Alina Sewing and Design

Hampton Roads, VA + Washington D.C.

Hello friends!

Back in August, Cowboy was stationed at the naval hospital in Portsmouth, VA. He’s already halfway through his fourth year of medical school (ALREADY…I can’t believe it!), meaning we’ll be moving in less than 8 months. We (yes…it is a team effort) have to do residency at a naval training hospital since the Navy is paying for med school (bless them), so we’ll be moving to one of three places: Portsmouth, VA, San Diego, or Bethesda, MD (right outside of Washington D.C.). So since fourth-years are in charge of scheduling their own rotations (you start to focus on what your specialty will be, so you get to make the decisions about what you want to learn about in fourth year, for the most part), Cowboy planned two away rotations–one in Portsmouth and one in San Diego. I got to join him for a week and a half in Virginia and I never have shared any pictures! So, without further ado…

Downtown Norfolk; Taken from the ferry that crosses the bay between Norfolk and Portsmouth. If we ended up stationed at the Portsmouth hospital, we would most likely live in Ghent, a sweet little neighborhood just north of downtown Norfolk.
On the waterwalk in downtown Norfolk.

At the end of the waterfront, in the Armed Forces Memorial, there’s a display of letters. These 20 letters are real and were written by soldiers who lost their lives. 
We took a moonlight cruise tour on the American Rover in the bay–this area has a lot of history to it and I highly recommend taking this tour!
Cruisin’…happy 10 months of marriage to this amazing man today!
We visited several area beaches, including Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Bay Beach (which is where we are in this picture!)
Chesapeake Bay homes…yes, I would live in someone’s above-garage apartment just to live in this neighborhood.
Virginia Beach! Much too touristy for my likes (even though I WAS a tourist)…I only came here a couple of times!

Well, I only came a couple of times until I discovered the non-tourist, residential beaches…where the people who live there spend their summers. MUCH better.
Be careful though, because they’re still public beaches and you’re bound to find a couple of crazies…
Cowboy was working during the weekdays, so I got to do lots of exploring on my own! I spent an afternoon back at Chesapeake Bay. Oh yeah, that’s the Coast Guard…something we don’t see often in KS. 😉
Perfection.
I also spent my days exploring the neighborhoods…I was delighted to find and visit this community farm market just blocks from the neighborhood we really liked!
While they grow most of their produce elsewhere, they also have a small garden in the back. The owner saw me taking pictures, approached me to find out which publication I worked for (HA!!!) and then proceeded to give me a private tour of the place. She was great and had already gotten me to agree to being a volunteer if/when we move there! 🙂
Oh yes…we also returned to Virginia Beach for me to run a little race on the boardwalk. Excuse the blurry pictures…I handed my husband the camera and put it in automatic for him…shutter speed too slow. 🙂

After the race, we explored the boardwalk and had breakfast at a sweet joint recommended by the locals. 
We were planning on spending the rest of the day biking and kayaking, but the weather had a different idea…so, we drove up to Washington D.C. for the weekend!!
We drove up to Washington D.C. on Saturday afternoon and spent the night at the Navy Lodge just south of the National Mall. So, Sunday we walked all over the National Mall, up to Arlington, over to the White House, etc. We tried to do as much as we could before heading back to Portsmouth that night!

The National Gallery of Art
Our massive Capitol building!
Cowboy humored me and let me peruse the Botanical Gardens, even though we were on a tight schedule that day. Do you see the shoes (or lack thereof) I am wearing? Yeah…forgot my running shoes when we packed small bags for D.C.  Seven miles, 8 hours (including a few hours of pouring rain and no umbrella) and ONLY ONE MEAL later, I was a tiny bit cranky, so it’s nice to remember how happy I was to stop there. Keepin’ it real. 😀 
I wouldn’t mind working in the Capitol if I could walk past the Botanical Gardens every day.
WWII Memorial, with the Lincoln Memorial in the background!
Good ‘ol President Lincoln and his memorial.
The reflecting pool has been under construction since last year, so it was partially drained, but it was cool nonetheless. And check out those clouds!
We stopped into the NMAH Smithsonian to see Julia Child’s kitchen exhibit!  This was one of my favorites.
Everything in the exhibit, with the exception of the floors and walls, was all removed from her home and donated to the Smithsonian. Everything is placed exactly like it was in her kitchen!
Washington Memorial
No big deal, just the back of the White House.
And the front. 🙂
Sunset over the bay, taken from Norfolk of Portsmouth. That tall building in the center is the naval hospital where Cowboy would be for residency if we got stationed there!

