Author Topic: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)  (Read 187343 times)

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oz diva

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #840 on: April 04, 2014, 11:17:09 PM »
I make jam for our school fair. The fair was held last week.

We had some complaints about the availability of stock - we make the jams ourselves from the fruit we are given. I had one complaint about the price of the mulberry and apple jam I made. I charged $8 for a small jar. That was because it was the most time consuming jam I made all year. We have a tree at school, it took several weeks to gather enough berries to make a batch (I freezed them while I was collecting them). As it turns out mulberries have a lot of big seeds, so I strained them out, turned out there wasn't much fruit left after than, so I combined it with apples. After all that work I had four small jars. Yes, I charged quite a lot for it.

We make quite a bit of jam, takes about 9 months. We make about $2,000 for the school every year.

Victoria

Dindrane

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #841 on: April 04, 2014, 11:56:33 PM »
I think one of the disconnects when it comes to handmade items and their cost is what people compare the handmade item to.

Nobody is going to save money by hand-making anything that would be for sale in your average chain or department store. I am currently knitting myself a hat. Just the materials are probably similar in cost to what a hat like this would cost at, say, Target, so I'm not really saving money.

But if I compare it to a hat that is actually similar (made of good quality yarn and knitted in a somewhat complex pattern), I'm quite sure I'd spend a whole lot more than I would on a hat from Target, even if I was buying a hat from a different commercial retailer.

There's also the fact that I do a lot of handmade stuff because I can't find exactly what I want for sale (except from people who make custom items one at a time, and charge accordingly). If I could find what I wanted at mass-production prices, I'd totally buy it. But most things just aren't quite what I'm looking for, and often cost more (even at mass-produced prices) than I'm willing to pay for something that isn't quite what I really want. If I'm going to spend that much money on something, my thinking goes, I really want it to be as close as possible to my vision for the thing (whatever that vision is). The only way to get that is to either make it myself or pay someone bespoke-level prices to make it for me.


Coruscation

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #842 on: April 05, 2014, 09:59:30 PM »
It seems like there are two kinds of people in the world. 

Those who understand the skill, time and money it takes to make great crafts are likely to appreciate the prices asked for these objects.  Unfortunately, those who understand are often able to make these objects themselves and don't have to pay retail prices. 

The other sort are those who equate 'craft' with the Elmer's Glue and macaroni projects made in the first grade for Mother's Day gifts.  These folks think that anything over 10 dollars is way out of line for something that someone has made at home in their spare time. After all, it's just a hobby, isn't it?

I feel for artisans because finding a market for the things they produce can be very difficult.       

So true... and is this the source of the thought that handmade is less expensive? So many people think someone sews/beads/woodworks/etc. because it saves money. I know I've seen that mindset throughout my life. From building computers and making chocolate from the bean, DH and I know that making something is definitely *not* cheaper than buying it!

I think the difference between classic 'craft' and common 'craft' has been blurred, too. It has diminished the value of true craft and true craftsmanship so we no longer appreciate the practice or learning that have gone into a top-notch calligrapher, master woodworker, baker, or photographer.

I suspect it is even worse when people don't even recognize the skill, but just think it is a hobby, KWIM? Like taking advantage of a baker because, well, everybody's grandma bakes! It's not like it's that big of a deal.... so-and-so just really likes to do it. Or 'his photography can't be worth that much-- I can take pictures, too!', 'I don't need a calligrapher, my cousin bought a pen set and can write fancy.'

Perhaps some of that is that, before the age of Industrialization and mass production, homemade *was* cheaper.  Quilts were cheaper when they were made of leftover scraps of fabric than now, when they're made out of the pretty, expensive specialty fabrics.  Etc.  And now it's the reverse.

I think that's partly it but labour is a big part too. The cloth only had to be cheaper than the made item. The housewife's labour was free. If it took 20 hours to knit a sweater and you only saved 20% of the cost, you were still ahead, especially if you were living very close to poverty.

Jocelyn

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #843 on: April 05, 2014, 11:13:33 PM »
It's not just industrialization- it's internationalization. When I was a kid, my mom could buy fabric and make our clothes more cheaply than she could buy them. Now? A major manufacturer can get the fabric woven cheaply overseas, and the garments made cheaply. Home sewing is now about creativity, not about necessity. I can buy 3 blouses on sale at Macy's for what it costs to make one. 
I have scraps from my mother's sewing, dating back to the 1950s. The quality of the fabric is amazing, compared to what I can buy in most fabric stores now. I'd have to be paying upwards of $11-12 a yard to get the quality my mother bought for under a dollar a yard back then. Sure, there's inflation...but not that much.

Coruscation

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #844 on: April 06, 2014, 03:33:27 AM »
According to an inflation calculator, $1 in 1950 is worth $9.74 today.

