Lina and Vi

Monday, November 6, 2017

Burlap Coffee Sack Bag Collection Round Up

Happy Monday! If you read our last post, you will know now that I am discontinuing our burlap bags for the time being to focus only on creating burlap pouches and pillows. Since this will be the final collection of burlap bags, I wanted to share a round up of the designs we have available today for purchase in our Etsy shop. These bags are some of the best designs I made in the Grounds collection, and I am proud to say that I handmade these during the last year. So let's jump into these five unique burlap coffee bags!

1. Gold and Navy Blue Branch Burlap Zipper Clutch

This medium-sized clutch is amazing. I know I am bias since I made it, but I wanted it to be practical. I use clutches sparingly and it's mostly because I often find that they are impractical. They are too small or don't stay closed. I wanted to solve these problems with the design of this clutch by making it large enough to fit the essentials with room to expand if needed, which is what the flap top allows. The zipper keeps everything secured inside the bag, and the magnetic snap keeps the flap top down as needed. The patterned blue and gold cotton fabric is one of the most beautiful fabric designs I have worked with yet.

2. Swiss Water Burlap Yoga Mat Bag

This yoga mat bag is simple yet interesting. First of all, using an upcycled coffee burlap sack to tote your yoga mat is pretty unique. To add to it, the Swiss Water blue imprint is a clean and modern logo that is the focus of the entire bag. It's a fresh take on a casual, utilitarian bag.

3. Blue Sound Crossbody Burlap Bag

This crossbody bag is one of my favorites because of the warm color palette and the handmade wooden button. I'm loving crossbody bags right now because it's one less thing to carry in my hands with all of the baby gear. This medium-sized crossbody bag has a colorful herringbone watercolor print flap top that secures shut. Your items are always within reach while on the go.

4. Oakland Burlap Tote Bag

This rectangular shoulder bag is all about the industrial text. With bold black text and a thick woven green stripe, this bag is designed to catch the eye. I chose a solid cream fabric on the interior with a slight pop of yellow at the bottom of the interior lining. This shape of bag is my favorite. With thick belting straps, this bag is made to withstand the wear and tear of everyday.

5. Pyramid Burlap Tote Bag

Finally our newest burlap tote bag is one of the most modern designs I have created for the Grounds collection. I selected the off-center simple green pyramid print to be the focus of the burlap on both the front and back of the bag. To keep the focus on that element, I lined the bag's bottom in a light beige faux leather trimmed with cream canvas. I opted for a solid, neutral lining to keep it fresh and clean. At the time when I made this bag, I didn't know that it would be the last burlap bag I would make for the collection. I'm proud that I'm ending with this bag as it really does showcase how far my designs and skills have come since my first burlap bag years ago.

You can find all of these for purchase now in our Etsy shop. I hope that you enjoyed this recap of our remaining handmade coffee sack burlap bags! If you have any questions about them, feel free to comment or leave a message in our Etsy shop.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Hard Decisions

A couple of weeks ago, I read a book that I've been eyeing for some time called Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. The book is a collection of stories about the author's choice to simplify her busy and often overcommitted life. The book continues to follow her journey to identify and reprioritize how she was using her time in order to align it to the things that meant the most to her.

The reason I am sharing this is that reading this book made me think more critically about where my current priorities are in my life and where I am spending my time. No, I am not about to say that I'm done sewing and closing up my Etsy shop.  In the last few months with the birth of my daughter, my personal life has significantly changed, and my priorities have shifted. What was once free time in the evening will now be dedicated to spending time with my daughter after the daily hustle of traffic, child care drop offs, and a day at the office. With my personal time at a much higher price now, I have decided to stop making burlap bags for the time being. This includes shoulder bags, totes, clutches, crossbody bags, and yoga mat bags. I will continue making burlap pouches and pillows.

I have a couple more weeks until I return to my full time job, and this period of my maternity leave has forced me to have a much slower pace in my life - a pace that I have come to appreciate honestly.  A newborn forces you to slow down, pay attention to small things, and change your expectations. I spoke about this in a prior post about how many common tasks, sewing or otherwise, now take me much longer to complete due to the constant stopping and starting and working around baby schedules. Sure, there are times when I miss the excitement of a busy day. While I think that I fought it for a while, I have now realized that I am happier when I commit myself to less and accomplish fewer, but more important tasks.

