Monday, February 27, 2017

Affiliate Marketing

     I am running with final this week. Starting Wednesday I have one more 6 month term left before I graduate. I really wanted to take a quick break and let you know about some ventures that I have started. 

     I have signed up with several companies to provide my readers with direct access from my blog and websites. How I benefit is when someone buys products from a affiliate company using a link that I provide I get a commission from that sale. It usually ranges from a .5% - 12%, which is the highest that I have seen so far. I am sure that scales could be different from other companies but this is just what I have observed so far.

     The great part about affiliate marketing is that everyone has the opportunity to participate. All you need to do is have a online presence, usually with a significant amount of followers. I am currently running on Twitter Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. I am also working on the finishing touches on my personal website and looking to add a second website soon. This is exactly what these companies are looking for...exposure. Best thing yet is that it costs nothing to get started, that is if you have a computer. Then again you would not be reading this if you did not have some type of computer.

     So if you really want to pad your income, are looking to add to a rainy day fund or wanting to save some cash into your dream fund for to buy something special you should consider affiliate marketing. If you want to change your starts you must take the first steps, even if it is a leap. Have the most wonderful day and I will see you soon.

    Now back to my studies so I can finish this B.S. in Business Management. Oh and please don't forget to visit my "Favorite Links" to the right side of this blog. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What about you?

I have been wanting to find out more about my followers. Not just the ones that read this blog but about everyone on my various social media sites. I have put together a short 5 question survey. This way I can start to make sense of what my followers/readers are looking for. In the future I plan on having other surveys but they will not be the main focus of my posting. Today I really just wanted to focus on the readers. So what about you. Please let me know. With your input I will grow this page into something that we all are happy to read.
Once again have the most wonderful week and keep being the best you that you can be.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Recycle and Reuse. That's What I'm About...most of the time.

     I don't believe that you have to run to the store every time you need a new outfit. The only place to go is your closet. I'm sure that there is plenty items that have been worn once and you'll never wear them again. There are also things there that you love but they are getting a little worn out. Believe it or not with just a touch of creativity you can get them new life and a new purpose.

     If you haven't already noticed, I like to reuse and recycle. I started out by making the sewing ham where I combined some new with a lot of old recycled t-shirts. You can not see the t-shirts because they are what I used to stuff the ham. I also had a couple of queen size sheets laying around. I used them for backdrops when I was doing photography 20+ years ago. I have just kept moving them with me every time I moved. Finally I have come up with something to use them for. I made the circle skirt and the wrap skirt out of these sheets.

     I have done some research and found that I could bring new life to old jeans. there are a few things that you could do with them. First of all they would make a great pair of shorts. They could be just cut off shorts with no hem on the legs or you could take a little extra time to hem them just to give them a little more of a finished off look.

     Your old jeans could also take the shape of a cute jean skirt. The length of the skirt dictated by taste and though a little more imagination must go into creating the skirt it is a realistic project to accomplish. Am working on creating a jean skirt an will hope to complete it fairly soon. I will be working to keep on track of these sewing projects even with my heavy work with my job and in my college classes. The nice thing about the jeans project is that it does not have to be limited to jeans. You can find any old pair of pants that you want and create a new skirt or what ever your imagination can come up with.

     Some of the projects that are on my short list to accomplish are:

  • I need to finish the jean shorts/skirt project.
  • I want to start exploring sewing men's clothing, pants and shirts.
  • I will be creating a couple more skirt projects. Still need a midi and maxi that I am still looking for the perfect fabric.
  • After all of that it is hopefully onto a full length dress. 
These should be enough to keep me busy for awhile and I should be able to increase my sewing skills. I am still a novice at this sewing business. One day I will be able to create anything that I want but until then I will keep taking these baby steps. Have the most wonderful week and I will see you next time.

Monday, January 9, 2017

That's a Wrap!

     I have so many goals in life and so little time to do them. Aside from working 50 hours a week I am also a full-time student getting a business management degree. I enjoy learning about what I need to do to make me better at managing a business and about building my own business. I would like to see a time where I can get out from behind the desk and not have to worry about going to work every day. I want my money to work for me so that I can enjoy doing whatever I want to do. I am taking small steps learning about how to be a business owner and how to properly invest my time and money.

     Things that I enjoy doing are photography, writing and sewing. There are many other things but I have learned to focus on just a few things that get me to the life that I want to live. I would hope that one day photography, writing and sewing could be wrapped up into one big business and so I am formulating a plan.

