Maybe You Can Help Me: Answers

Products_medium

This week I am answering some really great questions from BurdaStyle users regarding selling your goods online to selling consignment. Here are a couple more questions I’ve provided answers to and keep them coming!

I’ve been selling + consigning to boutiques for 2 years now & I’m kind of stuck in between being too small, but not big enough to hire some one. Where does a designer go from here???

I completely understand how you feel, I was in this exact situation when I was living in Los Angeles selling my mini-collections to boutiques. I discovered a couple of ways to grow without taking too much of a financial risk.
1. Industry Experience. I freelanced for a designer where I went to his studio a couple of days a week and made patterns, swatched, watched over the shop, and hepled with fashion shows. This not only provided me with more knowledge about the inner-workings of a fashion house, it provided me with valuable resources: I found out where to get great fabric at wholesale prices and was introduced to the designer’s sewers and pattern-makers, whom he was willing to share with me.
2. Hire Help. I hired a seamstress to come to my studio one day a week. At this point I figured I could hire someone for at least one day a week, or maybe one day a month. I planned to have each piece which I needed sewn up pre-cut- so when the seamstress arrived all there was to do is sew them right up. We got so much more done that day than I could have done in a week…I placed an ad on Craigslist for a seamstress and named my day rate, what I could afford and what I thought was fair. This gave me more time to begin new designs and fabric source.

All of these questions are very relevant to me— I’m starting up my own Etsy shop but don’t have a lot of capital to build up an initial stock. How do I market so that I sell items very quickly to allow me to buy supplies to create more?

I would recommend, before you start making more, going over your inventory of fabric, notions, and pieces of clothing that you would like to sell and and see what you’ve got. Then I would take editor-in-cheif of Etsy’s blog, Emily Bidwell’s advice and "Give your shop personality. Consider yourself a brand with a shop concept and “feel”. Cohesive product and items photographed in the same way can give a professional look. Think of your shop as a website…what would you want that to look like?". Nice clear, in-focus photographs are key. The buyer needs to see what they are getting and why it is so special.

The "Every Body Bodice" is Here!

Ebb_post8_medium

So, I’m off to college ! This summer has zoomed by with alarming speed, and the next chapter of my life is about to begin. Wanna bet I’m one of the only freshman who rolls onto campus with a sewing machine? Maybe not. Sewing is hip again, and as my mom always says, “Stop shopping and start sewing!”

Sewing Programs On The Internet

Picture_1_medium

I don’t know about everyone else, but I miss watching sewing programs on t.v. Ever since HGTV and DIY networks cut the crafting\sewing part of their lineup there hasn’t been much to watch unless you’re fortunate enough to have some that run on your local PBS station. However, with the internet and a resurgence in sewing I’ve found a few resources that let me get my fix. The first is Sew On which has a number of videos to play (ranging from how to make your own boxers to sweatshirt makeovers) from their ‘daily line up’. They also have several other features to the site including a ‘community’ and ‘patterns’ section, however neither of these have been working properly for several weeks (if not longer). The second site is Quilting Arts TV, programing not only directed to quilters, but also those interested in mixed media, home decor and accessories, and learning new stitch techniques. A number of sewing personalities also have started websites with posted videos including Sandra Betzina, Nancy Zieman, and Christopher Nejman. Anyone know of any more?

BurdaStyle Sewing Club Update: New BSCs Around the World!

092209internationalbsc_medium

When checking the BurdaStyle e-mail this weekend, I was met with a slew of e-mails from people interested in forming a BSC in their area! What was even more amazing was that these requests came from all over the world.

Vote for your Favorite Scarf Dress!

Bernina-scarfchallenge-vote-blog_medium

We have received so many great entries for the Scarf Dress Challenge; it’s truly amazing to see your creativity. Now it is up to you to decide who will win the brand new BERNINA activa 210 sewing machine. You have until the 30th of September to vote for your favorite project in the Scarf Dress Challenge slideshow. What are you waiting for? Get voting!

