Sunday 29 March 2015

Destash Market Success

Yesterday I had a couple of tables at the first Destash Market at Hornsby. The Destash team have held several over the past few years on the Central Coast (about an hours drive north from here) and they have been going from strength to strength so it was great they were able to organise one closer to home. I had wanted to get up to one of Coast ones but life has a way of interrupting plans........yesterday though it was all systems go & was a very successful day.
So, what to take? Over the past few weeks in between market sewing & work, I have been gradually building up a pile of craft supplies - fabric, Christmas trims, wadding, toy fill, craft kits & other bits & pieces. The Destash Team gave some handy hints on pricing & planning the stall space.

I went with my goods priced but was mentally prepared to adjust the price if people wanted to bargain. The whole idea was to DESTASH those extra supplies so unrealistic pricing would mean bringing stock back home.
Marilyn & I had a lot of fun meeting many crafty people & were thrilled to bring several empty containers home. The table looked cleaner & with more space as the morning went on. We kept a tally of our sales & within the first hour had covered the cost of the table hire so went straight into profit. But for me, the aim of the day was to clear out, to cull, to make a dent in my large supply of fabric & this was successful.

One of the most successful sellers for me was the bags of left overs from quilt projects - these included cut strips & squares but also quite decent sized pieces of the fabric from the project. I had priced them low at anywhere from $2 - $5 & yes the fabric was worth more than that but they were leftovers! I had bought the fabric with a particular gift in mind, made the gift, given the gift & in some cases already utilized the pieces in smaller projects but they were taking up space.
I was pretty strong too & only bought one item from the stall next door - a fabric pack of a newly released line to make up one of the patterns I am currently designing so felt that purchase was well worth it.

The Destash team took some great photos of the day if you want to check out the range of what was on offer, take a look at their photo album. Remember, the exciting thing about a Destash market is that each time the items on offer will be different & unique.
It's great to know they are currently planning another Destash in Hornsby later in the year so check out their facebook page if you want any updates on either the Hornsby or Central Coast markets..

Until next time....


Sunday 22 March 2015

Market Wrap Up

Saturday was the latest Dreamer's Market - another fantastic day for us. These markets continue to grow in popularity & recognition as the number of returning customers grow & new market attendees express their delight at discovering a market which only has quality handmade products.
This was the view from our stall before the customers flocked in.
Despite the on & off drizzle, being an indoors market meant the weather wasn't an issue. Continuing roadworks outside the Theatre where the markets are held didn't deter people plus for an added bonus, the Theatre opened the rear doors, attracting passersby.

The customers came in a steady stream throughout the day & it wasn't till I got home, I realised I didn't get around to show photos of some of the new stall holders that were there.
Dreamers Markets has several returning stall holders, but each time they are held, there is a variety of new stalls to tempt & delight. As regulars, we are also inspired to add new items to our range to offer as well.
Here is Sam from Four Red Hens catching up with Deb from Busy Bee Babies & Narelle from Nax Wax before the day got fully under way.

Here are just a couple of shots of Sam from Four Red Hens products to show you.

My reversible headbands, peg bags & knitted face cloths are always big hits each market day & my newly released pencil cases proved very popular. I love it when customers also think of creative ways to use products - some of the mini face washers were heading home to become coasters, be appliqued onto a bag front & even stitched to a beret! Another customer is adding ties to her peg bag, removing the hanger & making a peg bag apron - stay tuned for these to be added as a variation at future markets. I was thrilled too to arrive home & find an email ordering 20 of one item - a savvy shopper getting in early for Christmas!

If you have never been to Dreamers Markets, they are a not to be missed occasion, only being held a few times a year. Mark your diaries, pop over & like the face book page, the next one will be held Saturday July 18th.

Back soon with some exciting news from ARJAY Creations.

Until next time,

Sunday 15 March 2015

Pattern Test - Adeline Top/Dress

I have been fortunate enough to test another new pattern for the talented & creative Pearl Moon of Boho Banjo. Pearl's Adeline pattern is being released this weekend & gives you the option of a top or a dress. Like the Zelda top I tested recently, this pattern can be made in either woven or knit fabrics.
Pearl gives a lot of thought to her pattern writing, her instructions are so very clear & easy to follow, in fact, when I made a 2nd top from the pattern several days after the first one, I didn't even need to follow the instructions. The pattern comes in two sizes covering a wide range of sizes.
The Adeline does need a soft fabric to drape well so voile or knit is ideal but there are other options given on the pattern instructions. Pearl is very economical in her use of fabric & layout instructions, my purple top is actually made using hand screen printed cotton (another post on this fabric soon) & is only 90cm wide so I did need a smidge more fabric than the instructions for the 112cm requirements. If using a definite one way print, you may wish to purchase an extra few cms to ensure you can cut out to suit the fabric pattern.
This time round I tried the option of print to store & it was so very easy to upload the pattern to Officeworks in the AO size option (no need to then stick multiple pages together) & well worth the $8.00 it cost for the 2 sheets (that's here in Australia). Email the pattern, pay on line & pick up the next day, how easy is that!
The top is so comfortable one, has a lovely flow & sits well. In making my first one, we discovered that as I am quite short-waisted, we needed to do an alteration on the front pleat so it sat better on my figure. One of the advantages of pattern testing for a designer is to discover tips like this so they can alter or note helpful hints on their pattern. Pearl is great with feedback when checking in on any questions such as how I needed to get an even better fit. For anyone who may be short waisted like me, I just sewed the front pleat about 5 cm shorter & moved the placket feature up higher on the top. The back stayed as per the pattern. 
A good friend came over to take these photos & then I popped the white/pink floral one back one when we went out to lunch afterwards. Cool to wear on what was an overly hot Autumn day here in Sydney.
I look forward to sewing other patterns that Pearl designs. I love her work & the styles suit me.
You can check out more about Pearl, her designing & the pattern as well as seeing photos of other designers tops & dresses & links to their blogs about the pattern test at The Aspiring Designers Challenge. There is even a Rafflecopter giveaway on there with the chance to win some of Pearl's patterns & fabric. Here is the link if you want to check out the pattern as well.

Until next time,


Sunday 1 March 2015

Hippity Hoppity, Easter's on its Way

 Last year I designed a simple Easter basket, you can find the tutorial here.
 With Easter approaching, I wanted to make some more this year.

I recently was gifted a couple of charm packs, one of which is the Moda 'Moxi' range, the colours are so crisp & pretty & ideal for the baskets.

Here are the tips for using a charm pack to make your baskets, don't forget you can use any fabric choice you would like, this is just one option for constructing your baskets.

These finished baskets will be 4 1/2" high.

From one charm pack (a pack of 42 x 5" squares of a complete range of fabric) I was able to make 7 baskets (with a few strips & one handle strip left over)

I separated the colours into groups of pink, reds, yellow/green & greens.

Cut the charm squares in half, giving you 84 x 2 1/2" x 5" strips.
Here are 4 of the squares cut in half.

The Basket:
Join 8 of the strips with 1/4" seam along the 5" side.
Press seams to one side.
This will give you one basket piece 16 /12" long and 5" high.
If using charm squares for your outer basket, you will need to cut your basket lining & pellon interfacing pieces 16 1/2" x 5".

The Handles:
Join 6 of the strips with a 1/4" seam along the 5" side.
Press seams to one side, then cut these strips along the centre to yield two handles, 12/ 1/2" long x 2 1/2" wide.
Follow the directions from the tutorial to construct your baskets.
Hide the eggs and enjoy the hunt.
I'd love to see any baskets you make as well, pop on back and share your pictures.