I tossed 2 bodices away while learning on the AG dolls. Yes, two full bodices got dumped in the trash. There might have been tears. Ok, there were tears. I was super frustrated. Truth.
That’s when I decided to wise up and call my mom who knows a metric ton more about sewing than I do.
Once I worked out the kinks with the AG doll dresses, I was ready to move on to the dresses for the girls. It was 100% the right decision. The dresses for the girls, once the bodice was resized, came together super quick. Like 4-6 hours of total effort (versus the 12+ hours on that first awful AG dress).
The pattern I used is Butterick 3351. I meant to get another Simplicity pattern, but those weren’t on sale, so I picked up 2 similar styles in Butterick. (Not brand loyal.)
I had to size down the bodice for EG from a size 8 to a size 6 in circumference while maintaining the length of the size 8. EG is quite slender. For TM, I needed just narrower than a size 6 for the circumference but way less on the length. TM is a good few inches shorter that her sister. (Nearly 4 years between them, so that’s to be expected.)
Both dresses turned out wonderful. The girls are thrilled and wear them to play in around the house. It can’t be Valentine’s Day every day!
Fabric and pattern from Joann Fabrics. Fabric was in the clearance section when I purchased it. It’s not a cotton blend (and I really would rather it was, but little girls pick what they like).
I killed my favorite pair of jeans last week. It was terrible. I was out on date night with my husband when a worn spot on my inner thigh became a hole.
I ended up learning the most from this tutorial on Spruce Crafts.
I absolutely did not take pictures of the in-process conversion. That's not my thing and I'm a pretty darn slow seamstress to begin with. It did take me over an hour just to rip out the seams! I used up most of an evening to get the skirt to the point shown below.
Yep, it's not hemmed.
After over 3 hours you might be thinking, "Dang, girl. You should be done!"
Like I said, I AM NOT A FAST SEAMSTRESS.
I'm taking this beauty with me when I visit my mom. She will help me hem it up correctly (i.e. adjusting it so the back hits the same location relative to my leg as the front.
I am quite proud of how it's turned out thus far as it has a good fit.
Here's a link to my follow-up post: Favorite Jeans Converted to Skirt Follow-up
But January was disheartening. I'd talked to my knitting friends and my inlaws. Let's just say who you ask advice of is as important as the advice you receive.
Asking non-entrepreneurs about pricing is the wrong move. So is being the lowest priced. When it comes to knitting patterns Free and $0.99 means crappy and poorly put together.
I raised my prices to the $3 mark in early January plus added my patterns to Ravelry. January ended up being my best month with $16.41 in sales after Paypal fees.
Get ready to slowdown...
February had a single sale and I'm at no sales for March. Not a single sale came from Ravelry. (Considering how convoluted Ravelry is to use, it's not winning any affection from me right now.)
Winter is over in the United States too. It may be several months before I have another pattern sale.
It's not all bad...
Still, this little business paid for my domain and requires nothing to maintain. It's pretty much a passive income, abet a seasonal one. So I'm keeping it open and will add more patterns as I can. I am not going to be knitting like crazy.
Truth is I never intended Ruth Designs to be a full-time effort. Its a side hustle for some cash and a creative outlet. I'm cool with it being what it is. I'm not going to be spending more $$$ until it starts earning again.
I'm the primary caregiver for a 4-yr old and an 8-mo old. That's my full-time plus job right now.
I'm looking forward to when my youngest hits a year and my oldest enters pre-K4 in the fall. Until then, Ruth Designs will mosie along. I'll be working on some house project, enjoying the outdoors, and writing more in the coming months.
What do you think about my business that I'm intentionally not growing? Every penny it earns is still all profit. Is that something you could see yourself doing? Would you just look at it and go, "Yeah, ok, whatever," like I have? Or would you try driving it more?
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