Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why so much?


I recently made this apron and put it in the Summer Kitchen for sale.

A customer looked at it and was shocked to see the price of $45.  For an apron.

And now ..... this is my story why an apron is $45.

This apron is made of a quality quilting cotton .... there are two yards in the apron as it is reversible.  The fabric is tightly woven, silky and a joy to sew.  It is a reproduction 1930's era fabric.

Fabric cost ............. $23.00

I use Gutterman thread.  It took almost a spool.  Cost ... $2.00.

Mere material cost ...... $25.00

I bought a cute pattern .... different than what you might see from McCalls or Simplicity.  Cost of the pattern ... $8.00. 

I always use a new sewing machine needle whenever I start a new project.  It's not always necessary but it is a good habit to get into as it does make your sewing look better.

It took me 6 hours to make this apron ..... hourly wage .... $3.30.

Of course, that doesn't cover the gas that it took me to drive 40 miles to get the fabric, the electricity to run my sewing machine and iron or the distilled water to help me get a good press on this.

And you might wonder why I don't run to a big box store and buy cotton fabric for $10 and make the apron.

Because of this...................

 
This is the hem of my great-grandmother Brady's apron.  It was part of her trousseau and was made circa 1880.  She made it ... carefully crocheting the trim and along the sides.  Even the ties have tiny crochet at the ends.

I LOVE this apron.  It was stitched on a treadle sewing machine .... tiny straight stitches.

I cherish and  appreciate this and love the tangible connection to the great-grandmother that I never met. 

And when I sew ............ or knit .......... or embroider ............. I think of this apron.  And the 135 years that have past and how this apron has survived. 

It is why I do my very BEST when I make something.  It is why I will not skimp on quality materials.  It is why I will not rush through a project.

Because one of the days, another young woman may cherish and love an apron and say ................

"That belonged to my great-grandmother."


5 comments:

Deborah Niemann said...

People need to realize how big box stores can sell stuff so cheaply. In Homegrown and Handmade, I wrote about how Huffy bicycle company closed their Ohio plant where they paid people $11 an hour in wages and $6 an hour in insurance and benefits and ultimately moved their factory to China where they paid 25 to 41 cents an hour!

Barb said...

I totally agree with you on this. People just don't understand what it takes in time, thought, materials and energy to make treasures. I once had a woman ask if I would weave a name-draft table runner for her parents 60th wedding anniversary. I told her I would be delighted. I also told her that I would do six combinations of their names and print them out so she could decide which pattern she liked the best and I would also let her pick out the colors. Overshot, or name draft as it is also called, takes a lot of time and concentration. Plus the weaving yarns for these are quite expensive. When she asked how much it would be I said $70.00. She was horrified and said she would just come up with something else. Then she looked at me, I think hoping I would come down in my price. Little did she know I had already come down on my price since these were church members. But I just decided it wasn't worth it.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

People people people. Items made well of the best materials like this apron are INVESTMENTS and not just accessories to make you look charming in your Country Living Recreated Kitchen. With the apron I bought from this amazing Miss Effie over two years ago I collect eggs..gather fruits and veggies, wipe grandkids faces, carry piglets to and fro and then protect my clothes when I cook which is every single day. I plan to be buried in my Miss Effie Apron! With a strand of pearls around my neck just for fun.

colleen said...

I so agree with you!! Unless someone knits or sews they will never understand the importance of quality yarn/material....and like you say it takes time and more time to make it and do it right..You keep up the good work and never mind what someone who doesn't understand says. The only thing I use cheaper yarn on is kids mittens as they don't seem to take care of them like they should and it would be a waste of money to spend more.....by the way....I HATE ....knitting on cheap yarn!!! Well got to go warm my needles up :)

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I often have sticker shock with items that were handmade, but I understand how much it costs to make things. Not to mention the fact that $3.30 isn't really a great wage. Ha!

I often have inquiries about baby quilts but when I quote an amount, no more contact. It's a bummer but it's life.