I have been back at the machine making stuff this week. And it feels good! I am itching to get back to making bags – it has been too long – but for now I have been working on more baby accessories to meet demands in the Shop Handmade.
A couple of weeks ago I starting playing with sewing plastic to make waterproof bibs. Many hours, and frustration later I realised that I needed a different approach.
Crooked bias binding, uneven stitches, lots of swearing, and slipping layers……
And of course the answer was simple – use the laminated cotton that I already have! Doh!
Would have been better if I had looked at the direction of the pattern when I was cutting it out!
So a series of waterproof bibs, with soft bamboo lining so that they are still comfortable for a baby to wear, are now stocked in Shop Handmade. And I have made a few with pockets on the bottom.
I remember thinking that pockets on bibs were weird, until I had my own children and realised how handy they can be for little ones to scoop out the dropped biscuit, grape, spaghetti, etc that they have dropped! (Good thing these are washable!)
I suspect that I didn’t share with you the other product I made for the Shop a few weeks ago – hot water bottle covers and heat packs. (Well, it is almost winter you know!)
This week a customer asked for a set of hand-warmers as a gift for a traveller, so I had fun playing with a design for these. You know me – they couldn’t just be plain!
I have also been working on some more nappy change mats to restock in the Shop. Loving all the bright colours!
I am also a little bit chuffed to be the featured designer on the Handmade Canberra website this week.
Now to get back to the machine!! I hope that you are having a productive week.
My small start back into sewing went quite well last week. I made a few more iPad covers, remembered (well – was reminded) that I still ‘owed’ my kids a few promised sewn projects, and started developing some new designs.
One of the products that I want to develop is a man’s wallet. (I also want to make a woman’s wallet/purse but with Father’s Day around the corner thought that the men’s products had to take priority!) I played around with some ideas and then made this prototype.
I put it up on my Facebook page and asked for feedback. Quite a few of my lovely female followers responded, with many of them commenting that it needed a closure of some description. There were also comments on fabric, leather, colour etc, but I am not too concerned about those as simply making items with different combinations addresses that issue. However I was concerned about the fastening issue, so I put a post on my personal Facebook profile, asking for input from males on the question of fasteners on wallets. The first response was ‘No fastener for me. If you need one of those you’re not a man.’ And the following 40+ responses followed that pattern, except for one friend who responded that he had a fastener, then read the other comments and made various ‘manly’ statements to reclaim his manhood. The respondents were of varied ages, educations, locations, backgrounds etc, so I think this is a fairly definitive indication that men do not like fasteners on their wallets! I will tinker a bit with the design and hope to make some more this week, and will be sure to label the wallets as ‘man approved’ so that the women buying them don’t think they should have a fastener!
I also put out some feelers on whether people preferred baby bibs to fasten on the back or the side. The responses were mixed, so I have decided for my next range of bibs to do a bit of both! This was a custom order, but I plan to make a few more, and make some square ones with teether chews.
I then had a great Saturday afternoon and produced a Kindle cover, shoulder bag, and library bag for my chicks (finally!!)
The shoulder bag as a work in progress
Library bag for the boy using the fabric he chose some weeks ago.
My steps forward were going well. But I feel like I am going backwards this week. The boy only managed to last 40 minutes at school today. Last week he was there most days for between one and two hours, so I had some time to get things done. This week, although we have only just started, I am feeling much more dejected about my ability to sew, to earn a living on my own terms, and to keep everything afloat. I have finally decided to apply for some government benefits to help out. While part of me feels grateful that the services are there, the other part of me is falling into a deep well of self pity wondering how I went from high-flying lawyer to government benefits. Of course I know the logical answers – parenting a child with special needs means a change of course – but it is still sucking the energy out of me. My mission this week, then, is that, in between filling out many, many, many forms, and organising my financial records for my tax return, I will find time to make things that are fun, and will re-energise me.
One of my ideas is to make a few more stencilled bags. I made these two over the weekend as gifts, and enjoyed it, so a few more will be fun!
I have also been playing with ideas for handwarmers and road tested a couple with my boy and his friend yesterday – and received positive feedback from them, so will try to make a few more – sure to get me up and going!
Right. Here I go, off to get re-energized and move forward again!