Friday, January 30, 2009

Adjustable Straps and More

I've been working on some changes to my designs in the past few weeks. My Pleated Everyday Bag is now available with an adjustable strap. The one above was my first run. In the future they will all have an adjustable strap long enough to wear across your body messenger style or as a shoulder bag . All my Messenger Bags will also have an adjustable strap. I am working on ways to make my handbags more functional. More pockets and storage ideas are in the works. I am also working on some completely new designs that I will be introducing this spring!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seller of the Week

Yesterday I found a comment on my most recent post from a lovely person who wrote that she blogged about my shop. I followed her link to " The raven and the writing desk" to discover that I am her Etsy seller of the week! Thanks so much! You can see the post here. She also has a shop on Etsy, The Rustic Owl,  that sells fantastic all natural soaps, soy candles and more. Check them out!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Etsy Must-Haves

At the moment these are my absolute Etsy must-haves! Starting from the top, Moxie Designs amazonite necklace, Gaia Conceptions shell collector dress and Kira Ferrer Designs sea anemone stacking ring. All these would be great to wear together while strolling along the seaside on a summer day. Once again I am dreaming of warmer weather while New York City is covered with snow!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Red-tailed Hawk and More

Yes, that's a Red-tailed Hawk on my neighbor's air-conditioner laying in the sun spreading his wings! He seems to like that air-conditioner because my partner Tom has seen him there several times. The first time I saw him I thought he looked so out of place in New York City. But there's an endless supply of pigeons here so I am sure he's doing just fine. I wonder if he could be a descendant of Pale Male! Tom, who took the photo, placed our cat Anni on the windowsill so she could get a look. Notice how the hawk is looking our way. I am sure he noticed Anni as well!
Now it's on to a different topic. Yesterday I purchase some new cotton print fabric online. I use this fabric to line the interior of my handbags. I always fuse it with one layer of light fusible interface to add structure and durability. This is the first time I bought cotton print fabric online. I hope my purchase will be as nice as pictured! I especially love floral prints and enjoy selecting which print will work best with a particular handbag. Sometimes I create an applique design after being inspired by a certain print. Other times I select the fabric based on which applique I plan to use. It's all part of the creative process that I really enjoy! 
Before I finish up this post I want to thank a very lovely person who wrote to me yesterday via my Etsy shop to let me know that she posted about my Wayfarer Purse in her blog. Thank you Mariel! You can see the post here. Check out the blog, "Or so she says...", for a daily dose of great ideas!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Two Front Pagers!

Yesterday my Wayfarer Purse in olive green corduroy with a flowered branch applique made it to Etsy's front page twice!

The screen shot posted above is one of the gorgeous treasuries that was curated by an etsy administrator. It features gaiaconceptions, jibbyandjuno, peskycatdesigns, saraschalliol, accessoire, larimeloom, annarubyking, spartasoap, staroftheeast, jennski, elmstudios, ballandchain.

The lovely treasury posted above was curated by Spazzy.  She has a shop on etsy that sells beautiful handspun yarn. It makes me want to learn to knit! The treasury features tangentdesigns, getreadysetgo, peskycatdesigns, blockpartypress, helveticaneue, myissag, aspasia, thephotozoo, kirby, thepeachtree, poorrobin and ciaraobscura.  
Thanks Etsy and Spazzy for creating such fantastic treasuries and including my purse!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shop Update

In the next few hours I'll be adding some new handbags to the Pesky Cat Designs shop. The Pleated Everyday Bag posted above is made from red cotton twill and has an adjustable shoulder strap. It will be available in the shop this afternoon. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Spring Colors 2009

Its been pretty cold in New York City and warm weather seems so far away. But before you know it, spring will be here. A few days ago I received an email from a potential customer on Etsy asking about colors that would take her into spring. Although it's a personal choice, most people seem to prefer light colors versus dark colors for warm weather. 
In any case, her email made me think about my spring collection. I've purchased some new fabric this month with warmer weather in mind. Clockwise from top left corner, cotton duck in slate gray, cotton duck in periwinkle blue, cotton canvas in lilac, cotton twill in khaki, handwoven hemp in a variety of colors, linen in natural, linen in cilantro, cotton duck in olive green, cotton twill in red and cotton twill in true blue. The olive fabric is dark but some customers like the darker tones all year round. Olive also looks awesome with a cream colored applique. See here
I also did a search online and found the Pantone Fashion Color Report for spring 2009. The report features the top 10 colors for women's fashion for spring 2009. I'll be purchasing more fabric in lots of new colors throughout the upcoming months. I like to purchase smaller quantities so I can keep my work one-of-a-kind. If there are any colors that you would like to see in the Pesky Cat Designs shop let me know. I often create work with customer feedback in mind!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Destination: United Kingdom

In the past month I've sold a couple of handbags, posted above, to customers living in the United Kingdom. Every once in a while I post about my international sales. See  Around the World, Destination: Australia, Destination: Newfoundland  and Destination: Europe. Thanks to Etsy's website my handbags have reached destinations in Canada, Europe and the  Middle East!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Front Page by Etsy

