Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A bee in my bonnet

I'm not going to go into specifics because I don't want to offend anyone, but I do want to write about this anyway because it is really important to me. I hope this comes across the right way!

There's a certain product that hundreds of people make and sell and some of them do very well with, but very few of these products are made 'properly' **. It's a very simple product, but making it 'properly' is actually quite tricky and time consuming. I'm not sure whether the people who make it the 'wrong' way are entirely aware that they are doing it 'wrong'. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and think that, like me once upon a time, they don't know how to make it the 'right' way. I hope that they're not doing it their way because it's quicker.

I initially thought this was a dilemma for me. I could make it 'properly', but if I wanted to charge for my time to do so, I'd need to charge at least double the average price that my competitors do, which is tricky. So at first I thought that maybe it isn't worth me making them. Or that maybe I could make them the 'wrong' way. No one seems to mind/notice, so why shouldn't I make them quickly and easily?

Tonight I decided why, and I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.

The reason is that one of the main things that I strive for in my work is to make it as well made as possible. That is not something I want to, or should compromise on. It just isn't worth it.

I still haven't decided whether to make that certain product or not yet. I think I have an alternative that can be as good, if not better in mind.

** Now, the question has been posed - what is 'properly' and who says it is 'properly' made? Well I'm not entirely sure of the answer to that. I think that there are basic techniques that anyone who is trained in sewing should know/learn and use. It's hard to point them out without giving away the product I'm refering to so I won't right now, but I think that is the way that you determine if something is made 'properly'. Or at least that is the method I use at the moment.

DIY hang tags

Y'know those days where you just want to go back to bed by lunch time? Today was (is?) one of those days. There's no reason for it and it's not a big deal, but I was good and decided that instead of going back to bed, I'd do something easy, but productive...

In 1 month, I (and many others) will be exhibiting work at a local show. It's exciting and daunting all at the same time, and I have a very long to do list to get ready. One thing on the list is hang tags for my products. I was going to use my mini moo cards like I normally do, but I'm almost out of those and short on money to buy more. Plus, I really need each tag to have a price and some basic product info on the back, so I figured I should make the tags myself.

I've been working on the idea for a few days. First I decided that they should be stamped or screen printed on the front. Screen printing would work well, but it's more complicated to set up, so I did some research online and learnt that I could make my own stamp (carved from a vinyl eraser)! This would be perfect for a simplified version of my logo. I also finally found another stamp I have with letters spelling out my website address. So the printing bit was sorted. Then I decided that cereal boxes would be the perfect cardboard base that I need - cheap and no need to go find them.

So today's simple, repetitive task was cutting out the cereal boxes, stamping the logo and URL on them, adding a string, gluing a second piece of cardboard to the back, and then stitching around the outside with the sewing machine. They look good and when the time comes I can write on the back and everything will be ready to go!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I have to say again - I'm sorry that my blog is so neglected lately! Just lost the love a bit and also quite busy at the moment. I'm sure I'll return with more regularity eventually.

In the meantime, here's some more new work to keep you entertained!

Apron - vintage floral
This one is available for sale!

Apron - vintage embroidery and lace
This one is sold already!

There are also other new things in my shop - tea towels, shopping bags, some new wallets... More to come soon while I'm building up stock for an upcoming show (more details on that as soon as they are confirmed)!