Blog

5 Past & Present Students – Selling their Sewing

Mailchimp header new pic July 2020

I want to celebrate my students past and present who now make money from their sewing and sell their wares!

These amazing women are running or starting sewing businesses in the midst of the less than ideal circumstances of a global pandemic. Ranging from teens to 60’s they are using their skills, to earn extra cash as a side-hustle, to make a better life for their families and to escape the grind of corporate employment.

It’s so empowering to know that you have the valuable skills to create useful and beautiful things for others to treasure and make some money at the same time.

I’m so grateful to you all the businesses for agreeing to be a part of this article and for taking the time to answer my questions. I wish you all every success in your ventures, you are an inspiration.

Please grab a cuppa and have a read about these lovely ladies and their businesses. Click on the links to find out more about what they do and how you can purchase from them.

Remember whenever you support small businesses you are helping someone just like you. And every time you make a purchase from an independent, the maker/seller does a little happy dance! Believe me, because I do it too!

Caroline – Coocoo C’est Moi

Find Caroline:

How long have you been sewing for?

I started sewing as a child at school with a hand turn sewing machine then aged 11/12 was making my own clothes by hand sewing them together! I didn’t sew for years then started again around 6 years ago. I dug out my grandma’s old machine, bought a sewing basics book and taught myself again.

When did you start your business?

I started my business about 6 years ago. I started off buying in hats and scarves then decided that I could make things to sell. I first made brooches from felt, tea cup candles and tote bags. Then, as my confidence grew, I expanded my range to include different bags and eventually settled on using Harris tweed and leather which is what I predominantly use now.

Why did you decide to sell your sewing?

I started to build up my business during a period where I was going through a difficult time at work. It gave me something that was all mine and that I could totally control at a point where all control was being taken away from me in my full time job. Sewing was a life saver for my mental health at that time.

What is your speciality?

I specialise in bags and accessories. However I also dabble in dog wear, ladies wear and homeware.

What is your best seller?

My bestseller is my Harris tweed and leather flap cross body bag but my Harris tweed dog walking bags come a close second.

What is your favourite thing to sew?

I really enjoy sewing clothes for myself. Sewing bags is my job but sewing clothes is my favourite hobby.

Why did you come to Bagladybird Lessons? What did you learn?

I came to lessons to enhance my skills. I knew how to sew bags but clothes were a mystery including how to use patterns, take measurements etc. I needed my hand holding to increase my confidence to try new ideas.

What do you love about sewing?

I love the way sewing relaxes me most of the time. You can really let your mind wander and let it sort out in its own time all the issues of the day. I like the challenges sewing brings and I love the finished articles I can wear with proud. It also pays my bills which is a bonus. I can make my living doing what I enjoy. When we’re not in the middle of a pandemic obviously!!

Do you do any other crafts?

I knit and crochet and sell those items that I make too.

What are your business goals?

I don’t have clearly defined business goals. I don’t want to take over the world with my bags as that would take me back to the stresses of my previous career. Continuing to make enough to live comfortably and afford nice holidays every once in a while is enough for me!

Corrine – Corrine’s Nest

Find Corrine:

When did you start your business? Why did you decide to sell your sewing?

My husband was furloughed from work due to lockdown which gave me more time to sew, he works two part time jobs and really didn’t want to return to one of them so we decided he would hand his notice in. I wanted to do something to bring an income in and I love sewing so it seemed like a good next step. I’m also a photographer, but don’t do enough photography to support our family. We’d always planned to share work responsibilities so we could also share the childcare of our children.

What is your speciality?

My specialty is clothing for adults and children in linen and cotton. I don’t specify women or girls on any of my clothes as I want to be fully inclusive of everyone and think anyone should be able to wear a beautiful skirts.

What is your best seller?

I’ve just started out but my best seller so far is the meadow skirt, I have a couple myself and they are beautiful to wear.

What is your favourite thing to sew?

I love making all the things but the Children’s bubble rompers make my heart sing a bit as they are so adorable. My daughter models them for me and they are just so cute!

Why did you come to Bagladybird Lessons? What did you learn?

I came for lessons because I wanted to be able to follow patterns, which I did learn, but I also learnt lots of amazing extra bits that I didn’t expect to like learning how and why to use an overlocker. There were also lots of small tips that really helped me develop my skills.

What do you love about sewing? Do you do any other crafts?

I can knit, but I don’t very much as I haven’t got the patience! I love sewing because an outfit can come together in a day but knitting takes ages (well, it does for me!).

