An update about selling clothes in the shop

Hey folks. Just wanted to let you know where things are at with respect to selling clothes on this website or from my studio. I made a video if you like that sort of thing (or want to see me sitting on the steps outside the studio on a nice, though windy, spring day), but the same basic info is in text below.


Waiting on laundry labels…

In Australia it’s law that if you sell clothes, you need to include a label with the laundry instructions. Plus I needed to get some brand labels made to put in the clothes so you know who made them. Both are custom jobs and they’ll take a little longer than I expected, so at this point we’re looking at mid to late October before I can sell clothes.

The good news is that I found an Australian label maker who makes the labels out of recycled materials, and they’re OEKO-TEX certified (that means they don’t use harmful chemicals, dyes, etc), and they’ll sell me small batches so I don’t need to order a thousand at once. So that’s great, to know that even if I have to have a synthetic laundry label inside the garment, it’s a recycled, non-toxic one. Small wins, I guess.

What it takes to make clothes for sale

I’ve been sewing up a storm and I’ve got a few garments ready to go, more queued up in various states of preparation. The steps to make each garment are:

  • Pre-wash and iron the fabric (I wash all the fabric I buy before I sew it, to pre-shrink it and remove any sizing or other treatments)
  • Figure out what designs will fit best on the fabric, and what I plan to do with it. I aim to waste as little fabric as possible, so it can be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle to figure out how many garments I can get out of one length of cloth.
  • Cut the designs out.
Linen clothes in progress
Some of the garments I’ve got cut out, waiting to be sewn.
  • Start sewing them, grouped by style and/or colour, to avoid the overhead of having to switch what I’m doing or swap out the sewing machine thread. Ideally I’ll do a few similar garments together (perhaps the same thing in a couple of different sizes) so that I batch the activities and save time. A simple garment like a minimalist top needs about 10-15 rounds of of ironing, pinning into place, and finally sewing.
  • Finish the garment by inspecting it, removing loose threads, ironing, etc.
Finished linen tops/shirts
A couple of finished tops (apart from the labels!)

On average I can do a few garments a day this way. Or to look at it another way, each garment takes a few hours. More, of course, for one-of-a-kind designs or those with embellishment or handwork.

So, while I’m expecting to release a “collection” of garments into the shop each month, that’s probably going to be something on the order of 30-40 garments at the most. Enough to give a range of styles and sizes, but not a huge stock by any means.

That’s why you’ll want to be on the mailing list to make sure you get a notification when the shop has been updated. You can subscribe below!

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Visiting my studio in person

Also as I said in the video, the studio is kind of quasi-open-to-the-public right now. In theory, from Wed-Fri, 11am-4pm, if we’re in here we’ll put out the “Makers Studio Open” sign on the street and you can wander in. We probably won’t open properly (11am-4pm Wed-Sun) until the main Ballarat Art Gallery reopens, as the whole arts precinct is pretty quiet until then, and we won’t get that much foot traffic.

Anyway, that’s what’s what. Stay tuned and I’ll be posting some more non-clothing items (that don’t need laundry labels) in the shop soon.

Alex

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