Hillia

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #845 on: April 06, 2014, 10:24:04 AM »
The other way that sewing can save you money is if you have special fitting requirements.  My MIL sewed most of the shirts for my FIL and her two sons after they hit puberty.  FIL is over 6'4" and very skinny (and extremely picky) and both sons are over 6'4" and very not skinny.  They lived in a tiny rural area where the biggest store was WalMart, and there weren't many other options.  Internet service there is terrible, and online shopping wasn't a thing then, so the best way to get the men into shirts that fit was to buy fabric at WalMart and sew them herself.  Had they been standard sizes, it would have been cheaper to just buy them, but this was the only option at the time.  Even now that you can order just about any size online, for some things the extra cost for special sizes is ridiculous.  I wish I could make Tshirts -  regular plain men's colored Tshirts might go on sale for $5-10 each; the best 'sale' I can get on the 6XLT that DH wears is about $18 each if I buy in lots of 5.

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VorFemme

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #846 on: April 06, 2014, 01:31:00 PM »
Fashion Patterns by Connie Crawford (she also has a line in the Butterick catalog) goes up to 6X - on her website, she used to do (and may still do) come custom patterns for basic pants, shirts, and the like.  Basic pants and a t-shirt for a guy might be worth the investment in the custom pattern. 

Nobody cares if your black pants are cut to the same pattern as your navy, brown, and khaki pants or if you have ten t-shirts that are identical except for color....or polo shirts, if he wants to dress up a level to "business casual" instead of "casual" (or are the t-shirts you're looking for white underwear shirts?).

I'm assuming you could learn to sew.  Or possibly he could...getting clothes that FIT comfortably is very motivating!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Hillia

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #847 on: April 06, 2014, 02:51:00 PM »
Fashion Patterns by Connie Crawford (she also has a line in the Butterick catalog) goes up to 6X - on her website, she used to do (and may still do) come custom patterns for basic pants, shirts, and the like.  Basic pants and a t-shirt for a guy might be worth the investment in the custom pattern. 

Nobody cares if your black pants are cut to the same pattern as your navy, brown, and khaki pants or if you have ten t-shirts that are identical except for color....or polo shirts, if he wants to dress up a level to "business casual" instead of "casual" (or are the t-shirts you're looking for white underwear shirts?).

I'm assuming you could learn to sew.  Or possibly he could...getting clothes that FIT comfortably is very motivating!

Thanks for the info!  I do sew but am no good at altering patterns,so my attempts to finish. Him have pretty bad.  I'll have to check these out.

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VorFemme

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #848 on: April 06, 2014, 03:28:45 PM »
Fashion Patterns by Connie Crawford (she also has a line in the Butterick catalog) goes up to 6X - on her website, she used to do (and may still do) come custom patterns for basic pants, shirts, and the like.  Basic pants and a t-shirt for a guy might be worth the investment in the custom pattern. 

Nobody cares if your black pants are cut to the same pattern as your navy, brown, and khaki pants or if you have ten t-shirts that are identical except for color....or polo shirts, if he wants to dress up a level to "business casual" instead of "casual" (or are the t-shirts you're looking for white underwear shirts?).

I'm assuming you could learn to sew.  Or possibly he could...getting clothes that FIT comfortably is very motivating!

Thanks for the info!  I do sew but am no good at altering patterns,so my attempts to finish. Him have pretty bad.  I'll have to check these out.

More expensive than patterns drawn out to measurements is pattern drafting software.

Cheapest alternative might be Wild Ginger's Click & Sew patterns on CD (no longer made) but a polo shirt, a t-shirt, and pants take both men & women to a LOT of events - I'd suggest eBay or Amazon.

There might be other patterns on CD - I just don't know the company name right off the top of my head.

Wild Ginger also has clothing drafting programs for home (higher cost than just one or two styles on CD to be scaled up or down by entering measurements) or professional use (more expensive) - but they'd let you make just about anything he (or you) could possibly dream up - depending on which programs that you bought.  Most plain shirts can be made in mirror image to the instructions for women to button on the correct side for a guy to use.  Same thing for the zipper on the fly....just apply it on the left where it says right for a woman's garment.  Pockets still go in the front and back....I've run into some people who seem to take the instruction to "mirror image" something a little too literally, can you tell?

http://www.sewingpatterns.com/subpage.php?new_category=all_products&brand=Leko&model=019leko - all the current menswear patterns.  I've never used these - but they do look like they'd be an alternative that wouldn't cost an arm & a leg to try!  Look to the left where it says Men and (3) to find the other two CDs.  All three men's collections seem to have pants and various tops that could be casual or dressy, depending on the fabric used.

