a few more recent items…

i love breathing new life into old objects and repurposing articles of clothing into a fresh, new style.  right now i’m working on a bunch of t-shirts —-> dresses.  i’ve got a range of styles and sizes.  these would be SO AMAZING for college game day made with the school of your choice.  contact me to order!  knitknotgumdrop@gmail.com

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what i’ve been working on lately

time to play catch up.  if you follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and etsy you’ve probably seen some of these, but, believe me, they’re worth a second look.  

Smartphone wallets:  $22 each

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Dresses

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this is just a brief sample of what i’m working on.  there is more in stock and much more to come.  

SAMPLE SALE: updated sold items

allrighty, folks.  it’s time to clear out some inventory so i’m offering these items at a huge markdown.  some of these items are samples i’ve made as i’ve tweaked product ideas, some are just items i’ve had hanging around too long.  some have slight imperfections, some are perfectly crafted and just need to find a new home.  i’ll do my best to describe them here.  to order, please comment on my Facebook page under the Sample Sale post, stating the word “SOLD” with the item you are buying and your email address for an invoice.

Below you will find each item offered.  the price listed INCLUDES shipping (domestic shipping only…sorry, international folks, i’ll have to add a bit of a fee if you want something shipped to you) so the price you see is the price you pay.

Ready?  here we go….

Item 1: Hobo Bag  $22 SOLD

Cotton Twill navy blue chevron exterior.  Interior fabric is the white woven cotton with pink and orange sort of Indian tile print.  Adjustable strap so bag can be worn cross body or over the shoulder.  Front pocket for easy access to phone or keys.  Recessed zipper across top of bag.  Interior zippered pocket.  Bag is lined with interfacing for stability and durability.  MEASUREMENTS:
strap is adjustable from 28″ to 44″. bag is 12″ deep, opening of bag is 10″ across, bag is 14″ wide at widest point.

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Item 2: Messenger Bag $22 SOLD

This bag is an early version of the deluxe messenger bag i offer now but it is a bit smaller in size and lacks the additional layers of canvas and interfacing that add durability and structure.  Exterior fabric is cotton twill in a navy/white chevron.  Interior fabric is a floral fabric purchased at IKEA.  there are two zippered pockets on this bag (one inside, one under the flap) and the flap closes with a magnetic snap.  strap is adjustable so it can be worn cross body or over the shoulder.

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Item 3: Pink/Gray Tablet Sleeve $22

if you’re like me you frequently travel with your iPad. I have the Smart Cover on it but worry that it needs a little extra protection when I plop it in my carry-on bag. this item is also great for students who cram their iPads in backpacks. and it is perfect for the rest of us who just want to make sure our iPads know that they are safe and loved.

made with high quality, durable designer fabrics, attention to detail, and loving energy throughout the item’s creation.

item listed was made using a bold gray cotton twill fabric with a pink and white Ikat-inspired design, partnered with a dramatic hot-pink and white damask woven cotton.

product is fully lined in a coordinating woven cotton fabric, and is also internally padded with cotton batting for extra protection and durability. exterior fabric is durable as well as stylish and whimsical. flap closure conceals entire opening to ensure your tablet won’t slide out and it fastens securely with a large colorful button and elastic loop.

Measurements
interior dimensions: 9.75″ x 7.5″
exterior dimensions, with flap closed: 10.5″ x 8″

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Item 4: Green/Animal Tablet Sleeve $22

made with high quality, durable designer fabrics, attention to detail, and loving energy throughout the item’s creation.

item listed was made using bold green/natural chevron in a cotton twill fabric, partnered with a whimsical menagerie of colorful animals printed on woven cotton.

product is fully lined in a coordinating woven cotton fabric, and is also internally padded with cotton batting and a layer of canvas for extra protection and durability. exterior fabric is durable as well as stylish and whimsical. flap closure conceals entire opening to ensure your tablet won’t slide out and it fastens securely with a large colorful button and elastic loop.

Measurements
interior dimensions: 9.75″ x 7.5″
exterior dimensions, with flap closed: 10.5″ x 8″

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Item 5: Pink Bike Tablet Sleeve $30 SOLD

Tablet sleeve, fits iPad 2, original iPad, or similarly sized tablet.  fully lined and padded for durability. Magnetic snap closure.  Made of top quality Japanese Imported cotton-linen blend designer fabric.

Measurements
interior dimensions: 9.75″ x 7.5″
exterior dimensions, with flap closed: 10.5″ x 8″

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Item 6: Lemon Tote/Pouch Set $30  SOLD

Two piece set features a tote bag with external pocket and recessed zipper top.