I took SO many pictures while we there, it’s hard to scale down and just show you this many. But, this is a pretty good sampling and we had a great time! It was great to know that we would be 100% OK with living in either of these places, come June! 
Speaking of which, I mentioned that Cowboy is out in San Diego, our third potential location, right now. I get to join him soon, so I’m very excited about that!
I also found out that The Queen Bee Market is happening while I’m out there and I am STOKED!!!! It makes my handmade-loving heart so happy.
Does anyone else have anything I should absolutely do/see while I’m out there? We’re staying on Coronado Island and plan on seeing the obvious “must-see” places, but are there any local joints we shouldn’t miss??

Cowboy’s Backyard Movie Birthday

Back in May, I saw an article full of fun ideas for summer. One idea was renting a projector for the weekend and watching a movie in your backyard. Knowing Cowboy’s love of the outdoors, of John Wayne and of going to the drive-in, I thought, “Perfect! That’s what I’ll do for his birthday party.”

I kept it a secret until a few weeks before his birthday, whereas I had long before realized how expensive it is to rent a projector and screen for the weekend. (Like several hundred dollars, which was definitely not in my price range. And further, why wouldn’t you just invest your money and buy one? It would pay for itself in just a few uses…) After doing some research, I realized that I could buy a fairly inexpensive projector (and I knew I could find a way to rig up a white sheet for a screen), but I couldn’t spend $100 (or more) without first bringing my husband into the decision. After thinking on this, I realized that my dad probably owned one for the seminars he gives every few months for his business. Bingo! Dad had one (top of the line…and a screen, too!) and he agreed to let us borrow it for the night!

So, since that part was figured out, I stocked up on bags of popcorn, boxes of candy, drinks, and moved the microwave to a table in the back yard.

On another table, I had stacked blankets for people to sit on in case they hadn’t brought a chair (which had been suggested as we only have six outdoor chairs). Over that area, which people first met as they entered the back yard, we hung outdoor lights so that people could retrieve snacks and get around once it was dark. (Sidenote: am I the only person who goes completely ga-ga over outdoor night lighting? Those strings of bulbs make me practically giddy.)

And it all turned out exactly like I had envisioned (except that the Olympic opening ceremony happened to be on the same night, meaning we missed the last half and that a few people felt torn between the two events and ended up staying inside of our house for the first half of the movie. Oops!)

Happy birthday to the love of my life, my best friend, the excitement in my mundane, the other half I never knew I was missing. Life and our few months of marriage together has been 10 times more incredible and 100 times different than I ever expected it to be! Thank you for putting up with my craziness, my determination and my need to “know” things in advance. You love me fiercely and exactly how I need to be loved and I can never thank you enough for that!

Simplicity

Lately, that’s what has stayed front of mind as I think about the upcoming year. Simplicity. Spurred on by some time unplugged (I’ll get to that in the second part of this novel) and a domino effect of sorts started by making my own…everything.

