Monday, August 6, 2012

Bags: Time to make and costing

As I've been making jean bags I've noticed that it is hard to cut down the time involved which I think is needed for a marketable selling price.  

The thing that appealed to me when I first made them was the unlimited creativity of doing what looked right to me for a balanced design and interesting texture without consideration for time involved or anything else.

Taking apart the jeans and finding a pleasing way to put them back together can take 4-6 hours a bag, especially when it is lined and has a zippered pocket.   

If I charge at the going rate for labor for a seamstress, plus overhead, plus profit I think I am at more than what the market will bear.  

Not surprisingly I find myself less and less inclined to work on making bags as I ask myself - to what end am I making them?

Honestly I am a bit bummed as I have a booth reserved for the September 29 Designer Sale at Canada College, Redwood City, CA.  What can I make and sell besides bags? Of course I will have some and will see what happens. Seems prudent to have other items too. 


TGBM Tally
Thrifted: Nada
Gifted: Jewelry
Bought: Jeans and Red Patent Leather Loafers
Made:  Red, White & Blue Sailor Collar top

Friday, August 3, 2012

one week later...

Whew, it took awhile to catch up after the end of Entrepreneur class.

I've been working on that 100 year old tuxedo for my friend.  It is more complicated than I anticipated so is taking much, much longer.  I do love the hand stitching and find it very satisfying.  I am also tickled to see the inside work - what is hand stitched and what is machine sewn and where the padding is located.

One of the things that has surprised me the most is the quality of the fabric. The wool (outside) and the silk (lining) and cotton (interlining) are all so tightly woven that they are tough to push a needle through and I find myself with dulling needles and sore fingers.

I don't remember seeing fabric this tightly woven even at Britex. It explains why the garment is in such good shape. The only part that shows damage is the lining at the neck and lower back and there is some wear on the edge of the satin collar.

One more thing. My friend wanted to put in a patterned lining, and we selected a zebra print (silk charmuse) to match shoes she wants to wear.  This created a problem as I had not thought about properties of the charmuse (soft and drapey) compared to the original lining (stiff).

As a result, trying to manipulate the charmuse to duplicate the shapes of the original lining pieces (princess style seaming) is He double L.  Serious bummer and very time consuming.  You can't just give up in the middle of relining a 100 year old tux.

TGBM tally yesterday:
Thrifted: Red cashmere sweater, grey skirt
Gifted: necklace pendant
Bought: grey shoes, earrings
Made (Reworked) - The skirt started as pants. The sweater started as a size 3X so I cut it down.

TGBM tally today:
Thrifted (consignment): brown heels
Gifted: Blue jasper earrings (thanks Suzy-Q)
Bought: Jeans (retail), White linen kimono blouse (from artist) 
Made: Nada

P.S. Today I found a pair of jeans that fit for $7.50(!!!!) at Goodwill in Palo Alto (off El Camino)