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Joseph & Dreamcoat Egyptian wigs???

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  • gregorytkuehl
    Our high school director is enamored of the huge black wigs that are worn by the eyptian girls in the movie and wants us costume moms and crew to create some.
    Message 1 of 27 , Oct 3, 2007
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      Our high school director is enamored of the huge black wigs that are
      worn by the eyptian girls in the movie and wants us costume moms and
      crew to create some. Any ideas? We had thought of some buckram
      cossack hat frames with some pastic canvas circles on top with black
      fabric/yarn hanging down, (mop heads died black???) but would love to
      hear if anyone has attempted these mongo headpieces to avoid making
      the same mistakes.Thanks!

      Marcia
    • Curtis
      ... Haven t seen the movie (in fact, despite the fact that somebody in this state is apparently producing Joseph at any given time, I haven t even seen the
      Message 2 of 27 , Oct 9, 2007
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        --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, "gregorytkuehl"
        <makuehl@...> wrote:
        >
        > Our high school director is enamored of the huge black wigs that are
        > worn by the eyptian girls in the movie and wants us costume moms and
        > crew to create some.

        Haven't seen the movie (in fact, despite the fact that somebody in
        this state is apparently producing Joseph at any given time, I haven't
        even seen the show, period...)

        But, I do know that there are several Cleopatra-esque wigs on the
        market (hair done in multiple small braids with beads on the end,
        etc), quite reasonably priced. For the cost of supplies and the
        amount of time you'd spend making wigs, I think it might be worth
        buying them and spending the time focusing on something that CAN'T be
        purchased.
      • retshopbuyer@aol.com
        how about using foam to make these huge black wigs ? do they need to look hairy or could they be smoother ? auto headliner also might do the trick. It is easy
        Message 3 of 27 , Oct 9, 2007
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          how about using foam to make these huge black wigs ?

          do they need to look hairy or could they be smoother ?

          auto headliner also might do the trick.

          It is easy to cut and sew-




          -----Original Message-----
          From: gregorytkuehl <makuehl@...>
          To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 10:25 pm
          Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] Joseph & Dreamcoat Egyptian wigs???







          Our high school director is enamored of the huge black wigs that are
          worn by the eyptian girls in the movie and wants us costume moms and
          crew to create some. Any ideas? We had thought of some buckram
          cossack hat frames with some pastic canvas circles on top with black
          fabric/yarn hanging down, (mop heads died black???) but would love to
          hear if anyone has attempted these mongo headpieces to avoid making
          the same mistakes.Thanks!

          Marcia





          ________________________________________________________________________
          Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Paula McWhirter-Buck
          can anyone help me with ideas of how to turn a D cup female college student into a male? she s very small waisted, and rather busty. is there anything
          Message 4 of 27 , Oct 9, 2007
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            can anyone help me with ideas of how to turn a D cup female college
            student into a male?
            she's very small waisted, and rather busty.
            is there anything manufactured to discuise the bust?
            if not...what do they use?
            i'm costuming TWELFTH NIGHT, set in the roaring 20's. i'm hoping to
            dress the twins as sailors (basic blue denim sailer belled dungarees
            with white T-shirts). i might have to change the shirt to a button up
            if i cant figure out how to hide her.

            thank you for your time.

            brightest of blessings,
            paula mcwhirter-buck

            "THE TIME HAS COME", THE WALRUS SAID,"TO TALK OF MANY THINGS.
            OF SHOES, AND SHIPS AND SEALING WAX, OF CABBAGES AND KINGS.
            AND WHY THE SEA IS BOILING HOT, AND WHETHER PIGS HAVE WINGS."


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          • Pierre & Sandy Pettinger
            What I ve done (DD cup, but not so narrow waist....) I had a basic Elizabethan corset on hand, so laced myself into it. It flattened the front while pushing
            Message 5 of 27 , Oct 9, 2007
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              What I've done (DD cup, but not so narrow waist....)

              I had a basic Elizabethan corset on hand, so laced myself into
              it. It flattened the front while pushing the remainder up to
              masquerade as large pecs. However, I was wearing a heavy brocade
              tunic with a shirt under it, so there was lots of fabric covering.

              I think maybe a couple of the "flattening" type of sports bra (making
              2 layers for more compression) would be a start, maybe a size smaller
              than what she would normally wear. Then I would lightly pad the area
              between the bust and hip, as guys are normally straight thru there
              rather than curvy. Also slightly pad and square the shoulders. It's
              all about shape illusions.

              I don't think you can get away with a white t-shirt - they're just
              too thin and the underlayers will show. If you can find a pullover
              white woven shirt, you can add a large collar and the neckerchief for
              the classic sailor shirt. I think that would look better than a
              button-up. Maybe a scrub shirt for starters?

              HTH,
              Sandy

              At 06:49 PM 10/9/2007, you wrote:

              >can anyone help me with ideas of how to turn a D cup female college
              >student into a male? she's very small waisted, and rather busty.
              >is there anything manufactured to discuise the bust?
              >if not...what do they use?
              >i'm costuming TWELFTH NIGHT, set in the roaring 20's. i'm hoping to
              >dress the twins as sailors (basic blue denim sailer belled dungarees
              >with white T-shirts). i might have to change the shirt to a button up
              >if i cant figure out how to hide her.
              >
              >paula mcwhirter-buck

              "Those Who Fail To Learn History
              Are Doomed to Repeat It;
              Those Who Fail To Learn History Correctly --
              Why They Are Simply Doomed.

              Achemdro'hm
              "The Illusion of Historical Fact"
              -- C.Y. 4971

              Andromeda
            • Paula McWhirter-Buck
              thanks so much to all who replied, for some wonderful ideas. they feel a little duhhh , now that i hear them. but, my brain is a little spent (i know none of
              Message 6 of 27 , Oct 9, 2007
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                thanks so much to all who replied, for some wonderful ideas.
                they feel a little "duhhh", now that i hear them. but, my brain is a
                little spent (i know none of you can relate ~*~wink wink~*~).

                blessings,
                paula


                --- Pierre & Sandy Pettinger <costumrs@...> wrote:

                > What I've done (DD cup, but not so narrow waist....)
                >
                > I had a basic Elizabethan corset on hand, so laced myself into
                > it. It flattened the front while pushing the remainder up to
                > masquerade as large pecs. However, I was wearing a heavy brocade
                > tunic with a shirt under it, so there was lots of fabric covering.
                >
                > I think maybe a couple of the "flattening" type of sports bra (making
                >
                > 2 layers for more compression) would be a start, maybe a size smaller
                >
                > than what she would normally wear. Then I would lightly pad the area
                >
                > between the bust and hip, as guys are normally straight thru there
                > rather than curvy. Also slightly pad and square the shoulders. It's
                >
                > all about shape illusions.
                >
                > I don't think you can get away with a white t-shirt - they're just
                > too thin and the underlayers will show. If you can find a pullover
                > white woven shirt, you can add a large collar and the neckerchief for
                >
                > the classic sailor shirt. I think that would look better than a
                > button-up. Maybe a scrub shirt for starters?
                >
                > HTH,
                > Sandy
                >
                > At 06:49 PM 10/9/2007, you wrote:
                >
                > >can anyone help me with ideas of how to turn a D cup female college
                > >student into a male? she's very small waisted, and rather busty.
                > >is there anything manufactured to discuise the bust?
                > >if not...what do they use?
                > >i'm costuming TWELFTH NIGHT, set in the roaring 20's. i'm hoping to
                > >dress the twins as sailors (basic blue denim sailer belled dungarees
                > >with white T-shirts). i might have to change the shirt to a button
                > up
                > >if i cant figure out how to hide her.
                > >
                > >paula mcwhirter-buck
                >
                > "Those Who Fail To Learn History
                > Are Doomed to Repeat It;
                > Those Who Fail To Learn History Correctly --
                > Why They Are Simply Doomed.
                >
                > Achemdro'hm
                > "The Illusion of Historical Fact"
                > -- C.Y. 4971
                >
                > Andromeda
                >
                >
                >


                "THE TIME HAS COME", THE WALRUS SAID,"TO TALK OF MANY THINGS.
                OF SHOES, AND SHIPS AND SEALING WAX, OF CABBAGES AND KINGS.
                AND WHY THE SEA IS BOILING HOT, AND WHETHER PIGS HAVE WINGS."



                ____________________________________________________________________________________
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                http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/webhosting
              • Paula McWhirter-Buck
                ok....so i have your attention... the OTHER problem i m having here is finding a picture of what sailors wore in the 20 s. can anyone steer me toward some idea
                Message 7 of 27 , Oct 9, 2007
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                  ok....so i have your attention...
                  the OTHER problem i'm having here is finding a picture of what sailors
                  wore in the 20's.
                  can anyone steer me toward some idea of what that looked like?
                  like i said, i was thinking about the light blue button down shirt with
                  the dungarees and the basic white sailor hat.
                  but, is that appropriate for the period?
                  i've looked everywhere i know to look, but cant find a thing earlier
                  then WWII.

                  what a group....thanks.

                  blessings,
                  paula

                  "THE TIME HAS COME", THE WALRUS SAID,"TO TALK OF MANY THINGS.
                  OF SHOES, AND SHIPS AND SEALING WAX, OF CABBAGES AND KINGS.
                  AND WHY THE SEA IS BOILING HOT, AND WHETHER PIGS HAVE WINGS."


                  ____________________________________________________________________________________
                  Shape Yahoo! in your own image. Join our Network Research Panel today! http://surveylink.yahoo.com/gmrs/yahoo_panel_invite.asp?a=7
                • Curtis
                  ... From what research I ve done, the light blue shirt and dungarees were a WWII-era change in uniform. The basic sailor s dress uniform, with a long-sleeved
                  Message 8 of 27 , Oct 10, 2007
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                    --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Paula McWhirter-Buck
                    <keridwyn_98@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > ok....so i have your attention...
                    > the OTHER problem i'm having here is finding a picture of what sailors
                    > wore in the 20's.
                    > can anyone steer me toward some idea of what that looked like?
                    > like i said, i was thinking about the light blue button down shirt with
                    > the dungarees and the basic white sailor hat.

                    From what research I've done, the light blue shirt and dungarees were
                    a WWII-era change in uniform. The basic sailor's dress uniform, with
                    a long-sleeved tunic and the kerchief at the collar, has been the same
                    for AGES...the only real change that's happened with that has been the
                    hat. In the late 30's, the Navy adopted the sailor cap that is
                    currently in use today. Prior to that, they used what looked like a
                    beret with an extra-wide band at the base, so it sat up off the head a
                    bit. There's a good view of the hat it the movie version of The
                    Phantom (the scene where Khan makes a sailor jump off the Empire State
                    building for taunting him...)

                    That will also help you with the concealment issue, as the tunics tend
                    to be a little baggy through the torso and square cut, so they would
                    hide curves. You can still find the uniforms for sale on eBay at
                    pretty reasonable prices (I would recommend, first of all, getting
                    something current, rather than vintage, since they look basically the
                    same...and second, for the sake of your actors, make sure you DON'T
                    get a winter uniform--they are heavy-weight wool and you'll bake the
                    poor girl under the lights with it).