Exterior of the bag is a navy and white cotton twill material. interior is a woven cotton print of bright yellow lemons. there is a hidden layer of fusible fleece between the layers to add stability and durability.

Tote bag measures 13″ across at the top and closes with a recessed zipper. it is 10″ deep and has a boxed bottom so it can stand up when filled. Interior pocket holds your keys and cell phone so they don’t get lost in the bottom of your bag. An exterior pocket on the front of the bag holds items you need easy access to.

Lemony yellow cotton webbing straps are soft on your hands and shoulders, yet strong and durable. Straps measure 18″ long.

This tote is perfect for kids’ gear for day care, a diaper bag, a library bag, or general use carry-all. The zippered pouch is great for cosmetics, medication, snacks, small, or even crayons for your kiddo.

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Item 7: 12-18 month Tank Dress $10 SOLD

White Old Navy tank top in 12-18 month size with attached Day of the Dead skull skirt.  hot pink sash is sewn on and ties in back.  (please excuse the wrinkles; i’ll iron it before shipping)

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Item 8: Eyelet Dress 2T $20

White eyelet dress with short sleeves.  fully lined.  aqua trim at waist and sleeves.  aqua buttons close the back of the dress.

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Item 9: Floral Candy Dress 4T  $20

Size 4T dress.  Sweet floral print, lined bodice.  Knit cotton ruffle trim and flower accent add a sweet flair.  Invisible zipper on back of dress.

I have listed this item as a 4T but, as you know, children come in all shapes and sizes so please follow the measurements listed below to determine if this dress will fit your child.

Measurements:
back of neck to hem: 23″
arm openings: 5″
chest circumference: 22.5″

body of dress is made of woven cotton fabric, ruffled hem is a knit cotton jersey material. all fabric has been pre-washed in Free & Clear detergent and dried with medium heat to combat shrinkage.

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Item 10: Floral Dress 3T-4T $20

Made using fun floral fabric from Ikea and a contrasting navy blue polka dot material.  Invisible zipper closure on back.

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Item 11: Belle Dress $20

Made of woven cotton in a vibrant pink paisley pattern with a solid pink ruffle. Interior of the bodice is fully lined with white woven cotton fabric. All seams have been professionally sewed and serged for durability. Back of dress closes with a small pink button.

This dress fits approximately 4T-5T size. I do not use a commercial pattern so sizes are an estimate.

Hanging measurements are as follows:
Shoulder to hem: 25 inches
Bust: 22 inches
Arm hole: 5.5 inches

All fabrics have been prewashed using Free&Clear detergent and dried on medium heat to combat shrinkage.

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Item 12: Hostess Apron $15 SOLD

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Domestic Diva or a Domestic disaster, this chic apron has got you covered in the kitchen with style. Whether you’re entertaining a crowd or just feeding your brood, you know you will be looking stylish.

This colorful apron is made of cheerful flowered fabric that will brighten even the darkest day. Main panel of the skirt has orange, red, and yellow flowers. The ruffle, ties, and pocket are made from a bright yellow fabric with a design of simple waving leaves.

Made of woven cotton that has been prewashed in Free&Clear detergent and dried on medium heat to combat shrinkage.

All seams are professionally serged and topstitched with meticulous attention to detail.

Finished apron is 19″ long from waistband to hem. Apron strings are 68″ long. One size fits all.

Machine wash warm, tumble dry. Warm iron if needed.

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Item 13: Sugar Skull Skirt 2T-3T $10 SOLD

I love Dia de los Muertos; the traditions, the artistry, the imagery…everything. Celebrate the holiday all year round with this sweet skirt.

Woven cotton fabric features brightly colored calaveras, or sugar skulls, typically associated with the Dia de los Muertos holiday. The waistband and ruffled hem are a rich emerald-turquoise cotton perfectly matched to the green-blue skull.

This skirt is versatile. Your girl can wear it with a tank top or t-shirt this summer, then pair it with leggings and long sleeves when the weather turns colder. Coordinating t-shirts and tank tops are available through custom order.

I have this skirt listed as 2T-3T, but of course kiddos come in all shapes and sizes at different ages. Please measure your child’s waist for a more accurate size. Elastic waistband of this skirt measures 20″ and stretches to approximately 23″. Waist to hem measurement is 10.5″ so it will fit a wide range of sizes and endure a lot of love as your girl grows.

All seams are professionally serged and topstitched with meticulous attention to detail.

All fabrics have been prewashed with Free&Clear laundry detergent and dried on medium heat to prevent shrinkage.

