Time for a Cottage Day.

It’s time to relax. I’m about 1/3 through my two month summer vacation (Yeah, pity me, I know! :P), and for some reason, I’m as wound up as ever. Do you ever feel that stress becomes a habit more than a true reaction? I’ve decided it’s time to re-evaluate things, and make a fresh start. 

With that in mind, I’m scrapping the idea of doing a craft fair this summer. I’ve been wanting to do one for ages, and I went as far as applying to one last week… got all excited ordering supplies and planning what I’d make… and promptly lost all joy in sewing. Seriously. I’ve been spending long hours in the craft room, churning out stuff for sale, but always feeling frustrated by the process of repetitive sewing, restricted by making things for a certain audience, and rushed, always rushed.

All my life, I’ve *loved* planning things… the problem is, the planning quickly becomes oppressive! It is fun though… right until it’s not. Since some of you might also be thinking of selling, here’s how I prepared!

Step 1: Pinterest Board

I pinned pictures of things I had made, and inspiration from other people. I started thinking about what range of items I could sell, and how I would present them.

Step 2:  Charts!

For every item I was considering selling, I broke down how many I’d make, the cost per item and total cost of making the number I wanted, the time per item and in total, and the retail price and potential total sales. Then at the end, I crunched the numbers to figure out roughly how much I’d make for every hour of labour on different items. That final column was really useful for looking at which items were worth my time! The chart also helped me look at what price points I was offering, and think about items to fill the gaps. 

Step 3: Testing

This is about as far as I got. I tried out a few new projects, and timed myself making them. Not very relaxing, but useful! In the picture above, I’m trying out Novita’s reversible bag pattern. Great pattern, but the part I liked best was sewing the darts, because it reminded me of making clothes! 

I still hope to do craft fairs again some day, and I’ll very happily continue making things for a local boutique. I just don’t think I’m cut out to run a business! I think I got lured in by the lovely image of standing behind a table full of pretty things I’ve made, chatting to cool new friends about sewing. In real life though, I get more joy from making and wearing my own clothes than I do from making household things!

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In the name of relaxing, I’ve declared today a “Cottage Day”. I don’t know about elsewhere, but in Canada, rustic cottages on a quiet northern lake are the ultimate summer location. Since we don’t actually own a cottage, we take “cottage days” at home: A day to relax, turn off the tv and computer, and just read and relax. In Japan, we’d have cottage days at our apartment: drag some chairs out to the balcony and just take things slowly for a day.

Today, my cottage day is begining with a little bit of blogging… but as soon as I’m done, I’ll be turning off the computer, reading, and working on one of these two dresses-in-progress: 

Anyone recognize this pattern? I’ve had it cut out since the first day of the holiday – and I haven’t sewn a stitch! That must be fixed!

I’ve also begun a third version of the Colette Truffle in this Japanese lawn… this one is going to be a fun summery version with breathable gauze lining and a (sort-of) circle skirt. I’m looking forward to a nice easy project! 

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Before I go, I’d just like to thank you all for your very kind response to my last post about Iron Maiden and the earthquakes in Japan. I’m still processing a lot of things, but your kind comments ar much appreciated! Thanks, everyone!


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