Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thoughts on Production and Shows

Hello from my mirror!
I had a great time meeting the people in Maryland while doing the Gaithersburg show. It is so different offering my garments at a show than it is on line. On-line I get great feedback from my customers, and occasionally a photo, but often never really see the garments in action! At the shows, it is so fun to watch people try things on, twirl and check it out in the mirror. Sometimes a garment gets tried on several times, but then just the right person comes along and BINGO it is "made for them"! So fun.

I also get a kick out of the varied of reactions; "Oh, I would never wear pink" vs "Oh pink is my favorite color!"; I really like the way you make things longer in the back" vs. "It is beautiful, but I like even hems"; "Wool!-never touch the stuff" vs. "can't have enough wool to keep me warm"! When I first started out on Etsy someone told me that if you leave something up long enough, there is a buyer for everything! Thank goodness we all have our idiosyncrasies and likes - that is what make life interesting and my work fun!

Let the sorting begin
I have also realized that I am one of the few garment makers at these shows that actually make the garments from beginning to end. There are many who buy "blanks" and then paint/stamp/print them (weavers and other reconstructors may be exceptions to this!). Others who have designed the patterns and picked out the fabrics, but have seamstresses who actually sew the garments. And other multi-person means of production. It also accounts why they start the show with many more garments than I usually do!! I respect their process, but I can't imagine not doing the creation myself. (Okay in true disclaimer, my son does cut scarf parts for me now and then). Because each of my items is unique, and from unique materials, it is not possible to hand over the sewing to someone else.

Here is a peek at my the early stages of my process. I purchased a hundred-plus sweaters the other day, and then brought them home for the sorting, sifting and bundling. My living room was quite a mess as it was the staging area for the sifting and winnowing.

The color coordinated bundles each contain a group of sweaters for the constructions of 1-3 sweaters.

Well I better get to work now!

1 comment:

carolyn jourdan said...

Love that posting. I can't get enough pink or pastels or long enough coats! And the twirling is the best part! : )