Review: Custom labels from Dutch Label Shop

Monday, November 20, 2017

Several months ago, while flipping through a quilt magazine at the grocery store, I saw a product  feature for Dutch Label Shop. I scribbled down the name on my grocery list and checked them out when I got home. Their custom woven labels were pretty much what I'd been wanting to add a professional touch to my projects. But seeing how I still had tons of labels I had printed via Spoonflower, I decided to hold off. Thanks, frugal upbringing.


In October Dutch Label Shop reached out to me and offered me a $100 voucher to try out their labels. They said they'd appreciate me blogging or posting about them on Instagram if I liked them, but I was not obligated to do so. Since I had already planned on buying them, I accepted the offer, but with less frugal guilt.

I saw the labels Jeni Baker had made and wanted something similar, a folded woven label I could stitch into the seams of bags or binding of quilts.

What I ordered: 200 sew-on center fold woven labels that measure 2.5" wide x 1" tall resulting in a 1" square label with a .25" seam allowance. My labels were white and I selected purple 2695C for my logo color, which was printed on both sides of the fold. I selected the "double white" option to preserver the white background. Here's exactly what the file I uploaded looks like. The artwork in the label is black, but I picked purple thread as I mentioned. The cost for these labels was $96 ($.48 each). For $106 I could have gotten 300 ($.35 each), but I wanted to stay within my $100 voucher.


The good: I'm 100% happy with how my labels turned out. I was concerned how my logo would turn out at such a small size since they are woven, not printed, but they look great! The edges don't fray and they feel just like any other woven label you'd find on store bought clothing. It'll probably take me a while to go through 200 labels, but when I eventually run out, I'll definitely reorder these. I hate hand sewing labels on quilts so these labels make a great alternative.

For an extra $10 you can get a photo proof, meaning they'll send you an image of an actual sample label made with your design, so that's a nice option to have. I didn't bother with it though.

The turnaround time was also reasonable. I placed my order on October 25th and my order shipped on November 2nd.

The bad (which isn't that bad): The website and ordering process can get confusing. Services like this need to find a balance of providing enough clear, concise instruction without overwhelming you. The site should be intuitive. There were multiple times during the process of ordering where I got confused, or felt unsure if I was doing things correctly.

For starters, the product categories aren't as clear as they could be, and it took me a few minutes before I was sure what I should even be choosing. For labels like mine, the category you'd want to select is "Brand Labels," which has two products: Basic Woven Labels and Woven Logo Labels. Uhh...what's the difference?

Basic Woven Labels are much more...basic. You can only pick from 3 sizes and your label will only consist of text with a limited number of font options. You can also add a clip art style symbol, but those have limited options as well. You can pick sew-in or iron-on, but that's it. If you're going to spend the time and money to get custom labels, I don't think these are worth it.

That takes us to Woven Logo Labels, the product I selected. When it comes to custom products, I've had experience with these kind of things. The company usually provides a template or image showing bleeds, safe artwork area, etc. to help you design your product. Dutch Label Shop is less helpful, which made me pretty nervous about how my labels would turn out.

The different kinds of folds are only explained via an illustration for each. No text. It would be nice to have an actual photo example and maybe a suggestion of what each type of use the labels are suited for.

The user interface for picking colors needs improvement too. You are presented with what appear to be basic color swatches (blue, brown, green, etc.) which gives the impression your options are very limited. However, if you actually click the blue swatch, a sub-menu appears with lots of different shades of blue. Okay. I was staring at the label color option for a while trying to figure out why basic white wasn't an option before I realized I had to click the black "base colors" swatch to then choose white.

Overall, the product is awesome, it's just the ordering process that I feel needs improvement. At the very least, reading this review should give some awareness of what to expect and alleviate some of that confusion. If I had been spending $100 out of my own pocket and not using a voucher, I wouldn't have felt super confident placing my order due to the confusion I had during the ordering process. Maybe I would have spent the extra $10 on the photo proof to be certain I was getting what I wanted.

If you're looking for professional looking labels, these get a thumbs up from me. Dutch Label Shop has given me the discount code "iamlunasol15" (no quotes) to share with you guys so you can get 15% off your purchase for the next 30 days. Enjoy!

Panache Fabric by Rebecca Bryan

Monday, October 30, 2017

Blenders have kinda been my jam this year. As much as I love a good fussy-cuttable print, I can't ignore the virtues of blenders. In fact, almost all of the prints I've been going bananas for lately have been blenders. I bet 2014 Felice would find my blender appreciation boring, but...*cue snooty mid-Atlantic accent*... I think I've developed a more mature fabric palette. Good thing my friend Rebecca Bryan's debut collection has a fancy name to match: Panache!

