Saturday, December 29, 2012

Selling on Etsy?

I've got too much stuff. There, I said it.

Vintage patterns that I'll never make up (menswear and maternity, anyone?), along with fabrics that were too good of a deal to pass up (but, now my tastes have changed). Add in my embroidery business offerings, and I think maybe Etsy will help me lighten my "stash" load.

My fear? Is it possible to lose money in the attempt to sell stuff there? I know it's just 20 cents per item to post, but there is SO MUCH STUFF FOR SALE THERE ALREADY. Almost seems like a saturated marketplace.  I'm not looking to make a million, but I don't want to give it all away, either. I'm thinking that if I "bundle" the patterns and fabrics, that will help them move. ????  With my embroidery business, I'd post samples, but take custom orders. Again, though, there are similar embroidery offers there, so is it worthwhile?

Can any of you tell me your experiences with selling (or shopping) on Etsy?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Santa's Workshop

Merry Christmas, from the North Pole!
Ok, so it's really Michigan, but it's (finally) pretty white and very cold... Doesn't that count?

The weeks leading up to Christmas found me busy in the sewing room with customer orders. A couple years ago I made some "Vera Bradley" inspired sweatshirts that went over big.  A former student contacted me to order one for her mother's birthday, and so I opened the door for additional orders...

I figured that as long as the supplies were out (and I had extra blank shirts), I might as well make a couple for the kids' teachers. I drew up a new design, using reverse applique, which turned out great!
And one for Grandma, as she is always cold and didn't have any "hometown spirit wear". Oops, no picture on this one. Came out of the machine, and went into a box for wrapping ASAP. Am I alone on this (bad) habit?

DH has always liked the look of the embroidered letters, and asked me to do one for him... minus the Vera Bradley print. Out came 4 more sweatshirts, one for him and each of his full-time firefighter shiftmates.

I used tackle twill for both letter layers, and these pics don't show the detail of the embroidery, but it's the same alphabet with a running outline. His firefighting friends on Facebook seemed to like this design, so I might be looking at more orders soon!

Add in a pretty skirt for Miss Princess for the holiday parties (oops, missing a pic there, too!) and a 10 shirt order for a local fire department, and that would be the Santa Sweatshop Workshop business!


The sewing room has gotten a good clean-up and organizational once-over, so I'm ready to make myself something pretty finally! I cut out a pretty purple top, and am about to head downstairs and have some "me time". I hope your holidays were equally "productive" and that your gifts were well received with smiles and appreciation. In the wake of the terrible tragedy that took place in CT, it seemed rather "silly" to hand my kids' teachers a sweatshirt and batch of cookies as a "Thank You" gift. These ladies (as have nearly all in the last 4 years) don't just "teach" my children. They encourage, and support, and love them, which makes my kids want to work harder and do better work. Little Man is a 1st grader, and born the same week as one of the boys lost at Sandy Hook. Mix in the fact that I am also a teacher, and the last few weeks have been... tough. Add in the Christmas Eve shooting of the firefighters in Webster, NY... such an end to 2012. Sorry for the tangent, but I sincerely hope that 2013 has better things in store for us all. I'm praying that it doesn't start with a fall off the "fiscal cliff"! It can only get better from there, right?!?!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Look 6051

This top was intended for my friend, but she said it wasn't really her style, so I'm keeping it.
 New Look 6051 (Sorry, no link. Simplicity's website is down! :(

I used 2 yards of poly silky print that's been aging in my stash for years. Seriously, like at least 4 years. It was a Joann's purchase, and I shortened the pattern by 2" to make my 2 yards work.

I opted for the boat neck, instead of the V-neck, and paired it with some wonderful Michael Kors pants I got on clearance last year. I little more "trendy" than usual for work, but a few compliments were collected, so I'm counting it as a keeper. I figure that if someone liked it enough to ask me to make one for them, it's not a wadder. Yes?
It's basically a poncho with side seams and an elastic waist. The "seam allowance" in the sides flutters and flows, but I still have a waist (thanks to the elastic).  I used single fold bias tape to finish the neckline and create the casing for the elastic. I think the pattern called for a drawstring, but I went with elastic instead. Such a rebel... ;)
I think its a good pattern for chiffon or lace, something sheer to take away the "blockiness" from the rectangular shape of the blouse. I'd love to make it again as a little dress and go out on the town with DH. (Are you reading this, DH? I'm pretty sure it would also be lucky at the casino. In case you weren't sure where to take me... hee, hee!)

Wasn't my friend/colleague so nice to take my pic? This is my school, and we have the same prep hour. It's easier to do this than stage a "photo session" at home (and it's 30 degrees outside). My students know that I sew, so now even a few of the boys will ask, "Ms. B... Did you make that? It looks nice." Such nice kids... most days!

Monday, December 3, 2012

From the Kitchen to the Studio

Spice rack we've had since we got married (13 years ago), that DH had the bright idea to clean up and use as an organizer in my sewing room!
After some soap and water, Little Miss moved all my buttons over and kept them color-coordinated. It spins, it's colorful, and it's out of the kitchen. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

In other news, I've been busy sewing up embroidered VB shirts for clients. Apparently these make great gifts...

Lastly, I got myself a new laptop on Thanksgiving (thank you Best Buy, and thank you embroidery orders). It's mine, all mine (not sharing with the kids, no I'm not!), so it will make posting to Pattern Review a heck of a lot easier! I still prefer my iPad for blogging, so we'll see...