Four of my best lady friends forced me to have a little baby
shower party recently. I have pictures and a whole post I need to do about how lovely it was.
For the hostess gifts, I wanted to do something handmade, but decidedly not lame AND have it be something I had never made before that I would try just for them (as opposed to a beach bag or a scarf..."here, have some of my existing inventory," just wasn't the sentiment I wanted to convey).
but THESE say, "Women, I love your faces so hard and appreciate beyond belief the work that went into celebrating my baby girl and covering my with love!" I mean, I hope they do. There's always a thank you note, just in case.
I have been interested in trying my hand at sewing with leather for awhile now. When I scored a gorgeous, soft-beyond-belief, chocolate brown, men's large jacket at a thrift shop for $1, I knew it was time to jump in. Small investment, small risk.
A quick pinterest search netted me the perfect project with a great tutorial. Polka Dot Chair's Leather Foldover Clutch.
that caramel colored leather she used is so sexy! I'm on the lookout for some of my own!
I sliced up the jacket, stopping to make Jesse model the sleeveless look, of course.
In about an hour I had made a seriously decent clutch. The first one I had decided would be for me and if it went well, I would make another 4 with each girlie's personality in mind. I had a challenging blast picking inside and outside fabrics to match each girls' style (I stalked their Pinterests) and got to work.
I was so giddy about how they turned out, that I decided to take my time and try my best to photograph them well (I have a great camera and know a leeettle about what youre supposed to do with it, but I'm definitely not great, and it takes a lot of effort and thought for me to put it all into action, which is why I usually just settle for meh-quality, or phone pics).
Plus, I had enjoyed making the clutches so much and had lots of extra leather that I figured I might make some more and eventually sell them in my Etsy shop, so a more professional looking set of photos of the product would definitely be useful.
After plenty of fiddling, and brain-stretching to try to put all the camera-ish things I'm supposed to know all together at once, I ended up with my favorite little set of project pics ever! And since I can only use 5 on Etsy, I wanted to splash the entire set here to remind me why taking the time to push myself with our camera is worth it--AND why trying new materials and projects to expand my sewing skills is too!
this was the one I did first, for myself in case it was terrible. 100% passable, i declare.
the lining and the zip and my first stab at a pull tassel which was pretty fail-ish.
my friend Liz is a crunchy, hippie (hello she birthed her twins at home in water!), earth-mother-of-4 doula rockstar. She is the sweetest, most caring spirit I've ever known, and also loves a good vagina joke (my perfect mate!). I knew she'd been digging tribal prints lately from her pinterest so I went with the coral arrows.
a better tassel, and the cute cowboys and indians interior fabric.
i love this print!
for Nikki, the classically-styled professional working mama, I went with the gray and white print that is originally from a shower curtain i bought to upholster our barstools. I had to change the stools to a plastic-coated fabric about 2 days later when I realized that the kids would stain non-stain proof fabric at each and every meal, but since Nikki wouldn't be eating atop her clutch, I figured it would serve nicely.
just like Nikki, a lot more wild on the inside. You may remember it was Nikki who escorted/inducted me into my first Brazilian waxing experience.
My girl Steph, the hot young (25...damn her) newly(ish)wed almost two years!) still has a life (aka no kids) and can pull off preppy and boho with equal panache. I went for a classic black and white stripe since it will go great with anything and still pop and rock. Steph went to Haiti with Jesse this summer, and is a member of the family that yall helped to adopt 3 kids from Ukraine last year!)
dark pink herringbone for the interior. (totally looks like he is yelling at us)
for Natalie (who was my saving grace/voice of Jesus in this horrifying marriage meltdown moment, and whose baby shower I cohosted a few years back), a vintage-y sort of modern floral print. Natalie is a campus minister with many tattoos and is also a mom of 3 boys. She's one of the most authentic humans alive and is so easy-breezy. This organic print just seemed perfect for my beautiful ginger.
a feisty brown floral on the innards. (I'm sure nat's innards are the same).
And, if you know me, you know how bonkers I am for iterations. I just can't enough of multiple versions of the same thing all stacked up beside each other. I'd love to know what this means about my personality (probably "SUPERFREAK").
I could just take a big gobbley bite out of this stack!
stand proud, my lovelies!
a good shot of my more-perfected tassel design.
all the single ladies in a conga line.
girls, you're as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside.
I was stunned when I posted one of these pics on instagram. So many people wanted to buy them NOW. That made me feel so wonderful that I had made something desirable for my beloved friends. I had a break in Etsy orders one night, so I made a few more of these which are now available for sale. I even got a few new fabrics that I am excited to use if/when I ever get a free moment again.
the for-sale specimens!
Happy, fancy, flirty Friday (I may or may not have a child-free overnight date night with MUH-MAN on the docket!)