xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: My Scruffy Hearts

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Scruffy Hearts


Ok, ten points for everyone who can spot the name change. Bonney at the Mill was a mangling up of words, by throwing them into a pot and stirring ‘em up a bit; once we decided we were going to start up a business we realised we would need something that was URL-able, easy-to-type-able and easy-to-rememberable. Or memorable, as pedantic types like to say.

Wait, start a business did I say? Yes, I have long been thinking in this makey year of mine, that I love the things I make. And the people I give them to seem to quite like them too.

The real hook for me has been falling in love with recycled fabrics. I do mourn the fact that I cannot have some of the gorgeous new designers’ fabrics, but charity shops yield up some amazing finds, and of course second-hand clothes are often packed to the collars and cuffs with fabulous prints.

Okay, recycled is not the only way to be environmentally friendly - there is a pioneering movement towards eco-friendly fabrics, so hoorah and big rounds of applause to the likes of Ian Mankin, Cloud 9 Fabrics, Daisy Janie, Mod Green Pod, amongst I’m sure, many others. Their fabrics and designs are very on-trend, but eco-friendly cotton production isn’t just about keeping up with the green Joneses – it’s because the production of 100% cotton garments and fabrics is way up there with the worst environmental assaults taking place on this planet. You see a label boasting 100% cotton and you think quality, but you should actually be baulking at quantity - it takes 256.6 gallons of water to product one t-shirt. 2.5% of farmland worldwide is used to grow cotton, but you know how much of the world’s pesticides are used? 10%. And 22% of the insecticides. Eeeww. That’s not pretty maths. And pesticides ain’t good – read more here at my favourite eco clothes store, Peopletree.

The only problem with organic cotton fabric, is that it can be a little pricey. Now don’t be mistaken – organic fabrics are no more expensive than many of the furnishing fabrics from famous named fabric suppliers, so next time you want curtains made, have a think about getting eco-friendly fabrics.
But as far as OriginalStitch is concerned, parting with £45 for a pegbag may smart a little. Don’t misunderstand me, it would really be a very nice pegbag, with great finishing, quirky patchworkyness and you’d be the sole owner of a unique piece of British craft, but yes, that might be a rather high price tag. (Oh, you would pay £45? Darn it you say, you’ll pay £55? Oh well I take it back! For you, special price £50.)

So for now it's sticking with charity shops, and prowling around looking out for half used furnishing and dressmaking fabrics - it's astonishing what crops up. I have found vast quantities of top quality fabrics for literally a few pounds. Three metres of some delicious floral will make it's way in some form or another into loads of products, maybe as many as 25 - you can see when you flick through the things I've made - some fabrics crop up time and again.
So listen, next time you're in a charity shop, do me a favour could you? Have a little look to see if they've got any gorgeous fabric pieces hiding away in a box, and send to me, would you?! I'll reimburse you and give you money off coupons towards a nice doorstop or pegbag or some shoepockets or a bag or a handle heart or tissue holder or some oven gloves or a nice apron or.....

...And talking of hotwater bottle covers and breezebusters, I've only gone and signed myself up for a couple of Christmas Fayres haven't I? This way I can work on my prototypes, finalise the recipes, hone the house style, and get a feel for pricing and which products will sell well. And then, you know, like, have some to sell.
At the beginning of December.
Um. Only trouble is, do I have any stock to sell?
Er.
Not as such, exactly...
Like, not a sausage. Not even a knitted sausage. I've just been making one gift per birthday. And that, if you have been following my rants, has not always been at all easy to achieve.
When I asked the husb, who is a good businessman, how much he reckoned I needed, he said, take 12 big things like bags or shoe pockets, and 60 small and medium sized things, like pencil rolls, doorstops, pegbags, pencil cases, hearts and stuff. Something for Mum, somethings for the kids and something for Gran, he said.
So that, by my maths is 72 things.

In 2 months.

In 4 mornings a week free time. At a rate of, at best, 1 thing a morning.

Sensible aren't I?! My heart might be in it, but I'm wondering if my head is. Still, where my scruffy hearts lead, my head will just have to follow.

1 comment:

whitemorn said...

OH boy! I'm hooked! your blog and ideas are so ME and my thinking. I am saving you to my bloglist. Later today I am going to treat myself to browsing for hours on you older posts.Don't you just love it when you find a kindred spirit who is reading from your own hymn sheet?...Cheers...Pam at White O'Morn Cottage.