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New Sewing Studio!

The past few weeks have been super busy around our home! We’ve had a few inspection/ maintenance work appointments, our new couches will be here soon, and the floor in my studio was just finished!

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When we were house hunting, my main priority was finding a home with a dedicated sewing space ( I know, I know, priorities! haha). We saw a lot of houses that offered an extra room, but to be honest, the idea of having my sewing studio in a “spare bedroom” was less than desirable. I really wanted an attic space, where I could go upstairs and shut out the rest of the house and just work. Being away from the rest of the house would allow me to not look out the door and see the cleaning I had to do, or remind me to do all the laundry.

Working from home (as I talked about before) can be really daunting and overwhelming. I wanted a place I could completely transform, and an attic fit the bill. We were extremely fortunate to win the house we did, but I felt even luckier because the attic was already finished!

When we moved in, the attic was split into two, a wall down the middle, with a spare bedroom on one side and a small office space on the other. The very first thing I wanted to do was tear down the wall. And the second thing was rip up the hideous carpet.

Drew didn’t want to tear down the wall. He was super against it and was afraid we would lose value in the house. We “compromised” by agreeing to cut an arch in the wall, so the small closet would remain. THANKFULLY, the contractor was on my side about tearing it down completely, and Drew finally came to his senses.

During the home inspection, we saw that there was decent flooring under the carpet, so we thought it would be a quick staining and finishing and we would be good to go! Well, we now know why the previous owners put down carpet. The floor was painted different colors.

After realizing this project was going to need a lot more time and money than initially planned, I started getting really frustrated that my space just wasn’t ready. We decided to paint the floor, and set out researching how to DIY it, since it seemed quick and inexpensive.

After a lot of hemming and hawing, and researching paint and not finding the right color, Drew and I decided to get the floor refinished- this way we would be keeping the original floor, and it would add value back to the house.

However, the floor had a lot of problems. Not only was the paint an issue, but there were many holes and a whole section with patches of different wood. The quote we got to refinish was high, and it was suggested we get prefabricated flooring to cover it up, since there was no guarantee the paint would be able to be sanded off. We decided to do the prefab floor and went with oak flooring in an espresso stain.

And last week, my floor was finally finished and I could start moving upstairs! Here’s Before, During and After!

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I’ve been looking up studio inspiration on pinterest for months before we found a house – and after we were in contract on this house, I went all out with research, so I wanted to share some of my studio inspiration!  A lot of my current furniture won’t fit, so there isn’t too much I can bring upstairs yet. I’m planning on an Ikea trip in the next few weeks (and hopefully a stop at the Container Store!) so I’m making my shopping list now!

Here’s a few more views of my space!

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Since it’s an attic, the walls are slanted, and there’s a lot of unusable space with low ceilings, so my research is a little specific, but there’s still a lot of inspiration for any sewing space! It’s also a good thing I’m short because I can still make use of the smaller spots!

First things first. I have never had a work table, and my ironing board has always worked overtime as my general work space and ironing station. For the first time ever, I want a dedicated desk where I can pin and plan and make piles that would usually be on my ironing surface!

This is technically a kitchen island, but it’s the perfect height for a shorty like me, more affordable than traditional craft tables, and is big enough for projects without overwhelming the space!  I’ve been learning to think outside the box for researching craft room ideas and looking at kitchen islands opened up another world of options! I also wanted room for stools to sit when they aren’t in use, and this will allow me to store them underneath.

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I don’t have a traditional closet, so no room to hang anything on doors, and no hidden shelving, but this shelving from Ikea is ideal for the space! I have a few hidden storage doors where I plan on holding a lot of my fabric, but these shelves can hold trinkets, and my pretty, displayable fabrics!

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I also like the idea of floating shelves, for buttons, hardware and baskets filled with all those little sewing notions we can’t live without. The wall space I have isn’t very high, but I’ll still have room for 3-4 shelves. These from etsy would go with my space beautifully.

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I am able to use my current sewing desks, but I need a space for shipping. I mostly use poly mailers and tissue paper, so flat storage is important. I’m looking at these set-ups for inspo:

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I love all the pegboard looks, but I don’t have too much wall space for them! Something longer and shorter would fit on my wall. I love the idea of scissors and marking tools in easy to reach places!

