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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: Melanie T
Date: 10-06-2004, 08:54 AM (1 of 4)
Has anyone ever answered one of those ads in sewing, craft magazines for sewing baby bibs or hair cutting umbrellas?

I clicked on the link from this site that has a directory of these companies for sale yesterday. What kind of experience have you had?

Anyone heard of a reputable Canadian company that uses at home sewers?

4 little sewing machine mechanics (6, 4, 2, Born June 14)
Ontario Canada
User: Melanie T
Member since: 09-21-2004
Total posts: 155
From: Linda in Colorado
Date: 10-07-2004, 03:14 PM (2 of 4)
I think all of us have been sucked into those schemes at one time or another. Unfortunately, most are scams. If they want you to pay up front for a "sample" and the instructions, then run as fast as you can.

What usually happens is you send money in for the package of stuff. Then you sew some of the items they want. You send the items in to the company, but they don't pass inspection, so you don't get paid! It doesn't matter that you did a superb job on making the item(s), it won't pass inspection -- ever.

I think they just want to get you to send them your money.

On the other hand, contract sewing for a reputable company can be a good thing. You just need to thoroughly check on the company you choose to sew for.

These scam companies have been doing this kind of business for years and years, and I fail to see how magazines and so forth can continue to run their ads, but they do -- so a new generation of people can be "had".

Wish I had better news for you.
User: Linda in Colorado
Member since: 03-27-2000
Total posts: 102
From: barbeelady
Date: 10-09-2004, 10:49 AM (3 of 4)
I can definitely vouch for what Linda just said. My mom and I were kinda naive back in the 80s and got sucked into two of these. One was making hand embroidered, sewn together baby bibs. Now my mom is an excellent seamstress and as Linda said, there was nothing wrong with these but, you guessed it, they got sent back. I think the name of the outfit, probably long folded by now was Sweet Peas or something like that.

Another bib making scam was machine applique-ing dinosaurs onto a royal blue bib. This was another thing my mom did excellently--but it got sent back too. This gave us the answer we were looking for--if it's too good to be true, it's usually a scam and that the people were making their money off our payment for the kits and info. After that we decided my Barbie clothes and her goose outfits would be easier and legitimate so we sold those at craft shows. Needless to say, we had tons of bibs to haul along with us for a few years too, lol. Mom got creative and made the larger blue bibs into crayon bibs and stuck a crayon in each little pocket. It helped get rid of them anyway. We kept a couple of souvenirs as reminders not to do that sort of thing again! We were out about $30 for each scam--I wonder how much they're getting now for the same schemes?

An article I read once said that these companies just skirt the law enough that they hardly ever get caught. Their excuse is always "it didn't pass inspection." Going to the BBB isn't a lot of help either since all they'll tell you is yes it's a business. If anyone has registered complaints I guess they'd tell you that too. Again, this was 15-17 years ago.

Your best bet for getting legitimate home sewing to do is to specialize in something that most people don't want to do. With my Mom it's now alterations (since the goose fad has long died around here). They're a pain for most people and she charges a little less than some places and does handwork which you won't get with a dry cleaner or some professionals--you get a chain stitch with most places. For me, I've stuck with my Barbie clothes because again, it's something most people don't want to mess with--too little and tedious.

Get your name out there by sewing for friends, posting your ad at the grocery store (or kids' school--teachers are busy people are sometimes are looking for services like sewing or alterations) or running a small ad in your newspaper or shopper. Have some cards made up (free at Vista Print) advertising what kind of sewing you'll do and send them with a friend who does craft shows. You'll come up with some creative ways to get the word out and you'll be more sure of getting real jobs that way. Hope this helps--didn't mean to get so long but that's the story of my life, LOL.
Tari in Ohio
User: barbeelady
Member since: 10-08-2004
Total posts: 21
From: MaryW
Date: 10-09-2004, 07:25 PM (4 of 4)
Barbeelady, welcome to Sew Whats New.

Thanks so very much for your very honest answer. I really appreciate your response as it will help many people who are contemplating answering those ads that we all see.

You and your Mom both deserve a huge pat on the back for what you have been thru and learned from this experience.

Thanks for the honesty and please, keep in touch. :up:
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
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