Saturday, February 4, 2017

Etsy Makers, First Edition

Since I joined Etsy over 5 years ago, I've admired the work of many other creative makers and their beautiful Etsy shops. 
With the loss of the Treasury making feature on Etsy I've been feeling something is missing in the creative community. The sharing of other peoples talent should never be thought to diminish the success of your own work and I've always loved curating collections of some of my favourite makers from the Etsy marketplace. These makers and their shops deserve a mention here as some of the inspiration behind my own creative endevours. 
When I'm dreaming of making things with my hands, its these beautiful colours and textures I'm striving for. It's these shopfronts that inspire me to keep working at my creative business to continually improve my brand and skills in product photography and design. 

Keep doing what you're doing. Your work is wonderful 

Nearly September


Gardens of Whimsy

becca stadtlanter illustration


Ocean Swept

Eye Poetry Photography




Amber Alexander



Keep an eye on my blog - Etsy Makers Second Edition - will be posted next month. 

Until then, take care of yourselves and each other

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Making Your Own Sew In Labels for your Handmade Crafts

This post is a work-in-progress... Part 1 (below) is rather alot of fiddling about with computers and graphics to get the layout and design of your label right so you can get to the fun part of having your labels printed on fabric and then using them in your projects, crafts and for your handmade business!

While I'm still in the process of putting together a step by step tutorial for the way I made my own fabric labels, I thought I would share with you a list of some of the tutorials I have found helpful in the past. Scroll to the bottom of the post for links to other tutorials.


What You'll Need to Design Your Own Fabric Labels

  • Your Logo
  • A few basic skills in math (I know, what for right?) 
  • A few basic skills in Photoshop or similar image editing software (sorry, this one is important!)
  • Have a plan for the dimensions for your label eg. 2 x 2 inches when folded over
  • Eventually, you'll be using to print your label design in a repeating pattern so you can order as many or as few labels as you need.

For my own fold over and sew-in fabric labels I wanted them to be

  • Show my logo
  • include my website name
  • and a few basic words or phrases to describe my business and the items these labels will be used on eg. 'Handmade in Australia'

For my Fabric Composition /Care Labels I needed to include info about fabric composition ie. Linen-Cotton, and a few simple instructions for how to best care for the fabric/item eg. 'Cold or Warm Gentle Machine Wash, Line Dry, Warm Iron'. More about these labels later.

Whatever text you decide to include on your labels, make sure the size of the label will easily be able to accommodate the text and choose a simple, clear font so it is easy to read. Flourishes and script fonts might be lovely in theory but when printed in small sizes on fabric they could be completely illegible and what would be the point of unreadable labels?

When you are designing the layout of your tag be sure to look at the design in Print Scale so you can get an idea of whether the text is going to be too small or not bold enough. Depending on the resolution of your monitor, you may need to double check that the 'Print Size' you are viewing matches your label measurements by using a ruler held up to the monitor screen... demonstrated below in what I hope is an understandable way!




This is just so you can check that the text is easy to read.

But I'm getting ahead of myself! First of all we need to create a template for the label.

Let's use the 2 x 2 inches dimensions to begin with.
I'm using Photoshop but you can use whatever image editing soft ware you are comfortable with. The process is no doubt very similar.

1. Open program. Create NEW file (Ctrl + N)
We want to start with a file that is 2 x 2 inches, 150dpi.
This will be the FRONT of your label.

2. Create the BACK of your label by changing the Canvas Size to 4 inches high. It's best to draw a guide line to divide the front & back sides.

3. Create Text boxes for front & back sides. Choose a font that is easily read...but it should also suit your branding too.

If you have a logo, add this graphic to the Front of your label. Instructions below.

to be continued... PART 2

Tutorials from the Spoonflower Blog:

Fabric Labels for Your Handmade Goods

Design Your Own Quilt Labels

Tutorials From Other Crafters

Stamped Fabric Tape Labels

Print & Iron Transfer Labels on Fabric Twill Tape

Using Your Home Printer & Printable Fabric Paper *
*While this technique seems simple, variations in ink, fabric, printer capabilities (and many other factors) could make this technique alot more difficult than it looks. I have not personally tried it because I found an easier way!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Big Changes at Thistle and Fox Fabrics!

