Monday, 30 June 2014

A School Project

My daughter loves to draw - it's her favourite activity along with reading.  Both of which I'm very happy about!  I had an idea for a little project that I knew she would enjoy - a pencil case with her own artwork on it, but wondered if her classmates would like to join in too.

I had a chat with her lovely Year 2 teacher, and she thought it would be a great idea - so I designed a template for them, and came in to class at art time a few weeks ago.

We showed them some examples of my daughter's art already printed on fabric - and also a finished pencil case.  We also explained the concept of a repeating pattern to them - and that I would take their little drawing, and repeat it over the fabric just like on their clothing!

The result - a bit of a designing and sewing marathon and 25 brilliantly colourful pencil cases!!  They are made of a hardwearing canvas - which can be washed and should last the test of time...



We had them draw a larger design for a centre panel with their name on it - and a small design that would be used as the repeat.  Even my 4 year old joined in - sitting very nicely with the "big kids" - and to my surprise having a go himself!  He never usually participates in anything arty at kindergarten - so I was overjoyed to see him sitting with a drawing implement in his hand!

The class of 6 year olds were incredibly focussed on their work - and very excited that it would be turned into something they could use.  This was my daughter Jessie's finished artwork - her Mermaid Princess:


With her "coordinate"...



And this is the finished pencil case - front and back





I was very very happy at the amount of detail that came through on the fabric - and the vibrancy of the colours we were able to reproduce.

My added bonus - little Mikey's one...will be keeping these both as little treasures I think :)

 
 

I have to say it was one of the most rewarding projects I've undertaken - the sheer delight from the kiddies when I returned a few weeks later with their sewn pencil cases was amazing!  So worth the time I put into them :)

Year 2 is a great age to do them as a project too - they've settled in, can write and draw pretty well by now, but are still super excited to do something like this as an activity.

Here are my two kiddies with a photo Jessie's teacher emailed through from the day we handed them out at school - thank you Mrs Miller!



There is now a lovely big display up in the classroom showing the original artwork, and photos of all the kiddies each with their pencil case - great work everyone!!

I want to say a BIG thank you to the lovely ladies in a Fabric forum I belong to - for helping to cover the costs of the fabric for the class.  I had some spare blank space on the yardage I needed to order - so I offered some personalised pencil case panels up to them.  They were snapped up very quickly - and I am very grateful to you all - THANK YOU!!!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Copyright - Copying is not ok...

***UPDATE  11 July 2014:  I have removed my ex-customers images from this post.  I have received written assurances that all of my images have been removed from her systems and website, and that she will not copy ShelleyMade designs in the future.***

I had hoped I would never have to write a post like this.  But I do.

I have recently found someone rather blatantly copying my personalised designs.  I cannot explain how upsetting this has been, particularly due to the nature of the copying.

Not just any "someone", by the way.  A customer.  Someone who had purchased designs very regularly from me for 16 months until March of this year.  I'm not going to name her - I'm better than that.  But I will show you what she did.

You all know my personalised range.  It's pretty recognisable as mine - anywhere you see it.  There are clear copyright notices on each and every one of my designs up on Spoonflower, and on my website.  I simply cannot understand why my customer would think it was ok to take my Intellectual Property and make it her own, but she did - reproducing my designs and having them printed herself.  These personalised designs are not automatically generated...they are created by me, by hand.  More puzzling to me is how she thought I would not find out...when she quite happily kept promoting my designs (and her copied designs) on her page.

Here is a side by side comparison I did...mine on the left - the copy on the right.  There is no mistaking the similarity is there?

<IMAGE REMOVED>


This is another example of my designs...an actual Elliott I created a few months back for a customer. 




To add insult - the copyright infringer downloaded clip art and added it to my design layout.  I do not use clipart.  At all.  Everything I put on my designs is mine, hand-drawn by me.  Where I use a font - I have either written permission from the author, a purchased license for commercial use, or it is a free for commercial use font.  I take pride in that. 

None of the following are my designs...although they sure look like them.  These photos are all taken from the location to where my ex-customer publishes and sells her products.  I am publishing them here, with her identifying marks removed, so that you can see the extent of the violation - and why I was understandably so upset.



<IMAGES REMOVED>



I thank all of my loyal customers for their support.  There are a number of those customers that sell items made with my designs entirely legitimately - and with my absolute backing.  Just not the customer whose photos appear above.

I take the protection of my Intellectual Property very seriously, and have issued the appropriate documentation to prevent this person from printing any more copied designs.  I hope that person does come across this post, and understands the absolute hurt and upset she has caused for me.  Shame on you.  It's just plain and simple stealing.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Hidden Zipper Pillow Tutorial










Don't be afraid of the zip!!!  That's what I was going to call this tutorial - but I thought it probably wouldn't come up in the right searches! :)

Sewing an invisible zip into a pillow or cushion (depending on where you live, and what you call it) is not scary.  Really.  Truly.  Hopefully this tutorial will show you that!  It also makes a lovely, professional looking cushion.

I've used my own fabric designs here - but you can use any piece of fabric you like - at any size you like.  A fairly standard size seems to be 18 inches - which is also the length of a Fat Quarter, so that's what I've gone with.





You will need:

  • 2 pieces of Fabric - 18"x18" inches (45.75cm by 45.75cm)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • 1 invisible zipper (I used 16" long)
  • A zipper foot (either regular zipper foot or an invisible zipper foot)
  • A pillow/cushion insert




Step One - Prepare

First you need to get your squares ready.  Cut them out to size, then you want to protect the edges from fraying.

