Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Arts Trail

I had a stall at the Southbank Arts Trail last week-end hence all my manic midnight sewing. It took place over Saturday and Sunday in Southville Bristol and I shared a table with my friend Cath from egiraffe.


We did ok in terms of sales but there were a few things I have learnt for future events. We were in a little room downstairs and a lot of people didn't know we were there. This has happened to me before and I think I will only go to events now where my table is in the main hall. An Arts Trail is also very different to a craft market. There was so much to see and do locally. The weather was nice too so people were wandering around the venues and browsing rather than buying I think. I gave out lots of cards though and I often find that people come back to me at a later date when they need a present for someone.

Highlights of the week-end were selling a bandana bib to a lady as a present for her neighbours baby. They visited the Arts Trail the following day with the baby wearing the bib! I have to say he looked VERY cool in it too! I sold 6 little hair clip tidies to a childminder. 5 of them were for children she looked after who were going to school in September so she bought them as little leaving presents. So lovely! I also found out that one of the tooth fairy cushions I sold is destined for Australia!

We met some lovely people including Jenny and Caroline who were on the stall opposite us. Jenny designs and makes fab contemporary Cross Stitch pictures and has a lovely website called crossbitch. Caroline designed and made amazing Jubilee prints and also made cool bunting made out of vintage books.

from crossbitch website

Much excitment in these parts this week for several reasons. Firstly we had a 3 page feature on 'Dress a Girl Around the World' in Simply Homemade Magazine this month. Its issue 17. We've had a fantastic response already with lots more dresses promised. Thanks to Simply Homemade for their support.

Simply Homemade 'Dress a Girl' Feature

and the Olympic Torch came to town! It was a bit of a foggy morning yesterday hence the dark photos. This was 7am yesterday morning.

Still half asleep I think!

I'm also very excited about 'The Dress Factor' competition which is being run by The Sewing Directory, Abakhan Fabrics and Janone Sewing Machines. You submit a design for a summer inspired garment, bag or accessory using fabrics available on the Abakhan website. Five designers will be chosen to make up their designs with free fabrics from Abakhan. The winner will get a Janome Memory Craft 5900QC worth £799 and the 4 runners up will each get a £50 Abakhan vouvher. Lots more details on the Sewing Directory website.

Also wanted to share a lovely new website that Cath recomended to me during the Arts Trail. Its run by a mum who lives in the same town as me and is called Cool Kids Cookware. It sells all sorts of childrens baking items and features recipe ideas etc. You can find them on Facebook here. If you live locally they also do cake tin hire and you can take advantage of free delivery by typing NAILSEA at the checkout. I am very tempted by their dinosaur cookie cutters and measuring spoon set. Make great little presents too. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Pillowcase dresses reach Goa, India

I received this gorgeous photo yesterday. Dresses that were taken to Goa, India in March. I should be getting more photos and information soon so this is just a little teaser but I couldn't resist showing you these gorgeous girls in their dresses!!

Lots more parcels today! 15 pairs of shorts from the fabulous Pam. A massive supporter of our shorts project. She was determined we would reach our target for Uganda!

8 gorgeous pairs of shorts from Sara who tweets @SewLittleToSay

5 beautiful dresses from Lorraine who blogs at HeyBirdieDesigns

Love these fabrics. So pretty and colourful.

6 gorgeous dresses from Sarah

Just love these pink and blue dresses

More gorgeous dresses from Fiona who blogs at lovealfie

A lovely parcel from Joan who sent 2 pairs of shorts complete with the cutest little soft toys and knitted people.

and 6 dresses. All with little gifts in the pockets. Such a lovely idea!

Love this dress particularly. Such a lovely pattern and fabric.

A lovely box of dresses from the children and staff at St Marys Catholic School, Durham. Not only did they send 15 pairs of shorts and 18 dresses.They also added little notes in the pockets for the children that receive them. Brilliant idea!

Look  how pretty the dresses look on the line.

I got my little helper Sam to assist!

The school also held a fashion show using the dresses and raised a fabulous £500 for their local hospital. You can read more and see photos on the school blog here and here. Thank you everyone! Amazing effort all round!

I also received an AMAZING box of goodies from the very generous Jill who sent 59 dresses!! Yes 59. All sizes and colours and all beautiful. The sun came out again so I took the opportunity to take some more washing line photos.

Every dress has lovely little details such as pockets or bows and buttons. So pretty. Thanks Jill. Fabulous dresses.

Total is now 1517 dresses and 137 pairs of shorts.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Say Hello and Wave Goodbye

Hello to the new arrival in our house. 'Sparkles' the goldfish!

Goodbye to lots of dresses as they go off destined for new homes abroad.

200 were taken by my friend Steph to The International Aid Trust to distribute to various projects that they support in developing countries. They will feed back where they have gone at a later date and will try and provide some photos.

20 little dresses went off to Childs i Foundation destined for Uganda in the next month or so and 40 dresses were collected by a lovely lady called Sophie who is going to take them to an orphanage in Ghana. Thanks to Gwen for helping me to organise this. Another Twitter success story! You can read more about their forthcoming trip on Gwen's lovely blog here and about the charity that runs the orphanage here. Hopefully we will get some photos from their trip and I've asked if they will write about their time in Ghana when they return as I would love to know more about their experiences.

The other good news is that we finally have enough shorts for the boys in Uganda! Amazing effort. Thanks everyone. Don't worry if you are about to send shorts. It will be great to send a few extra pairs and they can all be used. They should be going off in the next week or so.

Hello to some lovely new shorts and dresses!

Jo and Annie (champion supporters of 'Dress A Girl') sent another 9 pairs of shorts and 3 dresses. All gorgeous as ever. 

The lovely Kath from SewLaLa sent another fab pair of shorts. Love this star fabric.

The very kind Mo sent more shorts too. This time 4 lovely blue pairs. Perfect!

Natasha sent 2 very pretty dresses. I love the pockets with the flower applique.

These pretty dresses came all the way from Spain thanks to the very kind Pilau and her friend Montse

These 2 gorgeous dresses were sent by Sara and James from Birdieblue. Yes men can make dresses too! Big respect to James!! You can read more on their lovely blog here

and Goodbye to sleep. I've been preparing for an Arts Trail event which means burning the midnight oil and sewing until the early hours. Lots of new stock made though which is good.

Tissue holders in my lovely new display holder that I found yesterday in Store 21.

Lots of new tooth fairy cushions. All with pockets on the back with a little poem to the tooth fairy.

About a million hair clip tidies. I never want to see another one ever again.

Some cute little owl keyrings.

Nintendo DS cases

Hundreds of bibs. I lost the will to live trying to photograph everything so just made 2 big piles of the bibs!

Toddler size

Newborn size

Bandana Bibs.

I'm exhausted!!