Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Handbag Design

It has been wonderful getting back to working with leather. Sure, I love making clothes! Who doesn't? But I love working with leather. Why not make leather clothes? I really don't care for working with lambskin, and that really is the most appropriate leather for clothes. I'm still working on the white leather jacket. But I have so many projects on my table, you would not believe! And of course, I must always put customer's orders first. 

I've been making a few handbags. Nothing new. I've been making them for years, but not on Etsy. So now I've added handbags to my designer line and I'm just having so much fun at it. Here's my latest design.

Britt Bag in Deep Plum
I made this one with 4 leather panels on each side. I offset the squares just a bit. I didn't want the whole thing to look too match-y. I decided to price all of my bags at $125 each. Yeah, I know I could get more, but I don't want making the bags to become a complicated messy job. They are really simple bags.

I also have a couple of new leather in my Town line. May as well show them off too while I'm at it. 

Town Bag in Absolut Silver
This one is a metallic silver leather with white stitching and silver hardware!

Town Bag in Black Bomber

This one is made with really bomber jacket leather! Direct from Italy!

I have two more leather bags to do for the new year. Back to work I go.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fine-Threadz Leather Town Bag in Deep Plum

Deep Plum Hobo

w/contrast stitching
Here is my newest leather bag! It's a huge hobo bag done in Deep Plum  Leather with a smooth top grain and white contrast stitching. I've added my signature braided leather strap and a raw edge gray satin lining. This is the only one I have in stock. Not sure if I'll be able to get my hands on anymore of this great leather.

Size 16 x 13 x 3.5
Strap 21 in. long
Drop from shoulder is 27 in. 

Click on the pictures to see full details.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Fine-Threadz Leather Town Bag in Bittersweet Chocolate

Here is my newest leather bag! It's a huge hobo bag done in Bittersweet Chocolate Leather with a pebble grain and white contrast stitching. I've added my signature braided leather strap and Fine-Threadz signature sateen cotton lining in black and white. This is the only one I have in stock at the moment. Not sure if I'll be able to get my hands on anymore of this great leather.

Size 16 x 14 x 3
Strap 21 in. long
Drop from shoulder is 29 in. 

Town Bag in Bittersweet Chocolate

Town Bag with Fine-Threadz lining!


Monday, December 13, 2010

I Simply Must Have It - OPI Shatter!!!!

One of my most favorite fashion accessories isn't, technically, an accessory! Nail polish. But I tend to like very nontraditional colors. This is someone who has three different shades of black in her collection. And when you get right down to it, no, even all blacks aren't the same.

My favorite brand of nail enamel is OPI. Only once you get your hand on some OPI... or rather get some on your hands, will you too find out that not all nail enamels are created equal. It last longer. It chips less. The colors are in the hundreds, but they can be hard to find locally. Try Ebay. Anywhooo OPI is about to introduce a black that crackles over a colored nail polish creating a leopardy print look.


Honestly I'm not sure who Katy Perry is (that's a lie) and I couldn't care less about whether some of the OPI line has Serena Williams' name on it (that's not a lie). I'm not interested in any of the other colors as I have plenty of colors of my own and all I really want is that black. 

I also want to mention visiting the OPI website is well worth it. It's a wonderful experience! This is where you can see all of their latest colors, sure. You'd expect that. What I like is the animated section where you can try on any of their colors. In this "Try This Color On" section you get to choose the tone of the hand, the nail length and to "virtually" try on all the colors they have to your little heart's desire without having to deal with a messy cotton ball. Really, what more could ask for? (Oh I know! Free nail polish!)

OMG! That is awesome. I just can't wait. However I heard it won't be out until the new year. Bummer. When I find it... and I will... I'll be sure to let you all know. 


Friday, December 10, 2010

Great Photography Artist of Etsy

You don't have to be the artistic type to have an appreciation for art. Art is what it is just because it speaks to the soul. Have you ever seen a photo and just said "Wow"? Well art is like that. You can love it. You can hate it. But the fact that it issues any response is considered a good thing.

I like a lot of different types of art, but I don't really care for the classics. Like "The Mona Lisa". It's suppose to be a masterpiece, but it just doesn't do a thing for me. I actually saw it at the Louvre in Paris. It was surrounded by guards and you really couldn't get that close to it. It was much smaller than I expected. My initial response was "all the hoopla, over that!?! On the flip side, when I went to see the Arc de Triomphe (my #1 reason for going to Paris), my  mouth fell open in awe. I walked around it. and under it, as traffic would allow. It's like an overpass that traffic travels under down on Champs Elysee. It was huge! Never seen anything like it! Now that was art. To me.

