Friday, March 17, 2023

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Today is the Wearing O' the Green. This little sign was for sale at the Goodwill Boutique in Sacramento. Penance amongst the shamrocks? 

Here is one sewing pattern that I have kept for a future project. My first competition quilt was done in raw edge applique similar to this pattern. 


I discovered I am a seller on eBay, not a reseller. My goal is to have everything listed in my death pile by the end of this month, and reach 2,500 active listings. 

Pattern of the Day is this 2015 reproduction of a 1950s Vintage poodle skirt, complete with original reprints of 1950s pattern graphics. 
https://www.ebay.com/itm/185814605171

A community-wide garage sale is set for Saturday, and I hope to snag some good stuff. 

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Profit Margin Perplexation

An odd post title - let me explain. I had a buyer inquire about a cut sewing pattern I had listed for sale on eBay. When I first started listing patterns that were cut, I didn't note at what size. Patterns can be multiple sizes in one packet, say size 6 to size 12. This particular child's dress pattern was cut at size 7.  

I offered to sell the buyer a new uncut pattern and would have sold it for $8 + shipping. I have calculated that $8 is the lowest price I would normally go to make a profit. 

The buyer messaged back that she had found the pattern at $6.95 + free shipping. 

Sure, I would take that - it is a good deal. Postage for a pattern averages $4.00. Let's say the buyer paid $1 for that pattern, now we are at $5.00 cost to seller. Seller has now made $1.95 profit, but wait! We haven't deducted all of the costs of operation in running a business. 

If a lowball offer comes in on a pattern, I will accept without countering. Any bite on inventory is better than no bites at all. Any product I list going forward will be no lower than $8. 

Sequeing to sewing pattern of the day. This 1954 is one of the cut patterns I have priced at $8.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185809583132

After holding back the reins on my thrift shop purchasing for awhile, I was finally let loose to visit the 4 in my vicinity. I spent $60 for the total shopping day of mainly books, some fabric, and sewing patterns. One thrift shop routinely sets out free items on a cart out front, I brought home an armload of quilting magazines. Along with those magazines were three needlework patterns - now listed in eBay. Thank you ๐Ÿ’œChristmas sells year around. Freebies to inventory mean higher profit margins! Post update - this pattern sold next day.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185811925164

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185811945678

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185811957035

Friday, March 10, 2023

Future sewing plans

Just completed a needle kit and yarn listing session, and I am working again on listing sewing patterns on eBay. They really are my favorites to list, with books running a close second. No surprise there as those are my top 2 categories in sales. 

Here is the latest Hollywood shot of the listed yarn. I think black backgrounds are best for this product. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185805503081

Of the hundreds of patterns that I work with, I only keep a few. Another pattern I have pulled for my Tami future retirement is this current McCall's (2022) Totes and pouches pattern. 

I must say I did quite well with tax refunds this year and have purchased a new Bernette 05 Crafter Sewing Machine. [not a sponsored post]

My Baby Lock quilting machine is too unwieldy to tote around. I wanted a portable machine to take RVing and for on-site sewing classes. I did look into the vintage featherweights but I get very frustrated with older machines if they don't run exactly right. A tan 221 recently sold at online auction for over $1,000. The new Bernette was $350. 

There is a method to my madness. I like any activity that might turn into income. I found this YouTuber and her Sew to Sell series. The gist of it is that she has done well making simple totes and pouches. 

If I do get into some serious sewing, I may purchase a third machine for heavy duty fabrics. I pass by the upholstery fabric at thrift but now I might take a closer look for future projects. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Dust Off a Quilt Book Day

This quilt-related post begins with my latest near completion - Flamingos and Flowers quilt. Near completion because I will hand sew the French binding. This will have to do for a glamour shot for now. Our weather is too cold and rainy for in-the-wild photography. 

The flower blocks came in a lot, 1/2 of which I sold. I retained them because some of them needed to be rehabilitated/repaired, and I wanted a quilt for myself. It is a mixture of new and old. The flamingo material came from Joanns and the flamingo/flower quilting pattern is one I have wanted for awhile. I just needed the right quilt top, the longarmer had just the right pattern.  

I am participating in the Dust Off a Quilt Book blog hop. Link to Day 1 and the other participants www.beaquilter.com. A thanks to the hostess for this intriguing linkup. 


This is one of my favorite books, Mad About Plaid! because I adore plaid wovens. 

