You know how I love the shopping online and buying vintage and handmade things. Well, Etsy really covers all my bases which is why I try so hard to stay away from it. Inevitably, every couple of months, I have a moment (aka a week where I find 8300 awesome things I must own) and it's all Etsy, all the time.
It's a particularly fabulous resource for the home crafter.
What I've discovered is that, if you "need" something, you can probably find it gently worn / dead stock / vintage at a very good price, especially if you're willing to do the research. I've also found the service to be incomparably professional. Often, when I email a seller to request a discount on shipping (you know how I hate mark up on that element of any purchase), he or she will offer it at cost, which can easily delete 10 bucks from the final price. Some sellers do not take returns, while others are very happy to reclaim their merchandise if it doesn't work for you. I am careful when ordering tricky-to-fit things i.e. shoes (you can get AWESOME, almost new, designer shoes for a fraction of the cost) or clothing.
The categories I have so far experimented with include: jewelry (generally vintage, sterling silver), books (so many awesome vintage books to be had. How I love these!), potions (i.e. all-natural face serum), sewing supplies and (very recently i.e. the parcels haven't arrived yet) vintage clothing and shoes. FYI, I rarely spend more than 30 bucks on any given item (including shipping) and the most I've spent on anything, by far, is $95.00. My point is that this is a place where you can have a terrific time, buy yourself something sweet and not even vaguely break the bank. FYI, you can also break the bank.
What does this have to do with the next thing I'm going to sew?
Well, I discovered this store and purchased a pattern last night:
Yes, it's one of those tape-together-for-yourself patterns, a format I don't love, but it's only got 3 pieces. I will need to add seam allowances, so I'll end up doing some extra work, however I can manage this in the evening (unlike sewing which is too energy-intensive after a day at the office). I haven't found any reviews of this top, but I have emailed the designer to ask her what body-shape she based the sloper on, to get a sense of whether I should make the 10 or 12. As it has no sleeves to mess with the armscye fit, I suspect the 12 might work better (bust size is exactly mine). It also has side darts and darts below the bust so that I can (hopefully) easily work around my curves.
There are a few reviews online for this company, and none I can find for this top, but they're all good. However, they do indicate that the designer assumes that you know a fair bit about sewing, even with Beginner patterns. I'll keep you posted as I start making this garment.
You may wonder why I've chosen an entirely new pattern from a new-to-me pattern company though I've said I don't want to fiddle with fit. Beats me. I just can't get psyched by anything in my inventory. This top seems like a good staple that will work in 3 of the fabrics I've already got hanging around. (It calls for lining, somewhat concerningly, as I don't know if I'll need to go out and find some, or if I can just use self fabric to accomplish this task. It does raise concerns about how much fabric I have vs what I will require. Hmmm...) I appreciate the opportunity to adjust size on the basis of lots of darts. My bodice fitting project, though still in process, has taught me that my shape is best suited to a fitted woven top with vertical waist darts. I like that this pattern has already built them in. And, who doesn't love a peplum? It's kind of fancy but in an easy way. I sense the top will work well under jackets or with jeans. As well, I'm happy to support small business, wherever I find it, so I really hope this garment works well on me. Elisa, the owner, stocks a variety of rather wearable and cute designs which intrigue me.
So, let's get the ball rolling...
For sewists: Have you tried Salme Sewing Patterns and, if so, what do you think? How do you like the look of this pattern? Do you suppose I can use self-fabric for lining?
And for everyone: How do you feel about online shopping? Are you an etsy-holic? What kinds of stuff are you comfortable buying sight unseen?