On why I would never sell an entire doll outfit for $8.99

It really bothers me when I see people selling entire doll outfits for $8.99 or $10.  You're probably saying, "8.99?  For the whole thing?  That's cheap; I'd totally buy that."  Well, it is cheap.  In most cases, too cheap.  I'm left wondering what is the seller's motivation.  Assume the seller is using Jo-Ann or Wal-Mart-type fabrics.  Add in the cheapest thread, some Velcro, elastic, maybe some ribbon, ric-rac, or other embellishment.  Factor in electricity, listing and selling fees, and Paypal fees.  By the time the person has sold her $8.99 item, she is probably only clearing a few dollars at best.  Now compare that with the time she spent making the item(s).

I guess if the point is just to clear a few bucks, then fine. However, I value my time and prefer not to work for less than $10/hour.  I also tend to favor designer fabrics and nicer thread, so I spend more on my materials up front in order to make a quality, lasting piece.  I try to find fabrics and embellishments that are in scale with the size of the doll whenever possible.  That takes time and can cost more.  These are, of course, my personal preferences. 

That being said, I just wish people would respect themselves and their artistry and not brag about how cheap their prices are compared to others.  If you are sewing or crafting to make money, then please stop undercutting yourself and others.  Have some respect, do the math, and pay yourself at least a living wage.

My sewing rooms through time.....

I thought it would be fun to share some pictures of my various sewing rooms.  I have been married for 13 years and we have lived in 10 different places--a rental house on a farm (no sewing area there--just the kitchen table or the floor--hey, I was young!), a house, an apartment for 3 months, a house, corporate rental for 3 months, a house, an apartment, a little bigger apartment, a big house, and now a rental house again.  I can't find the pictures of our first house, but since we didn't have kids yet, I had an entire bedroom to devote to sewing and the computer.  When we moved I had my sewing machine table set up in the living room.  Once our new house was complete, I used the spare bedroom for my sewing area.  This was great because that room had a pretty big closet to store my fabric and supplies in.

Then we had a baby and I moved my things into the living room so that she could have a proper bedroom.  Here you can see the treadle table and bench.  At this point, the table was at one end of the couch and one or both of the chairs in the room were generally stacked up with fabric.  My fabric stash had moved into the unfinished part of the basement.  It probably wasn't very safe having all my sewing things easily accessible to a curious baby, but luckily we never had any problems.

After a few years, we finished the last two rooms in the basement and I gained a dedicated sewing space again.  The room didn't have much storage, but my husband made a built-in desk area that was totally awesome.  In the picture above, you can see half of my desk area.  This room had lots of light and two windows.  I loved this room!  I got to enjoy it for around a year before we had to move again. 

We were in a corporate apartment for a few months, so I was back to using the treadle table with my machine sitting on it.  Then we moved into our next home.  I got my own room, but it was pretty tiny.  You can see my new sewing desk.  I had a cabinet from Ikea to the right of the desk and a really tiny closet.  The rest of the stash was once again in the unfinished basement.  A few months after moving in to this house we found out we were expecting another baby.  If we had stayed in this house, I would have lost this sewing area, but we moved AGAIN after living here only 9 months.

Next up was an old, tiny apartment.  Since I was pregnant, I wasn't really doing a lot of sewing, but the machine was set up on a folding plastic table in our bedroom.  Yuck.  A bigger apartment became available right about the time my son was due.  So I went to the hospital to have him and my family moved our things from the small apartment to the bigger apartment.  Still set up on the plastic table, but at least back to the living room.  Not that I accomplished a whole lot with a new baby.  At least I could look at the machine. 

During the time of living in the bigger apartment, we began construction on a new home.  Yay!  Dedicated sewing space with a lot of storage was definitely in the plans.  We moved into the new house when my son was a little more than a year old.  Here is a picture:
 We only got to live in this house for nine months before moving yet another time. 

We are now renting a house that doesn't really have space for a dedicated sewing area.  I am sharing sewing and office space.  Definitely not ideal, but not totally horrible either.  In my perfect world the office would not share real estate with the sewing area.  There would be lots of overhead lighting (instead of NONE), and there would be a nice, large closet for stash storage, rather than having to trek to the unfinished bonus area to get my things.  Here is my last set of pictures:

I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of my sewing rooms!