Saturday, January 17, 2009

Would you buy this?

Ok, I'm about to share a horrible mistake. I love the green cow fabric. It makes me happy. The colors, the images, the happy cows... I love it all. Yesterday I made a bag for Dave's mom's birthday. The idea of making some bags to sell on Etsy has been hovering around the edges of my mind for a couple weeks now (since I love making the bags and I'm about to run out of family and friends who still need one). Last night I decided to try making two bags at the same time (assembly line style) and see if I could shave some time off (and to figure out how many bags I can feasibly make in a week).

The first bag I had planned out in advance. It went together with no problems. The second bag (the Happy Cow Bag) I pulled fabric from my stash and just started cutting. I wanted to finish before bed and didn't spend much time planning it. I made both bags with the same dimensions. Pat's bag- I really like. The Happy Cow bag- has a huge orange stripe and nothing else to really recommend it. I did iron some fusible web on more of the cow fabric and make some cute little appliques that take up some of the orange space. But now the question is- should I put the bag on Esty or dispose of it some other (less public) way. Would you buy this bag (no, an affirmative answer does not constitute a binding legal contract for the purchase of said bag)?

Here's Pat's Daisy Bag.


Mrs. B. Roth said...

I think you're looking for honest, right? Not just everyone saying, wow that is SO cute, but WOW THAT IS SO CUTE! I would buy it, if it wasn't like $40. Because $40 is a lot of oatmeal. But that cow thing is kick a$$ (notice the dollar signs). I would use it for my (carry half the house to) church bag. So, if the etsy store thing doesn't work out, my birthday is June 5th.

How much does it cost to open an etsy store? If you do open one, I'll totally link to it from my blog for free (free minus one cute cow bag - no, free) and all my 2 dozen readers will be able to easily click to your store.

If the overhead isn't too much, I think you might as well. Then maybe when I come up with my line of baby clothes that babies can wear for the whole first year, I'll sell you the rights and you can include them at your store, or I could open my own, if I ever get around to designing the merchandise.

If you make a cute hippo one and send it to and she takes a picture of her dog with it, you're GOLDEN!

Sorry, I fell off the cherry pepsi wagon again today...

Christine said...

Ok cows are not my favorite and it isn't horrible but......... to each their own cup of tea right? I love the other bag and think it would be super adorable to do a reverse of that one (flowers with a polka dot stripe). Keep in mind I am not one for super loud fashion statements, ok so I am stretching it a wee bit lol, but the cows are a little loud for my taste :p.

Amy said...

It's not as bad as you made it sound! I think the applique helped alot! However I think you should call it a learning experience and send it to Brandy. She just really sounds like she would love it! However if you have more of that fabric try more cow print and a narrow stripe of orange, because the combination has potential. I just think the proportions were wrong for the size of the print.

So how much were you thinking of charging and what would you charge for the bags I make?

Janet said...

I'm thinking $30.00 seems to be the median price for plain 'ol tote bags about the size of these (15*15). If they have zipper pockets or applique they'd have to be more (more time involved).

Etsy is free to sign up and open your account. It costs $0.20 cents to list an item for 4 months. Etsy recieves as 3.5% sellers commission on every sale. If you have an idea you'd like to make I think it's a very economical way to market your product. The only question remaining is whether the product will sell at the price you list it.

I'm not sure how to price your bags, Amy. They're not the style I've been researching. They'd probably be in the thirty dollar range as well, but I'm just not sure. Go on Etsy and look at other bags. If you sign up for an account the search features seem to be a bit different (easier to see trends).

Mrs. B. Roth said...

See, I thought the daisy one was a little to french country-ish maybe, but the cows - if you have to carry around a big bag, that is a happifying one. A learning experience, pshaw - it's brilliant.

Amy said...

No I really like the fabrics, I only meant that she might like it better with more of the cow print, since the cows are so big and a smaller stripe of orange. I love the combination though. Trust me by learning experience I'm speaking from personal experience. I've used some great fabrics and not had the project turn out how I wanted because I cut first without really looking at it together.

jugglingpaynes said...

I love the cow bag, but that could be the cartoonist in me. :o) I know my mom would love the flower bag. My biggest question (and sorry if I missed it, I skim after 11) is how strong are they? Because if it's strong enough for say, groceries or books, that would be what would really sell me on it.

And my aunt will be doing our taxes soon, so the sooner I know, the sooner I can order one for her!

Peace and Laughter!

Octamom said...

Totally, totally love the cow fabric with orange! Adorable!!!


Amy said...

For Christmas I got a bag from Janet (very cute print and corduroy bag), and her bags are easily strong enough for books and light groceries, I just wouldn't try to carry a gallon of milk or lots of canned goods in it.

Janet said...

Miranda has apparently been carrying as many books as she can cram into her bag everywhere her mom will let her. So far, so good. I think the true limiting factor is going to be handle width. If you want to carry heavy items very often you'd probably be happier with wider, more comfortable handles. Possibly I should look into making another similiar design with wider handles attached to a larger surface of the bag (possibly a more structured version of Amy's bag).

I love Amy's bags because they're so comfortable to carry but the style I like to design is a bit more structured and square. I like square. It's a very attractive shape.

Brandy, there could definately be a cow bag in your future. I think the bag needs a bit of redesign to be what I'm looking for. I still have a bit of the cow fabric left and I'm about to look for more of it.

Thank you to everyone who's left a comment. I'm paying attention to what you're saying and hopefully soon you'll see the results of your input!

Baby Olivia said...

Okay, I know this reply is late, but I have bought lots of stuff on Etsy, including bags just like this....and my advice would be to highlight its qualities as a green alternative to grocery and plastic bags....underscore it's sturdiness, reversability (if applicable) and whether or not you are willing to add a closure (snap, tie or otherwise, which would be a plus). Another tag/descriptor to add would be that they make great diaper bags as well as book bags.

Otherwise, the bags look great...very fun and functional. Good luck, and I hope to see them on Etsy.


PS--another thing, since you are a quilter---baby quilts are something I also buy/have bought and salivate over....are they hard to make?

Janet said...


I'm about to add Sew, Mama, Sew to the sidebar. They're doing a doll quilt sew along right now. The sew along covers all the different aspects of making a quilt in a very graphic, easy to understand fomat.

I think baby quilts are pretty easy. They can vary greatly in difficulty based on the pattern or "block" you're making. Blocks made with squares are much easier than blocks made with triangles (fabric cut diagonally across the grain stretches out of shape easily).

The fabric sandwich had me stumped for a while (layering the front, batting, and backing). I thought there surely must be more to it than there was. Binding also seemed like it should be very difficult- so I thought it to death before actually trying to make any binding- and it was easy. Binding is now one of my favorite things to make!

The trickiest part of quilting is staying within your budget while buying the fabric. There are so many wonderful designers and once you begin looking you'll find all kinds of fabric you just have to have. I shop the sale section at Hancock's of Paducah. If it gets to the $3.98/yard section I give myself permission to buy it!

Simplymom said...

You are super talented! I usually only have my diaper bag, but I personally liked the cow one best. (The flower one fits my mother-in-laws taste).

Jake camping in the living room

Jake camping in the living room