Q&A #1 How Much Fabric Should I Buy?

how much fabric should i buy

Hello everyone! Recently I have been getting a lot of requests for business, sewing and other kinds of advice. So, I thought it was a good time to start a new Q & A page section on the site. If you would like to throw a question my way, please feel free!

Hello Chie….hope you are always in the best of health. I would like some advice from you. How do you buy fabrics for every new collections you are releasing? I am planning to sew children clothing next year but I am so clueless in how to buy the fabrics, should I buy by bolt every fabric or is there any tips that you can share so I don’t over spend lol. Thank you in advance.

Thank you for your message! It’s very exciting that you are starting a new collection for kids clothing! I am excited to see what you’ll come up with.
In terms of how much fabric to buy, I would start small. I would not buy a bolt of every fabric. I would buy fabric for 1 sample (for photoshoot and to show the retailers if your are planning on doing wholesale) and enough to sew up to 3-4 items per design. I would also choose fabrics that are readily available, and avoid discontinued fabrics in case your item is popular and you end up selling more than you can produce. That way, you can order more from the same source when your current stash runs out.
I think by starting small, you avoid overstocking items and spending too much of your capital. If you sell all your items, that’s great! I would take the money you earned and do a new collection, this time a bit bigger. Maybe buy enough fabrics for 5-6 items and sew upon request.
When I first started an etsy shop, I bought fabrics from sales rack and made one-of-a-kind items. Some items sold and some didn’t. I took note of what sold and began to see patterns. Slowly, I started to offer some variations of those “popular items”, offering them in different colors and sizes. An example of this is this skater dress. I buy fabrics for this dress once I have the order placed. It is more expensive to buy fabric this way as opposed to getting wholesale discount, but not overstocking yourself is more important in the beginning. One of the greatest advantages about having an online shop as opposed to physical store is you don’t have to stock it with lots of physical products. This saves storage space as well.
I wish you the best of luck in your new business. I encourage you to keep on going with what you set your mind to do. Don’t give up, review and revise as you go along.
Derik Siver, the owner and founder of the online independent music store, CD Baby said the following:  “successful song writes i know, they would just keep writing and writing and writing..and just kept going.  if you keep trying it out and its not clicking,just let it go and write another song, keep moving forward. Success comes from persistently improving and reinventing”. Hope this helps.
Any question that I can help with? Email me here.
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2015 in Review & What’s Ahead

happy new year 2016 EN

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday. Thank you for all the support you’ve given this past year. I hope to be able to keep creating beautiful things and sharing things I learn on my blog. To start off, I wanted to recap some highlights from 2015.

My 5 most worn items I made in year 2015Cloth Habit Watson Bra in Black LaceWatson bra in black laceGray joppers from Japanese sewing book Vivat VeritasSweat pantsginger skinny jeans view b vivat veritas4Ginger jeansHandmade chambray button down with a cross over backChambray button upBurdaStyle Parka pattern reviewBurdastyle Parka

Wedding dresses and items
This is my current focus. I would like to continue expanding more bridal line in year 2016.Bridal Satin RobeBridal robeVivat Veritas Lace and Chiffon Adjustable Wedding DressFloral motif lace wedding dressnounou x vivat veritas bridal photo session10Photo collaboration with Nounouflower crown vivat veritas4Flower crown
Wedding welcom bear
Wedding welcome bears

69 Blog posts

I wrote 69 blog posts in the year 2015. That’s about 5 blog posts a month. That’s not many, but I found that a once per week frequency is easier to maintain. That frequency allows me to come up with ideas and still enjoy writing. I am planning on continuing this frequency for 2016 as well.

These three posts generated the most page views:

MADE | Ginger Skinny Jeans View B
MADE | BurdaStyle Parka 09/2012 #129
MADE | Navy Blue Lace Dress

It’s interesting that these are all my “MADE” posts, showing the clothes I made for myself rather than for other people. Maybe the readers can tell how passionate I am with these makes from my detailed reviews of the pattern or the process.

Newsletters

I started a newsletter last year. The mailing was infrequent (maybe two or three times) but I want to increase it to once a month this year. It will be a round up of the blog posts of the month, some behind the scenes stuff and links of things I enjoyed reading/watching. If you are interested, sign up here.

2016 Resolutions

I have two resolutions.
1. Last year I read 58 books. I kept track of the title, author, the date I finished reading and short comments about the book in a spreadsheet. This became really handy when it came to recommending my favorite reads to friends. Most of the books were Japanese books. This year, I want to alternate reading Japanese books and English books. It’s easier and faster for me to read in Japanese, but I should read more in English to improve my English vocabulary. My first English book of 2016 is the Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor.
2. Keep track of hours spent on working towards the business. I am guessing that I am putting in about 15 hours per week, but this is a complete guess. It might be more. We will find out. I still work full time during the day. Finding out the actual time I spend on the business, and comparing that to what I earn will help me articulate a more focused business plan.

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NYE Black Sequin Skirt

New Years Eve Handmade sequin skirtAfter seeing this multi color sequin maxi skirt that Maddie made, a sequin item made it into my to-sew list. I was working on a project where I help design and make concert wear for J-pop singers and the fabric I chose for them included purple and pink sequins. They blinded me while I sewed. I was initially looking for a similar fabric with sequins sewed on but the price was much more expensive, so I landed on the glued-on version in black. Unfortunately this makes the the skirt impossible to wash at home, but that shouldn’t be too big of a deal because I imagine I’ll only be wearing this skirt only on special occasions. The fabric has some stretch so I lined it with four-way stretch knit. No pattern was used. I cut the fabric with this knit skirt on fabric, eye balling the seam allowances as I cut. I added darts in front and back, and invisible zipper in center back. I also added a slit in center back because I had trouble walking in the last I-line dress I made.sequin body con skirt black body con sequin skirtI wore it with black knit tucked in to go out with some girlfriends for Christmas. Although made for Holiday, this dress can be worn with casual graphic T or loose sweatshirt with sneakers for regular days.
sequine black outfitblack holiday outfit vivat veritasI bought 1 meter of fabric. After making my skirt, I still had enough to make for Kiko. I just gathered the top and added black elastic band for waist. Now we have  matching NYE party ready outfits!Mother daughter matching black sequin skirt DIY kids sequin skirt
sequin skirt for little girl

Hard to believe the year 2015 is whining down in a few hours. I will probably be in bed by 10, and my night is spent like any other day. I feel like an old woman but I like my regular schedule! Hope everyone is having a good time and thank you for all your support. See you in 2016!

今年のホリデーシーズン用に作ったスカートです。
生地はストレッチが入った黒のスパンコール生地。楽天ショップで買いました。
スパンコールが糊付けされているタイプ(縫い付けられているものではない)ので、これから着ていくうちに取れてしまうかちょっと心配ですが、取りあえず今年のパーティーシーズンは無事越せた様子 笑

1m買って、自分用に作って少し余ったので、4歳の娘にもおそろいで作りました。

今年はいろいろとありがとうございました!
ブログを読んでくださったり、コメントしてくださる皆さん、ありがとうございます。
至らないですが、来年もよろしくお願いします☆chie sig2Find me elsewhere: