From Small to Successful Handmade Business

So a lot of you that follow my blog own a business where you actually hand make your products to sell to your customers.  Sometimes we all get into that slump where we need someone or something to inspire us.  A few weeks ago my friend and I decided to take a road trip to Richmond, VA and while there we found this store that was so inspiring. I decided to vlog the trip because I wanted you all to be inspired as well. The vlog that I filmed shows that we all are starting small now, but with hard work and determination we can eventually grow our business, hire employees, and open a store front. Wouldn’t that be a dream?!  It may be hard to believe it now, but the world is at our feet.  It sounds cliché, but we can have anything we want if we believe we can. How so?  If I believe I can own my own business, I will do my research, network, connect with small business owners, and do any and everything I can to get myself there.  You cannot go anywhere with just a thought. Have a plan. Take some action.  We can do it!  Let’s get inspired.

What inspires you?  Where do you go for inspiration?  Comment below and share your thoughts with all of us. We’d love to hear from you.

How I Started my Clothing Line, Got into my 1st Store, & Fabric Show

Ok, so here is the long awaited video…..

Back on Novemeber 1st, 2014 I launched my clothing line; TJ Sewer, LLC.  I started out working on my own, but as time went on, my business started picking up so I decided to hire help.  In the video I tell you all about my experience at my first textile show, how I started my business, what type of people I hired to help me grow even more and my role in my business as of now.  In this video, I also talked about my experience in getting contacted by my first store. This video was recorded last month, so my clothing has been in a store for about a month now.  I will do a future video on my experience thus far and how you can get into a store yourself.  If you have any other questions that I did not answer in this video, comment below. I’d love to do another video to answer all of your questions.

Celeb Look for Less: Floral Bomber Jacket

Hi everyone! Long time no see huh?! Well I had to take a much needed break, but no worries, I’m back. So I recently watched Sex and the City for the first time (I know. I know. I’m late!) And while watching, I was so inspired by the amount of fashion risks that Ms. Carrie Bradshaw took. I loved her extreme take on clothes. For example, she always went overboard with what she wore when just performing simple tasks. I thought it was hilarious and I loved it. So, let’s talk about my inspiration…bomberCollage Don’t you just love this jacket?! It’s so darn fabulous! It’s such a cool piece that can easily be dressed up or down, which is what I love about it.  It’s an easy piece that you throw on and can easily look pulled together. When walking through JoAnns Fabric Store, I remember spotting a similar style fabric in the Prom/ Wedding section. I NEVER would have though to turn this fabric into a jacket. It’s so clever and it’s such an unexpected fabric choice. So of course, I had to have it!
bomberIf you are looking to recreate this jacket and you are not interested in black, there are other colors; off-white and blush pink. Not a huge selection but with these colors are perfect neutrals. I’m actually thinking about making a pink one…hmmmm. The fabric is a bit pricey, $25/yd, but if you wait for a 50% off coupon the cost will be easier to cope with. LOL! It did for me at least. Also, the best part is, you’ll only need about 1.5 yds depending on the size you make. So can we say “Cheap but Chic!?”

bomber1The pattern that I chose to recreate Ms. Bradshaw’s floral bomber is New Look’s 6226 from the Project Runway line of patterns. This jacket is fully lined and was pretty easy to make. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. I would say that this is for the intermediate seamstress, not so much for the beginner only because there a few techniques used that a beginner may not understand just yet.  I did have to make a change to the outcome of my jacket versus how it is supposed to be made.  I removed the panel in the center of the jacket. With the fabric that I chose, it would not have looked proportionate. If you choose a less bulkier, more simpler fabric, I think the panel in the front would be fine.

bomber3Ok. So I am going to style my jacket in a few different ways. Today, I wanted to dress my jacket casually with some simple thrifted distressed jean shorts, tights, and boots.  This is a look that I would wear when hanging out with the girls or shopping. And of course, you all know I love my black. 🙂
bomber5bomber21bomber6bomber7 Jacket: DIY// Shorts: Thrifted// Tights: Target// Boots: Sam & Libby, Target