First, it started with going “no-poo” (mentioned here) back in November of 2011. Then, I proceeded to watch every documentary available on Netflix that was related to or was about organic farming vs. conventional farming, the effect of chemicals in the home (household cleaners and beauty products alike) and/or the how the ecosystem works. Then, we started an organic garden a couple of months ago. 
Then, I read Homegrown and Handmade: a Practical Guide to Self-Reliant Living, by Deborah Niemann. I checked it out from the library, but it’s helpful enough that I would consider it well worth purchasing. Right now, I’m in the middle of Skinny Bitch: Home, Beauty & Style: A No-Nonsense Guide to Cutting the Crap Out of Your Life for a Better Body and a Kinder World, by Kim Barnouin (disclaimer: this book is EXTREMELY informative, but this author is well-known for her colorful language! Consider yourself warned.). In my books-to-read pile is: The Gorgeously Green Diet: How to Live Lean and Green, by Sophie Uliano; The Green Beauty Guide: Your Essential Resource to Organic and Natural Skin Care, Hair Care, Makeup, and Fragrances, and Green Beauty Recipes: Easy Homemade Recipes to Make Your Own Organic and Natural Skincare, Hair Care and Body Care Products, both by Julie Gabriel.
A few days ago, I bought a water bath canner (I’d been waiting for it to go on sale, which it finally did) and, after a trip to the farmer’s market, spent part of my weekend making and canning pasta/pizza sauce from scratch with farmer’s market (mostly organic) freshly-picked whole tomatoes. Next up is jams. I’m coming close to perfecting my bread recipe (low in sugar and oil, 100% whole wheat + ground flax seed and still beautifully hearty and light at the same time). Last week, I learned how to make my own fresh almond butter and granola (which goes beautifully with the batch of greek yogurt I make every week).
You get the picture.
I’ve been learning how to rid our home of chemicals and processed foods. I’ve thrown away countless bottles of half-used lotions, creams, cleaners, etc. My rule of thumb is that if I can’t safely consume it, I’ll think long and hard before I use it to clean our house, clothes (the occasional bleach cycle is the exception) or our bodies. My cabinets are becoming clutter-free, my recipes are becoming something I’m proud to serve to people and my beauty “routine” has become so, so simple.
No, I haven’t made my life easier; it would be [a whole lot] easier (and cheaper on the food side sometimes–not all of the time) to buy processed foods, pre-made cleaners and beauty products. But my life is simpler for the mere fact that I know what I am consuming and/or lathering all over my skin and hair. And I’m healthier for it.
So why is this important to me? 
  1. Because, first of all, you can’t take in this much information about these topics without feeling a sense of need to change how you’re living and treating your body. 
  2. Second, it’s important to me to keep both myself and my husband healthy (as much of it is in my control, anyway…which you know isn’t any at all, if you believe in the same God I do)…and because someday, babies will be welcomed into the home we’re working to build. And so it’s important to me to begin making small changes every week to clean up our habits so that by the time that season of life rolls around, I’ll feel a little more, in theory, “ready.” I want to have these recipes (for home cleaners and the like) down and the habits made so that it will be easy to see through in the long run.
  3. I AM actually saving money by making bread, granola, greek yogurt, household cleaners, “shampoo” and “conditioner,” lotion bars, deodorant, pasta sauce, pizza dough, etc. from scratch. I’m investing my time, but I’m saving A LOT of money. Because of that, I feel much more at ease about buying the organic versions of the “dirty dozen” fruits/vegetables.
  4. Finally, because there’s a great sense of pride that goes along with “making your own.”
So here’s the thing: I realize that the Lord has recently placed me within a season of life that allows me more free time…or at least an extremely flexible schedule, and we don’t have littles yet, which makes these changes and ventures 100% easier. 
My heart’s desire is to be responsible and to be a good steward with the flexibility he’s given me. I want to build a clean and safe home, but I also want to pour into the lives of the people around us. You may or may not know this, but Cowboy and I will be leaving Wichita to move across the country next May-June to begin residency at a naval hospital. Away from our church, our families and our [in some cases, lifelong] friends. So, as a result, I’ve been focusing on unplugging as much as possible. My phone is no longer with me at all times and my blog posts have become few and far between. I don’t dislike my phone (OK, really, I’m talking about every stinking facebook notification that would make my phone buzz…I put a stop to that) or my blog (I love you guys), but I simply needed to re-focus the time I was investing in those things. I’m focusing on being available for people (not something that comes naturally to me as I like to stay busy with my own to-do lists and projects) and having the attitude of willingness to drop whatever I’m doing or whatever I had planned for day to be able to spend some time with people. The Lord is growing me and preparing me (though I’m not entirely sure what all for) and I feel so incredibly grateful for this current season of flexibility as the clock ticks on our time left in Wichita.
So, while My Yellow Umbrella isn’t going anywhere, understand that the posts probably won’t be as often as they once were. Just know I’m redirecting that time into relationships. I will however, give you a round-up, Instagram-style of what’s been going on in our house lately. 🙂

From top to bottom, left to right:
1. 25 lbs. of organic farmer’s market tomatoes became 3.5 quarts of canned pizza/pasta sauce for the winter!
2. Yikes, a tiny little mouse popped out of the box of mason jars I was digging through in the garage. He was set free in the back yard shortly after the photo was taken. 🙂
3. Cowboy took me on a mystery date…to the rodeo!!
4. New canning set!
5. Cooper is sleeping well these days.
6. Homemade citronella candles (all soy wax!)
7. Finally finished hand-painting the sign for the living room. It reads, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. – Abraham Lincoln”
8. Full set of 8 metal bowls/plates/cups for camping…for $5 at a warehouse sale!
9. Homemade bread and fresh basil. Yummmmm.