Featured Member: Joboenvogue

Junior_186b_medium

1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I’m from Carol Stream, Illinois. That’s about an hour from Chicago. It’s the place that everyone and their brother want to leave as soon as possible, because there’s nothing all that exciting here. But I’ll be living here until I leave for college. It’s kind of what inspires me to sew—our school is overwrought with drab department store clothing, so it’s pretty easy to stand out.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing that I made…oh, I can remember that quite distinctly. It was this little lime green beanie hat with hideous gold fringe that didn’t quite fit. I made it with my great aunt when I was about seven or eight. She’s the one who inspired my sewing; to this day, she only wears housedresses she’s sewn herself. I restarted sewing last year, and finally have stuck with it, thanks to the supportive BurdaStyle community!

Faux Or Against It?

Faux_or_against_fur_medium

Do you wear fur? Last weekend, while visiting home in Massachusetts, I went to an old big barn which has been converted into an antique shop filled with turn of the century furniture, chandeliers, vintage notions and more. I found this old fur stole and tried it on for fun. My boyfriend’s mom thought it was so cute she bought it for me. The smell of the antiquated fabric made my nose itch and my skin prickly- but there was something about the silhouette I found so charming. Also, I like old things, and the fact that this stole holds a story, a history, makes me wonder in awe about who used to wear it & what her life was like. I have yet to wear it out yet though- it sits in the back of my car wrapped up carefully, away from judgement and harm.

Is there a difference between wearing vintage fur vs. purchasing a new mink coat? Do you wear fur, or sew with it? Are you anti-fur? Is it the same as being against leather? Do you like the look of fur? Do you wear faux fur?

BurdaStyle at the American Sewing Expo this Weekend!

Ase_medium

This weekend, we are heading out to Novi, Michigan for the American Sewing Expo! The Expo has some of the biggest names in the industry along with some amazing guests, and we are so excited to be making our first appearance!

If you happen to be in the Novi area from the 25th to the 27th stop by the Make and Take lounge to make one of three easy projects and a chance to win a brand new Pfaff sewing machine! With Pfaffsewing machines, Coats & Clark thread and Haberman fabrics, the projects are totally going to rock. We are also hosting a fashion show of classic and upcoming BurdaStyle patterns on Saturday afternoon, something that is not to be missed.

We are so excited to meet all our Midwest members, so come to the Expo, stop by our booth, say hello and enter to win a brand new Pfaff sewing machine!

Sell Your Work

Birdie_medium

In reference to my post last week (about questions BurdaStyle users have regarding selling your work online, wholesale, retail) I decided to answer some of these questions here directly.

Last Thursday I addressed a myriad of questions as to how one goes about succeeding with an Etsy shop. Please read this for thorough details on steps to take to selling your goods online.

From Mirela:
This might sound silly, but I’m more interested in this: after you decide on a line (collection) and produce a garment for each pattern in the collection, how do you deal with the supplies for more? Do you buy larger quantities of fabric to have and sew on demand, do you sew everything in more sizes to begin with? (same questions as Bola). What kind of labels do you have to use, sizing, care instruction, contents, is it mandatory to have the labels?

That is the least silly question one could ask when talking about selling your collections wholesale. I had the same questions once I graduated from Fashion School- I was angry because I wasn’t necessarily trained to be a wholesale designer and I had many questions about selling my work. So I learned from experience. Take these steps when designing a collection you may put into production.

1. Sourcing, Sourcing,Sourcing. Seek out wholesale textile manufacturers so you will not be paying retail costs for your production fabric. For notions try to find wholesale price points. You can find many resources online, and you can request swatch books by mail to choose from. Make sure these items will be in stock for the next 4-8 months. If you can, buy extra, not too much or too little. You don’t want to overspend but it is always helpful to have extra. You decide, once your orders from retailers have come in, how much fabric you’ll need for production. Always ask for minimums and wholesale price breaks.

2. Labeling. You most definitely want your clothing to be labeled while it is also the law. Each garment must have a label, size tab, care instructions, where it was made ( i.e. “Made in the USA”) and hang-tags. This part I find quite fun, it is where your personality can shine through and your creativity can have a 2-dimensional outlet.

