Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Creating Success Worldwide - featuring Kat from Diary of a Flutter Kat

Welcome to

Creating Success around the World
The worldwide blog hop tour, that introduces you to creative people from all corners of the globe.

Creating my way to Sucess

Every Wednesday our hosts on each continent will introduce you to someone new whose creativity is inspiring!
Join us in our tour around our Creative World - follow the hosts and any blogs you like,  and add your own link so others can find you!
If you are interested in being featured yourself, then leave a comment for your continent's host!
This week's featured guest in Australasia is: Kat from Diary of a Flutter Kat
Kat is from New Zealand but is now based in Perth, Australia

What do you create?
a recent tutorial I released...
I love to create anything and everything really!...
A few years ago a friend got me into scrapbooking and that reignited my love to create which had been lying dormant since I left high school. Then last year (and after a steady accumulation of all things pertaining to papercraft!) I decided to try sewing a quilt for my daughter. I had not sewn since I was about 12 (at school) but it did not take me long to get a taste for it and I have pretty much been addicted to sewing ever since!!

These days my friends would probably describe me as a full blown fabric &  craftaholic. I will try almost anything from website/graphic design, papercraft, photography, t-shirts, etc... but my favourite go-to thing would have to be anything involving gorgeous fabric, a sewing machine and time without my children ;)

Here is a little sample of some of my recent projects...

Some of my recent creations...

I go through phases with my crafting... I started off mostly quilting, but now I'm a lot more adventurous with trying new things. For example most recently I have gone on a little pretty patchwork pouch bender...

My little family....
Why do you create?
The truth? - Because it keeps me sane LOL... I am a stay-at-home mum to 2 gorgeous little girls - 1 & 3 years old. I love them to pieces and they are my world, but at the same time I need something outside of being a full time mum to keep me grounded.
Crafting allows me that time out that we all crave as mums... There is also something so satisfying about creating something pretty and being able to give a handmade gift to someone that you have made with love!

Do you sell your creations? If so how? Where? And is it profitable?
my website homepage
Yes I do. Earlier this year I started my brand Flutter from.Kat. I have an online store and you can also find me on Facebook.
I sell exclusively online for now, but I am anticipating the possibility of putting some of my products in handmade stores and selling at handmade markets in the future.
I also do large order jobs (for branded t-shirts etc...) for corporate companies & conferences.

My store & shop is very much still a work in progress. I have many products and lines (for example my custom design vinyl wall art) that are still in the development phase just waiting for me to get some more time to dedicate to them and put them up there...

Is it profitable? HAHA I would have to say no, not at the moment! That is because I have invested really heavily in machinery etc... to get started though. I'm also just taking it really slowly this year to find my feet. Next year once my eldest daughter starts school I will put my youngest in daycare for a few days and have a lot more time to put into it. It will no doubt become more profitable at that point. I just don't have the time right at the moment to take it where I'd like to while being a full time mum (and while my husband works away!) - My business is definitely a looong term venture in it's baby fetus stage!! :)

What mistakes have you made or lessons have you learned?
Oooh tough question!
Probably the two lessons I have learned (after making the mistakes!) are
1) online business is a completely fickle business. I need to not get caught up too much in "liker"/"follower" numbers and the changing rate of them etc... etc... They change rapidly and I've learnt that it will do your head in trying to "analyze" them! - (Specifically thinking of Facebook) The best place to focus is the goal of where you want to aim - and just focus on doing it well. Then the rest will then come in it's own time!

2) don't try and do too much too soon. It just leads to burnout! (Says she who recently burnt out!!) -I am ambitious by nature & sometimes it's hard to get that balancing act between being a mum &  running a business right. But my main focus is being a mum - which is why my business is definitely long term - it has a lot to fit around!! :)

What to you is success? Have you achieved it yet, or are you on your way towards success?
Gosh "success" really is a tricky one to define! I feel that in some ways I am successful and in some I am not.
Ways I am: not being scared to give something a go or try new things - constantly pushing myself to grow &  improve my skills on a daily basis, focusing on the long term picture, having clear goals, and working towards achieving them. Doing things to the best of my ability. (well - the majority of the time anyway - that is the intent ;) )
Ways I am not: not knowing my limitations and sometimes over-committing to things or trying to run before I can walk - occasionally getting the balance wrong between home-life &  "work".

Ultimate success for me will be getting the balance right with all of those things... and I might also add still enjoying it! That is the number 1 way for me to be successful...

So what's next?
Well, continuing to get my product lines up and online for starters - at the moment I only have about 10% or less of my products up online. That really has to change & soon!

I'm also about to expand my business into teaching. I plan to start running workshops from my studio at home, teaching people the basics of how to sew. I am really really excited to be launching that venture!!

I also have a lot more planned for my blog...
.... I have pretty much learnt 100% of my crafty knowledge off the internet, so one of the ways that I'd like to give something back to the bloggy world is by sharing some of that knowledge & running a whole series of tutorials/workshops over on my blog. I already have a small selection of tutorials on there - but that is something that I'll really be focusing on expanding in the coming year. Watch this space because I have so many ideas to share!! :)

And who knows... one day I'd love to write a book.
But baby steps! What was I saying about trying to run before I can walk??!! LOL...