To do this - you can either use a zig zag stitch right along the edges of each piece on your sewing machine, OR you can use an overlocker/serger like I did in the examples, OR you can use pinking shears if you have them.



Finishing the edges like this before you start to sew will make it a whole lot easier, and tidier than trying to do it at the end.


Step Two - Install the Zipper

In my images I'm using an invisible zipper foot - but it's not absolutely necessary.  I just prefer using one.  A regular zipper foot will work just fine.

First - open up your zipper, then line it up with the bottom of your front panel as shown in the next two images:


You want the zipper to be upside down, with the open end lined up at the far right - and the opened zipper head at the left.  Don't worry if your zipper doesn't go the whole length of the panel - as long as it will open up enough for you to get your insert in it's just fine!  This way, you can sometimes make do with a shorter (and cheaper) zipper if it is all you have to hand.



Now it's time to sew.  See where my finger is pointing in the picture above?  That's where we are going to start sewing...1.5" (3.8cm) in from the end.  Put a pin in there to remind you that's where you are starting.  Now, some people will say you should iron the teeth (the interlocking pieces) of the zip flat now - but I don't find that necessary.  I do raise them a little with my fingernail as I'm feeding it through the machine and I find that is enough.

Install your zipper foot.  In my case (with the invisible zipper foot), I needed to use the centre needle position, and line the groove up on the left with the zipper teeth.  I've moved the fabric through the 1.5 inches I needed, and now we sew as close to the right side of the teeth as we can.  Remember to backstitch both at the start and end of stitching.



Go all the way down as far as you can without hitting the zipper head! :)


Now - before you head off to do the other side - a tip.  Check you can close your zipper right now.  Before you go any further.  That way, if you have sewn a little too close to the teeth, at least you will know it's on this side - and it will make fixing it a lot easier :)  It's unlikely - but if the zip does catch, just unpick the stitches causing the issue, and re-sew just that section.

Right now - with the zip closed for testing, you should have something that looks like this:



Open that zip up again, and place your front and back panels together like this, so their bottoms meet!:


Now, grab that stray other side of the zipper - and place it so that it faces the opposite way to the first one - like this:


You are going to attach it exactly the same way as before...again, 1.5" down from the top...but with the fabric on the other side of your foot, like this:


It might seem strange to have the fabric on the right of the machine rather than the left - but I find I get my zippers lined up much nicer this way - as I am starting with the same end each time.

You should now have a fully sewn in zipper!  Well done :)



Step 3 - Complete the Cushion

To complete the cushion we need to do two things.  First, close the 1.5 inch gaps on each size of the zipper, then sew around the three remaining sides.

Fold the front and back panel together like this:


Your corner should match up nicely, and we now want to sew from where I am pointing - out towards the edge.

To close the gaps, I change to my regular zipper foot.  You might already be using yours, if you don't have an invisible zipper foot.  I want to get as close to my zipper stitching line as I can.  Being a little further in from the line is fine - in fact it helps to close up any gap you might have where the zipper can show through to the right side.  Make sure you pull the zipper out of the way while you sew.


I usually stop just a little in from the edge - when I hit the overcasting.


Take it out and turn it over - you should have something like this:


Now do exactly the same on the other end, so that it ends up looking like this when the zipper is closed:


Now VERY IMPORTANT.  Open your zip up.  If you don't it will be very very hard to turn the finished cushion through the right way. :)


I usually use the width of my regular machine foot to finish off the cushion.  Start at your top stitching line, and sew all the way around the three open sides.


So you should have something that looks like this:


Turn it through and your cover is complete!


Stuff with your favourite insert.  I used an 18" one which made it nice and plump.  Now admire your lovely hidden zip...





 
 
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial!
 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Completed Projects Contest!!!

If you know me, you know I love seeing photos of the finished projects you all make with my designs.  Whether it's fabric, wallpaper or decals - they are all appreciated.

Here are a few that I've been sent over the years...






So - to reward one of my very valued customers - I'm holding a "Finished Photo" competition!

Up for grabs is a $50 Spoonflower voucher.  I chose a voucher this time - because then you can choose whatever you like as your prize, rather than limiting it to certain fabric, etc.  Hopefully you will use it to buy more of my designs, LOL!! :)

To enter, you need to click here to email me a photo (or photos if you like!) of a finished project that uses at least one of my designs on either fabric, wallpaper or wall decals.  Why email me?  Because I'm going to load them all up at once to make it fair - as the public will get to vote on the winner, rather than me!  I don't think I could choose between them myself :) 

If you were planning on ordering fabric, etc to enter a new project - you have plenty of time, 6 weeks to be precise!

You have until midnight Monday 19th May 2014 to send your images through.

I will then load them to a Contest album on my Facebook page, where voting will be open for 7 days, with the photo having the most likes by then being declared the winner!!

Good luck to you all!  I look forward to seeing all of your lovely entries.

Shelley

Monday, 17 March 2014

New Additions


I thought it was about time to offer a little variety in the Personalised range...  So, I've come up with some new layouts, which are available now!

As usual - available in any name, and your choice of colours from my colour chart.  The first three are three colour designs

First - we have SPOTS...




Then we have HEARTS...




Not forgetting STARS...because I love stars for babies :)



And last, but by no means least the DIAGONAL, which is available in four different text styles


BLOCK


SCRIPT


HAND
 
 
PLAYFUL
 
 
From now on - the old layout will be known as ORIGINAL
 
 
 
 
Ordering is easy - see my Personalised Designs page for information.  I hope you like the new designs!!!