Lina and Vi: 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Happy Holidays! A Year in Review

The past few weeks have been busy over here with my little Etsy shop, and I wanted to stop in to say thank you to everyone who supported my little handmade business this year. I have been working non-stop on new orders in my free time in the late evenings, even enlisting the help of my husband a couple of weeks ago. With a new baby and being back to work during the daytime, my life is very full. I'm very appreciative that I have sewing to help give me the opportunity to take time to make something creative.

Lina and Vi Burlap Tote Bags and Burlap Pillows - Metro Made Collective - Dearborn MI

This has been one of the best, if not the best, year for Lina and Vi. We added a new partner, Made Metro Collective in Dearborn, and continued to receive orders from our existing partners Bundled, Birch Wood Boutique, and Roos Roast all year long. The handmade community only exists because of the desire of our customers to buy something that was made by hand by someone locally who took the time to dream up, create, and sell their items. Handmade is definitely not the most efficient way to make a lot of things, but the character it brings cannot be replicated in mass production.

2017 was one of the most challenging years for me, both personally and professionally. As many of you know, I spent most of the year preparing for a new baby that arrived in August. Our lives are more blessed with her in our family, but along with it came some major changes in our day to day life. You may also know that while I sew everything in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop, I also work during the daytime in software development. While I do not "make" things per se, I help to manage web application projects that recently became increasingly technical in nature with the acquisition of the company I worked for in late 2016.  My position remained mostly the same, but the content of what I worked on changed, and I have had to learn new concepts that have kept me on my toes. My personal and professional life were all about changes this year, and while I did not always have the grace to handle them perfectly, I have learned a lot of lessons that I can take with me in the future. Through it all, I have continued to keep up with sewing burlap items for Lina and Vi and managing larger and larger wholesale orders this past year.

I enjoy the end of a year because it is a reminder to me to reflect on what the past year was and what I want the next year to look like. This time last year there were a lot of unknowns in my future. A year later, I am thankful for the journey that has led me here today.

With that, I hope you are enjoying some time off to spend with friends and family this holiday season. A big thank you as always for reading this blog and for keeping up with Lina and Vi.

Happy Holidays,

Monday, November 27, 2017

Announcing Lina and Vi + Made Metro Collective

I've been busy these past few weeks working on large burlap pillow order for a brand new pop-up shop in downtown Dearborn, Michigan - Made Metro Collective! This new holiday shop has a variety of gifts made by local makers and businesses, just in time for the holiday season! I'm thrilled to have Lina and Vi burlap pillows included in this new shop, and I am excited for this endeavor to be located in the downtown Dearborn area. I grew up in Dearborn Heights and spent time downtown Dearborn, so I am even more thankful to be supporting this area. It is all about small business supporting small business, and in my mind, that is what makes a downtown community thrive. If you are local to the southeast Michigan area, please stop on by Made Metro Collective to see what they have in store! They will be open until the end of January. Visit their website here for more details on location and hours.

With the Thanksgiving holiday over, I am now in full swing working through holiday Etsy orders. Small business Saturday was a success, and I hope that you were able to support a local shop or handmade business while you were picking out gifts for your loved ones this year. I am trying to be more conscious of what and where I am purchasing my gifts. While I am still "shopping big" (if you will), I have selected a few gifts from handmade and small business shops this year. Even if it's one or two gifts or even a gift to supplement something larger, it is worth it to me to support this community.

I announced on our Facebook page today that our burlap tote bags are on clearance! Prices are reduced plus there is a holiday sale on everything in our Etsy shop now through December 1st! Some of my most cherished burlap tote bag designs are ready to ship, and the prices are fantastic. If you were considering a coffee burlap sack purse or tote bag for you or someone you know, grab it this week while you can combine the clearance prices with the holiday sale. I'm hoping to start the new year focusing the Lina and Vi Etsy shop solely on our burlap pillows and pouches.

