Sewing can be an incredibly rewarding hobby. Picture the scene — a warm cup of tea perched on your sewing machine table, a new bundle of fabrics stacked to your side, and all the sewing equipment you need for your project. What could be better?
An afternoon of sewing can ease the mind. And completing a tricky sewing project will always be satisfying — learning something new helps you hone your skills.
But did you know that your sewing hobby could also be lucrative?
If you have a passion for creating with your hands (plus some spare time to dedicate to your project), consider starting your own online shop or market stall to sell your handmade goods. Not only will you make some cash, but you’ll also enjoy knowing that other people are loving your homemade creations.
Some people might know instantly what their main product will be. However, if you’d like a little inspiration, here are seven items you could sew and sell…
If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to start with items that are easy to make. If your business is successful, you might have some demand for your products. Even if you can manage some complicated items when making them over a month or so, you need to consider the kinds of products you can whip up quickly and to a high standard.
One of these items is simple cushion covers. As they don’t require too much fabric (they don’t even need a lining) or components, they’re a relatively inexpensive item to make. Plus, as you can craft cushions from mixed fabrics, they present a great opportunity to cut costs even further by using scrap or recycled materials.
Cushions only need to involve sewing four straight sides, and though there will be some measuring and sizing involved (you’ll need them to fit some standard cushion fillings), you should find they’re easy to create at a decent speed.
Here are some other sewing projects for beginners.
If you’re looking to make more than one product, or just something slightly more challenging, try your hand at bunting! This fun and festive decoration is a popular item to sell online, but it’s also a fabulous market stall product as you can use your gazebo to show off the product.
Take a look at this easy guide to making bunting. Make sure you tell your market customers how they could use it — from garden parties to kid’s playrooms, the possibilities are endless!
Bags, purses and pencil cases
Customers love items that they can see themselves using, and who doesn’t use bags? Whatever form of bag it is — handbag, washbag, pencil case, etc. — few people can maintain that they aren’t useful. Things like tote bags or ‘shoppers’ are relatively straightforward to make, but if you’re a proficient sewer you could try making backpacks and handbags.
It’s best to try a few different products before launching your shop. Show them to family and friends and test them out to ensure they’re suitable for use.
Companies like The Cambridge Satchel Co. had humble beginnings in the founder’s kitchen or living room. Who knows where your sewing could take you?
If you’re more into crafting garments than other items, you might want to start your own small clothing brand. You can sew all sorts of clothes — from dresses and skirts to culottes and shorts.
Be prepared for people to have higher expectations of clothes than other items. It’s easy to tell if a seam is scratchy or if something doesn’t fit quite right! Make sure you perfect your designs and keep all your pattern pieces to ensure consistency across your products.
You’ll also want to invest in your sewing set-up — including a high-quality sewing machine table and sewing storage cabinet.
If you’d like to make some garments without the stress of making a well-fitted piece, why not sew some aprons? Aprons don’t require complex components, stitching, linings and other time-consuming processes. Plus, people shouldn’t mind if your aprons have a rather ‘homemade’ feel.
If you’re hoping to target the Christmas crowd, create some seasonal decorations. This could be anything from winter-themed bunting to advent calendars.
Fabric Christmas tree decorations could be quick, affordable items to make and sell, while home-sewn Christmas stockings will look great on a market stall.
If you’re happy to accept custom orders, why not specialise in personalised gifts? It’s an excellent way to show your customers that you’re willing to go the extra mile. Think about making items with your customer’s choice of coloured thread and fabric or items that incorporate unique initials.
RMF: Top sewing tables in the UK
As your business grows, make sure you have the best sewing storage and equipment to set you up for success. Check out our sewing machine tables, foldaway sewing cabinets, and other sewing furniture to make your creative space a dream to use.