 So I realize I don't have the right to say what is art in someone else eye's. Only my own. In that aspect anything could be art. That is the best thing about art. It will always depend on whether the viewer sees it as art. I'm by no means a pro at art, but I'm one who would question whether anyone has the right to call themselves an art expert. LOL! (Always bucking the system, I am!)

So without further ado (isn't that French?) here are some awesome photography artists that I have recently had the pleasure of rubbing elbows with! They are members of the TreasureMe Team on Etsy and I really love their work. For the fun of it, I'll give a one word description of each piece and we can compare notes. 




Super 8
First Light Photo


Such wonderful fine art photography. I have several favorites with each of these great artist, so I have a very hard time NOT using them over and over in my treasuries. Their work has the ability to set the whole tone for my treasuries, so I feel they are lacking without them. Anyway, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. To see more of their work, please click on the picture to visit their shops.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Just When You Thought.....

Just when I thought the newest trend in shoes couldn't get any scarier! These are by far the scariest shoes I've ever seen. Just seeing them makes me cringe.

WTF? I love me some Lady Gaga, but...... (sigh)


Courtesy of You can click on the picture to read the entire article.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

For The Love of Linen

One of my biggest customers recently asked me to make a hooded linen dress. Her specs were that it had to have a hood. It had to be big enough to be a pull over. (Linen doesn't stretch.) Keep it simple. Make it around 44in long. She choose orchid for the color. It took me a while to do this because I had to create a mock up first using muslin. Here is the finished dress.

It has plenty of pleats and the hood is generously cut. I added a unique biased neckline. I also added slit pockets. It's simple. So I also added a tie belt cut on the bias.

Linen is one of my most favorite fabrics to work with. I just love the clean lines and the texture. I love how if you wash it, it's super soft but if you get it dry cleaned, it has a more tailored feel to it. Yes, it stays wrinkled and rumbled looking but that's part of its charm.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Top 10 Hottest Etsy Trends of 2010

Before the holiday season comes upon us, I wanted to take the time to introduce you to some of Etsy's hottest trends. For those of you who don't frequent Etsy, you should know, it's a world unto itself. I still consider myself quite new and some of the things that stunned me where their obsessions with things like mustaches, foxes, owls, geekery gear and all things vintage. I can understand the geekery and vintage, but so far I haven't been able to gain an appreciation for the mustaches, foxes and owls. Every time I see that kind of stuff on the front page I go WTF? Whose buying that stuff? Again, I have no idea. 

There are some really unique items on Etsy that mainstream has yet to really catch onto, but would probably welcome. This article is an introduction to just some of those wonderful items. So here it is, the Top 10 Hottest Etsy Trends of 2010.

10) Eco-Friendly Soy Candle - Rosewood VanillaGreen and environmentally friendly goods have now  become the standard in our society. It's no surprise that Etsian also want their candles to be eco-friendly! Plus the Rosewood Vanilla is just too elegant to pass up.

9) Vintage Books - Christmas In The HeartTruly, Etsian have embraced all things vintage, not just books. However vintage books are a wonderful stage setter for a more antique inspired home decor. 
8) Vegan Mineral Eye Shadow - Mother EarthAfter years of being bombarded with glittery chemical laden make-up products, here's a safer more natural alternative. Not to mention the horrible animal testing that those big companies do.
7) Aqua Shell and Pearl NecklaceEverywhere you turn there's jewelry, but the latest Etsy trend is to get your as something handcrafted by independent jewelry makers. This certainly ensures your girlfriend will not have gotten the same set from Tarjey and is going to be seen in it  the following week at the office. Don't you hate that!?!
6) Fingerless Arm Warmers - Pistachio Green Fingerless gloves and armwarmers come in many awesome styles on Etsy. The selections are endless. But I choose these because they are just perfect for winter and the unique detailing that went in to making them. Plus it's a gorgeous color!

