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Topic: Making clothes for self ---> making clothes to sell?  (Read 2184 times)
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« on: December 11, 2010 03:01:25 PM »

So how did you go from making your clothes just to wear them to making clothes to sell to other people???

I've been making clothes for a good couple years now and I am looking into selling my clothes on Etsy/Artfire/etc. My problem is whatever I make I always like it so much that I don't want to give it away. I also don't make too many things twice since I don't often use patterns either.

But to sell things I've thought up some of my really simple patterns for shirts that I've made before so I'm going to first start by making multiples of those shirts. And do some other sizes too maybe. This way I won't be so tempted to keep them.

So what about you?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2010 09:05:56 PM »

Heh, that's so funny, I'm in the middle of the same process you are Tongue Except I've already got almost all my product made up. Now to con someone with a credit card into paying my Etsy fees...

Anywho, the whole thing started with people exclaiming they liked what I was wearing and then being surprised that I made it myself. My sewing-for-self strategy consists of using a simple long-sleeve tee pattern that I've butchered a million ways into awesome things with bibs, short puffed sleeves, long puffed sleeves, adding epaulets, buttons, studs, lace, etc etc. So that's the strategy I applied to my sewing-for-sale ideas. And honestly, the whole reason I decided to sell clothes I make is because I have too much clothing but want to be "allowed" to see all my ideas come to fruition.

So once I made the decision to sell my awesome shirts, I had to come up with a plan. I went fabric shopping! I came home with 4 fabrics that became the core of my "capsule collection." Since then, I've bought 5 additional fabrics and added 3 fabrics from my stash. Sounds like alot, huh? If you look at any two of the individual pieces I've already made (not counting duplicates), you can still see a common aesthetic between almost all of them, and if you add a third random piece, it makes even more sense. Basically, I wanted to provide as much variety as possible to appeal to a potentially wide range of customers, but still have enough in common that one individual could like all of them.

My one problem that I've yet to tackle is that all of my shirts are size medium to large! Why is this a problem? I found a gorgeous girl who'll model for me who happens to be size extra-small, so only certain things will look good on her tiny little body. Well, that and not having a credit card...

Ok, now that my long story is done, here's the result of my research and deep thought in a nutshell. Make things you love; know your target market; have a "brand image" in mind; size medium is called medium cuz it's "average" and thus the most commonly worn size (unless your target market is mainly petites or curvies); advertise locally as much as humanly possible and choose your online advertising carefully; have a PERSONAL webstore and/or blog to showcase your work; write up a policy page before you sell a single thing.

That was fun! My boyfriend is so sick of hearing about it, it felt good to write it all down Cheesy I hope you find it helpful.

« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2010 08:27:15 AM »

Haha, I decided to try selling my stuff because whenever people would find out that I make my own clothes (like if they saw me wearing a shirt of mine) they would ALWAYS ask if I have ever thought of selling my clothes. I always thought no because that's too much work having to make multiple sizes, etc, etc, then I learned about Etsy...which is exactly me. I can make all sizes or I can make only one size. I can make the shirt once and never again.

I already have a HUGE stash of fabric. I pick up cool fabric everywhere I see it. I probably have at least 20-30 different pieces of fabric stashed away........
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