Product Development Deployment

Boho drapery sample patch purse

The idea of developing a product is to come up with something that can be sold…at a profit.

For the most part, she enjoys the whole process; but two days and probably sixteen hours into it, she wonders why she puts herself through this grueling process. 16 hours times $10 an hour (her minimum mentally acceptable labor rate) is $160. Debra Dorgan wouldn’t hesitate to ask this much, but Ms. SpoolTeacher is not of that caliber, at least not yet. As a matter of fact, it was viewing Debra’s lovely things on Etsy that had gotten Ms. SpoolTeacher’s muse all jazzed up to sew. That and the weather. And that most of her winter seeds had been sown. Oh sure, there were lots of projects available to do on the First Do No Harm Front Yard Farmacy agenda, but it was time to start thinking about earning more income.

During the summer monsoons, all of the sample books on the top shelf under her patio cover had gotten wet from leaks that occur along the joint where the cover meets the house. She had pulled them all apart and was washing and drying them to use for projects such as this one that got in her mind to do.

This day, two days ago, she was sorting samples that had finished drying suddenly two samples got her muse activated so she started work immediately.

Making a pleatThe front and back of the bag would be two colors of the same print and the sides would be a stripe piece cut in half.

She decided to make a pleat at the bottom edge to add interest and keep it from being a boring rectangle.

Her design plan was to utilize as much of the sample piece as possible. two inches up, one inch in

To make the pleat, she measured two inches up and one inch in and stitched the line. Then the pleat is pressed so that the middle meets the seam.

pleat detailThe next design decision was which side would go with the red and which with the blue. These things are more important than you would think. yellow, red, blue, yellow

Yellow, red, yellow, blue. That way the sides separate from the main body, visually.

She had sewn them together so that the bottom edges were all even so she measured all across the four pieces to make them even at the top as well, then seamed the final two edges together to form a rectangle.

The next decision was what to use for the bottom.

She laid the “rectangle” on a stack of clean samples and started flipping through them until one “felt” right.deciding on a bottom

The lining was made using all of the same measurements she’d just done making the shell.

She intentionally made all of the seams on the right side of the fabric because she wanted to use a ragged edge as a feature. As it turned out, she realized she’d rather have stitched the lining to the shell pieces before seaming them together as then the lining would have also shown in the ragged edge. This is product development. Next one, she will use that technique to improve the results.  The lining was all cut from one big piece of satin she’d ordered a yard and a half of for her store years ago. Orange with dots woven into it.

Lining made and stitched to the outer shellIn the process of building the lining, pockets were added and as it turned out, they seemed too close to the edge so a decision was made to add a top piece that would increase the height as well as cover the raw edges.

Picking a piece for the top edgeThis piece was cut into three sections and seamed together. Again, you learn through the process. When she went to make the handles, she realized that a bias joint would have been better. It shows less.

bias join rather than a straight joinIt’s very hard to explain the labor steps involved in constructing anything that is sewn. There seem to be a million little steps that are taken that are invisible to the final product.

Ms. SpoolTeacher was thinking through the whole process, “Maybe it would be better to hold a ‘build-a-bag class’ rather than try to sell them already made.” But, that has a whole ‘nother set of problems.

She’ll just make a few more and see where it goes. The first one is always the hardest. A lot of the “bugs” get ironed out in the process.

Ragged edge after washingFor instance, this little side pocket that seems rather lacking in function now that the whole thing is made; but even so, it adds interest. Maybe a place for a little list for the store, something that wouldn’t be devastating if it were lost.

She was real happy with how the ragged edge turned out. To make a secure seam, she used her stretch stitch so that even after clipping close to the seam, there were still plenty of stitches securing it. It sure would have been pretty with the orange showing. Product development deployment can sometimes have disappointments. A lot to be happy with though, as well. Slouchy angle showing lining

Product Development Deployment

Now she thinks she will add some decorative buttons to secure the straps to the top band. After adding elastic to crinkle it up, the top folds in some getting in and out of it.

Sixteen hours and counting…

When the muse gets a hold of her, it can sometimes turn into madness.

A Magnificent Obsession kind of madness.

Magnificent Obsession

Muse: Madness
Deploy: bring into effective action; utilize.
“they are not always able to deploy this skill”

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Finding That “One Thing”

Valentines Day, Will You Marry Me Pillow.

Using resources that already exist is her mantra. She recently sat and deconstructed a number of items that she had determined not to want to wear any longer. Some barely worn and very often, she purchased items because they are large swaths of great fabrics.

This burgundy came from a jumper dress that she probably purchased at a thrift store. She just loves, loves, loves corduroy. The blue is actually a twill weave that “marries” well with corduroy because it has a ribbed texture, albeit, the texture is on the diagonal while corduroy is on the grain line.

The sheer is a luscious opalescent blue/purple piece that was a large sample she ordered to show a client a bigger piece than was available in the fabric book. Sometimes vendors send them for no charge, other times for a nominal fee.