Thanks so much for having me share today Jill!

Thanks for your wonderful answers Kat!  I do recommend her fabulous blog for a visit, and check out her shop while you're there too!

Now that you've seen the talent here in Australasia, here are your hosts for the other continents:

Make sure you visit them all to see the inspiration and creative people
every corner of the world has to offer:
Europe - Yaga @ The Shiny Bubble
The Americas - Suzy @ Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom
Asia - Janelle @ Of Pinks and Fairy Tales
And don't forget to add your own link below!  It's all about meeting new friends worldwide!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Travel document wallet - a tutorial

I'm off on holiday with my family very soon - so wanted to make myself a travel pouch to keep all the passports and tickets in.

I found the fabric on special a few weeks ago and couldn't resist! 
Then when I picked up our travel documents and tickets and saw the wallet they all came in..

I thought - now there's a quick project to use up the fabric!
Doesn't this look so much cuter?

So here's the tutorial - if you want to make one yourself!

First the materials you will need:
Outer fabric
1 rectangle 28 x 26 cm (11 x 10.25")
(card pockets) 4 rectangles 12.5 x 5cm (5 x 2")

Inner fabric
(base) 2 rectangles 15 x 26cm (6 x 10.25")
(document pockets) 2 rectangles 13 x 26cm (5.25 x 10.25")
(passport pockets) 4 rectangles 12.5 x 10cm (5 x 4")
(closing band) 1 strip 6 x 45cm (2.5 x 17.75")

Inside zip pocket fabric
2 rectangles 20 x 12cm (8 x 4.75")

1 zip 20 cm (8")
1 piece elastic 34cm (13.25")
2 rectangles of card 22 x 12cm (8.75 x 4.75")
Co-ordinating thread

(ignore the other longer zip in the photo - I didn't end up using it!)

So first you start with the smallest pockets. Those cut from the outer fabric.
Double turn one longer edge on each pocket and stitch - this will be the tops of the pockets.
Repeat this for the 4 inner fabric passport pockets.

Now you need to stitch the small card pockets to the bottom of 2 of the passport pockets.
Pin then stitch one 2cm (0.75") from the bottom :

Then match up the next card pocket with the very bottom of the passport pocket. Pin then stitch.

Now add all four passport pockets to the larger document pockets:

Place them so the bottom pocket will hide the base of the second one. Pin both then stitch along the base of each pocket.

Now double turn one longer edge of these pockets - pin then stitch to neaten the edge.

Make sure you finished the opposide edges on both sets of pockets - so you should then have two sets that will form the inside of your wallet. Pin these to the base rectangles of inner fabric and stitch along the outer edges:

Then place these two pieces right sides together - pin and stitch down what will be the centre fold of the inside of your wallet:

Now to the outer part of the wallet.

First you need to make the hidden zip pocket.

Pin one of your pocket pieces to the right side of the outside fabric. Centrally placed and about 3cm (1.25") in from the edge. (remember you're pinning this to the side of your wallet - so along the edge that is 26 cm (10.25") long.

Using a pencil and ruler - draw a rectangle where you want the opening of the zip to be:

Then stitch around this rectangle:

Cut along the centre of the rectangle through both layers of fabric:

Cutting the corners to the points like this:

Now push the pocket rectangle through the hole you just cut to the back of the fabric:

Press flat - then pin the zip to the back of the pocket - so it is showing through the opening:

Then stitch around all 4 sides using the zipper foot attachment on your machine:

Now turn your fabric over - and pin the remaining pocket rectangle to the one you just attached. Stitch around all 4 edges to make your pocket!

Now place your inner and outer fabric wallet pieces right sides together. Pin and stitch around the sides and the bottom. Leave the top open!

Trim the corners,

Turn right sides out and press. Then place pins up the centre seam of the inside of the wallet.
And stitch through both layers along this line. 

Push the card rectangles into either side of the wallet from the open top end. Then fold the ends in on themselves and pin then stitch closed.

Now your basic wallet is almost finished!

To add the elastic closing strap. Take your long strip of inner fabric, fold in half lengthways right sides together and stitch:

Turn the tube right sides out, then using a safety pin thread your elastic through the tube you just created - making sure to keep hold of both ends of the elastic!

Stitch the two ends of elastic together to form a circle:

Then push the ends of the fabric tube one inside the other and fold the raw edges in to neaten. Stitch:

Then finally stitch this elastic tube to the center back of your wallet:

Then fill up your wallet with your travel documents:

The zip pocket is perfect for some ready cash at the airport!

Then slip the elastic around your closed wallet  to keep it secure!

And you're all set for a big trip!!

The wallet fits perfectly into my new duffel handbag!

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

I hope you liked this tutorial.
There are now over 100 Free Sewing Tutorials for all levels of sewing ability available on this blog.
To browse through these - go to 
My Free Tutorials Page.