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Messages - sssss

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I think usually a servo motor upgrade is like $100 or so. If you're buying a NEW machine, they'll probably be assembling it for you and will put on whatever you like. If you're buying a USED machine, then you could ask them to remove the clutch motor. I doubt anyone would give you a discount for that, but it might save some shipping (they're heavy as shit). You can also buy just the sewing machine head, with no motor and no table. And you can buy a table separately. But then you're putting all of it together.

If you're in Alabama, check out Call them for pricing. They're a huge supplier.

EDIT: Also Collier may be near you:  They sell used and new. Ignore the website except for contact info. They're active on Facebook.

We got a couple of good mannequins from a chain store going out of business at a local mall. They sold off all of their fixtures very inexpensively.

Note that if you want something on which to pattern clothing, those are usually called "dress forms". Dress forms come in many sizes and are made for draping and pattern making. Mannequins are usually a harder plastic and made for clothing display. Their dimensions are usually not realistic for pattern making. I'm just pointing that out since you said "for sizing purposes".

Tutorials and techniques / Re: Cordura Pouch Flap construction technique
« on: September 20, 2017, 06:33:13 AM »
The edge guide feet are awesome. They'll ride over pretty much anything the foot will ride over. The guide itself is spring loaded, so it can be pushed up independently of the rest of the foot if there's a thickness difference. The guide is also angled or ramped so that it doesn't just butt into things. I'm sure there's some combination of material, seams, and webbing that could throw it off, but they've been really useful to us.

Since they operate from the top of the material, you can use them to top-stitch a seam joining two large panels with oddly shaped edges. You would stitch the seam, fold back the seam allowances, flip the panels over right sides up, then top-stitch along the seam. The folded seam allowances provide the ridge or gap that the edge guid follows.

Of course, they don't make sewing automatic. You still need some control, just like with any other guide. But they help a lot.

The ones I linked were the first ones I found doing a Google search. Those aren't necessarily the best or cheapest or anything.

Pouches / Re: Multicam EDC pouch
« on: July 07, 2017, 12:10:12 PM »
I love it. I don't think I've ever sewn anything that small and precise before. Nice work.

Off Topic / Re: For someone new to sewing...
« on: November 08, 2016, 08:09:07 AM »
I would suggest simple zippered pouches to start if he's brand new to sewing. They're pretty easy to sew, and he can start building his fabric control skills. They also don't take a lot of material. He can use your scraps, or can easily find heavy fabric and zippers at JoAnn or the other home sewing stores. See how he does with that, and then find out what he's interested in sewing next.

Off Topic / Re: Pricing Methodology?
« on: October 31, 2016, 12:14:53 PM »
Here's how we did it:

We made a big old spreadsheet, but guessed at many of the numbers. The materials list got very specific as we bought and paid for things (material, hardware, labels, tags, stickers that we include, etc.). The labor time and rate is really variable - we're getting faster, and we're now paying some part time people, but we estimated sort of optimistically how long it would take to make stuff. Overhead is important, but we had to largely estimate/guess at that (rent, electricity, machine maintenance, website, marketing, insurance, city and state permits and taxes, CPA, etc).

All of those things are your costs, and if you want to be profitable, your price has to cover your costs. (As others have said above.)

One thing I didn't see mentioned: if you think you might want to ever sell in stores, then take your profitable price and double it to establish your retail price. If you sell wholesale, you'll need to knock 40-50% off of the retail price to set your wholesale price. If you don't set your retail price with that in mind, you could be sorta screwed later. If your retail price just covers your cost and time, then you won't be able to give discounts to wholesale buyers. Not everyone wants to do that, of course, but if you're thinking along those lines, go ahead and prepare for it now. If you end up just selling direct-retail at inflated prices, then congratulations on your additional profit.

We don't try to compete on price. We cannot compete on price with Chinese, Indian, or other large scale factory operations. They will simply be cheaper. It would just be a race to the bottom to try to get cheap enough to compete, and we'd end up living in a way that we don't want to live. What's the point of starting your own business if you're just recreating some corporate profit farm? Instead, we compete on quality, uncompromised technical merit, and throw in some "Made in the USA" pride. It's working ok. We're not rich yet, but we're very happy with what we're producing.

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