5) Upcycle Ankle Spats - GoldfingerHere in Texas, we're no strangers to spats, but all of ours definitely come with a western twist. Imagine strutting your stuff in a set of these. They are also great for giving those old outdated boots a new look. Gorgeous!!!!
4) 8 x 10 Quote Print - It Is What It IsRemember when having a nest of photos on your wall became all the rage!?! Well Etsy takes it up a notch. Now you can have gorgeous artwork with a message included. You're no longer limited to abstract photos of family and friends, or black and whites you found in National Geographics! Embrace color!
3) Black on White NecklaceVictorian and Steampunk is making a comeback. Don't worry, I didn't know what Steampunk was either, but the first traces of it can be found in the movie "Dark City". A gorgeous mix of Victorian and Industrial. Clearly seen in this gorgeous necklace!
2) Handcrafted Soap - PomtiniThis soap looks good enough to eat (or drink). That is definitely the latest trend in soaps on Etsy. But there's no denying their elegance. Don't be afraid to get them wet. Indulge yourself!
1) Upcycle Necklace Scarf - GreenThe first time I saw a string scarf I was intrigued! I'd certainly never saw one of these at Marshal Fields! The first time I ever wore one, it got a lot of stares and even had a few people ask me about them. It's a trendsetter! And that's why this is the #1 Hottest Etsy Trend of 2010!!!!
I made sure to add the links to the photos for the wonderful shops that offer these great trendy items. Just hit the link to see more of what they have to offer. The shop owners are awesome ladies and they are so wonderful to work with!

Here is one of my own trendy items that I didn't add to the top 10.

Black Ruffle Party DressHere's Fine-Threadz contribution to the latest trends! Ruffles are definitely in this year and everyone has to have that little black dress for the holidays! Can't do New Years 2011 without one!


Friday, December 3, 2010

I Simply Must Have It - Curly Mulberry Scarf

If you are looking for a Christmas gift for the wonderful women in your life without breaking your budget, I have just the gift for you. There I was too broke to bother with gifts this year with the economy being what it is, when a new member joined the TreasureMe Team. I'm a member of that team and in the process of pulling together my latest treasury I discovered these Curly Mulberry Scarves.

The name of the shop is My Knit Crochet and she's in Turkey. Her items are listed on Etsy and the price range is $10 - 70. I ended up ordering five of these gorgeous and supremely unique Curly Mulberry Scarves. At $10 each, they just couldn't be beat. And for the ladies that I bought them for, they will never guess how affordable they were. Plus when I tell them they were made in Turkey, they'll swear I spent a fortune. How can they not? You wear one of these scarves and you'll look like a million!

Zeynep is a wonderful seller to work with. You can't beat $10 for such a gorgeous item, but remember she's in Turkey. If you're going to order, do it early, due to international shipping times. You want to be sure to get them before Christmas. 

I simply had to have them!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I am a member of a treasury team on Etsy, and one of my awesome duties is to create treasuries using some of my team members items. I also get to use some of the gorgeous items from gen-pop (general population). And I am featuring my latest treasury. You can click on the picture to check out any of these wonderful items.

Fine-Threadz Treasury 11/29/10

These are a few of my favorites.

Bahama Bracelet in Brass

Croc Embossed Leather Clutch

Polished Stingray Silver Lined Cuff in Aqua





Sunday, November 28, 2010

Japanese Obi Belt

Here are the new Japanese Obi Belts that I have finished making. Brown is great, and of course, it's by far my most popular color, but I wanted to make a couple more in a different color before the holiday rush.
Japanese Obi Belt - Golden Croc

Japanese Obi Belt - Lipstick Red

The gold crocodile is made of a thicker stiffer leather. It also has a distressed gold finish. I love it! It is texturally intriguing. Adds a bit of flash to an outfit without over powering it. It's obviously one of a kind, for now. Don't know if I have enough leather to make another. So this is one that will really make an impact to an outfit. It's in a size x-small to small. 

The red one is a in a softer top grain leather with a pebbly texture. I add a little extra stitching but I didn't put a backing on it. I never line my leathers if I can help it. Can't see a reason too. It's leather. Why try to make it into something else? Anyway I made this one with extra long straps so that you'll be able to have some flexibility as far as how you tie it. 

I guess I'm done for the day. :-)


Glad Thanksgiving is out of the way.

