Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lock Me In


Sometimes I feel that is what I need to do to myself to keep me in my sewing room, lock myself in.

As you might remember, dear reader, I am unemployed. I now find myself with so much time on my hands that sometimes I get very restless. While I hate to see good time go to waste sometimes I find that I am very proficient at doing just that. So I am throwing myself in to my little doll costuming business. I feel that sewing is a good way to occupy my time and a way to generate some pocket money. I feel that it is important for me to be productive especially at this time. However, if I'm not in my sewing room, I'm not sewing.

There are some other erstwhile projects that I do of course. Looking for a job is one but, trust me on this, there aren't many of those around these days. Then there is all sorts of housework (HA!). There is this blog to write...

There are several devices I use to keep me in my place so to speak. For one, I'm a huge audio book fan and I can't think of a better place to listen than in my sewing room. (well perhaps on the beach in Florida, but that is for another time). I listen mostly to historical fiction and history with some sci fi and fantasy thrown in for good measure. Listening to the books serves a duel purpose. There's the entertainment factor of course and then it fills the silence. Since my children have grown up my house had grown quiet. Sadly enough, music does not sooth this savage breast and I do not listen to it very often. The one exception to this is at Christmas time.

I also have a small TV in my sewing room and a small but much watched DVD collection. When the mood strikes watching, mostly listening actually, helps me stay my course as well. I do so love a good costume drama, a romance or a classic.

The weather can be a factor. It's easier to stay put when the sun is shinning than when it is gray and cloudy ( like today). You think the opposite would apply here. The room were I sew is very small but when it is filled with sunshine it appears more open. It then becomes oasis, refuge and solace. I place were I can stay and fill the hours and scratch my creative itch.

So back I go into my room. A few chores to be done on the way first. Then to work on a commission. From there.... we'll see if the sun comes out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Nature of the Business


On Saturday I had my first Etsy sale. This was very unexpected as the item had been in my shop for about a month. On Easter Sunday I had 2 eBay auctions end. One outfit sold and since the second didn't I went ahead and put it on Etsy as well. This morning I found that it had sold as well as did a hat I had just put up on the site. One of my eBay items generated a small commission as well. All in all it was a very successful weekend.

All this came on the heels of two failed commissions. Customers requested items and then didn't go through with the sales. This is the first and only time this has happened to me in all the years I've been in business. It really depressed me at first but then I moved on emotionally and used the experience as learning opportunity. That and I will sell the 2 outfits at a later date. This has tempered my excitement over my burst of business.

I am really thrilled at the sales but I tend to think they are just of the moment and I am in no fear of being overwhelmed with new business. The outfit I have on eBay that I listed last night shows promise with 12 watches already. Which is all well and good but no one has bid on them either.

Just like any other business, mine has it's ups and downs. It's just the way things are. You should never take it too personally. You know the saying, "it's not personal , it's business.". I will keep at it and take it day by day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Doll, New Model

I received a new doll in the mail the other day. She is Fall, one of Helen Kish's Seasons collection that was designed for the White Balloon company of Spain. Of course I have named her Autumn, for now anyway. Autumn is 16" tall with long red hair. I won her on eBay and got her at a wonderful price.

Since each doll I sew for has unique characteristics that dictate how I will sew for it, there are always a few things to consider before I can come up with a design for that particular doll. First there is the general appearance of the doll to consider. Who does the doll represent? Is it a boy or a girl. Is it young like a child or does the doll have an adult appearance?

Size dictates scale and proportion. This is most important in fabric selection. The size of the design of the fabric has to be in proportion to the size of the doll. Too big of a pattern looks aweful on a doll in my opinion.

Something that also suggests fabric choice is the actual age of the doll. New dolls can use new fabrics while vintage and antique dolls are better dressed in vintage or natural fabrics when ever possible.

Autumn represent a modern child, and at 16" tall she will be the largest of this type of doll that I have sewn for. Most of my designs have been either for smaller modern child dolls, modern lady dolls or antique dolls. Her larger size will permit me to use some larger scale prints than I haven't been able to used before. In fact there is a piece of fabric that I have had in my stash for years that I believe would be perfect. It's a aqua cotton stripe and perfect for a summer outfit. The width of the stripes have always been to big for the modern dolls I sew for and too new for my antique dolls. On this new doll though I think it will look very well indeed.

Now all I have to do is come up with an appropriate design for the pattern....