Saturday, April 16, 2016

In love with my new labels and Char's Lined Canvas Tote!

I pinned a post about printing your own labels using Spoonflower ages and ages ago.  I loved the idea but was completely stymied about what I would print for them.  Since I started getting more comfortable with basic graphic design and manipulation using Photoshop Elements (thanks to my duties on the elementary school yearbook committee!), the idea popped back into my head to finally design a logo and figure out this Spoonflower thing I'm always reading about.

Since I'm no artist, I decided my logo needed to just be lettering.  I had so much fun browsing fonts on and finally came up with a concept -- my initials plus the initials of this blog (N S and R R).  I sew all sorts of different-shaped items, so I wanted a logo that could be square, rectangular, and then arranged so I could fold a tag to stick out from a seam.  I needed everything to be in black & white because I didn't want to clash with any of the fabrics I sew with, so I came up with this:

Uploading the logos to Spoonflower and tiling them (i.e., making the pattern repeat) was beyond easy.  I wanted a fat quarter's worth of each logo on just regular old cotton fabric, and that cost me about $30 (around $10 per fat quarter).

Today, my labels arrived!  I may have squealed when my husband brought the mail in.  The labels were exactly as I had envisioned them.  I counted, and there are 246 usable labels in all.  Not bad for only $30!  I left plenty of space around each label for turning under the edges if I wanted to.  I plan to just iron on some WonderUnder on the back of the whole shebang though so I can easily slap on a label and stitch around it without a lot of fuss.

As luck would have it, I was literally right in the middle of sewing a tote bag for my daughter's friend for her 8th birthday when the labels arrived.  What better time to use them?!?!  The quality of the fabric is very nice with some good body.  The printing is nice and sharp.  For my first go-round, I decided to cut out one of the labels to be folded and inserted into a seam.  I added a bit of Fray-Check to the raw edges (if this were a more formal project I might have ironed over the edges and actually stitched down them, but I was in a serious time crunch and didn't feel like changing my thread) and sewed that puppy right into the seam of the bag's lining.


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I finished sewing the tote bag with only about 15 minutes to spare before the party, so I only had time for some quickie cell-phone shots of the finished product (from a terrific Lined Canvas Tote tutorial by The Inspired Wren) before Charlotte was off to the party.  I'm really kind of bummed I couldn't keep this bag for myself (although I totally would have appliquéd on an "N" instead of a "C" for Char, the birthday girl!).  Thank goodness I have some more of that fun floral fabric left (which Charlotte picked out for Char's tote this morning at Jo-Ann's).

Also this morning, I finally decided to buy some actual topstitching thread.  WHY HAVE I NEVER TRIED THIS BEFORE???  I'm completely in love with it.  Its thickness makes the topstitching really pop, and it's adorable on the appliqué.  Using a triple/stretch stitch was my usual go-to method for thicker stitching, but this was way easier.

I went a little rogue with the tote tutorial by making the pocket the same fabric as the base rather than the same as the main body, and I just couldn't resist a little appliqué since sweet Char is one of my favorite students in Charlotte's class (which boasts not one, not two, but THREE girls named Charlotte).  I might try it as written if I try it again.

I'm so excited about my new labels that I need to come up with some projects to sew ASAP.  Maybe I need to sew one of these tote bags for myself!


Linking up to: The Inspired Wren


  1. The tote bag came out fabulous with the contrast pocket! But I'm really in love with your labels. Brilliant ordering just a fat quarter's worth!

  2. Spoonflower is great! (And your logo is simple and effective.) For those who want to try out the service, it's also possible to order a sampler of five 8" x 8" swatches on one sheet of fabric for only $12. If you had a bunch of different logos and wanted to see which one looks the best, that's a great bargain.

    Love the colours on your gift tote!

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