Jill’s Fabric Arts

If you’ve been reading here for any amount of time, you know what’s been going on in my life over the last year. But if you haven’t, to recap, in February I was laid off from a job I held for nearly six years. I wasn’t able to find another full-time permanent job, so I decided to start a business of my own. I toyed with the idea of doing bookkeeping, but then decided to make and sell soaps. I have really been enjoying doing the soaps, but it is very labor intensive and I don’t think it’s as creative as I thought it would be. I’ve invested a lot of money in the soaps, and I intend to continue doing them, but on a more manageable level (i.e., not trying out every single fragrance that every single vendor offers). I’m thinking maybe eight to fifteen soaps, depending on the time of year. But my primary reason for cutting back on soapmaking is because I’m starting a new business!

Soon, I will be launching an etsy.com store called Jill’s Fabric Arts that will feature embroidered items, such as t-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies, blankets, and towels. I’ll also be offering some specialty art items that I’ll share with you as I finish them up. Most things will be custom orders, so you can choose your focus color, sizes, and designs. I am currently in the process of setting up wholesale accounts and ordering in sample garments and items that I will be embellishing, so the store won’t be launching just yet. But I am so excited about this new business, I couldn’t wait to share the big news! I have long wanted to have a business that will allow me to be flexible and creative, and I think this is it. I am super excited (if you couldn’t tell).

I am going to have a few sample items made and ready to share with everyone this weekend, so if you’re going to be at the Bellville Market Days on Saturday, look for us there. We will have lots of great soaps, as well as some sample items that you can look at and place your order. I know it doesn’t seem possible, but the holidays are just around the corner, so this is a great time to start looking for unique Christmas & Hanukkah gifts. What could be more unique than a gift that’s been personalized?!

Keep an eye out here for more news, sample photos, and other information on Jill’s Fabric Arts. Also, follow us on Facebook! 🙂

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This Studio!

Most of the time, I love my studio. It is my happy place, my escape, my wonderful corner of the world. Well, it used to be all those things. These days, it’s more like a dumping grounds for anything business related. And I have to tell you that I’m more than a little sick of it. I lost my design wall to bookcases for storage of soap related items. We dump everything in there when we come back from shows because a) we cannot get into the garage right now; b) it’s right at the front door; and c) where the heck else are we going to put it?! At least some of this will be alleviated if we can ever get the garage door fixed (it broke in like, I don’t know … March?), but until then …  I’ve added a couple more bookcases to hold stuff for business, one of which is still in my studio, but hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And until I’m making enough from the business to move to a store front, this is my life.

But I’m doing my level best to get it cleaned up this week, because I have this overwhelming desire to SEW. I want to finish the Star Wars quilt, and I want to make myself some clothes, and it would be nice to get started on some holiday items. I feel like I’m drowning in work and school right now, and I NEED the release sewing provides, but right now, this is what I’m dealing with at my sewing cabinet …

I'm embarrassed to even share this, but here it is, in all its glory.

I’m embarrassed to even share this, but here it is, in all its glory.

That’s probably the worst of it, but I also have this cedar chest that my parents gave me when I graduated high school that’s sitting right in front of my cutting table, waiting to go upstairs. However, I can’t take it up there just yet because there’s an old tv stand where the chest is going to go. But I can’t clean that up because … oh, let’s not even get into how bad my master bedroom is right now. Let’s just say that it’s a good thing I’m not planning to move any time soon, because I assure you … it would not be happening this year!

Anyway, in between making soap, cleaning and trying to keep up with this insane tax course I’m taking at school, I’m making a list of things I want to make myself for the Fall. So far, this is what I have on the list …

B5300 McCall's 6084 B6070

Also, this new McCall’s pattern looks super easy and fast to make …

McCall's 7432

McCall’s 7432

I would maybe be interested in something from Simplicity, but how would I know, considering how horrible their new website is?! Someone should tell them to fix it (oh wait, I HAVE).

I’m also interested in some skirts – I hear the hemlines are going to be longer this Fall – and some pants. I haven’t worn dresses or skirts in many years, but lately I’ve been wearing some skorts I purchased and I LOVE them. I love how cool they are, and how comfortable they are. And since it rarely gets that cold here in the Houston area, I figure I can get decent wear out of a couple of dresses and skirts pretty much all year long.

So, that is my goal – clean up the studio so I can maybe try to recapture some of my sanity. It works like that, right? Right?? Oh, please tell me I’m right! 😉