Lastly, I am focused on spending this last week at home with my baby before I head back to my full time job next week. Time is flying, she is growing, and we will be adjusting to changes ahead. I'm looking forward to sharing more with you in the coming weeks, but for now, stay tuned to our Facebook page for more frequent updates.

Enjoy your week and happy holidays!

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 -

Friday, September 15, 2017

Weekly Update + Custom Orders Resume!

Thank you so much for all of the kind comments on the news we shared a few weeks ago of the arrival of our little one! I have been slowly adjusting to the schedule of the newborn baby, and while the days seem long at times (especially when sleep comes in fragments of two to three hours), I can't believe that she will be four weeks old tomorrow. I had thought that time flew by before I had a child, but now I truly cannot keep track of the passing days. My newborn is almost not really a newborn any longer as she gets bigger. Now the passing of time is signaled by the small incremental changes in a growing child!

While I'd love to say that I've been able to get a lot of sewing in these past few weeks, I haven't and that is okay. If you know me personally, you know that I am someone who likes to get things done. I always have a to-do list (actually a few of them for different projects) on my phone, and the fact that now my days' schedules are out of my control is something that I am learning to adjust to so that I can manage my own expectations on what I can get done in a day and keep my own frustration at bay. I am still learning and growing, except with a new subject matter - baby caretaking - and I have to remind myself that I'm still getting stuff done, even if it's not exactly what I had planned for that day.

I digressed a bit, but what I really wanted to say is that while things have been quiet here, I am still sewing when I can during nap times and when I feel like I have a bit of energy to focus. This past week, I was able to sew two small baby gifts for a couple of friends expecting babies later this year, as well as wrap up a custom burlap pillow order that I had started in early August. I'm also glad to say that I shipped out a few new orders this week - so thank you for the continued support! I am ready to start resuming custom orders now, especially as we head into the holiday season in a few months. You can find the custom order option again on the Lina and Vi Etsy shop, and I'm happily accepting new wholesale orders for boutiques and small shops. 

Finally to share a bit of my world right now, know that while I sit at my sewing machine, I now have my little sidekick watching me sew now! I am looking forward to teaching her how to sew and be creative in a bunch of other ways, and I hope that she finds at least a little bit of interest in it when she gets older.

You can find more updates on the Lina and Vi Facebook page here - remember to like us to receive updates on new burlap bags and pillows in our shop. 

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Welcome, Baby!

Things have been relatively quiet over here on the blog these past few weeks, and it is due to a good reason - please welcome our newest (and smallest) member of the Lina and Vi family - baby Adeline!

We are all doing well, and we are adjusting to our new life at home. Everyone is happy and healthy, and we could not ask for anything better. I can't wait to introduce her to some of the handmade dresses I sewed for her these past few months when the weather (hopefully) warms up a bit here in Michigan again. For now, we are using many of the handmade burp cloths, bandana bibs, and swaddle blankets so she is only a week old and already supporting handmade :-).

I'm looking forward to introducing her to sewing when she is older, but for now, I plan to use her nap time to continue sewing new burlap bags and pillows for our Etsy shop. Our newest little shop help will be here at my side along the way these next few months!

Thank you for your continued support with Lina and Vi! This is a special time for our little family, and I am excited to be able to share it with you.

Stay tuned to our Facebook for continued shop and sewing updates!

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Few of My Favorite Burlap Bags

Clockwise from top: Blue Sound Crossbody Burlap Bag - Swiss Water Burlap Yoga Mat Bag - Cat Lady Burlap Zipper Pouch - Floral Burlap Crossbody Zipper BagGold and Navy Blue Branch Foldover Burlap Clutch - USDA Organic Burlap Pouch

Hello, and happy Sunday! The days seem to be drifting together right now as we try to patiently wait for the arrival of our baby. While I was hoping for some good news of her arrival this weekend, it seems that she will be taking a couple more days. So while I am in this waiting period, I decided to embark on a few new sewing projects that are rather simple. If I don't end up finishing them up before she arrives, then I'll be able to pick these projects up again when I'm looking for a bit of time to spend doing something creative during the next few months.

