News and Updates 14/03/2016
I’m sad to announce that I am going to have to call it time on the business I’m afraid.
The main reason for this is that it is just taking up pretty much all of my spare time right now, and kind of has been for the last 2 years or so that I’ve been doing this. Meaning that I’ve neglected a lot of the other things that I like and enjoy doing in my life. This business has always been a spare time activity for me, as it has never taken off enough to pay the bills or anything like that. Not that I have ever really expected it to I might add. After all it is a rather niche product let’s be honest.
Like a great many of you here reading this, I’ve always had a bit of a thing for y-front underpants ever since I was a young lad, especially the loud colourful patterned retro style y-fronts, there was something exciting about them. After a while of course as I was growing up these sorts of pants fell out of fashion (were they ever in?) and disappeared from the shops. Roll on over a decade and the advent of eBay and lo and behold it seemed there was a small like-minded niche community of other underpants enthusiasts buying and selling vintage pants.
So I first started doing this really just to be able to make pants for myself, rather than have to patiently wait for vintage examples turn up on eBay, which would often be in the wrong size and reach ridiculous prices in the bidding. They would cost so much you wouldn’t actually want to wear them. Crazy! So I did a basic introductory sewing course and just figured out for myself how to make my own y-fronts. With the excess materials I would make extra pairs and sell them on eBay, and that’s how things got started basically. Over time I made improvements in the way I made them, invested in new machines and of course found places that could print my designs on material at a reasonable cost.
That early period was quite enjoyable whilst I was still improving my construction methods and doing the designs. Now though I feel I’ve about reached the limit with where I can take them using domestic machines and if I’m brutally honest the production side of it has now started to become quite a chore for me. I’m a creative person at heart and now that I’ve taken them as far as I can on that side of things, it has become very repetitive for me.
I know at £20 a pair my pants were not cheap. However I do put an average of about 2.5-3 hours work into each pair all told. That coupled with the cost of the materials, paying for the website, the investment into the machines, etc., it’s not made me a rich man let’s just say that. Again, not that I ever expected it to. I suppose it’s been until now more a creative challenge and a labour of love than anything, it’s never been about the money. I did sometimes get the occasional email asking why I’m so expensive (never from my paying customers I might add), well there’s your answer.
I’ve always been amazed at the response this has had and I am truly grateful for all the custom and support I’ve had from you all. Some folks have been really great putting out word of mouth and bringing in extra customers for me and I can’t thank you enough, and of course it’s been great hearing your feedback and kind comments. I honestly probably wouldn’t have made it this far without all your support.
I shall keep the orders open for another 2 weeks until about the 3rd of April to let anyone get a last couple of pairs in. Any orders currently with me I will of course be finishing off, I think I’ve emailed everyone to that effect anyway but thought I’d just reiterate that. I’m off on holiday for a week from the 21st so I’ll be out of contact until I get back around the 26th. After the 3rd of April I will close down the orders on the website and will then continue to finish off any orders still with me.
Well sorry to call it a day folks, but there it is.
Once again, many thanks to all of you, it’s been quite an experience!
I hope you all had a nice time over the Christmas and New Year.
Well finally, finally! I have listed the new pattern and all the paisley materials as well as some more plain colours.
I've only listed the new plain colours with white trim for now, but if you want any other colours for the trim instead then please just ask. Same goes for anything else I have listed here really.
OK just a quickie, as I know I've been slack with getting updates on here.
I now have all the paisley materials back in stock that I was out of previously. That is the red, blue, and purple. I still have brown and the Cthulhu paisley of course, and this will also be the first time I've had the red and blue as a customisable entry.
I've also added more plain colours to the line up as well and of course I also have a new pattern too. I've got them all listed on the website and they're ready to be made active.
However, since I'm not going to be able to complete any new orders I receive now until after Christmas and most likely the New Year, as I already have orders that will take me up to then. I'll hold off listing them for now and put them up on January the 1st.
Any orders that are with me currently, I am in the process of doing and should be done and in the post before Christmas.
I know it's been a long wait for some of you for the red and blue paisley's and my apologies for that. I just seems to make more sense to me at this point in time to hold them back just a couple more weeks until the New Year. When hopefully I should be all ready to get cracking on lots of new orders. Although I said similar words about this time last year, and then ended up injuring my back at work just before the New Year. Hopefully that will not happen this year.
Anyway I'd just like to thank you all for your support and your custom this year and I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Sorry for the lack of updates recently. Have had problems with my email and various other things to contend with I'm afraid.
Anyway I am putting orders through for more red, blue and purple paisley print material and a new print. I shall also try and add some more plain colours to the roster for the plain coloured pants with white trim, which are still the most popular choice for many customers. So hopefully a bit more variety there too.
I will try and get these up as soon as my new material orders have arrived.
Just a quick update, I will be away from the 19th to the 30th of September so:
I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DELIVER OR PROCESS ORDERS BETWEEN THOSE DAYS.
That is: 19th - 30th September, no deliveries or processing of new orders, as I shall be away.
So please bear in mind that if you put in an order only a few days before, it's entirely possible that I might not be able to get them to you until after the 30th of September.
When I return I hope to have the new pattern in and I'm also going to re-order in the blue paisley, which I'll be able to offer with the usual options. Unlike the previous time I had the blue paisley in, when I just pre-made them all to a certain size and fit.
I thought I'd try this new style of shop template out and see how it goes. I've still got a little bit more tweaking to do on it when I get a spare moment. As I've mentioned previously I will still be working on doing a proper new website that is a bit more versatile as regards what I'm able to offer in terms of you being able to customise your items.
