I’ve been preparing for spring and summer art & craft and vendor events, and working my way through new ideas and new materials and equipment.
I’ve long wanted to print some of my designs on fabric items and finally purchased a heat press to use with commercial quality fabric transfers, imprinting colorfast full-color images permanently onto fabric. I’ve been holding off on trying out my heat press until I’m ready because I know I’ll be overwhelmed by the ideas I’ll have and the number of things I’ve been dreaming about that I can now make. With this I can use commercial quality fabric transfers, otherwise known as iron-ons with the heat press being the iron, to “print” my designs on any amenable surface that can take the heat of the heat press. The largest transfer I can get is 11 x 17, but I can work with that. I’m envisioning placemats, napkins, dish towels, tablecloths, tees and other garments, pillows and other fabric housewares, apparel and accessories—and totes, as you see above, “Inscrutable Patterns” and “22 Cats”.
I played around with imprinting on canvas and making the tote bags you see above—they are not for sale yet, I need to streamline the printing and sewing first. I chose two designs that repeat well on products and are popular already. For now I’m working with 11 x 17 as my fabric size because I don’t want to use a partial transfer or waste any on scraps. From that size, I need to take at least an inch off of each dimension for the seams, and that leaves me with a bag that’s 10″W x 16″H, or 16″W x 10″H. The 16″ dimension is okay, but the 10″ dimension really doesn’t work to fit things we need in a tote. It might someday make a nice purse with a zip top or with a flap, but I decided to design with one of the popular styles I see pretty regularly, and saw sold by several vendors at the cat show, including a few inches of black fabric at the bottom of the bag to make it 12 or 13 inches tall. Likely with “Inscrutable Patterns” I would use various dark colors instead of black.
The drawback about this design is it takes a lot of sewing for a simple tote, and I like sewing, but it also means I need to charge more. And whatever I make in my feline lines of merchandise I’ll also be making for my nature & wildlife lines of merchandise so I need to plan carefully. I like to keep my basic gift items in the $15 to $20 range so they are affordable, and I still need to make a little money from each sale to feed the kitties. They deserve it for being such inspirations. And as a business owner I need to keep my income and expenses, including my time, in line. I hate having to tell myself “no” when I’m carried away by an idea, but someone has to do it.
I may simply start out by imprinting on pre-made totes, so we’ll see how it goes. I hope to have the first of these items ready for my first event this spring, Saturday, April 7, to benefit Pet Search Rescue. In the meantime, let me know your ideas on this. Is the bag above worth $20 or $25? Would a smaller bag without the black detailing be fine with you? I’d love to hear.
Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.
Marketplace is a feature on The Creative Cat to share the latest coming out of my studio with my readers. Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”.
Read about creating custom items
Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.
Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.
Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.
It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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