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lately, in the studio…

sewing, i can do.  blogging, not so much, especially when my mind and body want to be outside enjoying the bright June weather.  but here are a few pics of the lovelies i’ve been working on lately, all of which are perfect for the warm, lazy, summer months:

***for custom inquiries or to order, please email me at knitknotgumdrop@gmail.com or visit me on Facebook at fb.me/knitknotgumdrop  i’m working on getting ready-to-ship stuff up in my etsy store, but it is easiest to contact me directly for custom orders.***

laminated zip pouches.  interior lining wipes down easily for clean-up, and prevents wet spills (think sunblock and bug spray) from getting all over the contents of your beach bag or tote.  Image

sweet summer sun dresses in a variety of styles, sizes, and fabrics. 

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a pair of cute shorts for a pair of cute brothers.  matching outfits are perfect for family gatherings.  i can also do coordinating dress/short sets for brother sister pairs.  

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smartphone wallets in a variety of fabrics.  this small wallet is perfect for the times when you don’t want to take your entire purse; it fits your phone in an expandable pocket, and has two slot pockets for a bit of cash, your debit card, and driver’s license.  there’s a swivel clasp to hook it to your keys for an all-in-one, ready-to-go, make-your-life easy wallet.  toss it in your beach bag, gym bag, diaper bag, or backpack, or use it on its own when you’re doing quick errands or kid drop-offs.  Imageclutches.  perfect for date night, girls’ night, summer weddings, and daily use.  stash your phone, your lip gloss, your cash, your cards, and step out in style.   i have dozens of fabric choices to customize a clutch for a specific occasion or to suit your personal panache.  Image

currently in the shop: dress edition

**all of these dresses are available for purchase in my etsy shop.   https://www.etsy.com/shop/KnitKnotGumdrop  **

 

 

size 3T.  $45

This dress is a real stunner.  It is perfect for casual summer wear but the full skirt and classic navy and white color combo make this dress suitable for fancier occasions as well.  The navy blue and white fabrics are crisp and clean, pairing classic toile with trendy chevron and whimsical dots.  Shoulder ties allow for flexible fit, buttons on back add a perfect finishing touch.

Circumference at chest is 22″, length from top of back to bottom of hem is 18″.

all seams are serged for a professional finish.

Fabrics have been prewashed using Free & Clear detergent and dried on medium heat to prevent shrinkage.

this specific dress is Ready to Ship. other dresses may be able to be custom ordered in other sizes if needed depending on the availability of fabric

bluebird3T

size 3T $35

this dress is ready for summer!

made from Designer fabric in a trendy rainbow chevron pattern. the trim and straps are a warm, buttery yellow.

size 3T. bodice circumference is 22″ unstretched, but can expand to about 26″ if needed. straps are adjustable for a comfortable fit. dress length from top trim of bodice to hem is 20″.

all seams are serged and meticulously top stitched for a professional finish.

fabrics have been washed using free & clear detergent and dried on medium heat to protect shrinkage.

this specific dress is Ready to Ship. other dresses may be able to be custom ordered in other sizes if needed depending on the availability of fabric

chevronshirred

size 5T. $42

sweet and strappy sundress, perfect for summer weather.

bodice and hem of dress are made using Riley Blake chevron fabric in hot pink. skirt and straps feature a whimsical print depicting a vintage circus.

bodice has button closure on back, and the adjustable straps have knotted ends. straps can be worn criss-crossed or straight over the shoulders.

all seams are serged and meticulously top stitched for a professional finish.

fabrics have been prewashed using Free and Clear detergent and dried with medium heat to prevent shrinkage.

this specific dress is Ready to Ship. other dresses may be able to be custom ordered in other sizes if needed depending on the availability of fabric

circusdress1size 3T. $35

Sweet dress with fun fox print and flutter sleeves. this dress has a fully lined bodice and button closure on back. the delicate flutter sleeves have a zigzag hem on the edge which will fray slightly with wear and wash to add a touch of vintage appeal. the gathered skirt allows for extra twirl.

all seams are professionally serged and top stitched for a detailed finish.

woven cotton has been prewashed with Free and Clear detergent and dried to prevent shrinkage.

machine wash and dry, warm iron when needed.

this specific dress is Ready to Ship. other dresses may be able to be custom ordered in other sizes if needed depending on the availability of fabric

foxyflutter1

size 4T. $36

Size 4-5T Tank dress with ruffle skirt.

