Friday, February 24, 2012

That New Machine and the Blueberry

I've had time to use my new industrial sewing machine and I tell you, it's a night and day difference! Look at the difference in stitches from the old machine to the new machine. Look at the top; you can see that the stitch length starts out the same, but then when I hit layers it all heads south.

I'm still using the Pfaff machine for light-weight materials like when I build the lining part of a purse. But anything that is even a bit thick goes to the new machine.

I've been making mini-wallets, but I didn't like the fact that I could only make one wallet per necktie. I got to thinking about other designs. Lucky for us there is now a Goodwill in town. I took at trip over there and picked up a men's wool suit. Look at how I can now use the rest of the tie and still make a mini-wallet!

First I make a whole necktie wallet from the biggest part of the tie, and then I take the smaller sections and place them on the outside fold of the wallet with the wool suit as the background. Perfect!

I had been contemplating becoming a vendor at the Blueberry Arts Festival in Ely at the end of July. The festival usually draws about 20,000 people. I pondered it on and off for several months but kept having this vague anxiety about how much inventory I would need. I thought I would just start making stuff and see how far I could get in a month. But that made me even more anxious. Where to start?

Then I said, "Sharee, come on. You know how to figure this out." So I made a spreadsheet. I listed the things I'd like to sell at the Festival and then I made a guess about how many of each of those items I should have in inventory. Once I did that, I added a column that estimates how many of each item I can make in one day. I ended up with the total number of days it would take to make that inventory. If I work five days a week, it will take me 4.91 months!

After some more thinking, I added another calculation. This one said, "How many items might sell in one hour, given a brisk sales day?" Once I knew that, I knew how many items might sell over a three day fair. That number was less than the total number of items on my inventory list. Yeah! It's doable.

Now it's just a matter of work ethic. I have submitted my intentions to be a vendor. I won't know for sure if I'm in until about April. Meanwhile, I've been very, very busy.

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