PDF Flash Sale

Because of new EU VAT Regulations (boy, am I tired of typing that, and so fed up with the situation), I will have to stop selling PDF Patterns through Etsy as of Midnight on December 31st 2014. This may seem to be a knee jerk reaction to the whole Vat Mess situation however; millions of small businesses are being effected by the (ridiculous, unfair and plain stupid) change- over 3.3 million in the UK alone- and this is a precautionary step to protect myself until we can figure out what the next step it… because all sources of help within HMRC are giving conflicting, incorrect or confusing advice and no-one seems to understand how we can comply, why indeed as a Small Business/Micro Business we should comply or what the next step might be.

Just to give you an overview, from 1st January 2015 if I sell a Digital File to another EU Country I have to pay VAT there. However there are 28 countries in the EU with 75 different VAT rates… so I have to register to pay VAT in every EU Country… and often I don’t know where my Customer is. I’m going to leave it there as I tend to start angry typing and become incoherent if I add more!!

I will still be offering Patterns as a hard copy however; the new regulations will include all products by the end of the year. The best explanation of the new regulations I have found is here, please read it if you are a small business as I was convinced the 80k threshold would protect me and it doesn’t. More interesting articles can be found here and here loosely explaining the situation and a very helpful Facebook Group has been set up here.

So, why not just sell to the US? As 80% of my business is with you guys- thanks by the way!- this is a viable solution. But wait… there’s a little piece of law which says I shouldn’t discriminate against selling to a certain Country without cause. I think this is cause not to sell to the EU, expecially when historically I don’t much however; there’s another really, huge, big issue with this. I sell on Etsy, who aren’t going to help me to distinguish between Countries so I can’t do this and keep this side of my business afloat. Great.

So, we’re left with several options… just sell Hard Copy Patterns with a complimentary PDF, just sell Hard Copy, or find another platform to sell on so I can distinguish between Countries so I can only sell outside of the EU which looks like it might be a more permanent solution for the size of my business.

 

Any hoo, because of this ”VAT Mess” I’m having a Flash Sale on all PDF Patterns…

Mini Top Hat PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit Eventide Corset PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit

Mini Top Hat PDF (above, left) £3.25      Eventide Corset PDF (above, right) £4.25

Dusken Spats PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit

**NEW** Dusken Spats PDF (above) £4.25

Costume Sewing Patterns Selection Pack inc. Victorian Corset, Steampunk Burlesque Mini Top Hat and Steampunk Spats

All three PDF Patterns (above) £10

How’s about that then? They’ll only be available for the next two days… eek!! Click the images to buy 🙂

Happy stitching

Notes from the Atelier

I recently noticed that I don’t really talk a lot about what I do, sew and create on a day-to-day basis. Well, readers that is all about to change!!

Welcome to the first ‘Notes from the Atelier’, a brief update of all things Midnight-y and just what shenanigans I have been getting up to in the week!

aletlier2 atelier1 green silk spats

This week I have been sewing up Spat orders for Etsy, working on my soon to be released Spats Pattern, sewing up a whole host of Eventide Corsets which will be on sale at the end of Corset Month, and stitching up a couple things for me to wear- which is always a little bit of a shock as I never seem to have time to do this really! I lament this fact almost on a daily basis… I teach so many people each week to make wonderful items of clothing and yet never make myself anything!!

Aah, the trials and tribulations of a professional seamstress and occasional Costumier!

Spats have been super dooper popular this week, and I have finally started work on a new range. I am calling them Drainpipe Spats as they do not have the graceful curved turn down of my original Spats. I think they look a little more Victorian because of this, and I can’t seem to stop myself putting rows of Buttons down them… no matter the pain of that many Button Holes!

Here’s a sneaky peekie of the Eventide Corsets! As well as these awesome fabrics (I’m so in love with the below left!), I am working on a beautiful Sinful Red Satin Waspie as well as a Black and White Stripe Satin Corset to die for! I love each and every one, and can’t wait to share them with you all!

atelier3  atelier5

If you fancy making up your own Eventide, check out the Kit here.