Despite the baby projects, I have still been sewing plenty of burlap goods these past few weeks! If you follow us on Facebook, I've been posting a couple of our favorite burlap pillows that are ready to ship! Head on over to our Etsy shop to see the complete collection of our handmade and hand-stenciled burlap pillows made right here in Michigan!

Aside from burlap pillows, there are several unique burlap purses, pouches, and clutches in our shop as well. I am featuring a few of my favorites in the collage above. All of these burlap bags feature individual cuts of printed coffee bean sack burlap paired with a fun, patterned cotton print. There are many different varieties of bags available right now, and as with all of the designs in the Grounds Collection, they are one of a kind so they are ready to ship immediately! No need to pre-order. Need a quick gift or looking for a new bag for the upcoming early fall season? Shop handmade and stop by the Lina and Vi Etsy shop to see full details and more photos of each of our coffee sack burlap bags.

I'm hoping to share our exciting news in our next update! Stay tuned to our blog and our Facebook page, and as always, thank YOU for supporting small, handmade businesses like mine.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Leopard Print Burlap Bag

Leopard burlap tote bag purse by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI -

Hi friends, and happy almost weekend! I promised that I would be back to share one of my latest me-made projects this week, and here it is! This fun, leopard-print burlap tote bag is my latest sewing project. After nearly two years of carrying my Charleston burlap tote bag, it was time for a new everyday bag for myself.  While my Charleston burlap bag needed its handles repaired once, it required no other repairs over the course of almost two years. But after several trips and everyday use, the burlap was worn, and it was time for something new. Knowing that I'll be carrying a diaper bag now, I wanted to make something that was flexible enough with shoulder straps and a strap to carry the bag across the body.

This leopard print burlap tote is a medium-sized bag with brown leather handles, a beige cotton canvas bottom, and an exterior slide pocket. I prefer to have at least one zipper pocket on the inside lining so I added a small one along with another slide pocket for my cell phone on the inside. The leopard print is a high quality woven fabric that will be durable enough to hold up to everyday use. There is a magnetic metal snap as well as two exterior loops for attaching a long strap. The long leather strap you see here is from a different, store-bought purse that I had from a couple of years ago. This is the second time I've used it as a long strap for one of my personal burlap bags, and although it shows wear, it works out well and is easy to attach and detach.

One thing you might notice is that the burlap is plain and doesn't contain any text or images. I intentionally wanted to keep the burlap solid for this design because I know the leopard print was pretty busy. With a bold pattern, I wanted to keep the rest of the bag as neutral as possible. I think I achieved that, and I'm really happy with how this bag turned out. I'm hoping it will last another two years like my last burlap bag! Now, if only I had an official name for it... :-)

Leopard burlap tote bag purse by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI -

Leopard burlap tote bag purse by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI -

Leopard burlap tote bag purse by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI -

Leopard burlap tote bag purse by Lina and Vi Plymouth MI -

With less than two weeks to go until baby arrives, I'm not sure that I'll have the chance to sew any new projects in the coming weeks. I'm glad I was able to squeeze this one in so that I know I have a reliable everyday bag that will transition well into fall. The next few months will fly by, so I'm making any preparations I can now to get organized ahead of time!

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

New! Floral Burlap Crossbody Zipper Pouch

Burlap Floral Crossbody Zipper Bag -

Hi friends! I'm back today to share a short update and a few pictures of my latest burlap crossbody bag. With two weeks to go until my due date and the summer heat fully turned up here in Michigan, I'm trying to keep cool while still being active in the evenings and sewing when I can. I know that once she arrives, I'll be taking a short break from sewing for a while, so I'm spending the free time I have now sewing up new items for my Etsy shop before I take some time away from my sewing machine. Today I'm sharing our newest crossbody bag, the Floral Burlap Crossbody Zipper Pouch.