     The reason I have selected the name and have become Fashionframework is because I am looking to focus on a well rounded life. Fashion to me is much more than the photography. It is more than women (and men) dressed in the latest trends, the unrealistic portrayal of what the everyday average woman must live up to. It is about a lifestyle. It is about your home, your family, the way you perceive yourself as an individual. That to me is fashion. Not everybody can be a model, but everybody can be themselves. They can live that fashionable life and live in that fashionable environment. That to me is what fashion should be all about.

     So now on to this weeks project. I have chosen to sew a wrap skirt. Once again I am using my own design and need to make some tweaks to it. Pictured is a floor length skirt made once again out of my favorite practice material, a bed sheet.

     It is hemmed on the bottom and on both sides using a single stitch rolled hem. One thing that I learned after and what I will be trying on my next skirt is to use a double needle on my machine. That way the hem allows for a little stretch and looks finished off with the double row of stitches.

     The waistband was created out of a 8 inch wide by 74 inch long strip of fabric. It each side was folded over to the center line of the fabric to create a stiff yet pliable waistband and ties. One thing that I would do differently next time is to increase the length of the ties. As you can see in the photos there is not much room to tie a bow or use other fasteners.

     This was the most awesome project and I learned a lot. The next time I create this wrap skirt I will be looking at a different fabric. I will also be adding some light to medium weight fusible batting that will give the waistband a little more structure. Add a little more length to the ties and it will then be a great outfit for that special someone.

     Oh and I almost forgot to mention that I managed to successfully create pretty good elongated button hole which I created to feed the tie through on one side of the skirt. I think it worked out well.

Until next time please keep striving to do things that make you happy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Full Circle

     Hello once again. I believe that I am back after a well needed break. I am refreshed and ready to jump into 2017 with a renewed energy. This coming March I will be starting what I hope to be my last tern in college. I will then be graduating with a Business Management degree. The only thing that could foil these plans is one class that I am currently taking. It is managerial accounting and I find that any accounting class is a little challenging for me. I must continue on though. So much of what I hope to do with my future revolves around business that this could be a nice addition to my knowledge base.

     I had to leave work early yesterday since the children are still on winter break. I also did the same thing today. That just gives me more time to do the things that I love to do and that is to learn. I learn the best by doing, so yesterday I jumped in and immersed myself into my sewing. I created my very first circle skirt. Even thought there are some flaws I feel that it was a very successful project. I learned something.

     I am running short on fabric around here. But what I had was  couple of  old sheets lying around from my photography. I would use the sheets as my back drops and I have somewhat shifted from using these for back drops but kept the sheets. Now they are free to be used for my practice material.

     I have a tendency to work from memory and create what is in my minds eye. Is this the correct way for one that is new to sewing? Not really, but I have a strong vision as to what I want to accomplish and I have a love for geometry. I find that sewing is just one big geometry project. I will use patterns for many things that I want to sew, but I will also make many patterns. I find that if I am making everything from scratch I am learning everything that I can about what works and what doesn't.

     I managed to get that perfect circle from which to make this skirt. I made successfully made a 1/4 inch hem around the bottom. I know that this is not the typical hem width but this is what I chose for this project.

     I had a vision in my head as to what I wanted for the waistband and just cut it out. The waistband is 3 inches wide and but I cut the original piece out as a 4 inch piece with a length of 42 inches. I left a half inch seam allowance on each of the long edges. That is how I got 3 inches out of the 4 inch waistband.

     In the last picture you will notice that the zipper is showing and that it really stands out because I did not color match and just used the last zipper that I had in my kit. Is everything sewn straight? No. What I have is working zipper. It zips from the top to the bottom without any snags. From everything that I know from others who have worked with zippers this is one of the hardest things to do when it come to sewing. My next zipper will probably be color matched and there will be a much cleaner look. I learned what I by doing and managed to learn what I will and will not do next time.

     This was my first project heading into the world of sewing clothing. This skirt will not see the light of day, or the darkness of the night. In other words no one will ever be wearing this skirt. I was my learning project, by break out project. Now I will take what I have learned and make improvements and work towards that sewing perfection and maybe I will one day I will create that perfect outfit.

Take care and keep challenging yourself. 

