Monthly Archives: June 2014

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Planning for Your Creative Business with Janet from Lazy Owl – Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Planning for Your Creative Business with Janet from Lazy Owl


Welcome back – here’s the second half of Janet’s post about creating a fun business plan tailored for your business.

When I re-vamped my blog Lazy Owl as a business resource, one of the first business topics I started blogging about was the challenge of creating a plan for growing a successful creative small biz. My experiences as a creative business owner had encouraged me to come up with my own process for formulating a business plan. I call the end result a “business plan”, but it’s really so much more than that. It’s also part marketing plan, customer analysis, mission statement, business vision, competitor analysis, and just an all around source of inspiration.

This topic generated so many hits and so much interest on my blog that I eventually decided to combine the articles with a series of related printables and worksheets into one simple e-course bundle, called Crafting a Business 101: The Creative Business Plan. This e-book features over 50 pages of content and printables to help you with every step of fleshing out a motivating, functional, and well-researched road map for your creative business.
Crafting a Business 101: The Creative Business Plan is not just an e-book to read; it encourages you to actually do stuff (and as artists, we usually enjoy the doing more than the reading!). You will actually create your business plan as you go through the course. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be left with a truly helpful set of documents that will guide you towards financial success and serve as an inspirational resource throughout your entrepreneurial journey.

pagesample1 copyThe e-course is currently available for download here, and all Stitching Rules readers can use the exclusive coupon code “STITCHINGRULES” for 15% off their download!

Thanks for joining me here today with Debra at Stitching Rules! I hope you’ve been inspired and motivated to get to work on your creative business plan.

Debra – Thanks Janet for inspiring us all to get cracking on our business plans. I’ll keep you posted with my progress through the ebook soon.

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Planning for Your Creative Business with Janet from Lazy Owl – Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Planning for Your Creative Business with Janet from Lazy Owl


Hi there! My name is Janet, and I’m the crafter, writer, and creative brain behind Lazy Owl Boutique, a handcrafted jewelry shop on Etsy, and the Lazy Owl blog, which provides business tips and goodies for other creative entrepreneurs.

After working as a CPA and accountant in cubical-land for a few years, I opened my own jewelry shop online in 2011 and steadily transitioned to becoming a full time creative business owner by 2013. You can read more about my journey here.

I’m here today to discuss why all creative businesses, no matter how small, need their own creative business plan. A lot of us get so excited about jumping into our new venture that we don’t take much time to plan ahead. And you know what they say – those that don’t plan, plan to fail.

A business plan doesn’t have to be a boring, static piece of paper that you dread writing. Your business plan is uniquely yours, and can be just like your amazing creative business – fresh, fun, and of course, creative!

Why does your small creative biz need a business plan?  Taking the time to develop a plan for your business is basically equivalent with building your business’ foundation. Consider it a road map for your venture, taking you from wherever you are now to your goal of financial and creative success. Hopefully you already have a great product; with some planning, you can help your business thrive.

A good business plan can and should:

  • Define your business mission and vision
  • Define your product and your brand
  • Define your target customer and how to best reach them
  • Help you decide how and where to market your business
  • Help you distinguish your products and business from competitors
  • Give you the background and tools to help you know your business better, and thus use your time more wisely
  • Provide you with both inspiration and motivation
  • Give you confidence and purpose in your decision-making as your business grows
  • Help you set goals for the future of your business

Hopefully now I’ve convinced you to spend some time working on your business plan. It’s never too early or too late for a plan. Even if you’ve been a creative business owner for some time now and operating without a plan, it will only help you to put some thoughts, goals, and plans down on paper.

Debra – Pop back tomorrow to read more about Janet’s ecourse bundle and receive a special discount code for 15% off.

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Sharing your WIP’s


I’m sharing a WIP (work in progress) with you today and letting you know about a competition running over at The Needlecraft Hub

I’m sure I’m pretty normal when I say I have MANY projects running simultaneously.  Seriously, who can work on just one thing at a time? Not me. It seems whenever I think I’ve got a handle on all my projects I decide to start a new one. So here’s a run through of what I’m working on currently

  • new pair of pants for myself using this pattern from Style Arc
  • a slip cover for the cube ottoman in the lounge room
  • new samples for the sewing patterns in the Etsy shop
  • paper piecing hexies for ? project
  • trying my hand at sashiko
  • a cross stitched pin cushion from Cath Kidston’s book “Stitch!”
  • tutorials to share with you here

So when I heard about the competition running at The Needlecraft Hub asking for photos of WIP’s I thought – perfect, I’m sure I’ve got one I can share! This is the photo I shared, it’s for the slip cover I’m making for our foam cube ottoman. It’s going to be a simple checkered pattern using fabric from vintage bed sheets. I’ve been keeping the remnants from all the pajama pants and tunic tops I made for sale at 5 Quirky Cherubs and can’t bear the thought of throwing them away so I’ve been cutting them up into three inch squares ready for a project or two.

WIP for The Needlecraft HubAll you have to do for the competition is upload a photo of your WIP to The Needlecraft Hub’s Facebook page and like the page – easy! Prizes are drawn randomly and winners receive a gift voucher to one of these online stores –

SEW & SO. – Needlecraft, Cross Stitching & Embroidery


ROSE GROUND – Bobbin Lace & Tatting

YAY FOR YARN – Knitting & Crochet


Entries close this Wednesday so hop to it!

Creating a Sewing Plan

How to Create a Sewing Plan

If you’ve been sewing a particular item for a while, you’ve probably already established a sewing plan without even knowing it. A sewing plan is a bit like the sewing instructions but simplified into bullet points and is useful for when you’ve got a large order of the same thing and need to work like a production line.

A sewing plan for a pair of elasticated shorts for example would look like this –

  1. centre front (CF) and centre back (CB) seams
  2. side seams
  3. overlock
  4. hems
  5. crotch seam
  6. overlock
  7. waist casing and labels

As you can see, it’s not a detailed set of instructions, but more of an ordered list of steps. The underlined steps are done on the straight sewing machine while the others are done on the overlocker. Doing the first two steps together saves a trip to the overlocker and will save you time.

For these shorts I’ve chosen to do the hems before the crotch seam because it’s easier and quicker to do the hems out flat. This is common practice in  children’s wear because of the size of the items. A hem on a pair of size 1 shorts can be a small area to work in and maintaining an even hem stitch line can become tricky when you’re trying to work quickly.

Top Tip – Elastic Casings

Not many commercial patterns show this, but you can insert elastic into a casing as you’re sewing. This eliminates the need to thread the elastic through the casing later. Learning this method will save you time and double handling – you won’t have to take the garment back to the machine to sew up the opening. It’s trick, but well worth mastering.

This post has been shared in the And Sew We Craft Linky Party.