I'm super excited to announce that my SewSew Sprout and Mistletoe Decoration was picked to feature in this years Blog and Buy Sale Christmas Wish List! It's lovely to have your work showcased by such a nice site, and to sit along so many other fantastic makers! You can see the full Wish List here, but I thought I'd also give a little run down of some of my favourite products!
1.Tyrannosaurus Rex Risograph Print by Maise Platt
I love this print! So much that I bought it for my nephew for his room, he loves dinosaurs. It's just as lovely in person and arrived super fast and beautifully packaged! Her shop is full of stunning work, you can see it all here in her Etsy shop.
2.Fairisle Brooch By Louise Dawson Design
How cute are these brooches! I love the colours and patterns she's used! There are lots of other colours in her Etsy shop!
3. Christmas Jumper Brooch by Hello Sunshine
As you can tell I do love a little fairisle, and this brooch is no exception! A perfect stocking stuffer and a really fun gift! Jo's shop is full of lovely quirky gifts for the festive season!
4. La La La Llama Christmas Card by Fiona Purves
I love this card! There's something about Llamas that really tickle me, combine it with a Christmas theme and give it a bobble hat and I am sold! I love Fiona's illustration, it's so much fun. See all her other lovely cards in her Etsy Shop.
5. Gift Tape by Pygmy Cloud
As you know, I'm a big fan of Clouds! This tape is so much fun and the perfect companion for all that present wrapping! Check out Pygmy Clouds shop!
Apologies for the silence over the past few weeks, as you can see from the above it's been pretty busy here at SewSew! Now I know what you're thinking, we're still clinging to the last few days of Summer and not quite ready to think about the C word yet. I hear ya!
But what kind of business woman/blogger/weird creature creator would I be if I didn't share all the goodies popping up in the shop?! A rubbish one! I promise though, after this I will give it at least 3 posts before mentioning anything to do with that particular day in December, because really it's ages away still! (This stage is called denial).
So you probably recognise some familiar faces amongst the above collection, the Sprouts have been a firm festive favourite for a while now! But I also have some brand new festive treats for 2015, and they are the ones I thought I'd show you in a bit more detail...
The Mistletoe Decoration
Both are made from a premium felt with 100% wool felt balls and onyx eyes! I'm really happy with how they turned out and today I parcelled up the very first decoration to go to a new home! Yey!
Ok, I'm done for the time being and won't bring it up again for a while!
Have a lovely day! x
Happy weekend everyone! I'm super excited to introduce you all to Gladys, the newest addition to the SewSew doorstops! She is very cheeky, and I'll be honest, Gordon wasn't too keen at first (he's a stickler for manners!). But he soon warmed to her and I hope you will too!
When I was designing Gladys I thought it might be fun to show you a bit of the process behind making a new product. Essential, as a designer/maker, I do just that, design stuff, make it and put it in my shop for sale. But there's a lot more to it than just that and some products take days, weeks, even months before they're ready to be put in the SewSew shoppe. So here's what went on with Gladys.....
All the SewSew goodies start as a doodle. I knew I wanted to make a new doorstop and they have a specific shape so I could just sit and scribble out lots of little weird dome shaped creatures(this is just one page, I got a bit carried away!). The doorstops have been very male dominated for a while so I wanted to lean towards a girlier version. For a while I was thinking kissy lips would be fun but it just wasn't working. As soon as I doodled the pokey out tongue version I knew it had the personality I wanted so I drew up a quick, bigger sketch in colour.
Once you're design is in place you can start thinking about the pattern and materials. I go through my swatches from suppliers I like to use and mix and match colours. Gladys was pretty easy as she only has one main colour and an accent colour for the tongue. Picking colours and fabrics is one of my favourite things to do!
As I'm making another doorstop my pattern is already sorted, which is awesome because this can be a huge time consuming part of the design process. There's lots of going back and fourth, taking measurements, drafting out a pattern, cutting out and sewing up a first version. You never get it right first time so you see where you need to make adjustments and go back and tweak the pattern and try it out again, sometimes scrapping it and starting over because it's just not right! While this part can sometime be frustrating it's also really fun because it's exciting to see something new emerging!
Once you have your fabric and your pattern you can start making! With Gladys this means making sure you get her face right! The doorstops are all about the characters and personality so you need to get the features right. Like with the pattern it can take a few tries to get it exactly how you want it, as you can see! I wanted it to look like she was really sticking her tongue out at us and not just like I'd stitched a bit of felt on her face. I was really happy with the finished face!
Once I had that part right I just had to sew her up, stuff her and put in the weights!