My Wayfarer Purse with a flowered branch applique made it to the front page of Etsy yesterday! I did a search on flickr to find the screen shoot after I noticed that I got a lot of traffic on my site. The treasury was curated by an administrator at Etsy and featured skylarkstudio, geninne, theleatherstore, kelgwo, ginpins, everythingok, gaiaconceptions, abonneygirl, peskycatdesigns, artquirk, sixthandelm and seasprayblue. Beautiful picks Etsy! I actually own a lovely skirt by gaiaconceptions. I love all the items in this treasury and had marked a lot of these in my favorites a while back!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What's New

The corduroy messenger bag posted above is a new design that's now available in my shop. More of these in a variety of fabrics and applique designs will be available in the shop very soon. I'll be posting work in progress and finished pieces throughout next week. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Interface or Not

I've noticed that my posts that offer tutorials and advice get lots of traffic. I'm glad that I might be able to help someone. So today I decided to write about the use of interface when creating handbags. My Wayfarer Purse posted above is made with 3 layers of interface. Interface gives fabric more structure and durability. 
For the purse above I used Pellon Decor-Bond, a fusible interface, for the exterior fabric and the interior lining. I could omit interfacing the lining but I like the crispness it gives the fabric and it makes it more durable as well. Decor-bond is a firm iron-on non-woven backing. Some care is needed when ironing it onto the fabric. I would recommend testing it on a small piece of fabric first. If too much heat is applied it can make the fabric pucker. Instructions on how to use it is included with the bolt. I also found this site with some useful instructions. If you are planning to wash the item you are making in the future then you should pre-wash your fabric before applying the fusible interface.
Recently I've starting adding a 3rd layer of interface, a thick fleece-like sew-in, to my Wayfarer Purses, Market Totes and Messengers. This gives the handbags even more structure. 
Sometimes less is more.  For instance, if you want nice flowing pleats then stiffing the fabric with interface is not recommended. For my Pleated Everyday Bag I only interface the top band of the bag. I tried interfacing the entire fabric once and it gave the pleats a stiff unnatural look. You live and learn! I recommend experimenting and finding what works for you. I hope that I was able to provide some helpful tips!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Busy in the Studio

It may look quiet in this part of my studio but I am busy photographing new handbags that I will add to the shop in the next few hours. Hope everyone is having a great day!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Glimpse into the Studio

It's Monday and I'm working in my studio. I decided to take a photo of my sewing station before I begin. Corduroy is the fabric of the moment. The handbags posted above should be completed and in my shop by tomorrow. I also plan to cut some fabric for a few new Pleated Everyday BagsMy first new messenger bag sold yesterday! I love its rounded flap design and the adjustable strap. I'll definitely being adding more of those to the shop as well.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Day Dreaming

I've been daydreaming about one of those lovely wooden racks you can store all your thread on. My local tailor has an awesome one. I can see it through the window of his store when I pass by. My sweet cat is dreaming of one as well. So it's probably best that I continue to keep my thread safely stored away in my plastic containers. It was a nice daydream though!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A New Design

I've completed a new design for the new year. It's a messenger style bag with a rounded flap and an adjustable strap. The one above is made from a very thick 6 wale cotton corduroy in a rich steel grey. It will be available in my shop today for a special introductory price since it's my first sample. It's 11" tall, 10.5" wide, 2.5" deep and has two interior pockets. The strap length is adjustable from 29.5" to 48.5" so you can wear it as a shoulder bag or across the body messenger style! I still plan to make a few minor adjustments to the design such as making it a bit deeper. Also, I plan to make some without the adjustable strap depending on the fabric used. I have to admit it was difficult sewing the adjustable strap using the thick 6 wale corduroy. 
Right now in the studio I've got some semi-circle purses , a messenger and a wayfarer purse all being made from corduroy in progress. I'll post a sneak preview before they become available in my shop. Hope everyone is having a good new year!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wednesday Heads Up

I'll be adding new Wayfarer Purses to the Pesky Cat Designs shop in the next hour or two. After I accomplish that I plan to start a new batch of handbags. It's raining in New York City right now so it's a perfect day to stay in the studio and work. When I have some new works in progress I'll post a sneak preview. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Heads Up!

I'll be adding new handbags to the Pesky Cat Designs shop in the next hour or so. More purses will also be added to the shop on Wednesday, January 7th. 

New Handbags Arriving in the Shop

         The Semi-Circle Purse in Burnt Orange Corduroy with an ultrasuede applique

New purses will be arriving at the Pesky Cat Designs shop this week. Wayfarer Purses will be available in corduroy, cotton canvas and denim hemp. I also have some corduroy Semi-Circle Designs. A heads up will be posted a couple of hours before new items are added to the shop. 

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Coming Soon!

New handbags are in production at the Pesky Cat Designs studio. Posted above are some being created in corduroy, canvas and denim hemp. They should be available in my shop this Tuesday. 
Hope everyone is having a good New Year!