                    I wish my director wasn't so intent on taking some things in the
                    script literally...since Illyria is the scene, and so many of the
                    references in the script are Greek mythology, he wants to do it
                    Greek...which is fine, except he's got it in his head that he wants
                    the twins in outfits that only go over one shoulder--and while she's
                    not the same size as you're Viola, ours has enough curves that less
                    material is just going to make it that much more difficult to make her
                    look 'normal' when she's playing a guy.
                  • Paula McWhirter-Buck
                    this email made my blood pressure drop to a MUCH more managable level...thanks so much for your help. good luck with the greek thing. i feel your pain.
                    Message 9 of 27 , Oct 10, 2007
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                      this email made my blood pressure drop to a MUCH more managable
                      level...thanks so much for your help.

                      good luck with the greek thing. i feel your pain.

                      blessings,
                      paula

                      --- Curtis <gckidd@...> wrote:

                      > --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Paula McWhirter-Buck
                      > <keridwyn_98@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > ok....so i have your attention...
                      > > the OTHER problem i'm having here is finding a picture of what
                      > sailors
                      > > wore in the 20's.
                      > > can anyone steer me toward some idea of what that looked like?
                      > > like i said, i was thinking about the light blue button down shirt
                      > with
                      > > the dungarees and the basic white sailor hat.
                      >
                      > From what research I've done, the light blue shirt and dungarees were
                      > a WWII-era change in uniform. The basic sailor's dress uniform, with
                      > a long-sleeved tunic and the kerchief at the collar, has been the
                      > same
                      > for AGES...the only real change that's happened with that has been
                      > the
                      > hat. In the late 30's, the Navy adopted the sailor cap that is
                      > currently in use today. Prior to that, they used what looked like a
                      > beret with an extra-wide band at the base, so it sat up off the head
                      > a
                      > bit. There's a good view of the hat it the movie version of The
                      > Phantom (the scene where Khan makes a sailor jump off the Empire
                      > State
                      > building for taunting him...)
                      >
                      > That will also help you with the concealment issue, as the tunics
                      > tend
                      > to be a little baggy through the torso and square cut, so they would
                      > hide curves. You can still find the uniforms for sale on eBay at
                      > pretty reasonable prices (I would recommend, first of all, getting
                      > something current, rather than vintage, since they look basically the
                      > same...and second, for the sake of your actors, make sure you DON'T
                      > get a winter uniform--they are heavy-weight wool and you'll bake the
                      > poor girl under the lights with it).
                      >
                      > I wish my director wasn't so intent on taking some things in the
                      > script literally...since Illyria is the scene, and so many of the
                      > references in the script are Greek mythology, he wants to do it
                      > Greek...which is fine, except he's got it in his head that he wants
                      > the twins in outfits that only go over one shoulder--and while she's
                      > not the same size as you're Viola, ours has enough curves that less
                      > material is just going to make it that much more difficult to make
                      > her
                      > look 'normal' when she's playing a guy.
                      >
                      >


                      "THE TIME HAS COME", THE WALRUS SAID,"TO TALK OF MANY THINGS.
                      OF SHOES, AND SHIPS AND SEALING WAX, OF CABBAGES AND KINGS.
                      AND WHY THE SEA IS BOILING HOT, AND WHETHER PIGS HAVE WINGS."



                      ____________________________________________________________________________________
                      Moody friends. Drama queens. Your life? Nope! - their life, your story. Play Sims Stories at Yahoo! Games.
                      http://sims.yahoo.com/
                    • ~lisa.s
                      Easy research! See the Sailor that s part of the Cracker Jack logo. Here s an example ~lisa.s ... Chance is the
                      Message 10 of 27 , Oct 10, 2007
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                        Easy research! See the Sailor that's part of the Cracker Jack logo.
                        Here's an example" <http://members.cox.net/jeepers/CJBhome.html>

                        ~lisa.s


                        > ok....so i have your attention...
                        > the OTHER problem i'm having here is finding a picture of what
                        > sailors wore in the 20's.
                        > can anyone steer me toward some idea of what that looked like?
                        > like i said, i was thinking about the light blue button down shirt
                        > with the dungarees and the basic white sailor hat.


                        Chance is the word God may use when he wishes to remain anonymous.
                        --freely translated from Anatole France

                        --
                        * llsturtsATgreatlakesDOTnet
                      • Paula McWhirter-Buck
                        thanks... i m glad the research was easy for you. it took me days....even weeks... of constant searching before i FINALLY found a group of photos of actual
                        Message 11 of 27 , Oct 10, 2007
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                          thanks...
                          i'm glad the research was easy for you. it took me days....even
                          weeks... of constant searching before i FINALLY found a group of photos
                          of actual sailors.
                          photos taken in 1918 and 1919 are of idividual sailors wearing the hat
                          style in the cracker jack ad. but, one from 1917 showing the more
                          modern white hat.
                          photos taken in 1921 show a group of sailors wearing the white cap we,
                          now associate with sailors.

                          http://freepages.military.rootsweb.com/~cacunithistories/USS_Maryland_Ships_Muster.htm

                          since i already have the white cap, i'm comfortable using it after
                          seeing these.

                          thanks again to everyone for your help.

                          blessings,
                          paula mcwhirter-buck




                          --- "~lisa.s" <llsturts@...> wrote:

                          > Easy research! See the Sailor that's part of the Cracker Jack logo.
                          > Here's an example" <http://members.cox.net/jeepers/CJBhome.html>
                          >
                          > ~lisa.s
                          >
                          >
                          > > ok....so i have your attention...
                          > > the OTHER problem i'm having here is finding a picture of what
                          > > sailors wore in the 20's.
                          > > can anyone steer me toward some idea of what that looked like?
                          > > like i said, i was thinking about the light blue button down shirt
                          > > with the dungarees and the basic white sailor hat.
                          >
                          >
                          > Chance is the word God may use when he wishes to remain anonymous.
                          > --freely translated from Anatole France
                          >
                          > --
                          > * llsturtsATgreatlakesDOTnet
                          >


                          "THE TIME HAS COME", THE WALRUS SAID,"TO TALK OF MANY THINGS.
                          OF SHOES, AND SHIPS AND SEALING WAX, OF CABBAGES AND KINGS.
                          AND WHY THE SEA IS BOILING HOT, AND WHETHER PIGS HAVE WINGS."



                          ____________________________________________________________________________________
                          Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha! Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.
                          http://get.games.yahoo.com/proddesc?gamekey=monopolyherenow
                        • bearhedded
                          This might be too campy, but what about using thrift store lampshades sprayed black, with face-holes cut in the sides? They could be mounted on baseball
                          Message 12 of 27 , Oct 12, 2007
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                            This might be too campy, but what about using thrift store lampshades sprayed black,
                            with face-holes cut in the sides? They could be mounted on baseball caps (my
                            favorite...cheap and adjustable) with blocks of foam and glue.

                            Otherwise, I'd suggest foam. This link has a good basic primer on construction with EVA
                            foam: http://www.schenz.com/fm_eva.html *

                            Ethafoam backer-rod, an insulation product (Home Depot), is lightweight, and usually
                            comes in dark grey. The only drawback is, nothing sticks to it**, but it is easy enough to
                            cover with tubes of spandex Using thin-walled PVC pipe, the same way you use a Fast-
                            Turn (those brass tubes with the long wire hook). If you put the spandex onto the pipe,
                            inside out, and pin or stitch one end of the tube closed, you can use the backer rod to
                            shove the spandex through the tube, thus, turning it right-side out, and covering the
                            ethafoam in one step! Then it can be glued to your base.


                            * I think the stuff is more forgiving than the author implies....and you'll go through x-acto
                            blades like you wouldn't believe! My Production Manager has introduced me to a glue,
                            that works wonderfully on it...I forget the name, but will post it tonight.

                            (**except, maybe spray-adhesive.....which you could glitter to Las Vegas standards!)

                            Scott
                          • mongrelmuppet
                            What I ve done in the past for Egyptian wigs is found a very open weave straw or mesh hat with a rounded crown (or shaped the open weave canvas used for making
                            Message 13 of 27 , Oct 12, 2007
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                              What I've done in the past for Egyptian wigs is found a very open
                              weave straw or mesh hat with a rounded crown (or shaped the open weave
                              canvas used for making hook rugs) and threaded/knotted black or blue
                              drawstring cords or yarn (there are some very cool, very cheap fat
                              yarns that work great) through the mesh to the appropriate length. I
                              usually leave a bit of the brim too. They attach well to the actor's
                              heads and create a nice silhouette and movement. Can be trimmed,
                              braided, curled or adorned as you will. Depending on what type of yarn
                              you use, they are even washable. Threading & knotting the yarn can be
                              tedious, but it goes quick once you get the hang of it.

                              I agree that buying these might actually be the better way to go, though.

                              --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, "gregorytkuehl"
                              <makuehl@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Our high school director is enamored of the huge black wigs that are
                              > worn by the eyptian girls in the movie and wants us costume moms and
                              > crew to create some. Any ideas? We had thought of some buckram
                              > cossack hat frames with some pastic canvas circles on top with black
                              > fabric/yarn hanging down, (mop heads died black???) but would love to
                              > hear if anyone has attempted these mongo headpieces to avoid making
                              > the same mistakes.Thanks!
                              >
                              > Marcia
                              >
                            • gsbse1
                              If I am seeing the wigs correctly in the old video I have they don t appear to me to be made from mop like wigs, but more like panels of maybe velvet trimmed
                              Message 14 of 27 , Oct 13, 2007
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                                If I am seeing the wigs correctly in the old video I have they don't appear to me to be made
                                from "mop like" wigs, but more like panels of maybe velvet trimmed with gold
                                braid,almost like bell pulls if that makes sence, hung from a round flat top part that sits
                                on the head, probably by a cap hidden underneath the bangs...

                                Think of maybe thin table runners laid out over the disk and stiffened to that they hold
                                that straight down shape.

                                I am waiting for the dvd to arrive so that I can pause and get a good look at things in
                                detail and not moving :O) But that was the general direction I was heading towards.


                                --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, "mongrelmuppet"
                                <mongrelmuppet@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > What I've done in the past for Egyptian wigs is found a very open
                                > weave straw or mesh hat with a rounded crown (or shaped the open weave
                                > canvas used for making hook rugs) and threaded/knotted black or blue
                                > drawstring cords or yarn (there are some very cool, very cheap fat
                                > yarns that work great) through the mesh to the appropriate length. I
                                > usually leave a bit of the brim too. They attach well to the actor's
                                > heads and create a nice silhouette and movement. Can be trimmed,
                                > braided, curled or adorned as you will. Depending on what type of yarn
                                > you use, they are even washable. Threading & knotting the yarn can be
                                > tedious, but it goes quick once you get the hang of it.
                                >
                                > I agree that buying these might actually be the better way to go, though.
                                >
                                > --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, "gregorytkuehl"
                                > <makuehl@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Our high school director is enamored of the huge black wigs that are
                                > > worn by the eyptian girls in the movie and wants us costume moms and
                                > > crew to create some. Any ideas? We had thought of some buckram
                                > > cossack hat frames with some pastic canvas circles on top with black
                                > > fabric/yarn hanging down, (mop heads died black???) but would love to
                                > > hear if anyone has attempted these mongo headpieces to avoid making
                                > > the same mistakes.Thanks!
                                > >
                                > > Marcia
                                > >
                                >
                              • Renee Schmutz-Sowards
                                Howdy, I need some advice! :) Almost invariably when people find out that I can sew, they ask me if I could do some alterations for them, and how much I
                                Message 15 of 27 , Oct 16, 2007
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                                  Howdy,
                                  I need some advice! :)

                                  Almost invariably when people find out that I can sew, they ask me if I could do some alterations for them, and how much I would charge.
                                  So far it's mostly been fairly close friends and acquaintances, so I don't really give much thought to the money...a 5 here, a 10 there, a favor in return, it's no big deal.

                                  BUT: The word is apparently spreading about the new seamstress in town and I'm getting more inquires about sewing jobs from people who fall into the actual *Real Customer* category! Yay...this is exciting!
                                  So now I need a *Real Price List* too.

