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How Much is Your Sewing Skill Worth?

by Intizar Ali
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Sewing is, without a doubt, hard work and one that demands great skill. It takes quite some time to build expertise and produce mesmerizing clothes. When you get to this level, the next hurdle will be figuring out pricing. How much are your skills worth? Is the price for your products rewarding you financially? Should you charge more or less?

Well, these are some of the million-dollar questions to ask yourself. Sewing machines, sewing materials, and the time to build the craft all come at a cost. You need to be remunerated. If you are having a hard time figuring this out, you’re in luck. Below, you’ll get to know how to gauge your sewing skill worth.

Research on your competition’s worth

The findings are the holy grail of information you need if you are to monetize your sewing skills. You want to avoid charging what the market cannot bear. You also want to stay off low prices as this may send the wrong message to potential customers.

Before you sell anything, you first have to weigh your service with the competition. The goal here is to be fair to your customers and to have them come back to you. However, it should also be worth the time you are putting into your work.

When you charge too much, you might drive away a perfectly good customer who might bring you business regularly. On the other hand, charging way lower than the competition will harm your credibility. As such, if you are not sure of how to price, mirroring the competition will give you a good picture. With time, you’ll be able to tailor the prices to suit your products.

Quality of goods the competition is making

Ensure you research the type of goods that your competitors are making. You not only get to gauge your skills, but you can also develop an edge over your competition. When you know the quality of the products your competition produces, you can build on their weaker points. You get to stand out from the competition, and your customers develop confidence in your products.

For instance, some of the struggles in the sewing industry are ‘fit’ and ‘finish.’ Customers want clothes made to their perfect fit. They also want the finish to be impeccable. Sadly, not many can achieve this. You can capitalize on these two struggles and attract new customers.

Find the ideal customer

There are many products that you can make and sell in the sewing world. You have to narrow down and identify what you want to sell and who to sell it to. Even better, who is the ideal customer?

To do this, you have to establish why the customer would want to have hand-sewn clothes. Next, determine how you can assist this customer in building a wardrobe.  All this calls for you to be an expert in your field.

Customers are driven to buy hand sewn articles for various reasons. It could be fit, price, quality, experience, etc. Identify what drives your ideal customer and tap into the cause.

Keeping you past customers

Getting customers to buy your articles is hard, but it is equally hard to retain them. The goal here is to keep the customer satisfied if you want your sewing business to remain afloat. The most important thing to have is friendly customer service. Something as simple as a happy smile can make the difference.

Also, avoid talking about bad news, bad health, debt, and poor luck. Negativity often puts the customer in a non-buying mood. It’s enough that the customer gets terrible news from their social circle and the media. You don’t have to pile on, too. Your customers will be drawn to you if you have excellent sewing skills and an infectious attitude also.

Furthermore, once you get the hang of the sewing business, you’ll realize that you are partially a sewer and partially a psychologist, or at least versed with psychology. People are very conscious of their bodies, and sewing will help you realize their vulnerable parts. Most people dwell on their bad parts and ignore their best parts. Your task will be to help build their confidence and blanket their insecurities.

Say no to demanding customers

In as much as you’d want new business and to retain old customers, learn to say no to demanding customers. These customers can be identified from the moment you start interacting with them. Demanding customers will eat up all of your time. They will take up the time you should be spending on your happy customers. And they will make you hate the sewing profession. Learn to say no for your benefit and your more loyal customers’ benefit too.

How to work out the selling price

The first thing to take into account is the cost of the materials you used and any accrued expenses. Also, take into account the hourly wage that you’d want to pay yourself.


The first business expense is the materials. These include the fabric (which can be of more than one variety), thread, interfacing, stabilizers, fleece, and other materials. 

The other expense is the selling fees if you are selling online. You need listing fees, percentage fee for when the item sells, advertising, website expenses, postage expenses among others. If you are selling at craft fairs, you need to factor in the cost of the stall, display expenses, promotional materials, fuel for driving to the craft fair, among other expenses.

Cost for your time

In the industrial sewing industry, there are two ways that you are paid: piecework or on an hourly rate. On piecework, you are paid a flat wage based on the number of items you made that are of quality upon inspection. If you choose the hourly rate way, establish the hourly rate that will make your sewing skills worth it, and worth pursuing as a job.

Sewing skills are exclusive to a few people. The last thing you want is to sell yourself short. Ensure that you get remunerated appropriately for your time and skill. Also, ensure you bring in new customers and retain new ones. This way, your sewing skill will give back and even become a profession you can live on.

Resources: So Sew Easy, Payscale

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