How would you like free shipping on all fabric orders?

For many months, I've been worrying over rising shipping costs and the terrible exchange rate of the Australian dollar and the effect this has been having on my little design business. Thank goodness for the amazing news I received today! Thanks to Spoonflower I can now offer all my lovely Etsy customers a much faster order turnaround time on fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap printing. AND free standard shipping. AND discounted Express Shipping! 
How do I express how much this means to me? Dear Spoonflower, I wish I could bake you a great big cake and send it express right now.


Applies to all orders of FABRIC & GIFT WRAP from my Etsy Shop.

Fabric is printed to order & shipped worldwide by my fabric printing partner Spoonflower, located in the United States and Berlin (for European orders).
SHIPPING TIME* = 3-7 days in the USA, 3-7 days in Germany, 14-21 business days for Australia, UK, Europe and other International destinations.

* the time is takes for your order to reach you will depend on your location, local postal services and customs processes. Once shipped, the speed at which your parcel travels is not in our control. This aspect has not changed.

I live and work from my cottage studio in Australia. All handmade items are made with love in my studio and ship from me via my local post office. Made to Order supplies such as Fabric, Wallpaper and Gift Wrap are designed by me then printed to order by the professionals I carefully selected to work with.

If you live in Australia & would like your fabric to be shipped from my Australian studio, allow an extra 5 days (on top of the standard 7 day production + 14-21 days shipping time) for me to process and ship your order + you will need to add the Studio Upgrade** to your shopping cart before checkout. This lets me know you would like me to personally check your fabric order before shipping and wrap it up especially for you.

** Available soon. Contact me if you would like to add this option to your order now. 

Rest assured, that when your fabric is sent directly to you from the United States it is thoughtfully wrapped and safely packaged but it does not come gift wrapped with a handwritten note from me or my business card. Though it is still a very special parcel & I'm sure you will love it as much as I do! 

2. Faster Turnaround Time

All fabric orders will now be printed within 5 business days and ready to ship within 1 week of ordering.

That takes a full week off the previous production time! For my Australian customers this makes a big difference to how quickly you will receive your orders.

SHIPPING TIME* = 3-7 days in the USA, 10-14 business days for Australia, UK, Europe and other International destinations.

3. Express Shipping Upgrades

If you would like your order to arrive faster ie. within 8-12 business days of your order date, please send me a message before checkout & add the Express Order Upgrade to your cart then checkout as normal (more info below).

Orders within the USA will arrive in 8 business days.
Orders from Australia & other International orders will arrive in 12 business days.

Express Order Upgrade

There is a drop down menu. You will need to select the option that corresponds to the contents of your shopping cart. For example, if you are ordering up to 1 yard, choose the ONE YARD OR LESS ($10) option from the drop down menu.
If your order contains 2 yards or a large collection of fat quarters, choose the TWO YARDS OR LESS option from the drop down menu.

If you happen to choose the wrong option during checkout I'll contact you so we can adjust the order. If I'm unable to contact you or you don't reply to my message within 48hrs your Express Order Upgrade will be refunded and your order will be printed and shipped as a Standard fabric order.


Because I don't want to delay your order any longer than necessary and I need to make sure that the express shipping charges I will be paying are covered by the express shipping charges that you selected & paid for. Does this make sense?

How can you make sure that your order is processed smoothly? 

Stay in touch. Make sure your supplied email address is correct and that you look out for any messages via Etsy within 24 hrs of placing an order.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Fabric Info & FAQ

All the info you need about the fabrics available in the Thistle and Fox Fabric Shop on Etsy. Includes fabric widths, thread count, common uses, shrinkage info and close up images of fabric texture.

Quick Guide to Fabric WIDTHS

Quilt Weight Cotton/Kona Cotton - 42"
Lightweight Cotton/Basic Cotton - 42"
Cotton Poplin - 42"
Silk Crepe de Chine - 42"

Linen Cotton Canvas - 54"
Faux Suede - 54"
Eco Canvas - 54"
Satin - 54"
Silky Faille - 54"

Organic Cotton Knit - 56"
Organic Cotton Sateen - 56"
Fleece - 56"
Modern Jersey - 56"

Heavy Cotton Twill - 58"

Lightweight Cotton Twill - 58"
Cotton Spandex Jersey - 60"


Cotton Poplin

100% Cotton, All purpose woven fabric with a soft hand, easy to sew.

Printed with Ultra-Color technology for vibrant color and improved wash durability

☼ 42" wide printed area (107 cm)
☼ 3.7 oz per square yard
☼ Thread count: 133 x 72
☼ Appropriate for quilting, appliqué, shirting, dresses, children's clothing, cot sheets and home decor.
☼ Estimated shrinkage: 2-4% in length and width

Cotton Poplin

Cotton Poplin

Cotton Poplin

Cotton Poplin

Quilt Weight Cotton

(Kona Cotton)

100% Cotton, premium quilting weight
All purpose woven fabric with a soft hand, easy to sew

☼ 42" wide printed area (107 cm)
☼ 4.5 oz per square yard
☼ Thread count: 60 x 60
☼ Appropriate for quilting, appliqué, shirting, dresses, children's clothing, and home decor.
☼ Estimated shrinkage: 2% in length and 3% in width

Quilt Weight Cotton

Quilt Weight Cotton

Lightweight Cotton
Lightweight vs. Quilt Weight

Lightweight Cotton

(Basic Combed Cotton)

☼ 42" wide printable area (107 cm wide, 1 yard is 90cm long)
☼ 3.2 oz per square yard (90-100 grams per meter)
☼ Thread count: 78 x 76
☼ Estimated shrinkage: 2-4% in length and 2-4% in width

Details: 100% cotton suitable for doll clothes, blouses, lightweight dressmaking, small crafts, home decor. Has a slightly 'crisp' feel to it.


Organic Cotton Knit

Natural-white interlock knit, made from very soft 100% organic cotton.

☼ 56" wide printable area (142 cm).
☼ 5.8 oz per square yard.
☼ Interlock knit stretches along the crosswise grain about 25%.
☼ Estimated shrinkage: After printing some natural shrinkage may occur, leaving a printed area of approximately 54"-55" (137-140 cm).
After washing additional shrinkage may occur, resulting a total printed width of approximately 50"-52" (127-132 cm).

Total estimated shrinkage, including shrinkage from printing and washing:
8-11% in length and 8-11% in width.
☼ Certified organic cotton by Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS).

Linen Cotton Canvas

Light-weight canvas woven from 55% linen and 45% combed cotton.

☼ 54" wide printable area (137 cm)
☼ 6.2 oz per square yard
☼ Thread count: 100 x 48
☼ Natural white
☼ Appropriate for tablecloths, tea towels, dresses, bags, and pillows.
☼ Estimated shrinkage: 3% in length and minimal in width.

Organic Cotton Sateen

100% organic cotton sateen with a glossy finish and soft hand

☼ 56" wide printable area (142 cm)
☼ Bright White, 3.8 oz per square yard
☼ Thread count: 142 x 80
☼ Certified organic cotton by Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)
☼ Appropriate for clothing and pillows.

Silky Faille

100% polyester fabric

☼ 54" wide printable area (137 cm)
☼ White, 4.4 oz per square yard
☼ Thread count: 145 x 73
☼ Light-to-medium-weight, with excellent draping properties
☼ Crisp, bright color that washes well
☼ Appropriate for drapes, dresses, blouses, scarves and outerwear such as kimono jackets, dressing gowns
☼ Estimated shrinkage: 2-3%

Silk Crepe de Chine

Semi-sheer 100% silk with a delicate texture and beautiful drape.

☼ 42" wide printable area (107 cm)
☼ 2.2 oz per square yard
☼ Appropriate for dresses, blouses, lingerie
☼ Estimated shrinkage: 3%
Please note that the texture of the silk means that printing will not always be 'on grain,' and dark colors may bleed very slightly along the edges of design elements.

