An Inside Look at the Bags of a Feather Sewing Studio

A pictorial glimpse into the inner workings at Bags of a Feather, including the mess created by cutting up pieces of fabric and sewing them back together.  Sewing is messy business! There is usually little pieces of thread on the floor, or attached to my clothes.

Owl Pouches in progress

Some of the following pictures were taken a couple of years ago an sent to an online venue for approval as a “certified handmade artisan” designation. I passed with flying colors- they determined that I was not a factory that was mass-producing bags all day long and passing them off as handmade.

Vintage 1976 Singer Sewing machine

Hard at work

26 pairs of scissors

 

Antique sewing cabinet inherited from my mother-in-law

It might look unorganized, but I can usually find what I’m looking for. Just walking into the sewing studio and taking the cover off the sewing machine makes me happy and relaxed. After more than 40 years of sewing, I still love it!

-Wendy

Think Pink!

Pink- love it or hate it?

I don’t own a lot of pink clothes, but I like some pink fabrics, and especially the deeper hot pink shades.

Here are a couple of my recent favorite pink fabrics:

Tiny Pink Flamingo zipper pouch

Hot Pink Sun-drenched dragonfly zipper pouch

Dance of the Dragonfly Orchid and gold- by Kanvas

Think Pink!

-Wendy

Cool Summertime Blues

Blue and white has alwas been one of my favorite color combinations, and I think it is especially nice in the summer. I even made an entire quilt using only blue and white fabrics:

Blue and White Quilt

Tumbling blocks quilt block

Hand-appliqued flower quilt block

 

I have a lot of blue fabrics in my fabric collection,  and here are a few of my latest favorites:

Dance of the Dragonfly- Moonlit Flight zipper pouch

Blue Butterfly Batik zipper pouch

Bird on the Vine zipper pouch

 

And remember the immortal words of the Who- “there aint no cure for the summertime blues”

-Wendy

What’s New (or Old) in June?

What’s new in the Bags of a Feather world? Well, the honest answer, is not much, or should I say, the old stuff I used to make is new again!

I have been making a few things that I have not made in years, including fabric bookmarks (last offered in 2011). The new version is a bit thinner, which allows them to fit in between the pages of a paperback or hardcover book. They are currently available only in my wholesale shop on IndieMe.com, but I am also working on getting them into few local retail venues. Here is a picture of approximately 20 of them:

And a close-up with on of my favorite crow fabrics:

More fabric bookmarks

 

I have also been making up some insulated fabric cup cozies or insulators, that look something like this old picture from my etsy shop in 2010:

Cup Cozie

 

Cup cozie

 

I used to sell both the bookmarks and cup insulators/cozies these at a coffee/bookshop in Northfield, Massachusetts, which has unfortunately gone out of business. I’m currently making up more samples and hope to get these in a few local shops.

I am trying not to go crazy on buying new fabric for awhile, although my Wish List on several online fabric sites continues to grow. There is always some great new bird fabric available, but I have to tell myself that it doesn’t mean I have to buy all of it!

Until next time, enjoy your summer!

—Wendy

Peacock Feathers, Flamingos, and Purple Batik!

After the last fabric sneak preview I posted a while back,  I added some new pouches to my online shops and also ran an ad through IndieMe in something called the Spring 2017 Vertical Marketing Guide- Jewelry and Wearable Art. I did receive several new orders for my original anti-tarnish lined zipper pouches. Many jewelry stores and boutiques carry the anti-tarnish lined zipper pouches as a great jewelry accessory.

How about this fun flamingo fabric- love the spindly little black legs!

Tiny Pink Flamingo zipper pouch

I am also very fond of fabrics with metallic accents for a bit of sparkle without being over the top, like this vibrant peacock plume fabric:

Peacock Plume Metallic zipper pouch

I offer any bag fabrics with  both 100% cotton or anti-tarnish silver cloth linings, so if you see something you like, and it is not listed in the lining you want, please contact me!

Orchid purple and gold leafy batik, anyone?

Orchid and Gold Leafy Batik Print

If you are new to Bags of a Feather, here is a post explaining what anti-tarnish silver cloth is, and why it makes such a great way to store silver jewelry. It comes in a variety of colors, including ivory, silver gray, blue, maroon, black, lime and hunter green, and red. It is fairly easy to find an anti-tarnish lining color to go with almost any fabric.

Getting exactly what you want is well worth it- don’t you agree?

-until next time

Wendy

200 Bulbs- 6 Months Later

Spring Flowers 2017

Last fall, I planted a whopping 200 spring flower bulbs, by hand, with my trusty trowel. It took a while, and I was sore afterwards, but it was definitely worth it!

Now, in Mid-April, the hyacinths are blooming, and the daffodils are just starting to come out. It smells absolutely heavenly when I step out the door!

Happy Spring!

-Wendy

New Fabric Preview- Spring 2017

I swore I wasn’t going to buy any new fabric for a while,, and although it was hard,  I managed to hold out for about 2 months. I had to re-order one of my bestselling batik fabrics, and made the mistake of looking at new things. At least I only ordered a few half yards and kept the grand total at a fairly reasonable level. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Here are few pictures of the new fabrics, which will be magically transformed to new zipper pouches in the near future. Sometimes, it is nice to admire the fabric for awhile before cutting it up with the rotary cutter.

A great new peacock plume metallic fabric:

Peacock plume fabric with golden metallic accents

Love this fun new flamingo fabric:

Tiny pink flamingo fabric

Also, a lovely new purple and gold leafy batik and green leaves print:

Purple and gold batik and green leaves fabrics

Ready for cutting:

Ready for cutting

Wednesday Wings from Bags of a Feather- Dragonflies

Another post in my series called Wednesday Wings from Bags of a Feather– this time featuring dragonflies!

Dragonflies are very interesting creatures, and I look forward to seeing them zip around the garden in the middle of the summer. Here are some fun facts from a site called dragonfly-site.com.

  • A bee flaps its wings about 300 times per second, but a dragonfly flaps its wings at only about 30 beats per second. (fact, dragonflies have two sets of wings so they don’t have to beat them as much to fly.)
  •  A dragonfly is a very strong and good flyer, and can fly at speeds of up to 36 miles per hour. (fact, but not all dragonflies are that fast – one was clocked at this speed in Australia)
  • Dragonflies are known as snake doctors because they can bring dead snakes back to life. (myth)
  • There were huge dinosaur dragonflies that lived 300 million years ago. (fact – the largest fossil found had a 2 ½ foot wingspan, and currently there are dragonflies in Costa Rica that measure 7 ½ inches across the wings.)

– See more at: http://www.dragonfly-site.com/dragonfly-facts.html#sthash.HPNqG2p2.dpuf

I really like dragonfly fabrics, and many of them have finely detailed designs with metallic accents. Here are a few of my favorites:

Until next time- think spring  and dragonflies!
–Wendy

What’s in YOUR Zipper Pouch ?- Part 8

This is one post in a series entitled “What’s In YOUR Zipper Pouch ?”- Part……..

Thought I would have some fun and offer some ideas of what you can put in a zipper pouch- some traditional, like jewelry, and some a little different (more to come on that.)

  1. Calculator, pen, and paper- sometimes you just need to write stuff down:

Calculator pen and paper in Lovebird pouch

 

2. Nail essentials- clippers, files, nail polish- everything you need for quick touch-ups on the go:

Nail stuff in Cardinal Nest Egg pouch

 

Lots more ideas to come- stay tuned!

–Wendy

Wednesday Wings from Bags of a Feather- Goldfinches!

Another installment in the Wednesday Wings from Bags of a Feather- Goldfinches!

They are some of my favorite birds, with their cheerful songs and joyful flight. A sure sign of spring is the sight of the males molting out their duller winter colors into the vibrant yellow summer plumage. During the transition, there are some interesting patches of dull and bright feathers.

Facts about goldfinches from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

  • Adult males in spring and early summer are bright yellow with black forehead, black wings with white markings, and white patches both above and beneath the tail. Adult females are duller yellow beneath, olive above. Winter birds are drab, unstreaked brown, with blackish wings and two pale wingbars.
  • Behavior

    These are active and acrobatic little finches that cling to weeds and seed socks, and sometimes mill about in large numbers at feeders or on the ground beneath them. Goldfinches fly with a bouncy, undulating pattern and often call in flight, drawing attention to themselves.

 

This is a picture of me holding a goldfinch that had crashed into a window and was a bit stunned. I picked it up until it was fully recovered and ready to fly away.

Goldfinch fabric can be hard to find, and is often included in fabric designs with mixed flocks of birds. Some of the goldfinch fabrics currently available in my online shops:

Birdseed Goldfinch fabric pouch

Goldfinch Cherry Blossom Print Anti-tarnish lined jewelry pouch