What are your thoughts on bomber jackets? Is it a closet staple for you this season?

name

Pumpkin Pincushion

Fall is here! I’m so excited because this is my favorite season. I totally go all out for Fall; fashion, home décor, crafts. So in honor of my favorite season, I wanted to make a cute little pincushion. I love the way it turned out. It’ll be a great addition to my photos as well.
pumpkinSo this pincushion took about 45 minutes to one hour. You can literally make this with your eyes closed….not really, but it’s extremely easy. If you are interested in adding a pincushion to your collection now is the time.

Here is what you’ll need:
Two different fabrics, felt, embroidery floss, an embroidery needle, stuffing, hot glue gun, pencil, clothes pin

pumpkin101. Trace and cut two even circles. I used an 8 in. cake pan.
pumpkin92. Cut each circle in quarters and arrange both circles like the picture below.
pumpkin83. Stitch pieces together. Be sure to press seams open as you go along.
pumpkin74. With right sides together, stitch the circles together leaving and 1.5 in. opening. Turn right side out and push stuffing inside.
pumpkin65. Stitch pincushion closed by hand with matching thread.
pumpkin56. Thread your embroidery floss through your needle like so. I tied two knots so that it doesn’t fall off while I’m pulling it through my pincushion.
pumpkin47. Pull embroidery floss through center of pincushion and continue to wrap around and pull through center to form a pumpkin. When finished, pull tight and tie two knots.
pumpkin28. Cut out a leaf using the felt and glue in center of pumpkin. Take the grosgrain ribbon and spray starch on both sides. Wrap around pencil and secure ends with a wooden clothes pin.  Place on baking sheet and allow the ribbon to heat up in a 200 degree oven for 4-5 minutes.  Allow to cool before removing from pencil.  Once cool, glue ribbon to center of pumpkin and glue a brown button on top.
pumpkin19. Now you are officially ready for Fall sewing! 🙂
pumpkin11If you decided to make one for yourself, show me! Find me on Instagram and tag me.

signature

DIY Joggers

 So the trend for Fall/ Winter fashion is sporty wear and you’ve probably seen it all over the runway, celebs, and your favorite bloggers. Jogger pants are a part of that sporty look, but why not go outside of the box and pick a print that wouldn’t typically be used for this type of look.
jog3These pants are comfortable and depending on the print that you choose, you can easily look pulled together if you just throw on something as simple as a t-shirt like I did with my look. My shirt was a bit long, so I tied a knot in the back.  I say that this is a must have for back to school kids, whether in elementary, middle, or high school. I created this for my daughter (HERE & HERE) and for my son (HERE). This pants are also great for moms that are always on the run trying to keep up with family duties.
jog21 jog

Top: Forver 21// Pants: DIY// Shoes: JustFab

The fabric that I chose was a sateen with a bit of stretch. It was purchased from JoAnn Fabrics and if you are interested, I created a tutorial for these pants a couple weeks back. You can check it out here?

What are your thoughts on the sports wear trend?

signature

 

DIY Origami Top + Circle Skirt

With Fall season just around the corner, I know that we are all on the hunt for that perfect fabric that will help us transition into Fall style and I finally found the perfect print that I got it from FatQuarterShop.com  I am totally in love for these reasons: It’s modern, it has a bit of a Summer and Fall color palette, and it’s just an all-around fun print.
gridWith this fabric, I wanted to show you that you can create both, an edgy and a sophisticated look. They both are fun and can be pulled off at any age.  That’s the main reason I feel that you need this fabric in your life; You can create something for anyone no matter their age and in all honesty, gender. It is a neutral print that gives off a youthful look to whatever is created.
gridlock11With this first look, I created an origami top in which you can pair with your favorite fitted jeans.  Pair it with some bold accessories, and you have yourself, an edgy, yet sexy look.  This top has no zipper and loose, boxy feel to it and because of the open back, it’s to pull on and off. The peek-a-boo on the lower back shows just the perfect amount of skin for Fall and it gives off an unexpected touch to a basic top.  Cute right?! gridlock1CollageTOP: DIY// Jeans: Zara// Necklace: Charlotte Russe//
Crossbody Bag: Target// Heels: Target