More to come!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Zippers...The Necessary Evil

    I have returned to conquer the zipper. The problem lies in the fact that the zipper wants to be the winner. Needless to say I will be victorious in the end. I was hoping on working on this yesterday and have a posting on Sunday, the day I like to post to my blog. Shopping and yard work had other things to say about that. In a couple of weeks we will be having our yard reseeded. That means we need sufficient watering equipment to ensure that the seeds have the best chances at life. We were pricing out hoses (even purchased a couple lengths of hose) and calculated what we will be needing for sprinklers. Also, since we are so busy we want to buy a timer that goes on the outside faucets to run the sprinklers. I also figured that while we were out I needed a new pair of sandals to replace the ones that are falling apart.

   The zipper pull on today's bag is fairly good but not great. The ends still do not lay flat and are slightly misaligned. The other end of the zipper on today's bag appears to be nearly perfect. It slightly dips into the corner but for the most part it is nicely sewn.     So, here I am today. Tackling the zipper issue. I have made some improvements in the sewing of the zipper. Though I am finding that I need to learn just a little more about these difficult items. The bag on the bottom, is the bag that I had
previously made. As you can see the alignment of the zippers are quite off. The top bag is the one that I made today.
     I looked closely at the flaws with the first bag and determined that I needed to stitch closer to the zipper stops. Taking that into account I reduced the size of today's bag. It seems to have helped even thought the bag is smaller from side to side. I believe that works well for the bags. There is one other technique that I will be trying but I need to learn a little more about it first, back to YouTube.

     Next week I need to continue on with my sewing education. I will not be giving up on my bags though. I think that I can master this and have some very successful items. I do have future plans on making other bags that are larger and that do not have zippers. These bags will be more along the lines of larger totes that can be used for the beach or even reusable bags for shopping.

     I know that I will be heading into the clothing world soon. In fact next week would be a great week to start. If all goes well I will create a circle skirt. This will be a easy beginners level project that will help guide me into the next phase of my sewing life. I have some ideas already on the fabric that I want to use and this would be an excellent time to work on something for the holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are just around the corner. Let's see what creations I can come up with. 

Until next time, have a wonderful week and keep stitching. 


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Once Again I Have Returned and I Have It In The Bag.

     It has been nearly a month since I have posted last. I did have good reason to be missing for such a long period of time.  During the first week of August I took a trip to Parris Island Marine Recruit Training Center. As one of the officers for our local US Naval Sea Cadet Divisions, I took my cadets to Parris Island for training. Though it was warm down in South Carolina we did have a great time.
     During the rest of the month I have been finishing my Project Management Certification. I had to have it completed by the last day of this month since I am doing the certification for college. Yes, I said college. I am a full time student as a business major at Western Governors University. I did pass my certification and passed all of my classes for this term. Now I have two terms left in my degree program which means that I will (if all goes as planned) graduation next year at this time.

     Now on to this weeks project. For me this project is where I have been heading to since I have started this blog. My goal is to make these zippered bags and sell them on line or at craft shows.
     Several weeks ago I went out to the fabric store to look for the perfect material for this project. My wife will have to be credited with finding this material. I believe that this was the perfect matching material for this project.
     When I finally sat down to use this material I folded it in half and ironed both pieces of material. Once they were ironed I took to the cutting table and stacked the two pieces of fabric so that I has four layers of fabric on the table. Using a rotary cutter I cut the four layers of material into pieces that measured 10.5 inches by 6 inches. That way I have four pieces that are exactly the same size and ready for sewing.

     The next step was to properly layer two pieces of fabric with the zipper. I like using binder clips to hold material when possible. It for me is easier to use and I believe does a better job at holding the material. I also find that it is easier to make fine adjustments.
     After aligning the fabric on the one side of the zipper I took to the sewing machine and did a straight stitch down the length of the zipper to attach them together. Next them I performed the same procedure for attaching the rest of the material to the other side of the zipper.
     With a quick ironing I flattened the material once again pulling slightly away from the zipper to allow the seams to be properly flattened. After the ironing I returned to the sewing machine and did a top stitching down each side of the zipper. This helps to flatten out the seam and give it a cleaner look.
     I did manage to finish this bag which I find to have turned out rather well. I do know that there are a few flaws with the bag, but feel that this was a very successful project for having been the first time I have sewn a zippered bag.
     Now that I have finished my first zippered bag, I can work at refining m techniques. I have to refine my stitches and make them straighter along the zipper. I also have to work with the ends of the zipper and make them fit with the bag better. With that being said I am very satisfied for my first bag.

     I will be making more bags in hopes of getting this sewing down and making a viable product that I can sell at some point. As for the projects that I have coming up, I will be continuing on with expanding my collection of projects that will refine my skills and teach me new skills in the art of sewing.

     I hope that you have a wonderful week and look forward to what I can put together for next weeks project.