Every now and then, I pick up some little thing I have lying around and take a good look at it.  Literally everything I pick up indicates it was made in China.  For instance, this doll shirt (the white one in the photos) which I picked up on ebay for around $2.00.  Brand new, made in China.  It's perfect.  Look at the top stitching.  It amazes me.  Its perfection.

And then I begin to think, how on earth do they do it?  I have heard that their cost of living is much lower than ours and therefore, they can be paid pennies for top rate performance crafting like this which is then turned around and sold to other countries at a profit for them that still seems like pennies to us. 

China makes *everything*.  I cannot turn over any object in my house and find an indication of origin anywhere other than China.  I'm sure that, the people who make things factor all their costs into the final price of the item.  Someone had to design the item, if there was R&D involved, that is factored in, distribution, shipping costs, all that gets added up and then divided up over the number of items produced and a price per item is computed.

I have also heard that the life of a Chinese factory worker is nightmarish.  But then again, most jobs I've had were nightmarish too.  But now that I've taken an interest in learning to make things myself, I find myself wondering more and more about life for a factory worker in China.  Yes, work sucks.  But you've got to admit, they probably learn to make things really really well.  Do they then acquire skills that would make some of us Instructables users envious?  I would think so.  Do they find it at all fun?  Do they get to do different things.  Painting faces on plastic ducks this week.  Sewing itty bitty shirts for a doll the next?  I wonder about it.

I'm sure it's all top secret, how they produce all the toys and electronics and fun things we love to consume.  Still, I think it would be interesting to just visit the Guangzhou district of China or a similar place and just see what its like.  Maybe Instructables could have this as a contest prize.  Just an idle thought.

I wish I had a better understanding of macroeconomics.  I wonder if somewhere on the internet, there is a gigantic information graphic that shows the real "food" chain, the supply chain of the entire world.  Who buys what from whom and who sells what to whom.  And how does this flow of money keep everyone housed and happy?  Where is the money flowing to?  Well, we know that a great percentage of it goes into the pockets of CEOs, rather like modern day Pharoahs.  Why do we allow that?  That's another question I have.  We are so much like ants.  Hooray for our super cool CEO, look he's on the cover of a magazine this month,  isn't he cute.  Let's give him a golden parachute containing multiple millions of dollars while we all lose our jobs.

Then my thoughts turn to the subject of open sourcing, crowd sourcing and outsourcing.  Of which, I am, sitting here before you, just another happy participant.  I love learning to make things.  And I love finding free things on the internet.  So it only makes sense that if I can go out and find a bunch of free software, and free patterns and free this and free that on the internet, it's only fair that I share with you for free the various tidbits and things I've learned in hopes that it would better you, or society or someone.  But I am only one of a vast host of new workers, turkers, I guess you'd say, doing it all for free.  Where is this all heading?  If people like me, and you, will do work simply for recognition or points or tshirts or whatever it is.  I suppose it ultimately devalues the efforts of people who are trying to do it for a living.  But, me stopping, or someone else stopping isn't going to change it.  Someone else will step up and do it, just to see if they can and share their results.  I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I just truly wonder how the economy will work in the future.  That's all.

At times I pause and count on my fingers the number of businesses and fields of work that are becoming rapidly obsolete.  Anything that required printing on paper:  books, libraries, newspapers, phone books, paper things supported by paper advertisements.  Anything that can be reproduced convincingly by electrons:  movies, music.  And soon to come: anything that can be printed on a 3d printer at home.  I truly wonder where is this all going to go.  If we can all manufacture our own stuff, what is left then that we cannot?  Utilities: electricity, water, sewer, internet, gas for the car, house.  Groceries, staples.  3d printing will bring manufacturing back to our shores, they say, because it won't rely on expensive human labor so much.   So, maybe it will all balance out, it usually does. 


I want to see if I can make a tiny little blouse anywhere near as good as this one from China I picked up.    So, better get on with it then...


