New EU law threatens crafting / sewing community worldwide

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Today, I have a different kind of post. It’s about a tax change that is happening in the European Union on the 1st of Jan 2015. Wait! Don’t fall asleep just yet – hear me out because it potentially affects all of you and could be catastrophic for the crafting/sewing community. Even if you are outside of Europe. Please note that I am not a tax expert, this is my interpretation of the application of the rules based on a lot of research. Also, some aspects still require further clarification.

What is happening is that VAT (sales tax) on digital products will now have to be paid where the buyer is located – instead of where the seller is based. It’s designed to catch big companies like Amazon that base themselves in countries with low VAT rates. Sounds like a good idea, right? But incredibly the EU commission has decided that there will be no lower threshold on income before you have to implement this. Yes, if you sell just one PDF pattern for $10 to an EU country, you have to pay the VAT to that country. Unless you want to register in all EU countries you sell to (and file returns in all the different languages) you have to register for VAT in your own country and continue to file quarterly VAT returns. Those outside of Europe can register with HMRC’s non-union VAT MOSS scheme in the UK.

I know what you are thinking if you are outside the EU – that this doesn’t affect you. But actually the EU are trying to apply it to everyone. How can they enforce it? Well, we don’t know how much enforcement there will be yet but the US signed a treaty with the EU in 2003 which agreed to enforce each others tax regimes. This is enough to make many US designers say they will not sell to the EU any more!

If you live in the EU, next year you could find a lot of non-EU websites refusing to sell their digital products to you (PDF patterns, training courses etc).

It doesn’t only affect digital sales – applying this to digital sales is only a pilot for applying it to physical goods too – possibly as soon as 2016. This means that if you are in the EU you may find that many US companies will not sell or ship items to the EU because they don’t want to risk being liable for VAT, however small the chances of enforcement are.

If you use a marketplaces like Etsy and Craftsy then in theory the marketplace is the one liable for the VAT – not the designers. However, neither of those platforms has admitted liability yet and so many users of the platform do not want to risk it and will cease selling on the 1st of January.

Even worse – the law requires sellers to store two items of non-contradictory evidence of the buyers location for 10 years. Impossible for many sellers with limited IT skills.

So how am I dealing with this? If you didn’t know, I am based in the UK. I have the ability and resources to make the necessary changes to my website and will register for VAT. I intend to keep the price the same for everyone and just be less profitable when selling to EU countries. HMRC have clarified that the standard UK VAT threshold will apply to sales I make in the UK but I will still have to comply to the new rules for any sales in the rest of the EU. Unfortunately, I know of many small scale designers that are planning to give up selling because of these rules.

It affects all of us even if you don’t sell crafts or patterns because it reduces the choice of patterns available and kills fledgling businesses before they have a chance to grow into bigger businesses. It’s an unfair law, and instead of penalising the big companies that it was targeting it actually drives people to have to use third-party platforms instead of their own websites. It is a little ironic that it will create more business for Amazon.

Want more information? This facebook post has all the details and links.

What can you do?

  • Sign this petition and this petition.
  • Join the planned twitter storm this Tuesday (16th December 2014).
  • Join this facebook group where there are some great people organising opposition.
  • If you sell digital products, complete this survey.
  • If you are in the EU, write or email your MEP (although the EU commission is unelected – they are appointed by the MEPs).
  • If you are outside the EU write to your senator or equivalent – most are unaware of these changes and how they will affect their citizens. The US government in particular could put a lot of pressure on the EU if they choose to.

Thanks for listening!


 

 

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Understated Christmas outfit

Understated Christmas outfit 2

Hello! How are your preparations for Christmas going? This time last year I was co-hosting the 12 Days of Christmas series with my friend Suz. It was so much fun to see everyone’s Christmas outfits – you can find a round up of all the guests’ outfits here. However, December is such a busy time of year with plenty of opportunities to have some impromptu fun with the children, so this year we decided not to run it this year. We still love sewing some special outfits for our children though, so today we are both sharing what we have made. Read to the bottom of the post for a link to see what Suz has made.