The one with the guy in a suit would give you a wider range of clothing from business to casual to very casual where the sportswear or athletic wear would be casual to very casual.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 03:31:49 PM by VorFemme »
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bo

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #849 on: April 06, 2014, 04:40:43 PM »
My husband is a software engineer for some background.His Aunt's boyfriend asked him for some advice about an idea he had for a website. So far so good,then he asked about hiring him to make and run the website. My husband considered it until Aunt's boyfriend  fully explained the what he wanted.

He basically wanted a huge real estate database something like Truila. He wanted my husband to build this database and run it for a flat fee of $500!!!  :o

When Dh said that won't be possible at all Aunt's boyfriend tried pulling the family card  and whined he deserved a discount! DH declined.

IrishGenes

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #850 on: April 06, 2014, 06:47:39 PM »
A musician responds to a restaurant's online ad for local bands to play.  While it does not explicitly say that it is not a paying gig, no mention of compensation is noted in the ad:  http://i.imgur.com/YZzTBKy.jpg
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Slartibartfast

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #851 on: April 07, 2014, 12:08:13 AM »
A musician responds to a restaurant's online ad for local bands to play.  While it does not explicitly say that it is not a paying gig, no mention of compensation is noted in the ad:  http://i.imgur.com/YZzTBKy.jpg

This felt unnecessarily snarky to me.  Yes, established bands will usually get paid for gigs like that - but there's also a pretty solid tradition of open mic nights and such, where musicians *don't* get paid and *do* perform for free in the hope of selling some CDs and building an audience.  I can understand the snark if the restaurant specifically contacted the musician, but not if they just put out an open call.

IrishGenes

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #852 on: April 07, 2014, 12:58:41 AM »
A musician responds to a restaurant's online ad for local bands to play.  While it does not explicitly say that it is not a paying gig, no mention of compensation is noted in the ad:  http://i.imgur.com/YZzTBKy.jpg

This felt unnecessarily snarky to me.  Yes, established bands will usually get paid for gigs like that - but there's also a pretty solid tradition of open mic nights and such, where musicians *don't* get paid and *do* perform for free in the hope of selling some CDs and building an audience.  I can understand the snark if the restaurant specifically contacted the musician, but not if they just put out an open call.

I hope you were referring to the ad and not to my comments.  I'm not sure how I was snarky in my post :-\

I agree that the response to the Craigslist ad was a bit much... but there could be a backstory or a history that we're not aware of (even though it's a public forum like Craigslist). 
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."  ~ The Talmud

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #853 on: April 07, 2014, 11:50:24 AM »
I think that's partly it but labour is a big part too. The cloth only had to be cheaper than the made item. The housewife's labour was free. If it took 20 hours to knit a sweater and you only saved 20% of the cost, you were still ahead, especially if you were living very close to poverty.

Sometimes making it yourself *is* cheaper.  I keep telling people that 'Sewing for ME is cheap.  Sewing for YOU is not.' 

I found a wonderful linen blend a couple of years ago, that I LOVE, for just about $3 a yard.  I bought 42 yards of it.  I make myself pants out of it, loose-fitting pants with elastic waist and pockets.  They wear pretty well for linen, look really nice, and wash well.  (They're not tailored.  I don't wear tailored anything).
So basically, they cost me $6 a pair, for the fabric and 2 hours of labor.  At my size, finding pants with pockets AND a long enough inseam for less than $50 is difficult.

And that linen is now $8 a yard.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 11:54:50 AM by LadyJaneinMD »

dawbs

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #854 on: April 07, 2014, 12:10:51 PM »
I think that's partly it but labour is a big part too. The cloth only had to be cheaper than the made item. The housewife's labour was free. If it took 20 hours to knit a sweater and you only saved 20% of the cost, you were still ahead, especially if you were living very close to poverty.

Sometimes making it yourself *is* cheaper.  I keep telling people that 'Sewing for ME is cheap.  Sewing for YOU is not.' 

I found a wonderful linen blend a couple of years ago, that I LOVE, for just about $3 a yard.  I bought 42 yards of it.  I make myself pants out of it, loose-fitting pants with elastic waist and pockets.  They wear pretty well for linen, look really nice, and wash well.  (They're not tailored.  I don't wear tailored anything).
So basically, they cost me $6 a pair, for the fabric and 2 hours of labor.  At my size, finding pants with pockets AND a long enough inseam for less than $50 is difficult.

And that linen is now $8 a yard.
THis is where some things do get cheaper--kinda like how making jam is more expensive than buying it...unless you own a fruit tree.
(making peanut butter costs about the same per jar as buying it--except when I can buy the nuts on sale.)

I buy fabric remnants often--and I can sew myself a basic snack bag out of them for 1/3 the cost of buying them--but that's because they're easy to make.
I don't make them to sell though, because my sewing isn't good enough for that.  It's good enough for gifts to family members only :)