Poly Crepe de Chine

Poly Crepe de Chine is just like Silk de Chine in texture

(silky drape, fine crepe texture, sheer and delicate weight)

suitable for scarves, delicate blouses, lingerie

☼ 100% polyester crepe de chine
☼ 52" wide printable area (132 cm)
☼ 1.9 oz per square yard
☼ Thread count: 198 x 112
☼ Estimated shrinkage: 0-2% in length and 0-2% in width

 images coming soon


100% polyester satin with a shiny finish

 54" wide printable area (137 cm)
 2.2 oz per square yard, Thread count: 165 x 79
 Appropriate for lining apparel and bags, wedding decor, 
and soft, silky accessories such as scarves,lingerie, 
kimono tops, dressing gowns and boxer shorts
 Estimated shrinkage: 1%


100% polyester canvas with 45% recycled content

 54" wide printable area (137 cm)
 White, 8.7 oz per square yard
 Thread count: 32 x 88
 Crisp, bright color that washes well
 Appropriate for upholstery, bags, pillows, toys, play mats, and jackets
 Estimated shrinkage: 1%

Faux Suede

100% polyester woven napped fabric

 54" wide printable area (137 cm)
 White, 7.5 oz per square yard
 Thread count: 178 x 89
 Crisp, bright color that washes well
 Appropriate for bags, upholstery, pillows, structured clothing, and toys
 Estimated shrinkage: 1% in length

Sport Lycra

☼ 88% polyester, 12% Lycra fiber with moisture-wicking finish
☼ 56" wide printable area (142 cm)
☼ 8.4 oz per square yard
☼ 4-way stretch, 75% in width and 50% in length
☼ Optic white
☼ Estimated shrinkage: 0-2% in length and 0-2% in width
☼ Colorfast to chlorinated and salt water

 images coming soon

Heavy Cotton Twill

Sturdy 100% cotton twill with an optic white finish

☼ 58" wide printable area (147 cm)
☼ 8 oz per square yard
☼ Thread count: 112 x 53
☼ Estimated shrinkage: 2-4% in length and 2-4% in width
☼ Testing is recommended for applications where the printed fabric will be exposed to heavy abrasion (rubbing).
☼ Appropriate for home decorating including drapery, table linens and some upholstery projects, banners, tote bags, pants, coats and jackets.

More fabric options are available via Spoonflower, the list above is an explanation of the most popular fabrics for sale in the Thistle and Fox Etsy shop

Other fabrics available soon (printed in the UK) 

  • Velvet (100% Polyester - 135cm)
  • Organic Cotton Panama
  • Cotton Drill
  • Pima Lawn (100% Cotton - 140cm)
  • LIMANI LINEN (10% LINEN 90% COTTON - 130 CM)
  • Bamboo (100% bamboo, woven, lightweight - 130cm)
  • HEAVY SATIN FR (100% POLYESTER - 140 CM - Ideal for Curtains)
  • SATIN (100% COTTON - 135 CM)

Linen Cotton Canvas printed with Honeybee Golden


Q. Can I sell items I've made from your fabrics?

----> Yes, of course! 

I always appreciate a mention of Thistle and Fox where possible so if you are selling your wares online, please credit me as the fabric print designer.

I also love to see photos of what you've created so please email me!

Q. Can I get a pattern I like in another color? Can you change the scale of the design for me?

----> Yes to both! 

I am happy to make simple adjustments to background colors or the scale of any of my existing designs. You'll need to contact me before checkout so I can make these changes for you before the fabric order is placed as it automatically goes into production when ordered via the Spoonflower site.

Q. Do you do collaborations?

----> Absolutely! 

Perhaps you sell baby clothes and you'd like an exclusively illustrated fabric? I'd love to work with you! Please contact me so we can discuss the finer details

Q. Can I get a sample of your fabric before I place a large order? 

----> Yes, though unfortunately I cannot afford to offer free samples. 

  • Have you ever sampled any of the fabrics from Spoonflower? This is where my fabrics are printed. You can order a swatch booklet of their entire range of fabric types (unprinted) here:
  • Or order a printed swatch sample of my design so you can see how the colors turn out on the fabric you are interested in. 
For my unreleased designs you'll need to order the swatch via my etsy shop using this listing: 

  • Or browse my portfolio of over 1000 designs here:
  • Please note: You can only take advantage of free shipping if you place your order via my Etsy shop. 

If I can help you with any further questions please feel free to ask! 

Warm Regards,