When I set out to make a new bag, I knew I wanted to make something that was across the body with a longer strap. I am going to blame it on the heat of summer, or maybe I'll blame it on the fact that I know I will have so much more to carry with me in the coming weeks with a baby, but I wanted to go hands-free with my next design. The burlap is minimalistic, featuring a green industrial text on one panel and a solid burlap panel on the back. I opted for a fun, floral print with shades of gray, yellow, and orange so this bag would easily transition from the bright colors of summer to the warmer shades of fall.

Burlap Floral Crossbody Zipper Bag -

Burlap Floral Crossbody Zipper Bag -

Burlap Floral Crossbody Zipper Bag -

Burlap Floral Crossbody Zipper Bag -

Burlap Floral Crossbody Zipper Bag -

Two metal claw clasps make the strap removable so it is possible to carry this zipper pouch like a clutch or as an organizer inside of a larger bag (such as a diaper bag or beach bag). I love how functional this bag is - it is small and practical but creative and fun. It's ready to ship now. Stop by our Etsy shop to see more details about this handmade burlap zipper bag!

I have one more project to share before the baby arrives that I hope to share later this week. Hint: this project was for a special customer - me! Have a great weekend, and thank you for reading!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Nursery Tour!

DIY peach and white baby girl nursery by linaandvi

Today I'm sharing a couple of photos of our baby girl's nursery. Most of what you see in this room has been a DIY, so although not everything here is related to sewing, I thought I would share the design in the spirit of showing what a little bit of creativity and crafting can do to spruce up a room, especially on a budget.

We converted a spare bedroom to a nursery this past spring. It was previously a room with a dark color scheme - beige and crimson with touches of dark brown and black. We decided to keep the beige on the walls and accent the color with tones of peach, white, brown, and ivory. I didn't decorate based on one specific theme for the room, but rather stuck to a color scheme throughout to give the design some cohesiveness.

The DIY elements of our baby girl's nursery include both handmade elements from myself and my husband. To start, the floating wall shelves were hand-crafted by my husband as well as the refinished crib and dresser which he changed from natural wood to a white paint using a paint plus primer product from Sherwin-Williams. Similarly, he used his woodworking skills to transform a large framed mirror from a bedroom set into a smaller, rectangular mirror by removing the mirror from the original inset, taking it to a local glass cutter to cut it down, and framing it with handmade moulding. The mirror matches the same color as the dresser and crib (not shown below).

DIY peach and white baby girl nursery by linaandvi

DIY peach and white baby girl nursery by linaandvi

DIY peach and white baby girl nursery by linaandvi

As for my crafty touches, I handmade the moon and stars mobile, which I shared in this previous post. I also used my Silhouette Cameo to cut decals of a dahlia at different scale which I used to accent the top portion of one of the walls in the nursery to give it more interest.  I also recently handmade a wooden "I Love You Sign" (not shown) to place on one of the wooden shelves for decoration.  I upcycled two frames that were used for our wedding reception (4 years ago!) to frame the watercolor prints that you see above the crib which I purchased from two different artists on Etsy.

Overall, I think the nursery turned out great! I still need to put finishing touches here and there. As you can see, there is one open spot for a frame above the crib which I plan to hang a letter once we decide upon our little one's name. That will be another DIY likely to be done after she is born, and I'm in need of a creative project in between naps and feedings.

I hope you enjoyed this short tour of our peach-themed nursery! We are three weeks away from meeting our baby, and I am both nervous and excited for her arrival.

Thank you for stopping by and have a great rest of the week!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Swiss Water Burlap Yoga Mat Tote Bag

Swiss Water burlap yoga mat bag by linaandvi plymouth mi -

Here we are in mid-July! How did this this happen so quickly? I'm feeling pretty pregnant these days, but the heat has been manageable so far so I'm hoping that we continue to have a mild summer here in Michigan. I'm happy to still have some energy at the end of each day to continue to sew a bit, although I will be honest that I can feel myself slowing down more and more as each day passes. I love to sew, so if I can still manage it after a full day of work, commute, and dinner, then I'll commit whatever time I can to continue to create. The bonus is that it is a huge stress-reliever for me, so as I get closer to my due date (one month away!), I will need to find alternative ways to help me relax in the evenings. Yoga, anyone?

