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alteration prices

suern | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m looking for some help in determining the price to charge for some simple alterations.   A nursing uniform store is asking me to do some simple atlerations, ie hemming uniform pants and lab jackets.  I have no idea on what to charge, any suggestions.




  1. myca99 | | #1

    I don't have much altered, but I had 2 inches hemmed off a pair of pants about a year ago (before I get my sewing machine) and paid $7. 

    1. mygaley | | #2

      I live in a very-low-income area and I hem pants no cuff for 8.00; I would charge $8.00 for the jackets, also. I charge 12.00 for jeans; I am careful to duplicate thread, hem diameter, etc. so they look just like original hems. I have never been called upon to replace the original hem while shortening jeans, but I know I can do it; I learned it on Gatherings! Galey

    2. suern | | #3

      Thanks so much for your reply, at least I have something to go by

    3. solosmocker | | #6

      As I have said before, I have the utmost respect for anyone who makes a living doing alterations. I personally find it the only, only aspect of sewing I do not like. I would rather make a whole new garment. It is tedious, demanding work and those who do it well deserve every penny they can get. You have far more patience than me and bless you.

  2. SewTruTerry | | #4

    The first thing that you need to do is find out what the going rate is around your area.  Then decide how quickly you can do each alteration and determine what hourly rate that you want to make. Then decide what you would charge for a rush order.  The next most important issue would be what percentage the shop is going to charge over and above what you charge to the customer.  From there you will be able to determine if it is in your best interest to take on this shop and if you can keep up with the work.  If after you start working with the shop and you do not get a lot of work or repeat customers so to speak then you may have to decide if you are charging too much.  On the other hand if you become really swamped with work then you may have to start charging more.  Good luck.

  3. Susan -homedecsewing | | #5

    Hi Suern, I did alterations for YEARS .I find it depends on where you live, what the market will bare . Are you doing the fitting ? If not ,do you pay if customer is unhappy? Does the store pin both legs?With uniforms it may not be a big deal but

    make a mistake on a 100.00 pair of jeans and it could get scary.I'm 50 years old and it took me this long to find out I had to stop doing alterations in order to make a living sewing. How many people do you have to see to make $100.00. Not to mention

    time taken up with fittings, chatting,and such. I have a detailed price list for alterations if you are interested ,email me. I live in Fort Myers Fl and prices are a bit

    higher down here.but I did meet many wonderful people, lucky for me they trusted me to decorate their homes as well! Thats where I found my most rewarding work sewing.I also do designing ,building, reupolstering etc.But if you love to sew what better way to make a living?Good luck with your new venture!



  4. autumn | | #7

    I started getting alteration jobs through my daughter who has many friends. When they had a problem to be fixed, she recommended me (without my permission), but it turned out well.  The first one I did was to shorten and shape 3 or 4 T-shirt hems. It is so easy for me to do that I did not think it was worth much. However, the woman I did it for told me she would not pay me LESS than $15/hr. I was amazed. Then I started doing patient drapes for my doctor's office. I began at $10/hr., then went up to $12/hr.  No problem.  So now I charge $12/hr. no matter what the project is. If it is difficult, it takes me longer, therefore -- more money. Something simple takes less time so -- less money.  No one has objected yet.

    1. suern | | #8

      Thanks for your input.  I am only doing very simple alterations, mostly hemming right now, and because it's nursing uniforms, the hems are very easy.  I usually cut it down with my serger and them hem.  I am a litttle nervour knowing that I am working on someone elses clothes, but I'm getting over that.  Right now I am working with a woman who owns a uniform store, and that's where I get my business from.  Still working on pricing.  Tonight she gave me 7 uniform pants to hem, all exactly the same.  I'm only charging her $5.00/pair, but still each one only takes me about 15 minutes.  I also sell my scrub tops in her store, and she doesn't take anything off my price.  I have also started doing uniforms for plus sizes, and today got an order for 2 Dr.'s jackets.  I keep my patterns very simple and it seems to be working.


      Happy sewing


      1. solosmocker | | #9

        I just wanted to add that you have a skill in demand. Yes, a fine skill, just like electricians and metal workers. In my opinion you deserve no less than they get. So be comfortable asking for as much as the market will bear and good luck.

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