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Message Board > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > Experienced Seamstress sewing for someone the first time. ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Experienced Seamstress sewing for someone the first time.
Starting a Sewing Business
Timmithea
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Timmithea  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/10/10 1:32 PM

I was hired by a local designer to sew several evening dresses for a show in September. This is my first time sewing for someone outside my family! I am going to take the models measurements soon, and the designer wants to know if I want to be paid by piece (I am assuming garment) or hourly. What is the best method? I am assuming she has patterns for the dresses. If not, how do I charge her for that too? Is there somewhere I can find standard rates for garment construction? Thanks!

------
Timi

Hdale85
Hdale85
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Date: 8/10/10 7:19 PM

Well, you need to figure out how much she'd give you per dress, and then figure out how much she'd give you per hour, then calculate how long it'd take you to make each dress and divide the amount per dress by the hours it takes you to make it. If this hourly rate comes out higher then the rate at which she'd pay you per hour then you'll want to do it per dress.

loti
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In reply to Timmithea


Date: 8/10/10 7:23 PM

Don't be shy about getting all of the information from the designer.
Evening dresses can be anything from a stretch fabric tube with sequins to a ballgown with a built in corset and hand beading or hand finishing.

------
"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.
Coco Chanel

Stash Sewn in 2011 148.5 Yds
Stash Sewn in 2012.... counting...

http://adonising.blogspot.com

marymary86
marymary86
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Date: 8/10/10 9:02 PM

Congratulations! I don't have any advice but you have got to pretty excited about this! Will you be able to share pictures as you are working?

------
Mary


Sewinglady1947
Sewinglady1947
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In reply to Timmithea


Date: 8/10/10 9:42 PM

Sometimes it is hard to calculate the time. I have been sewing the last two weeks and it has taken laonger than I thought it would. My friend has been sewing dresses for a wedding party and the material has drove her crazy. We were both sample seamstresses and have several years experience in sewing. So it is hard to always know the best way to charge.

------
sewing grammy

ukdame
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ukdame
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In reply to Sewinglady1947


Date: 8/10/10 10:27 PM

You should also factor in how much this type of garment would cost to buy off the rack. Evening gowns can be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars and these days are likely "Made in China" as most things seem to be these days. I would charge for your time for sure. Who will be paying for the fabric and notions. If you are expected to create the pattern too then this should be more.

------
It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. ~ Franklin D Roosevelt 1843
Janome 19606 ,Janome My Excel 4023, Brother 1034D, White 1750C, Kenmore 158.1803, White 764, Brother 780D.

Hdale85
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Date: 8/10/10 10:39 PM

Don't forget to factor in costs for wear and tear, needles, thread and so on.

M.S.
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M.S.
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Date: 8/11/10 7:54 AM

I am suggesting getting paid by the hour. I never estimate enough time when I estimate by piece. If you do decide to charge by piece, you may want to double what you think you should charge.
I estimate by piece and always always always seem to sell myself short. I usually end up wishing I'd doubled my estimate. Now, why don't I take my own advice??

RJFoote
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RJFoote
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Date: 8/11/10 9:57 AM

I recently joined up with a friend who has been sewing children's clothing, both casual and pagent wear. She charges by the piece. The first time she does a particular style it takes her much longer to create it. After she has played with it a bit the other dresses come together in 1/2 the time or even less. We have also found that some people have sticker shock so it is always best to let them know up front the cost of the item they want. Many don't realize handmade equals $$$. We aren't sewing up Wallie World clothing...lol

Elona
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In reply to RJFoote


Date: 8/11/10 11:51 AM

There's a well-respected book about the nitty gritty details of how to value and price your sewing. It's been around quite a while, Sewing As A Home Business.
-- Edited on 8/11/10 11:51 AM --

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