Friday, August 10, 2018

StitchingCA - My Etsy Store

I finally did it - I opened an Etsy store a few days ago.  My brand name is StitchingCA partially because I already own the domain.  Since it's short and can mean sewing or stitching I thought it would be a good brand name for my little store. I also created a logo with a dragonfly that you can see on my blog now.

Everything I've read about Etsy indicates that you need to have a minimum of 100 items and ideally 172.75 items. I'm slowly working my way toward that goal, but that's a pretty big number. Another little tidbit of knowledge about Etsy is that the average sale is $25 U.S. So, it's something else to keep in mind as I make and create my inventory.  This doesn't mean I won't get into more expensive items eventually, however, it's definitely something to consider as I choose which items to make.

I don't plan on selling embroidered items at the moment, but I don't want to cross it off my list either. The StitchingCA brand is sort of all encompassing and allows me the option to do so in the future.  For now, I'm offering some smaller items like pouches, pencil cases and ID wallets.  My goal is to keep the prices low and to offer free shipping in Canada for as long as possible.  

Some things I've made so far:

Cosmetic/Toiletry Pouch

ID Wallet with 2 Credit Card Slots and Zipper Section
Pattern by Uniquely Michelle

Earbud Case/Coin Purse Keychain with Lobster Clasp or Split Ring

So far, it's nothing major, but it's a start. Have any of you considered making an Etsy store or have a store already? I'd love to hear about your experience and check out your stores.

'Til next time,


Monday, January 15, 2018

Recap of 2017

As the year came to a close, like many of you, I took inventory on what I completed over the last year. I really was quite busy sewing totes, pouches, purses, grocery bags...etc....  But I still managed a bit of time to dedicate to stitching. Some of my stitching accomplishments include:

Country Cottage Needleworks - Just Cross Stitch 2010 Ornament Issue

Victoria Sampler - Woodland Garden

Homespun Elegance - Bee Happy

Jenny of Elefantz Designs

Cathy Jean Designs - Buttercup Sampler

Bloom - Just Cross Stitch March/April 2011 issue

Birdhouse - Just Cross Stitch October 2007 Issue

The Drawn Thread - Easter Egg Sampler Kit

JBW Designs - Christmas Tree
There are others that I made some progress on, but not worth sharing at this time.

Something new to me last year was trying my hand at toy making and I think I did quite well....

Both are patterns from the Funky Friends Factory.  I had a blast making them and hope to do more this year.

If you wish to see more pics of my progress in sewing and cross stitch, please check check me out on  Instagram - @karens_colourful_creations .

2018 has started with a ton of stitching, but that will wait for another post.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sewing update for March and April

I made a couple passport wallets that are lined with RFID protection fabric. The pattern is by Genycartes on Craftsy and is called the Rover Passport Wallet.  I still have a couple more of these to make.  Cork fabric was used as an accent fabric in the first one and on the outside of the second one.  I think it came together better when it was used on the outside.

 My daughter asked me to make her an RFID protected travel bag/pouch that she could carry her passport, credit cards, plane ticket, phone and iPod.  She wanted to be able to wrap it around her wrist (hence the wriststrap) as well as be able to carry it as a cross-body bag. A cross-body strap was made from black webbing, but it is not in the pics below.  The exterior is made from burgandy and charcoal cork fabric and the interior is quilting cotton.

This was a trial pattern for me.  Quilting cottons were used for the interior and exterior.  It is lined with foam which makes it stand up.  I added a silver "Handmade" tag to the front, magnetic clasp to close the bag, divided the interior and exterior pockets in half, and added purse feet to the bottom.  I love this pattern and the look of the bag is fabulous.  I can see more of these in my future.  :)  The pattern is The Ethel by Swoon.



This little pouch was a free pattern.  The pouch holds an iPhone perfectly.  The front zip pocket is perfect for holding coins/bills/cards.  This was made with Cork fabric as well.  If you can't tell... I LOVE cork fabric.  SOOOO easy to sew with using a domestic machine.

 These are bags that I'm using regularly.  The large is my everyday tote that I use to carry my stuff back and forth to work and the smaller I use as a purse when I'm not working.  Personally, I think it would look funny to carry them both at the same time lol.  The middle exterior panel pocket and bottoms are both made with cork fabric and the the exterior is cotton canvas with little sailboats. The interior lining is made from a cotton coat fabric.   It is the perfect fabric for a lining as it has body an doesn't need interfacing.  I added slip pockets on one side and a zippered pocket on the other.  This pattern is the Hapai Tote by SewDaKine

Lastly, is a practice run for a little fabric envelope that I made from quilting cottons.  I still need to add a snap closure. And yes, the spool fabric was cut upside down by accident.  I'll still use it as a small project pouch for myself. This pattern is the Secret Pocket Envelope Clutch by Michelle Patterns and can be found on Etsy.

And that's it for March and April.  Hoping for a productive May.  :)


Friday, April 28, 2017

Stitching update for March and April

Some things I've been working on through-out March and April:

First, is Bloom from Just Cross Stitch March/April 2011 edition. I used mostly Vikki Clayton silks from my stash because I didn't have the threads the pattern called for on hand.  The fabric is 32 count Willowgreen linen.