This past week I worked on a brand new yoga mat burlap tote bag, the Swiss Water bag. It's a beautiful print that I've seen before on a burlap coffee sack, but this time around I designed a yoga mat bag around the imprint rather than a shoulder bag. The simplicity of the design with the bright blue really gives this mat bag some personality. This yoga mat bag is definitely not for the shy. If you are looking for practical and fun way to carry your yoga mat to and from the gym or studio, this is the one for you! The burlap is authentic to the original sack, and the yoga mat bag is completely handmade in Plymouth, Michigan.

Swiss Water burlap yoga mat bag by linaandvi plymouth mi -

I opted for a solid lavender lining on the inside. It helps to reduce friction when sliding a yoga mat in and out of the bag. The top flap is a solid beige cotton canvas with a clear toggle closure so it's easy to open and close before and after class while you are setting up your yoga mat.  You can shop this bag now in our Etsy shop!

I'll be back next week sharing more photos of my DIY baby girl nusery! Enjoy your weekend and thanks for supporting my handmade business!


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Our Latest Burlap Bag: the Pyramid Market Tote

Pyramid Burlap Market tote bag by lina and vi plymouth mi -

I'm thrilled to be able to share a new burlap tote bag with you today! This medium-sized market bag is one that I am particularly proud of. It features a simple yet modern pyramid design on the repurposed burlap front and back panels, offset with a soft, faux leather brown bottom that is trimmed with an ivory cotton canvas fabric. I'm especially proud of that ivory trim on the bottom. It took me some extra time to get it just right, and I love how the design turned out. This market tote bag is truly one of the more sophisticated burlap bags I have designed, and I am in love with how it turned out.

A couple of other details to share about this bag include the flat pocket on the interior lining for easily organizing small items and the handmade wide straps so the bag stays firmly on your shoulder. I opted for a neutral, ivory cotton canvas fabric on the interior which matches the trim on the exterior bottom and the handles. The handles turned out beautifully with a top stitch that strengthens each strap and makes them durable.

Pyramid Burlap Market tote bag by lina and vi plymouth mi -

Pyramid Burlap Market tote bag by lina and vi plymouth mi -

Pyramid Burlap Market tote bag by lina and vi plymouth mi -

You can shop the Pyramid market tote bag now in our Etsy shop! I have a good feeling this one is going to go fast with its neutral color palette and organic, natural style.

This weekend is Plymouth's Art in the Park, and while we are not participating, we do have our handmade burlap pillows available to shop at Birch Wood Boutique on Forest Ave! You will find our Plymouth and Detroit stenciled pillows as well as the Michigan home and Great Lakes square burlap pillow available. Plus, everything in the boutique is on sale for the art fair! Everyone knows I love a good sale. ;-)

I hope you are enjoying your weekend. The sun is out, the temperature is cooler, and I am taking full advantage of this pleasant weather with my larger baby bump in tow. We are only 5 weeks away from welcoming our new family member - time is flying!

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, July 2, 2017

New in the Shop: Burlap Zipper Pouches

Lina and Vi Repurposed Burlap Zipper Pouches

I'm back at the sewing machine this week sharing a couple of new items for our Etsy shop. We closed out June with three new burlap pouches in our shop, and I'm loving the color combinations for these fun yet practical zipper bags.

Each zipper pouch is sewn from 100% repurposed coffee sack burlap bags and finished with a colorful printed or solid lining fabric. The burlap prints on these pouches are bold and completely authentic to the original coffee sack. The zippers are standard high-quality YKK zippers in both white and ivory. I love sewing these pouches because it is fun to combine different color combinations together. They are so useful for organizing small items, or even replacing a big purse, especially during the warmer summer months when there is a tendency to carry a lighter load. You can shop this set of three in our Etsy shop now. These are completely USA (and Michigan) made.

