whale softie rattle.

There’s something about handmade toys that just make you feel safe, and loved.  I wanted to make a couple handmade toys for the boys, but was searching for the right pattern — so I was overjoyed when I came across this adorable pattern.  I decided to make each of our little guys a whale softie.  The pattern doesn’t call for it, but I added a little bell inside each whale turning them into cloth rattles.  I used block printed fabrics and embroidered eyes onto the whales with red embroidery floss.  This is no doubt a quick and satisfying project!  Each whale only took about 30 minutes!

After I was done making them, Dhara wanted a little playtime with the whales — I watched as she showed the whales to her toy bear (which she lovingly named, “Fency”).  She goes on to say, “See Fency, mama made this.  Be gentle.”

handmade wet bags.

As I get farther along in my pregnancy I’m really feeling the urgency to make things.  For starters, I need a travel wet bag for when we cloth diaper outside of the home.   A wet bag is a convenient on-the-go-solution for storing soiled diapers and wet/dirty clothes because it’s lined with PUL (a baby safe vinyl) on the inside which keeps in moisture and stink, and also makes it safe to put right into your diaper bag.

So I dug into my secret stash of Kokka fabrics that I had purchased a year ago (I’d been saving this special stash for our next baby, or babies!), and chose prints for a couple wet bags.  I’m not the biggest fan of “baby prints” — I’m actually not a fan at all, but Kokka makes the most beautiful vintage prints that come off looking nostalgic of days gone by.  Like this one, titled Far, Far Away Snow White Meadow, or even this titled, Sunday Dress — so darn cute, I just love it!  The Japanese sure do have a handle on textiles and style.

Kokka fabrics are almost always a cotton/linen blend which give the fabric a more mature, modern and stylish look.  The linen fabrics I ended up choosing caught my eye with their vintage appeal — they reminded me of vintage flour sacks for some reason.  I ended up making two wet bags — the first being 12″x18″, and the second being 14″x18″.  Each bag can hold around 8-10 diapers.  I just might have to whip up a batch of these in block printed Indian fabrics for the Susie Mey shop!

more dollies.

A couple years ago, I tried my hand at my first Black Apple Doll for Baby Shreya. Here are a few more Black Apple Dolls I’ve been working on.  I still like the idea of a blank cloth face, so I didn’t paint on features.  I also incorporated more block printed Indian fabrics for a more ethnic folk look.  These little dollies were delivered to a house with 3 young girlies and a mama who loves handmade.

new shop items!

Just a little peek at some new items in the shop!  I’m totally in love with the Indian inspired swaddle blankets.  Swaddle blankets are becoming more and more popular these days, so why not get a little boho with it?  I’ll definitely be making a batch of these come spring for our two little bambinos.  In addition to swaddle blankets, we’ve added quilts, wool flower clips, bibs and more.

recap: crafty bastards fair.

It finally feels good to have things quiet down a bit after the busyness of the last couple months.  Last night as Greg and I cuddled close in bed, Greg had his hand on my belly and we both felt in awe as we felt two little ones shuffle about.  Little pitter patter hands and feet here and there.  It only lasted a few minutes, but it was hard to deny or assume they were gas bubbles.  I’m almost 15 weeks now, and I’ve heard that if you’ve been pregnant before, you are more likely to feel baby earlier than a first time mom.

Onto the Crafty Bastard’s Arts + Crafts Fair!  Weather-wise, you could call it the worst possible craft fair weather known to man.  Despite the wind and rain, the fair organizers expected 20,000 people to meander through — and they were right, people came!  This particular fair has been around for the past 8 years and the Adams Morgan locals never miss it.  All in all, I would say my very first craft fair went very well.  I was initially worried that I didn’t make enough, but that fear subsided when everything was displayed.

For sale, we had harem pants, kurtas, headscarves, cloth rattles, bibs, felt flower hair clips in varying sizes, swaddling blankets, bloomers, crib pillows, bunting, and some sweet quilts by La Sweetie in a variety of Indian block prints.  It was also a pleasure to have tent mate, Slide Sideways from Seattle — I purchased a nifty screen printed camera pouch from her.

uber cool handmade signs, like in my dreams, by best friend, the talented gifty john

I felt so blessed to be surrounded by family and close friends who helped a ton, and fed Greg and I with delicious burgers and falafel when things began to get super busy.  I was surprised to see people I hadn’t seen in a while, and friends who came by to support Susie Mey with a purchase.  Thank you!  And thanks to my amazing and super handy hubby — he’s definitely got a carpenter’s gene in there somewhere — he crafted a beautiful clothing rack [mirrored after this one I wanted so bad] to display and store my handmades at craft fairs and for my sewing space at home.  It was also so nice to be manning our fair table together — I talked to customers while he did all the transactions.  We used Square on our iPad to accept credit cards — umm, can I say so cool?!  Thanks to the crazy talented Chelsea Hudson Photography for all the beautiful model shots which I use all the time for promotional material!!!  Also a special thanks to Gifty and Becky who stayed up late with me the last week leading up to the fair, ironing, cutting fabric, and for sitting with us in the rain!

This craft fair got Greg and I excited about doing more fairs.  It was so much fun meeting people, and talking fabrics.  : )  It feels so good doing what just innately feels so right.  I think I found my niche.


Project 5: Circles.

