Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tie Dye Diva Potato Chip Skirt - you can't sew just one

Introducing the Potato Chip Skirt from Tie Dye Diva, all part of the Bundle Up pattern bundle on sale January 23rd thru February 2, 2015. This darling skirt has several options (lined, unlined one side, and reversible) and I was able to test a few of them.  

First up, I made a size 7 skirt for my 7 year old using Robert Kaufman fine wale Cool Cords.  This lightweight cord was perfect for this project. As you can see, I used ric rac on the pockets. The skirt fits perfectly and was very easy to make. It is a slightly A-line skirt with an elastic back waist. 

Next up, I made a reversible option for my 11 year old daughter using

the Peacock Garden collection fabric from Camelot. 

I've never made a reversible skirt and this turned out great, I think.  
Here is a modelled shot. More about that doll dress another day.

Here's the other skirt, being modelled by Miss Cutiepie. 

After I made these three, I then proceeded to test the dolly version, which includes a top.  Here is Caroline in her Potato Chip skirt and top. Whee! Such a fun pattern!


 It's so fun, I took the peasant top and make it longer and it became a dress! 
I added a sash. This is some lovely peacock print fabric I got at Joanns a while back.

You must get this pattern!  Be sure to check out the Bundle Up!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Why I left blogging and came back

That's right. After five months away from blogging, I am back. But not at full speed. In fact, I am going to stay at one quarter speed permanently.  To recap, I was at one quarter speed for several years, amped up to full speed spring 2014, and then stopped blogging all together August 8, 2014. Are you wondering why? Well, here is my story.

Last spring, 2014, I thought I might like to try to earn some money with my blog. I had read many books and blogs about blogging and had experience as a guest blogger on other's blogs and I had been blogging for years.  None of that adequately prepared me for how much behind the scenes work is necessary to have a successful blog.  As with any business, and blogging for money means you have a business, most of the work is dull and not even slightly creative. And it got to where it wore me down. I hated looking at my google analytics (the statistical analysis of how my blog was reaching people). I hated looking at how much money I was making and trying to find ways to earn more. I was making money only through pattern affiliations and it was not enough for even a week of coffee beans. It was literally a pittance.  I hated having to think of new and exciting things to blog about that likely had already been blogged about before because, let's face it, nothing is new in the craft world.  And I hated seeing ads on my blog and the blogs of others. I hated the ads.  I don't want to be a brand. I don't want to sell myself.  I really just want to create and share!

I was part of a lovely Facebook blogging group and everyone was experiencing the same thing.   Unless you also have a product, like a pattern or book, there is not much money in blogging. Ad revenues are hard to come by with the market so saturated with blogs. The bigger blogs might earn a lot from ads but they have hundreds of thousands of visitors.  If you only have a few hundred a day, it is impossible to make money. So, you have to somehow get those hundreds of thousands a day to visit your blog and that means becoming a brand, making a product, and selling it and yourself. Which is my worst nightmare.

Do you remember the movie Say Anything? Well, I am like Lloyd Dobbler. " I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that." The film came out in 1989 but I loved Lloyd most when he said that. I have always felt this way. I have never wanted any part of business, ever, even as a young child.

So, last August, I decided to just stop. Blogging was taking too much time away from family and friends. It was not earning me more than a few dollars a month and I know other bloggers who work even harder and still don't earn much. The blogging market is as saturated as the pdf pattern market. That is not to say that you, lovely reader, should think that you are being put down by me.  There are some of you who are vastly talented and are justifiably earning money for your work. Awesomesauce! I am proud of you! But it is not the career path for me. It sucked me dry. So, I stopped!

And now I am back. I missed sharing my work with others. I missed the connections I had made with others. I have some friends via blogging that I still want to connect with. So, I am going back to the original blogging plan, from back when this blog was called Too Many Hannas and I am just going to share my crafting and craft thoughts as I feel I have something to say.  There will be no ads. There will be selling of products. There will be no affiliations.  I will have time to volunteer in my children's school and do my vaccine advocacy work.  I will have time to make the crafts I want to make. I will have time to pattern test for my friends. I will have time to play Pet Rescue Saga, which I so dearly enjoy.   I will have time to read a book that is not related to crafting and I will have time to try new things.

So, dear reader, please look for more of Handmade Dress  Haven in the future, including a report tomorrow on a lovely set of Tie Dye Diva patterns I recently tested.  In the meantime, have a great day.