Thursday, May 16, 2013

Completed: Six Dresses. Now What?

I'm turning 35 next week. I honestly believed my 35th birthday was last year, which explains the letter to my teenage self. It was only after my mother and I did the math that we figured out both our ages. (I come by it honestly. Obviously.)

The only real "by the time I'm 35 I'd like to _____" goal I have is to sell my handmade stuff.

Last year (at what I thought was age 35), I put some things in a shop here in our little downtown. It's a nice place, but it definitely wasn't geared toward my target market. One thing sold.

Things would be so much easier if I sold on consignment, especially in a super cute shop in downtown Asheville, but the commission means I wouldn't break even. I'd lose money if I sold things.

I've been playing around with Etsy and Facebook, trying to get a feel for the selling potential on each. And the market. Apparently I'm not the first person to want to sell a-line dresses and bonnets.

We're moving in a month. I don't want to talk about it.

(How's that for simultaneously burying a lead and killing a story? Dr. Dillon would be proud.)

So, given our soon-to-be-changing-dramatically logistical and financial situations, I figured it was my last chance to make the investment of time and money to establish inventory.

Gah. That's a long-winded introduction to these dresses, isn't it?


The first four are made using the Cottage Mama Ruby Ruffle pattern. For the middle ones I simply cut off the bottom of the dress and added a contrasting band.

The first two are my favorites. I intentionally made them too small for Eliza so I wouldn't be tempted to keep them. 



The biggest two have tiny flaws. The one with the fruit (Alexander Henry Fabric) has a light spot in the fabric right below the neckline, which of course I didn't notice until the whole thing was finished. And the one on the bottom right (Anna Maria Horner fabric) has a goof with the buttons -- I made the button holes too close to the top of the strap, so the buttons actually stick out above the strap. No biggie, but I don't want to sell them that way. So, Eliza ended up with two dresses anyway. Lucky girl.


As of writing this I'm not 100% sure what I'll do with them and the bonnets I've got slated to make. I've got one more week before I move into Crisis Packing Mode, so if I can get a few more things made and get the accounts set up. . . we'll see. I have a tendency to jump into things head first and spit and sputter my way to success. Painfully.

It's worked for 35 years. Maybe by 45 I'll figure out an easier path.

Stats:
Patterns: Cottage Mama Ruby Ruffle Dress (view B) and New Look 6578
Fabric: Anna Maria Horner, not sure about the contrasting fabrics -- all bought at Bumbletees in Germantown, TN. Alexander Henry (fruit) bought at Hobby Lobby years ago.
Modifications: Lined the New Look dresses, added contrast bands to a few
Thoughts: The Ruby Ruffle pattern runs significantly short. I knew that but failed to plan for it this time. Also, the New Look pattern has too-long straps.
Next time: Oh my, I learned SO much from sewing these. Marathon cutting sessions and assembly line sewing are effective. So is using only cream or white thread. Lining a dress is actually easier than fiddling with facings or bias tape.

7 comments:

  1. Wow, wow, wow.......you have been busy!! Those all look so great. I'm sure they are going to sell super-quik. I didn't see in the post....are you going to be selling them on Etsy? So excited for you!

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    1. Thanks!!! I'm working on it this week, now that I'm finished testing the most ADORABLE little girl's dress from one Super Talented Designer. :)

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  2. You are moving in a month? I need an update on your life!!! Love the dresses! You can do this...

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    1. With prayer from lovely people like you:) I felt every one of yours last time. :)

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  3. Happy dresses! It looks so nice to have them all in a row like that. I turned 35 on Sunday and don't feel much about it. I was thinking I was turning 34 since I was 32 when my daughter was born and she just turned 2. But then she was born an hour before my birthday so I turned 33 before even leaving the hospital :) It's all very confusing.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Eliza is turning two on my birthday, too!!!

      My mom gets confused about the difference in our ages for the very same reason. She turned 19 two days before going into labor with me.

      Happy Birthday to you AND Bean!!

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