After a lot of thinking I have decided to discontinue my custom sewing services with the exception local clients in the San Diego area. I realize my fees can seem high when compared to purchasing ready to wear and in order to give my customers complete satisfaction I’ve decided to require fittings in person so that they can get the complete fit and feel of a custom made gown. I have removed my sailor play suit from Etsy- I had lots and lots of bookmarks but no purchases yet, and instead of making them when I receive orders I have decided to periodically offer one of a kind reproductions made from period patterns. I have had a lot more success on etsy with my vintage reproduction patterns and with original vintage items- and to be honest making reproduction clothing when you’re not sewing for yourself is a lot of work! I often undercharge because although I have pretty much figured out my body’s little quirks and such that it’s really difficult to gauge time for patterning for others- and more often than not bodies are more complicated for fit than simply bust-waist-hips. I realize that not everyone is as nit-picky as I am- but if I make something custom I really want to make sure that it’s perfect- especially if I have my name on it! Occasionally when I will put up a repro dress the cost will actually be less than dealing with custom orders because no additional pattern changes will be made and the item will be available for immediate purchase.
It’s been a hard decision to make- having gone to school for fashion design I still dream of someday being able to have my own line- but I have come to terms with my shortcomings. If I can hire seamstresses to create a line from my design it will be a lot more exciting and productive than my sitting and sewing the same design over and over. For me the joy is in the creation- not necessarily creating the same thing over and over. So someday, if I get a financial backer, there may be a Wearing History clothing line with dresses to order at costs that are less than a one woman show doing everything from start to finish.