This was a fun activity- I signed up for my first craft swap on craftster.org. It is a Dollar Store theme, with a spending range of $6-12 and the items had to come from dollar stores specifically (not discount stores or dollar areas). We had to create two small items and one medium item, and ship them to a partner with whom we were matched.
The craftster swap system is excellent excellent. They are posted as formal swaps, with sign up periods, check-ins, and even a feedback system. For anyone who's ever gotten the empty mailbox end of an internet swap, you'll appreciate it. People who have gotten negative feedback for poor communication or flaking on sending their half aren't allowed to participate in the future. Good motivation for not dropping the ball. I will definitely be signing up for more in the future. Get more details on their swap forum.
The first small item I made was this little owlie. My partner has a wist list full of owl things! (hello, perfect!!)
She is made from a two baby dresses, a stuffed pillow, and a felt Spring banner. I tried out the decorative stitches on my new machine too, and gave her some scalloped feathers on her belly. It was fun! I love the effect. Takes up a lot of thread, though!
The second small is this scented rice eye pillow.
My partner's photo of it.
The fabric is the other side of the two baby dresses, with stitched on felt flowers. I scented the sachet my mixing rice with a packet of tea and a tiny drop of lavender essential oil from my own supplies. It smells woooonderful. I almost kept it for myself. But I figured I can always make more.
And my medium item was a purse!!
I made the outside and strap using several placemats with this pattern that I am head-over-heals for.
The inside is made from a soft, white, jersey t-shirt. Instead of a clasp (not available at dollar stores), I used the ribbon strap and metal ring from the baby dress (again!) and made a bow to tie it shut. (I should have taken "before" pics of all of my materials, darn)
The pattern is derived from several like designs on Etsy and other blogs, but with my own adjustments: I made it a bit larger, so that it can hold a long wallet or journal easily (I always carry a note pad for 'To Do' lists). The band along the top is wider, which makes snapping and unsnapping easier and balances the larger bottom. I've also changed around the pleats, the strap attachment, pocket, etc etc to suit myself.
Some other pleated purses I love on Etsy are here, here, and here and of course the buttercup purse.
And since I know you must be wondering, here are the items I received from my partner in the swap!
I had a great first experience, a very helpful partner and as I said, I would definitely participate in another swap hosted by craftster.
Have a great weekend everyone!
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