Step 1: Materials

free online pattern for the "classic" blouse:  http://m-sewing.com/patterns-catalog/women/blouses/classic-blouse.html
I modified this pattern slightly because at doll scale, the little collar is too hard to sew as there's no realistic seam allowance as is.  My modified version is attached.  Print it out on 81/2"x11" paper.

a small amount of material.  Try to find something that doesn't fray much.  Silky blouse-type fabrics tend to fray like crazy, so if you want to use that, get some sort of fray stopping solution.

fray block:  smelly stuff that you paint onto the fabric which cuts down on its tendency to unravel as you're working on it.  However, it makes the material stiffer, and therefore it won't drape the same way it did before, so that's a reason to avoid it, besides the headache it will give you if you smell the vapours for too long.

sewing machine

seam ripper
sharp scissors
First off your completed project is very cool! Thanks for posting :0) <br>I have a dear friend in China, and he has explained that employment is very much an exploitation of human life. It is heart-breaking to hear his stories. I have also been told that the Chinese government will not allow their orphaned children to be adopted by foreigners, even though there are adults in other countries who would love them dearly and take care of them. Instead, the little children remain is crowded ophanages. Here is information about a book I would like to read, the info is quoted by an Amazon description titled, &quot;A Year Without &quot;Made in China&quot;...&quot; provides you with a thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining account of how the most populous nation on Earth influences almost every aspect of our daily lives. Drawing on her years as an award-winning journalist, author Sara Bongiorni fills this book with engaging stories and anecdotes of her family's attempt to outrun China's reach&ndash;by boycotting Chinese made products&ndash;and does a remarkable job of taking a decidedly big-picture issue and breaking it down to a personal level&quot; <br> <br> <br>
Thank you, I've been looking for a book that explores the situation in detail, that sounds like a good one. In a sense, I've always secretly felt we haven't entirely left the days of slave labor, i.e., the Civil War and all that. I've had a latent fear that we're still relying on slave labor to support our lavish lifestyles, but it's far enough removed from our immediate eyesight that we can sort of not think about it.
<p>@ Foobear - Your comment is from 1 year ago, but I absolutely think this is true: &quot;we're still relying on slave labor to support our lavish lifestyles, but <br> it's far enough removed from our immediate eyesight that we can sort of <br> not think about it.&quot; :-(</p>
<p>Yes, the thing is we're so dependent on it that I don't see it ever ending. Until the robots come, that is. Just making one small thing takes me the better part of the day and I can't do it anywhere near as well as China can. I guess I can try to compensate by buying local, buying less. It runs counter to our capitalist principles, but I'm okay with that. I think capitalism has almost played itself out. We'll have to think up a new system for the future.</p>
For Chinese-made this statement. Many ways to collect very cheap labor in China, people high efficiency and low wages, of course, this is the situation a few years ago.Then now with the development, they pay more attention to the spiritual consumption, but, poor or very poor.Street or recurrent the poor the second rich second generation synchronization streets phenomenon, to be honest, how should I say, I think the Chinese conservative side has its benefits, but also has its disadvantages.This is understandable.Key to see what state of mind to face <br>
China is a wonder and an intriguing mystery to me, thank you for your thoughts.<br><br><br>
You are welcome to come to China to play. 56 family name. I was the Han people.What the Hmong Dai Li people Gaoshan people.The different characteristics of each family name.In China, the Han people. DistributionTalk about interesting and you are a very interesting place called Yunnan.Beautiful Dai girls there every day wearing the traditional dress skirt phoenix coronet head, rarely wear shoes.There are also, our traditions and customs, many festival has not taken seriously, but the elderly or would be more concerned about customs, such as we feast To dragon boat drinking Laba porridge to eat dumplings, hanging lanterns, from house to house.Anyway, you have the opportunity to look at ~
After all, in China, the gap between the rich and the poor
Please continue your comment? I am interested to hear what it is like there. I'm very curious. Thank you

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