Saturday, 28 January 2012

Such Sweet Sorrow

Selling handmade items is a strange exercise. You invest so much of yourself, your time and your effort into making something useful and beautiful, but then you go ahead and give it away. I've been lucky in that everything I've sold has been something that I already own myself. Friends will see something I have, or that I'm wearing, and will ask me to make them a copy. This has meant that I've never really experienced separation anxiety when I deliver people's orders - until recently, that is.

Around Christmas time, one of my friends asked me if I'd make him some cushions to give as a present. Apparently his friend has a black leather couch, and that was the only requirement he gave me - the rest was up to me. I didn't have any material in my stash that I had enough of to make two cushions with, so I had to head off to find some.

I stumbled across a nice-looking fabric shop near Nick's house and decided to have a look one day. I was thinking of getting something white-ish for the cushions, and they had this really cool black and white square pattern in the shop. The material was some sort of cotton blend and it felt really nice to the touch. It was a tad pricey, but it was too nice to pass up.
Being the intelligent person I am, I went home, sat down to make the cushions, and realised that to make two cushions you have to buy four squares worth of material, not two like I'd just done. I thought the material would look nice with a plain white back so I headed off to another material store to find some heavy cotton. I discovered that a) thick plain cotton is actually really hard to find and b) white actually comes in many different shades and trying to find a white that matches another white you already have is almost impossible. Before I left for the shop Steph had been trying to convince me the cushions would look better with a black back, so I ended up leaving with a black synthetic type material - not ideal, but overall not bad.

Cushion covers aren't difficult to make. Aside from figuring out the closure for them (zippers, in my case), they're essentially just two big squares sewn together. I was having fun making them but wasn't particularly excited about seeing the result, until I actually pulled it out of the sewing machine and stuffed the cushion inside of it. This is what it looked like:

I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden I was in love with the thing. It was so soft and the print with the black backing was so nice and the material felt so good that I seriously just sat and hugged it for ten minutes. Whenever I sell something, I think I undervalue it a bit in terms of pricing. One of my friends once loved the pouch I made her so much that she insisted on giving me more money than I asked for it, and I was confused, but with the cushion I all of a sudden understood how you could pay a lot of money if you really loved something.

The idea of giving it away made me really sad, but thankfully I had Nick's shiny SLR camera on hand so I had a bit of a photo shoot with it.

It actually looked really good on my couch! If I can get my hands on some more of the material, I might be sneaky and make myself one. But until then, I hope its owner loves it as much as I do.

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