Craft a Creative Business by Fiona Pullen – New Book Coming Soon…

I’m so pleased to bring some news about a new craft business book which is due to hit the shops at the end of September 2014. This eagerly anticipated book is called Craft a Creative Business – Making & Marketing a Successful Creative Business, written by Fiona Pullen of The Sewing Directory website. It’s available to pre-order now from Search Press.

Craft a Creative Business by Fiona Pullen

Craft a Creative Business is intended to be a one stop book, that covers all you need to know about getting your business up and running. Even if you’ve already started your business, I think this book will still prove to be a valuable asset. Fiona is a minefield of information when it comes to everything crafts, business, legal matters, marketing and social media. I know I’ll be first in line for a copy and I’m confident that I’ll learn a lot from this book, even though I’ve been in business for a few years now. ‘Never stop learning’, is a favourite motto of mine.

Fiona PullenFiona Pullen is the successful craft business owner of The Sewing Directory, the popular and successful site for finding local and online sewing suppliers, sewing courses and sewing groups. This site includes projects, interviews, how to guides, reviews and fortnightly competitions, aiming to offer something for everyone. Fiona also writes articles for numerous craft and sewing magazines and has a passionate interest in social media, helping others achieve their aims and goals

Fiona’s new book explains how to turn a pastime, skill and talent into a fulfilling and rewarding commercial success. This book is billed to be a complete must-read guide for anyone wanting to turn their hobby, craft or art skills into a successful business.

Fiona gives simple advice on the importance of identifying markets, focusing on a USP, assessing the competition, making sure the price is right and setting goals. The book includes sections on product photography, branding and legal matters. There is a particular emphasis on online selling, with detailed information on markets, blogging, using social media and the importance of analytics and SEO (search engine optimisation). Information on offline selling is included too, with notes on selling at craft fairs, trade fairs and markets, selling through retail outlets, running courses and workshops, and featuring work in the media.

There are expert tips from well known people within the industry, as well as activities to get you applying what you learn to your business – making it relevant to you. By working your way through the book, by the time you reach the end, you’ll have done all your market research and have a detailed business plan to get you going, plus active social media accounts to help you promote your business.

Craft a Creative Business covers:

– Planning and market research
– Legislation and accounts
– Branding and photography
– Social media and blogging
– Selling online (including SEO)
– Selling offline (at craft fairs, through shops and offline promotion such as in magazines)

Craft a Creative Business by Fiona PullenPre-order your copy of Craft a Creative Business from Search Press

Craft Book Review – The Complete Guide to Designing and Printing Fabric by Laurie Wisbrun

I was very lucky to receive another fabulous craft book in my Christmas stocking. I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear I’m absolutely addicted to fabric prints but you might not know that, as well as sewing, I love free-hand drawing and digital drawing/painting on the PC. I’m keen to learn how to create my own designs for printing onto fabrics.

The Complete Guide to Designing and Printing Fabric by Laurie Wisbrun

So, on to this mouth-watering book that I now have. It’s called The Complete Guide to Designing and Printing Fabric and is authored by Laurie Wisbrun, published by Bloomsbury. I’ve now read it cover-to-cover several times as I want to absorb as much of the helpful information as possible. I think the author covers everything in such detail, in a well explained way, that it makes the mysterious world of fabric printing seem not so inaccessible to us mere mortals.

So what is covered in the book? Well, the first section is all about designing for fabric. You learn how to understand patterns, where to source inspiration and how to actually design your own patterns – this is covered by fantastic tutorials to guide you step-by-step.

The Complete Guide to Designing and Printing Fabric - Review

The second section of the book covers fabric types and fabric printing methods, including hand printing; block printing and screen printing, as well as in-depth digital printing information.

If you want to take your new found hobby further, the third section includes plenty of helpful information on going professional. Throughout the book there are interviews with some very well known, successful designers who share their valuable experiences of professional design. I was particularly interested to read about Malka Dubrawsky and Joel Dewberry.

I think this book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in fabrics, pattern designing and digital printing. I found it really interesting and I’ve learned so much from it. I now also have a greater understanding of the awesome work created by our much loved professional fabric designers, whom I have great admiration for. I think I’m going to enjoy dabbling in this new found hobby to compliment my sewing!

Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing – Book Review

I have been eyeing up this fabulous book, aptly named Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, ever since it was published and decided at the last minute, to put it on my Christmas/birthday wishlist – I’m one of those annoying people who has a birthday a few days after Christmas. Lucky girl that I am, one of Santa’s little helpers (aka Mum) gifted it to me! Well, this book is now one of the most favourite sewing books.

Book Review - Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing

I’m mainly a bag and accessory making kind of girl but I also have a keen interest in clothes making too. I’ve only ever dabbled in making the odd kid’s outfit before though, so maybe a new challenge? The thing I found most appealing about this book is that it has the most gorgeous dress designs from the 40’s and ’50’s and it has an extensive section of techniques to learn. So, if nothing else, I’m sure to learn a whole stack of new (or rather vintage) techniques.

Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing by Gretchen Hirsch

It won’t matter if you’re a beginner (like I am, of clothes making) or you’re an advanced sewist, I think everyone is going to enjoy this and learn a ton of sewing stuff! This is the main reason I wanted the book – just to have a good read and learn more stuff about sewing. As I get further and further into reading it, though, I am smitten. When I get through all the amazing techniques to learn, I’m going to give the actual patterns a go. Before I began reading this book, I knew I had an interest in it but that’s as far as I’d probably get. Well, Gertie has the ability to make you feel like you can actually achieve all her fabulous creations with confidence. Her infectious words carry you along and before you know it, you’ll be positively itching to get started on her patterns.

Well, if I do pluck up the courage to have a go at these lovely patterns I’ll be sure to log my progress here. By the way, Gertie has a really good blog too (which I believe is how she started her sewing venture) it’s called Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing.