Sewing Things to Sell

Time sensitive announcements and any discussion that doesn't seem to fit anywhere else.

Moderators: BarbaraSher, Tituba

Sewing Things to Sell

Postby kashtanka » Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:48 pm

I would like to start sewing things to sell at a local craft fair next summer. The problem is, I don't know what type of items I can make that will sell at a price where I can make a profit. One of the items I had in mind was art smocks for children. I can make them for about $2 and sell them for about $8. Other easy items to make are table runners and placemats, but I don't think they would attract much interest. Does anyone here have an ideas for items I can make? Any other craft fair seamstresses here that have solved the problem? Thanks.
kashtanka
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2075
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:15 pm
Location: New York

Postby Firefairy » Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:43 am

If you live somewhere that gets hot, these neck coolers go like hotcakes and work beautifully. The company is extremely eco-friendly, as well. :-) http://www.watersorb.com/polymer_cool_neck_bands.htm
Firefairy
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:37 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Postby MDG » Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:07 am

Just in case there is something here to inspire you, Kashtanka... http://www.geocities.com/nornsneedlewor ... oject.html Scroll down the page. There are a couple more. I'll go get them. http://www.handspinners.com/archives/fa ... dowde.html [OOPS, scratch this one. It has disappeared. It was a photo of a sleeveless vest scrumbled in gorgeous colors. This will be my first project because I know how to shape it, building in darts. Shaping is so hard to find, nowadays.] And http://www.knotjustknitting.com See Prudence's galleries. I heard that those purses can sell for $300 - $350 each. They are made on framework of plastic mesh. I love the color combinations in 'Color Me Beautiful'. http://www.colormebeautifulbook.com Have you seen the purses made by Barbara's friends, the kilim weavers? I touched one, once...soft as butter and smooth as silk. Then there is Watercolor quilting...I'll go get you a picture that will weaken your knees. http://www.amazon.com/Watercolor-Quilts ... 1564770311 Click on 'Search Inside' for a close-up of the cover picture. Delicious! And then there was the gal everyone found so interesting because she had been sewing lingerie for years. She described the fabrics she used, including silks in surprising colors and patterns. If you can handle a serger and delicate cloths, this might be just the right avenue for you. I loved tailoring suits for one lady...in lovely navy-blue serge that was 30 years old at that time, 40 years ago. Does beautiful fabric like that still exist? If so, there are people who will pay big bucks for fine tailoring. I used to see a display case where the shop showed just one lemon yellow suit, tailored to perfection in a perfect style. I was told that one customer would call for a wardrobe for a vacation in the tropics. The shop kept all her information, and they knew her well enough to make all the right choices for her. Pure luxury! Are there any potential customers like that in your area? Another lady sewed only clothes for the children of well-to-do families. She designed them herself, and employed a number of excellent seamstresses to make them up in lovely fabrics. (I ached for an apprenticeship when I was about 18, but the business couldn't afford to take me on. They needed sewers who could already turn out beautiful work. Sigh.) There is a perfect place in the world of sewing for you, and what you love. Enjoy! Mahara
Last edited by MDG on Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MDG
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 4683
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2002 11:01 pm
Location: Suburban South-Western Canada

Postby MDG » Sat Jun 30, 2007 7:44 am

On a more practical note, and more to what you asked, I think smocks for children would sell like hotcakes. In days gone by, all children wore 'pinnies', pinafores that covered their nice clothes against dirt. There was a design for a lady's wraparound housedress cut in one piece, on the bias. I think table runners would sell well, especially if they were in very nice colors, and offered in a variety of lengths. (Take orders?) Some variety of widths might be important, too. Stores stick mainly to one or two widths. European folks like substantial fabrics for tablecloths...almost upholstery weights, and often fabrics with a pattern in velvety textures, and with a light fringing. This would be another instance where you could have one example and take orders. Potholders would sell because they always get grubby. I once saw Christmas stockings shaped like an old-fashioned jester's boot...with gold or satiny tassels or bells on the pointed toes. They were made of rich-colored velvets, with lengths of gold lace trims across, and a turn-down cuff of matching satin. These could be your high-priced items. A business card could get you orders for custom-made pieces, too. I heard of a lady who machine-knit 1,000 touques for a university club. The job went very quickly. My best. Mahara
MDG
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 4683
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2002 11:01 pm
Location: Suburban South-Western Canada

Postby Tituba » Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:03 am

I saw a beautiful quilt someone made at a fair once. They scanned people's photos, transferred them to squares of material and sewed them into a quilt. Not hard to do and a very unique piece.
Tituba
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 9444
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:01 pm
Location: North Shore - Boston

