Greetings! I’ve been an avid seamstress for 30+ years. I’ve made period costumes for theatre and designed hats. I’ve also made countless gifts, most of my clothes, and all my sewn home furnishings over those years.
But, other than a shortlived stint making period hats for a vintage store on consignment, I’ve never done it for hire.
Oops. Correction: back in the 70’s I agreed to do some blackwork embroidery for a friend’s medieval shirt. Then I discovered that in order to make the fee affordable for him, I would get paid roughly 43 cents an hour 🙁
I’ve gone on merrily since then doing it for love. But I am now faced with the opportunity to do it for money.
Two people in the last week have asked me straight out to sew for them. One woman in a grocery store yesterday complimented me on my hat. When I told her I’d made it, she followed me out to the parking lot, asking for my business card. She was quite serious.
A friend of mine –a man– wants a long, very slim-fitting duster coat similar to the one worn by Neo in the Matrix. There is a pattern, but I will need to alter it for him and it has princess seams (prince seams? ;). He also wants some design alterations that won’t be very difficult to do.
In both cases, this work would involve, not design from the ground up, but adapting patterns to suit the buyer’s wishes and fit.
Here’s my question. I have NO CLUE what to charge them, and they both want to know what I will charge them –and soon.