welcome To The One Thimble Blog
So you’ve decided to turn your hobby/passion into a business. Congratulations!!! It’s a big step and I’m sure you’re buzzing with excitement and dreams! Maybe you’re even busy imagining how life will be, when your business is the roaring success your friends are predicting. I get it! Before my first market I’d already started planning what I was going to spend the money on when I sold out!
At this point I’m going to give you an option. If you want sunshine and rainbows and to keep dreaming about what you’ll spend your profits on, I suggest you go find another blog to read. But if you’re up for a little dash of reality mixed with some practical tips read on!
I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately, you’ll soon learn there’s lots of challenges you might not have considered before starting your business. One of the big ones, is learning to put a dollar value on your time! When you first sit down and look at how long it takes you to make an item and how much you can (or have) been selling that item for, it can get a little depressing.
One of the ways you can make the numbers look nicer, is by starting to play with Batch Production. Batch production can cut the time taken to make several of the same item, but it takes a different mind set if you’ve been used to hobby sewing. Batch production is about recognising which tasks can be done at the same time to save you time in the long run.
If you’ve been sewing for a while you’ve probably already started incorporating some batch sewing techniques into your sewing. For example you might re-arrange the pattern steps so you can visit the iron fewer times or so you can change your sewing machine feet fewer times while sewing something.
Here are some tips to save time when sewing for your handmade business:
- LOOK at the layout of your working space … Could you rearrange your furniture & supplies so you need to walk across the room fewer times?
- PLAN … Spend time at the start of each day or week, working out what you’re going to be sewing. This makes it easier to figure out what tasks can be done following each other to save time.
- RE-ORDER … Go back through the pattern steps of the patterns you commonly make and re-order the steps to make batch sewing easier. Often patterns are written for people who’re sewing one of an item at a time and in the easiest order to explain. This is not always the fastest way! It might help to make yourself a little cheat sheet with your new construction order until it becomes second nature!
- CUTTING TOOLS … Use a rotary cutter rather than scissors to cut out your fabric.
- USE LESS PINS … Use paper weights rather than pins to hold your fabric when cutting. Where possible use less (or no) pins to hold your fabric together for sewing.
- CHANGE THREAD LESS OFTEN … Try to batch your sewing so that you sew all the pieces that require the same colour thread at the same time.
- EXTRA BOBBINS … Have extra bobbins and fill several with the same colour thread that way you won’t need to stop and refill bobbins mid project.
- CUTTING OUT DAY … Have a dedicated cutting out day. I hate cutting out, but I have a friend who visits and we have a “working get together”- get our cutting out done and reward ourselves with cake!
- HANG PATTERN PIECES … Hang your pattern pieces on skirt coathangers rather than folding them then they’ll be easier to find and you won’t need to waste time straightening them before cutting.
- Prerolled hem your frills/sashes.
- If you use the same lengths of elastic/bias binding all the time why not pre-cut and put in separate jars.
Do you have any other tips to share? Comment below and I can add them to this list!
‘Bunny Bag Pattern Hack‘
Template and Instructions to adapt the Darling Daisy Bag into a Bunny Bag
Created by Lauren Wright from Molly and Mama
For Confident Beginners
Finished Size –
Bag Body approximately 7 ½” (19cm) wide, 5” (12.5cm) high and 3” (7.5cm) wide
Bag with Handle approximately 9” (23cm) high
MATERIALS REQUIRED in addition to those included in the Darling Daisy Bag pattern
- 9” (23cm) x 7” (18cm) of plain or low volume fabric for the bunny face
- 7” (18cm) x 5” (12.5cm) of outer bag fabric for the back of the bunny ears
- 7” (18cm) x 5” (12.5cm) of pale pink fabric for the inner ears (or use scraps of the lining fabric)
- Wool felt scraps in two different shades of pink (for the heart shaped nose / two round cheeks)
- Fusible heat bonding web for appliqué (like Vliesofix)
- Embroidery needle and six stranded floss to match your felt colours, plus floss for the eyes
- Tracing paper or thin non-waxy lunch wrap paper
- Press cloth or fabric scrap
- General sewing supplies
- Print out of the Bunny Hack template (click to download the PDF template) ->Bunny-Bag-Pattern-Hack
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
This pattern hack is an additional adaptation to the Darling Daisy Bag. You’ll need the Darling Daisy Bag PDF pattern for complete instructions and the full template. You can purchase the pattern in the Molly and Mama store – http://www.mollyandmama.etsy.com or you might already have it as part of One Thimble Issue 12. Be sure to read the pattern from beginning to end before starting. This pattern is perfect for confident beginners. You will learn how to add a bunny face onto the Darling Daisy Bag to create a cute Easter gift.
The felt appliqué shapes on the bunny bag are secured with running stitch. Use back stitch for the embroidered mouth and eyes.
Print The Pattern
Print your Bunny Bag template in full size without any scaling or cropping. After printing, ensure the bunny bag shape has printed at the same size at the Darling Daisy Bag shape.
Cut Out the Bag
Use the instructions in the Darling Daisy Bag to cut out and prepare all of your bag pieces. The only change to the pattern is that one of the outer bag pieces will become the bunny face of the bag. Use a plain or low volume fabric for this piece and secure fusible fleece to the wrong side.
Put the bag pieces aside for now, so we can concentrate on making the bunny face.
LET’S GET STITCHING
Use the bunny bag template to cut out one bag side (from plain or low volume fabric) and one piece of fusible fleece. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the fabric. This will be referred to as the bunny face.
