Friday, May 17, 2019

Breaking down the cost of the Sling Along Bag

Remember when I made this Sling Along bag, a couple of people said I should make this to sell.  So I said it would be too expensive and but I would break down the cost of making one of these bags.

On Thursday I went to the store to purchase the supplies for making another one as a birthday gift for someone special.  I will not be showing you the fabric I bought as I want it to be a surprise for her; that is why I covered the bill where the name of the fabric is.

Below is the list of things I need to purchase to make this bag.  There are a couple of changes I make to that list.  I do not buy the nylon webbing for the straps I make my own.  I also make my own bias binding, as it looks nicer.  I also buy 3 separate metres of fabric, as I need extra for making the straps and the binding.  There is a little left over and I can make a couple of small things with it.

Now the bill below is for all the hardware needed and just two metres of fabric.  I was given the other fabric I needed by the store owner, so that would have been another $20 plus tax ($22.60) on top of that.  
As you can see from the bill above the hardware for this bag costs $30 + 13% taxes.  
 Not included in that bill are the zippers, you need two so around $3.50 to $4 for two of those.  I don't use fusible fleece, but the thicker foam, which costs $40 a metre,  so we'll say $10  for the piece I would use.  Then the Pellon SF101 I use is $10 a metre, so probably $5 for that.  So we'll round it up to $20 for everything in the photo below.  Add in $5 for thread, which brings it up to $25.
To makes things neater we'll say $100 for the fabric and hardware and $25 for the interfacing/foam and the zippers.  I calculate that to be $125.

It takes me over an hour to cut everything out.......believe me there are many, many pieces to this bag.  I would then say it would take me at least five hours to sew this......again many different steps and a bit of hand sewing.  Hand sewing the binding on, which is the last step, takes around an hour.  So it will take me a MINIMUM of six hours to make this, realistically closer to seven hours.

Prior to all of this is choosing fabric, shopping for it etc all which takes time.

Now I COULD choose cheaper fabric, but it still would cost $10+ a metre.  I could choose cheaper hardware, and have it in plastic instead of the metal, but all this cheapens the look of the finished product.

So when Nora asked me to make her one I said no and made them messenger bags................

Now that you have read through all of this, what would you charge for a bag like this?  Are you surprised at how much it costs?


Winifred said...

It's rarely cheap to make your own clothes or accessories nowadays. However what you get is something special, unique & it's made with love. So really it's priceless.

Anonymous said...

You do beautiful work and your sewing is very good. I agree with you, the cost & time is too much. If you had to charge for all that no one would be willing to pay for it. Most people have no idea how much work & money goes in to well made, hand made items.

mamasmercantile said...

Made with love and totally unique so an amazing gift. But I can quite understand why they are too expensive to make and sell. Like any business you would need to buy in bulk to save money and the turnover would need to be quite vast. A stunning bag none the less.

Jackie said...

I have no earthly idea on what a person would charge for a bag such as that. I think I would make these only as a gift for someone very special.

God bless.

Karen said...

I totally understand your predicament. I was commissioned to make three quilts for a woman. She provided the fabric for the top of one of them. She haggled and complained and squawked about the bottom line. I refuse to make hand made goods for sale anymore.

~Carla~ said...

Such an excellent post my friend!! I have people shake their head at some of my pricing, but I don’t care at all, I feel like saying, “have a go at it then!” Lol!!!

William Kendall said...

Given the amount of work you put into it, that's not surprising.