Part 8: Custom Fabric Aspirations: “Wrapping it all up”

One banana, two bananas, three bananas! More!!! Four bananas make a bunch and so do many more! Making a Soft Toy is like that…..and so is designing Custom Fabric!….Take it one step or ‘banana’ at a time and you will get a ‘bunch’ done!

When there is a ‘Bunch’ to do it is quite easy to have ‘slip on a banana peel’ moments.

Sure it would be easy to just discard the offending ‘Banana Peels’ into the Trash Bin and try to pretend that there were no slip ups at all. Perhaps a better approach would be to turn those slippery ‘Banana Peels’ into ‘Virtual Compost’ and use them to ‘Nourish’, ‘Nurture’ or ‘Fuel’ the next Creative Adventure or long time Aspiration. How can this be achieved? Continue reading


Part 7: Custom Fabric Aspirations: “Bridle & Neckband Sewing Test Run”

It is a difficult thing to cut into a ‘special’ piece of fabric. It looked so ‘pretty’ and I did not want to spoil it or ruin it in any way. But cut it I must! I needed to get the Neckband & Bridle finished so I could mail the Hobby Horse to my daughter.

I cut the required pieces out and took a photo of them.

Neckband and Bridle pieces

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Part 6: Custom Fabric Aspirations: “Fabric in the mail…..”

After all the stress of creating the Bridle & Neckband designs and organising to have them printed I would have liked to just relax but I still had a Hobby Horse to make while the Fabric was “in the mail….” so I set to work cutting out the fabric as chosen by my eldest daughter. When I got to the stage of cutting the Wool/Yarn I discovered a potential problem….

Wool/Yarn knotted

Notice how the Wool/Yarn has been manufactured by wrapping a thread around the spun fleece. Without a knot in the end it will potentially fall apart!

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Part 5: Custom Fabric Aspirations: “Slip on a Banana Peel Oopsy”

Final tweaks were done to the Adobe Illustrator (Ai) file on Monday morning (28th April). I was satisfied that the file was ready. I assumed that my calculations were correct and I did have sufficient funds in my PayPal account from the sale of 6 Hobby Horse PDF patterns (2 on Craftsy & 4 through Etsy). I had my husband’s tick of approval and a ‘go for it’ encouragement so I took the next big step & I phoned Frankie and Swiss in Melbourne.

My first question was to ask what their workload was like at the moment. I was told that they were booked up during the current week and part way through the next! I expressed my disappointment by saying that I was making a gift for my Grand Daughter and that I had hoped the fabric would get to me before the 15th of May. Being told that I could pay extra to have an ‘urgent’ job done was of little consolation as I explained that I didn’t have any extra money. I still had my ‘Plan B’ in mind so I asked what I needed to do in order to get the file to them for printing. I was directed to upload the eps file that I had created to Dropbox and put it in a Shared Folder that had the Companies name on it. Mild panic set in. I had used Dropbox once before not really understanding how it worked to send a Photoshop Elements file that apparently was able to be seen by the intended person. But on another occasion I had commenced the process of uploading a video of my Pumpkin Patch only to realise I needed to abort the process as the file was much bigger than I expected plus I was likely to pass my 12 noon cut off period for Off Peak Internet usage (Peak time is primarily for Farm Business and I try not to use it for anything involving up or downloads of anything other than a few MBs size wise). On the previous occasion I had cancelled the video or at least I thought I did only to discover later that it had kept going and not only uploaded but apparently downloaded again (??) which totally confused me and I had no idea how it all worked or where the file had actually gone. Off into cyberspace somewhere who knows!!

But now I needed to learn Dropbox in a hurry!!! My phone helper explained that I needed to go to Dropbox.com and from there to my account….. “I have an account?” I thought… “I didn’t know that…and what was the password??” I guessed correctly that being attached to my personal Yahoo account I would need use that email address rather than try to figure out how to get Dropbox via my gmail account (is that function even available?) which would consume even more time and time was ticking away! Continue reading


Part 4: Custom Fabric Aspirations: “Creating the Design”

The Brief: Create a Neckband & Bridle for a Hobby Horse that uses Pastel Pink & Blue.

As Pastel Pink and Blue were chosen as the ‘Theme’ colours for my youngest Grand Daughters 1st Birthday party I selected two cotton (Poplin) fabrics for the Bridle and Neckband that fitted the description given to me by my eldest daughter. I also selected a bright pink bias binding that went with the chosen fabrics in case I decided to add any piped accents. I took photos of two different proposed ‘horse’ fabrics plus a choice of 2 different wool/yarn combinations that could be teamed with them. I sent the photos to my daughter who chose the lighter fabric & the curly wool/yarn as her preferred option.

Dark Brown for a Liver Chestnut Hobby HorseDark brown with a darkish wool/yarn




Mid Brown with a Lightish wool/yarn Mid Brown with a darkish wool/yarn




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Part 3: Custom Fabric Aspirations: “Counting the Cost”

When I first took a look at the prices on Spoonflower.com I thought that they were a bit out of my price range but when I reconsidered I understood that the price also includes the fact that they are printing a unique fabric rather than a mass produced one. True you could order a whole bolt of fabric and furnish your entire house with curtains and cushions & ‘thows’ and recover all the lounge chair/couches etc so in a way you have tapped into the mass production capabilities. Plus according to the Spoonflower information if you order more than a certain number of yards of fabric the cost per yard is calculated at a reduced price. Then there is also a discounted rate if you are a designer who wants to sell the fabric (i.e. they require that you purchase a test print fabric of each design).

The fabric types I was most interested in were firstly the cheaper ones…..I rarely spend more than $9 -$15 per metre on fabric unless it is a Faux Fur where I try to purchase it on special e.g. reduced from $35 -$40 down to a more reasonable and affordable price. Continue reading


Part 2: Custom Fabric Aspirations: “Carousel Horse Designs”

Earlier this year (2014) as a part of a belated birthday gift to myself (using money I had been given months earlier) I ordered several books from a Website called Fishpond.com that were all children’s Horse Novels except one. The first book that I chose was called “The Carousel Animal” by Tobin Fraley. This book had been on my wish list for about 10 years and was no longer available thought the Library system. Everything seemed to be going smoothly but after waiting and waiting and waiting the book never arrived. The other books came together in one parcel without any problems….but where was the 1st book?…..something was odd. I contacted the site & said that the book had not arrived so they refunded the money….I still couldn’t figure out how it came to be lost in the mail. Finally I decided to check the mailing address. On the envelope of the parcel that had arrived AND on the email order confirmation AND on the website it had the wrong location! The street number and road name were correct but the locality was that of our ‘Electoral’ address for voting purposes. For some reason the Post Office had sent the first parcel back but delivered the second. We have had mail delivered to both addresses in the past without problem as in reality it is the same place!

But what does that have to do with a Custom Fabric Design you may wonder. Continue reading