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R.Kay Design: May 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finished the Black & Yellow Clutch

After a lot of drama, rereading of the instructions, and figuring things out on my own, I finally finished the black and yellow clutch I started last week. It turned out great, don't you think? I plan on adding a black flower broach on the front flap where it dips in the middle to give it just that touch of something special.

The pattern is Amy Butler's Everything Clutch that's included in her Style Stitches book, but I have to say, that pattern is really difficult to follow and flat out wrong in some of the instructions. If I followed it to the letter, this cutie would not have turned out nice at all. I had all kinds of problems, from very hard to follow instructions with wrong measurements, to using a method to add a zipper pouch that's just crazy, to adding an insert that makes it virtually impossible to sew in the lining with a machine. I had to totally rework the insides but in spite of all that and the help of a good night's sleep, it came out really nice.

I do plan on making more clutches, but will use my own pattern. I will never use Amy Butler's patterns again. The next clutch I make will be similar but nowhere near the same. I can give Amy credit for showing me how NOT to make a clutch. All that said, if her designs weren't so hard to figure out, they'd be really great, I love the way the pictures look in her book.

Oh well, life goes on and I get better at what I do! Lessons learned! So long Amy patterns (but not her fabric, it's fantastic!). Just sayin'.

I'll post this on Etsy as soon as I find 'just the right' broach.

Till later ~


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Monday, May 30, 2011

I Bought The Needle Felting Machine - EBay!

Yes, I couldn't wait, especially when I found the exact machine I wanted for less than half price on eBay. It's used, but the auction said it's in perfect condition, like it was never used. We'll see, I should get it sometime next week.

The seller said he didn't have the manual, so I went to the Janome website and I can print it from there. So all is good.

You're probably wondering how I'm going to use it...well, that's a secret! No, just kidding. I plan to make the flaps on my clutch purses and Kindle covers more artistic and unique. It might take me a bit to figure it out, but I think I'll be able to use satin and/or silk and do beautiful things with it.

I'll update when I get it and show you some examples of what I have planned.


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Sunday, May 29, 2011

FaceBook Fan Page Feed

I've been trying to set-up my Facebook FanPage to automatically feed my posts from this blog, I've spent over an hour now on something that should take 5 minutes.

Facebook seems to want to post my blog to my personal page instead. I had it working for about 5 minutes and then my most recent post disappeared. I thought the problem might be that it only shows the most recent post and after I refreshed, the most recent disappeared.

So, I'm making a new post to see it if shows up. Wish me luck! I'm tired of this already.


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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Felting Machine? I Never Knew This Existed

I was watching Martha's Sewing Room on my local PBS channel this morning and saw a demonstration of a felting machine. I normally don't watch that show because it focuses on vintage replication and I don't care for that, but this morning I tuned in anyway. I'm so glad I did!

This machine fuses fabrics together and creates a beautiful new fabric. When most people think of felting, they think of using wool felt, but the demonstration this morning used silk. She fused dupioni silk, silk ribbon, and silk organza onto wash-away interfacing, then used the new fabric to create beautiful dresses. I didn't even know a machine like this existed!

I thought it would be a perfect to use silk creations like this as the flap of a clutch purse, so, after the show I looked up 'felting machine' on Google. I found the Janome 725 and to my surprise it only cost around $250. I honestly thought I'd find a machine I couldn't afford but with a little bit of saving, I can have this machine! I'm so excited.

So stay may take me a little while to save before I'm able to buy the machine, but I'm definitely going to find a way to buy it.

Right now I'm going to go meet my oldest daughter and a good friend for lunch. Then I'll come back and post my Big Amy Butler Cosmos Bag and the cute Scalloped Pocket Purse on ETSY. After that I'm going to finish the Black and Yellow Clutch and get it posted too.



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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sneak Peek Of Next Project - Yellow & Black Clutch

See my next project! I'm already excited to get started. It's going to be a beautiful clutch purse. Again, I will be using an Amy Butler pattern from her "Style Stitches" book.