                                  My questions are:
                                  What are the standard sort of prices for basic alterations?
                                  And,
                                  Do any of yin's do this sorta work, and have any advice or tips to share?

                                  I get the most inquires about hemming garments, but also a fair number about altering bridesmaids gown's (fitting, hemming and adding straps to strapless gowns seem to be the big three)

                                  I'd really appreciate any advice anyone can give me!

                                  Thanks in advance!
                                  Renee



                                  ---------------------------------
                                  Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers, not web links.

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Renee Schmutz-Sowards
                                  Hello again, I have a question about altering hems that is probably a real big Duh! , but some how I missed learning about. ; ) Maybe ya ll can help a girl
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Oct 16, 2007
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                                    Hello again,
                                    I have a question about altering hems that is probably a real big "Duh!", but some how I missed learning about. ; ) Maybe ya'll can help a girl out.

                                    When I read about places that do clothing alterations I keep seeing prices for both standard hem, and also "original hem".

                                    My question is, What dose original hem mean, how does it differ from a standard hem, and how is it done? (okay, yes, that is technically three questions, but hey...gotta love those commas!)

                                    My assumption is that it has to do with keeping it looking as much like it originally did prior to the alteration, but if that's so, why is it called out specifically. Personally , I kinda thought that was the goal of a "standard" hem too, unless you really want it to look different.

                                    So I'm sure I'm missing something here. :)

                                    Thanks so much!
                                    Renee




                                    ---------------------------------
                                    Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers, not web links.

                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Shadow's Silk
                                    I recently spent a couple of days helping a seamstress get caught up with her workload during grad and bridal time period. She had 60 gowns in her shop to get
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Oct 16, 2007
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      I recently spent a couple of days helping a seamstress get caught up with
                                      her workload during grad and bridal time period. She had 60 gowns in her
                                      shop to get out in 2 weeks. What she stated on her price list was $30/hour,
                                      yet she was timing herself on each and every garment. So in effect, by using
                                      the timing method...writting down the in time when she started and the out
                                      time when she took a break or was finished the job; she was actually nickel
                                      and diming herself out of business. It was alright for her to do this as she
                                      was living off of her late husband's insurrance, but in the real world, she
                                      wouldn't have been able to sustain any of it, what with 2 kids and living
                                      expenses.
                                      In charging only for the time she spent in and out, she wasn't thinking
                                      about the cost of utilities, the wear and tear on her machines, the expense
                                      of supplies and the time away from a normal family life. I was able to look
                                      at her books, as she had promised to pay me $30/hour, but with her mother
                                      and sister giving her major grief over my being there, I decided to let her
                                      off at $12/hr, which is what she could afford.
                                      Why I went there in the first place was that I had met her through work and
                                      she called me, herself in tears because the workload was too great for her.
                                      Well ya! So I went on my days off and the first day we spent in giving her
                                      some time to have a break here and there. I might have stayed and she could
                                      have developed a greater business than she had, except for her family's
                                      interference (of whom none of them were able to or willing to help out in
                                      any which way. I actually walked in on her sister yelling at her about my
                                      being there). I decided not to stay on 2 counts. 1 - Her family didn't want
                                      me there...big one; 2 - I personally hate alterations and actually there are
                                      3 counts....she was trying to achieve perfection with imperfect gowns. Can't
                                      do it, the constuction on the innards of those gowns was shoddy to say the
                                      least and I as a seamstress would not have been able to charge what the
                                      retail outlets charge. The outer garments were wonderful, but the stress at
                                      working on these gowns would have just drove me to tears and with her being
                                      a perfectionist, I couldn't imagine what it was doing to her.
                                      My advice to you on altering bridal and grad is think about what you are
                                      doing first. If you love ripping apart and putting back together, then try
                                      it. I do not. I prefer to start from scratch. Also, a really fine point to
                                      consider, is that these young ladies are very up and down in weight and
                                      stress levels. One gown she took in 3 times and then had to let it out to
                                      the original size because the client started eating again. This gown was
                                      gorgeous, a grad dress, but it was also beaded, so after the final fitting,
                                      all the beads had to be removed, the gown let out and rebeaded by the next
                                      day and in the meantime she was supposed to have another 8 ready for the
                                      next day, and started on the day afters, which was another 8 or 10.
                                      She was also not charging these people time for the fittings nor extra for
                                      any alteriations after the fact. I suggested to her that she should charge
                                      them double if she had to constantly redo her work over and over again.
                                      She is top notch at what she does and only had cards in one store. I
                                      couldn't imagine what she would have done if she had cards in all the shops
                                      in our city.
                                      If I decided to alter bridal and grad, I would be charging $30/hour. No ifs
                                      and or buts. If you are good, you will get the business. If you aren't, you
                                      won't. Period. It may take you 46 minutes to hem up a gown, but charge for
                                      the extra time to make up the hour. This will pay for the machines, supplies
                                      and utilities.
                                      Business is business. Have you watched "Dragon's Den"? They will not put any
                                      money into a project if there is no money to be made. Good advice. That is
                                      why they are all billionaires in their own right.
                                      So are you wanting to be a good samaritan or are you wanting to make money
                                      and a livlihood?
                                      As for basic alterations, here too you can be a good samaritan or you can
                                      make what your time is worth. In Alberta the going rate for a zipper starts
                                      at $20 and goes up depending on the length. Hems start at $20 for a pair of
                                      pants. Check out a local tailor shop and the dry cleaners to see what they
                                      charge. Do not undercut yourself just to get the business. It isn't worth
                                      it.
                                      I used to do that as I thought I needed the money, but by the time I was
                                      done, I was angry at myself for not charging more. So now I have a starting
                                      rate of $350 for everything I do and the price goes up depending on the
                                      amount of work involved. I am much happier by the end of the garment because
                                      I feel that I am being paid for what I am worth.
                                      A major consideration when starting on your venture, is to consider what you
                                      are actually doing when you under charge.
                                      I work at a fabric store. I would be asked how much I would charge and I
                                      would let the person know that I was expensive. (Our city was a farming
                                      community, but things have changed drastically and the main populace is just
                                      starting to realize that you have to pay...ex: the women would be appalled
                                      at paying $5 to have a zip replaced in a pair of jeans. Now the zips are
                                      almost that much)
                                      There were 2 women, sisters through marriage, who worked with me. They were
                                      just learnig how to sew. but every time I quoted a customer, one of them
                                      would run back to me and ask how much I quoted. I mentioned it one day to
                                      Fahima, about why I wasn't getting any business and she asked if I wanted to
                                      know the truth. I said yes, I did, as my knowledge is extensive and my
                                      experience is vast. She said that every time I quoted someone, they would
                                      come back and ask me how much I quoted the customer and then undercut me, so
                                      they got the business.
                                      That was the last time I ever did that. My respect and trust for them was
                                      lost immediately. I still maintained a repore with them as I worked with
                                      them, but there was no more sharing and actually, my attitude towards them
                                      changed drastically.
                                      I had an opportunity to once quote a gentleman who wanted a white Chinese
                                      brocade, long sleeved, mandarin collar shirt made for him. In cutting for
                                      him, I knew that he would ask me what I would charge him to make it for him.
                                      I already figured him out and told him $350. He exclaimed "For a shirt?!?"
                                      Yes. Now a shirt built with fabric you purchased on sale from $16.98/m (39
                                      iinches to a metre) less 50% is definately not worth spending that kind of
                                      money to have it made. So why did I do it? Because he was high maintenance.
                                      He would want alot for nothing. So I called Fahima over to quote him and she
                                      quoted $70. I asked her later if they got the job and she said no, another
                                      seamstress quoted him $35 and that was who he went with. I then explained to
                                      her and the other staff that women who will sew a grad dress or a wedding
                                      gown for $100 are really doing the other women who may or may not be trying
                                      to make a living at sewing, an injustice in low rates and undercutting
                                      others, just to get the business. (Point made here) And I stated that we as
                                      women often do not value our work and so our pricing reflects that. In a
                                      male dominated business, the hourly rate is what it is. Their work is valued
                                      at a certain price range and you either pay it or do it yourself or find
                                      someone cheaper and reap the benefits.
                                      They now charge $20/hour and are no longer working with us.
                                      I am myself probably going to quit at the store. I am receiving $9.85/hour.
                                      The money wasn't keeping me there, the love of fabric was. New girls being
                                      hired today reeceive $9/hour to start and know absolutely nothing. We were
                                      told that raises wouldn't be any different than previously,which was
                                      $.05/hour to a maximum of $.25/hour Yes, cents, not dollars. Now my duaghter
                                      just received a $2/hour raise and my boyfriend $1.50/hour raise(which equals
                                      to $3/hour in less than a year). When one has the managers coming to you for
                                      information and advice or handing over customers to you because they don't
                                      know what to do for the person, and you aren't making much more than a pre
                                      beginner, something is not right. That is undervaluing your work. When the
                                      women stay at the job for the low wages, they will keep the hourly rates as
                                      low as thethe company can get away with. That is undervaluing our work and
                                      ability to make money for the company. Our store is the only one in Central
                                      Alberta from the east to west borders and north to south for about 100
                                      miles. Last year we were $150,000 short of making almost double what we did
                                      the year before. We are only one of 150 stores. Their wage base can be
                                      increased, no problem, but they won't do it. Why? Because women will work
                                      for less and complain more and do nothing about it.

                                      I think I have talked long enough here. But I hope that you think about it
                                      long and hard and do some research in your own town/city. Adjust your rates
                                      accordingly and try it first before you commint to it. Doing favors for
                                      family is one thing. Having clientelle and a business is another.

                                      Jacquie



                                      On 10/16/07, Renee Schmutz-Sowards <janejr_2000@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Howdy,
                                      > I need some advice! :)
                                      >
                                      > Almost invariably when people find out that I can sew, they ask me if I
                                      > could do some alterations for them, and how much I would charge.
                                      > So far it's mostly been fairly close friends and acquaintances, so I don't
                                      > really give much thought to the money...a 5 here, a 10 there, a favor in
                                      > return, it's no big deal.
                                      >
                                      > BUT: The word is apparently spreading about the new seamstress in town and
                                      > I'm getting more inquires about sewing jobs from people who fall into the
                                      > actual *Real Customer* category! Yay...this is exciting!
                                      > So now I need a *Real Price List* too.
                                      >
                                      > My questions are:
                                      > What are the standard sort of prices for basic alterations?
                                      > And,
                                      > Do any of yin's do this sorta work, and have any advice or tips to share?
                                      >
                                      > I get the most inquires about hemming garments, but also a fair number
                                      > about altering bridesmaids gown's (fitting, hemming and adding straps to
                                      > strapless gowns seem to be the big three)
                                      >
                                      > I'd really appreciate any advice anyone can give me!
                                      >
                                      > Thanks in advance!
                                      > Renee
                                      >
                                      > ---------------------------------
                                      > Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers, not web
                                      > links.
                                      >
                                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Alexadbw@aol.com
                                      In a message dated 10/16/2007 11:20:39 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, janejr_2000@yahoo.com writes: When I read about places that do clothing alterations I keep
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Oct 16, 2007
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        In a message dated 10/16/2007 11:20:39 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                                        janejr_2000@... writes:

                                        When I read about places that do clothing alterations I keep seeing prices
                                        for both standard hem, and also "original hem".



                                        Is this possibly in reference to jeans?. There is a trend now to do an
                                        alteration which preserves the original hem. A new hem on jeans looks different
                                        and many people don't like that.