Lina and Vi Repurposed Burlap Zipper Pouches

Lina and Vi Repurposed Burlap Zipper Pouches

Lina and Vi Repurposed Burlap Zipper Pouches

In other news, we are halfway through 2017 which seems surreal. I don't know where the months went, but I do know that the second half of 2017 is going to be an exciting one. I am looking forward to welcoming our baby, adjusting to motherhood, and finding a new normal balance between sewing/career/family.  I sense a few more baby sewing projects in my near future!

I hope that you are enjoying this beautiful holiday weekend and spending time with your friends and family to both relax and celebrate for the 4th of July!


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sewing Baby Clothing and Life Lately

Handmade baby bloomers by

Life last weekend moved a little bit slower. My husband and I headed up to his family's cottage for a long weekend to spend fishing, boating, and enjoying the sunshine. The weather was a balance of rain and shine each day. We were able to spend the days on a little bit a slower pace, sans the early mornings, traffic, and busy schedules that come with our typical workdays. Since I knew that we were headed up north Michigan and that the activities that I can participate in at this point in my pregnancy are becoming limited, I opted to bring my sewing machine and some supplies along with a goal to sew at least one baby item.

Using free patterns found through blogs, I spent a few hours sewing up two new diaper covers, one with a floral print on a gray background and one with a fun pink and blue rocketship print. The rocketship printed fabric was leftover from the first set of pajama pants I made when I was back in high school (!!!). I clearly purchased way too much fabric for those PJ pants, and I STILL have the fabric in my stash. I don't know if I should be proud or not that I have held on to that one so long.  I feel like I'm giving off a hoarder impression! ;-) These diaper covers will come in handy under dresses and pairing with onesies to make an outfit for our baby girl. You can find the free pattern on Sew Caroline's blog here.

When a couple of other rainy hours hit, I spent some time in the cottage sewing up this cute baby girl dress. This wasn't the first time I've made this dress, and with a little bit of prior practice, it was much easier to sew the lined bodice this time around and conceal all of the inner bodice seams so that there are no exposed raw fabric edges. Even though no one will ever notice the interior of the dress, I like that the interior is clean and finished, as it means less loose threads that might annoy the baby.

Handmade baby dress by

I purchased this white floral print cotton fabric at JoAnn's, and with the leftovers, I found a headband pattern to sew up a retro headband with a small elastic stretch on the back. Unlike typical baby and toddler clothing, this is made from cotton, not knit, so there is no stretch. I'm not sure how easy it will be to get on the baby, but it's cute and if she never wears it, maybe she will keep it for her own kids. You can find the free Little Geranium baby dress pattern on Made by Rae's blog here.

In other news, we are almost 7 weeks away from my due date, and I'm feeling a lot of different emotions that often change based on the day. I'm still sewing when I can, both to stock up on inventory for the Etsy shop for after the baby arrives and for my own stress relief. More and more of my time has become about preparing for the baby, and with less than two months to go left, I'm hoping for a smooth next few weeks. Summer is here, and I'm looking forward to continuing to sew up until the baby's arrival. If you have any free baby sewing patterns to share, please post them in the comments! I'd love to add them to my growing Pinterest board.

Have a great weekend,

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

DIY Baby Girl Nursery Decals with Silhouette Cameo

baby girl nursery diy decals silhouette cameo florals by

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking through a few ideas I had to decorate our baby's nursery, and one that kept popping in my head was flowers. I knew I wanted to do something with flowers, and if possible, I wanted to make something myself using my Cameo. There is one far wall across from the crib that was pretty empty, with just a framed mirror hanging. After searching Pinterest and other decor sites, I had the idea to make 3D paper flowers and place them randomly around the mirror to give the wall some interest and texture without making the room too busy. Our nursery room is small, and the last thing I wanted to do was introduce more decor when I knew that the room would soon fill up with baby supplies.

