Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sewing up a storm for Craftstravaganza!

Craftstravaganza is this Saturday! Last year's was my very first craft show, and it was a great experience. But I learned a few things there (and in other shows in the past year) that I'm taking to heart this year.

No. 1: Unisex coats. I wrote before No Coast in December about my dinosaur styles. Now I have a couple more designs:
How cute would this look on a little boy? It's lined with smooth red acetate and has red snaps. And of course, no ruffles. :)

Then there's this one, which could be for a boy or a girl:

A menagerie!  It's lined with super-soft brown cotton and has orange snaps, with brown seam binding trim on the pockets.

One more new raincoat design, but it's definitely girlish:

Kind of hard to see, so here's a detail:

Ooh la la, it's a map of Paris! Lined with pale blue silk, with ruffled pocket trim and blue piping and pink snaps.

No. 2: I decided to lower my prices. I know, I know, that's being a bad businesswoman. But I'm not selling many at the current prices. For boys especially, I'm not sure if anyone will pay more than $50. So the simpler coats (without ruffles) are down to $48, and the ruffled coats are at $55. We shall see if that jump-starts the sales.

No. 3: I have continued my quest for smaller, cheaper items to sell. The $10 purses have gone like gangbusters everywhere I've set up shop. So I'll have a dozen or so of those on hand Saturday. My two newest items:

Bibs! These are super fun and easy to make, and have been road tested by one Laney Fae Royce :) (shameless baby plug here).

I've sold a few to friends, but this will be their first time on the open market. They have little pockets and snap closures, and are machine washable, which of course is a must. This is just a sample of the styles I've made -- I have 13 in all. At $8 apiece, I'm hoping people will snatch them up for baby shower gifts! (I did see similar -- though not as cute, I daresay -- bibs at Target, two for $6. But come on! Support local artisans!)

The other new item is pullover aprons:

Kind of a fuzzy photo (as always, forgive the amateur cell phone photography). These also are fun and easy to make. Love that monkey print, and the strawberries. Each one probably would fit, say, a kindergartner (pretty long) to a small adult. Could be used as a painting smock. These are $18 apiece because they use a good bit of fabric and seam binding. I was only planning to make three, but yesterday when I stopped by the all-new Sewtropolis at 48th and Chicago, I found some beautiful flowered laminate that I couldn't resist. Gotta quit buying new fabric until I sell some more stuff! I added a ruffle across the pocket on that one. Didn't get a chance to photograph it, so you'll have to come to the show to see it!

Okay, this has gone on long enough. Just making up for lost time. Anyway, hoping for a good turnout and a little ka-ching at the Fairgrounds Saturday -- 10-5 p.m. I'm in the very same spot as last year, in the Fine Arts Building; the show has also expanded to the Progress Center next door, so be sure to wander over there and see more talented people including my colleague London Nelson!

One more item: Found out Monday I'll be in the first-ever summer No Coast Craft-o-Rama, July 22 (a Sunday) at Silverwood Park in New Brighton. I hope to introduce some little dresses at that event ... more on that later!

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