inventory

well you guys, art fair is nearly upon us!  and we are all but ready.  the photo above doesn’t even include teri’s stuff…so much for being short on inventory (booth is 4×8′!).  after returning back to my sewing room and getting my bearings about me a few weeks ago, i blazed through the several remaining projects i had cut.  fortunately, my mom had an extended visit with us, so i was able to move very quickly in spite of a wave of fevers and malaise moving through our family and reese developing severe insomnia (not in that order).  it was basically intolerable for two weeks, but seems to have mostly resolved by sticking the kids in the same room at night.  now there’s literally nothing they don’t do together.  anyway, i initially thought i would regroup and do more sewing (boy pants?  more home decor or accessories?  more jersey?), but i took about a week’s break or so to attend to the business side of selling crafts.  turns out, that’s quite a task if you’re starting from scratch!  after a fair amount of research, filing, registering, establishing, and branding, i’m happy to say i am legally open for business.  i can even take credit cards!

there has been a TON of photography, brand development, and marketing going on behind the scenes that also pertains to a significant side project i have going on, but i’m just tying up the laaaaaast few loose ends there and will write a post on the whole process sometime after thanksgiving.  for now, here’s a sneak preview of the rest of our inventory!  still hoping to have time to eek in a few projects, but those would be just for fun and i’m not positive what they might even be yet, which is fun after so much planning.

boyhoodies

poor boys are a bit slighted in inventory…i think these four shirts and a few unisex jackets are all we have for them.  these are all made from linen i picked up at gray line this past september.  it was 60″ striped linen as far as the eye could see!  so hard to narrow it down.  at that time, i had no clue what i was even making for art fair, but these stripes seemed to call for little boy hoodies (unisex really, but we gotta give the boys some love), so i bought a few cuts.  after finally getting the placket right (right enough, at least) my favorite cut was lost in a total freak sewing accident…i had barely squeezed out two sizes from the yardage, but then totally forgot by the time i went to sew it weeks later, sewed one size front to a different sized back, thought i cut one garment in two sizes, tried to even it out, and ended up completely destroying it.  i’ve never quite mauled a sewing project that badly–it was a real bummer.

babydresses

next i moved on to baby and toddler dresses (and corresponding diaper covers).  do not be fooled by the minute scale of these garments.  binding tiny neck and armholes proved a tortuous task that i was happy to conclude and hope not to do again in the foreseeable future.  i need to figure out how to line.  they are darn cute though.  binding aside, i got kind of into the details of these dresses with the peter pan collars, buttons, etc.  i know you’re wondering if a 0-3 month old needs a kangaroo pocket.  yes, yes she does.

minitovas

my final big sewing blitz was maybe my favorite.  i just love how these plaid tunics came out, partially because they’re pretty quick to assemble and have no real tedious parts.  some of the larger sizes could have possibly just barely fit me if i left the sleeves off to accommodate my linebacker shoulders, and don’t think i didn’t consider it.  plaid was really calling to me on my fabric stashing in nyc earlier this fall, and so it’s *possible* i may have left some tucked away for myself that might at a later date transform into tunics appropriate for adult wear.  what, isn’t art fair getting ENOUGH from me?  i cut into some of my very favorites for the booth, like that coral and grey-green.  that one stung a bit.

sweaters

and that pretty much sums up the sewing!  my poor, neglected kids have about had it with sorting buttons in my sewing room, and i really try not to sew while they’re awake because it generally ends in two or more of us having a tantrum simultaneously.  however, i have trained them since infancy to tolerate my knitting.  it’s a much more portable activity and can easily be picked up and put down to attend to the CONSTANT chatter and demands of toddlers.  so, i’ve made sure to have a project on the needles to work on anytime they’re awake.  that’s generally true even outside of art fair–i hate few things more than having idle hands and i’ve found knitting to be a rather vital mood stabilizer for me as well.  i’m comfortable enough with baby sweaters that i can do a little sketching, a few calculations, and then sort of make it up as i go and somehow it turns into a sweater at the end.  like sewing, making things on a small scale is somehow so forgiving.  anyway, here are the knit projects i’ve completed so far…there’s something especially irresistible about knits for a baby, right?  these are all knit in my favorite quince and co yarn, which is 100% wool–we can save a discussion of pros and cons of different fiber contents for another day, but that means these are hand wash only.  because that might be a bit daunting for parents of little ones, i’m including a free packet of soak wash in all knit purchases as a little treat (and motivation!).