Understated Christmas outfit 3

I was hoping to make outfits for both my boys this year but didn’t quite manage it, maybe I will in time for Christmas though. I started with Casper’s first as then it can be passed down to Rowan later to get more use. As I said last year we tend to dress quite casually at Christmas, so I didn’t go too over the top. These are items that Casper can wear every day.

His sweatshirt was inspired by this Yay sweatshirt and I added the Ho Ho Ho using a freezer paper stencil. The raglan pattern is my own and is the same one I used for last year’s Christmas sweatshirt, which was also grey. It could become a tradition.

Understated Christmas outfit 1The trousers are made with my twisted trousers pattern that I’m working on at the moment. I actually bought the fabric for these in time for last year’s series but didn’t quite get around to using it. Unfortunately it is out of print now but it was from the Oh Deer range by Momo for Moda. The base blue is one of my favourite colours and I couldn’t resist the cute little deer. I was having trouble deciding what colour piping to use when I realised that my usual Christmas decoration colours and blue and silver. Luckily my mum was able to track down some pre-made silver piping for me at short notice (from Fabricland) and I love the subtle effect.

Understated Christmas outfit close up

Understated Christmas outfit pocketI try to involve my children in outfits I make for them, so they are more likely to wear them. Casper chose the faux bois fabric for the pocket bags and the purple fleece lining. Yes, this is the other reason he loves these trousers – they are fully lined in purple fleece. The outer fabric is a fairly thin quilting cotton so I wanted to give them some warmth for winter. The fabric is from a £3 Ikea blanket and the trousers are actually fully reversible but definitely more cozy with the fleece on the inside. I would love a pair of these myself for the chilly weather we’re getting at the moment.

Reindeer twisted trousers - lining

It had rained quite heavily the night before I took these photos and Casper managed to fall over twice before I’d even taken any, so you might notice a few dirty marks. I think I need to embrace them though as he gets older. I love how I can look back and compare this year’s photo with last year’s – hopefully I will keep this up every year now!

Understated Christmas outfit back view

Understated Christmas outfit 4

Now make sure you head over to Sewpony to see the gorgeous dresses Suz made for her three daughters. Aren’t they adorable in this photo? I’m also a bit jealous of how warm they look, it’s freezing here.

The Christmas Dresses by Suz of Sewpony

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Rowan Tee Pattern Tour: Round up

I have had the best time over the last two weeks, receiving daily emails of amazing Rowan Tees. There have also been dresses, ears, faux pockets, faux fur pockets, liquid gold and funnel necks (check out the tutorial Celina posted today). I am so grateful to all the bloggers who took part and would like to say a huge thank you to every one of them.

So here they all are together!

WEEK ONE

Rowan Tee Week 1
From left to right:

Row 1
La Pantigana, Things for Boys, Sutures & Sandpaper, Sew Jereli

Row 2
2 Little Hooligans, Nearest the Pin, Girl Like the Sea, The Crafty Kitty

Row 3
Small + Friendly, Sew Outnumbered, La Folie, House of Estrela,

Row 4
Oliver’s Fancy, Handmade by Brienne, Diario de Naii

 

WEEK TWO

Rowan Tee Week 2

 

Row 1
Petit a Petit and Family, Buzzmills, Mme Cerise, Glitter + Wit

Row 2
Huisje Boompje Boefjes

Row 3
Stitched by Crystal, Sew Chibi

Row 4
Chelise Patterson, Emmyloubeedoo, Hungie Gungie, Miestaflet

Row 5
Begin with B, Nutta, Charming Doodle, Paisley Roots

Don’t forget that there is a discount code for newsletter subscribers that applies to all Titchy Threads patterns. Since it’s Black Friday on Friday I have decided to keep this offer open until this Saturday. Sign up here if you want to take advantage of this offer. Thanks for following along!

