When I moved to London in 2008 I did what all new Londoners do and bought my first Oyster Card. I then got my job in Bethnal Green and moved to Finsbury Park. My daily commute was about 80 minutes and my zone 2-3 travel card cost me about £80 per month. If there was one thing I have learnt living in London is that Transport for London (TfL) certainly knows how to charge for the pleasure of using London transport. So, when something the size of a credit card was costing me so much and looking miserable in a standard black TfL pouch I decided to make an oyster card holder. I didn’t have a fabric stash at the time so I raided my sister’s collection and chose a turquoise geometric print cotton remnant and a yellow cotton remnant. I also cut up an old pair of wool trousers of PBM’s and hand sewed them together. Et voila, I had something much prettier to keep my valuable oyster card in.
Fast forward 20 months and a load of sewing later I decided to make some oyster card holders from my stash of West African print cloth (ntoma) to give as gifts and to sell in my Etsy and Folksy shops so that other people could have some ntoma brightening up their commute. I only sold a few through Etsy, and have the impression that as Etsy’s so vast it’s relatively difficult to sell anything on there. Especially when people don’t seem to have the same inclination to leave feedback like they do on eBay. So, in the run up to Christmas PBM took the remainder of the oyster card holders in to his school (he’s a teacher) to show to the women in his department. They went down a treat and PBM sold them all. I even had to give him the one I’d kept at home for my sister for Christmas and make a new one for her so that his colleague could buy two for her friends as gifts.
In the run up to Christmas I had pretty much spent my free time making gifts for people – see here for what I sent to Denmark, and here for what I made PBM. So it was inevitable that, by the time Christmas had been and gone I’d be left twiddling my thumbs, fingers twitching at not having anything to make. Last Thursday (30th December) I therefore decided to make some more and see if I can sell them. We have a wedding to pay for after all! And here they are, all 16 of them – 12 are made using West African ntoma, the other four I made with Liberty Lawn Cotton.
Do get in touch if you’d like to buy one. £6 for 1, or 2 for £10. Plus £1 postage.