Lina and Vi: 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

New! Geometric Burlap Fold-over Bag

This past few weeks have been filled with some sewing, some sun, lots of baby laughs, and some celebrations. I shared on the Lina and Vi Facebook page a few weeks ago that I have finished my first scrap quilt! More details coming on that process. I made one quilt in the past using old t-shirts, but this was my first more traditional quilt that included quilting batting as well as the actual quilting process.

Once that project was over, I decided to break into one of the latest fabrics I picked up from Pink Castle Fabrics in Ann Arbor to make a new burlap clutch bag! This handmade zipper bag features a fresh geometric design that is colorful, quirky, and lots of fun against the bold burlap. I'm loving how this bag turned out with the fold-over top, metal zipper, and detachable wrist strap.  These kinds of burlap wristlets are a lot of fun to make. I'm excited to have it available in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop ready to ship!

Speaking of Etsy, Lina and Vi is taking part of their 13th birthday sale by offering 10% all of the handmade burlap zipper pouches and zipper cases! This is a great way to get a couple of zipper pouches at a reduced price, especially one of the two or three zipper pouch bundle packs.  Stop over at the shop here to see the sale.

My family celebrated Memorial Day and Father's Day during the last few weeks. A happy first Father's Day to my husband who has taken becoming a new father in stride this past year. We love you! I think we have officially kicked off the start of summer here in Michigan. I think the warmer weather is here to stay, and I honestly cannot be happier! I've had Adeline in her little baby bathing suit outside to play with water, and she has the best time. This past winter was especially hard, and I am happy to see it go.

Speaking of celebrations, my husband and I headed to Chicago for a short weekend trip to celebrate a wedding. It was nice to get away. We only had a couple of hours to really explore, so rather than heading into downtown and spending more time and money than we wanted to finding a park, we walked around the Wicker Park / Ukrainian Village area. I loved the little shops, and we stopped over at Antique Taco for a great mid-afternoon meal. Good vibes all around.  We are so lucky that Chicago is so close.

I'm excited to start a new sewing project in the next few weeks, plus the summer craft fair season is coming up and I'll be making my rounds to some of the local fairs this year to see what everyone is making!

Have a good one and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Three Reasons to Repurpose

As a maker, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to find the right balance between design, time, and materials. Repurposing is something that Lina and Vi is rooted in, since all of the burlap is upcycled from coffee bean burlap sacks. It's no surprise that I'm always thinking about ways to use the materials and time I have to create something that is new, beautiful, and unique. So today I am sharing my top three reasons for repurposing. Even if you are not a crafter, sewer, maker, or whatever the trend is calling it right now, thinking about how we can repurpose what we have in hand can help us be more creative and find solutions in a new way.

1. Save Money

This is a big one for me as I am pretty passionate about waste... wasting time, wasting money, and wasting the things we already own. Repurposing helps me find a new use for something, even if it's not always an exact fit. Sometimes we can be flexible and apply a tool or item in a new way and have the same outcome. I have a fond memory when I first went to live out on my own of attempting to make cookies and realizing I needed a rolling pin. I pulled out a tall drinking glass, turned it sideways, and improvised. Problem solved, money saved, and one less item in the kitchen with rare use. Sometimes it is not an exact fit but we can see past the limitations and focus on our main priority for what we need.

2. Stretch Creativity

Repurposing an object or finding a way to build on top of it to create something else helps me become more creative. By having to think about something in a new way, I have to come up with multiple ideas and see that thing in a different perspective beyond just what it is today. There is a reason that giving a team a set number of objects to build something new using only those materials is a common team building problem solving activity. When we repurpose something, even if it is just switching up decor in a room and moving it around in a new way, we force ourselves to stretch our creativity muscles. We build those muscles so they become stronger over time.

3. Build the Only One

There is a desire to have something unique to only us, and repurposing allows us to make something that truly is one of a kind. When I repurpose burlap into new zipper pouches or paint on the burlap to make a decorative burlap pillow, I am creating something that not only is handmade but is also difficult, if not impossible, to reproduce entirely. The challenge here is that we have to accept the flaws that come with a one of a kind repurposed item. Upcycling something means that you aren't starting from scratch but you are building upon what is already there and making it into some new form. That form didn't exist until you repurposed it, so there is definitely gratification in knowing that we came up with a new design that really is the single only one there is.

Those are my top three reasons for repurposing burlap. I hope you find some parallels in your life with how you choose to reuse, recycle, and repurpose things to help make your day more creative while saving some money and taking pride in a totally unique design.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Three New Burlap Zipper Cases!

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Hi friends! I hope you had a great couple of weeks! May is half-way through, and we have been busy over here. We celebrated Mother's day this past Sunday, and it was a nice day with family. I hope you were able to enjoy your day whether you are a mom or not.

