Oliver + S

Times to complete music box jumper and jump rope dress?

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    mulelia @mulelia

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post on the Oliver + S Forum. I have been sewing with Oliver + S patterns for about 2 years now and am taking it to another level: I have just bought some boutique sewer licenses! I have a wee problem though: when I sew I usually do not have time to sew something from start to finish, which makes the whole process slightly longer than necessary (starting up again, you know the drill). Doing the calculations for the music box jumper and the jump rope dress, the prices go through the roof! Obviously I would like a fair price for the work, but not so people will not buy it!

    I would really like to how long you usually take from cutting fabric to sewing on the last button? 1,2,3 or more hours? I would really appreciate your input!



    (How much would you be willing to spent on a handmade Oliver + S dress….?)

    Tamara @justsewit

    Hi Mulelia

    I think it all depends on how fast you want to go. I only sew for my children and display the odd garment at the local Agricultural shows just for fun. I don’t sell my items but I do know that some people will think a price too expensive while others will think the same price worth the product (or the other way around).

    It is only those who are ignorant of how much work goes into something who will cough and splutter – and they aren’t the customers you want anyway because those who will pay the price you set for your garments will see the value in what they get – something unique, one off and handmade not from some sweat shop in a third world country (those poor people work so hard and get nothing).

    For a Jumprope dress view A, I would allow myself a good 6-8 hours of work. View b probably 5-6 hours and for the Music Box Jumper, at least 6 hours. I take into account the fact that with every sewing project, you can muck things up so it may be shorter or even longer but that is the average.

    I’m not really sure how sellers work out their prices – would they take sewing machine needles into this aswell as thread and other notions? I should think there would be some sort of percentage you add on top for this sort of thing but I am only speculating.

    It would be interesting to know this information as I have wondered how myself – with a view of later on maybe doing the same.

    Good luck, I hope you get the information you require.

    Nicole @motherof5

    I have toyed with the idea of sewing through the Boutique Program.

    I am not sure my quality is quite there yet and if it was I think I would have to charge too much.

    If I was retired with plenty of time and was doing it for pure enjoyment,I would set a price and how long it took me was up to me.

    A few months back I was approached to make uniforms like my daughters. I explained that there would be a licence to be purchased and that would be included in the price.

    I did not take the commission in the end as I was too busy,but the mother in question was happy to pay $145 for a Jumprope dress view a size 8,all inclusive(the fabric is very inexpensive)

    The point I am trying to make is that it all depends on how you value your time.

    The Bubble Dress is quite quick to make as is the Ruffle Halter.

    I apologise if this is rather dis-jointed,I have 4 girls jumping on my bed as I am trying to type.

    Good Luck!

    thejennigirl @thejennigirl

    I figure $20 per hour when I sew for hire. That includes sewing supplies, but not fabric. But, I also do set prices for things I routinly do, like wedding dress hems are $120 for an A-line, $250 for a ball gown, take-in’s on a prom dress or bridesmaids dress are $25, and beading is $35 an hour.

    You need to take into account the non-sale price for quality thread, snaps, buttons, zippers, and wear & tear on your scissors and sewing machine. Be sure to take into account the cost of having your machine serviced once or twice a year.

    I’m of the opinion that seamstresses won’t get rich sewing, but doing what you love and loving the results is priceless. For me, it’s the smile of delight when a bride sees *her* dress perfectly fitted for the first time, the sigh of relief when a bridesmaid’s dress fits in both the chest & hips, and the woman who says, “I don’t know how you do it, but this is perfect. thank you”

    mulelia @mulelia

    Thank you all for your replies! I am glad to read I am not superslow in sewing (justsewit!). When I made my calculations, I added hours of sewing, all materials used, use of equipment and then made a calculation for a ‘retail price’. I find it hard to believe somebody can sell a jump rope dress for around $40: that would not even cover materials and hours, would it?! With my calculations they should be $100 dearer…. Oh dear…

    I find it most difficult, this pricing business. I do want to be serious about opening an online ready-mades shop (other goods besides O+S clothes) and do not want to start scaring people away right from the start!

    Tamara @justsewit

    When you think about it, it is a boutique market you are aiming at so those who shop at boutiques know there will be a price to pay. If you think you are worth $100 for an item then charge that much. Those people who are after boutique quality WILL pay that much and not bat an eyelid over it.

    It is probably hard because you are most likely thinking to yourself that it would be too expensive. This is where so many sewists who sell their things fall down. You aren’t the one buying it but THEY are. Putting a price like that on an item, to me would only make me make sure that I do the best job possible and that way I would have the conviction that I wasn’t being “greedy” but that my customers would be getting quality for the price.

    Maybe it could be an idea to look around online and in person at some boutiques to see what they have and the price they put on it? It could give you some ideas as to how to price your items.

    Sarvi @Sarvi

    Are you trying to make a living from this, or are you just trying to ameliorate the damage done to your credit cards while indulging your hobby? I have thought of doing the second, but in the end, my time is worth more to me than what any reasonable person would pay for something made at my skill level, even if I am only trying to recoup the cost of materials.

    If you want to make a living at it, on the other hand, you should price your work accordingly (you should invest the time into doing your research and compare items of similar quality) and be aware that if you are charging more than RTW your work needs to be finer than RTW. I wouldn’t pay $30 for mismatched plaids based on a blurry photo but I might pay $130 for something where the seamstress put in the effort to do all the little fiddly bits I’m too lazy to do myself and then presented it beautifully.

    I suspect a lot of people who spring for the boutique license are somewhere between the two and don’t expect to pay their mortgage with their sewing, but still would like to turn a bit of profit.

    Adrienne @Adrienne

    My sister-in-law and I were talking about this very thing. We’ve decided that the talented (and brave) people who sew and sell must have a “formula”. ; ) For example, the base of the price would have to include materials purchased for the item. (fabric, notions, special color thread, etc.) Then there would be a price per hour of their time. My hubby jumped into the conversation and concluded that maybe there was also a miscellaneous fee to cover machine wear, needles and regular color thread that you may buy on a regular basis. However, we attempted to figure out how much the things we’ve already made using that formula would end up being priced……yea, the price was high! However, if you had a set breakdown of why you were charging a certain price, it might take the sting off and your client would see exactly what they are paying for. Also, if they provide the materials, then you set a price that reflected just your time.

    However, I do agree with Sarvi…I’d imagine that most people who do this are not using it to live off of…..just to supplement their love of creating.

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