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Message Board > Miscellaneous > A job oppoetunity? ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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A job oppoetunity?
Would you be a seamstress?
Mikgirl
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Mikgirl
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Subject: A job opportunity? Date: 12/27/12 7:36 AM

I just found an ad for a local designer looking for a seamstress to make children's clothing.
I'm interested but I don't know what her expectation is.
She's a home sewist who sells her clothing at craft fairs & etsy, and also few stores carry her items.
She seems to do all the sewing herself, so I'm assuming I'm not taking the entire load...
As I have two toddlers and don't have much time to sew (during their nap/after they go to sleep if I'm still awake!) I'm not sure how much I can accomplish.

It would be nice to bring insome income working from home doing what I love to do though!

I'm also planning to start selling things at craft fairs & etsy this year (accessories so it doen't contradict her work) so I don't know which is worth it...
Take a chance in selling and hopefully making some money, or work for someone and get a certain income...
-- Edited on 12/28/12 0:53 AM --

jadamo00
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jadamo00
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In reply to Mikgirl <<
thumbsup 7 members like this.


Date: 12/27/12 8:27 AM

Apply, see if you get the interview, go to interview so you can both gather information. Especially pay attention to the "vibe".

You don't have to be ABSOLUTELY certain to take the job BUT
you need to be FAIRLY certain you can deliver an excellent job: adequate work (show her samples; look at her samples), enough time and effort, and a good attitude.

If you're thinking, "Maybe I can do this.", don't take it.

If you think, "I believe I can do this.", you can try it.

And the payment part: get it in writing or WALK AWAY. If you do anything without a written contract, understand that you are doing it FOR FREE.

j.







-- Edited on 12/27/12 8:34 AM --

birdmcfarland
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birdmcfarland
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 12/27/12 8:49 AM

If you decide to go ahead with this, I'd love to hear about your experience. I've been considering contacting local theaters to see if they need any help with costuming, but I have no idea what skill level they need, if I'm fit to do it....nothing. I'm completely self-taught so I am just slightly hesitant to do it.

jadamo00
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jadamo00
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In reply to birdmcfarland <<


Date: 12/27/12 9:21 AM

==I've been considering contacting local theaters to see if they need any help with costuming==

Oh, Bird: this is BRILLIANT! You could parlay that experience into a career in costuming! It COULD HAPPEN! Costuming isn't like factory sewing where you have to be INSANESUPERFAST! It's way more careful and artistic.

Very exciting! Just DO IT! They will LOVE YOU (and I think you will love them!)

j.










-- Edited on 12/27/12 9:24 AM --

SheBear0320
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SheBear0320  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/27/12 10:56 AM

When I first started my business 16 years ago, I had a booth at a local Crafters Marketplace -- 2 local designers contacted me to sew for them ... one worked from her home at the time and the other had a boutique in a downtown mall. They were 2 very different experiences.

The first was a very positive, long-term business relationship and only ended when my own business developed a niche and I became self-sufficient while her business grew and she turned to factory production to meet higher international demand. I was paid by the piece and only did the sewing -- she had a cutter who prepped everything and I got the pieces and then sewed them together. She provided all materials including thread. I used my own machines and sewed in my studio. I liked it because it was a guaranteed receivable while I was developing my own business and finding the niche I wanted to move into. I learned a lot from her about setting up my own business and finding suppliers and other valuable contacts. It was through this designer that I got my first in-roads into the bodybuilding community ... a part of my business that has flourished over the years. We continue to stay in touch and trade stories about the directions our businesses have taken -- quite different from what we each had originally envisioned.

The second experience was very negative -- think of a Project Runway designer who has limited if any sewing skills and/or understanding of construction techniques or the limitations of different fabrics. Wanted high-end techniques on impossible fabrics at sweat shop prices. The fabric was always skimpy for what she wanted -- when I mentioned that something couldn't be cut out from the piece she had given me, she told me I was wrong and to bring the piece in and she'd show me how to do it. What she wanted to do was to not cut on grain which definitely would have resulted in a bad product. I told her I couldn't do it in good conscience and she said "Fine I'll cut it myself and then you can sew it" -- needless to say this relationship did not last very long. She is no longer in business.

