29 Jun 2016

My Top 5 Fabric Shops

A few days ago I posted a blog about ways to find fabric for very little money ( Bargain Fabric) for today's blog I want to share my favourite 5 fabric shops. They are more expensive but great if your look for specific fabric or something special for a project. 


1. Bury Market - I love to buy my fabric from Bury Market the stall I shop at is called Fantasy Fabrics. There is a really wide range of fabrics so you are bound to find something you love.


2. Abakhan - This is another one of my favourite fabric shops, they sell off cuts from different manufactures as well as sewing notions. The fabric is sold by weight so if you are buy something heavy weight like Denim or Upholstery it can be expensive but Dress Fabrics and Cottons you can get a lot for your money. 

3. Ebay - Ebay is great for scraps you can buy other peoples scrap fabrics which are good if you are a quilter.

4. Fabric Land - I only recently found out about this shop when I bought some interfacing from them. They are really good value for money.

5. Hobkirk - I bought my sewing machine from them last year and they were really helpful. They also sell fabric and sewing notions, so if you are a beginner I would recommend them as you can ask as many questions as you need to. 

Hope This Helps!

D'Atra Paris
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27 Jun 2016

Bargain Fabric

Fabric can be really expensive, I have put together a few ideas of how you can find fabric for very little money. 



Duvet Covers -  If your find a duvet cover that you like it can be easily cut up and used for your project. I recently reupholstered  a chair using a duvet cover. 

Off Cuts - most fabric stores have a section or a bin where you can buy remnants of fabric, you can get lucky sometimes and find a relatively big piece. 

Old Clothes - Old clothes are great for projects, if you have an old pair of jeans you can cut them up and you have some denim which you can use in a project. 

Table Cloths - Look around in £1 shops for cotton table clothes I found some in Poundland for 50p each. They are great for small projects. 

Charity Shops - Charity shops are great if your looking for more expensive fabrics ie. Leather you can find old coats which you can cut up and use. 

Hope This Helps!

D'Atra Paris 
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20 Jun 2016

Beat The Summer Slow Down

Hi Everyone!!

If you have an online shop you may notice that during the Summer months your sales decrease. 
This is because of a number of reasons, if the weather is nice people want to go out and do things not sit in and shop, it could be because the stock you sell is not summer appropriate for example, Winter clothes. 
Whatever the reason I have put together a few tips to get you and your business through the Summer Slow Down. 





  • Work on your Blog/Website - This is one of the main things that I do when business is slow. I batch write Blogs and schedule them.  Need some inspiration?! (20 Blog Ideas).

  • Re-Brand - Re Branding your business takes a lot of time and planning so why not do it when your not as busy.

  • Work on product descriptions - If your like me and have 100+ listings this can be so time consuming, but can make a big impact on your sales. Reformat your descriptions or add any new information to them.

  • Re Photograph - Now you have updated descriptions the next step is to update your photography. I do this every single summer, and its the perfect time as you will get the most natural daylight and can take some stunning pictures. 

  • Housekeeping - Freshen up your office, sort through your stock, tackle that job you have been meaning to do.

  • Books/Accounts - This has to be the worst part about running an online business, I find the best thing is just to get it over with. Schedule in a week to do your book keeping or  you could do a month a day to break it down into manageable chunks. 

  • Restock - I make all my stock so when i have some quiet time I like to work on new products or restock any old products I have sold.

  • Social Media - Increase your usage of social media throughout the summer, this may help to keep your sales from decreasing, as well as social media you could have a sale on your shop. This will entice people in from your social media.

  • Business Review - I do this about 4 times a year but you could set a goal to do it once a year during the summer. look back over your business and make a note of you top/worst sellers, best/worst moments, and see what you could improve on. 

  • Prepare Christmas Stock - I like to have my Christmas stock up and selling by October which means I have to start planning and creating by the end of August.

  • Start a mailing list - promote sales by emailing your customers with special offers for a limited time this will encourage them to purchase from you. They get a bargain and you get a sale. 

  • Positive - My final tip is to stay positive i know that is easier said than done but if you follow some of my tips the Summer Slow Down will fly by and you'll be prepared for the busy times ahead. 

Hope This Helps!

D'Atra Paris 
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13 Jun 2016

DIY Sewing Kit - Fathers Day Gift Idea

Hi Everyone! 



Fathers Day is next weekend and I thought this would be a great gift idea.  If you live near The Range they have an inexpensive craft section when you can pick up some cardboard boxes in all different shapes for £1. If you are unable to get hold of one then any box will do as long as it is small. 


Things You Will Need!



PVA Glue 
Cardboard Box
Decorative Papers 
A Piece Of Fabric 
Toy Stuffing 

Step 1. Mix some PVA Glue with water to make a paste, cut up your strips of paper and beginning sticking them to the lid. I wanted to add a pin cushion to the top of mine so i got one with a hole in it but you can skip that step if you want to. 




Step 2. Once you have done your lid do the same to the lower part of your box. Coat the whole thing in a layer of PVA and leave to dry.


