Wednesday 6 December 2017

Sewing for the Christmas Bazaar

Right off, I have to warn you - we're not talking big bazaars here.  I live on a tiny island with a year-round population of about 350 souls so our Christmas Bazaar is pretty small, too.  Google Thetis Island and you'll see what I mean - I think we have 9 miles of roads!  This was my second Christmas Bazaar, although I do take part in our little summer markets. My stall was all children's wear so I'd like to tell you how I prepared for our Christmas Bazaar.

Know your Clientele

While the summer markets see a lot of summer holidayers and boaters, the Christmas Bazaar caters mainly to islanders and there are a lot of doting grannies and aunties!  I make special things for the Christmas Bazaar.  Grannies aren't looking for run-of-the mill clothes they can buy anywhere - they want something unusual!  I do have some basic things for my stall, but I also have a number of things made with amazing panels from the Netherlands imported by l'oiseau fabrics in Calgary, Canada.  You won't find these clothes anywhere else!
Here's a tunic I made using the L'il LDT pattern.
The back side is just as adorable.  The L'il LDT was just perfect for this panel with the width displaying the beautiful features of the pattern.
Grannies just love dresses for girls and the Prisma Dress in the A-Line option is perfect for those longer panels.
Again - just as amazing on the back!

Keep it Simple

You don't need to make extra work for yourself - choose basic patterns.  Some of my favourites for girls are:    L'il LDT   Prisma Dress    Sloane Sweater.  For boys, Vanguard Kit can be adapted so many ways - and I've used it for girls, too.
This shirt is from the Vanguard Kit.
These panels were huge - about 60" wide and almost a yard and a quarter long with enough to get the front and back for this size 7 shirt.
Little guys can have panels, too - here's a size 2 Vanguard Tee that uses the colour blocked sleeves to bring in the details of the panel.
It doesn't have to be a panel to make an amazing garment.  Here is the Sloane Sweater for Girls in a hooded shirt using a cosy jacquard knit to make it special.
And the versatile Sloane produced this yoked shirt - using remnants I had on hand.  Take a close look at the navy and white pattern - it's all sewing supplies!

Be Economical with your Fabric

I tend to be a scrap hoarder and keep bits that I think someday might be useable - I can't bear to throw away those gorgeous fabrics!  Again, Vanguard Kit to the rescue!
This wonderful digital print is no longer available and the Vanguard Kit's tee with its colour blocking was the perfect pattern to make use of the scraps.

Take Care of the Details

You are sewing for customers, so things need to be right.  Make your hems precise, neckbands just right, finish the seams properly.
With the foxes shirt, I machine-basted the colour blocked bits of the sleeve before I took it to the serger to make sure that the seams matched.
Just a little extra step, but it makes all the difference.
The end result is a shirt you're proud to have on your stall!

Prepare to Have Fun!

I had a great time - sold everything pictured above plus others and got several commissions.
Christmas Bazaars (and summer markets!) are lots of fun - it's a chance to catch up with neighbours and friends, gossip with other stallholders and just enjoy yourself - so make sure you do!  And if you sell some stuff - great.  You now have money to buy more fabric!

You can get these patterns through my affiliate links below if you don't already have them in your collection:

L'il LDT for Girls 2T -16
Sloane Sweater 
Prima Dress
Vanguard Kit 2T - 14

And be sure to check out all the creative bloggers taking part in the tour for ideas to help with your own Christmas preparations:


  1. Those clothes are so cute! I can see why they would sell!

  2. Love all the stuff you made for your booth!! Thanks for sharing it for the tour!