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Sewing for others................
Should I?
Sheseams
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Date: 1/31/14 6:34 PM



I have several friends that want me to sew dresses for them for various events and occasions. However, am not sure if I should..... So my questions are:

1. Have you ever done so, with what result?

2. How much should I charge for my time?

3. How much of your life did it consume?

I am not trying to start a business, it would be more like side work. So far I have at least 4-5 people waiting on my reply.....

------
Keeping myself together one stitch at a time.

http://sheseams.blogspot.com

EleanorSews
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Date: 1/31/14 6:56 PM

In general, sewing for others is not something I would do nor would I recommend it.

The reason is that most people, even friends, do not have a clue about what it takes to make clothing. They seem to think they will save $ if the item is made but they forget to add in the cost of the sewer's labor. You might run across people who aren't timely about making appointments for fittings and that can be annoying.

I would not charge less than $20/hour when sewing for others. That also includes what I would be charging for the fitting times.

If you charge any less, you run the risk of your time being abused. You might even run into a problem of your "friends" and their friends keeping you so busy there is no time to sew for yourself.

So, if you are going to proceed with sewing for your friends, my advice would be:
1. set your price and tell them before you undertake any project, what the hourly rate is and about how many hours you think it will take, including at least 2-3 fittings

2. they need to pay for the pattern, fabric and notions (not you ahead of time and then being reimbursed)

3. they need to know that fittings will be required (and paid for) and the more difficult it is to schedule a fitting, the longer it will take to get the garment done

Before you commit to this, be very sure it is how you want to spend your time.

------
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

Datcat23
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Date: 1/31/14 7:19 PM

*ditto* ... what Eleanor said.

I have never been a fan of sewing a particular item for friends, as I know how critical I am of my own sewing, and therefore I would be worried about the quality my friends might expect.

I do sew for gifts however, although the only clothing I make for others tends to be kids or baby clothing. For adults, I tend to sew craft items .... aprons, lunch bags, etc.

But, when you are making an item for a friend who is paying, who expects a certain result that I may or may not be able to produce, then I would be worried about the possibility of damaging the friendship in the process, if there was a disagreement.

------
the barefoot seamstress ..... smelling vaguely of lavender and mothballs, and desperately craving chocolate.
www.castley.net/datcat

HanPanda
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Date: 1/31/14 7:52 PM

1. Yes, with mixed result. I only do it for the closest of friends and farthest of acquaintances. It can end friendships.

2. A fair amount--think minimum wage? You're doing skilled work. Professional seamstresses can charge $20-25/hr. To make it worth your while....consider $10-15/hr? The price gets high up there, but that (hopefully) will persuade someone it's not worth it and they won't bug you for it. XD

3. It can take a lot. It can be bad when you do something that isn't to a standard that your friend is looking for, and you keep going back to it to try to get it better. It's way more stressful making something to fit another person, cuz you can't throw it on to fit it and it's hard to deal with someone else's disappointment if it doesn't fit.

------
2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 93 yards
Sewn: 69 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

jacqui583
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Date: 1/31/14 8:01 PM

Just another thought. When people are used to only ready to wear garments they are used to being able to try it on and see how it will look on them. If they are not happy they take it off and put it back on the rack.

Anyone who sews has experienced making something that didn't look on them the way they envisioned it. Either the style doesn't suit them or the fabric doesn't behave the way they want. This could very easily happen with one of these friends, and frankly I think you will be blamed for their disappointment. Personally I would be very cautious about sewing for others.

------
Jacqui

Phoebe (Pfaff Quilt Ambition 2.0)
Jenny (Janome Coverpro 1000cpx)
Sergio (Brother 1034D)
Betty (White 1505)

sewme47
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Date: 1/31/14 8:02 PM

Omg, can I talk you out of it, lol??

SheBear0320
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Date: 1/31/14 8:18 PM

I do sew for others as a business and it is full-time and then some -- it can be all-consuming at certain times of the year.

That being said if a friend or relative wants me to sew something specific for them, then they are like any other client and they jump through the same hoops and follow the same rules and pay the same rates.

I may decide to sew for a friend as a favour or because it's something I want to undertake -- but that is a choice I make and I make the offer. I only do this for those I know will truly appreciate it.

Think carefully before embarking on this -- this is coming from someone who thoroughly enjoys her work/business and the creative opportunities it provides. But you have to go in with your eyes wide open.



------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
68.75 yards sewn (as of 10/16/14)
135.5 yards purchased (as of 10/16/14)

NancyZL
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In reply to Sheseams <<
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Date: 1/31/14 8:38 PM

Totally agree with Eleanor's comments. I also make jewelry & have found that some friends have no idea of the time involved in getting supplies & doing an actual design. On the other hand I've been happy to loan a dress of mine out to a friend (same size) for a special event ! So yes, tread carefully.

simplystitches
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Date: 1/31/14 10:06 PM

I totally agree with everything Eleanor posted.

The other thing to consider is the fact that it may take away your joy of sewing because it will become a job. Many years ago I made custom garments and did alterations. I stayed fairly busy but because of that I completely lost interest in sewing for myself. Almost 20 years later I still have people call me to see if I'm still doing it.

Debbie

Sheseams
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In reply to EleanorSews <<


Date: 1/31/14 11:11 PM

Thank you!

I already had many of your thoughts in mind, most don't understand the labor that goes into making a garment. Unless you sew, I don't think you could ever fully appreciate it.

Just after I posted the question someone else asked me and I told her the dress would be at least $80 due to the fact she would have to buy the material plus labor. I didn't think about charging for fittings, although I did mention it would take 'several' to get it right.

------
Keeping myself together one stitch at a time.

http://sheseams.blogspot.com

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