How much fabric do I need?

Hello everyone!  Today I’m answering a question that I get asked quite often in my Etsy shop and online:

“How do I know how much fabric I need” Continue reading

How to make your own fabric labels for craft projects

I love sharing ways of keeping your costs down when selling handmade goods, but it is still important to make your items look professional and give your own personal brand a unified look and feel.  So, when I decided to start selling some crochet items recently, I decided to create my own labels and share both the process and the result.

Woven labelsBut first, a bit of history… Back in the day when I made lots of bespoke cross stitch bunting, I stumped up for some woven labels to sew into the back of the bunting that included my company name and website.  These worked really well but were quite expensive (around 50p each) and couldn’t match my font or exact colours.  They did their job and I was happy enough, but once I stopped stitching bunting (too time consuming for the return), I was also left with a bunch of them!

Fast forward to 2014 and I now concentrate on selling cross stitch kits and charts via my website and Etsy shop and it forms a large part of my income so definitely not a hobby anymore.  

I still love making things and crochet is something I really enjoy at the moment and I want it to remain a hobby.  However, there are only so many kindle cases I can have so I’ve decided to sell some on Etsy (just to let me buy more wool really!). So, I am setting up a shop and wanted some labels I could attach to my products and decided to make them myself.

My Bespoke StampLuckily I came across a fantastic company called The English Stamp Company and they created a bespoke stamp for me – it only took a day and I was really thrilled with the result.  It cost £19 and I also bought some Versacraft ink from them which is suitable for fabric and lots of other surfaces (total cost £25).  I attached the stamp to a small acrylic block I bought from ebay for £5 and bought a 20m roll of ribbon for £6 also from ebay.

To make my labels I simply stamp along the ribbon leaving enough room for cutting with pinking shears and folding over the edges and will get approximately 265 out of this roll (cost approx 14p each).  This cost reduces the more I make because I never have to replace my stamp.  It’s also great because my font matches across all of my invoices, shop and labels too.  

Label stitched in placeJust remember to iron all of the labels before attaching them to your product as this makes the ink colourfast.  I do it while they are still on the roll as it makes it easier.  I then cut and fold the edges under before attaching them to my products by hand.  Here’s the finished label attached to one of my kindle cases.  

So, now that I have my brand sorted, I just have to get on with making lots of covers for different tech to fill my shop!  Wish me luck…

H x

 

 

How to cross stitch a QR code

Being somewhat of a geek, I have been so excited recently to start transforming QR Codes into cross stitch patterns.  The process is quite an easy one, but takes an eye for detail and a love of all things geometric!  So I’ve decided to share how it’s done and hope that you too can have a go at creating some eye-catching nerdy cross stitch…  Continue reading

Neatness counts

I recently replied to a comment in a cross stitch group on Facebook asking whether anyone thought it was important to have a neat reverse to your stitching.  I posted the photo below taken of my celtic heart design showing both the front and back of my own stitching:

Does it matter how neat the back of your work is? I think so…

Comments flew in from far and wide with many people of the opinion that I must have OCD to keep my stitching that neat.  Some thought it was a waste of time and that it must take me weeks to make sure that everything looks so nice on the reverse and others said it didn’t matter at all what the back looked like as no-one would see it.

Well, I do care about how my stitching looks, both front and back, but do I take ages worrying about the back and checking it looks OK?  NO!  It’s neat on the back because I have been stitching for over 25 years (makes me sound very old) and you just get used to it.

But why do I think it’s important that the back is neat?

  1. Lumps and bumps on the back mean that framing, stretching or even making your design up into a cushion will leave the front looking uneven and it will be noticeable.
  2. Long lines of thread from one place to another show through to the front of the fabric – especially if the thread is a lot darker than the fabric you are stitching on.
  3. It can use up a lot more thread if you run thread all over the place or don’t stitch in a systematic way and if you’ve bought a kit you may well run out of thread before you finish your design.

So whether the reverse of your stitching looks like mine or better or worse, you (and your framer) are the only people who will see the back your work, but try to recall my reasons for neatness next time you start a new piece and see how you get on…