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Rowan Tee Pattern Tour: Day 10

It’s the last day of the tour! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing all of the T-shirts that have been shared over the last couple of weeks. I will be back with a round up post on Monday. It’s not too late to get an exclusive discount by signing up to the Titchy Threads newsletter (here) – the code will expire on Tuesday 25th November.

First up is my talented friend Celina, who writes at Petit à Petit and Family and is also a co-founder of the incredible Stylo magazine. We were very lucky to have Celina and her children come and stay with us for a few days in July. Rowan still talks about them and asks when they are coming back or when we’re going to visit them! If only they lived down the road. Celina comes from a fashion design background and really brings a unique voice to a sewing blogs, combining her love of kids’ fashion with her skills of a sewing machine. I love the colours in this T-shirt and if you follow her blog then you know she didn’t just make one – head on over to take a look.

Rowan Tee by Celina of Petit a Petit and Family

Next is the inimitable Kat from Sew Chibi, who  has a really cool, offbeat and fun style that I really admire. Her Halloween costumes blow me away every year, these Easter dresses are so beautiful and what little girl wouldn’t want this stunning light up princess dress! She brings her love of all things geeky to her sewing but often in a wearable way. Kat and her partner in crime Max host a monthly series called Sew Geeky that I am so excited about taking part in early next year. I think Kat has definitely put her own twist on the Rowan Tee pattern and you can find out the details here.

Rowan Tee by Kat of Sew Chibi

My final guest today, and of the whole tour, is Elisa from Charming Doodle. I first found Elisa’s blog when she became a contributor on the Sewing Rabbit and I was drawn to her lovely modern style and gorgeous photos as well. The Halloween costumes she made this year were incredible and I loved this post. She has several patterns including the popular knight hoodie (kids and adult sizes) and a free reindeer head, perfect for this time of year. Elisa made two Rowan Tees today, one of which uses snake print and gold fabric! Doesn’t it look cool. You can read more on Elisa’s blog.

Rowan Tee by Charming doodle

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Rowan Tee Pattern Tour: Day 9

It’s the penultimate day, which means there are only 6 more T-shirts to see. One of the best things about releasing a pattern is seeing what other people make with it. If you’ve made a Rowan Tee too then I’d love to see – you can add it to the Flickr group or join the Titchy Threads pattern group on Facebook.

Coincidentally all of the three guests today have three children for whom they make amazing clothes.

First we have Erin who writes the blog Hungie Gungie along with her sister Caroline. Both of them have impeccable taste in fabric and sew gorgeous clothes with lovely clean lines. Erin recently shared one of the most stunning dresses I’ve ever seen here and I know my 6 year old would be so jealous of the fabric that Caroline used for this dress. I love the way Erin has used a white base to show of a stunning graphic print on the sleeve stripes.  Find out all the details here.

Rowan Tee by Erin of Hungie Gungie
Chelise writes the blog Chelise Patterson and mostly sews amazing clothes for her children and takes beautiful photos of them too. She has a really unique style and comes out with such original designs. This dress she made for Sewvivor is just incredible and I was so impressed by this swimsuit where Chelise also designed the fabric. I love the fabric Chelise has used for her T-shirt today – and (again) so would my 6 year old.

Chelise

Jacq from Begin with b has three sons and, as a fellow mum of boys, I find her blog so inspiring. She finds the coolest fabrics and upcycles a lot, finding really unusual one of a kind fabrics. I loved the upcycling look she made while competing in Project Run & Play and the jacket she made for week 1 was phenomenal. Like Erin, Jacq has also used a white base to showcase a really fun print on the pocket, read all about it here.

Rowan Tee by Jacq of Begin with b

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Rowan Tee Pattern Tour: Day 8

It’s day 8 already and we’ve had so many amazing Rowan Tees already – and a couple of dresses!

First up today is Sarah from Emmyloubeedoo. This woman is so talented – not only does she have her own collection of cool and unique patterns but she is working on a really exciting new project that I cannot wait to see. Sarah mostly sews for her super cute daughter and herself. This Shandiin Tunic is simply stunning and I love how Sarah styles the outfits. Sarah has paired her Rowan Tee with another Titchy Threads pattern to make some cozy pjs. The print and colours are perfect for autumn – find out more on Sarah’s blog.

Rowan Tee and Fancy Pants Leggings by Sarah of Emmyloubeedoo

Tasha of Glitter + Wit (also the artist formerly known as I Seamstressed) is the master of pairing unusual colours and coming up with something magical. Did you see the outfits she made for Stylo? Incredible! I first came across Tasha when she shared this Little Kid Kimono set just before her son was born and I’ve loved everything she’s made since. Did you also know that Tasha sews standing up? I’m going to have to try that some time. Tasha’s son wouldn’t fit in the kimono anymore but here he is looking adorable in his Rowan Tee – you can read all about it here.

Rowan Tee by Tasha of Glitter + Wit

My friend Jane from Buzzmills has been so supportive ever since I started blogging. Luckily for me, her son Henry is a big fan of my patterns. Maybe I should start asking him what he’d like next. Jane creates so many amazing projects, both sewing and other crafts – including so many fun projects with her kids. Her recent mother and son outfits were amazing and her Halloween costume this year was hilarious. Jane has used some Charley Harper knit for her Rowan Tee. I’ve been so tempted to buy this print and it makes a gorgeous Rowan Tee. The T-shirt is paired with some orange hosh pants, which is one of Sarah’s patterns. You can find Jane’s post here.

Hooded Rowan Tee by Jane of Buzzmills

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Rowan Tee Pattern Tour: Day 7

First up today is Crystal from Stitched by Crystal. I really admire how purposeful Crystal is with her sewing, no messing around – she tested the Rowan Tee pattern for me and had made her first T-shirt less than a day after I shared the pattern. I first came across Crystal and her adorable daughter when she reviewed the Small Fry Skinny Jeans for Pattern Revolution. She sews in a lovely, airy modern style and takes gorgeous photos as well – she also has a shop.  I really like seeing the fabric combinations Crystal comes up with and she’s found another great one today for this spotty Rowan Tee.

Rowan Tee from Stitched by Crystal

My second guest is Annelies, a Belgian living in Texas, who has switched days with Jane. She writes the blog Miestaflet and has this amazing playful style, with the perfect combination of bold prints and patterns with clean lines. Seriously, if you haven’t visited her blog before then you’re in for a treat – this sleepsuit is just stunning and this is the cutest baby jacket. Annelies is sharing two T-shirts today. How cool is that panda fabric and look, it’s got ears!

Rowan Tees by Annelies of Miestaflet

My last guest today is Shino from Nutta, which means “I sewed it” in Japanese. Shino lives in Japan and sews for her two girls and herself. She has a lovely clean style with the perfect mix of solids and prints and an occasional twist of fun (check out this Hello Kitty dress).  I only discovered Shino’s blog recently so wasn’t sure if she’d be able to join the tour but fortunately for me she did. Shino sells some incredible fabrics in her shop and she’s used on of these for her Rowan Tee. Find out more on her blog.

Rowan Tee by Shino of Nutta blog

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Rowan Tee Pattern Tour: Day 6

We’re back with another week of T-shirts to inspire you. Have any of you started your Christmas sewing yet? I’m starting mine this week and I’ve got a few ideas running through my head for themed T-shirts.

Don’t forget that new subscribers to the Titchy Threads newsletter will get an exclusive discount code – subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber then you should have received that already. OK, let’s begin week two of the tour.

My first guest is Karly from Paisley Roots, who has been such a good friend to me. Karly tested the Rowan Tee and I lost count of how many versions she sewed up. She has already blogged about some of the T-shirts she made here. Karly started her blog with the aim of taking part in Project Run & Play, something she not only achieved but she went on to win her season. She also sells two gorgeous dress patterns in her shop, if only I had a girl to sew for! I love how Karly really takes her kids’ personalities into account when she sews for them. She never does things by halves and today is no exception, as you can see from the photo below and read about here.

