Lina and Vi: May 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Clutch Purse In Progress

This past week has been busy with packing and shipping out a number of the Grounds bags around the country! I need to start writing down all of the states where a Grounds bag has officially been shipped. I'm excited to see them spread beyond Michigan and halfway across the country!

I had a chance yesterday to start a new project, so I wanted to check in and share a few in progress photos of the latest creation. This will be a new burlap clutch. Although we have zipper pouches, this item will be bigger as it will be meant to hold more and larger items. I'm planning for a top flap and a metal snap to secure the clutch, an inner pocket, and a metal ring accessory with a handle to wrap it around one wrist, like a wristlet, but larger.

clutch purse in progress/

I'm really excited about this one because I love the black and white graphic fabric that will be on the bottom of the clutch. I think it will complement the graphic burlap print well. This is also the first clutch for the collection, so it truly is a brand new design and, like all of the bags, continues to be a one-of-a-kind piece.

I'm making this while thinking about how exciting it is that summer is coming, so a cute, small clutch to carry a lighter load on hot nights is great way to change up an outfit.

Hope you're having a good week! Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Make It: 3 Inch Pocket Window Valence

lina and vi // how to sew a valence

I'm happy to report that the second window valence is now complete, and they are both hanging happily in the newly redecorated small bath in our home. I still cannot believe how easy it was to make these valences. I probably spent more time surfing the internet and stopping at stores in the area to find a 3 inch pocket valence than it took to make these over the course of two weekday nights.

Today I'm sharing the steps I took to create these valences. What I won't be doing is sharing measurements. The reason is that all windows are slightly different, and the measurements will depend on personal preferences such as whether the valence will be gathered or flat and how much of the window you are looking to cover. The valence I made is gathered, and the typical rule of thumb is to have about 2 or 3 times the length of the window itself to get a full gathered look. Of course, it will depend on what look you are planning. That's the beauty of sewing it yourself – you get what you want in the end!


Two pieces of contrasting fabric
Seam Gauge, Ruler, or Measuring Tape
Coordinating thread

1.  Begin by cutting the main fabric to the desired length. Again, this will depend upon how wide your window is and how long you want the valence to drape down the top of the window. My window was approximately 50 inches wide. I created two 36 inch long valences to span the width of the window. You should end up with a rectangle.

2.  Next cut the contrasting fabric to a smaller rectangular. This will depend on how much of the accent fabric you want to show at the trim of the valence. The length should be the same as the piece from step 1. The width can be smaller. In my case, I used a 11 ¾ inch width for the contrasting fabric and the same 36 inch length.

3.  Hem the two short sides of the main fabric piece. I used a .5 inch seam allowance.

4.  Hem one long side of the same fabric. I used a 5/8 inch seam allowance for the bottom. Only hem one side – not both. We'll get to the other side in a moment.

5.  Do the same steps 2 and 3 now for the smaller contrasting fabric piece.
6.  On the right side of the large fabric piece, pin the smaller contrasting fabric to the top unfinished long edge with also the right side facing you. Remember this is the edge that was not hemmed on either piece of fabric. Match them and pin them together as shown below. Sew along the edge to secure the two fabrics.

lina and vi // how to sew a valence

7.  Flip the contrasting fabric piece behind the main fabric. You should have the right side of the main fabric facing you and the right side of the contrasting fabric resting behind it, also facing you. Allow the contrasting fabric to fall below the hem of the main fabric piece. Here you will need to determine how much of the contrasting fabric you want to show below the main fabric valence. Use a ruler to measure the width and the pin pieces together (anywhere – just to secure it) when you have the correct placement.

8.  Measure 2 inches from the top of the valence and pin along to form a line.

9.  Now measure 5 inches from the top of the valence and pin along to form a second line. This will create the 3 inch pocket at the top of the valence as shown below.

lina and vi // how to sew a valence

10. Sew along both of the above pinned lines creating the pocket.

11. Iron to remove any creases. Trim threads. Thread the window rod into the pocket valence.

There you have it! Homemade home d├ęcor.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment or send me an email!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Latest Home Decor DIY Sewing Project

I never thought the day would come when I would not only care about window treatments, but actually attempt to sew one from scratch. Well, that day has come, and I'm here to share some photos of a work in progress for this week's update.

I am redecorating a small bathroom in our home so it has more personality, and as a result, I'm taking down some really, well, interesting window valences in part of that redesign. The current valence on the window in this bathroom is black with yellow and white plaid print. Yep, I know. It was a man-cave.

After trying to search for a 3 inch pocket valence I could purchase and not having any luck, I opted to sew one myself using some chocolate brown and mint home decor fabric. Last night, I started progress on the project. Below are a few raw photos of the work in progress.

At the end of the night, I ended up with one complete valence. No pattern, and well, not a lot of measurements since I was learning as I went along. The next step is to duplicate this so that there are two, and the valence will be full across the approximately 50" window width. // DIY window valence
This is my first shot at working with this type of home decor fabric, especially the shiny brown material that you see above. Honestly, it was tough to keep the two fabrics together on the machine because one is heavier and one is silkier. I think this might be a good project to use a walking foot. I haven't worked with a walking foot before, but I did receive one with my Brother sewing machine.

I plan to share more about how I made these valences once the project is complete. Nothing new for the Ground Collection right now, but I am planning a few future posts to talk through working with burlap and styling the bags with everyday outfits.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New Addition! Crop 2013 Handbag

Crop 2013 bag //
Introducing the newest addition to the Grounds Collection, the Crop 2013 handbag! This bag includes a few sewing firsts for me and for the entire collection made to date. A quick tour around the details...

First, you'll notice the leather handles. Yes, leather (the real deal)! This is my first attempt working with leather, and it turned out fantastic. I love the warmth it brings to the bag with the added benefit of its strength. I purchased the leather handles with pre-cut holes since I don't have any leather sewing needles for my machine. Using the holes as a guide, I hand-stitched the handles onto the outer fabric and the inner interfacing. I did not catch the inner lining as I didn't want the stitches to show on the interior. If I did want them to show on the inside, I probably would have use my machine to guide the needle through each hole which would have been much faster. I'm hoping to get more experience working with leather and eventually grow a collection of leather tools.

Crop 2013 bag //
Second, I've included an interior, magnetic snap closure to the bag. Again, this was my first time learning to insert and work with these snaps. I reinforced the area with craft-weight interfacing to ensure that the constant pulling apart of the snap doesn't snag the surrounding fabric. The magnetic is quite strong and great quality, so I expect it will hold my contents inside the bag when I fling it into the passenger seat of my car every morning. :-)

Crop 2013 bag //
Third, the inside of the Crop 2013 bag has both a zipper pocket and two open pockets. They are on opposite sides of the interior lining. They keep everything in it's place - from earbuds to the ten different kinds of lip gloss that I found in there when cleaning out my old purse last night. Who knew!

Crop 2013 bag //
Overall, I designed this bag so it would be not only a challenge, given the new elements I worked with as mentioned above but also a colorful and fun summer purse. Unfortunately, this bag is unavailable for purchase in our Etsy shop. Please send me an email or Facebook message if you are interested in creating a custom order, and I'd be happy to recreate something like this tailored for you.

Have any recommendations on working with leather? I'd love to hear them - leave me a comment on any tips or tricks you might have!

Thanks for stopping in,

Thursday, May 1, 2014

One Month Anniversary Sale!

Today we're celebrating the one month anniversary of the Lina and Vi shop on Etsy! We're offering all readers 10% on any purchase in the Etsy store starting today until Monday May 5th. Use the code "HAPPYONEMONTH" at time of checkout to apply the discount.

Thank you for your continued support!