I have such admiration for Becca's quilt designs and eye for color. When Becca told me she was planning on getting into fabric design, I was all like:


And of course, she went and designed one of the prettiest bundles out there. I picked up one at Spring Quilt Market 2017 and it actually broke one of my big fabric habits. I used to keep bundles all pretty and tied up, segregated from my general stash. Panache just made more sense to break up and mix right into the madness. Then I broke up all my bundles so everything could be in color order. One of the downsides of being on the inside of the industry is the constraint of frequently needing to work exclusively with one line at a time. I feel like Panache is a great excuse to break out of that. I've been having such a great time looking though my stash for blenders, mixing Panache with lots of other prints.


My favorite project I've made with the line so far is the Batty Bat pattern by Funky Friends Factory. Look how cute and spoopy he is! 

I used Panache throught my Fussy Cut Sampler blocks for the book's SAL. I think a bundle like this would be a great starting point for a sampler quilt. 

I most recently used a bit of my favorite print, the black triangles, as an accent on a drawstring bag to hold all my pins to sell at Quilt Market. I love the selection of black, white, and gray prints in this line too! Most rainbowy blender lines just ignore those colors, but it's so good to have them.

And of course, Panache's stripes were the only non-Caturday/Luna Sol prints I used in my Tula Nova quilt (although that yellow stripe is pieced). The stripes might get overlooked, but they're so dang useful. I just ordered a few yards of the black and white stripes to use for quilt bindings. 

So if you've been bananas for blenders like me, give Panache a gander! It's one of those flexible, perfect-for-every-project type collections that I have a feeling I'll be repurchasing and stashing.

Caturday Blog Hop & Giveaway

Monday, October 16, 2017


Happy Caturday, friends! Pretty much every day is Caturday in our home with the two furbabies that inspired this collection, Batman & Chi.

A post shared by Felice Regina (@iamlunasol) on
Caturday initially started off as a sketchbook exercise in drawing cats. I was hesitant about designing a cat-themed collection because there is SO MUCH cat fabric in existence already. But during an afternoon of browsing cat fabric online, I realized I was seeing a lot of the same themes. Paw prints, yarn balls, and pretty much anything portraying cats as gentle, sweet princes and princesses. Meanwhile, Batman was trying to shove his butt in my face, Chi was trying to use the litter box while my husband was scooping it, and my mom was complaining about how she'd have to replace her clawed up couch when we moved out. I wondered, "do the people who made those prints even have cats? Because cats are assholes. Adorable and lovable, but still assholes." (Anyone remember this embroidery pattern? It's relevant.)



I designed Caturday to tell the true story about our feline friends. Litter Glitter depicts those awful pee clumps you scoop out of the litter box. Cat Scratch Fever is your ruined couch. Assterisk is...well...cat buttholes. (Here's a relevant comic I did back in college.)


One of my favorite parts of the range are the two border prints that I designed specifically for garments. The scale works for both adults and children's clothing. Check out this lovely dress by Lucy, @SmileandMake.



But of course, we can't forget the quilts! I have three new quilt patterns available to coordinate with Caturday: Pretty Paws, Caturday Medallion, and Fishbones. All are available as PDF downloads through my Craftsy shop, but Pretty Paws and Caturday Medallion are also being offered as paper patterns in quilt kits through local quilt shops. Be sure to ask your local shop if they plan on offering the kit!










A fourth pattern, Kira Kira, is available in issue 52 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine.



The collection has 24 prints in all and is in stores now! For more project inspiration, view the look book or check out #CaturdayFabric on Instagram (and tag your Caturday projects too!). If you need something small to get you started, give the Fat Cat Softie a try with my free tutorial.



GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the launch of Caturday, I'm doing two giveaways for a fat quarter bundle of the collection. One here, and one on my Instagram. To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment below! I'll pick a random winner on October 23rd. To enter my Instagram giveaway, check the post here.

Be sure to follow along with my friends for the rest of the Caturday blog hop!

Blog Hop Schedule 

October 16 - I Am Luna Sol (Me!)
October 17 - @iamlunasol Instagram Giveaway
October 18 - Kate Basti
October 19 - Modern Handcraft *Delayed until Oct. 20th*
October 20 - Gnome Angel
October 22 - Sew Sweetness Facebook Live stream @ 5pm CST


 
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