3. Samples. It is so important to have enough samples of your collection to be shown- and the craftmanship should be impeccable. I usually make 2-3 samples of each design: 1 for my showroom (usually a model’s size 2), 2 for press (usually a size 2 and 4), if a press contact wants to view your samples, you have one to mail. This is a good starting point- most young designers cannot afford to make many more. If your pieces are more “specialty” pieces, like phenomenal Rodarte for example, you will probably just make 1 sample.

It is extremely helpful to go into stores which carry like items to which yours would be represented like. Look at the hang-tags, the labels, the care instructions; these garments are made up of everything you need to know to prepare your own for selling retail and/or wholesale.

Scarf Dress Challenge- Last Day to Enter!

Bernina-scarfchallenge-lastup-blog_medium

Tomorrow, September 23rd, is the last day to submit your scarf dress for a chance to win a BERNINA activa 210 sewing machine! We know that you have been working hard all week creating your own amazing variations of the scarf dress. What? You haven’t created one yet? Don’t worry, there is still time to sew up this quick and easy project! Check out this blog post for details and download the instructions for the scarf dress at the Sewing Republic brought to you by BERNINA. We will be accepting entries through tomorrow (11:59 pm EST) so send ‘em in!

Beginner's Sewing Blog: Vintage Love

40s_dress_final_medium

I’m throwing a party this weekend called the decades party, everyone shows up as the decade they fit into best. Now, you all know me, I should have been born in the 40s. I have the perfect dress, but it needs some love

The dress is a hand made beautiful printed pink silk floor length gown. Unfortunately, time hasn’t been kind to this gown, there are holes where the fabric has worn through, one of the shoulders broke apart last time I wore it, and the hem has fallen. If I am going was going to wear it this weekend I had to bring it to the office for some serious rehab.

Independent Designers Guide

Indeoendent_designers_medium

I wrote an entry last week asking for questions you all have about being an independent designer and which areas you need advice in. The majority of comments led me to first touch on online sales & marketing, particularly selling your wares on websites such as Etsy, or your own. I spoke to editor-in-chief of Etsy’s blog,

Featured Member: Naughtylittlepony

Me_with_cloud_jersey_medium

1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I am from Sussex in the South of England, and now live in London. I just got back from a Holiday in St Ives, Cornwall and wish I could move there!

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?
The first thing I made was an applique wall hanging. I did a lot of sewing by hand before I found an a sewing machine, which was a bit of a eureka moment, and I made of all sorts of things before I got up the courage to try making clothes. I started sewing when I first met my husband, he had a flatmate at the time who had a cupboard full of fabric and sewing things. Sewing was a revelation for me, I have struggled in the past with other creative outlets as I couldn’t seem to just let myself enjoy creating without being hypercritical.

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

Burda_post_medium

This past weekend I played dress-up with my dear friend Elissa. Elissa is a stylist extraordinaire, photographer and most recently a fashion designer with whom I used to live with in Florence, Italy. We have been taking photos together for a very long time, she even taught me how to develop photos with an enlarger in a little darkroom we created in a windowless bathroom in our flat in Florence.

Spolight on Designer Wenlan Chia of Twinkle by Wenlan

Wenlan_portait_medium

We are excited to announce Wenlan Chia, an established designer of successful clothing, accessories and home décor lines. Twinkle by Wenlan, founded by Chia in 2000, has been rocking the runways at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week since its 2002 debut. Known for incorporating knitwear into collections, Twinkle by Wenlan has won international critical acclaim. In the coming weeks we will release two sewing patterns of hers, one of which can be found in her new book Twinkle Sews which will be released on September 29th, the other is an exclusive for you BurdaStyle members. But first, we would like to introduce you to the driving force behind it all: Wenlan Chia, Founder and designer for Twinkle by Wenlan.

Departments

  • Editors' Pick
  • Fashion & Trends
  • Backstage Report
  • Web Seminars
  • DIY to Try
  • Mandie's Picks
  • Denise's Desk
  • Meg's Magazine Mash Up!
  • Featured Member
  • Competitions
  • Guest Columns
  • Comment to Win
  • Monthly Memo
  • BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern
  • ARCHIVE
  • Sewing & Techniques
  • Courses
  • Videos
  • BurdaStyle Magazine US

Galleries

Bsrm-tile_large
062111bsc-meetup-tile_small
Burdastyle

http://burdastyle.com//blog?page=153