This past week I finished sewing three new burlap zipper cases. They feature a pretty neutral color palette overall, with a few pops of color here and there. The burlap coffee sack designs are big and bold on these zipper bags so I wanted to balance it out with basics. One of the burlap zipper cases features a dark denim bottom. This is the first design I've made with denim, and the burlap against the denim is something that I am really loving.

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

Lina and Vi Burlap Zipper Bags

You can find these three burlap zipper bags in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop here.

Aside from these three bags, I have been busy shipping out orders these past few weeks. The last burlap bag has sold to a local customer, and I hope they love it as much as I do! As I mentioned back in November, I won't be creating new burlap purses for the time being and just focusing on zipper pouches and burlap pillows. I'm not sure what the next few months will bring but with summer ahead, I know that I will be spending more time with our little family outside and sewing when I can.

I hope you are having a great week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

New Burlap Zipper Pouches!

Burlap zipper pouches - handmade by linaandvi

I don't know where April has gone, but here we are on the 24th, and it is already Tuesday. This week is flying by, and I'm here to share a few updates with you on what has been going on around in my world and in the shop.

This past weekend I created five new burlap 4" x 6" zipper pouches using a mix of patterned and solid interior fabric. They are fun, colorful, and ready to ship! There are singles, sets of two, and sets of three available now. You can find these in our Burlap Zipper Pouch sections of the Lina and Vi Etsy shop. Great gift idea for a mom in your life who needs a little something for Mother's Day!

Speaking of Mother's Day, this one will be my official first. To be honest, May is a very busy month for our family. It is probably the craziest of all of the months, even December. We have multiple birthdays, Mother's Day, communion parties, holidays, doctor's appointments, conferences, and usually someone is traveling for work. It's pretty intense, so I'm not thinking that we will be doing much for Mother's Day but maybe I will get in a little sewing time!

Last week, I wrapped up a custom order for a local customer in AA looking for a small version of our flat bottom zipper cases. I shortened and slimmed the width of the large zipper cases to create something personal that this customer needed. I really liked this size, so I'm considering starting to offer a smaller, flat bottom burlap zipper case in the shop. What do you think? I think there is always a use for zipper cases, big and small. They keep things organized and neat so everything is in one place and easy to find.

I have been reading the book Daring Greatly for a little over a week now, and I'm pretty mesmerized by the research and discussion. The book examines vulnerability, and the premise is that if we learned to be more vulnerable, we would become more fulfilled, creative, authentic, and whole. I really enjoyed the discussion around gender differences with vulnerability, and right now I am in the middle of the section on the most common ways we react to avoid vulnerability. I enjoy self help type books. I always enjoyed school - I guess I learn the best in a traditional classroom setting and in independent study. So if I can read and feel like I'm learning something new that I can apply in life, it catches my attention.

That's all I have for tonight - thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Checking In: April

We are now into April, and I wanted to drop by to share a bit about what I am working on right now in my sewing room. This past week I focused on creating two new burlap pillows for our friends over at Birch Wood Boutique in downtown Plymouth, Michigan. I have known the owner, Jessica, for several years now starting when she was in her original location. By chance, she noticed my purse while I was shopping in her store, and we have been working with each other ever since. The boutique's new location on Forest is in a popular row of stores that are an easy afternoon stroll.  She has a variety of home goods and clothing, and what I love most is that she makes an effort to offer USA made clothing! You will find several of our handmade pillows in her shop ready for purchase!

I also worked on a new custom pillow order this weekend, but not for one the Lina and Vi shop. I spent some time sewing up two small burlap ring bearer pillows that I shared on our Facebook page today for a friend's upcoming wedding. I am honored that she asked me to make something for her wedding day. This is not my first go at a ring bearer's pillow, and they are so much fun to create because they are really more about the design than the practicality. I mean, who actually has the ring bearer carry their wedding rings down the aisle? Did you? Although our little nephews were cute in their mini-suits, they were not about to carry our rings. So, ring bearer pillows tend to be all about matching the theme and color palette of the wedding rather than making them totally functional for a little one to carry a very fragile, and very expensive, item.

Our Easter weekend was a good one. Our daughter loved opening up her little basket of goodies even if she didn't quite understand why she was doing so. I'm hoping for some warmer weather this upcoming week for southeast Michigan. I'm ready for the spring and summer, taking our stroller out and visiting the local outdoor craft fairs. I can't wait!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Pure Simple Burlap Zipper Pouch

Pure Simple Burlap Zipper Pouch - handmade in Plymouth MI - upcycled -

I'm not sure what is about the word 'simple' this week, but it is finding its way into my vocabulary a lot lately. Maybe because it is something that I continue to focus on striving for in my life. I tend to be quick to adding just one more thing to my list each day, and then I end up overwhelmed and disappointed because I didn't get everything I wanted to get done, done. I am sure there are a lot of you out there that can relate. It is a work in progress, so I am happy that I am subconsciously focused on bringing simplicity into my own design process these days.

