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Topic: Is there a market for purse patterns/kits?  (Read 1793 times)
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« on: August 12, 2013 07:35:41 AM »

I've been selling purses and bags for a few years now, on Etsy and at craft fairs, and although I love it and have done pretty well at it, I simply don't have the time to do it anymore. I work full time and have a 7 month old so my sewing time is very limited. The problem is that I have a TON of fabric and notions and I will never have time to sew with all that fabric.

My idea was to write up some of my patterns and sell them with the fabric as kits. I've seen it done with quilts. But I'm wondering if there is a market for this product? I did an Etsy search and found some kits for clasp style clutches but that was about it. I was thinking I could put these on Etsy or sell them at a popular local craft fair where I've gotten a lot of purse sales in the past. The main clientele is hipster/crafty types. It's a holiday fair and a lot of people are gift shopping.

I'm not sure if it will take off though for several reasons. One, some people like handmade bags but are not confident enough to sew one themselves. Two, a lot of people like to choose their own fabric for purses. Also, I was thinking of doing a variety of difficulties. Simple clutches and zipper pouches, all the way up to a fully interfaced, many pocketed messenger bag. Any advice is appreciated!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013 07:36:23 AM by oneyedsally » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013 09:32:49 AM »

Well, if you already have the fabric and a decent start on the tutorials it might be worth a shot! You won't be out much. I think this kind of thing has good potential, but you're right, you probably need a variety of difficulties. I think simple to intermediate might be best. Once someone is up to a more intermediate skill level they can generally make things on their own, so you'll have to have great fabric or great styles of bags for the more difficult ones.

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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013 02:52:31 PM »

I've been working on getting better at sewing lately, focusing on zippered clutch purses and tablet cases, but I'm always on the lookout for a unique pattern or style to try out. I mostly like to figure out the pattern myself or find free ones, but there are some tutorials that I would be willing to pay for if it's maybe a new style or pattern I don't see in stores (local or online) and if there's something special about it that I can't figure out myself.

If I were a beginner however, and unsure of my skills to the point I didn't want to buy a whole bunch of fabric to try, only to screw it up... or even if it's that I don't want to have to figure out the measuring thing at first.... I'd totally be the type of person to want to buy a pattern WITH the cuts of fabric or just the right amount to do the project, all in a convenient kit.

The catch for me is PICTURES. I get very frustrated, no matter what skill level the tutorial or instructions may be if the pictures and/or description of the steps involved are indecipherable (worse when there's NO pictures)!! Being that I've been sewing and making things now for a while though, there is still an occasional tutorial I find that I just have to look up an alternate or more detailed instructions on a certain step as I can't figure out what the heck they're telling me to do!!

Another recommendation would be try not to use so similar of fabrics, or the same exact color, for things like lining and exterior fabrics. One of the bad tutorials was using the same fabric for both pieces so I couldn't tell what was what exactly in the pictures... or the first time making a zippered clutch, I couldn't figure out what she was doing with the flip bc the lining and the interfacing were both white in the pictures....  Huh Huh Huh

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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013 07:11:02 AM »

If you had time to cut out the fabric pieces, I bet they would sell that much better, and you could include some extra fabric in case of an accident or whatnot.

It seems to me if you're doing "OK" on selling pre-made bags, you should be OK picking out fabrics for the half-DIYers. And I agree to keep to beginner and intermediate folks. Anyone more skilled wouldn't need a kit.

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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2013 05:51:10 AM »

Thanks for the feedback! I think the fabric combinations I use is typically what draws people to my bags. I wish I had time to make them all myself. Sad

I don't have tutorials ready to go yet unfortunately, but I will definitely include tons of pictures! Also I think what confuses people sometimes when making bags is interfacing, sometimes patterns aren't very clear or list brands that are unavailable. If I include it, it takes out the guesswork.

I will have to consider cutting the pieces out vs. just including a large enough cut. Maybe I can do both. Some of the more advanced sewists might appreciate a little room for creativity, but beginners might prefer everything ready to go.

If you like handmade bags and purses, check out my etsy!


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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013 01:40:06 AM »

Once you have your tutorial/patterns made, you could sell them as a stand alone item & then offer your fabric combos separately, then link your tutorial listings within your fabric combo listings & it will give your shop an seo boost. The tutorial/patterns could be set up as instant downloads too...so if someone just wants to buy the pattern, they download it from etsy once they've paid & you won't have to run to the post office. I hope you do well! I've bought tons of fabric & patterns over the years, so I know there's folks like me out there interested!  Wink

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