Monday, August 5, 2013

A Couple of Cowboys

A Couple of Cowboys Walk into a Tack Shop

I was approached by a local tack shop to sew three western shirts suitable for reigning competitions.
After doing some research, I agreed to make them at an agreed price.
My intent was to make them quickly but life got in the way.  Since that meeting, my daughter has had two medical emergencies ( appendix and concussion -see her blog for details), my husband had surgery, and after accompanying my MIL to many tests and visits, she has been diagnosed with cancer.  
I have kept in contact with the shop and was assured that the shirts were still wanted.  They were to be decorated with a little embroidery and crystals.
I finally had two made so I rushed to deliver them.  These photos were taken before the final steaming.
Sorry they are so wrinkled. I didn't see the photos until after I delivered the shirts.

Both shirts were made from Islander patterns.

I love the shaping from the princess seams.  It makes this shirt very fitted and flattering.

The embroidery on the back yoke is from Embroidery Library.  I added some Hot Fix Crystals.  And yes I know that I am a little off centre.  I decided to finish the shirt anyway.

Back view of the shirt 

Front Yoke - embroidery, crystals, and double topstitching.

Close up of the cuff with double top-stitching and pearl snaps from Snap Source.  

Mens shirt from Islanders Men's City Western Shirt featuring yokes, bias flap pockets, double topstitching and pearl snaps.
Both patterns were very good and easy to follow.  My only complaint is that there are no directions for the pointed sleeve placket.  I was on my own for that.

Back of a very wrinkled shirt.    Yoke embroidery is from Urban Threads.

When I delivered the shirts to the shop, the owner pointed out some used shirts that she was selling on consignment.  They were cheap plaid shirts from cheap polyester with no details and made in Vietnam.  
I cannot compete with them nor do I want to.  I realized that although I had kept  a record of all our discussions and agreements on these shirts we had really not achieved"a meeting of the minds".  I knew that although I had proof of our agreement it was not going to happen.  I left the shirts there on consignment.  But if the owner does not understand the difference between my shirts and the disposable clothing made overseas, I don't think her customers will either.  
Lessons learned.
  1. I thought by keeping a record of the messages I had some safety in a contract.  
  2. I realize that I took way too long to deliver the shirts
  3. Because I have been burnt before ,here, I made the shirts from fabric I already had and in sizes that will fit myself and my husband.   If they don't sell, we have new shirts!

Thanks for dropping by.  I would really like to hear what you have to say.  




RhondaBuss said...

The most important thing is that you take care of you and your family. You have had more than your share of issues and emergencies lately, so I would not beat myself up about not being able to deliver the shirts sooner than you did. The shop owner sounds like a schmuck to me. The fact that when you brought in custom made shirts and then she pointed out cheaply, over seas made shirts shows that she is just not a good business person to deal with. Your shirts are lovely and I think that there is a market for them, just stay away from this shop.

amy mayen said...

I have paid $80 for mine, that weren't one of a kind. That's a good deal too, because they go for a lot more if they are quality crafted. Upwards of $200 for customs like yours, especially here in Oklahoma where we have a huge rodeo circuit. I'm not sure what you were charging, but that's good craftsmanship & your embroidery is spot on. The pearl buttons aren't cheap either.

I agree with Rhonda, that shop owner asking you to custom make these shirts and even comparing them to that other crap is offensive.

Your shirts are beautiful, and there's definitely a market for them. Just not with her:)

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Completely agree with Rhonda's above, you have been dealing with so much. I know that sewing helps to ease stress, but not the sewing for a deadline sort. I love how the western shirts turned out! I love going to the Royal Winter Fair each year and seeing the different western shirts that are being modelled. The seams and details on yours are beautiful!

Nat said...

these shirts are beautiful, love the embroidery on both. hope you are doing ok. thinking of you & sending smiles :)

Justine of SewCountryChick said...

Now THOSE are some well made shirts. I love that embroidery!

Justine of SewCountryChick said...

What a frustrating experience for you. people have no appreciation for quality anymore.