Our Wedding Video

Happy Friday, friends!

I’m happy to report that our wedding video is finished. 🙂 🙂 🙂

We were more than happy with how everything turned out (and for their amazing prices in the professional video world!), so if you’re in the Wichita area and need a videographer, Craig and Mary Beebe of Brickhouse Studios should be your first pick!


Alina + Jonathan from craig beebe on Vimeo.

Have a great weekend!

House Tour (Finally!)

Oh me, oh my…I’ve been promising a tour of the new house since…um…October. Then I was kidnapped…by…a wedding beast, but better late than never, right?

For any new readers, let me break this down. I met my (now) husband (we call him Cowboy around here) in December of 2010. You can read the story of our first date here. Less than six months later, he proposed. He moved away from Kansas City the following month, in June, for his third year med school rotations and I followed him here in October. Then we married and honeymooned last month (December). Now we’re just trying to adjust to the swing of things in “real life” and trying to figure out how to be a wife and a husband. Needless to say, things haven’t settled down in the slightest!

So, finally, I bring you a tour of our first home together! We’re only renting since we’re only here for 18 mos., so we can’t do much to change the walls or anything. Fortunately, our landlord happens to rock and also happens to be a professional (house) painter, so this 1950s ranch is in tip-top shape!

You’ll notice a lot of the same things from my apartment tour, so if you want more information on those projects, hop on over there!

I want to preface this tour with two items: 1) I’m still trying to learn this camera, so I’m only allowing myself to shoot in manual mode (hoping I will learn more/faster!). I shot most of these pictures yesterday in the late afternoon when it was cloudy, so the house was a bit dark. I had some trouble compensating for the darkness without overexposing shots backlit by windows…plus, some of them came out grainy, so if you have any tips for this newbie, PLEASE send them over! 2) While I feel we have a great foundation laid, I do feel the house is a bit bare. There’s not a lot on the walls yet and there’s a couple of places missing furniture (which…sometimes less is more, I know), so I’ve also outlined any projects I have planned for each room!

So, without further ado…

Front
(Spring, come quickly, please!)
 Main project for the front porch is outdoor pillows. Cowboy’s brother MADE us an awesome porch swing as a wedding gift, so I’d like to liven things up a bit so that it’s more inviting once the weather warms up!
Entry Way/Living Room
Main projects in the living room include hanging pictures/art on the walls (maybe a gallery on the wall behind the open front door?) and to give the side table/box (pictured above) a little makeover. I found it at Goodwill for 10 bucks and it’s the perfect size for a side table + extra storage! It’s a bit beat up with some scratches and dents, but you know I love those! It’s actually a shiny silver, though the picture doesn’t quite do it justice. I’m thinking a fun stencil or maybe some matte stripes to break up the shininess and give it some visual interest. What do you guys think?
 Dining Room
The dining room is the one that feels empty to me and I definitely have some projects planned for this room! First and foremost, I’m going to strip the table. Yeah, I know I’m the one who painted it black (and it looked AWESOME in my all-white apartment), but there are SO many layers of paint on that thing…I’m nearly dying to see what the wood underneath looks like! I will strip/stain the top and probably paint the legs and chairs a different color (not sure what yet). I’m also looking for a killer buffet/sideboard to fill up that left wall and display/hold all of our nice dishes. Again, nothing hanging on the walls, but I do want to wait until I have furniture figured out before I start a war with these plaster walls (yeah, this is also a reason we don’t have a lot hung yet…I hate these plaster walls!).
Kitchen
This is a pretty neutral room, thanks to the landlord. Apparently everything that’s brown now (all of the trim, the doors, the cabinets, etc.) was a country blue. YIKES. He also just re-tiled the countertops and installed a brand new stove/oven, so we got a pretty sweet (neutral-colored) deal.  I don’t have anything specifically planned for this room as we actually have hung stuff and I’ve made café curtains for all of the windows (too bad my windows are overexposed and you can’t even see the curtains! haha!). 
 Laundry Room
This is where my apology for grainy pictures definitely becomes necessary. I did make new curtains for the side door and hung the anchor/umbrella hooks (sidenote: aren’t those awesome? It’s like our version of his and hers hooks. He’s in the navy and well, I think you can figure out why the umbrella represents me. :), so I don’t have a whole lot planned for this little room!
Master Bedroom
Mainly, I just want to hang something above the bed. I haven’t been inspired by anything specifically yet, so stay posted. 🙂
Hallway
Just a little fun shot of what’s hanging in the hallway since anything hanging is obviously a big deal at this point! I hung a banner I made for the wedding from Cowboy’s framed “poems”–one from right after our first date and his proposal poem (see more on that here). The other is a retro poster we picked up in the Smoky Mountains on our honeymoon (we stopped at that church in Smoky Mountain National Park).
 (BLUE) Bathroom
 I hope you like turquoise! YES, that is the original 1950s tile/bathroom. We even have the gold-flecked countertop! The landlord told us he thought the tile was in such good shape, that he would just paint to match! HA! Oh well, I love color, so I won’t complain too much. I’ve already made a faux roman shade for the window using some cheap mini blinds, so now I really just want to hang something over the towel rod.
Office/Guest Bedroom
Once again, nothing hanging on the walls! (Are you sick of hearing me say that yet?) We also need a rug for this room. I wasn’t so much feeling the clutter since I have to spend my entire workday/work week back there, so we actually re-arranged things last night! 
 Ah! So much better! Just need a rug to cozy up and sound-proof the room a bit.
By the way, those rolling drawers under the desk are actually just stacking metal boxes I found at The Yard a few months ago for only $2.99! We picked up some casters while we were there, screwed them into the bottom and now we have a place to hide all of the junk that will slide under the desk and look awesomely industrial. Definitely worth our $10.
So that’s our home! I’m also adding this to the The Tour page, on top of the apartment tour, so you can easily access it later. 
P.S. MYU flew past 300 followers this week! Thank you all so, so much for your continued support, whether you subscribe through Google Friend Connect, e-mail or RSS reader…I know there are nearly a thousand of you total, which is crazy and exciting to me. You guys rock. 🙂