The skirt is made with almost a full yard of designer fabric for extra ruffle-y fullness. waistband of skirt is shirred with elastic and sewn to the tank top. the edges of the tank’s neck and sleeves are trimmed with girly lace for extra sweet detail. the wide grosgrain ribbon sash is
removable so the dress can be worn two ways.

hems of the ruffles are finished with a serger in matching turquoise thread.

fabric and tank have been prewashed with Free and Clear detergent and dried warm to prevent shrinkage.

hedgehog1

size 4T. $42

his dress is bright and sweet, perfect for summer. red polka dot bodice is fully lined and closes in the back with a large white button. ruffled hem and trim at chest are made of coordinating red and white striped fabric. floral skirt is gathered for fullness and twirl-ability. adjustable straps tie at shoulders.

chest circumference measures 23″. length from top of chest to hem is 21″. straps are adjustable to allow for greater range of fit.

all seams are serged and topstitched for a professional finish.

all fabric has been prewashed with Free & Clear detergent and dried warm to prevent shrinkage.

strappyfloral1

size 4T $32

I love the tulips on this fabric. their geometric quality nods to mid-century Scandinavian design but this style is timeless. this dress has elastic at neckline and sleeves which allows for easy dressing and longer wear as your girl grows. this dress looks just as cute with sandals in the summer as it does with boots and leggings in the winter. the green ribbon sash is removable so the dress can be worn two ways.

this specific dress is Ready to Ship. other dresses may be able to be custom ordered in other sizes if needed depending on the availability of fabric

tulippeasant1

 

As always, i welcome custom orders!  any of these style dresses can be made using different fabrics.  i have dozens and dozens of fabric choices available, and i love to work with clients to get the fabric selections just right.

the Value of handmade

so here’s a question I hate: “what would it cost in a store?” can you guess what I’m talking about? I’m sure all crafters, artisans, and makers are familiar with this. you make something beautiful, unique, and special, you pour your own blood, sweat, and tears into it, you fret over every detail from the selection of materials to the final stitch and snip…and then, when pricing the item, you (or other well-meaning folks) ask, “well, what would I pay for this item at Target/Walmart/any other mass market?”

::needle scratches on the record::

it’s a heartbreaking question because you know that there is absolutely no comparison between your product and those churned out of overseas factories with inhumane working conditions, yet in our culture driven by consumerism of the “what can I get the fastest and cheapest” variety people don’t know how to place a value on a truly special handmade product.

so here I go, trying my best to explain what I think about when I consider the value of handmade goods. a finished product is so much more than just the mere sum of Cost of Materials Used + Cost of Labor equation that I believe many people use when determining an item’s worth. that math may hold true when items are being produced on a mass scale and the Big Corporation is concerned primarily with profit margins and amassing great fortunes, but it doesn’t work so well for the small-scale, home-based, artisan hand crafters. Corporations don’t care if their seams are crooked. Corporations don’t have a personal relationship with their customers. Corporations don’t think about the person buying each item while making it and envision that person’s joy and excitement upon receiving their order in the mail. Corporations don’t imbue their products with loving energy for the person who will use the item after it leaves their warehouse. (hint: I do, and I bet a lot of other hand-crafters and artists do too.) I don’t hate Corporations, the clothes I’m wearing right now were purchased at the Gap, but I LOVE handmade goods and I feel strongly about supporting vendors who take pride in crafting unique, special, made-with-love items.

this presents a dilemma when pricing handmade items for sale, obviously. speaking from personal experience, I find that it’s tricky to find that sweet spot between a price that will be acceptable and attractive to customers, and a price that truly reflects the hard work and special-ness of an item made by my own two hands. I know what I believe my work to be worth, but I also know, sadly, that customers will always think “well, what would I spend on a similar item at the mall?” don’t get me wrong, there are certainly tons of people who also believe in supporting the little folks, the local businesses, the handcrafters; people who understand the Value of handmade. these are the people who will support my business and other small-scale home-based artisan crafters. I know that I will never fully convert the masses who do all their shopping in the bargain bin of the warehouse store, and that’s okay. those aren’t my peeps, obvs. but for the people in the middle, the people who like handmade, unique stuff but expect it to cost what it would at the mall, those are the folks I hope to reach and teach and preach the Value of handmade.

to market, to market

about a month ago i was invited to participate in a craft fair.  i’m new to the area i’m trying to get my name out there, so, thinking that it would be a good opportunity for exposure,  i decided to go for it despite the fact that i only had about 48 hours to prepare from time i committed to the time of the event.  fortunately, i had a lot of inventory on hand; mostly dresses and onesies, and a few knit items…stuff that i’ve had listed on etsy for a while during the break i took from my shop.  i spent the two days between saying “yes” and setting up my booth in a feverish dash to get all the last little details finished up.  i built a display, ordered new hang tags, labeled my garments, crafted a banner to adorn my booth, finished seams and buttons and tags and other little things that needed to be done to get my merchandise in tip-top shape.  it was a push to get it all done, but by the morning of the show i felt ready and excited.