I have also just received my very first piece of Shop display equipment! A lovely dress form, she’s so pretty! But she needs a name so watch out for a little competition coming soon. In other news, The Eventide Corset will soon be stocked at Vena Cava Design, which I am over the moon about! They’re a company I have ordered Corsetry equipment from for years, and I am super proud that they have chosen to stock me.

So, all in all, it has been quite an exciting week at Midnight Atelier. Long may it continue… I’m off to write this weeks series of posts for Corset Month. It’s all about boning, yay!!

Happy stitching!

Spats n Hats… not just for Chaps!

Okay, okay… I just did that title ‘cos it rhymed!

I have a fabuloso new offer in my Etsy shop:

spats n hats deal

spats n hats deal 2 spats n hats deal 3

Choose from any listed pair of Spats and a Mini Top Hat Kit to complete your look this season!!

SPATS:

Maybe try a Pinstripe? Or a Rootin’ tootin’ Old West Victorian Blood Red Silk pair?! Or the dandy Pirate Print? Whichever style you decide upon these ankle high Spats fit to the floor, and curve gracefully towards the button fasteners. The top of these Spats has been designed to fold down to create different shapes whether you are wearing boots, heels or shoes! A great addition to a Costumed night out, or a smart finish to any outfit.

Hand made and hand finished by Laura After Midnight the finished ankle measurement is 30cm/12”. All pairs of Spats to come out of Midnight Heights are delivered wrapped in acid free tissue paper. Simply convo your choice when purchasing.

MINI TOP HAT KIT:

Laura After Midnight’s Unique Mini Top Hat Kit is available in many stunning Silks and Cottons both plain and patterned. Included in each Kit is a decoration pack with Satin Ribbon, Lace, feathers, Vintage Buttons and many other details to decorate with.Each pack includes all fabric needed to create your very own Mini Top Hat with pins, needles, pattern sheet and full instruction booklet and decoration pack to inspire.The very first of its kind and stuffed full of wonderful little illustrations, this excellent little kit guides you through every step of properly constructing a Mini Top Hat using basic Millinery techniques that have both been taught and picked up over many years of Costume Making here at Midnight Heights! With added insights into stitch terminology and hints and tips any one who can hand sew can make this little darling hat, or learn to refine their technique. The pattern included is re-usable so with one quick trip to the haberdashery store you could make more for your friends, to give as gifts, add the finishing touch to a wedding party or just for you! All you need is a pair of sharp scissors, and thread to match. Finished height is 8cm/3″.Simply convo your choice when purchasing. If you do not see the colour Spats or Hats your heart desires please convo me! Midnight Heights is stuffed to the gunnels with delicious fabrics to please everyone innermost fantasies!

Visit my Etsy store now to purchase!!!

Found on a Friday

MossSkirt  elisalex

The Moss Skirt from Grainline Studio, the Jasmine top from Colette, and the Elisalex Dress from By Hand of London all independent Pattern manufacturers. 

Owning your own business is an ever changing landscape. I find myself constantly evolving, questioning and developing to new demands. In this, my 2nd year of Laura After Midnight, I have really run into some stumbling blocks. I know why, and I am scrambling to rectify the situation however; it has taught me some very valuable lessons. The first of which is: have and maintain targets.

Last year I had a clearly defined goal in place: to make £50 a month from Etsy sales, to blog at least once a week and to do one Vintage Market.

These simple targets propelled me through the year magnificently. They were simple. They were clear and concise. They were achievable (although I didn’t think so at the time!).

This year I have only just put my targets in place. I think I have struggled because I am slowly ‘turning a corner’. I am making money from what was formerly essentially a hobby, all be it a paying hobby, but something I did in my spare time none the less. People are starting to talk about me and my products, I am getting requests and lovely feedback from customers and my ‘brand’ is developing. I am about to get (fingers and toes crossed) my first pieces of press in place. I have stockists. All of this has I think, slightly scared me!, and I have spent almost half of the year in free fall just trying to catch up with it all.

