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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: raspsgirl
Date: 03-26-2003, 03:23 PM (1 of 9)
Since it's my first time giving them, I'm only charging $10/hr, but I feel once I gain one experience with the person I'm working with now, I can easily charge more. I live in a big city and I don't want taxes to eat up my work, so could I charge up to $15-17 for lessons? Does it depend on what I'm teaching them. I will be only doing one-on-one for now (private lessons).


User: raspsgirl
Member since: 08-15-2002
Total posts: 15
From: stitchmd
Date: 03-26-2003, 06:19 PM (2 of 9)
Those rates are quite low, not sure what cost of living is like in your area. I live in the expensive suburbs of Washington, DC and have been trying to get myself established in the same line of work. So far three people have expressed interest and found my charge of $15 per hour very reasonable, unfortunately none of them has actually gotten around to starting. My plan is to raise to $20 or more once word of mouth and references are established.

How are you advertising your services? I found these people by chance on forums such as this, no clue where else to find prospective students. The fabric store here gives classes and won't let outsiders advertise something which is competition.

You could try two hour sessions for slightly less than two sessions of an hour each. You could try different rates for lessons in your house vs. in student's house. Give some thought to insurance problems in case someone pricks their finger at your place.
User: stitchmd
Member since: 02-25-2003
Total posts: 226
From: Linda in Colorado
Date: 03-27-2003, 04:27 PM (3 of 9)
In my opinion, $10.00 per hour is a little low. In my area of the world (northern Colorado) I charge $20.00 per hour for private, one-on-one lessons.

My rates for general sewing and alterations are higher per hour. I prefer to charge a bit less per hour for lessons because part of my reasons for giving them is to extend the joy of sewing to others.

Rates vary so much by geographical location. Could you contact any local or regional people who teach sewing to get some input from them? Some will turn you down flat, because they will be afraid of competition, but you will find others who are willing to share general information with you.

Please let us know what you decide.
User: Linda in Colorado
Member since: 03-27-2000
Total posts: 102
From: raspsgirl
Date: 04-02-2003, 09:33 PM (4 of 9)
I agree now that $10 is low. For now, I'll use that rate with my first client, but will raise it to $15 if I get another student. Thanks for all the feedback!

User: raspsgirl
Member since: 08-15-2002
Total posts: 15
From: sammybuys
Date: 05-30-2003, 09:20 PM (5 of 9)
Someone asked how do you advertise. I suggest going to a office supply store and getting blank business cards to make your own cards on your PC. Then when you talk to somone about your sewing, hand out a few cards. Place these on bulletin boards and drop some off at your local church or mens/womens homes. Drop some off at your library and gaidance office at your local high school ( lots of places are not teaching sewing anymore). Also place a add in those local newpapers. Esp ones that have school camp ads etc. Make high school students your student ( no more than 2 per sesion. These are just some ways you can advertise cheaply, then word gets around, then your busy before you know it!! Blessings Diana
Email me if you have any sewing needs, god bless Diana
User: sammybuys
Member since: 05-30-2003
Total posts: 1
From: threads_40
Date: 06-01-2003, 08:27 PM (6 of 9)
I think that it is great that you ladies hae started giving sewing lessons. As you grow in experience and continuing education you will need to increase your prices. $10.00 is a bit low, however you can raise your prices with the next student. I do not think that 20-25.00 is too much to ask.

I charge $50.00 for a 2 hour private lesson. If the student lives outside of my city I charge more. Stick to your set prices and the students will come. Be confident with your sewing skills. If you are confident they will be confident in your teaching.

At my sewing school however I charge $400-$450.00 for 6-8 weeks. The I also give away a free basic sewing machine at the end of the course when all monies have been paid. I teach beginner through advanced sewing and dressmaking, that along with speciality classes which are all priced individually.

The Academy where my children attend, I teach in the Adult Education department. The school pays me by the hour to teach beginner through advanced classes. Hopefully you will see from the price variations that I have mentioned, depending on what you can offer will reflect how you can price your classes. Each area will be different. A large city will pay more. A smaller one less.

Good luck and Happy Sewing

"Your goal is greater than your struggle"
User: threads_40
Member since: 03-26-2001
Total posts: 28
From: cake
Date: 06-02-2003, 07:36 AM (7 of 9)
Newsagents or general stores can be good for putting ads in too.

User: cake
Member since: 03-24-2003
Total posts: 27
From: MaryW
Date: 06-03-2003, 08:26 AM (8 of 9)
Threads, where were you when I was learning. What an absolutely wonderful offer. You must be swamped with people wanting lessons. A free machine at the end, what an incentive!:up:
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: wazoodle
Date: 06-04-2003, 10:29 PM (9 of 9)
Another way to earn a decent rate of pay is to start with small groups. You can usually book rooms at a community center or library for around $30 for a couple of hours. Get 5 people in your class and charge them each $10 for a 2 hour lesson, plus another $5-10 for supplying a kitted project.

A local gal does this -- she starts with really basic projects, like a pair of mitts, that the students can complete in one lesson. Then progresses through to more advanced projects over a few weeks. So, 5 students x $10 + 5 kits x $5 = $75 for 2 hours work. Less $30 for your room rental and $15 for supplies, you make $20/hour.

Once you get good (and known), you can handle classes of 8-10 students and up your wage to $30-40hr.

Doing it this way needs a little more planning, but the curriculum you develop is reusable, the cost for the students is reduced, and your hourly rates are considerably better.
User: wazoodle
Member since: 10-17-2002
Total posts: 29
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