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Peddling vintage patterns

Vogue2581coverNothing like an impending move to get one motivated to clean out the studio!

I FINALLY got around to going through the slew of patterns that Diane had given me when she moved away.  I unearthed quite a few treasures.  Most of the patterns will be listed on Etsy in the coming weeks.  (I already made one sale!) A handful of vintage patterns will be added to my personal collection (I can’t wait to show you the 1930’s era Butterick glove pattern that is still 100% intact and in good condition).  Other classic patterns will be sent with a friend for her church’s mission trip to Central America and those in unsalable/unusable condition will be designated as packing material.

Getting the patterns listed did take some time, but figuring out the best way to ship and calculate the correct shipping price to charge took almost as much time.  You don’t want to overcharge, but nor do you want to undercharge where you are eating the shipping cost (unless of course, that’s a service you build into your pricing structure!).  I’m not trying to get rich here, just raise some funds to support my therapy dog work and donate to CAREing Paws to help offset the costs associated with starting new R.E.A.D. teams.

This information wasn’t easily found on the web, so I’m going to share what I learned.

To protect the patterns, I prefer to use plastic bubble mailers or a weatherproof envelope with the pattern wrapped in micro bubble wrap recycled from shipping boxes at work.

A regular pattern envelope (McCalls, Simplicity, Butterick, etc.) fits a 6″ x 9.25″ envelope (Size O).

An oversize pattern (Vogue Designer Series) fits a 8.5″ x 11.25″ envelope (Size 2).

The cheapest place to buy single plastic bubble mailers is Wal-Mart unless one of the drugstores has them on sale for 1/2 price.  If my items really start to sell, then I will be better off investing in a case of 100 mailers from Uline or a similar company.  Buying in bulk brings the cost of the mailers down by at least half.

To calculate shipping costs, you can use the online calculator available at the USPS website.  5-6 oz of shipping weight per pattern appears to be a good rule of thumb when estimating costs. The Vogue Designer Original Series pattern in an 8-1/2″ x 11″ plastic bubble mailer weighed in at 5 oz. when I put it on the scale today at the post office. I estimated pretty close when I set my initial shipping charges.  I have since raised them by 25 cents.  And that’s a fair price for the customer to pay and me to cover the true shipping costs.

So, if you are in need of a retro pattern and want to help support our therapy dog work, pay us a visit and shop!  If you don’t need a pattern and want to support the cause, head over to the CAREing Paws site and donate here.  Thanks!