                                        Alexa



                                        ************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com


                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Susan Cassidy
                                        Thanks for all your input, Jacquie-you ve put into words how underpaid and undervalued I feel. I m trying to organize the local ladies who sew for community
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Oct 16, 2007
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Thanks for all your input, Jacquie-you've put into words how underpaid and
                                          undervalued I feel. I'm trying to organize the local ladies who sew for
                                          community theatre to not be willing to do it for free. Costuming is hard
                                          work, harder than directing in my opinion, as you have to produce a physical
                                          product on top of knowing the show. And yet the costumer doesn't receive a
                                          stipend, because it's traditionally women's work, while the director and
                                          choreographer get paid pretty well. And the retail world is pretty awful,
                                          too.



                                          _____

                                          From: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                                          [mailto:TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Shadow's Silk
                                          Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 12:59 PM
                                          To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Advice on Pricing Alterations?



                                          I recently spent a couple of days helping a seamstress get caught up with
                                          her workload during grad and bridal time period. She had 60 gowns in her
                                          shop to get out in 2 weeks. What she stated on her price list was $30/hour,
                                          yet she was timing herself on each and every garment. So in effect, by using
                                          the timing method...writting down the in time when she started and the out
                                          time when she took a break or was finished the job; she was actually nickel
                                          and diming herself out of business. It was alright for her to do this as she
                                          was living off of her late husband's insurrance, but in the real world, she
                                          wouldn't have been able to sustain any of it, what with 2 kids and living
                                          expenses.
                                          In charging only for the time she spent in and out, she wasn't thinking
                                          about the cost of utilities, the wear and tear on her machines, the expense
                                          of supplies and the time away from a normal family life. I was able to look
                                          at her books, as she had promised to pay me $30/hour, but with her mother
                                          and sister giving her major grief over my being there, I decided to let her
                                          off at $12/hr, which is what she could afford.
                                          Why I went there in the first place was that I had met her through work and
                                          she called me, herself in tears because the workload was too great for her.
                                          Well ya! So I went on my days off and the first day we spent in giving her
                                          some time to have a break here and there. I might have stayed and she could
                                          have developed a greater business than she had, except for her family's
                                          interference (of whom none of them were able to or willing to help out in
                                          any which way. I actually walked in on her sister yelling at her about my
                                          being there). I decided not to stay on 2 counts. 1 - Her family didn't want
                                          me there...big one; 2 - I personally hate alterations and actually there are
                                          3 counts....she was trying to achieve perfection with imperfect gowns. Can't
                                          do it, the constuction on the innards of those gowns was shoddy to say the
                                          least and I as a seamstress would not have been able to charge what the
                                          retail outlets charge. The outer garments were wonderful, but the stress at
                                          working on these gowns would have just drove me to tears and with her being
                                          a perfectionist, I couldn't imagine what it was doing to her.
                                          My advice to you on altering bridal and grad is think about what you are
                                          doing first. If you love ripping apart and putting back together, then try
                                          it. I do not. I prefer to start from scratch. Also, a really fine point to
                                          consider, is that these young ladies are very up and down in weight and
                                          stress levels. One gown she took in 3 times and then had to let it out to
                                          the original size because the client started eating again. This gown was
                                          gorgeous, a grad dress, but it was also beaded, so after the final fitting,
                                          all the beads had to be removed, the gown let out and rebeaded by the next
                                          day and in the meantime she was supposed to have another 8 ready for the
                                          next day, and started on the day afters, which was another 8 or 10.
                                          She was also not charging these people time for the fittings nor extra for
                                          any alteriations after the fact. I suggested to her that she should charge
                                          them double if she had to constantly redo her work over and over again.
                                          She is top notch at what she does and only had cards in one store. I
                                          couldn't imagine what she would have done if she had cards in all the shops
                                          in our city.
                                          If I decided to alter bridal and grad, I would be charging $30/hour. No ifs
                                          and or buts. If you are good, you will get the business. If you aren't, you
                                          won't. Period. It may take you 46 minutes to hem up a gown, but charge for
                                          the extra time to make up the hour. This will pay for the machines, supplies
                                          and utilities.
                                          Business is business. Have you watched "Dragon's Den"? They will not put any
                                          money into a project if there is no money to be made. Good advice. That is
                                          why they are all billionaires in their own right.
                                          So are you wanting to be a good samaritan or are you wanting to make money
                                          and a livlihood?
                                          As for basic alterations, here too you can be a good samaritan or you can
                                          make what your time is worth. In Alberta the going rate for a zipper starts
                                          at $20 and goes up depending on the length. Hems start at $20 for a pair of
                                          pants. Check out a local tailor shop and the dry cleaners to see what they
                                          charge. Do not undercut yourself just to get the business. It isn't worth
                                          it.
                                          I used to do that as I thought I needed the money, but by the time I was
                                          done, I was angry at myself for not charging more. So now I have a starting
                                          rate of $350 for everything I do and the price goes up depending on the
                                          amount of work involved. I am much happier by the end of the garment because
                                          I feel that I am being paid for what I am worth.
                                          A major consideration when starting on your venture, is to consider what you
                                          are actually doing when you under charge.
                                          I work at a fabric store. I would be asked how much I would charge and I
                                          would let the person know that I was expensive. (Our city was a farming
                                          community, but things have changed drastically and the main populace is just
                                          starting to realize that you have to pay...ex: the women would be appalled
                                          at paying $5 to have a zip replaced in a pair of jeans. Now the zips are
                                          almost that much)
                                          There were 2 women, sisters through marriage, who worked with me. They were
                                          just learnig how to sew. but every time I quoted a customer, one of them
                                          would run back to me and ask how much I quoted. I mentioned it one day to
                                          Fahima, about why I wasn't getting any business and she asked if I wanted to
                                          know the truth. I said yes, I did, as my knowledge is extensive and my
                                          experience is vast. She said that every time I quoted someone, they would
                                          come back and ask me how much I quoted the customer and then undercut me, so
                                          they got the business.
                                          That was the last time I ever did that. My respect and trust for them was
                                          lost immediately. I still maintained a repore with them as I worked with
                                          them, but there was no more sharing and actually, my attitude towards them
                                          changed drastically.
                                          I had an opportunity to once quote a gentleman who wanted a white Chinese
                                          brocade, long sleeved, mandarin collar shirt made for him. In cutting for
                                          him, I knew that he would ask me what I would charge him to make it for him.
                                          I already figured him out and told him $350. He exclaimed "For a shirt?!?"
                                          Yes. Now a shirt built with fabric you purchased on sale from $16.98/m (39
                                          iinches to a metre) less 50% is definately not worth spending that kind of
                                          money to have it made. So why did I do it? Because he was high maintenance.
                                          He would want alot for nothing. So I called Fahima over to quote him and she
                                          quoted $70. I asked her later if they got the job and she said no, another
                                          seamstress quoted him $35 and that was who he went with. I then explained to
                                          her and the other staff that women who will sew a grad dress or a wedding
                                          gown for $100 are really doing the other women who may or may not be trying
                                          to make a living at sewing, an injustice in low rates and undercutting
                                          others, just to get the business. (Point made here) And I stated that we as
                                          women often do not value our work and so our pricing reflects that. In a
                                          male dominated business, the hourly rate is what it is. Their work is valued
                                          at a certain price range and you either pay it or do it yourself or find
                                          someone cheaper and reap the benefits.
                                          They now charge $20/hour and are no longer working with us.
                                          I am myself probably going to quit at the store. I am receiving $9.85/hour.
                                          The money wasn't keeping me there, the love of fabric was. New girls being
                                          hired today reeceive $9/hour to start and know absolutely nothing. We were
                                          told that raises wouldn't be any different than previously,which was
                                          $.05/hour to a maximum of $.25/hour Yes, cents, not dollars. Now my duaghter
                                          just received a $2/hour raise and my boyfriend $1.50/hour raise(which equals
                                          to $3/hour in less than a year). When one has the managers coming to you for
                                          information and advice or handing over customers to you because they don't
                                          know what to do for the person, and you aren't making much more than a pre
                                          beginner, something is not right. That is undervaluing your work. When the
                                          women stay at the job for the low wages, they will keep the hourly rates as
                                          low as thethe company can get away with. That is undervaluing our work and
                                          ability to make money for the company. Our store is the only one in Central
                                          Alberta from the east to west borders and north to south for about 100
                                          miles. Last year we were $150,000 short of making almost double what we did
                                          the year before. We are only one of 150 stores. Their wage base can be
                                          increased, no problem, but they won't do it. Why? Because women will work
                                          for less and complain more and do nothing about it.

                                          I think I have talked long enough here. But I hope that you think about it
                                          long and hard and do some research in your own town/city. Adjust your rates
                                          accordingly and try it first before you commint to it. Doing favors for
                                          family is one thing. Having clientelle and a business is another.

                                          Jacquie

                                          On 10/16/07, Renee Schmutz-Sowards <janejr_2000@
                                          <mailto:janejr_2000%40yahoo.com> yahoo.com> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Howdy,
                                          > I need some advice! :)
                                          >
                                          > Almost invariably when people find out that I can sew, they ask me if I
                                          > could do some alterations for them, and how much I would charge.
                                          > So far it's mostly been fairly close friends and acquaintances, so I don't
                                          > really give much thought to the money...a 5 here, a 10 there, a favor in
                                          > return, it's no big deal.
                                          >
                                          > BUT: The word is apparently spreading about the new seamstress in town and
                                          > I'm getting more inquires about sewing jobs from people who fall into the
                                          > actual *Real Customer* category! Yay...this is exciting!
                                          > So now I need a *Real Price List* too.
                                          >
                                          > My questions are:
                                          > What are the standard sort of prices for basic alterations?
                                          > And,
                                          > Do any of yin's do this sorta work, and have any advice or tips to share?
                                          >
                                          > I get the most inquires about hemming garments, but also a fair number
                                          > about altering bridesmaids gown's (fitting, hemming and adding straps to
                                          > strapless gowns seem to be the big three)
                                          >
                                          > I'd really appreciate any advice anyone can give me!
                                          >
                                          > Thanks in advance!
                                          > Renee
                                          >
                                          > ---------------------------------
                                          > Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers, not web
                                          > links.
                                          >
                                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >

                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • NJgardner@verizon.net
                                          Hi Alexa Yes, it does refer to jeans, but also other garments. Some people use a method of taking up the length with a pleat on the inside above the original
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Oct 16, 2007
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Hi Alexa

                                            Yes, it does refer to jeans, but also other garments.

                                            Some people use a method of taking up the length with a pleat on the inside
                                            above the original hem. The other method is to duplicate the original hem
                                            after trimming or letting down as needed.

                                            The original hem is most obvious in old fashioned denim jeans. When I alter
                                            mine, I trim off the old hem leaving about 3/4" for turning. I serge the
                                            raw edge and turn up. Then I topstich with matching jeans thread. You can
                                            buy some of the industry standard colors from large notions or supply places
                                            such as Nancy's or Newark Dressmaker. They have Lee gold, and others. If
                                            you can't find jeans thread, you can use two spools of regular thread.
                                            Pull the thread through the machine guides like it was one thread.