Rowan Tees by Karly of Paisley Roots

Next is Maartje from huisje boompje boefjes, lives in Amsterdam and was a recent contributor on the KCW blog. Maartje sews a lot for her two young sons and I just love her style. I first got to know Maartje when she won the Small Fry Skinny Jeans sew along with these jeans and she has become a regular pattern tester for me. I would describe her style as effortlessly cool and innovative. She recently made a Rowan Tee in sweatshirt fabric (upsizing the width to get the right fit) and today she has made her T-shirt in one of my most favourite fabrics ever. Head on over for more details.

Rowan Tee by Maartje of huisje boompje boefjes

My final guest today is Sandrine, who writes the blog Mme Cerise. Sandrine has three boys and I discovered her blog during the most recent KCW. I first fell in love with this shirt and kept finding so many amazing clothes for boys. I absolutely love her mix of bold graphic prints with more understated classic fabrics, like this outfit here. Sandrine chose to sew a Rowan Tee for her eldest son. How cute is he son in his Rowan Tee? You can read all about it here.

Rowan Tee by Sandrine of Mme Cerise

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Rowan Tee Pattern Tour: Day 5

I can’t believe that the first week of the tour is over already.

The first guest today is Kerry from Australia, who blogs at Sutures & Sandpaper. Kerry sews for two boys and a girl and has been so helpful as a tester. I love her minimal style and she has a knack for combining colours and prints. Kerry has sewn up quite a few Rowan Tees and her daughter is particularly fond of the kangaroo pocket. Today Kerry is sharing this perfectly summery short sleeve T-shirt – don’t the colours remind you of ice lollies?

Rowan Tee by Kerry of Sutures & Sandpaper

Next up is Tara from Girl Like The Sea. Tara seems to pick the perfect combination of fabric, pattern and embellishment (like this amazing bee pinafore) every time. I really admire Tara’s talent and creativity and the way she shares this with her children. I love this Charley Harper art project they did (and how tiny is her son Hawthorne in that post!). If you can stop looking at that adorable face below then you will see that Tara has made an awesome hooded T-shirt, which she is talking about over here.

Rowan Tee by Tara from Girl Like the Sea

My last guest of the week is Brienne from Handmade by Brienne. When I read Brienne’s posts I really feel like I’m watching an artist at work – just look at this softie and all the accessories she made for it! I love the clothes she makes for her children and I’d be very happy to wear any of the things she sews for herself. If you love her work as much as me then make sure to check out her shop. When Brienne sent me this photo she told me the hood is her favourite part of the pattern, and I have to agree with her, so head over to Brienne’s blog to find out all the details of her T-shirt.

Rowan Tee from Handmade by Brienne

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Rowan Tee Pattern Tour: Day 4

It’s day 4 and I’m just loving all the photos everyone is sending me of their T-shirts.

Today’s first guest is Inês, who lives in Portugal with her husband and two adorable girls. She blogs at La Folie and regularly shares all the gorgeous clothes she’s been making for her daughters and herself. You can read more about her and her creative process in this interview. Inês helped to test the Rowan Tee pattern and has made two more for her post today although one is bit of a remix.You can read more about her T-shirts here.

Rowan Tee by Inês from La Folie

Christina of 2 Little Hooligans is a woman of many talents, with a huge variety of tutorials and beautiful photographs. I was completely blown away by the Halloween costume she made her son recently, it’s just incredible! One feature I haven’t really mentioned in the Rowan Tee is the twill tape using to stabilise the outside of the hood and Christina has used that to great effect and you can see her T-shirt here.

Rowan Tee by Christina from 2 Little Hooligans
Angie lives in Spain and writes at La Pantigana and I first discovered her blog when she made these amazing Small Fry skinny jeans.  She makes stunning clothes for her whole family and has a really fun style – I love Angie’s remix of the Poppy Tunic and she has included another remix today. You can see what Angie has done with the Rowan Tee here.

Rowan Tees by Angie of La Pantigana

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