Late last week, I was browsing the Silhouette blog contributor list, and I came across the blog, Classy Cutter, created by two women mainly focused on DIY projects using an electronic cutter, specifically the Silhouette Cameo. By luck, I came across their DIY Floral Faux Wallpaper post, and thought it would be a great alternative to paper flowers on the nursery wall. I loved the large floral print, and I knew that I could manage to make something similar with supplies I had at home.

While I purchased the same decal template used in the Classy Cutter post ($1!), I modified my application a bit by scattering different size dahlia flowers over the top portion of the wall with more negative space in between. I did this partly because I didn't have very much white vinyl on hand and partly because I was again nervous that adding too much would make the wall too busy. I am focused on keeping the room as simple as possible to evoke calmness and serenity. (Somewhere an experienced mom is laughing at me, I know. We can all hope, right?!)

Applying the decals was tricky given that the vinyl is quite thin with many cutouts. I would describe it like applying a spider web sticker onto a flat surface at a large scale - there were several areas that would fold over from static cling and stick together which I had to spend time carefully pulling apart. With a little help from my husband to apply the decals high up near the ceiling, this whole project took about four hours total spanning a couple of weeknights. Aside from the image purchase, I had all of the supplies already on hand.

baby girl nursery diy decals silhouette cameo florals by

baby girl nursery diy decals silhouette cameo florals by

baby girl nursery diy decals silhouette cameo florals by

There is still a lot to do with this nursery, but it is coming together slowly but surely. By the end of the month, I hope to have much of it complete, with the exception of the organization of the closet, which will take some time and may change when the baby arrives since I'll quickly figure out what I will need access to the most.

I hope this DIY project inspires you to tackle a project at home that you have been wanting to complete but have been hesitant to start. Make Pinterest your friend and start small - when the inspiration strikes, you will be surprised what you can do!

Thanks for letting me share my latest baby DIY with you!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Plymouth Farmer's Market 2017

Hello, friends! It's been a couple of weeks, and things have been busy! This past weekend I participated in the downtown Plymouth Farmer's Market. It was great to be able to meet many local customers, hear feedback on our burlap bags and pillows, and see some familiar faces from last year's farmer's market. The weather was warm, sunny, and beautiful so it was a great morning being able to be part of the local community here in Plymouth. Although this past weekend will be the only time Lina and Vi will be at the market this year, I hope to have a table next year with baby along for the ride. I'm sure my husband and I will be walking the market later this summer, and I hope to run into some of you then as well.  Speaking of my husband, a huge shoutout to him for helping me unload, setup, and repack everything yesterday despite the heat!

Aside from the market, I have been working on a number of custom burlap pillows these past few weeks both for local customers and customers in other states. It is fun to see where our Etsy orders originate, especially for our Michigan-based stenciled burlap pillows. It always sparks my curiosity to know how someone in another state has a connection to Michigan, so it can be really interesting to receive orders from around the country, not just local Michiganders. Keep them coming!

I announced on the Lina and Vi Facebook page a couple of weeks ago that we will be pausing all custom wholesale orders after June 15th. We are a few days away from that date, so if you are interested in placing a wholesale order for delivery prior to August, please email us at linaandvi at gmail dot com. I will be taking a couple of months off from wholesale orders to welcome our new baby in August, and I hope to be back accepting wholesale orders by the end of September. In the meantime, our Etsy shop will remain open as we have a number of ready to ship pillows, bags, and zipper pouches. Thank you for understanding and your continued support of our small, handmade business!

This week I will be focusing on a sewing a large order of our popular 4" by 6" burlap zipper pouches. We are thrilled to be working with Bundled again, and these are headed over to them to include in their ladies gift bundles later this summer.  I'm working with solid and printed fabric in a variety of vibrant colors, perfect for the summer months. Stay tuned for more updates on progress through our Facebook page.

I hope you are out enjoying the start of summer. I will be back soon sharing a new baby nursery DIY project that involved my Silhouette Cameo - I can't wait to share this one with you!