Now I know that everyone loves a classic circle skirt and when paired with this years hottest trend, the midi, it’s such a great combo that needs to be added to your Fall wardrobe.
grid1With this second look, I created this super cute circle skirt. It’s such a fun and classy look that any age can pull off.  You can instantly look pulled together with a circle skirt made with a fun, bold print, and a t-shirt or tank.  It’s as easy as that. Throw on some accessories and you’ve just stepped your look up to whole new level.
grid1Collage

White Tank: Target// Jean Jacket: JC Penny// Skirt: DIY// Purse: Marshalls//
Shoes: Forever 21// Necklace: Charlotte Russe

Now you can definitely put both pieces together for a matchy-matchy look which is another hot trend for this year and you will look equally fabulous.  To create any one of these looks, I have created an easy-to-follow tutorial located at the bottom of this post but before you start creating, you need fabric right? Below I have included links to some of my favorite fabric picks from FatQuarterShop.com and a 20% off coupon code so that you can go crazy. Oh and if you are interested in the fabric that I chose, you can find it HERE.
fqsCollage1. Botanique Deep Water Lily Pads
2. Meadow Hyacinths Freshly Cut
3. Moonlit Aqua On the Grid
4. Color Me Retro Azalea Dulcette
5. Midnite Gems Jewel Gay Paree
6. Chic Flora Rouge Interlaced
7. Sylvia White Ruta
8. Mormor Emerald Little Blomster
9. Brambleberry Ridge Lilac Shimmer Reflection

20% OFF $50 or more
COUPON CODE:
chicwithfqs
EXPIRES: Oct. 31, 2014

Here is the tutorial for both the origami top and circle skirt. Be sure to subscribe if you haven’t and thumbs up this video if you enjoyed the tutorial.

So what looks are you excited to create and/or wear in the Fall?!  Comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

(Thank you so much Daniar of FatQuarterShop.com for giving me this opportunity to create with your beautiful fabric.)

signature

Favorite Summer Looks

Ba-Bye Summer! It was nice knowin ya!
Summer was good to me this year. I’ve learned quite a few sewing techniques and have definitely stepped outside of my comfort zone while wearing a lot of bright, fun colors.  Today I want to look back at my top favorite Summer looks and hopefully you have enjoyed them as much as I have. Click on the links below to take you directly to that particular blog post and how I went about creating each look.
summer1Collage
(from left to right)
1. Tribal
2. Sugar & Spice
3. Keep It Short
4. City Chic
5. Tropical Safari

Which look was your favorite?
signature

Modernized

 Have you ever walked into a thrift store and looked at something and think “Why would anyone purchase this?” LOL! I know I have…several times!!! Well, over on Pretty Girls Sew, we wanted to challenge you to think outside of the box and refashion a thrifted find.
thriftHere is what I picked up; A kelly green, drop-waisted dress with rusty, gold buttons. Doesn’t it just look so fabulous?! LOL! Not really.  Taking something old and turning it into something beautiful definitely tests your creativity, your sewing skills, and problem solving skills. Imagination is key! So I had sooooo many things in mind for this but it all fell through because of the small amount of fabric that I was working with.  This is where creativity and problem solving comes in. I literally had to take apart almost the entire dress.  I kept a portion of the front button section as is, but everything else had to go.
thrift21
Here’s some notes on how I went about creating my finished piece.
1. I removed the sleeves, and bottom pleated skirt.
2. Using my bra as a guide, I created the top portion of the romper.
3. To create a nice and neat finish for the top, I cut out facings and neatly understitched it.
4. It took forever, but I ironed the pleats out of the skirt and turned it into shorts.
5. I really wanted pockets, but don’t have enough fabric so I made faux pockets. (LOL! Nope they aren’t real)
6. The waist was a tad large, but I didn’t want to take away any fabric because my hips are wide, so I added 2 darts in the back instead.
7. When hemming the shorts, I wanted the hem to be thick like most shorts are so that’s what I did.
8. I removed the old, gold buttons and added some nice rustic silver ones.
9. For the back, I created a drop back and added facing for a neat finish.
10. For the straps, I took the sleeves, and cut 1.5 inch strips. I stitched two together to make them long enough and stitched down the sides of each strap.  I made a total of four straps. I criss-crossed it across the back side of the romper attached it the front and side.