As most of you know, I was really closed to my aunt who passed in Sept. Yeah, we were really close and our one day a year when we got together to do things was always Thanksgiving Day. She'd come over and we would cook, laugh, talk and have a great time. Well this year, I just couldn't do it without her. Other family members tried to engage me in celebrating it, but all I could say was, "No, not without Aunt Arvis! I don't want to do Thanksgiving! I don't want to even talk about it." Perhaps that was a weird way to handle her death, but it felt right at the time. I feel better for totally ignoring Thanksgiving this year in honor of my aunt. Now that I've done that, I feel like I can move on and next year I will do Thanksgiving and give thanks for all those years that I had her in my life. You have 45 Thanksgiving Days with someone and suddenly no more, that's bound to have an impact on anyone.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Move to Blogger

As you can see I've managed to get most of the move out of the way. I'm still straightening up some things and working to set everything up the way I want it. So far so good. I didn't talk about moving my blog first, but it had been on my mind for weeks. I could never get my WordPress blog to look the way I wanted it to. It's not easy to use and to make any real changes I would have had to learn some more HTML. I just didn't have time for that. So here I am, now on Blogger and I can't believe how user-friendly it is. With a push of a few buttons I can change just about anything on my page. Very easy. No wonder all of my friend's blogs look so great. I was the only one at WP and it showed in the design of my blog there.

So now I'm set up at a new location. Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of thing. Onward and upward.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

I Simply Must Have It- The Arachne Scarf

I recently featured this seller in one of my Etsy treasuries and I just had to share. The name of the shop is Kteis and she's in Croatia. She has gorgeous gothic items and I would love to have the scarf.

Vampire silk scarf spider web red Victorian fashion- Arachne

Gorgeous! I love the hints of red and black mixed into the scarf with the spiderweb over it.

Ethereal goth silk blouse tank top gray spider web - Arachne

Arachne done is a silk blouse!!!

Goth dress heart silk tunic hand painted designer fashion - Arachne

Check out the hand painted heart!!!!

Steampunk silk tie silver spider web mens fashion

And a silk tie for the man in your life.

Although Kteis' items are very Gothic, any of these items can be worn with everyday fashions and "wow" would be the impact. Imagine how many people would ask where you got such a thing from. I so love being able to say I got if from exotic designer in Europe. Okay, I'm a show off. Sue me. I love unique and the Kteis shop fits the bill for unique. This is where you step out of the mundane and treat yourself with something awesome! Clicking on any of the above pictures will take you directly to her shop, but be sure to drop back by and comment.

I Simply Must Have It - The Arachne Scarf


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to Sew Leather - Project 2 - Leather Pillow

I know everyone has been wondering would I ever get this project finished. Due to the drama I had over getting it closed, I'm way behind and I apologize for that. I'm over it now. Time to move on. In the end, I had to go to the hardware store for masking tape. Note... when you're having problems feeding your leather under the feed dog, cover the leather areas that are touching the machine with masking tape. It'll help it feed smoother. Especially when working with patent leather. You can also use talc as a last resort, but be careful of getting it off into the inner workings of your sewing machine. Please see my previous article before you start.

Two items not mentioned in the previous articles that I use specifically for making pillows are binder clips and synthetic fiberfill. Very easy to get at your local Wal-Mart and / or Office Depot. For sewing a pillow, you must have the  binder clips or something like them. You'll see why. Let's not be anal about the size. Whichever size you think will work for you. I prefer the 3/4 in size because sometimes gluing requires a bit of precision. Just not so much with a leather pillow.  For stuffing you can use synthetic fiberfill or down. I've worked with both and although down feathers are a hassle, the results are amazing. If you decide to work with down feathers, save yourself some trouble and do your pillow stuffing outside in a windless area. Then you don't have to worry about the clean up. (Down vs synthetic fiberfill. Over time synthetic will always compact. Down feathers will never ever compact. )

[caption id="attachment_791" align="aligncenter" width="242" caption="Binder Clips 3/4 in."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_794" align="aligncenter" width="294" caption="Synthetic fiberfill 20 oz."][/caption]

This project is for a leather pillow. I've made mine 16x16 which is 3 and half square feet of leather. Make sure you get extra due to the irregular shape leather comes in.  Remember, you  will need two pieces in what ever size you decide to make. My leather of choice is a red patent leather pigskin. Pigskin is usually thin enough to sew on a regular home sewing machine. The temper of my leather  is medium firm. The great thing about patent leather is that is super easy to clean. Just wipe off. Stain proof and spill proof. Short of dunking it in water, it's waterproof. The finish is waterproof . Don't try dunking it in water as it is not water tight. The bad thing about working with patent is that it is very tacky and may not move well under your sewing machine. A walking foot is a must, but even that is not going to help much. You won't have as much of a problem sewing it up before you stuff, as you will after you stuff it. But even so, it's going to stick. So for your first leather pillow project, I would say, skip the patent leathers. Here's the list of things I used.

leather sewing needle

2 leather squares 16 x 16 in.

contrasting white thread

Elmer's rubber cement

Aleene's all-purpose glue

10 binder clips

synthetic fiberfill or down feathers


Step 1) Cut out two pieces of leather in whatever size pillow you're going to make.

