This isn’t the first shipment of fabric we’ve sent out from our new space, but it’s our first video in the new space. Photographs and video editing done by the delightful and multitalented Danielle. I’m beginning to wish I had an intern at our house, too…
I spent the morning at Spoonflower headquarters yesterday, packaging fabric for mailing–a video to come soon!–and chatting with Danielle about fabric and Photoshop and photography. When the babysitter returned with our girls, though, it was time to get outta there and get the kids something to eat–pronto, like. I remembered my purse, I remembered the diaper bag, I remembered the stroller, the bag of library books, the bag of snacks, the water bottles, and the girls’ special stuffed animals. I did not, however, remember my laptop. It stayed on the office sofa all afternoon and then went with Stephen to a class for the evening before it came home with him. That meant I had no internet access for about 10 hours–yikes!
So instead I did a little sewing, which was not a bad consolation prize at all. While the little girls slept, my oldest daughter and I went through my sewing basket to see what we could come up with to do. She’s going into the fifth grade on Monday and we both had back-to-school clothing on our minds. In my giant pile of cloth, we found this late 60’s era purple pattern cocktail dress made of a super-heavy, nubby material–Hawaiian maybe? Some kind of barkcloth? I’d bought it solely for the phenomenal fabric, half-thinking that I’d turn it into a skirt for someone. My daughter, though, wanted it as a dress.
I consider myself an advanced beginner at sewing. I’ve made up many articles of clothing from patterns at this point, but haven’t altered an existing garment since I was just goofing around with sewing in college. (And I was by no means good at it back then! I just had pretty low standards for fit and seam straightness and that kind of thing.) But my daughter was so excited about the idea of a wild purple print dress for herself. I took a deep breath. And started cutting.
I cut off about 12 inches of the hem, I ripped out armhole and neckline facings, I notched liberally, I took in side seams and opened up the neckline, and pretty soon I had a passable dress that could fit a 10-year old. But more than that? I had a blast! It’s not fine couture or anything. The seams are a little roll-y without those facings and the armholes are a tad too big. My daughter loves it, though, and it felt great to just whip something up without worrying if I’d mess it up or make it look less-than-perfect.
I guess the moral of this sewing story is that I shouldn’t get so hung up with sewing perfection. Why allow myself to get frustrated about something I really love to do? Sometimes it’s just fun to bust out the scissors and start cutting, right? Right.
She’s our first ever Spoonflower intern! Can I get a woo-hoo? Danielle is fresh from the verdant campus of UNC-Greensboro and holds a sculpture degree, enjoying sewing, photography, and painting in her spare time. (I really should have taken this photo while she was sporting her stylin’ laptop case she made out of Amy Butler fabrics…) Danielle also has some work experience in a photo development lab and is gung-ho about applying her Photoshop and color profile skills to fabric. We’re hoping she’ll put up a post here soon about DIY methods of color-callibrating your computer monitor.
Welcome to the Spoonflower fold, Danielle!
I was cruising around on some of your blogs today–feel free to let us know if you’d like your site to be added to this list, by the way–and ran across an exciting little tidbit on A Dress a Day. Do y’all know about One Skein Wonders? Here’s where I have to admit that I did not know about this book, seeing as how I am totally knitting challenged. But I do appreciate the concept a whole lot. Sometimes you just need a little project between bigger projects, something quick and easy between big challenges, right?
Okay, getting to the exciting tidbit part here. Authors Rebecca Yaker and Trish Hoskins are applying the concept to fabric and are currently soliciting your contributions for a book titled, One Yard Wonders. How cool is that? Read their guidelines and submit your ideas here. And don’t forget to sign up for their mailing list so you can find out about publication dates!
As I’ve effused about many times in the last few months, I’m in the delightful position of having some truly amazing fabric designs pass through my paws on a weekly basis. A look at any of our past videos should prove the point if you need convincing. The only lamentable thing is that I’ve so far been unable to purchase my favorite designs (some of which I’d snap up in a hot minute if I could). Offering users the option of creating storefronts is on our short list of features to add, of course, but we’re not there yet.
I’m happy to see that some of our resourceful users are finding a way to sell their Spoonflower printed fabrics anyway! Head on over to Junecraft, Sewbettie, and Nine Tomatoes for a peek at some of their lovely wares. Stash building, anyone?
We’re all taking a much needed break this weekend after a very busy week spent moving furniture, packing fabric orders, and just generally trying to get our bearings in the new space. I was lazing about online yesterday and ran across Wordle.net, courtesy of Suzanne at Mimilou. Here’s a Spoonflower "word cloud" I made by pasting in a bit of text from our about page.
Since designer Jonathan Feinberg permits any images you create to be used however you wish, it’s not a stretch to imagine that you could design some wordy fabric this way. Perhaps kitchen towels with cooking related words? A framed piece of word art for a kid’s room? Bet y’all will think of something interesting!
Just for the sake of scale, here’s a photo of Stephen (and the baby) in the new Spoonflower space. I don’t think the photo of Gart cleaning floors yesterday really quite gave y’all an idea of why it’s taking us so, so long to get this enormous space cleaned and ready. Oh, and for those of you wondering who the heck Gart is, he’s our business partner, together with his delightful and crafty wife, Anne. They’ve both been on our "about us" page all along, but just in case you missed them…
We just shipped our last from-home shipment of fabrics a couple of days ago and I find myself in a contemplative mood this morning as I consider the fact that we’re moving into our official Spoonflower office space this week! While I won’t miss our house being turned upside down, doubling as a business space and mail center, there’s something…I don’t know, a little sweet about having had Spoonflower running out of our home with the kids oohing and ahhing over their favorite fabrics. Those days are done.
Today, there’s a cleaning crew there removing–bless them!–the inch thick layer of grime on this former sock mill’s floor, along with the debris from the air-conditioning installation that just got finished up a few days ago. I’m meeting a sitter up there tomorrow to talk to her about watching my girls on-site for me while I’m (cough) working. Part-time working, but still working. Maybe that’s the real rub. So far this hasn’t felt all that much like work. Bet it will once we open the proverbial floodgates and allow people to create accounts without an invitation. (So sorry to be keeping so many of you on the waiting list for an invitation while we finish up this move!)
Pictures of the new space to come soon!. Y’all can suggest some ways to spruce it up because apparently I’m not allowed to dwell too much on decorating just now.
All kinds of cute are showing up in our Flickr pool lately! Sarah at The Small Object posted a photo of her hanging small object a few days ago. (She’s also got a few photos of some of her fabric designs on her blog. I’m looking forward to seeing more, as are my daughters who thought all those little faces were fascinating.)
Little BIG pants posted an adorable project today that she made with some camera fabric she printed with us. I just figured she was someone who really, really liked cameras, but it turns out that she had another idea in mind. See what she did there? Cut out a little camera and stuffed it for her Audrey doll? Something about this little doll camera is so charming to me, reminding me of my fascination with doll houses and all their small accessories when I was a girl. Suddenly, I could envision a yard printed with all sorts of doll accessories: a purse, a hat, a belt, a balloon, a book! A miniature Schnauzer! A rug! A baked ham! Getting carried away here…