                                            Pat


                                            -> In a message dated 10/16/2007 11:20:39 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                                            > janejr_2000@... writes:
                                            >
                                            > When I read about places that do clothing alterations I keep seeing
                                            > prices
                                            > for both standard hem, and also "original hem".
                                            >
                                            > Is this possibly in reference to jeans?. There is a trend now to do an
                                            > alteration which preserves the original hem. A new hem on jeans looks
                                            > different
                                            > and many people don't like that.
                                            >
                                            > Alexa
                                            >
                                          • Randolph Keator
                                            Renee you make some ver valid points. They apply to every business, male or female run. I m in business to make money. Plain and simple as that. If I was
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Oct 17, 2007
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Renee you make some ver valid points. They apply to every business, male or female run. I'm in business to make money. Plain and simple as that. If I was interested in doing nothing but charity work I would volunteer at a crisis center or similar venue. There are the occassional "need this yesterday" jobs but those people are told up front that the price is doubled for their work because other clients have to be put on hold and there is a chance ( actually a good probability in some cases) that you can lose work because of "hot jobs".
                                              I always set the price to allow some negotiating if the client is so inclined. However the starting price is always more than enough to allow for this. Some people will haggle over price no matter what you set it at. It's just part of their nature. They are the so called "bargain" hunters. A good business person allows the client to believe they got the best deal. Sometimes they did but most of the time you still make a profitand that's the goal of the business.
                                              As to billing practices ? Ever had the "pleasure" of being billed by a lawyer? Most have their billing broken down to the minute. I myself round everything past the quarter hour to the next quarter ie; 18 minutes goes to 1/2, 7 past goes to the quarter. In my line of work I charge $50-60/hr. Thats $12.50 -15.00/15minutes. I make sure the clients/customers know this before I BEGIN any work. Materials are EXTRA unless they choose to provide them. I also have a "minimum charge" clause. This because as you stated, your time is NOT free. Estimates/quotes are free provided time does not run past a 1/2 hr. Once at the job the minimum charge is one hour. Anyone already in business will be able to tell you the reasoning behind this. Repeat business( not rework ) sometimes gets a break depending on the repoir with the individual client. The most IMPORTANT thing is to make sure the client and you are on the same page and if needed you get everything in writing.
                                              Heaven forbid you might have to take a client to court for payment or YOU end up in court because of a dissatisfied client and yuo have only verbal agreements. It then comes down to who is more believable. And don't think because they are family or friends it won't happen. They are actually the most likely to take advantage fo you. (~:Randi
                                              ----- Original Message -----
                                              From: Shadow's Silk
                                              To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                                              Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 12:59 PM
                                              Subject: Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Advice on Pricing Alterations?


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                                            • Kelley Maxfield
                                              Ok I haven t responded because I have been very busy. I had a very successful business but some very stupid accounting mistakes made me have to find a
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Oct 17, 2007
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                                                Ok I haven't responded because I have been very busy. I had a very successful business but some very stupid accounting mistakes made me have to find a different job. This job as Costume designer/supervisor opened and hey it was a consistent paycheck so I took the job and love it.
                                                As for your questions I used many methods to get a price. We live in a town that is about 25,000 people mostly farmers type and lower income. With that said, I based my prices a little higher than that the dry cleaner people because I did a better job. I did do some whole sale alterations but that wasn't worth it unless you have mass volume and they are willing to pay you. I decided to have only one price list not a whole sale price list and a retail list. Much easier.

                                                When I did alterations I charged 2.5 to 3.00 a seam. So if I was taking in the sides and had to remove the sleeves and adjust them I would charge 5.00 for the side seams 5.oo for the sleeve seam and then 5.00 for the armhole. This was even if it was a little seam alterations. Plus if I had to deal with linings that too was charged the same way. So let's say it was a bridesmaid dress that would need taking in at the side seams with a lining. I would charge 15.00 for the dress and 15.00 for the lining. If it was extensive I would add more, like moving beadwork that I figured how long just that took and charged by the hour. So I this dress had embroidered, beaded appliqués, I would start timing how long it would take me to remove, and then but back on the appliqués with sometimes a set price to start say 25.00. So now this dress is costing say 55.00 for the adjustments and we now have to hem it. I charged $15.00 for ever layer of hem unless it was just netting then I would charge 10.00 because you don't have to sew that just cut off straight. Bride dresses start higher only because we are talking lots of material and the kind of material, and special techniques that would be used to adjust things.
                                                AS to custom making a garment I charged $15-20 a pattern piece for the main garment and then had upcharges for let say pockets, pleats, buttons, different zippers, etc. I would tell customers I am not cheaper than the stores, but you will have a unique outfit and one that fit perfectly. I specialized in plus sizes and petites but would do anything. I still have people calling me even though I have been out of the business for 2 years.
                                                The best thing you can do is sit down and so some prepricing. I based everything on $25.00 an hour wage for me. This was not much since I had my machines paid for and I worked out of my basement. If I can find a copy of my prices I will send them to you this weekend. My old computer was struck by lightning so I might not have a copy of it anymore. You may email me with any questions and I would be happy to help you in anyway. The best advertising I found was besides getting to know the local fabric store and giving them my cards, was the small ads in the yellow pages. I am still getting responses back on those. I put it in bridal section, alterations, tailoring and I even did some home deco for a while.
                                                The other advice I can tell you is to get a contract together. Once I did this I solved a multitude of problems. Also have policies for rush jobs, redo's- whose fault yours for free, theirs if they lose or gain weight charge them for each alteration just as before. When I did a final fitting on a bride I looked right at her and told her under no circumstances could she lose any more weight. The only one I ever had to adjust at the last minute was a friend. In 3 week time frame she gained about 12 inches around her mid section due to a tumor on the brain. That was the only one I ever had to scramble at the last minute to fix.
                                                You also might want to get on the email list of the sewing business at http://www.quiltropolis.com/ . These people are great encouragers.
                                                Hope this helps

                                                Mrs. Kelley Maxfield
                                                Maranatha Baptist Bible College
                                                745 W. Main St
                                                Watertown Wi

                                                Costume Cottage Supervisor
                                                Cottage: (920) 261-3891
                                                Cell: (920) 988-8937
                                                Hours: Tuesday through Friday
                                                8:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M.
                                                Rentals from 2:00- 4:30
                                                Other hours by appointment

                                                Cottage location-
                                                722 Lafayette St
                                                Watertown Wi

                                                From: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Susan Cassidy
                                                Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 4:02 PM
                                                To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                                                Subject: RE: [TheCostumersManifesto] Advice on Pricing Alterations?


                                                Thanks for all your input, Jacquie-you've put into words how underpaid and
                                                undervalued I feel. I'm trying to organize the local ladies who sew for
                                                community theatre to not be willing to do it for free. Costuming is hard
                                                work, harder than directing in my opinion, as you have to produce a physical
                                                product on top of knowing the show. And yet the costumer doesn't receive a
                                                stipend, because it's traditionally women's work, while the director and
                                                choreographer get paid pretty well. And the retail world is pretty awful,
                                                too.

                                                _____

                                                From: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com>
                                                [mailto:TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Shadow's Silk
                                                Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 12:59 PM
                                                To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com>
                                                Subject: Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Advice on Pricing Alterations?

                                                I recently spent a couple of days helping a seamstress get caught up with
                                                her workload during grad and bridal time period. She had 60 gowns in her
                                                shop to get out in 2 weeks. What she stated on her price list was $30/hour,
                                                yet she was timing herself on each and every garment. So in effect, by using
                                                the timing method...writting down the in time when she started and the out
                                                time when she took a break or was finished the job; she was actually nickel
                                                and diming herself out of business. It was alright for her to do this as she
                                                was living off of her late husband's insurrance, but in the real world, she
                                                wouldn't have been able to sustain any of it, what with 2 kids and living
                                                expenses.
                                                In charging only for the time she spent in and out, she wasn't thinking
                                                about the cost of utilities, the wear and tear on her machines, the expense
                                                of supplies and the time away from a normal family life. I was able to look
                                                at her books, as she had promised to pay me $30/hour, but with her mother
                                                and sister giving her major grief over my being there, I decided to let her
                                                off at $12/hr, which is what she could afford.
                                                Why I went there in the first place was that I had met her through work and
                                                she called me, herself in tears because the workload was too great for her.
                                                Well ya! So I went on my days off and the first day we spent in giving her
                                                some time to have a break here and there. I might have stayed and she could
                                                have developed a greater business than she had, except for her family's
                                                interference (of whom none of them were able to or willing to help out in
                                                any which way. I actually walked in on her sister yelling at her about my
                                                being there). I decided not to stay on 2 counts. 1 - Her family didn't want
                                                me there...big one; 2 - I personally hate alterations and actually there are
                                                3 counts....she was trying to achieve perfection with imperfect gowns. Can't
                                                do it, the constuction on the innards of those gowns was shoddy to say the
                                                least and I as a seamstress would not have been able to charge what the
                                                retail outlets charge. The outer garments were wonderful, but the stress at
                                                working on these gowns would have just drove me to tears and with her being
                                                a perfectionist, I couldn't imagine what it was doing to her.
                                                My advice to you on altering bridal and grad is think about what you are
                                                doing first. If you love ripping apart and putting back together, then try
                                                it. I do not. I prefer to start from scratch. Also, a really fine point to
                                                consider, is that these young ladies are very up and down in weight and
                                                stress levels. One gown she took in 3 times and then had to let it out to
                                                the original size because the client started eating again. This gown was
                                                gorgeous, a grad dress, but it was also beaded, so after the final fitting,
                                                all the beads had to be removed, the gown let out and rebeaded by the next
                                                day and in the meantime she was supposed to have another 8 ready for the
                                                next day, and started on the day afters, which was another 8 or 10.
                                                She was also not charging these people time for the fittings nor extra for
                                                any alteriations after the fact. I suggested to her that she should charge
                                                them double if she had to constantly redo her work over and over again.
                                                She is top notch at what she does and only had cards in one store. I
                                                couldn't imagine what she would have done if she had cards in all the shops
                                                in our city.
                                                If I decided to alter bridal and grad, I would be charging $30/hour. No ifs
                                                and or buts. If you are good, you will get the business. If you aren't, you
                                                won't. Period. It may take you 46 minutes to hem up a gown, but charge for
                                                the extra time to make up the hour. This will pay for the machines, supplies
                                                and utilities.
                                                Business is business. Have you watched "Dragon's Den"? They will not put any
                                                money into a project if there is no money to be made. Good advice. That is
                                                why they are all billionaires in their own right.
                                                So are you wanting to be a good samaritan or are you wanting to make money
                                                and a livlihood?
                                                As for basic alterations, here too you can be a good samaritan or you can
                                                make what your time is worth. In Alberta the going rate for a zipper starts
                                                at $20 and goes up depending on the length. Hems start at $20 for a pair of
                                                pants. Check out a local tailor shop and the dry cleaners to see what they
                                                charge. Do not undercut yourself just to get the business. It isn't worth
                                                it.
                                                I used to do that as I thought I needed the money, but by the time I was
                                                done, I was angry at myself for not charging more. So now I have a starting
                                                rate of $350 for everything I do and the price goes up depending on the
                                                amount of work involved. I am much happier by the end of the garment because
                                                I feel that I am being paid for what I am worth.
                                                A major consideration when starting on your venture, is to consider what you
                                                are actually doing when you under charge.
                                                I work at a fabric store. I would be asked how much I would charge and I
                                                would let the person know that I was expensive. (Our city was a farming
                                                community, but things have changed drastically and the main populace is just
                                                starting to realize that you have to pay...ex: the women would be appalled
                                                at paying $5 to have a zip replaced in a pair of jeans. Now the zips are
                                                almost that much)
                                                There were 2 women, sisters through marriage, who worked with me. They were
                                                just learnig how to sew. but every time I quoted a customer, one of them
                                                would run back to me and ask how much I quoted. I mentioned it one day to
                                                Fahima, about why I wasn't getting any business and she asked if I wanted to
                                                know the truth. I said yes, I did, as my knowledge is extensive and my
                                                experience is vast. She said that every time I quoted someone, they would
                                                come back and ask me how much I quoted the customer and then undercut me, so
                                                they got the business.
                                                That was the last time I ever did that. My respect and trust for them was
                                                lost immediately. I still maintained a repore with them as I worked with
                                                them, but there was no more sharing and actually, my attitude towards them
                                                changed drastically.
                                                I had an opportunity to once quote a gentleman who wanted a white Chinese
                                                brocade, long sleeved, mandarin collar shirt made for him. In cutting for
                                                him, I knew that he would ask me what I would charge him to make it for him.
                                                I already figured him out and told him $350. He exclaimed "For a shirt?!?"
                                                Yes. Now a shirt built with fabric you purchased on sale from $16.98/m (39
                                                iinches to a metre) less 50% is definately not worth spending that kind of
                                                money to have it made. So why did I do it? Because he was high maintenance.
                                                He would want alot for nothing. So I called Fahima over to quote him and she
                                                quoted $70. I asked her later if they got the job and she said no, another
                                                seamstress quoted him $35 and that was who he went with. I then explained to
                                                her and the other staff that women who will sew a grad dress or a wedding
                                                gown for $100 are really doing the other women who may or may not be trying
                                                to make a living at sewing, an injustice in low rates and undercutting
                                                others, just to get the business. (Point made here) And I stated that we as
                                                women often do not value our work and so our pricing reflects that. In a
                                                male dominated business, the hourly rate is what it is. Their work is valued
                                                at a certain price range and you either pay it or do it yourself or find
                                                someone cheaper and reap the benefits.
                                                They now charge $20/hour and are no longer working with us.
                                                I am myself probably going to quit at the store. I am receiving $9.85/hour.
                                                The money wasn't keeping me there, the love of fabric was. New girls being
                                                hired today reeceive $9/hour to start and know absolutely nothing. We were
                                                told that raises wouldn't be any different than previously,which was
                                                $.05/hour to a maximum of $.25/hour Yes, cents, not dollars. Now my duaghter
                                                just received a $2/hour raise and my boyfriend $1.50/hour raise(which equals
                                                to $3/hour in less than a year). When one has the managers coming to you for
                                                information and advice or handing over customers to you because they don't
                                                know what to do for the person, and you aren't making much more than a pre
                                                beginner, something is not right. That is undervaluing your work. When the
                                                women stay at the job for the low wages, they will keep the hourly rates as
                                                low as thethe company can get away with. That is undervaluing our work and
                                                ability to make money for the company. Our store is the only one in Central
                                                Alberta from the east to west borders and north to south for about 100
                                                miles. Last year we were $150,000 short of making almost double what we did
                                                the year before. We are only one of 150 stores. Their wage base can be
                                                increased, no problem, but they won't do it. Why? Because women will work
                                                for less and complain more and do nothing about it.