[caption id="attachment_780" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="2 pieces 16 x 16 in red patent leather"][/caption]

Step 2) Glue suede sides together using the Elmer's rubber glue.  Why the rubber glue? This glue is permanent only when you want it to be. It will hold everything in place until you get your pieces sewn together. That's all you need right now. Without the glue, leather tends to slide and bunch up on itself when sewing it. Don't try to use the Aleene's glue. It's too strong. When you go to try to pull about the excess glued areas from the inside of the pillow,they aren't going to come loose. Pay close attention to gluing the corners and leave an 8 in opening on any one side so that you'll be able to stuff it later. Do not leave a corner open. Let the glue dry at least 3o mins before going to the next step.

[caption id="attachment_781" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Suede side of leather"][/caption]

Step 3) Sew around the entire pillow, starting at where you left the pillow unglued and work your way around to the other side of where you left your opening.  You need to use a leather needle. Set your tension to around 4 and adjust accordingly. I would suggest sewing a test piece first to ensure that your tension is correct. If you're working with pigskin start with a #4 stitch length. If you're using lambskin you can use a smaller stitch length. (Only go with cowhide if it's thin. No thicker than denim or your sewing machine may not be able to handle it.) As you take each of the four corners, be sure to make your turns with the needle down. Go slow. Take your time.  Leather does not forgive like fabric. You don't want to stitch a mistake because the needle holes are forever.

[caption id="attachment_782" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Stitching the corners carefully"][/caption]

Step 4) Be sure to leave an opening about 8 in wide on one side. Note... I put in a lock stitch at both ends of the opening to keep it from spreading while I stuffed the pillow. This is where you need to also take time to trim all three closed edges just to neaten it up. Not too close to the stitch. Run your hand along the inside to pull the glued areas of the pillow loose so that your pillow can be stuffed all the way to the stitching. Here is also the reason you've used Elmer's Rubber Cement. With a little pulling, those over glued areas of the leather will just come loose.

[caption id="attachment_783" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Area left open for stuffing pillow."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_784" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cut edges to neaten it up."][/caption]

Step 4) This is where you add your stuffing of choice.  Stuff to the capacity that you feel comfortable with. Don't over-stuff it. You'll know if you've overstuffed it if you can't get it to close. An overstuffed pillow won't sit up.

[caption id="attachment_785" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Stuffed pillow"][/caption]

Step 5) Add Aleene's glue to the lip opening. Be neat about it. Once you close up using this glue, you won't have a way to pull apart the excess glue from the inside of the pillow. Use the binder clips to hold it closed until dry. Be sure there is no fiberfill sticking out as this will weaken that area and it won't be glue closed correctly.  Don't try to use the Elmer's glue. It's not strong enough to hold the pillow closed while you're sewing it. The Aleene's, once dry will be permanent enough for you to stitch the edge by machine without having the leather sliding on you. Wait an hour before going to the next step.

[caption id="attachment_786" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Glue at the lip of the opening"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_787" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Using binder clips to hold it closed."][/caption]

Step 6) Once the glue is dry, remove the clips and stitch that area closed either by hand or machine. I usually stitch it closed with the machine, but this is not always easy to do due to the bulk of the pillow. Use whichever method you think will work best for you. As you know, I was working with patent leather so I had a very hard time getting it closed. Ultimately, I had to use masking tape to smooth the feed. See my article on that particular update.

[caption id="attachment_788" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Trying to sew the damn thing closed!!!!"][/caption]

Step 7) If you got your closed easily and smoothly... well you're ahead of me. After screaming, throwing my hands up and turning my back on the issue for over a week, I finally got up the nerve to finish it. After you get it closed, be sure to trim that last side so it's nice and neat. Mine didn't come out as nice as I'd hoped, but the hell with it. I've got  other stuff to do! LOL!

[caption id="attachment_795" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Closed, trimmed and neatened up!"][/caption]

Project is done. As always, if I've forgotten to add something, please let me know. And to see the pillow, listed on Etsy .... Feel free to buy it! LOL!

Now that I've finally got that super easy project out of the way, I think I'm finished with my How to Sew Leather series for a while. Right now I'm working on a leather jacket. I bought this white lambskin leather direct from my contact, Fadi, in Italy a few months ago and never got around to working on it till now. Now that I've got it all cut out and I'm sewing the pieces, I should be finished in a week. I'll be sure to add pictures to my blog so that you all can see it for yourselves.