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Community Member
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-08-2003

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

Just wondering what to pay someone for sewing our designs? We provide material and cut pieces, just need help with the sewing part! My daughter actually draws the original design, I make the pattern and the prototype. Now that orders are coming in I can't keep up. Mostly use ultrasuede, leather and suede, pigskin, lambskin, some exotics mostly for embellishment. Ultrasuede and Lycra stretch fabrics for main body.

Any help would be appreciated!

Ann
myvintiques
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Community Member
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-17-2004

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
I think around us they make around $10 an hour. Or you could figure out how much time it takes an experienced seamstress to put it together and go from there.
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Community Member
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎05-15-2006

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
hi, a few weeks ago I got an offer for piece work pay. She said she'd pay me $8.50 per shirt. I am not sure if that is good pay or not but it takes me about 2 hours at least to do a shirt if not more when I include closing the seams and all. She wanted me to do at least 2 dozen per week but I'd be working around the clock and not making much. So I kindly declined her offer.

What is a seamstress worth? that's a good question. I think $10 an hour for an average seamstress. I know that alterations, even just hemming is expensive. This is a question that I am also pondering.
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Community Member
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-08-2003

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
I'm wondering if location makes a difference. I'm in Vancouver, WA. I was told at our local Hancock Fabric, that $15 per hour was custom in our local for hemming, zipper replacement and alterations. Not sure what peice work is paying as I can't find anyone that knows! I'll post more when I find out.

Thanks,

Ann
Myvintiques
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Community Member
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎03-11-2003

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
I have an aunt who's been doing custom sewing for decades; she figures her time at $10/hr for most things. Things take longer, she gets paid more.

I think she should set a minimum! I mean, she only charges $5 to hem a pair of jeans or sometimes $2 to patch a rip. She also charges $60 each for mens dress shirts because she hates doing them and hopes they quit coming to her. LOL

I'm just beginning to sew to order, learning a lot from her. I'd rather make something, then sell it, as opposed to the risk of screwing up something specific someone has ordered.
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Community Member
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎05-15-2006

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
dmaree, that's funny about your aunt charging much more for mens' dress shirts bc she is trying to keep ppl away! I hope I got your name right for some reason I can't see the previous posts.
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Community Member
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎08-14-2005

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
I have done piecework and it did not pay well. It came to me already cut and marked and the designer even provided the thread, but it was so time consuming to finish all the seams, clip threads, align buttonholes, etc. It quickly became monotonous and when all was said and done I barely cleared 4-5 dollars/hour. It did give me the confidence to finally demand more for my time. I stopped doing piecework. I now provide sewing labor for an interior designer and I price my own time. I try to make at least 15-20 dollars/hour and I am considered more affordable than others. I try to figure out how much time it would take to complete an item without interruption and price accordingly. I don't feel I am overcharging and I don't feel taken advantage of. The fabrics you describe are not the easiest to work with so if you find a good seamstress, pay her fairly or she may leave you when you need her most. Good luck and I look forward to seeing your items in the future.
Carole
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Community Member
Posts: 1,294
Registered: ‎09-21-2005

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
I would not sew for $10 an hour. On the stuff I sew & sell I average $25-30 an hour, I would not sew a custom order for under $20 and hour.

When I sew for friends or family I treat them like regular customers. It might sound harsh, but I do not give deals because then they start to expect them and want you to work for free, and it cuts into the amount of time I am able to sew for ebay where I actually make money.

I also don't do alterations, hemming or mending (again, cuts into my ebay sewing). The time I spend sewing is time taken from my family so I am not going to waste it hemming other peoples pants. I create, I don't fix.

People expect so much sometimes that I have had to get firm and just say no.

OP Are you asking becasue you are looking to find a seamstress to work with you?? Say like in the situation of "daruca" or "my_angel_sophie"?. I do not know what the rate they have with their seamstress is, but If I was paying someone else to sew my designs for me, I would expect to pay a professional career seamstress about $20-$25 an hour for her work.

Cheers
Chey
~CHEERS
~Chey

The key to success is not having a Plan B
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Community Member
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎03-11-2003

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
That's interesting, Chey -- your work certainly shows that you deserve it!
Do you take your expenses come out of that price per hour, or are they in addition?
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Community Member
Posts: 1,294
Registered: ‎09-21-2005

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
If I am sewing for someone else....like as in a custom order, my hourly rate is on top of supplies.