let’s not forget that busy bee teri…she’s been turning out some exceptional boutique-worthy kid clothing that blows my simple plaid tunics away!  but at least our customers have a ton of selection, right?  check out these beautiful dresses/tunics.  all lined, trimmed, buttoned, and ruffled, of course.  did i mention she’s detail oriented?  if you haven’t already, make sure to check out her ruffled bodice tutorial to attempt something as awesome as that blue ikat in the corner.

teritunicsafter art fair, i think we can be quite confident that no child within a 20 mile radius will be chilly this winter…check out her latest batch of peacoats!  the sherpa, the ikat, the mustard dots, I KNOW.

tericoats

and a few other odds and ends…don’t you love the little pompom scarf?  i’m particularly fond of the beautiful pink watercolor nani iro blouse with the polka dot trim.  guys, i’ve seen her trim stash and it’s outrageous.  where does she find these things?  everywhere.  she’s a pro stasher, i’m telling you.terishortsshirts

i actually did complete *one* other project for art fair this week, but it’s not a part of the booth…the event itself is a large fundraiser for the local art center where it’s held, and a large percentage of our profits go back to the center, which is really neat.  i recently received a letter requesting vendor donations of hangable wall art for a silent auction taking place during the fair that benefits a scholarship fund for local high school students.  of COURSE i have to contribute to that!!  the only minor issue being, of course, that i make wearable things, not hangable things.  after briefly considering taking up painting in my ample spare time these next two weeks, i narrowed it down to a quilt block or embroidery, and quickly decided to use this as an excuse to tap into a project that’s been on my to do list for over a year–as long as i’ve owned a sewing machine:

feathers

how fabulous are these feathers?  given my attraction to arrows, feathers, lines, triangles, and anything remotely geometric or tribal, i’d say these totally satisfy.  they’re a great use for [the right shape of] scrap fabric, and like the best kind of quilting, it’s a surprise how they’re going to turn out depending on how you place your scraps and pattern pieces.  they are quite large, very suitable for a wall hanging i would say, but i’d love to shrink the pattern pieces way down and stitch some of these onto throw pillows, clutches, bags, pouches, shirts…i just love them!  for reference, this is one quilt block, trimmed to measure 18″ x 15″.  i put a layer of batting in and a muslin backing to make it neat and substantial, and sewed two twill tape loops sandwiched in between the layers to hold a dowel and make it “hangable.”  this would look awesome in a nursery, or on the wall of my sewing room where it’s currently hanging…

so, that’s where we’re at!  i’d say we’re in good shape.  my plan this week is to get all of my packaging and marketing materials finalized and ordered, and then it should be smooth sailing!  i also need to temporarily turn my attention to thanksgiving, which i’m hosting in 3 days.  when did that happen?  happy thanksgiving!

11 Comments on art fair preview #3!

  1. Ashley you rock! I am so inspired by your craftiness and motivation for craftiness with two little ones. I can barely find energy for simple sewing repair projects let alone creating ample magnificent inventory to sell at an art fair! When is the art fair? I will pass on the info to local friends who may need to shop for the holidays. Thinking of you and wish I could shop at your booth. xo, Shannon M (in Montana).

    • aw, thank you shannon! so nice of you to say hello here! i think one of the major keys to crafting with little ones is doing creative stuff. i sew a few hours every day, yet it took me six months to sew ONE BUTTON onto david’s shorts. i would say, if you want to get crafty, forget the repair projects and make it something FUN you do for YOU. you already do enough chores and upkeep…let yourself be creative as a gift to YOU. the holiday sale is at the davis art center from 12/6-12/8 (with a sneak preview the evening of 12/5). i would love any traffic you can send my way! http://www.davisartcenter.org/sale.htm happy thanksgiving; we missed you guys here this summer!

    • thank you, renee! we’re not the type to toot our own horns by a stretch, but i think we both surprised ourselves with what we were able to accomplish. can’t wait to get some pics of our finished booth! thanks :)

  2. WOW!!!!!!!! everything looks INCREDIBLE!!!
    YOU ARE INCREDIBLE!!!
    really Ashley… I am such a fan. please open an an online shop so I can buy some of these gorgeous creations!!!!! PLEASE!!

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