What are your business goals?

My main business goal is to earn enough to allow me to work from home so that my husband can keep doing the part time job he loves. We home educate our 5 younger children (my eldest has left home) and so us both being home much of the time and looking after them together is ideal for us. Lockdown showed us how much we enjoy being together and much prefer sharing the home education of our children and I love to be sewing in my little caravan in the garden and still being able to hear and see the children.

Elsie – Babe Elsie: Quirky Clobber

Find Elsie:

How long have you been sewing?

Since October 2019

When did you start your business?

November time (2019)

Why did you decide to sell your sewing?

To help me save for a car

What is your speciality?

Festival wear

What is your best seller?

The love heart co-ord

What is your favourite thing to sew?

Bikinis – as you do it all inside out so only get to see it right at the end.

Why did you come to Bagladybird Lessons? What did you learn?

I learnt how to sew from scratch as I had no experience prior to Bagladybird lessons, everything I know now is thanks to Alison

What do you love about sewing?

Relaxing and get to enjoy your own products afterwards so you feel proud of yourself.

Do you do any other crafts?

I used to enjoy making things from clay and creating earrings but don’t have time anymore due to college and my business

What are your business goals?

Businesses goals are to be able to afford the car I want through sewing however lockdown has made it hard due to festivals being cancelled.

Jayne – Bright Bag Design

Find Jayne:

How long have you been sewing for?

Since August 2018

When did you start your business?

20th June 2020

Why did you decide to sell your sewing?

I love sewing bags and have quite a few now. I sew in a number of swaps and enjoy sharing what I make with others across the world. I’d like to make something beautiful and functional for many others. The additional income will help towards my expensive fabric buying habit.
Contact can be made through Facebook messenger or message through Instagram

What is your speciality?

Bags, pouches and toiletry bags

What is your best seller?

The Amy Lynne clutch bag
What is your favourite thing to sew?

Anything with big prints, bright colours and makes people smile
Why did you come to Bagladybird Lessons? What did you learn?

I began sewing clothing and I wanted to hone my sewing skills in order to improve these skills. Although I don’t make many clothes now, I learnt a lot about pattern alteration and fitting. It also boosted my confidence when using a sewing machine.

What do you love about sewing?

This is my way of helping to escape from the stresses of my day job. It gives me time to relax, refocus and unwind. I love seeing how the elements all come together to create each bag.

Do you do any other crafts?

I love to draw, paint and have been known to create beautiful cakes.

What are your business goals?

At the moment I just want to be able to enjoy sewing and sell what I make. Maybe in the future I’d like to create my own bag patterns.

Lynn – Sewing for Tots

Find Lynn:

How long have you been sewing for?
I have been sewing from the age of 15yrs (I am now 65). I started sewing for myself, then the children when they came along and now the granddaughters.

When did you start your business?

I started this business 2yrs ago
Why did you decide to sell your sewing?

I started the business thinking one yard of fabric would make something for my granddaughter and then I could recoup the cost of the fabric back by making and selling something from the leftover.

What is your speciality?

My speciality is children’s wear 6 months to 4 yrs.

What is your best seller?

My best seller is the “v” front basic bloomer.

What is your favourite thing to sew?

The braced skirts as they always look pretty.

Why did you come to Bagladybird Lessons? What did you learn?

I came to Bagladybird initially to master my new overlocker. I soon found out that the sessions gave me the space, time and opportunity to create garments for me which I never seemed to get round to doing.

Things I learnt … basics of the Overlocker, I learnt to take my time, not feel rushed and that whatever problems or difficulties there were that they were probably experienced by other sewers at some point.

I learnt that the sewing community that the Bagladybird gathers round her are just as warm and welcoming as she is.

What do you love about sewing?

What do I love about sewing ? … creating something from nothing and the sense of achievement I get when customers send me photos of their children wearing my makes.

Do you do any other crafts?

I occasionally knit ( I am good and can knit fair isle and arran) but it is a much longer process and can be relatively expensive.

What are your business goals?

Every 6 months I have tried to introduce another item to my site but still in the age bracket mentioned. I make about 12/15 garments a week and to be honest I am happy with this small scale even though I know from feedback that I could easily expand it.

I’ve loved reading about each of these businesses and seeing their diverse makes.

Love & stitches

Alison xx


Click HERE for me to reveal the Secret Starting Point to Sewing your own Great Fitting Clothes in a free video.

The Secret Starting Point to Sewing your own Great Fitting Clothes FB
Discover the Secret here

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.