Saturday, January 19, 2008

Altered State

In recent months I decided not to do garment sewing for other people. I really wanted to sew for myself and DD at leisure. For the most part, I have been able to refer and defer people to other sewists or another time. Let me tell you,..., it has been a challenge. I hate to say NO.

This month I received several requests for "pain in the #&!" alterations. I loathe some alterations because they are so time consuming. So this got me to thinking again about a price list for alterations. First a little background. Typically, I do alterations for family, friends and a few referrals by family/friends. It is hard to name a price for that reason (family/friends). So what ends up happening, I do it for free. Not good. Back to the price list. So I've been researching prices for the various alterations that I'm asked to do. One of the things that I'll work on this weekend is a price list for alterations. Two people are expecting to pick up their garments by Monday and I want them to be able to take my "new price list" with them. It's a plan.

Happy Sewing!


  1. That sounds like a good plan. I know how *very* hard it is to tell your friends and family that you are going to charge for what was formerly free. But, your time and skills are highly valuable and it seems they recognize that, or else they wouldn't come to you, right? If you have any questions, check Mary Roehr's book "Alterating Women's Ready to Wear" which includes a suggested price list for alterations. Her list is very comprehensive and could serve as a guide for you. Check you local libraries for a copy; that's where I found the one I use. Good luck!

  2. I agree with rosanne about the value of your time and skill. When I think about alterations, which even I, with my modest sewing skills, have been asked to do (boring), I think about what dry cleaners charge. I would at least come in at the prices of local dry cleaners. You deserve to charge even friends and family (some members, it would be hard for me to charge my parents!) the slightly higher rates of local tailors, because you're skilled like that.

    I personally don't like to do anything that makes a pastime I enjoy so much into a chore. :(

  3. Oh...the dreaded alterations...

    I remember one PR member gently telling people that asked her and her response was something like, "You can't afford my hourly rate." LOL I've been asked point blank by friends and I've said that I don't do alterations--I get things right the first time when I make clothes. Then I changed it to the PR members response. Even for my own family, I swear it's quicker to buy something new than to do an alteration. And my DH and kids know that. I struggle to get things done as it is. Alterations will go into the alteration bin and age to a point where they'll be out of style before getting to them. Alterations are such a time hog.

    Price high ;) !

  4. Oh boy, do I feel your pain. I HATE alterations with a passion. I have the greatest respect for those who do them well. They are not my cup of tea at all. If I can't sew or design it from the bottom up, I don't do it. If a client insists on it , I tell them I charge about 1.5 times what any of the local tailors or stores do. That puts the kibosh on it really fast!

  5. I like the Post Name - Altered I admire people who have the skills to alter clothing. When I'm in a refashion mood I take my lined suit jackets that are long sleeves and have them altered to short sleeves and the cost is $25.00. It's so worth it, b/c the suits are all year round fabric - It keeps me from looking for summer suits. Good Luck on your price list.

  6. I know how you feel. I had thought that I would not take requests for alteration anymore and then my sister called and asked if I would hem several pairs of slacks for her. I agreed! Talk about hard to say no! I will go ahead and do those for her since that's an easy one for me and she doesn't ask a lot.

  7. It is great that you are going to develop a price list. I recently went with a friend to a tailor to get some of her suits to be altered because she just lost a lot of weight. The tailor charged her $80.00 per suit!!!. All I could think was what a great side gig.



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