bo3

 bo4bo2

 bo9bo7bo5bo6Head piece: DIY (tutorial coming soon)// Lipstick: Rimmel Kate Moss #17// Romper: DIY// Kimono: TJ Maxx// Heels: Charlotte Russe

signature

Street Attitude

Last week I posted my daughter, Alana, wearing her leopard pants in a playful, yet chic style. If you have not seen that post, you can check it out HERE.  This week, I wanted to show you how you can these dress pants up.  When I dolled her up, she could not keep herself out of the mirror. LOL!
ljWhen converting these pants over to  a dressier style, I still kept the main part of the outfit quite simple but, I added bold accessories to play up the look.
divA5A staple in my kids wardrobes are plenty of black and white plain tee shirts; whether they are short or long sleeved. I love them because they can be dressed up or down and they pretty much go with everything.  Another cute added touch to this outfit could be a simple cardigan or faux leather jacket because it will also go well during the colder months.
diva1

divadiva3diva4diva8
Hair Bows: Forever21// Sunnies: Target// Necklace: Charlotte Russe// T-Shirt & Shoes: Target// Pants: DIY

Want to make a pair for your kids and even yourself? Watch this DIY!

signature

Chic Happens

Happy Saturday everyone!
Is it hot where you are? Because it…is….HOT in Virginia! Good grief!
Ok. So…..who is ready for Back to School?!  My daughter is going into the Kindergarten and she is super excited. I am too!  I’m excited for her to learn and make friends. She is a very social little one. LOL! She is always asking me to take her places and I dread it because I’m such a homebody. 😉 So because school is coming up soon, my kids will be on the blog a bit more than usual. Who doesn’t love cute kids though? I will be featuring some easy back to school looks and DIY’s that you can create for your love bugs.
lj1Me and my daughter have decided that this outfit will be her 1st day of school outfit. My little fashionista has arrived.
ch1So let’s talk about the main purpose of this blog post; these pants. They literally take about 1.5 hours to make. The fabric that I chose was a cotton with a small amount of spandex. You can find it JoAnn Fabrics. You can also use 100% cotton as well. I made them for my son in a previous post and used cotton for his pants. You can check out that post HERE. I am totally going to make several of these style of pants in different prints because they are extremely easy, fast, and I love how many prints I can choose to make these out of.
ch4As you may have noticed about my children’s clothes, I don’t like things to be too childish or too cutesy. I’m more into the modern and bold prints that are simple to pull together. Keep in mind when making kids clothes, that they have to be able to run and play in them as well. So like I said, these pants are perfect for that.
ch5These pants are totally versatile. They can be dressed up or down.  In this particular post, she is dressed down. She can run, jump, and play. In a future post, I’ll show you how you can take these pants and make your baby girl look fancy. Hence the title of this blog “Cheap but Chic”. In all honesty, these pants do look expensive. Don’t they? They were just under $10 to make though.
ch7ch8ch3ch6ch2

Jean Jacket: Thrifted// Tshirt: DIY// Pants: DIY// Glasses: Target// Hair Bow: Forever21// Converse: Converse Outlet

Did I convince you to make some of these for your kids yet?  If not, more posts to come.

signature