                                                I think I have talked long enough here. But I hope that you think about it
                                                long and hard and do some research in your own town/city. Adjust your rates
                                                accordingly and try it first before you commint to it. Doing favors for
                                                family is one thing. Having clientelle and a business is another.

                                                Jacquie

                                                On 10/16/07, Renee Schmutz-Sowards <janejr_2000@
                                                <mailto:janejr_2000%40yahoo.com> yahoo.com> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Howdy,
                                                > I need some advice! :)
                                                >
                                                > Almost invariably when people find out that I can sew, they ask me if I
                                                > could do some alterations for them, and how much I would charge.
                                                > So far it's mostly been fairly close friends and acquaintances, so I don't
                                                > really give much thought to the money...a 5 here, a 10 there, a favor in
                                                > return, it's no big deal.
                                                >
                                                > BUT: The word is apparently spreading about the new seamstress in town and
                                                > I'm getting more inquires about sewing jobs from people who fall into the
                                                > actual *Real Customer* category! Yay...this is exciting!
                                                > So now I need a *Real Price List* too.
                                                >
                                                > My questions are:
                                                > What are the standard sort of prices for basic alterations?
                                                > And,
                                                > Do any of yin's do this sorta work, and have any advice or tips to share?
                                                >
                                                > I get the most inquires about hemming garments, but also a fair number
                                                > about altering bridesmaids gown's (fitting, hemming and adding straps to
                                                > strapless gowns seem to be the big three)
                                                >
                                                > I'd really appreciate any advice anyone can give me!
                                                >
                                                > Thanks in advance!
                                                > Renee
                                                >
                                                > ---------------------------------
                                                > Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers, not web
                                                > links.
                                                >
                                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >

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                                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              • Curtis
                                                ... ask me if I could do some alterations for them, and how much I would charge. ... acquaintances, so I don t really give much thought to the money...a 5
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Oct 17, 2007
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                                                  --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Renee Schmutz-Sowards
                                                  <janejr_2000@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Howdy,
                                                  > I need some advice! :)
                                                  >
                                                  > Almost invariably when people find out that I can sew, they
                                                  ask me if I could do some alterations for them, and how much I would
                                                  charge.
                                                  > So far it's mostly been fairly close friends and
                                                  acquaintances, so I don't really give much thought to the money...a 5
                                                  here, a 10 there, a favor in return, it's no big deal.

                                                  I got started doing some stuff like that, thus far it's all been for
                                                  people that I work with. I've told them I charge $10/hr, minimum of
                                                  $10...but since most of my alteration work is done while I'm at work,
                                                  on the clock, using the park's machines and electricity, I'd feel
                                                  guilty charging more than that. I do tell them that I'm that cheap
                                                  ONLY because I know them personally...and I also explain that I'm not
                                                  doing professional alterations...for instance, if I'm taking in a pair
                                                  of pants at the waist, I'm not going to open up the waistband to hide
                                                  the extra material. I take the darts and sew the excess material down
                                                  to lie flat on the inside, but it's done in such a way that it would
                                                  be easily reversible (theatrical alterations, which only need to look
                                                  good from the outside...)

                                                  I have made exceptions to that 'quick and dirty' rule for certain
                                                  people and projects...but I charge them considerably more if they want
                                                  it done 'right', instead of easy.

                                                  Ultimately, though, I'd say that you need to figure out how much you
                                                  need to make it worth your time (including machine maintenance and
                                                  eventual replacement, utilities, etc). Make that your base rate, and
                                                  then DON'T DISCOUNT (unless you feel overwhelmingly generous). People
                                                  will try and talk you down...simply tell them that you need that much
                                                  to make it worth your while, and if they can get it done cheaper, they
                                                  should go there, instead. It hurts to send business out the door like
                                                  that sometimes, but cheap places are cheap because they either don't
                                                  do quality work, or because they've got enough staff and equipment
                                                  that they can work faster.

                                                  In the first case, your prices should reflect the fact that you do
                                                  quality work (my friend owns a harness shop, and just recently got to
                                                  the point where she finally started charging 'standard' rates for the
                                                  harness that she's making, instead of selling stuff at discounts--she
                                                  was afraid she'd price herself out of the market for this area if she
                                                  sold at regular prices, but now that she's up there, she's busier than
                                                  ever...).

                                                  In the second case, the only way you'll be able to compete with the
                                                  cheaper prices is to take losses in terms of time spent, etc. If
                                                  they've got three industrial machines, they're gonna gladly tackle
                                                  heavy jeans, leather jackets, and other stuff that would make a lot of
                                                  home machines scream in pain--and they aren't going to spend near as
                                                  much time changing thread colors. They'll just move to another
                                                  machine. I actually ended up taking some stuff to our cobbler to have
                                                  him sew it, simply because he's got a machine that I could fit a
                                                  really tight sleeve over, whereas I would have had to do a half-baked
                                                  job of it if I'd tried taking the sleeves up on my machines at work.
                                                  Nobody asked me about it, but if they had, I would simply have told
                                                  them that it was more cost effective to pay him $4 to sew a couple of
                                                  cuffs than it would be to pay me for the amount of time I would have
                                                  spent swearing at it and trying to get it to fit through our sewing
                                                  machines (in defense of my employers, they're still adjusting to the
                                                  concept of having a costumer in residence...before I started there,
                                                  the wardrobe crew only did the most basic alterations and repairs, and
                                                  didn't build ANYTHING for the shows. So I'm slowly working my way up
                                                  to getting the equipment to do the job well, as opposed to just having
                                                  enough to get by...each new purchase has to be justified in pretty
                                                  irrefutable monetary terms, or they simply won't buy it, they'll just
                                                  ask me to keep getting by like I already have.)

                                                  But, yeah, in terms of what to charge...figure out how much you need
                                                  to make it worth your while. If you really enjoy it, but don't plan
                                                  to use it to make a living, maybe you're willing to do the work for
                                                  less than someone who's reliant on it for a livelihood. But, if you
                                                  don't make the prices high enough to justify the work, in your own
                                                  mind, you're just going to get more and more frustrated the longer you
                                                  work at it...no matter how much anyone else may suggest charging for it.
                                                • Shadow's Silk
                                                  It is difficult for us as women to place a value on our work. Good or not. As you said, many feel it is women s work; the same with housekeeping, picking up
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Oct 17, 2007
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                                                    It is difficult for us as women to place a value on our work. Good or not.
                                                    As you said, many feel it is women's work; the same with housekeeping,
                                                    picking up after everyone, doing the laundry, ironing, shopping, cooking,
                                                    dishes, etc, etc. You get my point.
                                                    Of course the director and choreographer receive a pay cheque. They place a
                                                    value on their work. While these women are sewing for the theatre for free,
                                                    they are devaluing those who do actually work and get paid for it. I
                                                    constantly watch the credits for costumers and wardrobe personelle at the
                                                    end of a movie. Seldom do all the names come up. Yet there will be a grip
                                                    boy's name up there and anyone and everyone else who worked on the
                                                    movie. Why is that, I have to ask?
                                                    This spring I was recommended by another x co-worker to a young lady who
                                                    wanted a grad dress made. I looked at it, told them that I was expensive and
                                                    gave them my estimate. They left, called her dad, came back in and told me
                                                    to go for it. I was shocked, to say the least as I quoted her $1000 and was
                                                    paid up front on our first meeting. It took me awhile, but not once did I
                                                    feel that I wasn't paid for the work I was doing.

                                                    Kelley has some very good points to consider as well. There are many ways to
                                                    calculate a price on a zipper or a seam and I have looked at them all as
                                                    well as having a price list, although mine stated $10/seam. Once again, when
                                                    I started ripping out a zipper on a pair of jeans, inserting a new one and
                                                    remaking the crotch area, I said (pardon my French here) 'Screw it!' I am
                                                    doing all of this work for what?...$5? ...$10? Not on your life. I no longer
                                                    replace zips on anything. Take it to a dry cleaner, please. It is just not
                                                    worth my time, especially when you can purchase a brand new pair of jeans at
                                                    Walmart for less than I would charge you. Someone else on the other hand,
                                                    would love to rip out that zip and replace it, saving that pair of jeans
                                                    from becoming a scrap quilt.

