Monthly Archives: July 2010

Nearly 1 year of business

The end of August is going to mark 1 year that Toastie Studio has been in business.
Originally when I started I only focused on web development and kept my sewing to personal time. But living in the Netherlands and not speaking much Dutch made it difficult to find new clients and I had to find an extra source of income to fit in with my web work if I wanted to stay living here. So I decided to sell my handmade plushies and gifts. I have done fairly well selling them so far, but since my 1 year anniversary is coming up I decided I would really go all out.
Through out August I am going to be sewing like a mad woman and also redesigning At the beginning of September I will be opening an Etsy shop and also listing items on (ebay in the Netherlands). I will also hopefully have a new collection ready for sale by the end of September. My new collection is based on English and Dutch nursery rhymes. During the coming weeks I will be posting images of the new items I am working on and also a sample of what my new website will look like.
But for now here is a recently finished commision piece.

It is a plushie treble clef made to be a gift for someone who really likes music. I made it from black felt and stuffed it with tiny cut up scrap felt (poly toy stuffing wouldnt work on such a thin plushie). It is 20cm long and 8cm wide.

I hope the person who will be receiving this as a gift really likes it 🙂

The things I do for sewing!

I posted a week or so ago about making a tote bags that fold up into a strawberry. The main problem I had was I could not find any red fabric with white polka dots! You would think such a common and popular fabric would be easily available but my local fabric store didn’t stock it and couldn’t tell me if or when they would get any in. SO this weekend I went on a hunt for other fabric stores. Groningen (the city I live in) only has 1 fabric store so I knew I would have to look further afield, unfortunately it was 6 miles away with a bicycle as my only transportation.

So Saturday afternoon me and my boyfriend cycled there, luckily they did have the perfect fabric for me to use in making my tote bags, but 1 mile into the journey home the back tyre on my bike went completely flat. I had to walk the 5 miles left and drop my bike of at a repair shop on the way. But I now have my fabric and can start sewing some tote bags to put for sale in my shop very soon!
The summer is a very quiet time for web design work, everyone just wants to relax in the summer so I don’t find many new clients, but this gives me more time to sew and to redo my website. I hope by the end of August I will have built a new design for my website and improved my online store. I am also planning to set up a etsy webshop in September so will be posting about that later.

Felt plushie dumbbell weight tutorial

Well so much for last week! So many thunder storms in Groningen last week that my computer blew up! But all is better now and to start this week off I have my first tutorial for you!

Last week it was my boyfriends brothers birthday. Boys can be so difficult to buy presents for, especially teenage boys so I sat and brainstormed for a good while before I came up with the idea to make him a plushie set of weights. He is very much into his fitness so it was a perfect idea.
Here is a picture of the finished plushie.
Felt Dumbbell Tutorial
I only made 1 and that one was made in a bit of a rush as I only had 1 day to do it in and had to fit it in around work. Looking back I thought it would have been even more cool if I had stitched into the side of the weights “2.5 Kg” but oh well. You can take the weights on and off and mix and match which is a nice touch.
I was so pleased with this plushie that I thought I would make it a tutorial and post it here. When I made mine I didn’t use a pattern (was in such a rush!) but I have drawn one up for you. You can download the tutorial here (free for personal use only). I hope you enjoy this plushie too.

Strawberry Tote!

As anyone who is crafty can tell you, inspiration is everywhere!
I really like strawberries, they taste lovely (especially Dutch strawberries) and they are colourful and summery. And with this lovely weather I thought I would make some plushie strawberries. I follow this amazing tutorial (by mr.monkeysuit) to make my strawberries. While stuffing my strawberry I thought would a lovely bag it would make if I could just make it on a bigger scale. A nice little clutch bag with a strap for my wrist, but if you are like me your handbag is packed full of just about everything and it would never fit into a small clutch bag, soooo….
A fold up shopping bag! In the Netherlands you always need to carry a shopping bag with you as supermarkets don’t give out free carrier bags. So I drew up my pattern, went and got my fabric and started sewing! And here is a picture of the Strawberry Tote.
strawberry bag
strawberry bag
There are a few things I want to alter in my design before I put them for sale in my webshop, and I want to swap the red fabric for red and white polka dot fabric but my local sewing shop didn’t have any in. But I love mine so much I am sure others will want one too.

Not a good start!

Well this is not the best start to a blog!

Yesterday the internet went off at my apartment. There were people digging and working in the street just outside so I thought it was just temporary but nooooo. It didn’t come back on later in the day so we called the internet provider who after several tests confirmed that the silly people outside must of touched the cables and broken our connection. So until someone comes back out to dig up the street again we have no internet and they say it will be 3 days before it is sorted.
Lucky I have internet at my work Studio else I would be going loop from withdrawal I am sure! And my second post ever is a big long rant! Oh dear me!
On a more positive note today (6th July 2010) is the anniversary of me moving to the Netherlands, 1 year ago I made the flight over, followed a few weeks later with my belongings. It feels like quite an accomplishment to have survived here for so long when I think back to what I had planned 1 year ago. I had no job or any plans on how I would earn money, and my friends back home thought it was going to end up with me coming home in a few months penniless 🙁 BUT I have proven them wrong. I have built up a small freelance portfolio of websites that I have developed and am working on developing that more along with my sewing and plushies.
I wonder where I will be in another years time.