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Half of the room doesn’t have much usable space, with the low ceiling, but there is a little bit of room for a reading nook! I can’t fit a full size chair, but some floor poufs and pillows would still make a cozy space. I need this corner to have easy to move pieces so I can still get in and out of the small door in the wall.

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I’m also trying to control my color palette. I have a lot of white, brown and black pieces, but the big pop of color that keeps coming up is green. I’ve been trying to keep those colors in mind when shopping for things like rugs, pillows for my nook and fabric baskets for my accessories. I really want to maintain a “clean look” but still leave my space open for my love of color, so it’s just another aspect to keep in mind. Ultimately, I don’t want it to look like a jumble of mismatched pieces, which is my normal look!

Planning is definitely more specific for my space, but I love being able to take inspiration and make it smaller! Any tips for perfecting my sewing room?

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etsy · handbags

Trish Stitched at the Tinicum Arts Festival

My car is finally unloaded, my sewing machine is well rested and I can actually start thinking about something other than booth design. Last weekend I attended my third craft show, the Tinicum Arts Festival in Bucks County Pennsylvania. Tinicum Park is located right outside of Frenchtown, NJ (the cutest little town) and I was excited to be part of such a big event. There were so many crafters- many woodworkers, potters and painters, even TWO broom makers! There were a few bag makers, but none as colorful as me.

Trish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade Bags

It was a long weekend, and my stress level was super high because there are so many little details involved, it’s easy to forget something. Friday night we went to set up my tent and it was pouring rain so hard we couldn’t even put the tent up. My parents and I wound up leaving my tent and tables in my “spot”. The next morning my mom and I got to the field early to set up my booth. After the set up, the rain came back and we had showers off and on the entire day. Sunday thankfully saw lots of sun and people were more inclined to come out and shop. The weekend as a whole was long but I had some great sales and met some wonderful people which is what counts.

Trish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade Bags

I’ve been planning my booth out in my mind for months and had new ideas I wanted to try for this show. The most eye catching addition was my name sign. I got wood letters from Michaels on super sale and my mom modge podged polka dot fabric onto each letter. My dad drilled two holes into the tops of each letter and I strung them together. We also spray varnished them so they were safe in the rain.

Trish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade Bags

I’ve also been making a lot more recycled bags and wanted a larger display for them, separate from my non-recycled bags. So they got their own table, with some added shelves for height. I have a few more ideas for this section of my booth, to show the process that goes into a recycled bag.

Trish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade BagsTrish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade Bags

I found this old flower cart in my parent’s barn and thought it would make a cute addition to the front of my booth to offer a small sampling of the bags I make. It was also a good opportunity to put my business cards on this table because when my booth was full, walker-bys were able to take a card and come back later.

Trish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade BagsTrish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade Bags

Most of my displays stayed the same from my first few shows, as I wasn’t focused on changing their look. I love my tote bag display and the card holder display and won’t be changing them anytime soon. I would like to create a new display for my small pouches and my non recycled clutches. I love the suitcases but am ready for something new.

Trish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade Bags

Trish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade BagsTrish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade BagsTrish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade Bags

A majority of the comments I received were about selling on etsy. There were multiple shoppers who had their own craft and wanted to sell online but etsy intimidated them. I am a huge fan of etsy because it is an easy, inexpensive way to sell all over the world. I’m not an expert on the subject but know that etsy works for me. One day I would like my own standalone site but am happy with what etsy offers right now. If you are nervous about starting an etsy shop, just go for it! You will never be fully ready, and it takes so much work, but if you really want to sell your craft- do it!

The show was as great as it was for one reason only. My awesome support team. My dad made sure my tent was sturdy, and even made me concrete weights to tie to each side. He made sure all the extra structures, like my tote rack and flower stand, were secure. My sister helped cut fabric for my name sign and showed up with her husband on Sunday for support. My boyfriend, Drew, was fully understanding of why the apartment was a mess and I had supplies all over the place the past few weeks. He also stopped by on Sunday for a few hours. And my mom…my amazing mom. She was there the whole time. She helped me set up, she was my “right hand man” and she made sure I ate. I am so lucky that even if my family thinks I’m crazy, they support me.

