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 2022 and WHAT to MAKE for 2023

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.

Shawls and Scarves

WHAT SELLS:
Standard rectangular scarves
Medium to large shawls
Fashion cowls knit with fine, soft yarn

SLOWER SELLERS:
Less expensive items
Items that did not list the fibre content
Spring and summer colours, pastels, and beige items

THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Use good quality yarn
List the fibre content as well as care instructions
A purple shawl for a Red Hatter. If you like to knit purple (or red) we could have a Red Hat section at the October 2023 sale.

Home Decor

WHAT SELLS:
On the whole, a very good result, with a lot of product sold!
We found that microwave bowl cosies, ‘rope bowls’, mug rugs, place mats and similar items continue to sell pretty readily, and especially when made with more current (or timeless/classic) fabrics.

SLOWER SELLERS:
Slow sellers tend to be items that are meant to be more decorative than functional. (Tea cup pincushions, etc).

CUSTOMER REQUESTS:
No particular customer requests come to mind, but items in short supply were oven mitts, yoga mat bags, and small items (tissue pouches, mask pouches, jar grippers, etc, that sell readily for $5 and under).

THINGS TO CONSIDER:
As many of the items in this category may be expected to be washable/machine washable, we really must stress that items with batting in them, have sufficient quilting to ensure they survive that process in very good condition, or be labelled as ‘hand wash, dry clean’ etc.
Consider creating sets of things that coordinate (microwave bowl with matching placemat for example ) present very well to our customers.

Elaine Peek

Seasonal

WHAT SELLS:
table runners
large felted trees
aprons – adults and children
Pillows
Gift bags
Gnomes
All of the Hallowe’en items

SLOWER SELLERS:
Tree skirts
Stockings
Placemats
Table cloths
Coasters
Tree decorations

THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Items with colourful fabrics sell best.
Don’t make more than 5 or 6 of an item unless they have sold well in the past.
Please use small tags if you are making Christmas decorations.

Children

WHAT SELLS:
Small knitted animals
Knitted bowling sets
Books in a bag
Finger puppets
Small baby blankets with attached knitted animals
Kids stretch knit yoga pants
Stretch knit t-shirts
Underwear

SLOWER SELLERS:
Toques
Knitted children sweaters
Changing pads

CUSTOMER REQUESTS:
Tooth fairy pillows
Non-skid slippers
Crayon rolls
Letter and number bags
Medium size receiving blankets
T-shirts

THINGS TO CONSIDER:
More sewn articles of clothing than knitted ones

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

WHAT SELLS:
Shoulder bags and crossbody bags
Projects bags for handcrafts
Small pouches with machine embroidery – golf, first aid, notions
Backpacks
All sizes of pouches for organizing

SLOWER SELLERS:
knit/crochet bags
Clutches (bags with wrist strap)

CUSTOMER REQUESTS:
Stitching project bags with vinyl front
Pouches for kids with washable lining for crayons, toys, travel
SLIPs in solid black
Coin purses
Key fobs

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

Jewelry

WHAT SELLS:
Jewelry sold well this year – nearly all the new product sold as well as a lot from last year
The hot items this year were crocheted beaded necklaces and bracelets.

SLOWER SELLERS:
People ask for coordinating items such as earring, necklace and bracelets but do not seem to purchase them if they are in a set. They seem to prefer picking out coordinates. Better to label them separately.

THINGS TO CONSIDER:
If our makers know what the metal in earrings is, please label them accordingly. That is one of our most asked questions.
Earring could include a few that are clip on as that is not being filled
If makers can make 2 or three of each, then our customers like to choose between them. Not all identical but various lengths that can mix and match.

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,


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