New Patterns available at Salme Patterns

Last week I visited Elisa's shop almost by chance and... what a nice surprise! Many new, beautiful patterns! They are all very coherent with Elisa's previous work: clean, simple lines with trendy details. I couldn't resist and purchased a couple... Which are your favorites?

Cut out shoulder dress - So very in trend!

Peplum skirt

Minna blouse 

Colorblock t-shirt
Gathered top
Yoke blouse
Maija dress for children -
I SO wish this pattern was for adults too!

Pleated wristlets

What to do when outside everything is covered with snow, it's -10°C during the day and you feel like sewing, but have no inspiration at all for clothing, since you can only think about wearing a blanket?
For me, it's the perfect time to make accessories (and eventually put them for sale in my shop).
Last weekend, I decided to try the latest pattern by KeykaLou, the Pleated Wristlet pattern. I was inspired by spring colours and prints.

I really love this pattern and strongly recommend it (if you're into making accessories, of course). The pleated panels and corners, the strap and the inset zipper make it very interesting and the fact that the pattern is multisized makes it very adaptable.
You can buy the pattern here.

Make-up Bags

If you're like me and you're already starting to think about diy presents for Christmas, read this post!
I recently found two patterns for medium-sized pouches that I really love and I can't recommend you enough. They're not for free, but I think it's money well spent.

The first one is Strap Clutch by Keyka Lou and the one you see in the photos has become my new makeup bag. The strap is so unique and beautiful, the pouch is very sturdy (the lining is interfaced and the exterior fabric has batting) and it's very very roomy. I made another one as a gift for my best friend (using green and black materials) and she really loved it. I wouldn't recommend it to a complete beginner, but if you have some skills, the instructions are great and easy to follow.

The second pattern is the Emmy clutch by PaisleyPearQuilts and I found it by chance on Etsy. The pleating is very elegant and the bag is very roomy, and very easy to make too. The instructions are well written and have many pictures.
The only modifications I made were adding some piping (yes, my obsession) and quilting the bottom, so that the bag can stand on its own more easily. The pouches you see above are for sale in my Etsy shop.

Interview: solaWu

My dear readers, today I'm really glad to feature an artist whose Etsy shop I discovered by chance and immediately fell in love with. Cindy's creations are so special and unique that I immediately got in touch with her and asked her for this little interview. I'm sure you'll find her story (as much as her work) to be very inspirational!

Introduce yourself: tell us something about where you live, your origins, hobbies, etc.
My name is Cindy Wu. I came from Taipei, Taiwan. It is a small country in southeast of Asia. Two years ago, my husband made a plan, which is studying in the United States. Therefore, I came to Maryland with my husband and started our new life!

How did you start your shop, solaWu?
After I came to U.S.A., I lost the focus of my life. My English was not good and I had hard time to find new friends here. I became an incompetent housewife. All I need to think is what we eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… I felt empty. I didn’t know what I could do in the U.S.A. I was a fashion designer before I decided to come to the United States. I was worry about my future and my return to Taiwan that whether I could go back to my designer position again or not.
The first year was so tough for me. At that time, I tried to find out what could I do; what is my dream and passion. I always want to be a designer. Fortunately, I found the Etsy website. I thought maybe I could design and make some clothing or bags for selling. I also wanted to support my small family with my own ability. 

How did you choose the name of your shop?
I love American life style. My husband and I love traveling. Camping is our best way to enjoy nature. I love flowers and animals, especially azure blue sky and ocean. Shapes and colors are gifts from our mother nature, which gives me lots of inspiration. I love design, ideas and colors; I love flowers, birds and sky. Sky in Japanese is "sola". “W.” is Wu, my last name. This was how I came out with the name of my shop.
sola W., my freedom, my love.

 Do you have formal training (art, design, sewing, etc.)?
I was studying at one of the most famous universities for fashion designing in Taiwan. I also graduated with first place in my year and Special Talent Award in 2003.
After my graduation, my work " Picasso Variation" won the individual Fine-piece Award on fashion design and group Fine-piece Award on textile design when I attended the competition hosted by Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industrial Development Bureau of Taiwan in 2003.
Then I went to Bunka Fashion College for further studying and I got my license for “Japan Fashion General Education development Association- Pattern Making Grade 3”.

What are the main satisfactions you get from your shop?
My satisfaction comes from my friends and customer, especially when I realize that how much love I get. When someone tells me he/she really loves my work or he/she can feel what I try to interpret, I feel that I’m not alone. J

How and where do you advertise your business?
I’m not a good advertiser. I just do my best on my design, make them, and hope people find them and then love me. However, my husband tries to do some promote for me. He make a blog "Fashion King", which writes some helpful sellers’ tools and promote many shops and items on his blog because he wants to help people like me and it’s totally free.
I hope everyone could take a look at my pieces and we could exchange our experience and story.
Here are my blog, Facebook page and Etsy shop.

Interview: Memi the Rainbow

Today I have the pleasure to feature another amazing creative mind: Patricia, fellow Italian and owner of Memi the Rainbow. I hope you're gonna love her creations as much as I do!

1 - Introduce yourself: tell us something about where you live, your origins, hobbies, etc.
My name is Patricia, I was born in Carrara, a little town in Tuscany known worldwide for its white marble and because it's a second home for the greatest sculptors and artists of all time… Maybe my passion for art comes from this influence… I don't know, but I really love everything that involves creativity. I've lived in Paris for about three years and I must admit that this city is an endless source of inspiration for me, a place where I can nourish my love for art.

2 - How did you start your business, Memi The Rainbow?
I wouldn't really define it business… At the beginning, my creations were just for friends and relatives… then I realized that many people liked them and I decided to start a blog where I could show them and share them with a bigger audience.

3 - How did you choose the name of your shop?
Memi is a term of endearment that I use for everything I love and find cute. The rainbow represents hope, what pushes you even when everything seems to go wrong, just like that old song, "Over the Rainbow", that says to never stop believing in your dreams and to try and make them come true, because “somewhere over the rainbow” they might become reality…

4 - Do you have formal training (art, design, sewing, etc.)?
I studied to be an accountant in high school and philosophy at university… so I would define myself as self-taught, even though I've always loved to draw and to create small objects. Now that I live in Paris, I enrolled in art school, where I hope to refine my drawing skills.

5 - Do your creations support you economically? If not, do you have another job?
As I've said, I consider this activity to be more a passion than a job.

6 - What are your main sources of inspiration?
I get inspired by everything around me. For example, I love to take long walks in the streets of Paris and to be captured by little details, maybe hidden ones, to bring them to light and give them all the visibility they deserve… because I think that details really make the difference. I also get inspiration from Japanese culture from which, for example, I learnt the technique of hand carved rubber stamps.

7 - What are the main satisfactions you get from your shop?
I always get very emotional when I see someone wearing one of my creations. Usually, it's the people I know who wear them. But recently I met a girl in a café wearing my Red Riding Hood brooches on her sweater; I didn't know her and I was so proud.

8 - How and where do you advertise your business?
Mainly through my blog, ma also on sites like Flickr, where posting my photos gets me visibility.

9 - Do you have any advice for who wants to sell or already sells handmade?
My first piece of advice is not to consider what you're about to do strictly as business, as it can be very frustrating, especially in the beginning. Be very patient and follow your passion, you'll see that you'll get results with time. In fact, people who create handmade items know that the act of creating is itself  a satisfaction.
Maybe try to shoot good photos that highlight the unicity of your work, so that more and more people can appreciate what you make.

Read my previous interviews:
* Gervaise
* Pattern Runway