Preparing for Easter again, whoosh……….where did that year go. I am making more cards (see my tutorial and template for those on a previous post) and one of the shops I supply asked me to make some little baskets. I made some up last night and thought I would share the instructions with you. I am a visual person and often forget how I have done something, so I take lots of photos along the way to help me remember. This time I added a few notes in the picture. I also write measurements etc in my “Production Note Book”
L’uccello Vintage Haberdashery store in Melbourne posted a photo of this fabric on instagram, so I had to buy some, and couldn’t wait to make something with it. I think it makes a gorgeous little Easter Egg Collection Vessel.
Here’s how I whipped it together – not hard at all, and pretty quick.
Cut two pieces 9 inches wide and 5 and a 3/4 inches tall. If your fabric is not directional like mine then you could just cut one piece 9″ x 11″. I cut two pieces and sew them back together so that the cars on both sides were upright – using a quarter inch seam.
Once I have joined and sewn on my label I iron on a product called Parlan. It is lovely stuff, I use metres and metres of it in my iChairs and Myki covers, and behind stitcheries. It is quite thin, has a glue backing and feels like a wool/cotton blend. I like it better than the standard poly Pelon. I buy mine from Jiddi’s Patch in Geelong. They have an online store too, check out the link
Iron a half inch fold along the 9″ ends (this is the top of your basket) This step just helps later because you have to sew this outer basket to your inner basket and it’s easier to iron at this stage than when it is sewn together.
Fold as shown in the photo below, not sure how to describe this step, hopefully you get it from looking at the photo. You place the side seam in line with the centre seam (if there is no centre seam – as in when you do the inside of the basket, then you should fold the fabric in half, iron and match the side seam with the centre fold.)
I made this handy little template that I use all the time. It is simply the corner of a square cut off so the measurement along the longest triangle side is 3 inches. I put a black permanent mark down the centre of the template and this matches up with the seam.
Placement of the handles is entirely up to you but I found they sit nicely when they are spaced 1.5 inches from the centre side of the basket. I used some twill tape I have in the studio, folded it in half and stitched. (I used to to make my labels with this twill tape until I had some woven ones made). You could use ribbon, or make up some fabric handles. Mine are 9″ long and I line up the bottom of the handles with the fabric – see photo below.
I increase my stitch length to 3.5 on my Janome and I ALWAYS ALWAYS use Aurifil Thread, 28wt just cause it is my favourite in the whole world and the stitches look lovely. Lots of shops stock Aurifil now, I buy mine from Jiddi’s Patch cause they have a lovely colour selection, and if they don’t have your colour they will order it in.
I made these for some local shops that stock my products. I put most of my “hand made crafty goodness” in these shops on consignment. It is not my bread and butter income, more my stash building income! Even though it is more of a hobby I always carefully calculate what the material costs are, including threads accessories and labels. Once I have made the prototypes I then time a complete production run of say four baskets, including cutting and sewing, ironing etc. So, lets say I want to be paid $25 per hour for my labour and I can make four in one hour, then the price of the basket would be $6.25 plus materials cost of approximately $5.50 plus overheads 30% (electricity, tools and equipment, photographing, advertising, printing of swing ticket etc, petrol for delivering to the shops). So I am happy with $15 per basket – my local shop is going to sell them for $25 with a few easter eggs inside. These prices above are all variable, how do you value your time?, can you buy fabric cheaper? Can you make more than 4 in one hour? etc. etc.
My motto is use gorgeous fabric and threads that you love working with, make what you enjoy making, and don’t under sell your work – it doesn’t do anyone any favours and in the end the shop and the customers decide what they think is a well made product, and the value they put on “hand made”.
I always have fun with the product tags, being very descriptive of the materials I use (100% designer fabrics – and in the case of my iChairs, filled with wheat and a dash of lavender from mum’s garden etc. etc.) Let the customer know that the product is hand made with love in the area you live. (eg mine are Hand made in the Picklefish Design Studio, St. Leonards, Bellarine Peninsula). I haven’t made my swing tags for these Easter baskets yet but when I do, perhaps I will do another post.
Thank you to Les from Frazier Film Lighting who has lent me this awsome film light so I can do some great product shots. Well I am trying to make them great, and the light does help!
Let me know if you sell your “handmade goodness” and how you approach the pricing dilema?
Thanks as always for visiting sewupmyalley.