My Best Selling Product - A Special Gift for Children Starting School and Practical Too!
Halloween and Christmas seem just round the corner now but I have been busy in the last few weeks making personalised book bag wraps for all the little ones starting school this month. It seems that some are still getting through a transition period for Reception though and I’ve heard some children aren’t properly starting full time until the end of the month! With the way this year has gone, it’s not surprising that the schools want to have a more gentle approach to settling the children in.
When I was making some book bag wraps last week, I had the idea of showing you through the process of how I make them. They are my most popular product and I sell them all year round! Starting pre-school, nursery or reception is such a big change and having lovely, personalised school things for your child can help to make the experience exciting as well as make them feel very special. Not to mention the sea of identical book bags in the classroom and having something different to help make your child’s bag stand out! I got the idea for the wraps after my friend’s daughter was starting nursery at our school. I was telling her about my own experience with the nursery class with my children, where the book bags went into plastic crates in the classroom and how difficult it was to quickly grab their bag when picking them up. The label with the name on was on the side and with them all stacked upright in the crate, the only part you could see was the handle! That’s when I got the idea and made one for my friend’s daughter. She loved how easy and quick it was to find her daughter’s bag among all the others. Now, it is my most popular product that I sell. So, I thought I would let you see what goes into making them.
Before I even get the sewing machine out, I have to go onto the embroidery software to create an embroidery file for the name to be sewn. The longer the name, the smaller the font gets. I have orders from full name and surname to a short nickname! I love being able to make something so personal for each child.
Each fabric choice I have for the wraps has a very different pattern and size of pattern repeat. I use a cardboard template to help to plan which part of the pattern to use. I like to get as much of the main parts of the pattern onto the wrap. If the child has asked for unicorns or dinosaurs, I like to make sure that they can see them and that I haven’t embroidered over them too much as well! Also, even though the template area might cover most of the pattern, only a third of the pattern will be seen when it is wrapped around the handle. It can be a tricky problem to work around depending on which fabric has been chosen but I like to make sure that I can fit the best parts of the pattern to somewhere close to the name.
Once I have found the best place to cut out the main fabric, I also cut out a complimentary backing fabric as well as two pieces of iron on interfacing.
I prepare the fabric by ironing, starching and finally, ironing on the interfacing. This not only gives the fabric a good stabiliser to be embroidered but also, gives a good shape to the finished product as well.
I embroider the name on to the main fabric.
I place Velcro dots onto the fabric using the markers from the template and then sew them on to secure them. Once the embroidery and Velcro are sewn in place, I pin the two pieces of fabric together and sew leaving a small gap so I can turn the wrap the right side out.
I use scissors to gently push out the corners and then iron before the final sew. It’s important that you don’t iron over the embroidery directly as the heat can melt the stitches, so I use another piece of fabric to protect the embroidery. Once ironed, the small gap can be sewn up and the book bag wrap is finished!
I always call them personalised book bag handle wraps. I’ll be honest, I don’t think it’s the catchiest title! They could be used for so many different things. My daughter used hers for her book bag and when she went into juniors and graduated to a rucksack, she still used hers on that bag too! Someone also ordered theirs to use on a lunch cool bag for when she put her lunch in the fridge at work. If you have any suggestions for a better name, I would love to hear them! Comment below!