I have just released my newest pattern!
It is a Lace Scalloped Bag and comes with a PDF Downloadable Pattern and Photo Tutorial
And to celebrate the new release, it is 15% off til the end of April!
You can find it in my Pattern Shop
or in my Etsy Shop (use coupon code PATTERN15)
This pattern is great for Confident Beginners.
It is a simple enough pattern, but your choice of fabrics can make it more difficult (and interesting!) These bags can be made as a clutch or a cross body, and make great gifts, especially for bridesmaids!
Your Finished Bag Size will be: 10” wide by 7” tall (25cm x 18cm) with 55" cross body or 11.5" wrist strap options (140 cm or 29 cm)
The pattern can be immediately downloaded and printed at home! Your download includes:
• PDF printable pattern that is compatible with US letter or A4 paper
• Detailed PDF instructions that include what tools and yardage (or meters) of material you need, and the directions for how to use the pattern and sew your very own bag with tons of step by step photos!
• Tips on what fabrics to use and ideas for creative ways to make your bag reflect your own unique style.
To see more sewing patterns take a look at my shop
If you decide that sewing sucks, and you would rather just buy one, visit my Etsy shop!
If you would like to receive updates (and discounts) when a new pattern comes out, sign up for my email list.
Sourcing My Materials
If you have read my about page, you’ll notice that all of the handmade items in my Etsy shop are made using discarded materials. You might be wondering what exactly that means. Well this post is for you!
What I consider to be discarded material:
Why I use Discarded Materials:
Where I get them:
How this affects my products and pricing:
Why Are My Prices Changing??
You may have noticed a change in my prices this month. I have been working hard to standardize my pricing these last few weeks, with lots of excel spreadsheeting involved. My goal by the end of the year is to be paying myself at least for my time sewing and patterning for my business. (paying myself for my admin is a whole ‘nother issue I need to tackle) Right now, all of the money I make goes straight back into the business, buying supplies and marketing materials, etc.
My pricing breakdown is something like:
Profit I get from Etsy = price + shipping cost - cost to wash fabric - cost of shipping supplies – cost of material – my actual cost to ship - my labor (cost of my time patterning and sewing, cost of my time listing the item, cost of my time shipping the item) – 3.5% Etsy fee – (3%+.25 direct deposit fee)
Wholesale Profit = (retail price * .5) - cost to wash fabric – cost of material – cost of my product presentation and packaging– my labor (cost of my time patterning and sewing, cost of my time interacting with store owners)
I am trying to juggle these two formulas, and also trying to standardize some of my profit margin: 25% if it’s resale, and 15% if its wholesale
That 15-25% profit? It is there to help cover random overhead costs of my business: my car fuel, my administration work hours, my internet, my website, assets like my camera and much more. Is it too high? Is it too low? I’m not sure yet. Only time will tell. Covering those overhead costs depends a lot on how many items a year I sell, as well as how expensive of an item it is, and the total of my overhead costs, all of which I don’t have nailed down yet. I also haven’t been super strict when it comes to these numbers, because the products I sell are so varied in price. So 15% of a $10 item is much much different than 15% of a $400 item. So sometimes I adjust accordingly.
I have no idea if I am doing this right. In fact, I have no idea if there is a “right” way to do it. It is simply what I came up with for now. And this change in pricing isn’t final. My product prices are very likely to change again. Here’s why:
The moral of this story? Pricing is complicated. And in order to be a profitable business (that can actually pay me) I am doing my best to figure out how to price my items to cover all of my costs. So bear with me as I make changes. They aren’t random, or greedy, or personal attacks on your wallet. They are just a reflection of a small one-woman business trying to figure it all out as she goes.
P.S. I am always open to tips on how to price things! Let me know if you have any suggestions, or see that there is anything I can do better!
Progress, not Perfection
One fourth of the year is over!!
So what does that mean for my
Well… let’s see.
Things I HAVE accomplished:
I taught a class for Indy Trade School (boy I was a nervous wreck!)
I’ve released 2 new sewing patterns so far
I’ve taken a photography class
I’ve applied for craft shows
I made business cards and I streamlined my shipping process
I’ve created a spreadsheet with all the details that go into pricing, to get me on track to pricing correctly (and then onto paying myself for my work)
I ran a 10K
I volunteered for a garden
I started my wedding quilt
I patterned a skirt for myself
I’ve read 3 (printed, physical) books so far.
Things I CANNOT accomplish:
Things change, and that's ok. One of my goals for the year was to run Steve's Run, one of my favorite road races. But Already I know that this won't happen because we have a wedding that day! It was a nice goal, but it will just have to wait until next year.
Things I MIGHT NOT accomplish:
I’ve had a realization about some of my goals: They aren’t in my control. This might have been quite obvious to an outsider, but it wasn’t obvious to me when I made the goal. One of the goals that falls into this category is: SELL ONE ITEM EVERY MONTH (even the slow months). Problem: This isn’t actually in my control. I mean, I knew this ahead of time, I knew that I can’t force sales or somehow magically control when someone decides it is time to buy. But I figured there were plenty of things in my control: putting up items consistently, creating new products, blogging, social media posts, having the right key words on Etsy, shop updates, promoting myself, emails (etc. etc.) And all these things do help to bring in sales, so I figured setting a goal of getting sales would inspire me to keep up with all these different tasks. But then March happened. I listed several new items, renewed several more, blogged, emailed, and posted updates. And I got great results in views and favorites! I haven’t had that many eyeballs on my shop since October of last year (and October is my busy month!) But no sales came! This is when I realized that I didn’t actually have control over this goal. (duh) I DID end up getting a sale in March, on the very last day of the month actually (funny how things happen). But in the end, I may reach this goal, or I may not. I guess this is one of those times that reaching the goal isn’t actually the point. I would like my sales to come in more consistently throughout the year, and it’s the constant striving for this goal that (hopefully) pays off in the end.
My overall feelings: I’ve made good progress, but I have a long way to go in these last 3/4 of the year!
How are your goals for the year coming?
I always keep a flat head screwdriver handy in my sewing room!
1. For changing sewing machine feet – I am constantly needing to switch feet when I sew: normal foot, cording foot, zipper foot, invisible zipper foot and back. Having a screw driver in arms reach makes this task much easier. I even know someone who has a magnet on their machine, and keeps the screwdriver and the extra feet on the magnet at all times.
2. Turning out corners – Turning out sharp corners (or squiggly Indiana riverfront on a pillow) can be tricky to do by hand. But a flat head screwdriver is the perfect tool to help. It is long and narrow, helping you get into those tight spaces, but it isn’t sharp on the end, so there’s no worries about accidentally poking through your fabric.
3. Stuffing small spaces – I’ve also found that a screwdriver is helpful when you are stuffing polyfil into a small space (like a little cat paw) especially if the opening you left is too small for your fingers.
4. Feeding your machine - Sometimes when I'm sewing, there's just a very small piece of fabric to hold onto. In order to avoid my fingers being right next to (or under!) the needle, I use my screwdriver to feed the fabric into my machine. That way, if I get too close, I only get a broken needle, and not a hole in my finger.
creative business owner. designer. hoosier. crafter. runner. sewer. swing dancer. outdoor enthusiast. entrepreneur. wife. material hoarder.
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Madeline Stage email@example.com
Right here. Right now.