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Hiring a seamstress — any sugesstions?

Kimberly_Bowman | Posted in The Archives on

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I am a designer who is over worked and in need of hiring a seamstress so that I can focus on other areas of my business. I just have no idea how to go about hiring someone for this position and how much should they be paid — what is the going rate? I have worked on the retail side of the business for 18 year and crossed over to the other side this past year due to being tired of selling inferior, non-fitting clothing! Up to this point I have done all the work myself — designing, pattern making, sewing, fitting, etc.. but I am at the point of being to busy to handle it all myself and I figure hiring a seamstress is the 1st place to start.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to go about this? What is the going rate — hourly or per garment? I charge clients per garment based on formulas I learned when in design school but I am wondering if it works the same way for strickly sewing. If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it!!

Replies

  1. Karen_Vesk | | #1

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    Kimberly, this has been an ongoing topic of discussion among a few of my associates. One suggestion was (assuming you live in a larger urban area) to put up help-wanted ads in cafes/restaurants, which often have bulletin boards, in the local garment-production area in your locale.

    Pay may depend on whether they are using your equipment/facilities or yours; I have heard of some rather top-end stores in my area that pay incredibly low pay to piece-workers who work from their homes.

    One of my colleagues who does hire piece-workers cautioned two things: 1. YOu will have to keep a sharp eye on quality control; and 2. Beware of piece-workers who may use your patterns and set up shop on their own (this actually happened to her, and for some reason, she could not take legal action, I don't think she had contracts/non-competitive agreements in place).

    Please feel free to get in touch with me via my email address, I would love to hear how it evolves for you.

    1. silkscape_ | | #2

      *Hi!I do contract work for several designers that I found via the internet. It's worked out well for myself and my clients. Most of them I found on Sewing World, so you may wish to check there, especially if finding competent sewers in your immediate area turns out to be difficult. Usually, I am sent 2 contracts with time schedule and pay scale per piece. I sign one and return it, then mail back the completed project when finished. On a per piece basis, I usually end up making around my hourly rate of $18/hour, give or take a bit. In each case, the client asked me to complete a sample project (for which I was paid when the work was found satisfactory) before they sent me a full project package to work on. Hope this helps...dawn

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