Trace the bunny bag template and facial details onto tracing paper. Cut out the template on the line.
Trace the cheeks and nose shapes onto the paper side of the fusible appliqué web and roughly cut around the outside of each shape.
Use a warm iron to press the fusible web onto the felt (being sure to cover the felt with a press cloth or scrap of fabric to avoid damage from the heat of the iron).
Cut out the shapes on the line and peel off the backing paper.
Use the tracing paper template placed over the bunny face to determine the placement of the cheeks and the nose. Remove the paper, cover the face with a press cloth, and iron the felt pieces in place. (Be sure the webbing side of the felt is facing the bunny face fabric).
Thread your embroidery needle with two strands of embroidery floss in a colour to match your felt. Sew around the outside edge of each shape with running stitch.
Pin the tracing paper template over the bunny face, lining up the nose shape and cheeks.
Thread your needle with two strands of pink floss. Back stitch the mouth embroidery directly through the tracing paper, being careful to follow the drawn lines exactly. Change your floss colour to light brown and then back stitch the eyes and eye lashes using the same method.
Secure your stitches well at the back and then carefully tear the tracing paper to remove it from the face. Hold the stitches as you pull, so as not to damage them. Use a needle to tease any stray bits of paper out from under the stitching, if necessary.
The completed face will look like this.
Now it’s time to make the ears! You may like to create your own template for longer ears, or ears with points. I’ve made mine short and rounded so that they don’t get in the way of any egg collecting fun to be had!
Cut out the ear template on the line. Pin the template to the inner ear and outer ear fabric and cut out two pairs of ears (each with pink or bag lining fabric for the inner ear and outer bag fabric for the outer ear).
Please note: These ears will be soft and flexible so will hang over your bag when finished. If you would prefer to have ears that are firm and stand upright, press a piece of medium weight fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the outer ear fabric before cutting out the ear shapes.
Place the pairs right sides together and pin. Sew around the outside curved edges of the ear shape, using a straight stitch and a ¼” or 5mm seam allowance. Leave the straight side on the bottom open for turning. Cut notches out of the curved tops of the ears, before turning them right side out and pressing them flat.
Place the ears side by side. Fold the inside edge of each ear over along the base (so that the edge is near the centre of the ear). Use a few small stitches to baste the fold in place. Make sure the folds are opposite on each ear!
Measure about 1” (2.5cm) in from each side of the top of the bunny face and make a mark. Place the outside edge of each ear at this mark and then pin the ear in place (so that the ear is facing down, and the raw edges of the ear line up with the raw edges of the top of the bunny face). At this stage, you may wish to angle the top of the ears so that they sit slightly sideways when in the seam. That way they’ll fall sideways away from the bunny face when the bag is complete.
Baste the ears in place using a scant 1/8” (3mm) seam allowance. Keep the ears facing down while you assemble the rest of the bag (being sure to keep them away from any seams).
Assemble the Bunny Bag
Use the instructions included in the Darling Daisy Bag pattern to sew the rest of the bag together.
Please note: When assembling the bag you will sew around the top edge of the bag. Be sure that the gap you leave in this top seam is on the back of the bag (the part of the bag that is opposite to the bunny face).
When the bag is complete, let your bunny ears flop over and then press them on an angle so that they don’t get in the way of any egg hunting and bag filling!
This pattern hack is for personal use only.
QUESTIONS AND FEEDBACK
I’d love to hear your feedback on Molly and Mama patterns. Please email Lauren at: MollyandMama@gmail.com.
And feel free to share your creations on the Molly and Mama Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/MollyandMama.
Use the hash tag #MollyandMama on Instagram – www.instagram.com/MollyandMama.
See more patterns at: http://www.MollyandMama.etsy.com.
Find lots of free tutorials and more, over on the Molly and Mama blog: www.MollyandMama.com.au.
Thank you for choosing a Molly and Mama pattern. I hope you have fun making and creating with it!
Happy sewing, Lauren x
Hi there! It’s Rachel Rossi again! If you loved the Timber! Quilt, then I’ve got a special treat for you; It’s a special little accessory to go along with your Timber! quilt that your little one is sure to love! It will take them for miles and miles of adventure without ever leaving your home: it’s a perfect little reading pillow. Complete with curious bears, singing birds, and pockets galore! This pillow not only gives you a place to lean and cozy up with your favorite book, but also a place to store your current books, pencils, bookmarks, and maybe even a few small treasures.
The Timber! quilt is perfect for anyone who loves appliqué or wants to work on their appliqué skills, be it learning or perfecting that skill. If you loved the Timber! pattern but were a little intimidated by the amount of appliqué it requires, I totally understand, but, once you see how easy it really is, you’ll be zooming your way through the pattern in no time!
Today I’ve got a raw edge appliqué tutorial for you—a full, step-by-step tutorial on how to achieve a lovely little raw edge appliqué. This is the only type of appliqué that I use in my patterns, because it is so very simple and I love the dimension and texture it adds to my quilts. If you’re an appliqué lover and want to see those patterns, be sure to check them out in my shop.
Rachel Rossi is a recent addition to the One Thimble family, bringing us the Timber! quilt pattern in Issue 14. She is a quilt designer based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with modern quilt patterns that keep the tradition of quilting alive in a new and exciting way. With fresh & fun patterns and tutorials, you’re sure to be inspired over at her blog! But first, let’s get to know her a little better…