As you may have guessed from my all-over-the-map projects, I have a little trouble staying on task. This is fine for hobbies (if I don’t mind having at least three storage tubs full of UFOs) but I need to be a little more efficient if I’m going to do this as a business. So I spent today moving a little more slowly, and practicing good habits.
First, I started logging my work day. (Work hours, really; there aren’t always too many of them.) I had decided yesterday that today would be a day to sew five owlbear dice bags for the shop, mostly to see how long they take. I’m reasonably sure I can’t sew them in any amount of time that makes it worth my time but again, practicing good habits.
Depending on how you group them, my product shots could be read as “I’m selling this can of Aldi-brand seltzer, here are some other household objects for scale.”
The owl and black panther are officially listed on Etsy. The fur remnant awaits its full-size shots – we replaced some little bookcases with bigger bookcases, and I pulled one of the old ones into my workspace so I didn’t have to jumble minky around looking for the right color. It still needs proper folding and organization, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Silver Seams has evolved over the years, and I still have a lot of fabric from older incarnations of the business – most of it bulky faux furs. I don’t want to clutter up my Etsy shop with it so as I go through the various storage tubs I will post about them with Paypal buttons. When I sell them (or use them) I’ll remove the buttons so if you are looking at this post a year from now and they’re still priced… well, I’m probably still stuck with the stuff.
The fact that the first tub of fabric I grabbed out of storage was #17 is depressing in part because it’s far from the highest-numbered tub I have. I got rid of a bunch of them during the move, but I still have more than seventeen. This one has a mix of mostly bear-making fur in it, though the pink would also work for cosplay/fursuiting.
In the course of getting the business geared up, I decided to make the leap to a paid WordPress account. I’m a tech nerd, so I’ve always self-hosted and messed around with the software myself prior to this. And keeping a WordPress site up to date and secure does require quite a bit of that messing around. It’s fun, but if I’m going to be serious about the business I need to focus on it
This means that right now all the old entries are missing except the first. I’ll fill them back in, but it’ll take a little time.
I got an early Christmas present (or maybe a very late one, since I
have been pricing them out for a year): a Brother PE800 embroidery
machine. If you follow me on Mastodon
you will have seen me flitting around like a butterfly with ADHD from
trial project to trial project, none of which I’ve finished:
Aside from the plushie — a soapybacon pattern — all of the embroidery files are ones I made myself. I think I’ve sung the praises of Inkscape before, but I’ll do it again. It’s a vector drawing program. Think Adobe Illustrator, but… free.
(Well, donor-supported. I threw in $60 this year which is a quarter what Illustrator would cost. But there’s no nag of any kind.)
I use it as a sort of CAD program to draw patterns. I can measure
seam lengths to make sure pieces will fit together, even if the seam
lines are completely different paths. I can re-color designs by changing
a single value, to get variations on pegasus wings or whatever else I’m having Spoonflower print these days. And now, with the Ink/Stitch plugin, I can generate embroidery files to sew those patterns for me.
My husband has suggested I also use it to produce files to have the Cameo cut the fabric, but I’m not ready for a complete robot takeover yet. But yes, I used Inkscape to create the cutting files for the papercraft Lego.
At any rate, it’s a Friday, so here’s a free “sewing” pattern: the
D.Va badge. It’s a single color, so it was a good learning process. I
didn’t have stabilizer yet so my sample stitch drifted slightly (the ear
on the right is properly centered in its border in the file),
but otherwise it came out nicely. Here is the original SVG file so you
can look at the process. Ink/Stitch does a pretty fair job automatically
but I fixed the sharp corners on the border, which otherwise don’t make
a clean turn, and added the underlay which for some reason Ink/Stitch
doesn’t default to. If you look at the comparison of the badge with someone else’s embroidery you can see the difference when an underlay is used in satin stitching.
Many years ago, Silver Seams was a little business, which didn’t make much money but kept me busy during my toddler’s naps.
I’ve decided it’s time to revive it, after hauling tubs of faux furs and other fabrics halfway across a continent. Naturally, the most logical thing to do is start with… miniatures, in low-pile non-bulky fabrics.
Tune in Monday, when I’ll kick things off for real… with a giveaway.