                                                    When you begin to research wage ranges for work done in the sewing world,
                                                    there is a vast diofference between what a woman might charge and a man.
                                                    Again, who is placing value on their work? Ex: about 10 years ago, I was
                                                    involved with a woman whose daughters were into figure skating. There was a
                                                    gentleman in Edmonton who was charging $50/hour to make an outfit and those
                                                    outfits can be very pricey. What was she charging? Not enough. She thought
                                                    she was a great seamstress, but in actuality she was a piece worker. Sewing
                                                    garments together as fast as she could. Well, that didn't pay off as she
                                                    decided that a serger was a Godsend and serged together, completely, a
                                                    wedding gown. That was when I learnt something from someone else's mistakes.
                                                    She ended up safety pinning the gown together just before the bride walked
                                                    down the aisle because serging just can't cut the weight of a wedding gown
                                                    with trains, and appliques and bead work. She only charged $600 for all of
                                                    the work she did do on the gown, but in actuality what was her work worth?
                                                    Another mistake she made was to make a tailored jacket for a woman. Years
                                                    later, my mentor who taught both Maria and myself the Bishop Method of
                                                    Sewing, told me that she had gotten the jacket to try and salvage it. Why?
                                                    Because Maria, who knew better than everyone else, cut the center back and
                                                    side back on the cross grain and as we all know about grain on fabric,
                                                    the back began to sag. Maria didn't last in town as a seamstress.
                                                    Tell these women, that even though they may not be professionals, their work
                                                    is a major contirbution to a production. Without a costume, there is no
                                                    ambiance to the play. Even if it only a minimum amount, they will feel much
                                                    more appreciated with a pay cheque under their belt. I have taken a course
                                                    in theatre, Costume Cutting and Construction. So I know what costumes entail
                                                    as we did 4 productions a year as we learnt the tricks of the trade. And
                                                    both years, we made an extraordinary number of costumes for 2 of the
                                                    productions.
                                                    Another example of value...what would you charge to make a tutu? We learnt
                                                    how and it is almost a never ending job and must absolutely be a labour of
                                                    love. But if you are receiving monetary value for your work, then it is
                                                    lworth every stitch. We were told that there was/is a gentleman in
                                                    Newfoundland who makes tutus. He charges $3000 per. Probably more now as
                                                    that was 6 years ago. And he would spend 3 - 5 days on making them. Not a
                                                    very long time, but once you do a few, you get into a system. Our instructor
                                                    charged $300 for each of the 3 that we made, but we didn't see any of it as
                                                    it went into the program funds. The girls won gold medals and here again, it
                                                    was the costuming that created the ambiance of their dance. Their dancing
                                                    won them their gold. They performed for us at our Showcase and they were
                                                    just gorgeous.
                                                    I don't know what they pay in theatres in the USA for a costumer/stitcher,
                                                    but we will get paid $15/hour to sew on buttons or label garments.
                                                    Millinery. We had a workshop on drafting and making a very basic bonnet. No
                                                    frills, no nothing. Well, mine was bent 2 days before the project was due
                                                    and when you bend millinery wire there is no straightening it. Our
                                                    instructor was the milliner from Stratford. She said that for a basic bonnet
                                                    such as what we were making, her base price was $350 and went up from there.
                                                    She valued her work. After I realized that my bonnet was wrecked (not by me,
                                                    but by my signifigant other, cause he didn't place value on my work) I went
                                                    to class with it, sobbing my heart out. My instructor gave me over the
                                                    Christmas holidays to remake it from scratch. I love creating! So I made
                                                    it as I wanted to in the first place, but was told I couldn't. I was told
                                                    that it looked like a cake with icing, and even though it was late, I
                                                    received 10/10. After that I looked at a hat of mine that had cost $100 and
                                                    I thought that was pricey at the time, but I began to appreciate the skill
                                                    and experience and work that went into creating that hat. True, it may have
                                                    been made by a woman in the 3rd World, or not, but I began to place value
                                                    where none had been before.

                                                    Of course, my signifigant other, has changed his opinion of my work. Good
                                                    thing, else he would be told to 'Hit the road, Jack and don't you come back
                                                    no more, no more, no more, no more' Good thing you can't hear me sing. It is
                                                    not one of my virtues! Although I do a great Chicken Opera...

                                                    I work at a fabric store, yes. Purely by chance, staying for love. And
                                                    during that time period, I have been able to explore my own self and sewing
                                                    skills, challenging myself to create and to make things I never would have.
                                                    I am just that way as I get bored with sewing the same thing over and over.
                                                    I am going to put on a Bridal show next spring at the theatre we have
                                                    downtown. So I am making wedding gowns right now. At the moment I have a
                                                    need to create a black gown. Corseted and a bustled skirt with train. Her
                                                    bouquet will be a dragon headed cane instead of flowers. (We have a large
                                                    goth community here).
                                                    This is my challenge for myself as I have alot of work to do to create the
                                                    silhouette of what I am after. I am probably looking at 12 metres of fabric
                                                    just for the outer skirt, never mind the underskirt and corset. But I still
                                                    have to measure it out. I may have enough in my fabric room for that. I love
                                                    creating, rather than constructing something someone else wants. That is the
                                                    main reason I have chosen not to work under someone else's direction. This
                                                    way I can explore my own creativity and make my own successes and mistakes.
                                                    I no longer become frantic when under the gun as I put myself there every
                                                    fashion show I do.
                                                    I have learnt this about myself as well as I love costuming and if a garment
                                                    is just a ho hum jacket or pair of pants, I am not interested. I do not like
                                                    alterations. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts on that one. I love making
                                                    corsets. I love making gowns and all of the work involved in creating them.
                                                    And I also love putting on productions. It allows me creative discretion and
                                                    because I am in charge of this one, I can have my models wear their hair and
                                                    makeup as I want it and not worry about being told no, because I have no say
                                                    in it at all.
                                                    Am I going to make any money on this venture? I don't know, but I am also
                                                    fully aware that the value I have placed on it is a drive to succeed and
                                                    to produce a bridal show that hasn't been seen in this town ever. A few
                                                    shops getting together and purchasing the ugliest, cheapest fabric for
                                                    backdrops wherever they could get a deal on a hall, is not my idea of a
                                                    decent bridal show. But then I love the theatrical presentation. I have the
                                                    skill, the training, the natural ability and the love for the work involved.
                                                    That is the value I have placed on it; otherwise, I wouldn't do it.
                                                    I have found that once I began to place value on what I do, my attitude has
                                                    changed towards myself. I am highly respected at work and in the costuming
                                                    department. Sewing is my vocation, but the passion I have for it is in my
                                                    soul.
                                                    Once again, I have talked alot, but I love talking and have been alone in
                                                    the house for 3 weeks. Not quite alone as I have been out and about with my
                                                    daughter and Sean and here and there, and I do have 12 cats to keep me
                                                    occupied.......and I love the fact that I don't have to explain every single
                                                    detail to a group who has the knowledge to understand the lingo.
                                                    The most important thing I learnt at college.....was that I didn't want to
                                                    color within the lines any more. And during the communication course, our
                                                    first presentation was about success. I wrote mine the morning of and I
                                                    stated that it could have been the being at college or the classroom or the
                                                    student loan I received, but the real success was ME. I was there.
                                                    Made a couple of other women cry.
                                                    So when you begin to see yourself as a success, you begin to place value
                                                    upon yourself and then on what you do. That was the most important lesson of
                                                    all.
                                                    Jacquie