How To: Make a Custom Camera Bag

Around three months ago, my new (photographer) sister, Nicole, pinned the below camera bag on Pinterest. With the addition of our new camera, I started considering camera bags. I already knew I didn’t want something generic…and that got my wheels turning.  I knew Nicole had a birthday coming up, so I started communicating behind the scenes with her husband (Jacob, Cowboy’s brother) about what kind of bag she had. Upon finding out it was something generic she had owned for awhile (and something he actually thought might be too small now), my random idea quickly became this exciting project! 
(A note to Nicole: I actually had NO idea the below bag was a camera bag until AFTER I had been talking to Jacob about making you one…finding out it was a camera bag you had pinned made this all the sweeter!)
After finding out some deets regarding Nicole’s camera equipment and doing some research on her Pinterest page, we (yes, I had Cowboy’s full cooperation for the entire process…what a guy) set off to find the “perfect” bag. 
This is the original bag that Nicole pinned:

 This is the bag Nicole ended up with! (Yeah, I know my photography pales in comparison…but my bag doesn’t!) 😉

The bag that Nicole pinned comes with a steep price tag of $309. It IS real leather, yes…but you could still buy a leather bag for much less than that and make your own inserts (can I get an amen?)!
So whether you’re using an inexpensive bag or a real leather (pricier…but nicer) bag, I’m here to show you how I made custom inserts that turn a regular bag/purse into a camera bag!
Because I was looking for a specific type, size and style of bag, it took a bit of searching. But finally, seven stores later and just minutes before calling it a day, Cowboy found a near-perfect knock-off. It even had the same pocket on the front of the bag! Only problem? It had a divider/pocket down the middle. But, upon further examination, I realized I could rip the seams open, remove the divider and sew it all back together.

Even better? The clearance price tag. (Actually, we did look first and foremost for a leather bag…but nothing existed within our price range…and I didn’t know how much she ACTUALLY loved the bag she pinned!) I was OK with buying a more inexpensive bag knowing that the inserts could be removed and placed in another bag should, a) she become tired of/not like the bag, or b) the bag gets worn out because she loves it so much. 😉

So, we brought it home, I ripped the seams open, pulled out the dividing pocket and used a blind stitch to close it back up. (Meanwhile, watching Beauty and the Beast…one of my Christmas presents from the Mr. since it’s out of the vault right now!)

And voila! A wide-open bag, ready for a custom insert.