So I introduce to you the latest Lina and Vi burlap pouch, the Pure Simple burlap pouch. This zipper pouch is slightly larger, measuring 9.5" by 12", and is completely flat. I chose a fun white and brown woven fabric for the interior lining. Since the fabric is an upholstery type fabric, it is a little bulkier than a normal cotton lining, so to balance it out, I chose not to line the burlap with a heavy weight stabilizer this time. The Pure Simple pouch gets the name from exactly these design choices - no heavy interfacing, just a flexible pouch with a thick lining sized to fit a tablet, accessories, and more.

Pure Simple Burlap Zipper Pouch - handmade in Plymouth MI - upcycled -

Pure Simple Burlap Zipper Pouch - handmade in Plymouth MI - upcycled -

You can find this fun upcycled burlap zipper pouch in our Etsy shop now on sale!

I hope you are having a great week!


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Make It: DIY Easter Wooden Sign with Silhouette Cameo

Easter DIY Wooden Sign using Silhouette Cameo -

Today I'm sharing a quick DIY I worked on last weekend using my Silhouette Cameo and some extra paints and wood. With Easter right around the corner, I knew I wanted to spend some time making a new decoration for the holiday that I could put on display this year and future years. You can easily copy this DIY or use it as an inspiration for creating home made decorations for your house.

- Wood cut to your specific dimensions
- All purpose paint
- Paint brush and paint dish or paper plate
- Silhouette Cameo vinyl stencil


1. The first thing you want to do is make sure the wood is smooth. Use sandpaper if you have it to sand down any rough spots you don't want showing on your sign. Then, paint the background of your wooden board.

Easter DIY Wooden Sign using Silhouette Cameo -

2. Use your Silhouette Cameo to create a custom stencil using vinyl. Weed your design and set it using transfer paper. If you don't have a Cameo, you can check Etsy to buy a vinyl stencil that you could use. Alternatively, you can always free hand a design or cut a stencil from paper.

Easter DIY Wooden Sign using Silhouette Cameo -

3. Place your stencil centered on the wood once the background paint has dried. Once it's secure, use your paint and brush to paint over the stencil. Use different colors as I did to give your sign some contrast or choose to stick to one overall color palette.

Easter DIY Wooden Sign using Silhouette Cameo -

Easter DIY Wooden Sign using Silhouette Cameo -

4. Once the paint is dry, remove the stencil. You can spray or paint a clear sealer over the wood but that is optional. You can also use the sandpaper to distress the paint a bit if you are into more of a rustic design.

That's it. This project took me a total of 45 minutes, including designing the stencil using the Silhouette Studio program. Since I had all of the materials on hand and the help of my husband to cut the wood, this project didn't cost me anything.

I hope that you find some inspiration with this DIY. With spring on its way in, you can use this idea to make a spring or summer themed sign to be able to keep it up on display past the holiday.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, February 22, 2018

New! Black Dot Large Burlap Zipper Case

Black Dot Burlap Zipper Bag handmade in Plymouth, MI - Lina and VI

One of the reasons I chose to work with upcycled materials is that using burlap coffee sacks gives me the option to make something completely unique. Although there are a lot of independent fabric designers, it can be difficult to find a fabric, print or woven, that is truly one of a kind. Repurposing burlap means that I get to use select cuts of burlap sacks and that burlap has flaws that are completely authentic to that burlap sack alone. Even the same burlap sack print can be used, but the sack has characteristics that are completely unique to the path it took to find its way onto my sewing machine.

With that, I'm here today to share my latest design featuring an incredible bold, graphic print. I'm calling this large burlap zipper case the Black Dot zipper pouch. It features black text and graphics on the burlap, a brown, soft faux suede bottom, and as the name indicates, a black and white polka dot interior lining.

Black Dot Burlap Zipper Bag handmade in Plymouth, MI - Lina and VI
Black Dot Burlap Zipper Bag handmade in Plymouth, MI - Lina and VI

This is my first design for 2018, and it is one that I am extremely proud of because the burlap is just so cool. I almost want to keep it for myself, but I already have a cosmetic bag that I use (and made myself). But this burlap bag can have many uses, not just cosmetic. You can check out the dimensions here and get creative in how you can use it to organize your goods.