I've chosen this template because apparently it's quite good at scaling down for mobile devices. I haven't tested that myself yet, as I can only test the site once I've made it live. Which is another limitation of my current setup.
The work on my apartment by the window fitters and plasterer has only just finished earlier this afternoon. However I still have to do some work on it myself such as a bit of sanding and painting. So whilst I'm almost back to normal, I'm afraid there still might be a little bit more disruption and delay for another week or so yet. I have some work space back now though and so can resume making orders again.
Just to let you folks know, that I will be getting some work done on my apartment from the 23rd- 30th of this month. I'm getting two loft windows replaced and having a bit of plastering and painting done. This is liable to cause some disruption, so I'm afraid there will probably be delays to orders made during this week.
As for the new website, it now looks like I'll have to learn how to build a lot of that myself, so it's probably going to be quite a while coming yet unfortunately, whilst I try and wrap my head around Dreamweaver. In the interim I'm going to look at swapping the current website template for something a bit better looking.
Whilst we're talking about websites; social media, should I bother? Would any of you give a fig if I was on Facebook, Twitter etc? A worthy en-devour and accompaniment to this website or a pointless waist of time? Answers on a postcard please; an email would do fine too.
I have a new binder attachment ordered for the coverstitch machine. I'll see how that goes, but if it works well it might mean big changes to the way I make the pants. Hopefully bringing my production methods more in line with that of proper manufactured ones. Fingers crossed.
I've just run out of the Baby Blue material and my supplier currently has a lead time of 3-4 weeks before they get more stock in. So I've listed the items in Baby Blue as "Sold Out" for the time being until I can get some more in.
Got a new print up, which is more of a geometric one this time. A sort of fancy retro check design.
Also currently working on a pattern for A-Fronts. They'll be more the retro Euro style ones than the US keyhole type. I might not make those available until I have a new website solution up though.
Speaking of which, I'm still working on the artwork and design for a new site. The ETA on getting that finished right now is unknown. Realistically about one month at the earliest but probably a little longer.
I know it's been a little while since I've done an update, but fear not I'm still here.
My back is mostly better now so I'm getting back up to speed with things once again.
I haven't been completely idle these last few weeks. I now finally have a proper cover stitch machine. Which means I can now do proper straight cover stitching around the waist and legs of the underpants; and necks, arms and hems of the vests. It just adds a bit more of a professional looking touch to the finish and more importantly more robust stitching in the areas that require a lot of stretching.
I also have now made patterns for size small in the y-fronts and briefs in all fits; and the classic vest. Small size in the t-shirt style vests still to come.
I also have started work on the artwork for a new website. The current website provides basic functionality and design, but I want something way better. Probably looking more towards May for getting a new site up though, so this one will still have to suffice for now.
New up are the brown paisley and a red, blue and white stripy print. I also have two other new patterns to go to print, but they will have to wait until next month because.....
I will be away from the 21st - 30th of March.
Obviously I will not be able to complete any orders placed during this time, or realistically even a few days before the 21st, until I return.
I know, I know. I reappear to put a bunch of new stuff up only to disappear a week later. What can I say, my timing sucks. Sorry.
Hopefully when I get back from my hols at the end of March, after not a great start to the year, I shall feel reinvigorated and ready to crack on with it again.
All the best,
Hi, just a quick heads up. I've come down with sciatica over the new year. So I'm more or less in constant pain right now and finding it hard to sit down for long periods of time. It means that I'm going to be a bit slow at getting things done right now until this passes.
Anyone who already has orders with me, rest assured they are being worked on and will be with you soon as possible.
I'll keep you all posted and let you know when things are back to normal.
I do have some more patterns and things to go up, but I'll leave them for now until I feel a bit better.
First of all I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone this year for all your support in giving Charlie Pants a good start off.
Hopefully next year things will get even better. I should be getting a new machine early in the new year that will allow me to do straight stitching around the waist and legs, and at some point I want to make a major change to the website and its functionality.
Also new sizes; small and XL will be added soon I promise.
Hope to hear from you all again soon. So have a happy Christmas and a great New Year. Have a good one folks!
OK, the new items are finally up. I've tried to list what I think might be popular classic colour schemes. If there's any colour scheme that you don't see but would like, then just ask, and I'll see what I can do for you. Some one has already asked if I could do the Cthulhu Paisley with black trim, and yes I can. Unfortunately I've got no more product slots left to list it with black at the moment, but if you want any changes like that then just ask.
Speaking of the Cthulhu Paisley, I'm still waiting on that right now. Should be with me in a couple of days though.
Edit: I have also listened to your feedback and adjusted the T's and vests and made them longer. I have also adjusted the fit of the medium vest which was slightly too wide around the neck.
I have now prepped 92 new products ready on the site for listing. All I am awaiting now is for some of the materials and threads to arrive before I make them live. I've put up a small selection of items as a coming soon teaser for now though.
Just a quick heads up folks. I'm going to be changing the way I do things very soon. I'm changing to a "made to order" style of production. The upshot is that I'll be able to offer a much larger variety of colours and prints. On the down side it means that items will have a longer lead time from the day of purchase.
Also I am working on trying to get a new website together that will suit this change better, as this current setup is a little bit limiting. What I hope to do eventually is get a website up that will enable you to be able to select your item, size, style and also let you choose what you want for the main material colour or pattern and the colour of the trim.
Also the new website will also hopefully have a proper news and updates page and maybe a forum or comments section. And generally just look a lot better than this one.
In the mean time as a work around on this current system I will shortly list a variety of new colour choices that can be made to order.
Also I'm working on some new patterns too.
All that and the day job too! I know it might seem I'm a bit quiet and slow to get new stuff up at the moment, but I am working on it, rest assured.