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Introducing: Fabric of the Week

Isn’t it funny how doing something very routine or repetitive can spark the most creative thinking?

I have one of those brains that never switch off, unless I’m asleep (although sometimes I’m not sure if it even does then).  I do tend to find though that if you’re consciously trying to think of a solution to something, inspiration doesn’t necessarily strike.  On the other hand, sometimes when you’re not trying to think about it, the best ideas pop into your head.  I had one of those moments a few weeks ago.

I was focused on tidying at the time – working out how I was going to organise my fabric collection downstairs, and I believe I was actually vacuuming the lounge when the lightbulb moment occurred.

Part of my issue with keeping my fabric collection tidy has been that I tend to cut one or two things out of a piece of fabric, and then put the rest aside (or more accurately, left it on the cutting table until it was piled so high that I had to have a fit of folding if I was to cut anything else out).  Really, what I need to be doing is systematically working though that fabric.

Cue another lightbulb moment – but wait, that was me screwing in actual light bulbs so I could take product shots of the lightshades I’d just finished…

Anyway, I knew that the thought I’d had had the potential to actually totally turn around the way I run my business. And I liked the direction this should take me in.  I even did something that creatives know we’re supposed to do, but rarely ever get around to.  I wrote a business plan.

Handwritten business plan
Don’t worry, it didn’t stifle my creativity too much. I used coloured pens.

The business plan is a bit longer than what you can see here, but I can’t tell you all my secrets!

I’ve decided what I’m going to do is work on a “Fabric of the Week” production cycle. Each week, on Friday, I’ll announce what the fabric for the next week will be.  I’m planning on offering discounts for pre-ordering products between the fabric announcement and Monday lunchtime, when I’ll start cutting.  It’s going to take me a little time to get photos of all the potential items that can be made (and of course I won’t be able to take photos of products made from that week’s fabric until they are actually made), but I’ll start adding them gradually over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, here’s a taster of some of what I’ll be offering.

A collage image of products by The Sewphist - cushions, tote bags, pencil cases, coin purses, and lampshades for starters
A selection of products that will be able to be ordered each week.

I’m really excited about working this way – it means I can still keep buying in smaller lengths, meaning you still get a limited edition product – but it will also boost what I can get done in a week (rethreading the machines takes time!).  Now I just have to decide what fabric I’ll choose for next week!