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Messages - bobbin

I am particularly concerned about the replacement of parts specific to a machine (cylinder bed Nakajima 380 long since out of production), that may require specific fabrication for duplication. 

I've contacted my attorney and have all necessary information at the ready.  The shop has been in business for years and never once did I ever suspect my work order would be given such short shrift!
I sent specifications for a binder, machine parts, and a deposit to a contractor nearly one year ago.  To date, I've received nothing.  The machine parts are (I suspect) lost (to Wyoming, if he wasn't lying to me).  I've been direct and polite (until last week) and would like your thoughts/suggestions on how to proceed.
Marine is brutally cyclical in New England.  Does the crummy interior have any importance when the boat is hauled for the winter? usually not.  Does the same crummy interior attain priority importance in late April? too often.  I do my best to suggest that those with dated/worn interiors who contact me "pre-splash" contact me in August or postpone until the winter months.  If I can fit an interior in over the summer I will, but I'm all about planning a pleasing makeover during the season and executing the work over the winter.  Sure, people are disappointed but usually because it has never occurred to them that someone like me is usually busy!

I have found slipcovers to be a nice niched.  They're cyclical, too, but in a different way.   And they usually require less time compared to marine interiors, so it's easier for me to nestle them into the my schedule. 

And when I have no work... ?  I knuckle down the little things I want to get done around the  house!
I work, "stock and time".  I have sewn professionally for 35 yrs. now and have a pretty good sense of how long it takes to accomplish the work requested, so I rarely "lose" money, even though I may "take it on the chin" with respect to the profit I generally make on work. 

I know how to pattern and construct biminis, dodgers, spray hoods, boom tents, etc., but I don't know how to bend frames for new projects, nor am I interested in learning at this stage of my career (too labor intensive). 

I get paid for my time and whatever materials must be used to accomplish the desired result.  If you follow that basic recipe you'll come out a winner.  Estimate your labor "high"... installation always takes up more time than too many think it will!  Be "brutal" in your estimate; the numbers don't lie. 
General Discussion / Re: Something occurs to me
June 27, 2015, 04:33:04 pm
Lol.  Forrest Gump:  "stupid is as stupid does".
General Discussion / Re: One of those jobs
June 24, 2015, 11:08:36 pm
What Gene said.  I know you can't do that, but everyone (including the customer) knows what has to be addressed. 

I am reminded of a series of pix on the wall of a salon I used to frequent.   A shot of Princess Diana looking superb,  a shot of a 60+ yr. old woman looking the way we usually look when we hit 60... caption:  I want to look like that.   Lol.  We all "get over it" because we have to. 

There is no way in hell you'll ever be able to deliver what she "wants" given the shape of the frame, Kody.  You delivered the goods based on the supporting frame.  As politely as you're able, explain that your skill and hard earned skills are constrained by the frame that supports your work.  Leave it at that.  Repeat same over again, with increased earnestness, and don't make any "deals".  You did your job, you did it well, and tell her that you "don't do miracles". 

What a drag.  Don't let it get you too down. 

"Knowin' your onions".  You either know how to do the work or you don't.

Be on time.  I work by app't. only.  I work "in the field" and I'm punctual!  I show up, do my thing, go home, and do my thing again.  I schedule installation and show up on time.  Only one person gets to waste my time.... and that's me!

Do what you said you would.  Make it right whatever it takes; when your work isn't fully up to snuff fix it without complaint.  When there is a complaint skip "defensive", be polite; review the requisites of the work in question, and be patient when explaining why things are the way they are and why they are/must be that way.  Be gracious and accommodating when things are not quite right (or maybe not to your satisfaction).  It goes a long way to build customer satisfaction!
General Discussion / Re: Pricing for cushions
June 24, 2015, 10:09:01 pm
When asked for an "off the top of my head" price I figure 3 hrs. per cushion at my hourly rate.  That's cut, pattern match, fully welt, assemble, and cutting/wrapping foam.  Soup to nuts, as it were.  Supplies/notions in addition (generally minimal, but I make money on everything I sell!). 

This formula covers "walk-ins" with their own "supplies".  It also spells it out clearly for decorators/designers who're looking for a discount.  I use my formula to differentiate myself from the "backroom wannabes".  Once I have had consistent "repeat business" from someone I am more willing to "discount" my labor; because I have better knowledge of the circumstances.  But make "deals" right out of the box? forget it!

It's a brutal way to cull the herd, and I likely "lose" a lot of business, but I'm as busy as I want to be. 
Slipcovers.  I don't jackass around with "sloppy chic" garbage. My slips. fit snugly, closely and are often mistaken for upholstery.  High end!

Marine.  I know how to make cushions for boats.  As such, I'm all about custom bedding and all manner of custom marine work. 
The slipcover contingent weighing in here, you guys.   I absolutely "GET" where you're coming from.  BUT, from my perspective skirts are wonderful!  they finish a slip. perfectly! and they don't require me to staple on Velcro to the frame of furniture (over your hard work!)... when a pc. arrives in my shop.  Obviously, I come at the "skirt" thing from a different perspective.   
General Discussion / Re: Nothing Is Ever Easy
June 08, 2015, 10:00:18 pm
Have you clipped/notched the seams that seem to be the problem, Kody?  You clip seams that will have to spread, and you notch seams that will have to curve inward (notching removes the excess fabric that will buckle up and create a bumpy seam).  Vinyl is not my favorite medium, but I've made the effort to do more work with it and I'm beginning to appreciate the stretch and how to work with it.  I know that using heat can conform vinyls and help eliminate wrinkles... I think it was Min. who mentioned its use in a reply to JoJo.  Maybe he'll weigh in on the subject (something I'd like to know more about since I don't own a heat gun). 
General Discussion / Re: The Web Site
June 05, 2015, 07:21:07 pm
I noticed the change, too, Steve.  :)  And I rather like it, too.

Dog training treats: 
1.)  long, loving look into eyes, followed by a blink that again opens with a loving gaze into canine eyes.
2.)  effervescent and lavish praise with targetted pats and caresses (sp. the head and ears)
3.)  a miniscule fragment of a some generic "dog biscuit". 
General Discussion / Re: New topics
June 04, 2015, 11:51:45 pm
I know zippo about placing decorative nails on upholstered pcs..  But I do know a thing/two about using and placing functional buttons on garments... .  And one of the things I like to do when faced with a blouse/dress/skirt front that has a button closure is to "double up" on the closure points. 

Every closure point requires one button; but that doesn't mean you can't substitute 2 placed closer together to accomplish the same goal.  At first glance it seems like extra work, but when you rhythmically use the "doubled up" pattern you have a more interesting placket closure; esp. when the buttons are covered or contrast with the fabric of garment. 

Could you not employ the same idea of rhythm using the decorative nails?
I know the Yamata name from multi-needle machines.  They're ubiquitous and that says a lot in garment work!  I'll wager the machine will treat you right and I'll wager you're savvy enough to keep it well oiled and maintained, Paul.
Uhh, yeah... the stuff!  thanks, Min..