Birds reading and party on Saturday, and everything was absolutely whimsical! There was so much lovely and it was especially cute to see all the little girls in their wings. I loved the wings, but I couldn’t get my self to buy 4 of them, which would have put us out about a Benajmin, and I figured we could make our own for a much friendlier price for 4 girls. If I had to just buy one, it probably wouldn’t be as intimidating, but when you have 4 girls will want to be fairy birds, DIY was the way to go in our case. We did buy the book though, and the girls have been reading and re-reading it together ever since.

Fairy Bird Wings
for little ones who want to learn about giving and become a fairy birds

Supplies:
6′ white feather boa
10″ floral wire
6 – 8 white chenille stems
Various colored feathers
Wire cutter
Scissors
Glue gun & glue stick
1 yard of 1/4″ elastic
Sewing machine
Coordinating thread

Directions:
1. Tie the ends of the feather boa together.

fairy birds

2. Fold the feather boa in half.

fairy birds

3. With your 10″ wire, wrap it tightly around the center of the boa to gather the center together. Twist together the wire ends to connect.

fairy birds

4. Overlap the ends of two chenille stems, twist together, center it onto the center of the boa, wrap around center a couple times, and proceed to wrap it around the feathers to give it a bit of structure. I repeated this two more times with 2 more pairs of chenille stems to give the wings more structure, so that they wouldn’t just flop down. Fluff the feathers so that it hides the chenille stems.

fairy birds

5. From the elastic, measure and cut a length that will be comfortable for your child to put on like a backpack. Sew together the ends of the elastic, then fold in half, and sew a small stitch down the center, so that the elastic is now a figure 8. This can also be sewn by hand, but machine is always faster. Feed elastic through one of the wires wrapped in the center. Another option would be to center the figure 8 elastic on the gathered center, and take another chenille stem to wrap around the elastic, joining it together with the wings.

fairy birds

6. Using your glue gun, add the colored feathers to the bottom of the wings. It’s best to attach it to some of the white feathers near the bottom.

fairy birds
There you go! You’ve got some pretty, fluffy wings, and your little ones can join the ranks of many fairy birds all over the world. Immediately after the Fairy Birds party, the girls and I stopped by the craft store to pick up some supplies, and making fairy bird wings was our afternoon activity together. Total I spent about $35 (with a coupon) to make 4 fairy bird wings. It doesn’t have the large wing span the “real” fairy bird wings have, but my girls are happy with our homemade ones, and it does have a nice little bounce. If you’re not a DIY-er (and don’t need 4 of them), buy the wings here.

fairy birds
fairy birds
fairy birds
fairy birds
fairy birds
It’s a very sweet story that teaches children about giving. Obviously, we were totally inspired. I highly recommend it, but I must warn you, your little ones will definitely be wanting their own set of wings, so be ready for that too!

outfit details: dress, c/o tutu du monde. glitter headband, mane message.

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in print!

mollie makes mama
mollie makes mama
I’m always honored to be in print and this time you can find my A-frame tent the newest issue of Mollie Makes Mama (along with other great thinks from other mamas). I’ve seen them over at Barnes & Noble, but I also just ordered my copy online here. It’s a really great issue full of inspiration and lots of eye candy! I’m thankful to be able to contribute to it.

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maybe one part creepy, one part cool

I've got my eyes on you
I pinned this image awhile back, which led me to painting on some linen fabric. Of course, I had to turn that fabric into a dress. I’m way into shift dresses, I think it’s the silhouette that works well for me. Plus, it is really easy to sew!

I've got my eyes on you
I've got my eyes on you
I've got my eyes on you
I've got my eyes on you
When I finished up my dress a few weeks ago, I texted the BFF and she hates clusters, so she got goosebumps looking at the picture of the dress. She wasn’t a fan. HA! When I was making it, I was thinking it could possibly turn out really great or really dumb. When all was said and done, I think it came out great. It is a little bit creepy, but also a little funky. I think funky is good, so I’ll take it.

Fabric paint does dry up a little raised, so it doesn’t look like printed fabric, it looks like it was painted on. I like handmade, so it doesn’t bother me one bit. You want to make sure to allow the fabric paint to dry completely, then you want to heat set it by ironing the fabric once it is totally dry. When you iron, make sure to place a scrap fabric on top just in case some of that fabric paint still melts off onto the iron.

As far as sewing goes, I didn’t use a pattern, but a shift dress I had that fit me well, and based this off of that. That’s my favorite way to make clothes. I like to use the pattern off of something I already own, study it, and use that as the base to cut and sew my fabric. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and you can also learn from mistakes! I didn’t include any darts in this dress because I didn’t want to mess up the eye pattern, but darts aren’t that difficult to do either! I tell you, if you can sew a straight line, anything is possible! Seriously. Don’t be intimidated.

This dress gets me in the mood to sing Drake’s “I’ve got my eyes on you, you’re everything that I see, I want your hot love and emotion endlessly…” Sorry, if I got that song stuck in your head now! “Cause you’re a good girl and you know it…”

P.S. The girls over at A Beautiful Mess just released some photoshop actions, which I played around with for these pictures. I used Imogene from the Folk Collection, and I thought it was fun to add a little bit of sun flare and double exposure.

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