How to make a Desvalido classic French knicker...
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How to make a Desvalido classic French knicker...

So you just heard that sweet, sweet chaching from your Shopify (1) app on your phone (2)! Congratulations honey pie, you've got a new order! Print it out (3) & pop it in the order book (4)

Lets go through the process together, shall we?

First you'll need the pattern

To make the pattern, you need paper (5), a pencil (6), & your brain! Hope you went to fashion school (7) or this might be a bit difficult

Now you've got that sorted, lay your fabric (8) out on your sewing table (9) pin your pattern (10) & cut out your pieces with scissors (11)

Now the sewing!

Plug your overlocker (12) into a powerpoint (13) pull up a chair (14) & begin threading the machine (15)

Run your pieces of fabric through the overlocker, front, back, & crotch. 

Now we're going to do the edges! Thread your rolled hemmer (16) with the right colour & gooooo! This one is my favourite sewing machine. Worth every cent, she's just so fast & so perfect!

Time to add the elastic (17) cut it to size using a measuring tape (18) & pin to the waist. 

Move to your zigzag machine (19) & put your pedal to the metal. Grab your labels - Desvalido, care + content, & size (20) then straight stitch them on

Attach a swing tag (21) with some ribbon (22) & a safety pin (23) & you're done!

Wrap them in tissue paper (24) with a little thank you note (25) then seal it with a Desvalido sticker (26). Into the post bag she goes (27) with a couple of stamps (28), drive (29) to the post office, charm the ladies at the counter who swear they don't mind you rock up at 4.56pm (free) & clock the heck off (also free (but also, creative entrepreneurs never truly clock off, we have too much fun))

BY THE WAY, you also have to pay rent (30)

Aaaand we're done!

These are all the seemingly insignificant things involved in every Desvalido order, & we didn't even get into things like my living wage (it isn't ethical if I'm working for less than the minimum - I wouldn't ask someone else to do that so I won't ask myself either!) & all the hard work that leads to someone handing over their hard earned cash: marketing! 

To go through it again:

  1. Shopify subscription $40 pm
  2. Phone + internet $80 pm
  3. Printer $59 + ink $35 (omg where does it all GO I swear I didn't print 250 pages since my last refill THIS IS A SCAM?)
  4. Order book aka cute binder $4 one off
  5. Pattern paper $90 every few years
  6. Papermate pacer $4 one off
  7. Cert 4 + Diploma of Applied Fashion Design - 2 years totalling $14,500
  8. This time we're using a polyester satin, about $8 worth
  9. Dad made the table but I looked at making another, something like $160 in materials but I used to cut things on the floor so it's all personal preference isn't it ;)
  10. My pins are super fine $16 for 100
  11. Scissors $15 - $59 + a sharpening stone from a kitchen shop just in case you need it. I'm all about self sufficiency around here, I'd rather sharpen my own scissors than stop working & take them somewhere. Ain't nobody got time for that
  12. Domestic overlocker (for now) $400 - upgraded version $2600 but it should last me my whole career
  13. Don't even ask me about our power bill. But you need it or it's dark & you can't do anything
  14. Chair but make it comfortable. Mine was pinched from my parents office but the new ultra comfy one I'm looking at is $290 
  15. Threaaadddd allll the thread! $4 for 1000m or $3 for 100m if you ran out unexpectedly & had to run to Spotlight!
  16. Industrial rolled hemmer that I bought brand new, $2300 best money I ever spent FOR REAL
  17. Elastic $29 for 100m which lasts me about a month or two
  18. Measuring tape - free from the Christmas crackers! DO NOT THROW THESE OUT, give them to your sewing friends
  19. This is the big mama. The $11,500 computerised Juki zigzag that I would not be able to run my business without! I used to use my mums domestic Janome which I still use to sew lighter things, but the Juki is so speedy & strong. You can get by on small machines for a while but if you want to manufacture in house AND sleep 8 hrs a day AND have some weekends off, you might need to find some more efficient ways of doing things. Not saying you need to spend 12k but be smart! Alternatively OUTSOURCE, I'm in too deep to go in that direction but it feels simpler. Moving on
  20. Speaking of outsourcing, there is absolutely no good reason I still do my own labels. I print them on sublimation paper, & use a heat press to print the design onto ribbon. I don't even know if it's appreciated but I like them & I know they won't ever rub off like my old labels $?? 
  21. Swing tags $350 for 1000
  22. Ribbon $17 for 50m
  23. Safety pins $15 for 1000
  24. Tissue paper $35 for 480 sheets
  25. Thank you note - assorted costs depending on the mood, $250 for 1000 postcards or $6 for 20 pieces of matte black cardboard
  26. Stickers $77 for 1000 this is seriously a great deal, it's from I'll keep some of my suppliers to myself but these guys are easy enough to find so go for it!
  27. Post bag $43 for 100 tough bags
  28. Stamps $2
  29. Drive to the post office $?? I drive a 2006 model Holden Astra that has been crashed into twice, but fuel is like $1.40 a litre so make of that what you will
  30. Rent is $130 a week for the spare room buuuut at least I can close the door when I'm finished instead of tidying up! & I don't have to worry about traffic or parking

Please don't ever think you're just paying for two pieces of fabric sewn together! & if you're just starting out in the fashion biz, underpricing is tempting but trust me, ya worth it! Xo Alana

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