In one of those freaky blogland deals, and not for the first time, Amanda and I would appear to have been on the same wave length today. Although she totally beat me to it this time (and her set is absolutely gorgeous, of course!!!).
For the last month I've been working on an update of my Princess and the Pea sets. I first designed them a couple of years ago and although I've tweaked the design here and there it's been long overdue a real update.
My starting point for the new version was the tote. I've always been happy with the idea of the set including a tote to store it all safely in (and to make it portable) but back when I first made them I didn't have access to the same beautiful fabrics that are available now, and had yet to really discover the joys of linen.
My worry though in changing the tote from a patchwork one to a linen one was that it would look to plain and wouldn't be befitting of a Princess. So I was really pleased a few weeks ago when I had the (very) sudden idea to turn the pocket in to a pile of mattresses, with an embroidered pea.
This means that the bag is still bright and colourful (especially with the lining) and that when the princess is in her pocket she looks like she's in bed. This little detail has completed the design for me in a way that I haven't felt has happened before, it's always felt a little half baked.
The set itself is really labour intensive, with the dress being handsewn (with tiny inset sleeves, am I crazy???) and the hair also being sewn by hand, not to mention the 10 mattresses to cut and and quilt, plus the handed felted pea and mini bag. So they're not hugely cost effective, but sometimes I just think that you need to ignore that if it's a design that you want to keep making because it means some thing to you.
Almost every child I know has been bought or given one of these sets. Our village is swamped with them and I have honestly been introduced in the past as the Lady That Makes The Princess and the Pea Set!
Which is one of the reasons that I keep making them regardless of their profit margin. When you receive such good feedback from people that have very little interest in what you do (I have a lot of friends that don't get the whole sewing/crafting/designing thing!) I think it's worth doing just for the love of it.
And now that I've finally come up with a finished design that makes me even happier with it, there's no stopping me. Not necessarily a great business plan, but hell, if I was in it just as a business I'd have given up years ago and gone out and gotten myself a real job!