So, on to targets and what I have just discovered today.

1. To make £100 a month from Etsy sales. Not much I know however; my sales have been flagging this year so I would like to keep this target achievable.

2. To have a stall at at least 8 Christmas Vintage and Craft Markets throughout November and December. I have a sub category target for this: I want to make £1500 from these markets in that time frame.

3. To release more Kits, including my first Sewing Kit with Pattern as well as more smaller ‘gift’ Kits.

There, wasn’t so hard after all!! It was in writing these out that I started to wonder how people like Colette, By Hand of London, Sewaholic and Grainline Studio et al manage to design, create and afford to print their own patterns. So, to Google!

It would appear there are several options out there, and that it is not that expensive. The Sewing Directory helped with a post about smaller batches of independent Sewing and Craft Patterns, which lead me to SewPrint.uk  where the minimum order can be as low as 50, at £1.20 per piece which is well within affordability for me. This has galvanised me in to action, and I have decided that the Laura After Midnight Pattern and Kit range should be almost exclusively ‘alternative’. This is in response to the many questions I get teaching classes, on my Facebook page and here about making things such as historical Men’s waistcoats, Top Hats, Corsets, and historical/Vintage dresses.

2 3 1

The Robson Coat  from Sewaholic, the lovely Belle Bow Blouse from In House Patterns and the simply gorgeous Grace Hipster Panties from Ohhh Lulu.

I am already designing a Spats Kit, which will be available as a full Kit with fabric and buttons, as well as a Pattern with instruction booklet which can be bought as a hard copy or as a downloadable PDF (I’ll get Fellas help with that lol!). I am also developing a Corset Kit based around my lovely Victorian pattern, which I have developed over the years to fit and mould the modern form beautifully. This too will be available in the three different versions above. Other ideas include Tap Pants and Fitted Victorian Waistcoats amongst others.

I think this is an excellent place to start, as I can design, develop and print these initial patterns myself. It will allow me to get a feel for the market, and see if there is a customer base for alternative patterns like these. I know that there are already companies offering Patterns like these however; they very rarely come with full instructions, and if they do they are never illustrated. the patterns themselves are often a straight copy of the historical garment, with little or no concession to the modern form and on the whole not many of them are accessible to the beginner… and that is predominantly my customer base. I’d also like to utilize my Pattern Cutting skills and make then available in many sizes, for every figure!

So, this is what I have found this Friday… my target, and some wonderful pattern and pattern printing companies (for a bigger list click here or here). Do have a look at some of them, they’re really excellent, and designing Patterns which are unique and often very simple to make up. I am slightly obsessed with the quirky way in which they package their Patterns and instruction!

What have you found this Friday?

Happy stitching!

Lovely!

Heather, a lovely Bride I made a couple pairs of Custom Spats for a while back, has just messaged me over the below picture! Doesn’t she look stunning?! And the pins! Oh, for legs as lovely…

wedding spatsHeather was delight to work with, and I adore the Steampunk and Victorian touches she has added to her Wedding ensemble. It all looks so airy, light and beautiful!!

Don’t forget, I am delighted to take on commissions such as this. Custom Spats start at just £25.00 with free P&P, for a similar design to the above. I can have them made and ready to ship in as little as 48 hours- if I have the fabric to hand. Alternatively, my most popular designs are always listed on Etsy. Why not peruse the virtual shelves of Laura After Midnight?!

If you would like to add a beautiful touch of the historical to your wedding do not hesitate to contact me!

I wish Heather and her lovely new husband a lifetime of happiness, and sincerely thank her for sharing her stunning photographs with me.

Happy stitching!

Midnight Makes

So, what have I been up to over the past week or so?

Well, apart from an awesome weekend away with nearly ALL of my family, lounging about in the sun, barbecuing, eating cake, loosing kites and watching movies projected on to the side of my Brothers humongous van (he’s Wagtail Joinery!), I have had a slightly magical week!

famfestProof! Can you guess the movie?! We are all gathered round with a fire pit, in deck chairs!

The camping trip left me with a bad back, which only lasted for a couple days but along with the heat left me pretty exhausted to be honest. Then I had a stomach bug- which I am totally blaming the weather for! I am not a happy sun bunny, I am a misty moisty cold weather kinda gal!

In between my whining about the heat however; I have had some inspiration strike! Look at my new Alice in Wonderland themed Mini Top Hat, Mini Top Hat Kit and Fascinator Kit!!

9

I have a confession… this gorgeous bundle of loveliness is about to be packaged up and sent off for a teeny tiny featurette (mini squeal of excitement!), but more on that later. The Mini Top Hat and Fascinator Kit’s will be available on my Etsy store soon (let me know if you’re dying to get your hands on one and I can ship sooner!).

4 3

The Mini Top Hat features Alice in Wonderland playing cards, feathers and a ”In This Style 10/6” card, with Black Lace, Velvet Ribbon and Vintage Buttons… I am loving this Kit!! The Fascinator Kit is more Alice themed, and I channelled the traditional image of Alice with a little sweetness, Pale Blue Paper and Moire style Silk, flowers and Vintage Buttons… I have also tucked a few Cream Feathers in this Kit for a little something extra!

8 7

And oh my gosh, I had so much fun making this little hat! I started it in the heat of the noon-day sun whilst camping and I think it has turned out wonderfully! I am making up a Gold Silk and Gold Lace one in a similar style as I type this, and a couple of the oft requested Mini Tricorn Hats so expect more pic’s soon!

I have also been receiving regular reports of my first ever magazine shoot squee!! I made up a costume about two weeks ago and I can’t share anything until it is published but I am desperate to share, the photos are truly, magnificently stunning and I became quite emotional looking at a piece I had created here at Midnight Heights looking suddenly so stunning!

So, along with commissions, the ever present orders for Spats and the above, magazine and featurette loveliness, this week has been quite delightful on the creativity front!

I do hope your week has been as lovely,

Happy stitching!

Some stunning new Mini Top Hats.

New things have been listed (finally!) in the Laura After Midnight Etsy store, hooray!! I feel as if I am a whirlwind of activity at the moment, and had actually given myself today off. What do I find myself up to? Writing a new Zine, and excitedly photographing things for Etsy then listing! Oh well, I’ll sleep when I’m dead and all that!

Gold Hat 1 Gold Hat 4 Gold Hat 2

In the spare time that I do have, I’ve been hand embellishing some Mini Top Hats I made a while back with all sorts of lace, spangles and adornments I have found in my stash, and I do have to say that I am mighty impressed with the results! I bought a Vintage Embroidery book a while back which was all about the results Chain Stitch can give you if you layer it up.  As you can see I have used it to make Flowers and mixed it in with Spangles for a very effective and highly embellished look.

Cream Hat 3 Cream Hat 5

Above are just two, there are more in the shop! Because my line of Spats have proven so very, very popular, I have been working towards make a new and slightly more colorful range. What do you think? I adore the Pirate Spats soo much!!

Red Spats 1 Ship Spats 2

Stripe Spats 1 White Spats 1

In other news: I am on target for my 2nd Zine! Eek!

I am furiously commanding Photoshop to do my bidding as we speak, scanning in illustrations and generally having a high old time. This one is actually going to be given away as a free little extra with any Zines I sell and is all about the Vintage Sewing Books I use, and find most helpful. As I think every Seamstress (or Seamster!!) should own a couple and I have hand illustrated the covers and written a small review for a teeny tiny yellow Zine.

Right, time for tea me thinks…

Happy stitching!

Well, this is an interesting one folks! Entitled Urban Working from Athenary on Etsy I am loving the mix of things she has gathered, & think this would be an amazing selection of outfits to wear to the workspace!