Postby urbanpioneer » Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:19 am

I haven't done this yet, but I've got all the materials. I bought an old wedding dress at the Salvation Army for probably $15 or so. It is yellowed satin with lace inserts, pretty plain dress actually, but with the buttons and loops up the back and gathered lace trim aound the bottom. I bought it for one of my daughters to wear in a horse shoe, we slit it up the front so she could compete in a costume class as "the runaway bride". I've bought a few pillow forms and am going to cut up the dress and make satin pillow with the lacec inserts running through them and maybe the gathered lace around the edge. I'm thinking about taking the back part that buttons up and using that in the center of a pillow. I'm mostly doing this because the fabric is so pretty and the project just intrigues me. We have a consignment shop here that these would be right up their alley. I don't think I'll keep them, I have enough stuff already, I just want to make them. So. just go troll the sale bins at fabric stores or the fancy clothes section at the Salvation Army and see what fabrics intrigue you and inspire you to make something with them. Also, I don't sell these, but I make them as housewarming and wedding presents and we have several sets for our own use, is cotton cloth table napkins. Especially if you make them over-size. (Cut the length of cloth in half don the middle and make your square that size, turn under the hems and sew. These work best with heavy washable cotton. There is a line of cotton called "homespun", it's not really, but the pattern, usually checked, is woven in, not printed on. Very handy to have these around and if used consistently over the years saves several hundreds of dollars on paper napkins and quite a few trees. Let us know what ideas you come up with.
urbanpioneer
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 1057
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2003 10:01 pm

Postby kashtanka » Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:48 am

Wow! I was amazed at the suggestions given to me. What a wealth of information that I can definitely use! Firefairy Those neck coolers are a very unique item, easy to make, and I bet they would be big sellers. It also looks like they would be inexpensive to make, except that I don't know how much polymer granules cost, as I've never used them. Thanks for the idea. Mahara Thanks for the idea of making table runners that are different widths and lengths. I don't think I've ever seen that option at craft fairs that I've been to. I also like the idea of making tablecloths with substantial fabrics. I know exactly what you mean, because my husband and I bought a bedspread like that, and the effect is powerfull. When we bought it, my husband said "It looks like a bedspread for royalty."
kashtanka
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2075
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:15 pm
Location: New York

Postby kashtanka » Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:55 am

Sorry about not commenting on everyone's suggestion in my last post, but the message space ended. I don't know how everyone else is able to write such long messages. Tituba I have seen those quilts and they are lovely. It's an excellent item to make for family, as it would be a labor of love and it would mean a great deal to the recipient. Urban Pioneer, Loved your idea about making pillows from fancy dresses. I can just picture what yours is going to look like, with the wedding gown you bought. Very pretty! I thank all of you for your suggestions. This morning I picked up a pattern for animal shaped pillows. They look aodrable, and I think kids would love them. My favorite is the fish shaped pillow which only uses a half a yard of fabric. Very inexpensive, which is the key.
kashtanka
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2075
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:15 pm
Location: New York

Postby Tituba » Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:10 am

You could also make pet quilts using their pet's pictures. Or even those little coats they have for dogs.
Tituba
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 9444
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:01 pm
Location: North Shore - Boston

Postby MDG » Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:42 pm

Kashtanka, When posting in the box, and the space runs out, just keep typing...the space starts to scroll down as you type. You can write a book, if you want...I should know. :roll: And, if you scroll down the whole page, while writing your post, you'll find everyone else's posts, last one first...in case you want to check out something someone said, as you type. (I was ages finding out all this stuff. This was the first bulletin board I visited.) Enjoy!
MDG
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 4683
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2002 11:01 pm
Location: Suburban South-Western Canada

Postby kashtanka » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:00 am

Guinnessue, I tried to send you a PM, but I'm not sure if it went through. Just in case it didn't, thank you very much for the information! I would have been searching forever. Kathy
kashtanka
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2075
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:15 pm
Location: New York

Postby kashtanka » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:03 am

Mahara, Thank you. There are a lof of things that I'm not sure how to do on the board, but I'm sure I'll learn as I go like you did. Kathy
kashtanka
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2075
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:15 pm
Location: New York

Postby MDG » Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:28 am

Kathy, I just found a little book I had tucked away, called, 'Killer Tea Cosies'. Now THERE'S a little item that would stand out! Maybe pink and white stripes, horizontal or vertical, gathered at the top...reversible. ...A thought. My best,
MDG
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 4683
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2002 11:01 pm
Location: Suburban South-Western Canada

Postby katchal » Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:08 pm

What about plus-size blouses made of very good quality, washable rayon or silk with an attractive pattern to wear under suits or alone with a skirt in the summer? A simple style with a circle neck and 3/4 length sleeves would be very flattering, comfortable and professional. If you bought the fabric by the bolt, you could make them for 12-20 dollars and sell them for $65-100. Good quality, flattering plus-size blouses are impossible to find in stores. Someone needs to tell these crack-smoking designers and dimwit store buyers that no, cap sleeves DON'T look good on fat arms! (And no, tank tops AREN'T appropriate for the office!) Even better than making up a bunch of blouses on spec, you could make a few samples and put together a swatch book of 5-6 fabric options and take custom orders at the fair. You could offer a discount for women who buy 3 or more blouses and increase your average order to $300-500. Plus you'd capture the names for additional sales in the future. Not as fun as potholders, perhaps, but you'd have to make a lot fewer sales to earn some decent money and with a premium service item you wouldn't be competing on price with cheap imports made by prison laborers in China. --Katchal P.S. If you take up blouse sewing let me know - I've shopped everywhere for a few good blouses and am tired of sneaking t-shirts under my suits in desperation!
katchal
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 1313
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 11:01 pm
Location: Washington, DC Metro Area

Postby kashtanka » Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:10 pm

Mahara, This is about the fifth time I've tried to write this letter. The board is not cooperating tonight. Thank you very much for the idea. I love tea cozies, and they'd be perfect with a matching apron! Kathy
kashtanka
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2075
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:15 pm
Location: New York

Next

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest