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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: What do you do when you run out of motivation? on: January 13, 2009 09:14:35 AM
Ah, you have no idea how helpful that was!  I think part of my problem was needing to hear that other people go through the same thing, Craftster is full of people showing off their wonderful creations, sometimes it feels like no one else ever makes a mistake or gets sick of what they're making.  Which I know is rubbish, they just don't talk about it on the boards! 

I guess sometimes you need to feel justified in giving up on something that you've put a lot of time or money into.  Normally I don't need other people's opinions to make a decision but if you know you're not alone in feeling a certain way, it makes it easier to deal with somehow.  I guess that's true of life really!
2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: people just don't understand (rant!!) on: January 08, 2009 01:25:32 AM
Haha, I should have screamed obscenities, that would have made me feel better!  They were dark green on one side and cream on the other, the only girly thing I could see was that I sewed some metal buttons to one corner of the green side because I thought they were a bit plain otherwise.  Even if he'd said, "I love them, thank you so much but do you mind if I take off the buttons?  They're not really my thing" I would have understood.  As it happened I took off the buttons and gave them to my brother instead and he loves them so it all came right in the end Smiley
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: What do you do when you run out of motivation? on: January 07, 2009 09:25:00 AM
The 2 projects in question are a pair of knitted socks and a blue dress that was supposed to be a dorothy costume for halloween.

The problem with the socks is that I've only finished 1 of them but it took me about a year to do and I've got no motivation to start the other.  There's only a limited amount of things you can do with 1 sock though!  I figure I could either use the finished sock and make a sock monkey out of it, then maybe give it to someone as a present, or I could take out the first sock and use the wool for something else.  The problem here is that I spent 18 on the wool, pattern and needles (I was apparently feeling rich that day, I could do with the money back now!) and so I feel like to justify spending that much I should really finish the second sock, at least then I'd have a pair of usable socks. 

The problem with the dress is that the material is too thin to be a dress I could wear in the winter and even in the summer, I think it's a bit see-through.  Apparently you're supposed to line it, though reading and re-reading the pattern I can't for the life of me see where it says to buy lining material, it just suddenly appears halfway through the pattern saying 'sew lining to outer'.  I could go and get some lining material and do it properly but I don't know if it's worth it now that Halloween has gone and my motivation has died.  My options here are I could finish it without lining and then maybe sell it on as a costume.  I could buy some lining and finish it properly and then wear it.  I could sell it on half-finished with the pattern and zip for someone else to finish or I could give it up as a bad job, salvage the material, use the zip for something else and carefully store the pattern for use in the future.  I spent 11 on the material, pattern and zip so whilst I'd like some money back if I'm just going to abandon it, equally it's not such a HUGE amount of money that I couldn't store the pattern and zip and use them in the future, then I'm only losing the cost of the material, which was about 3.50 I think.

Sorry, this must all sound so silly and part of me wonders why I care so much.  I think it's starting a new year that's triggered all this, it feels like a time for fresh starts, not having old projects hanging over your head.  I guess at the end of the day you craft for the fun of it, so if it's not fun then there's no point, I'm better off just salvaging what's left and giving up.
4  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: people just don't understand (rant!!) on: January 07, 2009 07:39:13 AM
Oh, also, I crafted 3 cushion covers for my French flatmate's birthday last year, because when I asked him what he wanted he asked for cushion covers for the sofa in his room.  When I gave them to him he smiled and said, "I'm going to give them back, they're a bit girly".  I blushed properly BRIGHT RED, took them back off him, still half-wrapped and shuffled embarressed from the room.

I then altered them slightly and gave them to my brother for Christmas, along with a crocheted blanket and he *loved* them, he spent most of Christmas day saying how 'awesome' they were and how 'brill' they were going to look in his room. 

So, from now on my brother will be getting handmade presents and my flatmate will be getting nothing.  Plus I'm moving out this summer, yes. 
5  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / What do you do when you run out of motivation? on: January 07, 2009 07:34:55 AM
I'm struggling with several unfinished projects and I don't know what to do.

These are projects that I've had on the go for ages now, months and sometimes years.  I've got no motivation to finish them because for whatever reason they didn't end up being as exciting or interesting as I thought they were going to be. 

But now I don't know what to do.  Do I just force myself to finish them and then give the end product away?  I won't want to keep it since it'll just remind me of how dreadful it was to make but somehow that seems like a waste of effort, to just make something so you can say you did it and then get rid of the end product.

Should I try and sell on the materials to recoup some of the money?  One thing I'm worried about is the fact that I paid good money for material, wool and patterns to sew or knit these projects and so to see them unfinished just seems like a waste of money and resources.  If I could sell on the half-finished attempt maybe someone else could use it?  Or I could take out the stuff I've done and sell on the wool/material and patterns so someone else can make use of the resources?

Having them all in a big pile is bothering me, it's stopping me from starting projects I do want to get on with and making me feel guilty about the money and time I've spent that's essentially going to waste.  It being the new year I feel like to get rid of them would be at least wiping my slate clean for crafting in 2009 but I thought before I was rash I'd ask here!

So, anyone got any advice?  Or does anyone at least go through the same thought processes as me? 
6  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: people just don't understand (rant!!) on: January 07, 2009 07:28:50 AM
One thing people don't seem to understand is that sometimes you don't want to spend time and effort crafting something for someone else.  I don't mean this selfishly, obviously it's lovely to craft for friends who appreciate it, but I feel like I'm constantly making things for other people and I never get to make things for me anymore.  By the time I've crafted the half dozen other project for friends and family, I don't have the energy or motivation to craft for myself.   

It's especially hard if you craft for presents.  It seems to be constantly someone's birthday or wedding or christening or housewarming and once I've crafted presents for all of these occasions AND the items people have asked me to make, I don't have any time left for myself.   

One of my new year's resolutions this year is definately to take on less craft projects.  I want to start enjoying crafts again, rather than viewing it as a chore.
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: ikea fabric love (1st-ish sewing project...yay!) img obese on: May 19, 2008 01:48:12 AM
Awesome project and OH MY GOD BOXER!!!!!!

My folks have *always* had boxers, by far the best breed of dog EVER!

That is all *ahem*

8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: Discouraged Etsy Seller on: May 10, 2008 03:00:34 AM
I think your stuff is brilliant!  I love your brown labels especially, did you make them yourself or get them made for you?  I'm thinking of doing something similar for my etsy store when it finally gets opened, I'm torn between woven labels I can sew onto my items ( = professional looking but expensive) or brown paper labels attached to the item by string ( = cheaper plus space for weblink but disposable once the customer recieves it).  I could do both but to begin with I want to wait and see if stuff sells!

I think you should definately stick at it and try not to get too downhearted.  Carry on promoting, maybe email your friends and family and let them know about it and ask them to pass the email on?  Your stuff is very professional looking, you've definately not got anything to worry about! Smiley
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: When does a bit of variety become too much variety? on: May 05, 2008 09:18:03 AM
Think of how you would describe your business in 30 seconds (aka one or two sentences) and if you can't it's to much variety.

That's such a good idea, thank you!  I'm planning on starting up an etsy store in the autumn and I was planning on doing what you suggested, have a wide range of items as there's no one thing I like doing the most, but for everything I make be sure to make at least 4 of it.  So I'll have 4 crocheted blankets, 4 knitted mobile socks, 4 quilted cushion covers etc.  So if someone looks at my store, they'll see a wide variety of things but repetitions of everything so it looks more professional and less...mish-mashy...you know what I mean...

In 30 seconds I would describe the ethos of my business as "I like to craft with recycled and vintage items", which is nice in that it leaves me lots of scope to experiment with different techniques and styles, whilst still having a theme to tie everything together with.

Thanks for this thread, it's been so useful! Smiley
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: Just opened up my Etsy store - need advice/opinions please! on: May 03, 2008 08:06:40 AM
Wow, I think your stuff is gorgeous and you're massively under-pricing yourself!  Your most expensive item is $15.00, so 7.50 (to translate into money I can understand!).  I'm not sure where you're from but I'm from the UK and over here we've got a store called Paperchase that sells pretty notepads and stationary bits.  You'd be lucky to get something *half* as gorgeous as what you're selling from Paperchase, and everything they sell is probably made in some hideously polluting manner in the third world by sweatshop labour.  Plus their stuff is at least twice as expensive as yours.

On the pricing front, are you paying yourself a wage?  I know if an item takes hours to make then it's not always practical to payyourself a decent wage since you end up with an item costing hundreds of pounds, but even 3 ($6) an hour is something towards your time.  I would happily pay $30 for those notepads, I think you need to add at least half what you're charging on again (so charge $22.50 for a $15 item) and even think about doubling in some cases.  Remember on etsy people are looking for hand-made things, so will be expecting to pay more for something beautiful and well made and totally unique.  Which is basically everything you're selling! Smiley 
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