She had quite a big piece of this for some reason and had already utilized it in a drapery as a trim feature…

opalescent crinkle sheer as trim on curtain

opalescent crinkle sheer as trim on curtain

This time it became a ruffle on the edge of a heart-shaped pillow that she made up to sell on Etsy as a “Will You Marry Me” gimmick.

Valentines Day, Will You Marry Me Pillow. Valentines Day, Will You Marry Me Pillow. Valentines Day, Will You Marry Me Pillow.

Valentines Day, Will You Marry Me Pillow.

The little pocket can be used to put in a sweet note or even to bundle up a set of rings for a surprise, “Will You Marry Me”.

Valentines Day, Will You Marry Me Pillow. Valentines Day, Will You Marry Me Pillow. Valentines Day, Will You Marry Me Pillow. Valentines Day, Will You Marry Me Pillow.

These pillows represent many hours of detailed work. Ms. SpoolTeacher has spent many of her sewing years trying to interpret this hand-made value to clients. It is often much easier to convince them to take a class to make one for themselves. Once they do this, they understand.

These pillows are stuffed full and feel very substantial.

ring bearer pillow, valentine, heart

 

She made this little pillow recently as well, but it is much smaller. It has a red corduroy back and the tie can be used to secure wedding bands for a ring-bearer to carry down the aisle, if someone should want.

ring bearer pillow, valentine, heart

She tries to be making something at all times. She is continually trying to find that “one thing” that she will be able to make over and over and find a niche on Etsy to market it. She sees that this is what seems to be the way most people find success there.

Lately, she took a piece of sheer curtain fabric that had been left-over from a job she did about five years ago for a client in Las Vegas. She tries to use whatever she can while inventing.

This project came about because she had worn a little tunic dress to church one Sunday and found it was just a smidgen shorter than she is comfortable wearing. She has the bright idea to make a sheer skirt that could be worn either as a slip-type thing with a ruffle or creative edge hanging out under the tunic dress or to stand alone over leggings. She designed it in her mind for days all the while cutting the fabric and devising the strategy to apply what was in her mind to make it more peek-a-boo than completely see through.

As goes with many of her inventions, it didn’t quite meet with her imagination. At least not yet…

the tunic dress that is a smidgen too short

This is the dress that is a smidgen too short for complete comfort. She has since decided that she may just add a faux slip or add an extension of some sort to the dress itself and let the skirt be its own thing.

sheer skirt to be worn as a slip or over leggings

Here’s how far she got on the “slip-that-could-be-worn-over-leggings” (had she imagined it out a little better).

sheer skirt to be worn as a slip or over leggings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fabric is so fray-able, she ended up adding the bias tape and lace seam tape to the “pleat” which she ended up liking a lot. A “happy accident”. She also utilized french seams on the inside that encased the raw edges so that they would have a much better outcome not to fray.

sheer skirt to be worn as a slip or over leggings

 

 

 

Here is a picture of the french seams.

Now for a novel hem…

 

She likes how the waistband turned out.

sheer skirt to be worn as a slip or over leggings

As it turns out, the pattern size she cut out was also a smidgen too small. She has intentions of letting go of another five pounds before she is satisfied with her desired weight, so it may just be something she can wear after all. If not…to the Etsy shop it will be. It will look much different from this by the time she gussies it all up. Stay tuned….

Practice, practice, practice. She’s gonna find that “one thing” or bust tryin’!!

Christmas Candy Bar Stockings

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Ms. SpoolTeacher told you a little about how this idea came into being in her post about being a Gingerbread-aholic.

When she was in elementary school, one of the “Room-Mothers” brought them each a little handmade felt stocking with a candy bar in it and their personal initial glittered on the front. It made a big impact on her. First to have a giant Milky Way candy bar and then the craft of the stocking to delight her senses.

She still has it somewhere and would show you if she could put her fingers on it.

So she is making these to sell in her “Spare Shelf” shop on Etsy. She’s going to wear one on her purse to put her spectacles in for easy reach during the Christmas Holiday. The fit nicely.

She thinks these would be a great little surprise gift for an employer to give each of his/her employees with a “bonus” in or just a candy bar. Who doesn’t like a candy bar.

They would make a great way to present a gift card or a fun gift at a friends gathering for under $10 (not including shipping). Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Oops! She made one going (in her opinion) the wrong direction. The front and back had no distinctive characteristics. It happens.

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

The bias surround looks much closer to green than it looks like teal here.

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Find them all and new ones soon to be made and listed here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SpareShelf

They’re made out of designer fabric sample swatches. The fronts and backs are from the same sample. The trim is variety laces, bling and bias tape. They measure approximately 8.5″ top to bottom. 4.5 across the top where they open. Attention to detail and “spooling” make them a quality little surprise gift, don’t you think?

She’s planning to offer the pattern and how-to eventually.

Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket

Update: click on the picture below to go to the Spare Shelf shop on Etsy to see which Christmas Candy Bar Stockings are still available:

Christmas,candy bar,stockings,approx 8.5",upcycled,designer, fabric,swatches,trimmed,novelty,glasses case,gift card,candy bar, trinket