There are so many beautiful patterns in that book that it's hard for me to stay focused on just one project at a time...but I must. I don't want to have a bunch of half finished projects, so I will start and stay with it until it's done and posted on ETSY. I'm trying to tell myself that, I hope it works!

Here's a pic of a page from Amy Butler's book of the clutch I'm going to make. I'm using the black fabric for the body and the yellow flowers for the flap. Not sure which fabric I will choose for the lining...any suggestions? Let me know which you prefer and why.

I had a friend tell me the other day that she hates black lining in purses because everything seems to be in a black hole and it's hard to find anything. It's an interesting perspective that I had never thought of. So if you think one fabric would be better than the other, let me know.

I'll post here again when I finish the clutch (if it turns out good ;-)), I'm sure it will be fabulous.

Along with the Cosmos Bag I showed you yesterday, I also have another purse that I will list on Saturday as well. Its a really nice purse with open pockets on the front to hold your gadgets and phone. I like the styles that have outer pockets as I like to be able to find my phone and keys quickly.

Be sure to check ETSY for the new postings some time on Saturday - this clutch should be finished by then too.


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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Amy Butler Bag Was Bigger Than Expected

Finished Cosmos Bag - Gorgeous!
Last Saturday I went down to High Fashion Fabrics here in Houston to purchase some Amy Butler fabric. It was really fun and exciting and I brought home three projects.

My first project is the Amy Butler Cosmos Bag...and what a beautiful big bag it is. The pattern is in her book "Amy Butler's Style Stitches: 12 Easy Ways to 26 Wonderful Bags". In fact, I think it's such a wonderful bag that I purchased some Michael Miller fabric to make a second one, since I was shopping for fabric anyway <<wink>>.

Amy Butler Style Stitches Book
So, Saturday night I started cutting. I spent a couple hours and got everything but the interfacing cut out. Then Sunday morning, I spent another hour or so cutting out the interfacing. Then it was time to steam fuse the interfacing to all the pieces, that took at least 2-1/2 hours. Finally, it was time to sew. I sewed for at least 4 hours throughout the afternoon and into the evening and the bag STILL wasn't finished.

Monday night I spent 2-3 hours and again on Tuesday, another 3-4 hours. Finally, it was finished and gorgeous.

During Construction-Exterior and Lining Side-by-Side
How many hours? Not including the time it took to go to High Fashion and pick out the fabric, I spent about 10 hours making this bag.

Conclusion...I will never make this bag again. It takes too much time. It's absolutely gorgeous and was fun to make. It will make whoever buys it super happy, but I'm trying to make a little money by selling on ETSY and spending this much time on one item is not a good return on my time invested.

I'll have to figure out what to do with the Michael Miller fabric I bought to make a second Cosmos, any suggestions?

I'll take photos for ETSY on Saturday when I can use the morning light. Then I'll get it posted. It's going to make someone very happy.


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Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Blog - New ETSY Shop...This Is Really Fun!

Hi name is Reba and I started this blog to go with my ETSY Shop - Nikki Rae's! My plan is to share some of my successes, processes, and things I do to get my ETSY Shop up and running. Right now I only have six items but I'm working on some great new projects, one I just started today, a fabulous Amy Butler Cosmos Bag. I can't wait to get it done and up on the sight.

Today was a really fun day. My daughter and I went to High Fashion Fabrics to see the place. It's the only place in Houston that I've been able to find Amy Butler and Michael Miller fabric. I confess I haven't searched very hard but at least I found it locally. It was a bit expensive there, I found it a lot cheaper online, so going forward I think I'll plan a little further in advance if I want designer fabric.

High Fashion Fabric is really fun place to go, it's huge and they have some super cool fabric. Of course I probably get more excited than most walking into a place with that much fabric, you might think I'm weird, but I don't care, it was fun. I found some great things and lots of inspiration for future projects.

Since this is my first post and I don't have any photos or anything, I'm going to wrap up. I just wanted to get the blog off the ground with at least one post. I'll start keeping my camera charged and let you watch while some of my future projects are being created.

Hope to see you back again soon.


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