Lina and Vi: September 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Around These Parts - End of September

I've been pretty quiet this past week on the blog as it has been a busy week of finishing up the latest Grounds bag, catching up with friends, and spending time with family. As I'm sure many others are saying this week, I can't believe that September is nearly over. I don't know where the weeks have gone. I've always had a special place in my heart for September since it's my birthday month (hello, fellow Virgos!) and for most of my life, it signaled a fresh start with a new school year. This September certainly symbolized change, some good and some not so good, but it has passed and we're not onto a new month in just a few days. On a personal note, this October I will celebrate my first anniversary with my husband and to celebrate, we are heading to San Francisco for a long weekend. Please share any ideas/tips/guides on things to do and see in the city! We can't wait to cross this city off our bucket list and wander around for a bit.

I don't have any new photos to share today, but I am planning a post for later this week to share the new bag that has just completed it's finishing touches. It's a large, shoulder bag. It's simple but highlighted with a few fun details that make this new bag a perfect addition this Fall. Although the bag lining and bottom is made from a few different shades of brown fabric, the repurposed coffee burlap sack has a colorful fun print. There's a good story behind my discovery of this burlap print - stay tuned for details and the Etsy posting later this week!

As we gear up for the holiday season, remember that we accept custom orders for all of those on your list this year. Contact me, Erica, at linaandvi at gmail dot com, and I'll be happy to create something that's unique for you or as a gift for someone you love this holiday season.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Jersey Striped Tote

linaandvi - New Jersey Tote

I'm here today to share photos of our newest Grounds bag creation made from a coffee burlap bag embellished with a green woven stripe. With Newark, NJ proudly written on one outer side of the burlap, this bag is primarily covered in printed text. For a touch of whimsy, we added the original jute bag tag to the top flap where you will see the white square stitched neatly in the center as a reminder of this bag's origins.

linaandvi - New Jersey Totelinaandvi - New Jersey Tote
linaandvi - New Jersey Tote

The New Jersey tote is medium size and designed to be a shoulder bag with one thick burlap strap. The interior features a small zipper pocket and a medium slip pocket to carry all of your contents in one secured area. The lining of the bag is a very thick, cream colored bottom-weight fabric. It's incredibly durable and strong, so it helps to keep the shape of the bag while withstanding the weight of everything inside of it.

We topped this bag off with a colorful, tribal fabric featuring shades of teal, light green, and pool blue, which line the bottom of the bag, the flap top, and the interior pockets. To finish it off, we added a metal clasp to keep it all wrapped up tightly, leaving the contents of your bag on the inside of your bag no matter where your day takes you.

linaandvi - New Jersey Tote

The New Jersey tote was designed with practicality and color in mind. It's a fun way to start a new season and a new look! How cute would this be with dark jeans, deep brown knee-high boots, a thick sweater, and a zip-up puffer vest to keep you warm this autumn? Wow, I think I just may have swayed myself into considering keeping this one for my fall wardrobe!

For now, it's available in our Etsy shop here. Grab it before it goes!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Buenos Aires (golden) Tote Bag

Last week we added a new member to the Grounds family - the Buenos Aires tote bag. This bag is accented with a golden yellow and cream woven upholstery fabric. It is a gorgeous, warm bag perfect for the autumn season and fall colors.  You can find more details on the specs and dimensions in our Etsy shop. For now, here are a few detailed pictures of the brand spankin' new Buenos Aires tote.

Buenos Aires bag - - plymouth MI - bottom

Buenos Aires bag - - plymouth MI - inside

Buenos Aires bag - - plymouth MI

Buenos Aires bag - - plymouth MI

Buenos Aires bag - - plymouth MI - zipper

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Make It: Painted Burlap Pillow

Over this past weekend, I had a couple of hours to work on a personal, fun home decor project. Similar to the DIY striped burlap pillow I made a few weeks ago, I created another burlap throw pillow to complete the couch refresh project.

My original plan was to make a pillow out of some of the scrap burlap fabric I have from the Grounds bags and somehow paint the latitude and longitude of our hometown. So, this project had two specific tasks I needed to research before cutting or sewing: 1) find out the correct coordinates and 2) figure out how to paint on fabric with a homemade stencil. Well, I ended up not using the coordinates and sticking with the name of the city in which we live to reduce the amount of time it would have taken me to create the stencil. As for painting on fabric, that turned out much better than I ever expected. This project was practical, quick, and enjoyable, and I'm here to inspire you to make something similar for yourself or someone you know.

You will need:

- two pieces of fabric cut in a square about 1" larger than your final pillow dimensions
- pillow stuffing
- thread
- hand needle
- fabric paint and brush
- print and paper (optional)
- freezer paper
- iron
- scissors

The instructions are simple:

First, create a design on a computer using a program like Word or Illustrator. Print it out and trace it (using a window as a lightbox) onto a piece of freezer paper (make sure the shiny, plastic side is down). Or skip this step and freehand a design onto the freezer paper directly. Use the scissors to cut out the inverse of your design. You're making a stencil out of the freezer paper. There are so many options (your hometown name, your last initial, Mr. & Mrs. for newlyweds, etc).

Warm up your iron to a low/medium setting and position the freezer paper with the plastic side down onto the right side of one piece of the fabric. The freezer paper will gently melt and adhere the stencil to your fabric, ensuring that the stencil doesn't move around or leave gaps when painting.

Lina and Vi - Burlap Painted Pillow DIY - Plymouth MI - fabric paint
Lina and Vi - Burlap Painted Pillow DIY - Plymouth MI - freezer stencil

Put a piece of scrap paper or fabric behind the fabric directly under the adhered stencil. This will protect you from having the paint bleed through the fabric onto your work area. Use a brush to paint on the stencil. I applied two coats, but I recommend following the directions on the paint bottle.  For my pillow, I used a product by Tulip called Soft Velveteen. This was a very cool paint as it makes the dried area soft rather than stiff - kind of like velvet. This was a total mistake, but a good one - it was the only fabric paint I could find in the store and it ended up having this awesome effect that makes the paint not feel hard on the fabric especially for an item meant to be comfortable. I highly recommend it!

Lina and Vi - Burlap Painted Pillow DIY - Plymouth MI
Lina and Vi - Burlap Painted Pillow DIY - Plymouth MI

Once dry, peel back the freezer paper to loosen the stencil from the fabric. Place both squares of fabric right sides together. Sew 3 of the 4 sides using a sewing machine. Flip inside out. Stuff with pillow stuffing. Thread a hand needle and sew the remaining side by hand (remember to tuck in the raw edges to make the seam).

I free-handed a small heart to jazz  it up a bit.  This was also my first time using freezer paper as a stencil with the iron, and I was amazed. I did some research on this before starting this project and learned that you cannot use parchment or wax paper; it must be freezer paper which is typically only sold at grocery stores.

This project was a blast and I'm not going to lie that it was one of those instant gratification projects. I was able to start and complete it in an afternoon and am now dreaming up more possibilities of what to create next with fabric paint.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Look into the Allegro Bag

Allegro Grounds burlap bag - Lina and Vi - exterior side 1

I'm excited to announce that our newest Grounds bag is now ready and available in our Etsy shop here! Today I'm sharing a short tour around this beautiful new burlap bag to give you a feel for the features and amount of detail that went into this new design.

First, it's hard to not notice the colorful burlap print on this bag. I sourced the coffee sack from a seller right on Etsy - so one small business helping out another - which is fantastic. I purchased this coffee sack because I thought the print was so different from anything I've ever seen, and I've spent a fair share of time rummaging through burlap sacks to find the right ones for the Grounds bags. I like that the design incorporates vibrant colors and more freehand font design.

Allegro Grounds burlap bag - Lina and Vi - detailed grommet
Allegro Grounds burlap bag - Lina and Vi - interior
The bottom of the bag and the upper portion of the interior lining is made from heavy-weight (called bottom weight) light beige/cream fabric. This is the first Grounds bag to incorporate a two-tone interior lining color scheme, so the bottom half of the interior is a deeper brown/khaki color, also a heavy-weight fabric. There is one inner slide pocket that can fit a phone, ID, keys, lip gloss, and whatever else you may need to keep separate from the larger items. The slide pocket is trimmed with the same burlap print that was used for the exterior of the bag. It's a fun way to tie the whole design together.

Allegro Grounds burlap bag - Lina and Vi - exterior from above

The shape of this bag is triangular so the top of the bag is about 10" larger than the bottom. Due to this, the bag doesn't stand up on it's own. The bag can be carried by it's long rope straps which are reinforced with silver grommets and embellished with a brown suede ribbon.

This bag was carefully designed, if you can't tell from all of these detailed descriptions! When I selected the coffee sack design, I had it in mind that it would be primarily used as a beach bag, but in reality, it can be used for any occasion, like all our Grounds bags. It's up to the owner to decide how to style it and make it their own. It's truly a rare piece, and I hope that you love it as much as I do. As mentioned, you can find more detailed dimensions and information in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop.

Hope you're having a great week!

Sunday, September 7, 2014


sewing room notions - LinaandVi

Friends, it's been some time since our last update so I wanted to check-in to let you know that we have a new bag (with a fun, colorful design!) coming your way this week. If you remember the Costa Rica beach bag, this new bag is a similar shape but features a flower print from El Salvador and khaki accent fabric. We're just wrapping up the final touches on this bag and will be listing this new beauty in our Etsy shop in the next few days. If you're planning a fall trip to a tropical location or just need a new beach bag, you'll want to stay tuned for the release of this to-be-named bag.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, September 1, 2014

Polka Dot Cross- body Zipper Bag

Polka Dot Cross-body Bag - Grounds burlap bags - Lina and Vi

Welcome the newest Grounds bag to the family - the Polka Dot Cross-body Zipper bag!

I'll admit - I love the bag, but I couldn't think of a clever name for it. This bag is great for anyone looking to carry a lighter load. There is one outer slip pocket that's secured by black velcro. The bag measures approximately 8" by 10" and closes shut using a metal tooth zipper, so all of your goods can travel with you securely and hands-free with this cross-body design. The 40" strap has silver hardware that allows it to be removed from the bag.  The polka dot fabric is a fun way to balance the industrial design shown on this burlap print pattern, and the purple thread woven into the burlap gives it a fun pop of color.

Polka Dot Cross-body Bag Inner lining - Grounds burlap bags - Lina and Vi

Polka Dot Cross-body Bag Pocket Detail - Grounds burlap bags - Lina and Vi

It's simple, light, and casual for where ever your day takes you. I think I may now need to add a cross-body bag to my own personal bag collection! ;-)

Happy Monday!