Grab @ItsSewSimple Freebies at @HandMadeFair

@ItsSewSimple freebies

This September, @ItsSewSimple will be exhibiting at The Hand Made Fair at the Hampton Court Palace. The Handmade Fair brings together inspiring craft making with Kirstie Allsopp’s best designers and artisans, teaching and selling craft products and beautifully designed handmade wares. You can see my work on their website, click the shopping link on:


I am very busy preparing for the exhibition. I finish teaching in 3 weeks, so will spend the summer developing the website and making products to sell at the show. I was recently asked by the marketing team to produce some freebies; vouchers will be given when you purchase a ticket for the show. I considered and deliberated, thinking of ideas I would need to make; anything from 10-100 products for free, something quick and easy to make.

I also thought the Hand Made Fair needed to be my brief, make something that like-minded people would enjoy. So, I decided on embroidered key chains. When I design, I like to ask others opinion where ever possible. My original chains were too big and I changed the shape from circular to rectangle. A first idea was to embroider initials. This wasn’t ideal because I might not have a design idea somebody would like. So, I changed the design to writing;

For example, I love, sewing, craft, knitting, crafting and crochet. Something for everyone which linked to the theme.

I did choose a very simple product, but came to recognise that sometimes the simplest of products can be very complicated when you are making several of the same things. I had my own little production line going on in no time. However, I was the only one in the production line!


I started out by cutting out 60 rectangles in a variety of printed fabrics. Then I started to draw the embroidery on the computerised embroidery machine. This was completed on the machine software as I wanted a heart shape, rather than the word ‘love.’ I used the disk to transfer (pe-design software) the image to the machine. I could embroidery 6 on one larger square of fabric using the large embroidery hoop. Whilst this was going on, I continued to cut out rectangles for the background.

I initially wanted to sew my label to the back of the key-fob. This however was not easy to line up with the front, so I used the label as the hook instead. I soon discovered that there would be several stages, each step that would need to be carefully planned and all would take some time to produce …


The stages of making are;

Step 1: embroider printed fabric
Step 2: bonder-web printed/embroidered fabric
Step 3: Cut rectangles out embroidered fabric
Step 4: cut out felt rectangles
Step 5: heat press 2 shapes together
Step 6: place 2 shapes together, adding label to centre of top edge and sew around inner shape with a running stitch, starting at the label.
Step 7: pinking shears the edge
Step 8: attach button to silver key chain
Step 9: attach silver key chain to fabric fob.


I made these items in batches of 30. As I completed the first batch, I started to work a lot quicker and cut out more. I never started out with a total quantity, but as I progressed managed to make a total of 100 freebies/items. I have signed an agreement to give 60 away for free, so I have another 40 that I can also sell on the stand. I have never really make anything with the real urge to sell them. I make things to show examples of what can be achieved and for the pure enjoyment and challenge of making new things.

That’s how Its Sew Simple came about. Luckily for me, people love the fabrics I chose and the product ranges I make, so products have become very popular. My business intentions are to teach privately, and to make-to-sell very special handmade gifts. I want to use the Hand Made Fair as a launch pad, for people to see my work and to attract people to my sewing classes, classes that will start in the September 2015.

So, log on to the Handmade fair website and get your tickets now. – grab one of my freebies!

Don’t forget to follow @ItsSewSimple!