**The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations Amanda!**
I recently had the chance to read and review the beautiful book Sewing to Sell
, and I have to say that it is fantastic. Just go ahead and add this to your Christmas list now.
If you are a sewer then this book has you covered from every angle. But if you knit, or paint, assemble your craft in some other way, this book is still a great read and fully applicable. It is a guidebook through the maker-seller world that walks you all the way through the make-to-sell process
. It covers everything from deciding who your customer is, what your brand is, where to sell, how to advertise, staging and photography, pricing, packaging…all of it.
It’s true that this book is full of solid and helpful information for makers, but what sets it apart from the traditional maker how-to’s is that it includes sixteen different project patterns and tutorials that are copyright free and available for you to take advantage of. If you have thought to yourself, “Yeah I like to make things sometimes, but I don’t know what I would make to sell…” this book hands you sixteen projects to choose from. Actually, it doesn’t just hand them to you, it hands them to you on a silver platter. You get pattern pieces, illustrated tutorials on how to make each item, tips on packaging, marketing, and displaying each item, and precise tips on how to photograph that item to help it shine. So cool.
I chose to make the first pattern in the book, these boxy pincushions, and I love them.
As I scrolled through the patterns there were so many items that I could see myself making: tote bags, pouches, a tablet sleeve, and a modern quilt pattern to name a few. But I was drawn to the modern boxy shape of these sweet pincushions and knew that they would allow me to do exactly what I love about sewing so much in the first place: finding beautiful fabric and putting it together in a way to make it shine.
I mean, really. Liberty florals and wide stripes? These are a few of my favorite things.
I made my pincushions pretty close to the original tutorial. I was in love with the boxy design and didn’t want to change anything about it. I did sew a separate pouch half full of rice that I put at the bottom of each cushion before I stuffed it just to add a bit of weight and that crunchy factor that it seems like pincushions should have. I made fabric covered buttons with coordinating fabric scraps and tacked those on the top. They are precious.
Now, it’s time for me to admit it. I don’t have a single pincushion. Most of my pins are in the box that they came in, and my thin glass ones are in a small bowl. I can’t even tell you the amount of times I have reached for one while I’m not looking and it’s slipped under nail instead. It’s a problem.
But since I can never make up my mind I made several at once, and now there are a few different ones for me to chose from. But I have listed these four in my Etsy shop
, as it seems like the appropriate thing to do. 🙂
When I agreed to review this book I wasn’t necessarily looking for new product possibilities, although I was eager to see what options were available once I knew that patterns were included. I was, however, very interested to see someone else’s thoughts and processes regarding selling handmade. I have been doing Blues and Branches
for four years now off and on, and at the beginning most of the “process” was just me looking around at other shops and winging it. Since there is no approval process for starting an Etsy shop, no course that you have to complete first, no (major) upfront financial investment, sometimes you can get away with just doing it
and seeing what happens.
But I am always looking at ways I can do things better. How I can spend my money and time smarter, how I can use different strategies for marketing, how I can make better use of my tags or statistics, how I should evaluate my shop’s progress or lack of progress. I loved reading through Virginia’s tips, instructions, and the interviews that were included from a few other successful creative business women.
If I had any advice for a new seller, it would be to find ways to interact with other sellers like themselves, because there is always so much to learn about how to better your business. I have only recently started reading the Etsy Seller UK Blog and am kicking myself for not doing it sooner because I have gained so much in a short amount of time. I have learned about a few fairs where I can buy supplies at discounted rates, new “search and find” strategies to help connect me with my potential customers better, and a new pricing formula. I also just really like that it helps me to keep evaluating and re-evaluating what I’m doing to make sure that it is working for me.
Now, would you like one of these beautiful pincushions? Get them now, here
Would you like the pattern for these pincushions plus fifteen others? Would you like some truly helpful advice from other seasoned makers? Would you like Sewing to Sell
I was gifted a free copy of this e-book, but all opinions and thoughts are completely sincere.