 The little bee is from an Easter Pattern by The Cricket Collection.  I couldn't get the fabric to show up correctly at all.  It is 28 count pale yellow Zweigart linen.

The bluebird is a transfer design that I transferred onto the cork using Prick and Pounce.  The little bird was stitched with DMC #8 Perle Cotton. The cat bookmark is part of the Cozy Cat pattern from the Cross Stitch & Needlework Fall 2015 magazine. Both were stitched and finished in March/April.

Finally, this is what I'm currently stitching and hope to have it finished soon.  Buttercup Alphabet by Cathy Jean fro The Victoria Sampler.  I'm using the thread pack which is a mix of Gentle Art Sampler Threads and Weeks Dye Works.  The fabric is 25 count Zweigart Raw linen.  I absolutely love the funky alphabet in this pattern.  :)

And sadly, that's all of the stitching I've completed in the last couple of months.  Hoping for a more productive May. :)


Friday, March 03, 2017

My finishing pile is dwindling!

Recently, I took out a few things that have been in my "to be finished" stack for literally years and finally finished them off.

First up is one of my very first pieces of hardanger. To finish it, I backed the hardanger with a piece of teal cotton that perfectly matched little flowers in the floral print that I used to cover a paper mache box.  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and use the little box to store some bits and bobs.

Next are a couple of cross stitch pieces that I made into cute zipper pouches with bright red zippers.  I finished them off with metal zipper tags with the Canadian maple leaf. These pouches are being used as project bags.

So my finishing pile is down by three! Maybe not a lot but it's still something.  :)

Now, onto my sewing projects.... 

Since I really needed a new purse because mine was looking quite shabby I decided to make my own.  I found the Hippo Hobo pattern by Emkie Designs and made two - one for winter and one for summer. They're a little on the large side, but they're perfect for carrying my things to work and since they're quite light I don't mind using it as an every day bag either. 

I thought I'd practice making some wallets with cork and whipped up these two Slimline wallets.  The pattern is by Carla's Creations and can be found on Craftsy.  I especially love the Tula Pink fabric.  That fox is simply the cutest thing ever.

I've been on the lookout for a small wallet pattern for awhile and came across the Limelight wallet designed by RLR creations.  I love the ID window in this one, but managed to flub it up when I was ironing it towards the end.  If you look closely you can see the melted plastic. Aside from that, I consider it a success.  It's an adorable little wallet pattern.

That's all I have for now.  I've been working on some passport wallets and a pouch with RFID protection, which I'll talk about in another post. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

My love affair with cork leather

If you follow me on Instagram, you will already know of my new found love for everything cork (also known as cork leather, vegan leather, or cork fabric).  So, I thought I'd explain why I'm so enamoured with this stuff.

Some of you may be asking what is she talking about so here are some pictures of cork leather to help you out:

Some facts about cork:
  • Sustainable product.  Cork is harvested from a cork tree once every 9 years.  This process does no damage to the tree. There are cork tree forests in Portugal that are over 2000 years old!  Although, from the information that I have, I believe most trees are harvested for up to 300 years.  That's still one heck of a long time though. 
  • It is 100% natural product. I'm always looking for alternatives to synthetics.
  • It is strong. Cork leather is as strong as its leather counterparts.  There have been some discussions on pre-mature wear in the corners, but I believe this has to do with heat (iron) being applied to the cork and other mitigating factors (quality of the cork leather - I buy only the best). Leather and vinyl both show wear in the same fashion.
  • It is water resistent. Bags and wallets made from cork are protected.  As much as I love fabric bags, water protection is nice to have.
  • Natural anti-mildew and anti-bacterial properties.  Synthetics such as vinyl definitely can't boast of this feature. Again, this is a benefit from an all natural product.
  • It can be wiped clean. I hate it when my leather wallets starts looking dingy due to every day handling or my bag starts looking like it's older than the stars because it's gotten dirty. Cork has a smooth, surface that can usually be wiped clean with plain water.  I read one story where dark jean dye rubbed off on a white cork handbag and the dye washed off completely with a damp cloth.  Most bags would be ruined.  That's a definite bonus in my books!
  • Cork leather is PETA CERTIFIED.  Cork is an ecofriendly vegan alternative to leather or vinyl. Remember that bit about trees being harvested for approximately 300 years?  
  • Cork is STITCHABLE.  Cork leather is quite pliable and has a different type of density. So, being stitching obsessed, I had to test it for myself to see if it could be used in hand-stitching. 
The hardest part for me was figuring out how to transfer the design.  You can't exactly see through cork, so Prick and Pounce is pretty much the only way to transfer the design unless your good with free-handing it.  

There is enough stiffness in the cork to hold it in your hand and stitch. 


I finished it off as an open-mouthed cork bag. I decided to list this for sale on Instagram and couldn't believe how quickly it sold. 😊

I'll end this post with some pictures below of a couple of things that I've made with the cork.

This is the Slimline wallet designed by Carla's Creations. Pattern can be found on

So, that's it my friends.  What's not to love about this stuff, eh?  😊

Wishing all of you a happy weekend!