Step 3. Once the box is dry place your fabric over the lid and stuff it with toy stuffing this will form your pin cushion, secure it with glue. The box I used came with a piece of cardboard that I used to cover the base of the pin cushion. 




Step 4. Add any finishing touches, I added some ribbon to the lid and the box but you can add beads or sequins. Finish by adding a Sewing Kit you can pick these up from Asda for very little money. 



Hope you enjoy this tutorial. If you give it a try let me know!

D'Atra Paris
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10 Jun 2016

Simple DIY Napkins

Hi Everyone!




Its picnic, days out and barbecue season. So for today's blog I have put together a simple DIY blog to make Napkins. You can be as fancy or as simple as you want and you can customise them to suit your individual needs and personality. I used a piece of scrap fabric to show you the steps on how to make them but you can make yours smaller or larger. 

What you will need:



Thread
Iron
Sewing Machine 
Fabric (any size)
Pins 
Cup of coffee (optional)


Step One: Iron your fabric flat to remove and creases, then work your way round your fabric folding in the edges to hide the raw edge. 




Step Two: I have done mitered corners on my napkin to do this fold in the point of the corner then fold in the folded edges, iron and pin in place. This makes the corners of the Napkin look really professional. 




Step Three: Sew around the edges of the Napkin and iron to set. Repeat the same process if your making a set. (for extra detail I went round the edges twice in two different shades of blue.(



Let me know if you give it a try!

D'Atra Paris 
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8 Jun 2016

Packaging Basics

I Love it when your order something from an Etsy shop and you receive your item wrapped in beautiful packaging. I thought I would share with you what my packaging is like for my items, and give you some tips that you may find useful. 



1. Envelope/ Kraft Paper - I use Pink envelopes to post my items in, they are easy to seal and strong which mean my items will be safe in the post. There are other colours available so you can match them to your branding. Another alternative is Kraft paper, I use this if I am sending larger items that wont fit in my envelopes. 

2. Tissue Paper/ Bubble Wrap - I wrap my items in white tissue paper, this adds and extra layer of projection and a  luxurious feel when the customer opens the package. I occasionally use bubble wrap if the item is fragile. 

3. Returns Label - I add a returns label to the back of my packages, in case they get lost more often than not they will be returned to the address on the label, then you can resend them. 

4. Gift Tag - I handmade gift tags and attach them to my parcels,  I stamp a To/From on the back in case the item is a gift. Like I said I make my own but you can buy them already done or you can make your own too. 


5. Sticker - I also make my own stickers that I put on the tissue paper, just as a little embellishment. you don't have to do this but it helps to reinforce your brand. 

6. Compliment Slip - I add a compliment slip to my parcels, just to say thanks for their purchase and how they can contact me if there is any problems, it also has links to where they can find me if they would like to purchase again in the future. 



Hope this gives you some inspiration, also if you look at packaging ideas on Pintrest there is lots more ideas for you to look at. 

D'Atra Paris
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6 Jun 2016

Finished Crafts

Hi Everyone!! 

I have been busy sewing recently so I thought I would share my finished items. 

Tunics 

As I work from home it can get very warm in my office during the summer so I have made some loose fitting Tunics, teamed with leggings they are really practical and comfortable to work in. 






Maxi Dress 

I recently finished this maxi dress, as I am tall I find it difficult to find Maxi dresses that are the right length so I decided to make my own. 


Top

I went to Africa when I was younger and i purchased a piece of fabric I have had it sitting in my stash for years and I finally made a top which I could use the fabric. 



Chair 

I purchased a chair of eBay a couple of months ago and I have recovered it, it fits in really well with my redecorated office (Blog Coming Soon).

Before
After



D'Atra Paris 
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3 Jun 2016

DIY Felt Rose

Hi Everyone!



I am in love with these Felt Roses so for today's blog I thought you'd like to see how I make them and then you can make your own. 
They can be made into brooches, key-rings, jewelry or even used to embellish gifts and cards. 

Things You Will Need!!


Glue Gun
Scissors
CD
2 Pieces of Felt 


Step 1. Cut a circle out of your chosen colour of felt (this piece will be your rose). I trace round an old CD, but you can cut a larger circle for a larger rose. 


Step 2. Cut the edged of the circle into a curve and work your way into the center of the circle. 



Step 3. Add a dot of glue to the narrow end of your piece of felt and begin to roll it up. 




Step 4. When you get to the end secure the base with glue and leave to dry. You can finish your rose here if you like or add some leaves.



Step 5. Cut out 2 leaf shapes out of some green felt and fix them to the back of your rose with some glue. You can then add a hair grip, brooch pin, or a key ring, the choice is yours.




I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, let me know if you give it a try. 

D'Atra Paris 
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1 Jun 2016

Get Ready For Summer: Handmade Heywood

Hi Everyone!! 

It's June!! Summer time is upon us which means it is time to get ready for the Holiday and Festival Season. To help you on your way I have launched my Summer range in my shop; Handmade Heywood. 


Passport Covers 


Travel Wallets 


Cutlery Rolls


Accessory Pouches 


See something you like? Throughout June all Handmade items in my shop are on sale. Buy 2 get 1 free. 

D'Atra Paris 
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