I have a tub full of that type of fabric for my next inspired project. Here is one pattern that was highlighted on Facebook recently.  Love ๐Ÿ’–how the fabric artist used the plaid cornerstones. 
I will have a plaid creation to showcase in the upcoming months. 

Bea posted an invitation to quilters who wanted to showcase a favorite quilt book, and to find their earliest publication on the subject. 

The earliest published book I have on the subject is The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America (1935). Part I - History and Quilt Patches; Part II - Quilts--Antique and Modern; Part III - Quilting and Quilting Designs. 


Fabricoholics will see I snuck in a bit 'o vintage fabric in the images. The book find was most def secondhand and I am pretty sure there was a Tami squeak of happiness when the publication date was revealed. 

Here is a poem by Elizabeth Ryan DeCoursey from that publication. 

Life is like a patchwork quilt
And each little patch is a day,
Some patches are rosy, happy, and bright,
And some are dark and gray

But each little patch as it's fitted in
And sewn to keep it together
Makes a finished block in this life of ours
Filled with sun, and with rainy weather.

So let me work on Life's patchwork quilt
Through the rainy days and the sun--
Trusting that when I have finished my block
The Master may say: "Well done."

To Quilt Lovers Everywhere - World Without End!

Sunday, March 5, 2023

My Top 5 Best Selling Publications on eBay

Top 5 books that are my best sellers on eBay.

1.    The New York Times Cookbook (1961) by Craig Claiborne. I have a particular fondness for this one. It was one of my first cookbooks. I still use the teriyaki recipe to this day. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185801461107

2.    Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1970) by Julia Child and Simone Beck, this one happens to be Volume 2. Our public broadcasting station runs Julia Child cooking shows every afternoon. I tune in when the Mr. isn't watching cowboy movies. Post update: This book sold the same day as listed. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185801446540

3.    Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. The Red Plaids. These sold more on condition than year of publication. Here is a pandemic blip in sales - these books sold like hot cakes during that time frame. I had 20 of them in my inventory at one point. I have 2 left to sell. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/184699088595

4.    Sewing books, the older the publication, the better. This Singer Sewing Book (1954) is worth the price just for the graphics. These I also collect for my library. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185801475481

From very old to very new, I will try my hand at selling this sewing publication. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185801488005

5.    Tarot and Tattoo. Both are popular subjects. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185158798016

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185795692489

The first two listed books, along with the Singer Sewing Book were Goodwill boutique finds, all same day. It was a happy Tami thrifting day.  

Those are the ones that are popular - vintage sewing and cookbooks, how-to, and specialty publications. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

Purchase of the Primitive and the Making of the Dog Bed

The primitive doll pattern sold quickly, so I picked up this primitive doll $1.99 at thrift. It has freakishly long arms and legs, and an elongated face. We will see how fast it will sell. Post update: doll sold within a few days.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185805492044

I had quite a shock when I went to a big box retailer to purchase a dog bed. I had remembered the cost being around $18 - $20. No longer, the cost is now $50. I pulled a couple of dog bed patterns from my inventory. I also have upholstery/heavy duty fabric and stuffing. This project has bumped all of my quilt-related ones. 


I attempted pattern sewing a few years ago. It was a dress pattern that I totally goofed up, then recycled back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. An upcoming post will feature the dog bed crapht attempt. 

Thrifting update: A new thrifted tapestry has updated my remote office decor for the upcoming spring. The tapestry covers mirrored closet doors. Seeing your reflection in the mirror for hours on end is a bit disconcerting. 

Reseller update: My eBay listings hover around 2,200. I take breaks from listing sessions. It really is work. I have put a kibosh on buying for the time being. My non-listed product now joins me in a small space until I can move it downstairs to the shelving. Moving downstairs means it is an active listing. 

Books have been selling again after a long pause in that category. My most recent eBay listing sessions have been books. Some of those were from the last purge from my personal collection. I will highlight my favorite best sellers in an upcoming post. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

February Weird and Wacky

My Weird and Wacky posts are comprised of things I see for sale secondhand. The image above I call "the Fort Bragg elves,"  because it was a thrift painting for sale in that city. 

3 Sheets to the Wind
and a Glass Past Caring





Crapht Fail

There used to exist a site called Regretsy. April would post specific Etsy products, some very weird and wacky. Here is one of those products. A Wired article on Regretsy's demise: regretsy-closure
angler fish crochet hat offered on Etsy

Ending with a challenge, sort of.