New to Jac & Elsie: Reusable fabric gift wrap

25 Mar

I have been giddy to debut this new item in Jac & Elsie for what seems like ages, but man, were there some kinks to iron out. And with a whole lotta glee, I present to you: fabric gift wrap!

Each little pouch comes with free shipping with any Jac & Elsie jewelry purchase, and it’s an extra little treat for your recipient to regift, to use as a travel jewelry pouch, to store cosmetics in and toss in her purse, to keep money in when she’s carrying a clutch and there’s no room for a bulky wallet and so many other uses.

I would be remiss if I didn’t share the struggles I encountered with these little buggers, so if I may …

I’ve been wanting to offer something other than jewelry in Jac & Elsie for some time, but I wanted this other item to be jewelry-related. When I started to think of what else I enjoyed — because first and foremost, Jac & Elsie is fun for me — I thought of quilting. I LOVE making quilts, and I love playing with my sewing machine.

The problem?  It takes about 802 years to make one quilt, so the price point wouldn’t quite be what I’d want to include in Jac & Elsie. So I thought about what quilt-like items I could sell. The answer was obvious: patchwork travel jewelry rolls!

I created a pattern and pulled out some old fabric remnants to start testing. I love love love what I came up with, but after making five or six practice rolls, a dirty little trait about moi became a big problem.

Now, many people would probably yell at me for sharing this — as a shop owner and creator, this is not a good thing about me — but I am nothing if not honest: I am not a perfectionist. It’s just not in my nature. I’m not anal-retentive and care much more about The Big Picture than A Million Fracking Details.

As a result, these little rolls were a little … oh, imperfect isn’t a strong enough word. Yes , a few of them were merely imperfect — seams not matched up, crooked cuts, nothing HUGE, but still big enough that I could not in good conscioussell these items. Some of my imperfections were somewhat larger than that, however. Like, in one roll? I forgot to sew the bottom of the inside pocket along the bottom. Which means if you put anything IN the pocket, it’d fall out the bottom. In another roll, the ribbon I used to secure necklaces? Yeah, it kind of got in the way of the sewing machine’s needle and got attached in like three-too-many spots.

What did work from the jewelry roll, however, was the accompanying earring pouch. It was small and cute, and it let me play with pretty fabric. AND the design was ribbon-free and, should I have some issues cutting in a straight line, easy to fix.

Also? They were the perfect size for jewelry. A Jac & Elsie original or vintage find on a business card fits into the pouch like it was supposed to be that way. I created the pouch to close automatically, without a clasp, so when it lies flat, it’s closed, and yet it remains extremely easy to open.

Here’s the first batch. Check them out, browse around, tell me which is your favorite! And oh yes, I offer discounts on multiples.

I can’t wait to get started on the second bach.

As an addendum: Please do not use my “I’m not a perfectionist” admission to think that Jac & Elsie pieces are anything but well-made. Sewing is an entirely different beast from jewelry, and I think my shop’s feedback speaks for itself.

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One Response to “New to Jac & Elsie: Reusable fabric gift wrap”

  1. Ally March 26, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    Well, they are all cute, but … I like the sage and floral ones! What a fabulous idea. And I had a few giggles at your expense reading about your jewelry rolls – sounds like something I would have done!

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