Sunday, 29 March 2009

The fruits of creativity.

I wrote an earlier post about the creative process, here's the doll I talked about for Widget. I was originally going to put a gathered bag underneath the skirt, but she decided she just wanted a doll.

The advantages of a big fabric stash, that's raspberry slush minkee at the front.

It has to have wings, and the hat is because handsewing hair is painful.
Getting a hug (and it can't be lost!).

Being used!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Very Clever

This is such an astute use of SEO and the internet I've got to tell everyone about it! Huggalugs leg huggers are running a promotion where you get free leg warmers if you comment about them in a blog or forum. Now I only have a basic understanding of the net and marketing, but you've got several things happening here.

Firstly you have the direct impact of lots of Mums saying how wonderful these leg warmers are. Even if people know it is for a competition it has a psychological impact, plus if people think about it they know you wouldn't want something crap even if it was free (I hope!).

Secondly you have the word of mouth when they give the leg warmers out and people start wearing them, so they're seen by a wider community than just the web.

Third, you're going to swamp the search engines. While everyone is saying good things about huggalugs leg huggers in order to get them for free, every time someone googles "baby leg warmers" guess what is going to come up?

What a very clever marketing strategy. Now isn't it lucky that I really like Huggalugs leg huggers? I have several pairs that I use for my girls and they are brilliant. They are great to protect my crawler's knees, to throw in the change bag and they are soooo cute. And if you'd like to get some for free I'll let you know, unfortunately I need an email address. So PM Dash at either Nappycino or the ABA!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

The Creative Process

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, especially designing the new side snaps, but I thought I'd use a non-nappy example.

Step 1: The Problem
It has been driving us mad for months that Widget will come up to us and grab our shorts or shirt, standing right on top of us and pulling our clothes. Or she will do it when you're trying to walk. It doesn't sound like much, but try it for a bit!

Step 2: Define it a bit
I've been watching her, it's not just pulling on our clothes but rubbing the material between her fingers, she does it to her own clothes, dolls, the couch cover, anything around her. She will keep doing it to the point of not being able to carry things or hold my hand because both hands are occupied rolling the material back and forth.

Step 3: Basic solutions
Give her something to play with! But that won't work, she already has various bits of fabric, doll wraps etc, plus she'd lose them when we go out. Obviously clothes are convenient.

Step 4: Start brainstorming the little problems one by one.
Comparisons: have several different fabrics joined together.

  • Patchwork
  • Mola (sp?) - I don't think this would rub very well, and it would be too thick.
  • She loves the free-form embroidery writing.

Rubbing: need to have floating bits for her to rub

  • Taggies
  • Ribbons
  • Butterfly/Fairy wings
  • Skirts
  • Arms, legs, hair

Losing it: needs to attach to her somehow

  • She loves bags.
  • Around the neck
  • Clip or snap to clothes

Step 5: Start putting complex solutions together
OK, I think something around the neck is best, so arms of some sort. Hugging? ooh, that could be a fairy. And she could have a great skirt made of all the pieces!

Step 6: Practicalities
So what would the bottom look like?
Would it have legs?
What will I make it out of?
How will I make it?
The answer to most of these comes from experience - I've made dolls before, so how did I make them. What materials do I already have that I could make it out of.

Step 7: Making it sale-able
Most ideas stop at step 6 and move into production/testing. There are many things I make for my girls that I don't try to sell in my store! Generally things like clothes, hair accessories, toys. If I was going to take this one further I would have to look at extending it because it's very specific.
What is my age group/market?
How broad is the market?
How would I make something that would appeal to a boy?
Could it multi-task? I mean, how many parents would buy a really specific toy like that?
Are there any safety considerations?

Testing and Production
Or maybe that should be the other way around. I find the first time I make things there is a lot of fiddling, drawing, changing of ideas half way through, ...
That's a whole other story!

Thursday, 12 March 2009


Don't you hate it when you get all enthusiastic and ready to work and then can't? FIL is extremely ill and has been given weeks to live so we will be spending a lot of time visiting interstate. Don't get me wrong, he is a lovely person and I'm extremely upset, but that's exactly when I like to get into the sewing room and shut the door. It's wonderful to visit people in general (obviously not in these circumstances) and have the girls see all their relatives, but I hate not being in my own house.

I got one of the side snap versions done for Midget before we left so she is currently testing it. It's fitting well so far, plus it fits Widget who's three and a half. And a good friend is due any day now, I might have to borrow her little one ... I cut out another as well but didn't get a chance to sew, this one is top-stitched. I love top-stitching and want to get this one to work, but I have a terrible feeling it will wick. So we'll see next time I get to sew.

And I don't even have my normal list of ideas here to add to! So:

  • Cat silhouette on the purple minkee (girly)
  • Snow leopard with paw print.
  • Leopard face
  • Ribbon nappy
  • Spiral around shorts (boy)
  • Play capes for boys (and girls, but there's not much out there for boys!)
  • Kimono/Tie vest

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Just because she's gorgeous!

These are of my little girl in the reverse dyed set I made for her. The nappy has a heart tie-dye design, and the same fabric was used to reverse applique the shirt (it seemed appropriate).

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


So now I have most of the re-organisation done and I have a survey up. It's interesting seeing people's responses so far, looks like the side snap design I gave up on the started again then put aside will be starting again.

It's amazing what you can find on the internet, this site allows you to set up a professionally formatted survey and does the analysis for you. All you have to do is not make mistakes with your questions (like I did, but it was easily fixed). It's good to know what people think, rather than guessing. In fact how else can you run a business?