Now that things are slowing down in our household, I’m trying to catch up on my Home Ec projects.  This next project is actually a bunting project, as pictured below from the Home Ec class:

However, I personally didn’t like the idea of round bunting.  The main skill that was meant to be learned from this project was fabric circles, so I went ahead and made 1 circle and framed it in an embroidery hoop to hang on the wall as a simple piece of ethnic art.  I’m hoping to use the skill of making fabric circles for a future quilt or blanket project.

I made my fabric circle with some vegetable dyed fabric from India.  I then sewed the circle onto a piece of sheery blue cotton voile.  My past Home Ec projects can be found here (pin cushioncloth napkins, drawstring gift pouch, reusable grocery bag).

hung with family photos

reusable grocery bag.

Project 4: Reusable Grocery Bag.

Another Home Ec project completed!  After recently making a tote bag for Heather, I knew I wanted one for myself for those Tuesday trips to the library with my girl, or a trip to Roots Market — this reusable grocery bag is the perfect size for children’s books, or for fresh fruit and veggies if you prefer to use your own shopping bag at the grocery store.  The outer fabric is a sturdy vintage cotton canvas I picked up at a thrift store a couple years ago.  The inner lining is some good ol’ linen — the project didn’t call for an inner lining, but I thought I would go ahead and add one to sturdy the bag and for visual appeal.  I’ve been incorporating linen into more of my work as of late because I love it so much.

I really do love the vintage/urban blend of the bag.  Although I do have a hang-up when it comes to handmade handles, I dunno, just never liked handmade cloth handles.  I think for a future tote bag project I may want to add leather handles instead — just my own preference.  I’m also really pleased with how the inside of the bag turned out — I love the X joints on the handles, and the seamless look of the linen against the vintage fabric.  My past Home Ec projects can be found here (pin cushioncloth napkins, drawstring gift pouch).

a few of our favorite books — ABC’s by Charlie Hopper, The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle, and two 100 year old versions of Little Women and Riley Child-Rhymes from my dear hub for our 3 year anniversary last year

drawstring gift pouch.

Project 3: Drawstring Gift Pouch.

For my next Home Ec project I made a medium sized drawstring gift pouch. Instead of wrapping a gift with paper, I created this pretty pouch that acts as a bonus gift and reusable bag!  The main part of the pouch is made from a reproduction french provincial cotton and the upper band is made from linen.  For the drawstring I used twill tape which more or less feels like ribbon.  My past Home Ec projects can be found here (pin cushion, cloth napkins).




filled with cloth diapers

I used twill tape for the drawstring

freshly cut dogwood blossoms from our backyard woods

susie mey, the shop.

As a daughter of immigrants from India, I was molded to score a money making job in a field such as medicine, engineering, or law.  I must say none of these fields brought me joy as utilizing my creative streak — an area my Indian parents had absolutely no grid for.  While in college, they especially didn’t understand when I signed myself up for quilting class after quilting class, sewing classes, knitting classes, and yes, horseback riding lessons.

After graduation, I did work in the IT business world for a few years until my husband and I quit our jobs so we could go into campus ministry.  I have to say that it’s a culmination of working, being a child of a mom who worked, and seeing the fruit of stay-at-home moms that made me realize more and more that in this day and age I want to be a stay at home wife and mother if God wills.  I personally feel this is a gift to any family.

I’ve now been home for the past 2 years, and I now know that my calling in life is raising our child[ren] and being a help meet to my husband.  But what about that creative streak and need to create [sewing +  photography] — I feel that it’s so much of who I am in addition to being the caretaker of the home.  So the other day I asked God the question.  I asked Him what He thinks about me starting a business of the textile sort.  He answered me that very day in my daily reading with Proverbs 31:13,18,24,

“She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands.  She perceives her merchandise is profitable.  Her lamp does not go out at night.  She makes linen garments and sells them…”

It’s been a dream of mine, I’d say for the last 8 years, to open a children’s textiles shop.  It’s been even more of a dream since I found out I was pregnant with our daughter.  In preparing for our baby, I searched and searched AND SEARCHED for baby things that were more up my alley — unique, different, with a bohemian flare and modern edge, all the while being all natural and organic.  I realized I was looking for things with an “unbaby” style.  Sadly to say, the choices were few and far between — most of which had that pink + blue baby style written all over it.  To me the idea made perfect sense, but why wasn’t it readily available?  And how many people were looking for the same thing I was?

What inspires me?  Well to list a few: vintage goodness in the form of linens, pyrex, wooden matryoshka dolls, and clothes.  Indian cotton + bohemian block prints.  60′s + 70′s style prints.  ”Something in the Water” (or here) by Brooke Fraser — love the folkloric aspect.  Anthropologie.  Organic and natural fibers. Comfortability + ease of wear.  The list could go on.

After drawing sketches and writing down all the business ideas + concepts floating around in my head, I decided that I would take the faith leap and open shop.  After thoughtfully thinking about it, I decided I would marry my love for Indian textiles with all things baby.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I adore Indian cotton — it’s the most comfortable wearable textile on earth.  I kid you not.  So why not use it for baby?

In the next couple weeks I plan to open Susie Mey, For Little Folks — an online etsy shop.  In the shop will be my new spring line of baby blankets, bibs, bloomers and other odds and ends to start off.  I decided that I will typically be using Indian cotton, but on occasion, will also include vintage fabrics, designer cotton prints and Japanese textiles that catch my eye.

I’ll be posting a shop update in the next 2 weeks.  I hope you stop by!