RESOURCES FOR MAKERS

MAKING ITEMS FOR BB&B

One of the responsibilities of the handcraft committee is to maximize the efforts of the hand crafters.  Each year we evaluate what sold and what might potentially be a best seller for the next sale.  Custodians always take home a bit of inventory every year.  Some handcrafters retrieve unsold items (arrange this in advance with your custodian)  and the remaining  items are sorted, counted and stored for the next sale.  As a rule, items will appear in two sales. If an item remains unsold after the second appearance it is offered back to the maker or is donated to local charities. Our partnership with Magic of Christmas enable us to reach even farther into our local community. In exchange for storage space for our sale props, unsold inventory is donated to be distributed as part  of their annual Christmas campaign. This is a perfect partnership. It is a privilege to also have a positive impact on our own community.

GUIDELINES FOR TAGGING ITEMS

Product Custodians love it when items arrive with tags attached and filled in. It has to be done and who better to provide useful information than the creator?  Seems like a simple thing to put a tag on a handmade item but, as with most things, there is an element of art to it as well. So what makes a tag worth reading? Please, if you use a designer’s pattern, credit them somewhere on the tag.

Product tags are available at Ujamaa Grandma meetings and drop off days June through September. If you have a large number of items to be tagged, email us at handcrafts@ujamaagrandmas.com and we’ll get tags to you.

NAME THAT THING


It can be a load of fun to get together with a friend to make up names for those baby dolls, dinosaurs, hats, bracelets or felted slippers. We’ve heard customers at BB&B comment about a quirky name that added that little extra attraction.

WHO DUNNIT ?


Please add your initials, name or pseudonym (some of you have such cool alter egos). It is helpful if questions arise about the item. There is a perfect spot for your name in the space between HAND MADE BY and UJAMAA GRANDMAS.

HOW MUCH $


Don’t worry about pricing. Pricing committees will take care of this part just before the sale. However, if you have a bottom line for an item, include that in soft pencil and custodians will honour that price as a minimum. If the item does not sell at that price, you can take it back or custodians will store it and may adjust the price for the next sale.

WHATS IN IT?


Content and care for items such as wearables and Home Decor are very valuable to the customer. For knits, include the yarn label if you have it.

DOES SIZE REALLY MATTER?


Well, yes, sometimes it does. So, when it does, please be sure to include that info.

And finally, ATTACH IT (Gesundheit!) Use crochet cotton to make a string and thread the string through the tag and loop this through the item or use a small safety pin through the string. Please, no straight pins; they stick the custodians and the customers or they fall out and the tag is lost. Tags pinned directly to the item can sometimes cause a tear or pulled stitch so string is always better. Crochet cotton works best of all. Ribbon tends to undo itself. Sadly, have been a small number of incidents where tags have been switched so be sure to secure that tag well to discourage this practice.

WHAT SOLD in 2021 

Custodians keep inventory of items donated and analyze the results of BB&B. They provide this feedback so makers can know how best to divert your talents.  Let this information guide what you make but, whatever you make, be certain that it is something that you enjoy making.

Neckwear

STRONG SELLERS:

  • Fashion cowls knit with fine, soft yarn and colour work – asymmetric scarves
  • Lacy shawls
  • Large shawls

SLOWER SELLERS:

  • Items knit with very fine yarn
  • Crochet scarves and ponchos
  • Cowls

Home Decor

All in all, a very successful result, and makers are to be congratulated for the quality and inventiveness of the Home Decor items submitted.
Price point is very appealing to this customer base, and in general, items priced under about $25 are the most consistent sellers. This will included pot holders, microwave bowls, eyeglass cases, ‘scrubbier’, jar lid openers, tea cosies, coaster sets, place mats, table mats, small runners, aprons, dryer balls, clothesline corded bowls, etc.
We would discourage submission of Decor type items in yellow, pink, purple etc. as being inappropriate to the fall/winter season. Most larger crocheted and knit Home Decor items (afghans, lap quilts) didn’t sell so we would discourage too much investment in these items.
The market for very ‘elegant’ items is minimal, so if its a practical item, please don’t make it too elegant.
Dog and cat themed items do seem to sell, as long as the fabric is not too dated, or cartoonish.
Thank you!
Elaine Peek

Seasonal

STRONG  SELLERS:
Snowman kits
Cloth and Felted Christmas Trees
Two sided aprons
Gnomes  ( runners, figures, decorations)
Placemats and Napkins
Large bags
Advent Calendars
Runners

SLOWER SELLERS:
Too many of one kind of Christmas ornament
Hooked items
Paper Boxes
Dish clothes
Cloth animals
Pillows
Wreaths

THINGS TO CONSIDER:
If you are making an ornament it is best to use a smaller tag so that  customers can see the ornament when it is hung up for sale.
Only make about 6 or less ornaments of one kind  until we see how they sell
Use colorful fabric
Small, Medium, and especially large gift bags are needed.

