When you are someone who knows how to use a sewing machine, people tend to assume things.  These things include:

You want to make their Halloween Costumes

You want to make them all the things they want, but cannot afford

You want to do this for free/very cheap

Listen ladies and fellas; sewing clothing is not cheap.  People grow up under the assumption that sewing your own clothes is cheaper than buying them.  Go to a fabric store and look at the prices sometime.  Yes, you can buy stuff for less than $5 a yard, but you usually do not want to.  Nice satin, silk, wool, even high quality cottons and shirtings; these cost money, and not just a little bit of money.

Now let’s do a scenario.  I want to make a nice pair of jeans, yes?  I am a size 16-18, so I am going to need 2 1/2 yards of denim, which is probably around $12.00 a yard; half a yard of lining for the pockets, @ $4.50 a yard; buttons, a zipper, thread, interfacing…probably around $15.00 for notions.

Now let’s talk about construction.

Lets say, instead of spending $10-$30 on a pattern, I draft my own.  This is probably about an hour, more likely two hours, worth of work there.  Lets say I am charging, oh, $8.00 an hour for labor.  After I draft the pattern, I cut out my pieces, sew everything together, finish all my seams and serge everything.  Construction probably takes about six hours in total.  This is a pretty modest estimate, as I am not a factory and as I am doing things myself, they take a while to do right.

So six hours of labor: $48.00

Fabric and Notions: $47.50

Total Cost of one pair of jeans, custom made with very modest estimates?:  $95.50 With Shipping?  $103.50

About half of that price is profit; in a business world, 50% profit is bad bad bad.  I should probably be charging about $150, at least, to make enough money to cover my time.  For instance, I am not charging for the time I am taking shopping, or designing, or planning anything out.  I am not charging for the electricity I am using for the sewing machine, for supplies like sissors, pins, anything else to help with construction.  I am not charging anything for custom making for anyone else’s size.

And here’s the dilemma.  Most people are not going to pay $103.50 for a pair of jeans.  At least, not a pair of jeans that don’t have a designer name on them.  You?  Maybe.  Most people?  No.  Not enough to convince me to try to make a living off of sewing.

So no.  I am not going to make clothing for you.  If you are willing to pay me the $500 I would need to make you that costume you want, or the $250 at least to cover that custom corset you are begging for…maybe.  But probably no.  It’s not personal; it’s the simple fact of it not being profitable.  So, once again, I appreciate all the interest.  But I am sorry; it’s just not something I can do at this time.

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