Saturday, 31 October 2015

MK Handmade and vintage - day 1

What a fabulous day!  So much to be thankful (and grateful) for.  The wonderful piece by Sammy Jones was one.  Getting the same great stall pitch as last time, facing the new Tiger store, was another.  Help from Church friends gave me some breaks from the stall during the day, which really hleped me to stay upbeat and to engage with potential customers while I was there.  Some clarity about stock meant that I focused on key sucessful lines - the animals, pocket bags in various styles, two styles of embroidered bags and, of course, bibs.  I also had the usual range of low-priced items - bookmarks, pocket purses, phone cases and embroidered purses, plus the new line of Christmas cards. This helped me with my displays, and I think helped the customers to see what was on offer. 

Then I added in my major new line - hippo footstools / beanbags.  These seemed to generate a lot of interest - it was so encouraging to see people pointing them out and commenting on them as they passed.  The fabulous footfall which organiser Jacqui Lewis has ensured through her thorough promotion and advertising was another factor.  The approach of Christmas didn't hurt either!  The sum total of all of these factors was a record breaking sales total of £600 - close to double my previous record.  I will  need to do some restocking before leaving (for a thankfully later start!) tomorrow - I hope to stuff the two remaining hippos I have already sewn, complete the finishing off on some more applique bags, and maybe even do the last pieces of sewing on a few animals so that I can stuff and sew them up at the sale.  I will probably take some pockets to cut to squares so that I have the raw materials for more pocket bags and hippo beanbags in preparation for my November events.  I'm shattered, but really looking forward to tomorrow.

Friday, 30 October 2015

A lovely post about the project

Sammy, From Total MK, has posted a lovely feature on me and the work I am doing for Utange.  You can find it here.  Brilliantly timed as a promotion before my big sale tomorrow in Milton Keynes.  I have been very busily restocking - hence the blog silence recently.  I've made several new items which I am really pleased with, including over 30 elephants, monkeys, turtles, Christmas cards and some mega-large hippos which will serve as a child's seat or a footstool.  Photos to follow once I have taken them... if I get time before I pack the car ready to go and set up this evening!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Fancy pocket purse

This is made using my recent tutorial, but I have put this post up separately because it shows how you can make good sue of unusually shaped pockets. 
This pair of jeans had one button down pocket- always a useful addition. However, it was unsuitable for many of my projects as the lack of space around the pocket meant it could not be cut to a rectangle.  It made a great pocket purse, however!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Shaped pocket purses - tutorial

As well as the boxy pocket purses, I also make a more straightforward version.

Making these is very simple:

1. Cut round one of the pockets, leaving at least one inch of plain fabric all the way around the pocket.  Follow the shape of the pocket.

2. Put this pocket face down on top of the other pocket and, using it as a template, cut round.

3. Fold the lining fabric in two, right sides facing, and, again using one pocket as a template, cut the lining to match.

4. Use your zipper foot to sew one side of the zip to one pocket piece along the top.

5. Put the matching lining piece on top of the pocket, right sides together with the zip sandwiched between the two pieces.  Again, sew the zipper to the fabrics.

6. Repeat with the other side of the bag.

7. Top stitch along the zip, keeping as close to the edge of the fabric as possible.

8. Open the zip.

9. Open out the pieces and put them right sides facing so that the linings match and the pockets also match.

10. Sew all the way round the outside edge, just leaving a small section at the base of the lining open for turning.

11. Turn the bag the right way out and sew up the seam you left open on the lining.

12. Push the lining inside the bag.  Your pocket purse is finished.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Fancy pocket purses

These pocket purses make maximum use of decorated pockets, and I predict they will be sold before this post appears!

 I used a variety of strap lengths on these - hopefully I will succeed in pleasing appropriate customers!
Tutorial here.