Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Little Miss Sew N. Sew

Sometimes I find things that are destroyed.....and I have to figure my valuable time to put it back together, or not, and what to charge for it when I list it.
Well, I always think about what to charge.....and here's a story....
Of Redemption....Of Capitalism spelled with a small C. This turned out very well.....what started as a  wreck of a vintage's the end result....
I'm never intimidated by a project to put something back together, a garment or purse or hat, and even shoes, sometimes, even when someone has wrecked it, ruined it, and Gawd! made a Halloween costume from a pink 1950s vintage ruffly OTT Prom dress.
I have to figure my hours....because this is my work. This is what I do. Thank the heavenly stars that you value vintage and the handmade. Have I told you lately how much I appreciate your good taste?

Thanks to mom, I learned to sew when I was about 9, and once I figured out I could Make My Own Clothes, I grabbed on to that Magical Thing and it might be the one thing that's followed me, year in year out over my entire life. Oh that's not true. Gardening has a stronger hold....I'll put a garden in anywhere....

and here is where it started.....It took me all day to fix it, and then the expense of a dry cleaning  back up and feast your eyes!!

It had been ripped and several rows of ruffles were hanging on for dear life...the shoulders had holes poked in them, and black lace and rayon fringe had been tied on for straps....must have been going for some kind of Prostitute from know, the young ladies like to dress like sluts.

I had to remove all that crap, and then I hand sewed the holes closed (not too bad), replaced the busted zipper (of course) with a matching era-appropriate 50s pink long metal zipper, then I hand sewed the rows and rows and rows of net and lace ruffles back together. It turned out so pretty! Then I dropped it off at Morrell's Cleaners and they worked a miracle on the stains. Then I listed it on ebay, and it sold for well over a 100. bucks. These days, I'd list it for 350. Because it's worth it!
this project was from 2002 or 2003....
Now.....Long before the economy crashed into the drink, people asked me for discounts. Most of the time they are fair. But once in awhile they are just brain-dead and quite insulting.
This is  how I price a vintage widget...That is the question. If it's a dress, I look at a comparable price on a new Nordstrom dress of like kind, then drop the price by about 50%, because it's used.
I start the comparison and research with new items that are perceived to be quality.....excellent fabric, attention to detail, and a design that is worthy of wearing again......all of these factors influence my pricing decisions.
Often, I sell something that is a great everyday dress....I think vintage should be reused and's far past the time to buy everything new. Thank goodness it's now mainstream to recycle and reuse and rewear...  I choose things that are cute, are useful, are decorative, are classic, or so weird or bizzarre! that they simply must be worn, used, displayed...again!

Have you bought a new dress lately? If it's quality, and not from Hot Topic, H&M or Sears, it is pricey. Is it made in the USA? Or where in the heck did it come from? I take pride to offer quality items, that are probably made in a 1st World Country.
With pricing, if the item is rare, pink, or a bust size over 40, the price goes up. Because, it's worth more to more people. I spend about 60 hours a week on my vintage buy and sell business. It Is A Business. I have to find it, clean it, remove stains and stinky stuff, iron it, steam it,  store it, photograph it, list it, pack it when you buy it, buy all the packing supplies, pay postage, get it to the PO, do all the bookkeeping and taxes... go shopping again, and pray I find something excellent! You pay for my time to go shopping, to find awesome stuff, and to provide it to the World Wide Web, so you can shop from the comfort of your work desk, or late at night...and never have to brave the mall or the stinky thrift store.
You also pay for the trust you have in me....I'm reliable and not out to rip you off...I'm here to offer good stuff....I'm here to recycle and make neat stuff....
So yeah, you can guess what I think about the movie Pretty in Pink costume department taking a  50s pink dress! (I'm sure it was fake, but hey!), and turning it into this Flash-In-The-Pan UGLEY 80s crappy dress. Love Iona (Annie Potts!!!) and the rest of the wardrobe in the movie IS FANTASTIC !!! It's packed full of amazing vintage....yes VINTAGE. and um, James Spader.