Once Gladys was all ready and sewn up the next step is to take pictures! As I sell my work online I want my customers to get as much information about my products as they can through the photos. They need to be clear, bright and most importantly, a true representation of what they are buying. The last thing you want is for a customer receiving an order and it not being what they expected.
I take pics of every angle and close ups of specific details such as the stitching, label placements and any other details such as the zip closure. I like to photograph my work on a light grey backdrop. My products tend to be very colourful and this really helps them to stand out. I take lots and lots of pics to make sure I have some good options.
Now to edit the photos! I go through all the picture I took of Gladys and mark the ones I like. They then get opened in Photoshop where I clean them up and re size them ready for uploading. It's important not to over do it here. Photoshop is great for filters and adding effects, but like I said before, you want your images to represent your finished product as closely as possible. There's no comparison to being able to see a product in person, but good clear photos that show all the details can run a close second!
Now for the final step! I have all my pictures ready to go and now all I have to do is upload them to my stores! I sell online through my own site (which is where you are right now!), Not On The High Street and Etsy, which means I have to repeat the listing process three times. Actually that doesn't bother me at all, I quite enjoy this part of the process as you can do it while drinking a G & T, eating chocolate and watching Miss Fisher Murder Mystery repeats! But wait! Put that gin away! Because there are a couple of things that need my focus before Phryne Fisher tangos with that possible jewel thief while simultaneously over throwing yet another murder plot at her Aunt Prudences house! God that show is good, where was I?
Oh yea! Before you list anything you need to work out a few things:
1. Prices - I sit and do all my sums to make sure I'm selling the glamorous Gladys at the right price.
2. Shipping - Like with pricing I need to make sure I'm covering all my costs for postage and packaging while still being reasonable for my customers.
3. Product Description - This one I have always struggled with this one. Writing is not my strongest point, I've been writing this blog post for ages! You have to strike the right tone between interesting and informative, not the easiest.
Ok, now that's done I can get the gin! It's always exciting to get a new product up on your site. All the information is filled in, the final pictures are uploaded and you can finally hit publish!
Of course the work doesn't end there, you have to try and get your new work seen by posting on facebook, and tweeting, and instagram, and obviously the blog!
I hope you've enjoyed this little insight to my work process! Have a lovely rest of the weekend and may it be filled with sunshine and gin! xxx
Last month I introduced some brand new fellows to the SewSew Cloud range, and the response has been fantastic! Thank you you lovely people you!
I already showed off the Storm Clouds in a previous post so I thought it was time to properly introduce the slightly more, ahem, out going members! The Naked Clouds and naked Cloud Cushions are simple and fluffy! Perfect for snuggling up to!
You can find them here in the SewSew shoppe!
Since I got my new succulent from the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show I thought it was time to rearrange my existing plants! I've been building up a little collection of succulents for a while now, they sit on my window sill in my workroom and look cheerful! Except lately they weren't looking quite so cheerful, I'd been neglecting them a bit! So I thought I'd take them outside for some air and sun light, which in theory was a good idea but I forgot I put them out there and it rained for days! Which would be fine except they were all in glass pots with no drainage so my poor succulents were sat in water for at least a week! Not good!
Glass containers are apparently a bit tricky for growing succulents, at least if you're a novice like me. Succulents need to be in well draining soil that can easily dry out in between watering, so ceramics or pots with drainage in are a good choice! To be honest the only reason I put them in there in the first place is because that's what I mainly had around the house, so I thought it was time to do a little plant pot shopping!
There are some amazing succulent planters around that I am obsessing over and will one day add to my collection, but I knew I needed a couple of pots for today and I didn't want to spend a fortune sprucing up my succulents, so I went to a local antique place to have a poke around and found these five beauties! All were around £2 - £3, bargain! You really don't have to spend a lot of money on a project like this and you can end up with a really fun, eclectic collection of planters. And yes, that is Shakespeare's head as a milk jug!
So, to the actual sprucing! (I think I'm saying sprucing too much!) First thing I did was to remove all succulents from their pots and laid them on a plastic sheet to let them dry out. They were soaked so I left them for a couple of days out of direct sunlight so they could recover.
Then the fun bit! I add small stones to the bottom to give extra drainage. This is especially important if your pot has no holes in the bottom. As succulents need lots of drainage it's best to get succulent and cactus soil, it's much sandier and lighter and your succulents will thank you for it! You can get both the soil and stones at your local gardening store (I got mine at B&Q for you brits!)and both go a long way. The soil was £4.20 and the stones £2.68!
That's is! My succulents have been given a snazzy (how old am I?) make over with very little impact to my purse! They're looking a lot perkier now and hopefully they'll keep getting better in their new homes! Remember to water thoroughly and let the soil dry in between! Good luck with your own succulents!