If you missed my last post, we have a giveaway going for a small Lina and Vi handmade burlap zipper pouch! The entries are super simple - just visit the Lina and Vi Etsy shop and Facebook page and you will get an entry into the giveaway for each viewing. The burlap pouch was completely handmade by me in Plymouth, Michigan. It ends on Sunday, so make sure to enter before then. It will probably take less than a minute!

You can shop the Black Dot burlap zipper pouch in our Etsy shop here. It is available and ready to ship!

I hope you have a good weekend!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Giveaway! Handmade Burlap Zipper Pouch

Handmade coffee sack burlap zipper pouch - etsy michigan -

This past weekend, I was able to spend some time sewing up brand new zipper pouches for the Lina and Vi Etsy shop! In the next few days, I will be adding a few new pouches, so keep up with our Facebook page to get the news when they are available! I have one large zipper pouch, which I will be sharing more details on here later this week, plus a brand new small pouch coming your way.

I am excited to have both the time and energy to start sewing again this month. As you know, January was pretty difficult to find the time as we had many weeks of colds and flu here. I'm thankful that those have now passed, and I'm back to spending some time in front of the sewing machine during the evenings and weekends.

To celebrate, I'm offering a Lina and Vi small burlap handmade zipper pouch as a giveaway this week! Giveaways are pretty rare here, so I can't say when I'll offer one up again.  The giveaway starts today and ends on Sunday. Continental US entries only.  I'm giving away one of our popular small pouches featuring a blue zipper and fun, geometric white on white print fabric on the inside. I'm so excited for spring to be here, and this is my way of celebrating what's ahead for us in the upcoming season! You can find more details and enter the giveaway below.

Handmade coffee sack burlap zipper pouch - etsy michigan -

Handmade coffee sack burlap zipper pouch - etsy michigan -

Thank you so much for stopping by, and good luck!!


Monday, January 22, 2018

Mega Burlap Bag Clearance

burlap clutch bag - handmade by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI

Friends! I'm just popping in today to share a short update. All of our burlap tote bags are on mega-clearance in our Etsy shop! All of our burlap tote bags are under $35 with two of my favorite bags priced at $15 and ready to ship. These bags have premium quality Cotton+Steel fabrics and beautiful, unique coffee bean sack burlap. Stop by the Lina and Vi Etsy shop today before they are gone!

We've been fighting colds in our home these past few weeks, and I am hoping the worst is now past us. Who knew that little ones could bring home so many germs from daycare! It has been a busy January, and I'm excited for a fresh start in February. I am hoping that I will be able to work on a few new burlap items for the shop in the next few weeks. With the holiday craziness over, I am excited to get back to dreaming up new ideas and getting back in front of my sewing machine.

I hope you are having a great start to your week! Thank you for stopping by.


Monday, January 1, 2018

Make It: DIY Spool Ornaments for Sewing Lovers

DIY Spool ornaments by

I know I'm a week late with this one, but I had some time last week to finally work on a project that I had in my mind for a while. Today I am sharing the how-to behind these DIY wooden spool ornaments I created for our Christmas tree this year. I love a tree filled with handmade and meaningful ornaments, which means that my tree is not color coordinated or themed. It is random, and I love it. These ornaments are great presents for a sewing lover or a seamstress in your life. Maybe one day I'll have a sewing-themed Christmas tree as a second tree in my home? For now, they are scattered about my tree mixed in between childhood ornaments and photo-ornaments.

DIY Spool ornaments by

I had all of the materials in my home already so this cost me nothing but time. The wooden spools I used were actual spools of thread that I had used up and saved to craft with, but didn't know yet what  I was going to make with them. Ergo, these spool ornaments came to mind. These took me an hour. The project is simple, and it just requires a few supplies. Here we go:

- Wooden spools; you can purchase these at a craft store like Joanns
- Remanent fabric
- Hot glue and glue gun
- Thread or twine
- Colorful ribbon
- Measuring tape
- Scissors

DIY Spool ornaments by


1. Start by measuring the width of your spool using your measuring tape. Then take the measuring tape and wrap it around the spool to get the length of the fabric you will need and add a half inch. Cut out a strip of fabric matching the width and length measurements you took.

2. Heat up your glue gun and when it's ready, dab two spots of glue on the spool. Press one of the short ends on the glue.

3. Wrap the fabric around the spool. Add two more dabs of hot glue to seal the end of the fabric strip to the spool.

4. Cut a long piece of colored ribbon and make a bow. Dab a little bit of hot glue in the top hole of the spool. Press the knot of the bow into the glue.

5. Cut a long piece of thread or twine and knot it into a loop. Dab a little bit of hot glue just behind where you glued the blow onto the spool. Press the knot of the twine into the glue.

That's it! If you want, you could also paint the spool before your make these to give them more color.

Hope you have a great start to your new year!