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What should I charge?

Beavette | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I just received a request to make a pattern and sample garment from a design. I was wondering if anyone knows how to price something like that. I have designed and made prototypes for small products before but never for garments that will be manufactured from my pattern. This will not include grading the pattern for different sizes, just making the average runway size pattern and sample garment. I usually charge $15 per hour for my sewing, but should this be an hourly rate project or a piece rate. (The garment will have to be draped and created on a dress form and then a pattern made from the garment…Instructions for sewing the garment also.)
Just curious if anyone works in this area or has knowledge of what would be considered reasonable for the San Francisco Bay Area market.(or any market for that matter)

Edited 7/30/2008 6:57 pm ET by Beavette


  1. damascusannie | | #1

    $15 seems awfully low for the Bay area. I live in rural Wisconsin and charge $25/hr.

  2. jjgg | | #2

    Go directly to Fashion Incubatorhttp://fashion-incubator.com/mt/and read up in the archives about this. And, like the previous poster, you should be charging a lot more for your time.

    1. moira | | #3

      Tonight I had one of those exasperating phonecalls with a lady whose daughter's wedding dress I've been altering. Exasperating because when I told her the cost of the work, she replied, 'Oh, is that all? ' ! It doesn't happen often but it's SOO annoying! She knew my charge rate and I suppose she must have thought I would have taken longer to make some significant adjustments.
      I think the charges I've read about on this thread are on the low side - I'm in the UK and quoting £30 per hour. Allowing for the exchange rate that sounds expensive, but I find that if I give an approximate cost before starting, it puts those off who don't want to pay, and it means those who decide to go ahead are ready for the bill. (I hadn't given an estimate for the alteration mentioned above but had let the client know it was major work).

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #4

        Moira, your client must have been one of those who always imagines the worst and is surprised by the actual cost. I always ballpark costs, and if the cost is significantly under, then I react like she did. She is probably very, very pleased that it did not go over your estimate, like some tend to. Cathy

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