Work it

A few years ago I had just moved back from New York and was trying to make it work to blog and sell thing I made without having a ‘real’ job. It was a lot of fun, but it just really didn’t work. I wasn’t making enough money. The time involved in making my own patterns, sewing the muslin mock-up, sewing the final garment, taking photos, posting the photos to Etsy, writing a blog post to get people to look at Etsy, all meant I was working 14 hours a day and had no time for anything else. Sigh. This stuff is lot of work.

I ended up getting a corporate design job after about 5 months, but it was definitely a great experience, and now I can say I tried. If I were to attempt something like that again I would make the initial sample pattern size and hire someone else to grade the patterns. I’d probably have to hire out the sample sewing too. Basically it would involve the money to have someone else do the time-intensive things so I could keep moving on everything else.

Early on in this ‘doing my own thing’ adventure, I wanted to get back to sewing regularly (I took over a year off from everything design-related after graduating from apparel design school), so I decided to sew an entire size run of this dress. Not making the pattern myself saved a lot of time, and I definitely felt comfortable sewing again by the time I was done with all 5 dresses.

I used Simplicity pattern 2497. It was pretty straight forward and easy to follow. I actually added extra decoration around the collar to dress it up a little. Otherwise I followed the pattern as it was called out.

mixed wool dress

I chose to use suiting fabric (a poly blend with stretch up top and 100% wool on the bottom) to make it more of a ‘wear to work fall look’. It’s not my style personally, but I was happy with how they turned out.

mixed wool dress

mixed wool dress

mixed wool dress

mixed wool dress

mixed wool dress

mixed wool dress

mixed wool dress

The big difference between what I was attempting then and what I’m doing now is that I’m only making the things I want to make at the moment, and I’m not relying on those things for income. The items I make now are either for myself or to give as gifts and I really like it that way. No stress and so much fun.

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