Trish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade BagsTrish Stitched Craft Show Booth Display - Handmade Bags

I don’t have any other shows coming up but I’m looking into some winter ones. Hoboken has a holiday show and I think it would be really cool to do a show in my own town. I’m also looking into a few larger shows in the city- Brooklyn specifically.

And I’m so happy I get to think about sewing clothes again! My sister’s baby shower is in a few weeks and I am almost done with my dress. I’m also making a dress for my sister to wear, which just needs a final fitting, and I’m making a special handmade gift for the baby! It’s crazy how quickly the time is flying by, July is almost over and before we know it, there will be a little baby bundle in our lives.

handbags

I Made My Own Buttons!

I’ve been wanting to make my own buttons for some time now but didn’t know if it would really be worth the investment. I go through a lot of buttons because of my bags. Almost all of my handbag designs incorporate buttons (my tagline is “handmade with love and buttons”) and there are certain sizes and colors that I use most often. Finding these colors and sizes in bulk is very difficult- I either have to buy multi packs filled with teeny tiny buttons and a few large buttons or buy a pack of two to three that costs $2.00, which isn’t cost-effective in the long run. These little pieces of plastic are so expensive!

I started researching buttons molds and came across this awesome seller on etsy. Mold Me Shape Me makes her own molds and rather than just a single button in the mold, each has 8. I bought some clay from JoAnn’s because I had a coupon (of course) and at the same time I spotted something I didn’t think I needed. It was a craft oven! Specifically for working with clay. I had a 50% off coupon so it was just over $30. I thought, if I am going to try this thing then I am going to try it right.

Making Buttons- Trish Stitched

Making Buttons- Trish Stitched

I’m too embarrassed to show my test batch. They are bad. They don’t even have holes to sew them to anything. So what I am showing is my second batch! The craft oven has a timer so the buttons can’t burn and I don’t have to turn on my apartment oven for a small baking batch. I learned that while you can bake the buttons directly in the molds, you can also pop the clay out before baking and make multiples at once. I prefer popping them out because I can make sure the holes are not deformed and the mold detail is clear. The oven did not come with a tray, so I will have to invest in one, but this little heat maker is SO WORTH IT.

Making Buttons- Trish Stitched

The second batch is so much better than the first and I’m getting better but working with clay is a new experience for me. The first pack I tried (the turquoise) was just the right amount of pliable and worked really well with the molds but when I tried to use the burgundy I bought, it got too soft. I’m hoping leaving it out a little will harden the clay.

Making Buttons- Trish Stitched

I like the look the clay produces but would LOVE to get a liquid resin of some kind to try for a cleaner look. While making the liquid and getting the right color figured out would be time-consuming, the process would eventually speed up compared to the clay. This is one of those projects that don’t feel like work. A little crafting after sewing keeps me entertained while just relaxing and I’m still being productive.

Making Buttons- Trish Stitched

Would you make your own buttons?

In other craft news, I had two projects planned & made and both of them didn’t work out. One is salvageable but there’s no hope for the other. So that’s why the blog has been a little slow. This happens every so often, I rush and things don’t come out right. I have a few projects to work on this coming week and will have to be a little more cautious and take that extra time to make sure they are wearable.

Have a great weekend!

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The Beginning

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Welcome to my blog! My name is Trish, and I’m the owner of Mini Pip, custom sewing for fashion and home décor. I’m going into my se nior year of college and with senior projects, my internship and starting a business, I want a place to record everything and a way to keep myself motivated.

I’m studying fashion, business and costume design and have a dream of opening my own boutique. Sewing is my passion, and designing is something I’m learning. I love crafts, fashion and traveling but most of my inspiration comes from my own backyard.

I live on 18 acres of farm land. My family moved us here about five years ago and since then we have turned it into a working farm. While I don’t always love to be surrounded by animals, I find comfort in floral fabrics, colored pencils, and buttons.

I want to share my world with everyone around me. I’ve been reading blogs for the past few years and have always been working up to courage to start one of my own. Comments are welcome, and bear with me as I learn how to navigate the blogging world; any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you come back to see everything I’m up to!