i arrived at the show and began to set up my booth.  there were only a few other exhibitors there.  i figured i was early.  nope.  it was just a small turnout.  it was a bust.  i tried to remain hopeful throughout the day, but there just weren’t any customers.  i received many compliments on my products and my overall display, but i didn’t have a single sale.   i left the venue feeling discouraged that afternoon, but i also feel that i learned a lot of lessons.

lesson 1: Know Your Venue.  the gal who invited me to participate told  me that it was an “arts and crafts” fair. i didn’t ask specifically what other booths there would be, but she assured me that i would be the only vendor selling kids’ clothing so i didn’t have to worry about competition.  she was right, but not only was there no competition, there was no comparison.  the majority of the other people there were third-party vendors and resellers.  there were a number of people selling goods from multi-level marketing companies (skin care, candles, purses, kitchen utensils…you get the idea), a few people reselling stuff they had purchased elsewhere (swap market-type, made in china, mass-produced goods), and only two other vendors selling actual handmade products.  it was not a craft fair, it was a vendor fair.  it’s easy to let go of disappointment when i realize that i was just not in the right venue to sell my stuff.   which brings me to my next point…

lesson 2: Know Your Market.  the vendor fair was held at a local church.  the customers who came through the fair were mostly elderly ladies.  these ladies were there to buy flameless candles, wrinkle-cream, and spatulas; they were not interested in handcrafted, one-of-a-kind little girl dresses and appliqued onesies.  again, i can’t be disappointed that i didn’t sell anything when i was clearly not among the right customer base.  those who did pass my booth were all very complimentary of my stuff, they just weren’t in the market for what i was selling, and sadly, there were just not that many customers at the fair that day.  there was no market.  this leads me to…

lesson 3: Ask Questions.  i didn’t ask the organizer enough about the event before making a commitment to participate.  in hindsight i wish i had asked her more about who the other participants would be and what were they selling so i would know if my product would be a good fit.  would this be the right venue and market for my goods? i would have asked what sort of crowd were they anticipating and if they had had success with this event in previous years.  i found out by talking with another vendor that the organizers did not publicly advertise the fair before the event – they didn’t post fliers, they didn’t place an ad in the paper, they didn’t put up signs outside the event – so it’s no surprise that there were fewer than 100 total customers during the entire 6 hours of the fair.  i went into the fair with a lot of assumptions based on fairs that i had attended before.  i didn’t ask for clarification on what to expect, so it was a bit of a bummer to realize that it wasn’t what i had hoped it would be and i felt as if i had wasted my time.

lesson 4: Try, Try, Again.  so my first foray into the local craft fair scene was a total bust but i feel confident that i learned a lot of valuable lessons that i can use moving forward.  i’m thinking of it as the dress rehearsal for the real deal.  i got to practice setting up my booth, figured out how to display my products, learned how to use my fancy-dancy iPhone credit card swiper thingy (even if it was only me practicing by charging my own credit card a dollar and then refunding it to myself), and got to experience another milestone on my journey into the world of crafting for profit.  it wasn’t a total waste of time, and i’m already signed up to attend another one in a couple weeks.

so, all in all, my first trip to market was not what i was hoping or expecting.  it was a let down for sure to not sell a single item, but i’m not letting it taint my optimism for craft fairs in the future.  this “bust” definitely helped me determine how i need to plot my course from here on out to reach the right customers and the right venues.  hopefully the next one is a good fit and i’ll have more success.  local Oklahomans can come see me in action on January 26th at the South Moore high school cafeteria at a fair to benefit the Nathan Shinn Foundation.  the rest of you can always visit me on etsy!  until then, happy crafting!

pretty fabrics make pretty things

i admit, i’m a fabric hoarder.  i just can’t help it.  the upside of my addiction is that my ever-growing stash just keeps getting prettier and i just want to sew, sew, sew to create new things.  the downside….well, other than the storage issue, there really isn’t a downside to having too much fabric.  

i finally have a couple albums posted on facebook to showcase all my fabric choices that i have in stock right now.  it’s safe to say that more awesome prints are constantly being added.  check them out here:

EXTERIOR FABRICS

INTERIOR FABRICS

please note that it is possible to use the interior fabrics as exterior fabrics with an extra layer of interfacing, but please note that they aren’t as durable as the cotton twill fabrics i typically use for exteriors.  but, if you see something that floats your boat and you want it on the outside of your item, i can make that happen.  

and if you’re not following me on facebook, please do so!  i put up coupon codes, special offers, and announcements there, so don’t miss out!