Children

The children’s section custodians would like to give big thanks again to all our volunteers and makers.
Due to Covid restrictions, we are finding that customers are not bringing their children to this sale. Children are a big influence on the shopping choices as customers have to guess on the size of the product for their little ones.

STRONG SELLERS:
Knit toys & crocheted ponies & little people
Alphabet & numbers in cloth bag
Finger puppets
Activity mats
Knit / crocheted baby blankets
Children’s fabric clothing
Knitted sweaters
Cloth material booties

SLOWER SELLERS: (remaining after 2-3 years):
Pillowcases
Doll quilts & clothes
Balls / Blocks
Burrito blankets
Knitted toques (hats) sold only 20%
Mitts
Knitted booties
Knitted neck warmers

CUSTOMER REQUESTS:
Gender-neutral colors in blankets & quilts (grey, beige, yellow, taupe, sage green)
Fabric hats
Sandra Burgess 
Judy McCrea

UJAMAA GRANDMAS CHILDREN’S ITEMS SAFETY GUIDELINES

This is a brief, unofficial summary of some of the safety requirements put out by Health Canada – Consumer Product Safety. These guidelines are intended as an aid to keep our creations as safe as possible for children.

  • Avoid cords, drawstrings, ribbons, etc. on children’s clothing and toys. Belts and ties must be securely stitched at the back of the garment.
  • No children’s scarves.
  • Eyes, noses, and decorations on children’s toys must be made with yarn, fabric, or non-toxic pen, and not with buttons or beads. (Even ‘safety eyes’ have been known to break.)
  • Toys must not contain plant seed (eg. beans, rice) as a stuffing material.
  • Any kind of fastener must be securely attached, with no sharp points exposed.
  • Avoid detachable small parts that could be swallowed.
  • Make sure crayons and other art materials are ‘non-toxic’.
  • Slippers should be leather-soled/non skid.
  • Always indicate on your label the type of textiles used, and if possible, include a yarn wrapper with knitted garments. This can be fastened to the Ujamaa Grandma tag.
  • Blankets should not have openings that small fingers can get into and tangled.

Purses and Bags

STRONG SELLERS:
SLIPs – Secret Little Item Pouches
Shoulder bags and Crossbody Bags
Wallets of all sizes
Small pouches with machine embroidery – golf, first aid, notions
Backpacks
All sizes of pouches for organizing

SLOWER SELLERS:
Gift card holders
Tote bags
Knit/crochet bags
Horizontal wine bags

CUSTOMER REQUESTS:
Smaller crossbody bags for walking and shopping
Waist/hip bags
Eyeglass cases

THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Straps and tabs need to be strong and securely attached
Choose fabrics that are durable
Use adhesive to ensure hardware stays in place
Check to see that zippers work smoothly and adjustable straps adjust
Ensure that all pocket bottoms have been sewed shut

SEWING AND KNITTING PATTERNS and TIPS

Many workshops and demos have detailed handouts for reference. These notes can help you to hone old skills or pick up new. Files will open in a separate window and can be dowloaded.

SEWING PATTERNS


MACHINE APPLIQUE DEMO DAY 2017 – Janet Barker
MICROWAVE BOWL COZY – Dawn Bolger NEW VERSION 2017
FREE MOTION QUILTING – Janet Barker, 2016 Demo Day
BUTCHER STYLE APRON – Dawn Bolger
CASSEROLE CARRIER 1 – bound version – Patty Cucman
CASSEROLE CARRIER 2 – sew and turn version – Dawn Bolger
CAFTAN TEMPLATES and MAKING CAFTANS– Minnie Joldersma
CUTE FABRIC BOX – With thanks to Seaside Stitches, modifications by Dawn Bolger
GIFT BAGS – Joyce Goddard
LITTLE GIRL’S CHARM SKIRT – Joyce Goddard
PLACEMATS MINI DEMO – Joyce Goddard, Dawn Bolger
QUICK CASSEROLE CARRIER (Or Baby Change Pad) – Janice Meeking
QUICK JACKET WORKSHOP NOTES – Patty Cucman

KNITTING PATTERNS AND TIPS


TAATTU DEMO DAY 2017 – Alice Campbell
RAVELRY SEARCH– Janice Meeking
BINDING OFF– Glenda Sweetland, Demo Day 2016
BLOCKING NOTES – Mary-Anna Louise Kovar, Demo Day 2016
BUTTON BOOT TOPPERS – Janice Meeking for UJAMAA GRANDMAS
CUTE LITTLE BABY HAT – Kelly Brittain
KNIT SCRUBBIES – Joyce Goddard
ORIGINAL SCRUBBIES – Barb Langois

ARCHIVED NEWSLETTERS

These newsletters contain patterns, pattern suggestions, links to resources, and other interesting reading,


RETURN HOME   HANDCRAFTS