When I sew for ebay, I just list and hope for the best. My average is about $20-$25 and hour but that includes my supplies, so you can bring it down a bit for just my time.

eBay is all over the place. I have sold some sets that I have made as little as $8 or $10 an hour and some as high as $45 or $50 an hour, it just depends on what it was. I am often shocked as the ones that calculate to a higher dollar per hour amount. It is all in what people want.

If someone came to me and wanted me to sew their designs for them, so that they could sell them somewhere I would charge most likely $20 an hour and they supply the fabric and notions.

Cheers
Chey
~CHEERS
~Chey

The key to success is not having a Plan B
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myraggedytreasures
Community Member
Posts: 136
Registered: ‎12-16-2005

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
I will get at least 20 per hour or I won't sew!
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Community Member
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎11-02-2005

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
Good semastress would charge work pay by piece, if you have small "wholesale set" (say you need 30 dresses).
If seamstress is slow, than she would mant pay by hour.
It's the best juge her professionalism and THAN deside how you want to pay. You definately don't want someone who charge 20$ an hour and does one t-shirt for 2-3 hours.
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Community Member
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎11-02-2005

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
P.S> Sorry for my english, not my first language.
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emerald_door
Community Member
Posts: 1,886
Registered: ‎01-29-2003

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
I don't make much per hour (probably less than minimum wage) but I love the creative outlet!

Sally
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Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-07-2005

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
Hi, Speaking for myself I refuse to sew for anyone even if its to hem pants without getting 20 dollars an hour. I know what I can do and I treat people like I want to be treated. Meaning thru time of sewing for different ones, I have helped many many people out and next thing I'm in a spot where they wanted me to keep doing it for less. Not anymore, and then it also depends on the product that I'm sewing. I just think if you start sewing for others to help them out soon they want it done for free, even if they pay for everything, which doesn't mean much to me, because if they can tell me a fabric choice, color, etc....let me go with it and I can ENJOY and design exactly what they want. You pay for what you get. Right.

I hope this didn't sound harsh to anyone, I just keep getting calls and emails about making this set or that etc. and they want me to do it CHEAP, I'm not walmart. sorry. Geesh you would think I might be a door greeter huh? LOL Ok so I'm just trying to explain and its not coming accross like I want it to.

To all you seamstress I say stick to what you LOVE to do and don't be taken advantage of.

To all that like custom work, think about what kind of finished product you want. That will say alot.

Barb
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Community Member
Posts: 158
Registered: ‎01-11-2006

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
A good seamstress is priceless........I had a store once in a small town. Mostly people who valued quality and unique designs would buy from me.

For the common person who could care less its cheaper for them to go to walmart.

I closed the store because its hard to keep up with the orders and when looking for a seamstress to help.....you cant make any profit. Because one good seamstresses are hard to find. Its a lost art. Secondly if you pay by the hour you wont make profit.

I suggest by the piece as well. Most seamstresses dont sew at the same rate.

Glad buisness is going well for you. Wish you more.
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Community Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-10-2008

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
I am trying to get my sewing besiness started.
I've just started looking into it and I was hoping that someone could help clue me in on how to price my time.

I have a friend who's a wonderful seamstress but i don't believe that she charges even close to the going rate.

Does anyone have any addvise on how to advertise?

Yours' truly-

Ignorant seamstress
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Community Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-10-2008

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
P.s. I really do know how to spell. LOL! I have to learn how to look over what I write before I post something:c}
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Community Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-19-2007

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
For those asking what a seamstress is worth - here is my experience on it. I had set prices on some items as I knew about how long it would take - items like sewing on a mens shirt button ($2) a single hem ($10), a cuffed hem($16), waist alterations, crotch alterations, taking in and letting out seams (Avg. $12-14), etc. If I was unsure of what all is involved or it was a more complicated process, I charged rates from $10 to $15. For piecing a quilt, I charged $18 per hour. Best way to find out is to call an existing sewing shop say at the local cleaners and ask for a price list. Your time and talent are worth something so do't just give it away
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Community Member
Posts: 782
Registered: ‎10-24-2003

Pricing ? What is a seamstress worth?

in reply to myvintiques
The worth of an excellent seamstress is calculated by number of years in hands on experience and quality of workmanship. Then, factor in the fine details and requirements of project itself. Bridal gowns, dress coats, upholstery, costumes and complete suit ensembles command much higher rates.

Finer upscale garments require a considerable amount of hand finishing whether it's beading, custom fitting, hand hemming of silks and fine fabrics to handsewing glass and silk covered buttons.

In general, children's wear does not require anything special & the rates are governed accordingly unless you're creating a garment for a child with special or unique or physical abnormalities.

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Perennial Flowers are my Annual Friends in the Garden of Life.

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Jan

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