Monday, March 19, 2012

Wristlet Giveaway

If you have a minute today, please stop by Love of family and home, the blog of my friend Tonya....

She  is hosting a giveaway this week, featuring one of my wristlets! Now through Thursday the 22nd, you have a chance to win. And while you are there, you can pick up a coupon code that I made for her readers, to use on anything in my shop. Don't forget to tell her that I sent you ;)

I was so proud of her a couple of weeks ago when one of her craft projects was featured in a multi-page spread in Women's Day! Ryan and I were at Walmart the other day, I opened it up and said "I know her!"
You can see the article on her post titled "big,fat, exciting news!" The only bad news??? As I'm writing this and seeing her cute pics, I also see my arch enemy. My WORST favorite vegetable. Peas. On the cover. But if you can get past the wrinkly, squishy,rolley polley grossness, you will be treated to a fun article about a great gal!! ;)  Her idea for a closet office is something almost anyone can try, no matter how tight your living quarters! Her office is in a space that is 19.5" by 26 ". That's INCHES. And she did it for less than $100. Wonder woman!

Enjoy, and best of luck to all who enter!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring 2012 Leather Pieces

Here is the post I've been promising for weeks!
I've been drowning in orders {thank you, by the way!}
And on the side trying to design and create my spring leather looks.
Without any further they are!

1. The Leather Bow Clutch
A contemporary, luxurious update from our best selling Wristlet, this clutch is longer, leaner and melts in your hand!
Detailed with a leather bow across the front, the accent is cinched in the middle with a piece of leather that matches the body of the clutch. I added contrast stitching to both the front and the back of the clutch for a little added character.
The wrist strap is layered leather and finished with a silver lobster clasp which attaches to the zipper.
Inside you will find two slip pockets to organize your important cards, as well as ample space for your phone, coin purse and more.
Approx size is 9 inches x 4.25inches
the strap is approx. 10 inches when opened.

available colors:black with tan   Camel with chocolate   chocolate with camel

                                                     2. Pleated Leather Peek-a-Boo Tote

You won't see another bag like yours when you are carrying this delightful peek-a-boo tote!
Designed with the busy girl in mind, I wanted to make a bag that would fit everything she needs for the day, but yet has that signature Gathered & Sown quirky style!

The body and straps of the bag are 100% leather. But in between the leather folds are an accent of a coordinating cotton print. 
Inside you will find slip pockets which you can use to organize and keep your essentials within easy reach.

Perfect as a diaper bag, bible study bag, work tote or large purse. No matter what your day holds, you will turn heads and look cute as you go about it!

3. Oversized Leather Shoulder Bag
I am always being asked if I have any "big" bags available, and this is my response!
Perfect as a diaper bag, work bag, laptop bag, large purse or small carry-on.
I created this bag with 100% leather on the top, with contrast stitching accents. Then I use a coordinating cotton print on the bottom, giving it a splash of color and unique personality.
The zipper top with oversized leather zipper pull will keep everything inside, and the handles attached on metal rings are strong as well as  pretty.

4. Pleated Leather Handbag
Our popular pleated handbag design blended seamlessly with the leather. 
The pleats are soft, yet make a beautiful statement, and the accent of the sturdy metal rings adds a wink of femininity to this everyday bag. 
One of my favorite design details when working with leather is contrast stitching, so I use it in abundance.

The perfect size for an everyday bag, you will easily fit a large wallet inside, along with your phone and other necessities.
Lined with 100% cotton, you will find 2 slip pockets inside to hold help you stay organized, and the recessed zipper closure with over sized leather pull will keep your items secure. 
The two straps measure approx. 19 1/2 inches each, with a 9 1/2 inch drop
Approx. Bag size is
11 inches wide 7 inches tall 3 inches deep

5.  Leather E-Reader/Tablet Covers
Made to order
Looking for a chic way to protect your favorite device? Drop it in to one of our upholstery grade leather cases. Accented with a simple contrasting bow and stitching, this case is not to busy, yet eye catching at the same time. Fully lined with a cotton lining, with fleece on the front between the lining and cover, to further protect your screen. Top it off with a zip closure and leather zipper pull, you can carry it with you and not worry about it slipping out of its case.

I will create your case at the time of your order. With your order, please specify the item I'm creating it for, as well as the actual dimensions: Inches across the front, inches from top to bottom, and finally depth of the device. 

 Each bag in my leather collection is a limited edition bag, and unless noted as "made to order" they are one of a kind and only available through my etsy shop, or by contacting me directly.

Phew! I think that's it....for now! On to finish my pile of orders, but I promise, I'm always making new stuff. The fun never ends, wink!

Thanks for checking these out, and thanks in advance if you help me spread the word ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Long Awaited Leather Reveal!

I know, I know, it took forever, but believe me when I say, good things come to those who wait ;)

I have found leather is so much fun to work with, and it has really given me a fresh sense of energy in my work. It's a completely different look, the accents in the details are completely new and every step takes a little longer, but I am having so much fun with this stuff!

The leather I got is really nice, pebbled leather. It's upholstery grade which means it's very strong, yet still buttery soft.

 I've been using contrast stitching, pleating, creative folding and accessories  to bring out the personality in each bag I create.

I made a solid black pleated leather handbag for my sister. It nearly killed me. Plain black??? No accents? No ruffles???

But she wanted p.l.a.i.n.

And I will say....I did not hate it!

I know that many of you have been itching to see the new spring line, and I will be posting the new pieces tomorrow, so be watching :)


Friday, March 2, 2012

How I make my own patterns

Earlier this week I blogged about my inspiration, but today I want to share a secret about my designs. My previously ultra, topsecret, super important design book! If any professional designers see this, they will likely scoff at my chicken scratch, but this process WORKS for me. You'll be able to see by looking at my book, that even by showing it to the world, it would be very hard to make sense of my notes, so in turn, really hard to steal my ideas :)

My design book. Sorry if you were expecting something fancy. 
But I am just not a fancy girl!
Simple is the way I roll.

So after I find inspiration, lose a little sleep, the next step is to try to create it. First, I kind of scribble what the bag should look like in the end, so I can remember how to put it together again. Then I guess the approximate end size, and guess how big I should cut my pieces. This often gets me in trouble! But you've got to start somewhere :) Once I get a size I like, I write it in my notebook. Sometimes my kids will help decorate my book when I'm not looking. Not sure yet if I appreciate that or not :/

A couple of my "patterns"
Along with my patterns, you will see some scribbles from my budding sidekick, Audrey :)

Then there are the ideas I get that I really want to get to, but don't have the time yet. So in comes my sticky note system. These are usually ideas that pop into my head quicker than I can get to my notebook. So I scribble them out, and eventually, they find a home in The Book. If they are lucky, they become actual bags when a new season rolls around!

Can you guess what this became?

That chicken scratch turns into something like this :) Not too shabby,eh?

...and this, eventually became...

THIS! One idea, a piece of paper, some fabric and some time :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

How I Design My Bags

I'm realizing now that most people don't know where I get the patterns and designs for my handbags. So I thought I'd use this post to answer that question. Here it is.

My Head. That is the answer. I am constantly on the lookout for new patterns and handbag ideas. Then I lose sleep at night, trying to figure out how they will come together. Then I get up and try it on some scraps the next day. That's it :)

It is my "not so fancy, but works for me" design process. It is actually my favorite part of my business.
Some works in progress. Notice the sticky notes?
 I'd be lost without them! 

Designing my next product and holding it in my hands. Some things work beautifully. Some things are labeled "one of a kind". They are labeled one of a kind, usually because they were so difficult to put together that I never want to do it again!
OOAK: in other words, cute, but super hard for me to put together :)

But that's where my creative process gives me some freedom. Sometimes I will stop a design, only to pick it up with a new idea a few months later. When making one thing, it gives me a great idea for another. And so on.
I loved the ruffle I put on this wristlet so much, it inspired me to think bigger...
So I added a few more, and came up with...
THIS! Who says less is more?!?!
On Friday I will post how I actually document my patterns and re-create them. I'm not promising it will be pretty.... :)