The burlap tote bags and purses are what started Lina and Vi and what convinced me to start an Etsy shop three years ago. While I love coming up with the burlap tote bag designs and challenging myself to make new styles, I cannot commit the time to it in this season of my life. Burlap tote bags take a lot of time to sketch, plan, cut, and sew, and the reality is that they are my least popular items. Selling products online is difficult, and selling articles of clothing is even more difficult. Pillows and pouches are more likely to be given as gifts than burlap tote bags, which are more personal to one's style. I love working with my partners, but my burlap bags are not easy to replicate and sell wholesale. And at the end of the day, my time is better spent elsewhere, with my daughter and with other sewing projects.

I will continue to sell the remaining burlap bags in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop until they are all sold, so if you are looking to snatch one before they are gone, stop by to shop around. I will continue to have burlap zipper pouches (large and small) and burlap pillows. I love to sew, and I want to be able to use my skill to continue to create these items and share them with others.

I hope that you continue to follow along with Lina and Vi, and I thank you for your continued support of my small handmade shop. As a reminder, I will be at a local pop-up shop on November 11th. If you are local, please email me or Facebook message me for the location in Northville.

Have a great weekend,

Friday, October 20, 2017

Burlap AeroPress Bags Behind the Scenes

This week, as well as the last three, have been focused on sewing custom AeroPress burlap bags for our friends at Roos Roast in Ann Arbor. I wanted to share a few sneak peek photos of the bags in process. My sewing room is a mess right now, but it's entirely for a good reason!

These bags are fun to make, and I am very proud of how the first batch has turned out. Since I have made so many of these, I now have template wooden pattern pieces my husband made for me. It makes the cutting process much faster as I can use the wooden template, my Gingher rotary cutter, and a cutting mat to slice through the nylon, cotton, interfacing, and faux leather quickly. Cutting is typically my least favorite part of sewing. The wooden templates help me batch the pieces out quickly and spend less time cutting and more time sewing.

This is a short update but I wanted to drop in to say hello and share my progress. I hope you have a great weekend ahead!


Sunday, October 8, 2017

New in the Shop: 4" x 6" Burlap Pouches

Burlap zipper pouches by Lina and Vi Handmade Michigan

Hi friends, and happy Sunday! I was able to fit in some sewing this past week for our Etsy shop. Our 4" by 6" burlap zipper pouches are one of our more popular items in the shop, so I whipped up a couple of new designs this week. I had some eclectic, patterned fabric in my stash, so I opted for all patterned linings and no solids this time around. These are so fun for me to make, so I'm always game to sew up some new ones since I can mix and match prints and patterns. I have these as a bundle and a single pouch. Check out our Zipper Pouch sections of our Etsy shop to see the full lineup.

Burlap zipper pouches by Lina and Vi Handmade Michigan

Burlap zipper pouches by Lina and Vi Handmade Michigan

Burlap zipper pouches by Lina and Vi Handmade Michigan

In other news, I started on a new custom order this week for our friends over at Roos Roast in Ann Arbor. These are custom-designed AeroPress burlap zipper cases that I make only for them so you will not be able to purchase these from me directly. Holiday prep time has started for all of us, and I'll be dropping off new AeroPress burlap travel cases in the coming weeks before Thanksgiving. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more info and a sneak peek later this month.

Lastly, I'll be participating in a local pop-up shopping event in mid-November, and I definitely welcome anyone who is local in southeast Michigan to stop by, shop, and say hello! The pop-up shop will be held from 1-4pm on Saturday November 11th in Northville, Michigan at a private residence. The event will include Lina and Vi handmade goods and two local reps for Avon and Tupperware. If you are interested, please let me know and I'll share the address with you so you can come on by and shop.

I had more updates to share than I realized! I'm still very busy with our baby, but we are slowly getting into more of a routine. I am cherishing the moments I get to spend with her while on maternity leave and am also very thankful for the moments when she is napping when I can have some time to sew :-).

I look forward to sharing more updates with you later this week. Enjoy your Sunday!


Sunday, October 1, 2017

DIY Floral Letter with Silhouette Cameo

DIY Floral letter with Silhouette Cameo - Lina and Vi handmade burlap items - Plymouth MI -

It's October! Fall is officially here in Michigan, and many people are enjoying the season now that the cooler temps are around. I don't mind the cooler temps, but I am not looking forward to winter and I know that is what is coming. For now, I'm enjoying the warmth of the sunshine while I still can and heading outdoors when I need a quick break.

Speaking of a break, I had some time to work on the final touch for Adeline's nursery last weekend. This DIY project was quick, and I was able to get it done in less than two hours split between two evenings.  Back in July, I shared the tour of the nursery we created for our little one. Most of the room is decorated using either self-made DIY creations or creations from other handmade shops. At the time, and up until last week, the nursery still had one nail that had yet to have anything hang on it. The three nails on the wall above the crib were from frames used for decorations from the room's previous use as a guest bedroom. I opted to leave them there and reuse them, and I planned on putting something on that middle nail that had to do with her name, but we weren't nailing down a name anytime soon back then (pun intended :-D).  Now that we have a name (thank goodness), it was time for me to figure out what I wanted to put up for the final touch.

I decided I wanted to use an 'A' to match her first initial. I purchased a wooden A from JoAnn's and painted it using a pale peach paint that I had on hand. I let it dry overnight. While we were at the Renegade craft fair a few weekends ago, there was an artist there that makes beautiful handmade paper flowers. She had a couple of letters hanging in her booth with paper flowers wrapped around them, but she didn't have an A at the time so we kept walking. I used that for inspiration and came up with my own version of paper flowers using my Silhouette Cameo and some leftover heavy-weight paper. Once I had the 3D flowers cut out, I glued them onto the wooden A using hot glue. Once dry, I curled up the petals a bit so they had dimension. I think this DIY was one of the easiest I have done yet with the Cameo, and I like the end result!

DIY Floral letter with Silhouette Cameo - Lina and Vi handmade burlap items - Plymouth MI -

This project is the final one for this nursery, and I'm glad it is wrapped up! I plan to keep it this way until I decide I want to change something or until we decide to redesign the room as she gets older. I wanted to share this as another example of what you can do with a few supplies, a bit of time, and some inspiration to get your wheels turning. And now, I must go attend to a crying baby and a dog climbing up the patio door who wants to get in the house....

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

New in the shop! Two Large Burlap Zipper Bags

Burlap Coffee Zipper Bag by Lina and Vi Plymouth Michigan -

Hello! I'm back today to share two new burlap bags that are now available in our shop! As I type this, I have a sleeping baby on my shoulder. We are learning and adjusting together, and I'm happy to say that things are going well! In the last few weeks, I have made time to do a bit of sewing when I can, and I'm excited to share my latest items with you today.

These bags are our classic larger zipper cases that have become one of the more popular items in our shop during the last year. They are large enough to store anything from toiletries to accessories to art supplies and more. They are versatile in their use and so fun and unique which is why I believe they have been so popular.

Both of these burlap zipper bags have a burgundy faux leather bottom. I'm still loving the faux leather / vinyl bottom on these bags. It gives the burlap bags a solid bottom structure that is hard to find even in heavier weight fabrics.

Burlap Coffee Zipper Bag by Lina and Vi Plymouth Michigan -

Burlap Coffee Zipper Bag by Lina and Vi Plymouth Michigan -

Burlap Coffee Zipper Bag by Lina and Vi Plymouth Michigan -

While the exteriors are similar, I decided to make the interiors unique to give each design its own personality. One burlap zipper bag features a solid kelly green lining while the other is a brown leopard print that you may recognize from this post featuring my new shoulder bag that I now carry every day. I love the print, and it is a thicker fabric that has held up really well in my own bag so I wanted to integrate it into a large zipper case. So think of these two burlap zipper bags as the serious one and the fun one ;-). Their styles may be slightly different, but they both showcase the unique prints of the upcycled coffee sacks in a beautiful way. You can shop both of these in our Etsy shop now.

Aside from these two bags, I have been working on a couple of pillow orders as well as restocking our pillows over at Birch Wood Boutique in downtown Plymouth, Michigan. A couple of weekends ago I visited the first-ever Detroit Renegade craft fair. It was awesome to see the local, handmade shops and all of their talents on display. I'm hoping that the Renegade craft fair will continue to come to Detroit each year, and that I may be able to participate in the future!

I hope you're having a good week so far! I'll be back later this week to share the non-sewing DIY with you that put the final touch on our nursery. Hint: it involves my Silhouette Cameo again!

Thanks for stopping by -