Lavender

Last week I had a market in Walthamstow with E17 Designers and was able to have my new lavender range for sale for the first time. This range started off as an idea last summer when our lavender plant was in full flower and I decided to harvest it for lavender bags. I waited a bit because the bees were loving, then cut it.

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I then thought how lovely it would be if the lavender bags were made from fabric that looked liked lavender and started to draw lavender. It gradually developed into a design which I have since turned into a screen for screenprinting, made a linocut and had printed onto fabric and notebooks. I now have a lavender range and will continue to work with it, including new colours. They make great gifts as individual items or a few together can be given as a gift set. Light, fresh and the bags smell divine.

 

 

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Chives

Last year I did a short course at City Lit called ‘Textile and surface pattern’. It really challenged me as it involved some drawing, something I didn’t think I could really do. I still can’t draw well but it made me realise something I was beginning to grasp already, that I don’t need to be able to draw portraits or be a fine artist to be able to draw patterns. During this course I drew a chive flower. After the course I developed this pattern while using Adobe Illustrator – a computer programme I knew nothing about.

Fast forward 8 months and just before Christmas I had my second lot of fabric printed. The first lot didn’t come out as I thought it would and after a three day Illustrator course,  I finally printed something I was happy with. Unfortunately the fabric got lost in the post and I didn’t manage to make what I wanted in time for Christmas markets,  so I have finally managed it. A start of a range of products, which even includes notebooks!

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Valentines day and cards

 

Just 10 days away from Valentines Day and for the first year I have joined in the fun with designing a matching card and lavender bag. I first designed the ‘I ♡’ for a tote bag to be sold locally.  I then designed a ‘U’ and when screen printing left off the name of the place. When printing into the organic cotton I printed the heart on one side and on the other a screen printed design of lavender that I have made to make a range of products. Nowhere does it say that it’s for Valentines day only so they can be sent all year round, just to tell someone you love them. Oh, and the lavender is from Yorkshire. I had no idea that Yorkshire had such a lot of lavender!

 

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Printing fun

The handprinting continues with a bit of combining of the linocut print and the screenprint. I’ve done this in two different  colourways and will be adding more.

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To add to the handprinted items are some tote bags (screenprinted) with pretty linings (shop bought), complete with an inner zip pocket. I took one of these on holiday and found it so useful!

Finally, I’ve been having fun with pretty fabrics to make girl’s hair accessories (headband, bow and elastics) and a summer dress for my daughter.IMG_1500240954689Studio_20170628_182551

Now that the summer holidays are coming to an end it back to thinking about markets and get stock ready for Christmas! It always seems a long way off but comes around too quickly!

Fun with clothes

As ‘Craftee Fox’ I make bags, purses and other accessories for sale but I do really enjoy making clothes. I make them for myself and my children. I try and make my daughter a dress for her birthday, and after complaints from my son that I never make anything for him, have made a shirt for either Christmas or birthday. As well as these special occasions I had the chance to make my daughter a bridesmaids dress and helped a non-sewing friend to make herself a dress for a wedding that required African fabric (green dress photo). The pink skirt near the end was originally a dress made from tiers of fabric so I took off the top tier and sleeves.

Of course, you don’t need a reason to make clothes, so have made them ‘just because’. Here’s a selection of some of my makes, I may post more when I find other photos.

 

 

 

Etsy, bags and hats

In January I re-opened my Etsy shop. I had first opened it in 2013 but had no idea how to use it and after a few months stopped doing anything with it – and had no sales. This January I thought I would give it another go and stumbled across a great group on Facebook called ‘Etsy Resolution’. Led by group of experienced Etsy makers we were given weekly homework, plus a couple of seminars on building our businesses and learning more about who our audience is. I must admit that doing Craftee Fox alongside a 4 day a week job means that I don’t seem to have time to think about my audience or growing Craftee Fox, but I did learn more about how to use Etsy to sell.

As well as learning more about’search engine optimisation’ (SEO), the importance of tags and titles, the most enjoyable (and difficult) was photography. Clean photos look good on Etsy and there is a real skill to taking them – one I haven’t mastered yet, but I hope I’m getting better.

Since January sales have been up and down but I know it can take time to build up sales and have been excited to send goodies,including bespoke ones, internationally.  I am continuing to do markets and had a really fun day at this years Walthamstow Garden Party as part of the E17 Designers group – now there’s a group of talented artists, designers and makers!

So apart from playing with Etsy I have continued to sew. I often think I should be more focused with what I make but then I enjoy the diversity and playing with so many different fabrics. Below are some of my favourite makes, including a bag with leather handles – South African shweshwe one side and upcycled denim jeans the other. Of course, I continue to make brolly bags! I’ve also been making some clothes, so I’ll post that soon.