Need great advice please!
6 years ago
I made 5 dresses for this lady, 2 I have already given her, for her daughter. She bought the fabric and patterns but I had to buy the thread, interfacing and elastic to make all three, about $12-$15 for all three out of my pocket. Plus all the time to sew them and I have three kids so I had to stay up late and miss out on my sleep. To my question, she just ask me what I wanted for making these outfits so I told her what she thought was fair which was a big mistake! She emailed me back $10! I couldn’t believe it! WHat would you tell her???
Sharon6 years ago
I sorry, but I ment 5 outfits not 3. Thanks for any advise!6 years ago
Wow Sharon, that’s quite interesting as to what someone else thinks your time is worth. It’s pretty apparent that she doesn’t sew herself, and has no concept of what all is involved. I would politely explain your situation to her. The fact that just supplying the fabric and patterns isn’t enough. I would let her know that you did have to go a step further to purchase the notions, plus let her know how many hours you do have invested in those garments thus far. I’m just guessing that it’s just a pure lack of knowledge and is possibly not trying to be rude. I guess I wouldn’t put any more time into the garments until you have reached an agreement on cost, just in case she is trying to be stingy. Good luck, I wish you the best!!
Rebecca6 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
Alas, yes, this is thing with sewing. All those beautiful things out there we can make at home for so much cheaper, but of course the trick is you have to pay yourself $0/hour. I’m afraid that the key to this may be to completely halt work until you’ve agreed on a price for the rest, and even then you may be out the time/cost of the two you’ve already delivered. Assuming that she just doesn’t know, I would say something like,
“Dear X, I’m afraid the $10 won’t quite cover what I’ve spent on materials alone. While I wish I had the luxury of donating my time, I can’t afford to work for less than $X/hr at the moment, and one dress takes X hrs. to put together. Please know that I have taken the greatest care in making these items for you and that you will find them to be of the best quality. With this in mind, the cost of each dress is $X. If you would still like me to proceed with the three remaining dresses, let me know. Sorry for any misunderstanding, and I hope your daughter loves wearing her new dresses.”
I sometimes get requests from family for dresses and generally decline because I know that I cannot actually make a dress good enough to be worth what I’d have to charge for it. My time is worth more to me that my skills would be to anybody else, if you see what I mean. And sewing is fast and cheap compared to knitting, for example!
Tricky situation either way, best of luck and I hope it all works out.6 years ago
Thank you for the advice! I did tell her both you ladies said and she told me that she wouldn’t pay no mare than $20 for I offerd to make the first two (which she ask me to and said she was goig to pay) and that she “bought a new car and stuff” and didn’t have the money to afford $10 a dress. (being cheap??) The part that hurts is that I sent her pics of the two of the three outfits and she didn’t say anyhting about them at all, only not having money. It like she doesn’t even appereate the time and energy I have put into these. 🙁 Hard leason learned and I will not be making outfits for anyone like this again!!
Sharon6 years agoNicole @motherof5
I am so sorry this has happened!
I rarely sew for others anymore,if I do,they are very special!
When I used to take in sewing,I made the client buy everything and I gave them a quote,I charged $20 an hour,I always over quoted and then they were pleased when it didn’t cost as much.
I found people expected to pay more for custom made.
Again,I am so sorry,and it is a horrid way to learn a lesson.
Disregard the ungrateful mother and focus on the pleasure you have given to the daughter.6 years agosuse @suse
Oh, how disappointing for you. I suppose that she was expecting that having the dresses made would be cheaper than buying from a store, whereas she should be expecting to pay more for a custom made, unique item. Mass production has devalued the art of dressmaking so much. Even though I know that if my time was factored into the clothes I make they would end up being a lot more expensive than even designer label clothes, I do it because I enjoy it. But then I consider that I can buy a tee-shirt or pair of shorts for only a few dollars, I don’t think I could turn my machine on for that little.
It’s really unfortunate that you’ve had this experience, it’s horrible that your time and skill has been so devalued. 🙁6 years agoKim @kmac0107
I sewed waldorf dolls and sold them for years for Christmas money. I started making them because I could not afford the pre-made dolls for my daughters. I finally settled on 3x the cost of the materials. I felt like I used quality fabric and supplies. I still received less than what other people were charging but I felt my goal was to make a quality doll at an affordable price for children.6 years agosavingbananas @savingbananas
I’ve been burned in a similar way before. I think the key is to be upfront with the cost before you start sewing. I have a friend that sews per hour and she is very good at being upfront AND getting paid. I don’t sew for money for the same reason you stated. You actually put money into the projects and then end up making less than you put in. Most people just don’t think about how much time it takes to sew AND I find that people NEVER think your time is as important as theirs. It’s just not worth it.
Give all the materials back and be done with this lady. The longer you deal with this lady the angrier you’ll get. Just be done and let it go.6 years ago
Sharon, I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I was trying to give the woman the benefit of the doubt, but after what you had described that’s thrown out the window. I agree with savingbananas, just give her stuff back and be done with it. No need to spend more time with people that make you mad than you have to. I think we can all use your situation as a lesson to learn.6 years ago
Thanks everyone so much! It turns out I will be getting no money but at this point I just want to get it over with. I will NEVER sew anything for this lady again, EVER. I am giving her the dresses just to get her out of my hair seeing I already finished them this past weekend. (which was time away form my family) My hubby is going with me. I love that man! I really don’t want her to know where I live. I will from now on, if I decide to make anything for any one again, tell them a price up front and buy all the supplies myself. I will make sure this will never happen agin! I guess I never would have thought that anyone could be act like that. That’s what I like about you sewn gals, everyone is supper nice!! :)Thanks again!
Sharon6 years ago
Good for you Sharon! I guess try to remember what Nicole had mentioned, envision those little girls in the two beautiful dresses you did finish and hope that they feel special in them.6 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
Agreed, Nicole and Rebecca point out the silver lining. Sorry it was a bad experience!6 years agomeleliza @meleliza
That is a very unpleasant experience. It’s just doesn’t feel good when people completely fail to appreciate your work. Obviously, this person is ignorant, so please try not to take it personally. Post some pics of your lovely things for us to coo over instead!
I have been wondering about this topic, though. I get many comments about “oohh, you could sell those” or “you could start a business.” But I honestly don’t see how one really generate much income sewing garments. Even if I were faster, it seems like I’d need to devote every spare moment to it. Then, instead of sewing my baby nice things, I’d be my own little sweatshop. How do people make sewing for profit work?6 years ago
Thank you. 🙂 I only have pics of two of the five. THe first two I gave them to her and wanted pics of her little girl in them but I didn’t get them and by the time I got to the pillow case dress lets just say my heart wasn’t in it. I blogged about the middle two here.
My little girl really loved the first out fit! I might make her one later on in the week but I will have to go buy fabric to make myself feel better. 😉
I did start my own Etsy shop but I am thinking about stop trying after this happened. I enjoy sewing and this really makes me not want to sew. Maybe tomorrow….
Many thanks Ladies
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