A Little More Time
Six months into life with Covid 19, the lack of large events like Bloom has meant that time I would normally spend creating lots of stock has been available to me for developing ideas that had been bubbling away for a while.
Some, like the ability to customise my handbags with the addition of an internal zip pocket, or in the case of a Clare Large Messenger bag, with a top zip, internal zip pocket and a divider, I have already mentioned here in my last blog. I finally developed the backpack design I had promised for the best part of 2 years! I’ve even created a range of hoodies and t shirts with my own Fuchsia print, available here.
But another thing I wanted to do was explore the possibility of using my floral designs on different fabrics, broadening out from handbags alone.
So I looked at a couple of different fabrics, and got a few trial prints made, so I could experiment.
First off, I wanted to try to develop a neckband. I have a couple of these useful little items, and I wanted to try to make ones using my prints.
A neckband, or snood as they are sometimes called, is a very handy little accessory to have in your wardrobe. They can be used as a type of scarf. They can be a hairband, and my Mum is taming her hair using one of these right now for that purpose. She is one of my wash and wear testers!
They can be used as a quick face covering when out shopping, and are a comfortable alternative to a face mask. They are not medical grade, nor are they designed to be, but the fabric they are made out of, a soft, peach finish 100% polyester, is a good preventative barrier, especially if doubled up. They are also very handy as face coverings if you are out on a bike or motorbike. They’ll help keep the flies out of your teeth!
I love the soft feel of the fabric, and my wash and wear testers report that they are very easy to wash and dry. The fabric emerges from the washing machine almost dry, so a quick hang on the line and they are ready to go again. They are simply tubes of fabric with one seam – either end has raw edges so there are no lumpy hems to dig in to your neck or face.
Neckband – Green Meadow
I love a slouchy, beanie hat. I have knitted them, bought crocheted ones. I’m always on the hunt for a good one.
The other fabric I got my designs printed onto was an organic cotton jersey. It is an unbleached cotton, so the base colour is a cream colour rather than a bright white, and as a result the colours in the prints appear slightly more muted than on the neckbands or my water repellent bag fabrics. The jersey doesn’t have a great deal of stretch either, so this fabric wasn’t great for neckbands.
However, it seems to make a rather nice slouchy, beanie hat. It’s double layered, so it is pretty warm. I admit it is only September right now, so my wash and wear tests with it haven’t been carried out in winter conditions! It washes and dries well. So it is looking promising. It is only a prototype right now because I am still adjusting the pattern to the fabric. There’s nothing more irritating than a hat that is too big and after a couple of wears decides the best place to be is over your eyes. But I’m optimistic that I will produce a few of these hats in the coming days.
As for the picture, it is a warning that being your own model for hats is an unwise venture. But speed was of the essence.
Both the hats and neckbands will be listed on my website very soon. In the meantime, I will have neckbands with me at Chapel Lane Market in Ennis each Saturday, or you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can sort out an order over email or phone.
Vote For Me!
In other news, I am really very excited to have been shortlisted as a Finalist in the Irish Country Magazine’s Irish Made Awards 2020. This is a HUGE honour, and I am so thrilled that my handmade handbags are in the Accessories shortlist.
Now it is up to you, lovely Sallyann’s Handmade Bag fans, to help me get through to the final. There is a public vote on now until midnight on 30 September, and you can vote once per day per email address. There are several different categories of Irish Made products, including Food, Drink, Jewellery and Gifts. I am in the Accessories section. You can find the vote page here. Please vote for me if you can, as many times as you remember! I’ll let you know how I get on.
If the neckbands prove to be a hit, which they are showing signs of being, I will be getting all my fabric designs printed on the soft, stretchy fabric, so if you really love Blue Fuchsia or Orange Daisy, they will be coming soon, I promise. I’m also in the development stages of some new colour ways for my existing fabrics, and as soon as these are available, I will get them printed on both my water repellent bag fabric and the soft stretchy neckband fabric. If you follow any of my social media feeds (I’m on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) I’ve been dropping some pretty heavy hints recently about the likely colour direction at least one of these fabrics will be taking.