OK, so here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bag, of your choosing. Just make sure it has a square/rectangular base. It needs to sit squarely and solidly–and it will be much easier to make a base for your insert if there is a flat bottom (and, how many people want their camera bag slumping or falling over?)
  • Velcro–I bought iron-on, but I actually ended up sewing it after I ironed it for some extra durability. I did like, however, that it stayed in place after I ironed it. That way, I didn’t have to worry about anything shifting while sewing it on! One package was enough for one bag.
  • Fabric–this depends entirely on the size of your bag and inserts! I almost always default to buying a yard if it’s a project like this…and I almost always end up with extra, but I’d rather have the “too much” problem than have to run to the store again mid-project! (Also, a yard was enough for me to make inserts for two completely separate bags.)
  • Headliner fabric. This is the fabric on the inside roof of your car. I figured if it was good enough for my noggin, it was good enough for our cameras! (Yep…I made an insert for one of my bags too.) However much fabric you buy, it might be a good idea to double that amount in headliner fabric because you’re going to double wrap each insert piece. However, it does come on a wider bolt, so take that into consideration when deciding on yardage. (I found mine at JoAnn’s.)
  • Plastic canvas. This will make up the framework of your insert. Once you have your bag, it should be easy to determine how much of this you will need. I bought several sheets for 59 cents apiece at JoAnn’s.

Now, to make the insert:

1. Cut out pieces of plastic canvas. You’ll need to make one for the bottom and one for each of the four sides. Make these pieces slightly smaller than you think you’ll need since you’ll be adding padding, fabric and velcro (oh, and camera equipment). You don’t want things to be too crowded in there! I found that a good rule of thumb was to have the pieces be a couple of rows short of touching. Close, but not too close.
2. Double-wrap the individual pieces in headliner fabric. Sew them closed…it doesn’t have to be pretty, you just want everything to stay nice and tight since you’ll be shoving these into tiny little fabric pockets. 🙂 I actually ran my stitch through the top row of the plastic canvas, too, so that nothing would turn or shift around.

This is what everything should look like once it’s all wrapped and sewn closed! (Imagine the four outside pieces standing up and it makes a rectangular box.)

3. Sew the fabric pockets for the inserts. This part is a little bit harder to explain and you could do this various ways. Turning my fabric together (good sides facing each other), I traced the bottom and two side pieces (those that run long-ways with the bottom) onto the back of the fabric with a piece of chalk.

Sew together three sides like you would a pillow, then turn everything right side out. Make sure that the three inserts have enough room inside, but still fit snugly, then trace the two sides of the bottom (middle) piece. You’re going to run a seam here, making three pockets–one for each insert.

After making a seam down each chalk line, place your velcro along the two sides. I chose to have one piece running down the entire inside so that inserts could be moved wherever. (Also, I sewed the “soft” portion of velcro here so she wouldn’t have to worry about the “sticky” part of the velcro scratching her equipment.) Now you’re ready to put the inserts into their pockets. This should fit like a snug pillow case–you don’t want loose fabric! Close up the open end with a blind stitch.

Finally, for each end piece and subsequent divider (I designed these inserts so that the end pieces were separate for a reason–first, it makes the insert a bit more versatile for other bags and, second, these end pieces can now be used as additional dividers), you’ll…

a. Sew the top, bottom and left side of your fabric together, leaving the right side open. Turn it right side out. Double-check that the insert fits snugly before proceeding!
b. Figure out where you want your velcro placed, iron it on.

c. Sew a seam just to the right of the velcro at the closed end…this will make a fabric “tab” and keep your insert from sliding over under the velcro (and if it doesn’t make sense now, it will by the end).
d. Slide the insert in, bumping it up right next to seam you just made and sew another seam on the right side of the insert, essentially closing it in.
e. Now blind stitch it closed!

f. I mentioned above that I sewed my velcro on, even after ironing it, for some added durability. This is the back side of the fabric “tab,” so you can see how I sewed it on.

g. Repeat until you have as many inserts as your heart desires and your camera equipment calls for! As you can see below, I made two small dividers and one long one for Nicole’s bag, to give her some variety and options (the long one can be looped in a circle (as pictured), snaked like an ‘S’, zig-zagged between lenses, etc…the short ones can be turned horizontally to make a second row, etc. etc. etc…)

And soon enough, you’ll have a custom insert that really only cost you time. In classic Alina style, I have to give you the breakdown…

Original bag: $309

 Nicole’s bag: under $40  (+ about a week’s worth of evenings spent designing and creating, haha!)

So, now you can spend some time making a custom camera bag insert (for any bag you want! The possibilities are endless!) so that you can spend your dollars on new camera equipment!

Much love, friends!

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