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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Ranae
Date: 09-17-2004, 12:38 PM (1 of 3)
Hi All,

I am just thrilled to have found this board! :)

I have a home-business as a dressmaker (I guess that is the term they still use for someone that makes clothes?? ;))

Anyhow....I have been sewing for about 20 years, but I just decided last month to turn it into a business. It is actually going very well. I am busy, but not too busy.

Sometimes I feel not-so-confident in my sewing abilities and I am always wanting to learn new things to become more efficient and productive. Do any of you take classes to further your expertise or do you just sort of "glean" from others?

I read the thread about not knowing what to charge for our wares, and I was wondering if it is ok to post my website here so that I can get an educated opinion about my prices I am charging...too high? too low??

Also, what do you all do about the price of fabric? I generally pick out the fabric for the projects I am hired for, unless the person specifically says they want to buy their own fabric. Have any of you found a good source for inexpensive fabric? It just seems so expensive, and I think many people are more inclined to buy off-the-rack instead of paying someone to make something that might be a bit more expensive.

Lots of questions, I know, I'm just happy to have found you all!! :D

User: Ranae
Member since: 09-17-2004
Total posts: 5
From: MaryW
Date: 09-17-2004, 05:56 PM (2 of 3)
Hi Ranae, welcome to Sew Whats New. :smile:

First of all, if you felt totally confident about your abilities as a seamstress, you would come off as a know it all. It's good to be a little unsure I think.

It is good to take classes if they are available and you can take advantage of them. By all means, jump in and learn all you can.

Finding fabric is tricky, you have to have a list of suppliers. This is something that will come in time, but start now. Find out who is good quality and who is not.

I am sure the other girls will give you lots of good advice and you can pick and choose what is good for you.

Don't hesitate to post whenever you have a question or a problem, that's what we are here for. :smile:
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: paroper
Date: 09-18-2004, 12:42 AM (3 of 3)
I never purchased the fabric, because I didn't want to get into the selling business. My customers always brought the fabric, patterns and notions to me. Many times my customers would ask for advice about the material but usually that was not a problem.

You'll have customers who love the feel of well made custom clothing who will pay a lot for their fabric and don't mind paying you either. (Those are the customers for whom you will enjoy sewing.) I think that the higher your prices, the more likely you are to attract their business. I have a friend who sews almost exclusively for Jr. League people and they never blink at his prices (which are handsome). I think that you can afford to price higher if you live either near a large metropolitan area or in an area that is a little higher economically or if you cater to a certain market. (I live in the country, which effects my pricing because my customers have to pay more to get to me.) The other group of people you may have are those who are hard to fit and really don't like to pay as much but have a hard time finding clothing that fits well.

As far as confidence, once you have a few dresses under your belt, it will come, you've been doing this most of your life, you just need to get used to sewing for the public!

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
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