I hinted a little bit on Instagram that I was making this skirt and that it was tied to an announcement I have. I have mentioned this before, but I really love making circle skirts. I think they’re super fun, and there just aren’t enough great prints out there in full, twirly skirts. So after posting in a Modcloth BST group I am a part of to get some ideas on what people would be willing to pay for something like this… I decided to open up shop and you can now order your very own handmade circle skirt with basically whatever print your heart desires!
The skirts feature an outer pocket (shaped to match the pattern, if I can), lace or rickrack trim (if you want it), pop culture, novelty, or just pretty fabrics, a thick waistband, a two-button + zipper closure, and at least one pocket in the side seams. Plus, lining if you choose it, or no lining if you want to shave a little bit off your purchase or you just don’t like lining in general (but, who doesn’t like lining???)
I should confess that this skirt is not actually finished yet; I still need to make button holes and add a pocket (and decide if I actually want a pocket), but I didn’t get around to finishing it after the kids went to bed last night, and I was too pressed for time this morning (wanting to photograph my outfit!) to finish it this morning.
Besides which, my own machine makes TERRIBLE button holes, so for the shop I am teaming up with my mom who has graciously agreed to do things like button holes and maybe zippers and those little things that her machine just does better.
I am willing to make a circle skirt in nearly any pattern you could find, with the stipulation that it needs to be cotton. Obviously, I will go through the process with you if we’re picking a unique fabric just for you, but I have been surprised before with people not knowing what kind of fabric works for what, so… look for 100% cotton, not fleece (because fleece is cotton, too, but… it doesn’t work so well), or a polyester-cotton blend.
Currently, skirts are between $65 and $90, and I wanted to chat a little bit about that. When I posted in Modcloth BST, the majority of the gals were quick to point out that I should be charging at least $80, and I’ll be honest: that initially sounds like a LOT of money to ask for, to me. But then I started doing calculations using several different fabric price points + all the notions (zippers, buttons, lining, thread, lace, rickrack etc) and then adding the cost of my time onto it, and these prices were the most fair. I will make minimum wage off making these skirts, and that’s fine with me. I find joy in creating pretty things!
I think it’s important to consider why something is priced where it’s at, because many people (myself included before all this!) see anything over $50 and turn away. I used to assume that because it was handmade, it was cheaper to make. Now I see Etsy shops offering lined skirts at $60 and I wonder who they’re stealing from because the fabric alone for a circle skirt plus lining can cost around $50, and then you add a zipper, and thread, and buttons if you’re using them, and then add the hours it takes to make this skirt, plus taxes you have to pay even if it’s just a hobby, and… are they actually making any profit?
It’s been really eye-opening to go through this process and calculate and search for inexpensive fabrics that still run along the lines of what I want to offer. Eventually, I hope to find a way to create a few different Superhero and Disney themed lines that won’t cost close to $100 to produce, all told. I hope to add vintage or simply thrifted fabrics that will retail at lower prices because they cost me less to purchase the supplies. But for now, starting up, that’s how it is!
And I don’t mean any of this to say you have to buy an expensive skirt because if not, you’re shortchanging the maker; I just mean… guys, how do they DO IT. I want to know! I like offering things that are affordable, because I know full well what it’s like to be on a budget and not able to buy all the pretty things I want to buy. But at the same time, I don’t want to devalue the time it takes me to create those pretty things.
These are all the thoughts I had while setting up the Etsy shop and calculating the most fair price for what I have listed.
I went to the park to shoot these photos and I was so happy to see there were only two cars there when I arrived. The last time I attempted photos at the park, it was manic. There were kids running around having a water gun fight, kids climbing all the stumps, kids rolling around in the grass; literally, I couldn’t find a semi-secluded space out of the way to take photos, and I just gave up.
So today I went earlier, and it was so nice! I think I just have to hit the park at the right time; early enough that most moms probably won’t be out yet. I still felt awkward, since the two people at the park could see me through some foliage as I posed and twirled, but it was worth it.
To be fair, I don’t know that the moms were even aware I was snapping photos; their kids stared, but the moms just kept on chatting. I had the brief thought that perhaps they assumed I was a highschool student photographing a project, but… who knows. Does the awkward feeling of shooting in public ever go away?
Top (old) c/o Oasap | skirt, handmade, Owl and the Boy Apparel | Whovian pin, gift | shoes and scarf thrifted
I hope you’re all having a fantastic week so far! I would love it if you spread the word that I’ve opened up the skirt shop; I know it can be a lot of money to some people, but I promise it’s worth it. I am willing to customize the heck out of these circle skirts, and there’s nothing better than having a garment that you know is unique!