Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekend Project: A Reason to Celebrate!

The day is committed to error and floundering;

success and achievement are matters of long range.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Well, it took over two years - and there were times when I didn't really believe it would ever happen - but I am proud and happy to introduce to you:

The complete line of "How Much Fabric?" Reference cards!

It all started in May of 2009, after a particularly egregious overbuying episode during a Memorial Day sale at Gorgeous Fabrics, when I asked my blog readers how they decided how much fabric to buy when they didn't have the right pattern(s) available to guide them.

And I discovered that many people were just as stumped as I was...

I was worrying the problem in my mind, trying to come up with a rule of thumb to guide my future buying - when an idea hit me. I didn't have to guess - I could actually calculate how much fabric different types of garments needed!

And thus began my love/hate relationship with Excel. I started entering numbers from the back of pattern envelopes into a spreadsheet...

Over the summer, with the help of three wonderful friends and the support of my amazing husband, my little tables turned into a real product - statistically validated tables, representative sketches, all printed onto sturdy plastic cards that slip easily into a purse.

On September 12, 2009, approximately 2,000 patterns later, my e-store went live, with exactly 1 card set - for women's clothes. (Okay, we had 2 versions - one for US shoppers and one in metric - but let's not mess with the narrative flow...)

And now, over two years and approximately 8,000 sewing patterns (!) later, our complete line is... well... complete. :)

We have sets that cover (1) Women's clothes, (2) Women's plus sizes, (3) Men's clothes, (4) Baby & toddler clothes and (5) Children's clothes.

So much has happened during these two years and I have learned so much - things about starting a small business, stuff about accounting (yuck!), how expensive advertising is (!), how to file and pay sales tax quarterly, how to edit html code...

We have been featured as a "Cool Tool" in Tauton Press's "Quick Stuff to Sew", in Interweave Press's "Stitch" magazine, in the ASG's Notions publication and in "Sew News".

And, best of all, I have e-met the most amazing people from around the world!

My mind is already buzzing with more plans - a video showing how to use the cards, an app, getting the cards into fabric shops, etc.

But, after the holiday madness is over, I'm going to put aside time to get together with the people that made this possible and celebrate our accomplishment. :)

Right now, however, I have to get back into the sewing room and finish those Christmas presents... ;)

I hope everyone had a wonderful sewing weekend and feels that life is under control as the holiday season comes barreling down on us! :)


Becky said...

Congratulations! It's an amazing accomplishment, and I'm glad they've turned out successful for you so far.

p.s. I'd love an app. ;)

patsijean said...

Congratulations... I use my set for women's clothing all the time.