Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dreams of Empire

This morning, J17 and I ventured out to the fabric store for their big holiday weekend shopping extravaganza. Whew!  I've had my fill of crowds for the year.  Who would have thought that the fabric store would have been such a hotspot for shopping.  Of course, maybe it's a sign of the times that more people are doing handmade holidays this year.  I saw a LOT of fleece go through the cutting lines.  We stood in line for probably 35 minutes to get to the cutting table.  But we got some awesome deals.  I went today because they had quilting cottons for $1.99.  I wasn't too impressed with the selection but I got a couple for future use.  And they had $.99 patterns again so J17 picked up a few. And I got fabric for a gift for V.  I don't really have hope that I'll be able to get it done in time for the holidays but you never know.
We have had the pattern for years and years (probably 25!) but I've never made it:
 V has wanted one of these smoking jackets for years- not because he smokes- just because it would be fun and a bit pretentious.
We selected fabric:
Red velvet and a silvery/black brocade for the lapels.  The red velvet was one of only two non-sale items we purchased but since we were there in the morning, we got to use a 50% off coupon for it.  The brocade was already 40% off.  On top of the 50% off a single item, we had a coupon for 25% off the entire purchase price- INCLUDING SALE ITEMS!!  So, the brocade was already 40% off plus an additional 25%.
We came home and I spent part of the afternoon organizing the sewing room- well, at least more than it has been, considering that the room isn't even finished!
 The sewing room is also the guest bedroom.  Above, J17 sits on the futon bed by the table that holds the cutting and ironing stations. The table is sitting over the corner of the bed so I don't block access to the room from the other door.   Across the room is my antique library table that doubles as a sewing table.  V installed light under the cabinets for better lighting. And, yes, we still have stuff in boxes!  And, below, the basket you see in the corner of the photo is a market basket I made, stuffed full of patterns.
Below is the whole room from the corner/door:
Sewing table to the right, storage cabinet straight ahead, to the immediate left (barely visible), the antique dresser that holds most of my fabric.  And, yes, broom corn hanging over the bed, a stash of empty shoe boxes by the craft cabinet and quilt batting up near the ceiling.  Whew!  It's cram packed!!
But on to the dreams of empire!!  J17 and V seem to think that this is a viable idea, although I still doubt my skill to pull it off.
J17, and, to some extent, I have been fans of Steampunk- the neo-Victorian fun fashion.  To that end, we have, over time, purchased numerous dress, corset, shirt and jacket patterns.  I hope to open an Etsy shop, starting with wall art/quilts with a steampunk theme.  And a few other things thrown in as well (Maybe some Celtic knotwork pieces).  With the possibility of branching out into custom Steampunk and/or cosplay clothing.  If I can market right, I may have a side job... not that I don't like my job, I'd just like something a little different on the side.
Opinions... ideas... words of warning....?? Am I totally crazy??


  1. Can't wait to see the Celtic Knotwork... I just love the stuff!

  2. I absolutely love Steampunk. And have loved Victorian for ages! When I first saw Steampunk, I was blown away. It looks like such fun. There won't be any sales, most likely, but the few days before Christmas all fabric stores are deserted. I have a sewing room, messy and larger. I have six machines in there, some commercial machines. Etsy would be a good place to start. Good luck! I cannot wait to see your creations.

  3. Judy
    I love your plan but you have it right-its about marketing. Steampunk is great! Cosplay even more so. Can you look at the cosplay conventions to see if there is opportunity for marketing through them?

    I look forward to seeing that smoking jacket:) Nice fabric choices!
    You reminded me to get my sewing room together soon!

  4. I will be looking up Steampunk on google. Love the fabric you bought for V's non-smoking smokeing jacket. He will look quite dapper!!I am envious of your sewing room. I have several places to put one, but one means going upstairs...ugh...and the other is in the girls playroom. Right now it's the Dinning room. Not a good place...debbie

  5. #1. You aren't crazy.

    #2. I adore steampunk. I am in the middle of taking aspects of steampunk and decorating my house in it. It's also slightly industrial.

    #3. Good luck. :)

  6. I just love J17's futon "cutting/crafting" corner! LOL my hubby loves to say "smoking jacket"... maybe he needs one too, must be a man thing. As long as he doesn't wear it to the mailbox, right? :)

  7. You have GOT to post a picture of the finished smoking jacket! Talk about ambitious! I think you should keep yourself open to all possibilities. Who knows?

  8. Yart- I'm thinking of a table runner first.
    Practical Parsimony- 6 machines!! Be still my heart!!
    Linda- I'm working on some marketing angles but I'm so gung ho that I'm worried I'm going to get the cart in front of the horse and be ready to market before I've got anything to sell!
    Debbie- you'll love steampunk! And I'm so excited about this sewing room- this is the first time I've had a dedicated space- it used to always be on the dining room table- NOT good with children.
    Jen- I know you just did a post on your living room- I'm going to have to make time to read it.
    Erin- it's actually my sewing corner- J17 just makes herself at home. You should definitely do the smoking jacket thing- I hope I can get a good start at least by Christmas even if I can't finish it.
    Susan- there will definitely be a smoking jacket post or two. I've been frantically finishing up holiday gifts so I can get started.

  9. I think the lady in line behind you in the fabric store was rude!! I think it's a great idea myself, especially if V has been wanting one. Your sewing skills must be wonderful. Wish mine were that good. I love to sew. Can't wait to see what your up too. Must be some sort of site where you are selling home made goodies. Am waiting patiently!! ...debbie

  10. I'm a Steampunk novice as I've never heard of it before. I like the name though - catchy!

    If you are going crazy setting up your own esty shop then my only advice is this: enjoy the adventure. That's it - enjoy, because you will have your fair share of challenges and set backs along the way. So make the fun *ridiculously* so, doing anything and everything you ever wanted. :)

    I think what distinguishes the great esty shops from the quiet ones is the level of enjoyment which goes into the creative process. Those who are happiest blowing their creative trumpet the loudest, get a larger audience.

    Marketing plays a huge part, but I also think people can market for you if you shine at what you do. Like I've only just heard of Steampunk because of reading this post, LOL. ;)

  11. Debbie- I'm not sure she was rude, just boring and with no imagination. Sad really. We didn't let it bother us.

  12. Chris- Thanks for stopping in! Steampunk is so much fun. Victoriana with a twist. Thanks for the vote of confidence. So far I'm having fun as is my daughter. She seems at least as excited about all of this as i am.


Glad you stopped in. I would love to hear from you.