I would recommend that if you pursue this, make sure:

1. You get the pay rates in advance -- I'm assuming it will be piecework contract rates. I provide my current cutter with a list of piecework rates in advance and update it as new projects are added.

2. Establish how often you will get paid and what your deadlines are -- make sure the deadlines are realistic for you. Also establish if there is a penalty should you not meet a deadline. I pay my contract cutter at the end of the month.

3. Remember that if you are being paid on contract, you may be responsible for submitting your own taxes on any amounts you earn. Check your local laws to determine what your rights and obligations are -- I'm familiar with the ones here in Canada but have no idea about how it works in the US.

I've seen this from both sides of the equation -- and I've had bad experiences from both sides but I've also had very good experiences as well. My current cutter is a gem and has been a life-saver this past year where projects have increased significantly.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.



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

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
23.375 yards sewn (as of 04/13/14)
20.125 yards purchased (as of 04/13/14)

jadamo00
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In reply to SheBear0320 <<


Date: 12/27/12 11:12 AM

MOST VALUABLE advice from SheBear! Thanks for posting all this!

j.

kittykate
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kittykate
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Date: 12/27/12 11:20 AM

Yes, a contract is essential or at least payment on delivery.

A friend of mine made pillowcase dresses for a woman who sold in a boutique, and found out she didn't get paid until the dresses sold. Very scummy, but my friend was desperate for work and thought she was doing piecework. I don't think she ever got paid.

I started out making money out of sewing by making households, curtains, slip covers, and for a while I would do overflow work to help a friend who did covers for a fancy designer with impossible turnaround times. It was piecework but he paid me on pickup and everything was cut, I just sewed. Terribly disorganized designer. Everything was last minute. Make sure production time is specified in whatever agreement you make.

Mikgirl
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thumbsup 2 members like this.
Date: 12/27/12 1:14 PM

Thank you everybody for the input!
I emailed with question and she replied fast.
As for the vibe, so far so very good.
She seems very laid back and flexible.
Her business is growing too fast for her to catch up, so she just needs help.
She said I can get paid per piece and it's up to me how many pieces I want to make, and if she needs more help she'll look for additional help.

She also told me her schedule (work volume) for next few months so there's no surprise.

It's like a dream job for me right now, as I'm a stay at home mom with two toddlers, and I can get paid by doing what I love to do from home!

Now I just need to convince my DH... (he thinks I'll be too stressed out to make deadlines and affect the family life)

BTW she's like every business sewists dream...
She started out from craft fair, and now makes her products for three stores and getting wholesale orders!
And she's also a mom to a toddler! (That's probably one reason why I like her)

Valerie Jo
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Valerie Jo
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 12/27/12 6:04 PM

Oh thanks for posting this! I am in the "what is my niche" phase. I was asked to do some craft fairs but it was too close to Christmas and I had no inventory. I will definitely start on them.

I did work for a lady once and got paid per piece. The only problem was besides me having a full time job, she kept pressuring me to produce more. I kept explaining to her about my tight schedule. She said my work was so much better then her other sewing lady. Well, there is a reason for that. Her "other sewing lady" did it for a living and I did it for a side job. So, she was in a hurry to get the pieces done and I wasn't. I had to stop working for her because she kept saying "go at your own pace" then pressured me. I got tired of explaining the same thing every week.

Also, I want to thank you for the positive feedback. I am looking for a full time job right now and was having doubts I could sew for a living. It sounds like you have been very successful. Any advice would be appreciated.

One question that may make you laugh is - how do you know you found your niche? I mean, you wake up one morning and say you have discovered it? Or is it a long process? Or you just wait and see what sells and then you stick with that? Or it hits you over the head that this is the one thing you LOVE to do. Surely there are many ways to discover it - I just wish I would hurry up and discover mine. Too many interests. Thanks!

Mikgirl
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Mikgirl
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Date: 12/27/12 9:02 PM

Now another question...
How much should I charge per item?
Most likely I'll be making childrens hats.
They don't take that much to make... But since I'll be cutting and sewing it'll probably at least an hour each.
She sells one for $25. How much should my take be?
I was thinking $7-10. I thought that would be hald of the sale after subtracting the materials.
Is that too much/too little?

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