About Sew Smitten

SewSmitten hand produce a wide range of gift & everyday items featuring original limited edition artwork designed & printed by the creative duo - Penni P; designer maker & boyfriend the Gnome; graphic designer.
Among our handmade stash you will find Oyster Card Holders, Bags, Purses, Greeting Cards, Prints, Kitchenwares & Accessories.
Check our website out at www.sewsmitten.com

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Oyster Card Holders

The first thing I starting making when I finished higher education was card holders, the idea came to me when I started to think about useful things that people might need. The bonus of living in London also meant that the birth of the oyster card almost guaranteed that the market for card holders was big and still growing.
I initially thought I would make them out of fabrics that I had designed and printed myself but when stumbling upon my mighty collection of 80s comics from great classics as Mickey Mouse to My Little Pony, I instantly knew I wanted to use these as it meant I could recycle these old childhood memories and put them to good use again.

Equipped with a few good comics I made my very first stack of bus/oyster card holders and gave them to some of my close friends to road test. Once satisfied with their durability one of those friends who happened to own a shop in Shoreditch East London (the shop was called Brag which sadly no longer exists but she is still printing lots of great things, check her site out at bragclothing) was thrilled with hers so began to stock them in her shop and continued to for the next few years! I also gained another stockist for the comic card holders from here for a shop called Boutique Babylon which is situated in South London on Clapham High Street and they still stock them there today.

I was still working part time with LadyLuckRulesOk around this time and thats when the birth of the crafty animal holders emerged....

At that time the craft craze was growing and when asked to make some cardholders specially for the LadyLuck website I wanted to reflect this....and whilst browsing through many vintage annuals and crafty books I came across some cute vintage toy making instructions and became inspired to transform them into a posse of retro looking card holders.
By using the vintage toy pattern instructions this product has two uses as full instructions on how to make yourself your own stuffed animal friend are included within the design..
And in the November of 2007 they were available to buy online!!

Further down the road in the making of card holders I have increased the variety of designs available and other additions to the collection have been:

London Maps; an idea suggested to me by a close friend - Fifi who owns Covet a lovely shop in Islington now also a stockist of them too.. Which have turned out to be a big hit as people love to find the ones with the area or street that they live in!

and another new design uses the images from a vintage dress pattern book which I just love as the dresses are amazing....

You can even customise and personalise your very own design! By sending us your images or designs we can make one up to order making it the ultimate unique purchase.....

When I first began making these holders about two years ago for my close friends and family I never imagined that I would still be making them today!
But they continue to be one of our best sellers online and at craft events too! Someone was even kind enough to write a lovely little blog about them too which you can read on Crafty Crafty.

We at SewSmitten HQ love the fun they bring to our dreary journeys and we hope they continue to brighten up your bus/train or tube journeys too...If not for traveling they can be used to hold student IDs, bank cards, gym memberships, library cards....the list is endless...
Check them out now on our online store and see which design is your favourite.....?

Friday, 18 December 2009

Of Cabbages & Kings Xmas Market Pics

So last Saturday 12th December saw us at our last craft fair before Christmas at the Of Cabbages & Kings Xmas Market in Stoke Newington and it was an amazing day had by all!
We had Carol singers at 12 'o' Clock which put everyone in a christmasy mood, plus Luke whipped us up a delicious rather large flask of mulled wine which was great to warm our toes up and keep us merry! We sold quite a few of our new range of kitchenware which was great, had a few familiar visitors, sold lots of card holders and also browsed the other great handcrafted goodies on sale.

For those of you that didn't quite make it down here's a few stall pics:
(but I really should start taking more photos of the rest of the events too! Next time!)

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Creating of SewSmitten

Hi all!
So this is going to be a post about me penni p as well as a look into how SewSmitten was created and evolved from just a casual idea of me just wanting a website to display my work, to the reality of me needing a website in preparation for our very first stall which took place in Islington late August of this year.

I graduated from a Surface Design Degree in June 2007 taking along with me many useful crafty skills, I thoroughly enjoyed the practical side of my degree so I knew I wanted to pursue a craft based career. I continued working weekends at my current job at LadyLuckRulesOk (a fun fashion jewellery label) and I also started working part time for other designer makers to gain experience.
Later on with the new skills I had learnt I started to make my own products to sell to independent boutiques and gained knowledge in the industry of the selling market.
I still do the occasional internship when I have spare time but mainly I currently work part time freelance as a studio assistant for a couple of very different designers;

Miss Budd - a bespoke leather and silk handbag and purse designer, providing beautiful handmade and hand printed products to order.
Thornback and Peel - a wide selection of hand printed products to order, from cushions to tea towels featuring quirky English Nature themed designs.

...as well as juggle the day to day running of the SewSmitten website, which all definitely keeps me very busy indeed!

So although it had been a thought of mine for a while in mid August of this year, whilst in between part time jobs I decided to create myself a website for a platform to sell my wares as well as place to display my design work. The name took a while to decide as I knew I wanted something catchy yet relevant to what my style of work reflected, and there were many a spider diagram and lists of ideas that followed...strong contenders were: stitch me quick, sew sew studio, crafty sew&sew, penni makes, sew me......but through these came the birth of:
With a name and a website software package I was ready to go, now all we needed to do was design a logo, make lots of stock and take lots of photos..which meant a few very late nights and long days! And on the week of the 10th August 2009 the website was launched, not completely finished but ample enough for our very first stall with Craftaholics @ The Old Queens Head in Islington which took place on Saturday the 29th August. For which you can see some pics of in our Blog on our website!

Since our launch the SewSmitten site has grown lots - including our product range and we plan to continue designing and making lots of great new products. The site is predominately run by me; penni p but I have had lots of help along the way from my boyfriend Luke aka the Gnome who is also now a big contributor to the team and his print work features in some of our new products. We have also attended lots more crafty events around London too and we have met lots of other lovely craft making people along the way.
The website and brand of SewSmitten is still expanding and there are lots more updates to look out for, our aim is to keep growing and providing unique designs and products all lovingly handmade by us.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Of Cabbages & Kings Xmas Market

Why not come and join us at our second xmas craft event and buy some great handmade xmas gifts! We will have our full range of products as well as our new hand printed tea towels, aprons, greeting cards, new bags and new card holder designs!

This Saturday 12th in the lovely Abney Public Hall, 73a Stoke Newington Church Street, Stoke Newington, London, N16 OAS.

Put the fun back into Christmas shopping and come and join us for some festive treats.
Hot and cold refreshments will be available as well as Jubilee Carol Singers at 12.15pm to get you in the festive mood!

Entry is FREE to the public. 10.30am - 5pm Nearest BR: Stoke Newington or Rectory Road Buses 73,393, 476 stop outside Abney Hall.

Welcome to the extended SewSmitten blog!

Hi and welcome to the expanded version of the blog which currently resides on the SewSmitten website.
I'm Penni P - the Designer/Maker behind SewSmitten; a crafty website set up in August 2009 selling handmade goodies made in London by our own fair hands!
With this additional blog you will be able to find out more information on the setting up of SewSmitten, upcoming products/events and find out more about the designers involved.
It also gives you the reader a chance to give us feedback and stay up-to-date with our going ons.

Why not also show your support and follow us on Twitter too or become a SewSmitten fan on Facebook by joining our Facebook Group & Facebook Page!

Well that's enough of the introductions, hope you enjoy reading our blog and we look forward to reading your feedback and meeting you at future craft events soon!

x penni p
(p.s i hate using capitals in my name! so please do excuse & do get used to the occasional bad grammar, punctuation and the odd mis-spelt word! :) but i promise the content will make up for it)

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