Winter Gray coat/ grey overcoat with long sleeves/ maxi coat with oversize button and pockets 70% wool,Size XS,S,M,L (J080) Chocolate Cigar black and white tweed waistcoat Black Pinstripe Spats

Retro High Waist Denim Stretch Pencil Skirt  Grey Women Hat Newsboy Cap with Off White Stiches Plaid Fabric size M Dark navy stripe wool-viscose blend suit

Enjoy, & click on any of the pictures to see the Treasury & shop!

Happy stitching!

Treasury Tuesday

For my first ‘Treasury Tuesday’ I’d like to share some of the Etsy Treasuries I have been included in over the last few months. In all the hustle & bustle of the last few months of 2012 it escaped my attention but I now see I have been included in over 20! It is quite an honor for someone whom you have never met to stand up and say, quite publicly, ‘I like this’!

If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with Etsy, or their wonderful Treasuries, hop on over and have a riffle through!! It is a wonderful way to shop for lovely things…

First up a selection of choices from ‘Hats’ by Su Zi. I love the Ladies Bowler by House of Night! This Treasury features my Gold Silk Mini Top Hat…

Terrific 'Tilley' Ladies Bowler Hat  Victorian riding hat bustle and veil Goth  Vintage 1960s High Crown Black Straw Hat  

Womens Hat Vintage Style Edwardian Hat with Feathers Titanic Style Hats  Black and Gold Downton Abbey Hat  Gold and Black Silk Mini Top Hat  SALE  Vintage ladies women's hat, wool felt Borsalino, Nordstrom Best, chic steampunk made in Italy.

Secondly a selection from ‘Over The River & In The Woods’, a wildly romantic Treasury featuring my gorgeous Antique Victorian Silk Corset from Boulder Canyon Paper Co.

Forest Specimens No. 1 Miniature Antique wood curio box diorama. Tiny Bottles of Wolf Fur, Hemlock Pine cones, lavender buds, Fox clawsCream Antique Victorian Silk Scarf CorsetGlass Vial Necklace - Fairy Tale Inspired - Snow White's Black of NightThe Story of Alice in Wonderland Bracelet. Gift for her under 30 usd

And finally, my Spats have been selling out again & again! Over half the Treasuries I am lucky enough to be featured in include a pair of Laura After Midnight Spats!! This wonderful selection is from Anika of Dragonfly On The Moon. I’m in good company aren’t I?

Map Cufflinks, Personalized Cuff Links Using Vintage and Modern Maps for Weddings / Groom / Groomsmen / Special Occasions, Custom Cufflinks   Silver Steampunk Capsule Necklace with Watch Parts   Raven Man's top hat mad hatter

Black Spats   Gothic Cross Charm Bracelet - CROSSED OVER - VERY Limited Edition - Last One   Awesome Huge Raven Crow Black Bird Steam Punk Iron ON Patch 100% embroidery

What strikes me about the inclusion of my pieces, is the diversity of their appeal! Obviously I am taking inspiration from the Victorian/Edwardian era but they have appeal for far wider audiences than that.

I would hasten to encourage anyone who has an Etsy shop to really look at the Treasuries they have been included in as it has certainly informed my design process.

Happy stitching!

p.s. Click on any of the pictures above to be taken to the original Treasury.

January Sale!!

If, like me, you spent most of November & December spending money on others maybe now is the time to spend a little on yourself!!

Everything in my shop is 25% off for a few days! Use code JANUARY SALE when purchasing, and if you buy more than one thing you’ll get a little treat sent to you as well… perfect for the after Christmas blues!

Black Spats with Cream Striped Lining   Black Pinstripe Spats   Black Spats

ALL SPATS FROM £16.90 WITH CODE JANUARYSALE

Red Silk Corset          Cream Antique Victorian Silk Scarf Corset

CORSETS UP TO £60.00 OFF WITH CODE JANUARYSALE
Moustache Mini Top Hat Pink and White Mini Top Hat Red Silk and Lace Mini Top Hat
ALL MINI TOP HATS FROM £18.75 WITH CODE JANUARYSALE

Of course this is because I am trying to clear down some stock to make way for some new things… but more on that soon!!

Happy New Year & happy stitching!