Have you ever thought about making your own business selling what you sow? If you love sewing and you need extra money or even live out of it, this could be an excellent idea for you!
You will find that this kind of business might have a lot of benefits for you; firstly you will discover that it does not require a high investment or propaganda, just by word of mouth people can get to know what you do.
Secondly, you can consider selling your products on Etsy, eBay, and other online outlets. On the other hand, you might find online plenty of models, popular ideas and detailed tutorials to help you sew more and new products.
If you are looking for developing a personal project, new ideas for you or to sew for friends and family, you will find crafts and sewing tutorials with a lot of innovative ideas. Here you will see a list of some of the best of them:
- Reversible Placemats
- Zipper Pouch
- Sew A Zipper Crossbody Purse
- Remote Organizer
- Oversized Sleep Mask
- Quilted Coasters
- Twenty Minute Tote Bag
- Easy Oven Mitt
- Double Sided Tissue Pouch
- Circle Zip Earbud Pouch
- Business Preparation
When deciding on a sewing machine, we tend to believe that we need an expensive and full of staff model but, this is not true. What you really need is a simple machine with basic stitches and a buttonhole-maker which will serve the right purposes.
Others important elements that should be considered are a full-length mirror, a place where customers can try the clothes on; it can be a spare room you have, or you can use a corner covered by some division wall. There also should be a lot of shelves to place the fabric storage.
How to Get the First Customers
After organizing your place and equipment, you should get some business cards and pass them onto your family, friends, and acquaintances to let people know what you do and they knew how to reach you.
Do not get desperate if there is no phone call; it takes time to find clients when you are starting. If you notice that a long time passes, you can promote and advertise your products out of your social circle, find “outsiders.”
Nowadays, there are a lot of free or paid ways to promote your business like facebook, Instagram or other social media, as well as invest in an ad in the local paper. Try to use all these means of advertisement to get as many clients and customers as possible.
How to Charge a Job
At first, it is not simple to decide how much to charge for our work. There are so many factors that should be taken into account; the material used, the time you need to make the piece.
You probably want to start by having a fixed amount for some basics such as dresses or blouses, and then you can add to that price any other change in terms of complexity and number.
Later on, you would be able to provide a complete list of prices and add an extra charge when you work with plaids, stripes, slippery fabrics, or velvet, due to the additional labor involved.
On the other hand, some clothing items, such as wedding gowns, should be placed in another category because it requires more dedication. You might set a higher price for this kind of work; you know that they will take you long hours of work and also a lot of meeting and try on with the brides.
Moreover, you can ask for a deposit up front on the wedding dresses to make your time would be appreciated, and you are a professional.
Some of your regular customers might ask you to make clothes alterations due to they already know how you work and that you can do it. You should take this opportunity to earn more money.
The equation is quite simple; you will get more money in less time in comparison to the rest of your sewings. To do this jobs, you need to settle specific charges for the most common requirements like waist adjustment for trousers to speed the process.
Extra Sewing Income
It is sometimes necessary to ask the customer to bring anything you need to start the work; fabrics and patterns, but threads, fasteners, etc. But you might encounter some clients who will forget to bring what you need.
To avoid this inconvenience, you may stock yourself with some basic elements such as zippers and buttons to use them when these situations occur. Then you can charge the client for those elements.
As you would need zippers and buttons from all sizes and color, you should buy them in significant amounts, in this way, they are going to be cheaper for you and you can charge the client with a regular price. Thus, you will get extra money,
Some customers might ask you to provide these elements and then pay you for the complete job and extras. In that cases, you do not have to waste your time waiting for them to bring you everything you need to start working correctly.
Going to a Dressmaker
Most people who choose to go to a dressmaker are, in a certain way, obliged to do so because they are unable to buy ready-made clothes. Some of my customers, for instance, are handicapped and must have their wardrobe custom-made, or they have weight problems.
However, many women consider custom-made clothes still a sign of status even if that clothing was made by a totally unheard-of dressmaker. That is why you should purchase some cheap sewing labels to add to your finished garments. Your customers would love the idea!
A Personal Business
The sewing business might turn out a personal one. At times, it may be unpleasant for those who are not comfortable around strangers. Some customers tend to find the seamstress as a confident (like at the hairdressers´) Try to avoid these kinds of meetings being polite with them. Remember that what I important here is your work and provide what the client wants in terms of clothing.
Some other customers will come to you to be advice about clothing. To do so, you should have a pattern book so they can be oriented on what they would like by choosing patterns and shapes. Take some pictures of your previous work and let them see it, they will see what you are capable of, and they would rely on your job.
Honesty should always be present. Let your client know how you are going to go about the work; how long it will take, how much and also the right size. Deal with any inconvenience by telling the truth and try to be one step ahead.
Sew for Men
If you are ambitious and you are comfortable working with men, it would be a good idea to sew for them. They have articles of clothing that need repairs and alterations, and some of them, especially older men, enjoy custom-made clothing as women do.
To be safe and avoid any kind of conflict, you can ask the male client to bring the measurements and allow them to come with their wives if they feel like it.
Difficulties of the Sewing Business
One of the most challenging things you may face is how to say ‘no’ to a job or a client. If someone always asks you for rush work, bother you constantly or treats you unkindly, you need to set the boundaries. Your mental health is at stake here; you need to protect yourself to keep on working normally.
If you decide to take ‘rush’ work, do not charge the same as any regular task. Your time is valuable, and your customers should be aware of that when you give him/her priority not only from other customers but also in your personal life. You might spend some more hours working to be able to provide a good service.
Benefits of the Sewing Business
One of the benefits of having a sewing business is that you get free material. Most of the customers buy a lot of fabric for the garment they want me to make. So you can use the ‘leftovers’ to amend some other work or even to sew for you or your family.
Besides, this job can be gratifying in many ways. You might enjoy the possibility of choosing your own hours and setting your wages. You can also listen to music or watch TV while sewing. And if you have children, you are able to spend more time with them.
Regarding the money, how much you earn will depend on how much time you spend at the sewing machine. You need to set your schedule before start working to destine some hour to work and to meet customers.
Whether you want to do it professionally or you want extra money at the end of the month, you should give it a try. You might find a new business.
If you liked this idea, you like following the trends in sewing, or you want to know more about the sewing world, please contact us. Your comments and questions are more than welcome.