                                                    On 10/16/07, Susan Cassidy <susabela@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Thanks for all your input, Jacquie-you've put into words how underpaid
                                                    > and
                                                    > undervalued I feel. I'm trying to organize the local ladies who sew for
                                                    > community theatre to not be willing to do it for free. Costuming is hard
                                                    > work, harder than directing in my opinion, as you have to produce a
                                                    > physical
                                                    > product on top of knowing the show. And yet the costumer doesn't receive a
                                                    > stipend, because it's traditionally women's work, while the director and
                                                    > choreographer get paid pretty well. And the retail world is pretty awful,
                                                    > too.
                                                    >
                                                    > _____
                                                    >
                                                    > From: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com>
                                                    > [mailto:TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Shadow's Silk
                                                    > Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 12:59 PM
                                                    > To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                                                    > <TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com>
                                                    > Subject: Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Advice on Pricing Alterations?
                                                    >
                                                    > I recently spent a couple of days helping a seamstress get caught up with
                                                    > her workload during grad and bridal time period. She had 60 gowns in her
                                                    > shop to get out in 2 weeks. What she stated on her price list was
                                                    > $30/hour,
                                                    > yet she was timing herself on each and every garment. So in effect, by
                                                    > using
                                                    > the timing method...writting down the in time when she started and the out
                                                    > time when she took a break or was finished the job; she was actually
                                                    > nickel
                                                    > and diming herself out of business. It was alright for her to do this as
                                                    > she
                                                    > was living off of her late husband's insurrance, but in the real world,
                                                    > she
                                                    > wouldn't have been able to sustain any of it, what with 2 kids and living
                                                    > expenses.
                                                    > In charging only for the time she spent in and out, she wasn't thinking
                                                    > about the cost of utilities, the wear and tear on her machines, the
                                                    > expense
                                                    > of supplies and the time away from a normal family life. I was able to
                                                    > look
                                                    > at her books, as she had promised to pay me $30/hour, but with her mother
                                                    > and sister giving her major grief over my being there, I decided to let
                                                    > her
                                                    > off at $12/hr, which is what she could afford.
                                                    > Why I went there in the first place was that I had met her through work
                                                    > and
                                                    > she called me, herself in tears because the workload was too great for
                                                    > her.
                                                    > Well ya! So I went on my days off and the first day we spent in giving her
                                                    > some time to have a break here and there. I might have stayed and she
                                                    > could
                                                    > have developed a greater business than she had, except for her family's
                                                    > interference (of whom none of them were able to or willing to help out in
                                                    > any which way. I actually walked in on her sister yelling at her about my
                                                    > being there). I decided not to stay on 2 counts. 1 - Her family didn't
                                                    > want
                                                    > me there...big one; 2 - I personally hate alterations and actually there
                                                    > are
                                                    > 3 counts....she was trying to achieve perfection with imperfect gowns.
                                                    > Can't
                                                    > do it, the constuction on the innards of those gowns was shoddy to say the
                                                    > least and I as a seamstress would not have been able to charge what the
                                                    > retail outlets charge. The outer garments were wonderful, but the stress
                                                    > at
                                                    > working on these gowns would have just drove me to tears and with her
                                                    > being
                                                    > a perfectionist, I couldn't imagine what it was doing to her.
                                                    > My advice to you on altering bridal and grad is think about what you are
                                                    > doing first. If you love ripping apart and putting back together, then try
                                                    > it. I do not. I prefer to start from scratch. Also, a really fine point to
                                                    > consider, is that these young ladies are very up and down in weight and
                                                    > stress levels. One gown she took in 3 times and then had to let it out to
                                                    > the original size because the client started eating again. This gown was
                                                    > gorgeous, a grad dress, but it was also beaded, so after the final
                                                    > fitting,
                                                    > all the beads had to be removed, the gown let out and rebeaded by the next
                                                    > day and in the meantime she was supposed to have another 8 ready for the
                                                    > next day, and started on the day afters, which was another 8 or 10.
                                                    > She was also not charging these people time for the fittings nor extra for
                                                    > any alteriations after the fact. I suggested to her that she should charge
                                                    > them double if she had to constantly redo her work over and over again.
                                                    > She is top notch at what she does and only had cards in one store. I
                                                    > couldn't imagine what she would have done if she had cards in all the
                                                    > shops
                                                    > in our city.
                                                    > If I decided to alter bridal and grad, I would be charging $30/hour. No
                                                    > ifs
                                                    > and or buts. If you are good, you will get the business. If you aren't,
                                                    > you
                                                    > won't. Period. It may take you 46 minutes to hem up a gown, but charge for
                                                    > the extra time to make up the hour. This will pay for the machines,
                                                    > supplies
                                                    > and utilities.
                                                    > Business is business. Have you watched "Dragon's Den"? They will not put
                                                    > any
                                                    > money into a project if there is no money to be made. Good advice. That is
                                                    > why they are all billionaires in their own right.
                                                    > So are you wanting to be a good samaritan or are you wanting to make money
                                                    > and a livlihood?
                                                    > As for basic alterations, here too you can be a good samaritan or you can
                                                    > make what your time is worth. In Alberta the going rate for a zipper
                                                    > starts
                                                    > at $20 and goes up depending on the length. Hems start at $20 for a pair
                                                    > of
                                                    > pants. Check out a local tailor shop and the dry cleaners to see what they
                                                    > charge. Do not undercut yourself just to get the business. It isn't worth
                                                    > it.
                                                    > I used to do that as I thought I needed the money, but by the time I was
                                                    > done, I was angry at myself for not charging more. So now I have a
                                                    > starting
                                                    > rate of $350 for everything I do and the price goes up depending on the
                                                    > amount of work involved. I am much happier by the end of the garment
                                                    > because
                                                    > I feel that I am being paid for what I am worth.
                                                    > A major consideration when starting on your venture, is to consider what
                                                    > you
                                                    > are actually doing when you under charge.
                                                    > I work at a fabric store. I would be asked how much I would charge and I
                                                    > would let the person know that I was expensive. (Our city was a farming
                                                    > community, but things have changed drastically and the main populace is
                                                    > just
                                                    > starting to realize that you have to pay...ex: the women would be appalled
                                                    > at paying $5 to have a zip replaced in a pair of jeans. Now the zips are
                                                    > almost that much)
                                                    > There were 2 women, sisters through marriage, who worked with me. They
                                                    > were
                                                    > just learnig how to sew. but every time I quoted a customer, one of them
                                                    > would run back to me and ask how much I quoted. I mentioned it one day to
                                                    > Fahima, about why I wasn't getting any business and she asked if I wanted
                                                    > to
                                                    > know the truth. I said yes, I did, as my knowledge is extensive and my
                                                    > experience is vast. She said that every time I quoted someone, they would
                                                    > come back and ask me how much I quoted the customer and then undercut me,
                                                    > so
                                                    > they got the business.
                                                    > That was the last time I ever did that. My respect and trust for them was
                                                    > lost immediately. I still maintained a repore with them as I worked with
                                                    > them, but there was no more sharing and actually, my attitude towards them
                                                    >
                                                    > changed drastically.
                                                    > I had an opportunity to once quote a gentleman who wanted a white Chinese
                                                    > brocade, long sleeved, mandarin collar shirt made for him. In cutting for
                                                    > him, I knew that he would ask me what I would charge him to make it for
                                                    > him.
                                                    > I already figured him out and told him $350. He exclaimed "For a shirt?!?"
                                                    > Yes. Now a shirt built with fabric you purchased on sale from $16.98/m (39
                                                    > iinches to a metre) less 50% is definately not worth spending that kind of
                                                    >
                                                    > money to have it made. So why did I do it? Because he was high
                                                    > maintenance.
                                                    > He would want alot for nothing. So I called Fahima over to quote him and
                                                    > she
                                                    > quoted $70. I asked her later if they got the job and she said no, another
                                                    >
                                                    > seamstress quoted him $35 and that was who he went with. I then explained
                                                    > to
                                                    > her and the other staff that women who will sew a grad dress or a wedding
                                                    > gown for $100 are really doing the other women who may or may not be
                                                    > trying
                                                    > to make a living at sewing, an injustice in low rates and undercutting
                                                    > others, just to get the business. (Point made here) And I stated that we
                                                    > as
                                                    > women often do not value our work and so our pricing reflects that. In a
                                                    > male dominated business, the hourly rate is what it is. Their work is
                                                    > valued
                                                    > at a certain price range and you either pay it or do it yourself or find
                                                    > someone cheaper and reap the benefits.
                                                    > They now charge $20/hour and are no longer working with us.
                                                    > I am myself probably going to quit at the store. I am receiving
                                                    > $9.85/hour.
                                                    > The money wasn't keeping me there, the love of fabric was. New girls being
                                                    > hired today reeceive $9/hour to start and know absolutely nothing. We were
                                                    >
                                                    > told that raises wouldn't be any different than previously,which was
                                                    > $.05/hour to a maximum of $.25/hour Yes, cents, not dollars. Now my
                                                    > duaghter
                                                    > just received a $2/hour raise and my boyfriend $1.50/hour raise(which
                                                    > equals
                                                    > to $3/hour in less than a year). When one has the managers coming to you
                                                    > for
                                                    > information and advice or handing over customers to you because they don't
                                                    > know what to do for the person, and you aren't making much more than a pre
                                                    >
                                                    > beginner, something is not right. That is undervaluing your work. When the
                                                    > women stay at the job for the low wages, they will keep the hourly rates
                                                    > as
                                                    > low as thethe company can get away with. That is undervaluing our work and
                                                    >
                                                    > ability to make money for the company. Our store is the only one in
                                                    > Central
                                                    > Alberta from the east to west borders and north to south for about 100
                                                    > miles. Last year we were $150,000 short of making almost double what we
                                                    > did
                                                    > the year before. We are only one of 150 stores. Their wage base can be
                                                    > increased, no problem, but they won't do it. Why? Because women will work
                                                    > for less and complain more and do nothing about it.
                                                    >
                                                    > I think I have talked long enough here. But I hope that you think about it
                                                    >
                                                    > long and hard and do some research in your own town/city. Adjust your
                                                    > rates
                                                    > accordingly and try it first before you commint to it. Doing favors for
                                                    > family is one thing. Having clientelle and a business is another.
                                                    >
                                                    > Jacquie
                                                    >
                                                    > On 10/16/07, Renee Schmutz-Sowards <janejr_2000@
                                                    > <mailto:janejr_2000%40yahoo.com> yahoo.com> wrote:
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Howdy,
                                                    > > I need some advice! :)
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Almost invariably when people find out that I can sew, they ask me if I
                                                    > > could do some alterations for them, and how much I would charge.
                                                    > > So far it's mostly been fairly close friends and acquaintances, so I
                                                    > don't
                                                    > > really give much thought to the money...a 5 here, a 10 there, a favor in
                                                    > > return, it's no big deal.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > BUT: The word is apparently spreading about the new seamstress in town
                                                    > and
                                                    > > I'm getting more inquires about sewing jobs from people who fall into
                                                    > the
                                                    > > actual *Real Customer* category! Yay...this is exciting!
                                                    > > So now I need a *Real Price List* too.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > My questions are:
                                                    > > What are the standard sort of prices for basic alterations?
                                                    > > And,
                                                    > > Do any of yin's do this sorta work, and have any advice or tips to
                                                    > share?
                                                    > >
                                                    > > I get the most inquires about hemming garments, but also a fair number
                                                    > > about altering bridesmaids gown's (fitting, hemming and adding straps to
                                                    > > strapless gowns seem to be the big three)
                                                    > >
                                                    > > I'd really appreciate any advice anyone can give me!
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Thanks in advance!
                                                    > > Renee
                                                    > >
                                                    > > ---------------------------------
                                                    > > Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers, not web
                                                    > > links.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    >
                                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    >
                                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >


                                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  • Rebecca
                                                    Hi Everyone, I have a very similar question so I thought it made sense to continue this thread. I m being approached to make toddler and children s costumes
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Oct 24, 2007
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      Hi Everyone,
                                                      I have a very similar question so I thought it made sense to continue
                                                      this thread. I'm being approached to make toddler and children's
                                                      costumes for use in a private portrait studio. I will probably need
                                                      to design a lot on my own, and perhaps find some costumes patterns
                                                      that may work.
                                                      I've costumed shows for a fixed stipend and a materials budget, so
                                                      I've never priced out my own work. I have no idea how to go about
                                                      asking for payment.
                                                      I agree with all the sentiments below but I'm not getting any real
                                                      constructive advice out of it! lol!
                                                      Do I charge separately for materials, and then by the hour, or maybe
                                                      by the costume, with materials included?
                                                      And, since these original costumes will become property of the
                                                      portrait studio, should I charge for the design work too?

                                                      Warning: Unless I'm figuring yardage or measuring for alterations,
                                                      I'm pretty slow with this mathematics stuff, I need it spelled out
                                                      simply!!
                                                      Thanks everyone.
                                                      -Rebecca

                                                      --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, "Shadow's Silk"
                                                      <magicianscorset@...> wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > It is difficult for us as women to place a value on our work. Good
                                                      or not.
                                                      > As you said, many feel it is women's work; the same with
                                                      housekeeping,
                                                      > picking up after everyone, doing the laundry, ironing, shopping,
                                                      cooking,
                                                      > dishes, etc, etc. You get my point.
                                                      > Of course the director and choreographer receive a pay cheque. They
                                                      place a
                                                      > value on their work. While these women are sewing for the theatre
                                                      for free,
                                                      > they are devaluing those who do actually work and get paid for it. I
                                                      > constantly watch the credits for costumers and wardrobe personelle
                                                      at the
                                                      > end of a movie. Seldom do all the names come up. Yet there will be
                                                      a grip
                                                      > boy's name up there and anyone and everyone else who worked on the
                                                      > movie. Why is that, I have to ask?
                                                      > This spring I was recommended by another x co-worker to a young
                                                      lady who
                                                      > wanted a grad dress made. I looked at it, told them that I was
                                                      expensive and
                                                      > gave them my estimate. They left, called her dad, came back in and
                                                      told me
                                                      > to go for it. I was shocked, to say the least as I quoted her $1000
                                                      and was
                                                      > paid up front on our first meeting. It took me awhile, but not once
                                                      did I
                                                      > feel that I wasn't paid for the work I was doing.
                                                      >
                                                      > Kelley has some very good points to consider as well. There are
                                                      many ways to
                                                      > calculate a price on a zipper or a seam and I have looked at them
                                                      all as
                                                      > well as having a price list, although mine stated $10/seam. Once
                                                      again, when
                                                      > I started ripping out a zipper on a pair of jeans, inserting a new
                                                      one and
                                                      > remaking the crotch area, I said (pardon my French here) 'Screw
                                                      it!' I am
                                                      > doing all of this work for what?...$5? ...$10? Not on your life. I
                                                      no longer
                                                      > replace zips on anything. Take it to a dry cleaner, please. It is
                                                      just not
                                                      > worth my time, especially when you can purchase a brand new pair of
                                                      jeans at
                                                      > Walmart for less than I would charge you. Someone else on the other
                                                      hand,
                                                      > would love to rip out that zip and replace it, saving that pair of
                                                      jeans
                                                      > from becoming a scrap quilt.
                                                      >
                                                      > When you begin to research wage ranges for work done in the sewing
                                                      world,
                                                      > there is a vast diofference between what a woman might charge and a
                                                      man.
                                                      > Again, who is placing value on their work? Ex: about 10 years ago,
                                                      I was
                                                      > involved with a woman whose daughters were into figure skating.
                                                      There was a
                                                      > gentleman in Edmonton who was charging $50/hour to make an outfit
                                                      and those
                                                      > outfits can be very pricey. What was she charging? Not enough. She
                                                      thought
                                                      > she was a great seamstress, but in actuality she was a piece
                                                      worker. Sewing
                                                      > garments together as fast as she could. Well, that didn't pay off
                                                      as she
                                                      > decided that a serger was a Godsend and serged together,
                                                      completely, a
                                                      > wedding gown. That was when I learnt something from someone else's
                                                      mistakes.
                                                      > She ended up safety pinning the gown together just before the bride
                                                      walked
                                                      > down the aisle because serging just can't cut the weight of a
                                                      wedding gown
                                                      > with trains, and appliques and bead work. She only charged $600 for
                                                      all of
                                                      > the work she did do on the gown, but in actuality what was her work
                                                      worth?
                                                      > Another mistake she made was to make a tailored jacket for a woman.
                                                      Years
                                                      > later, my mentor who taught both Maria and myself the Bishop Method
                                                      of
                                                      > Sewing, told me that she had gotten the jacket to try and salvage
                                                      it. Why?
                                                      > Because Maria, who knew better than everyone else, cut the center
                                                      back and
                                                      > side back on the cross grain and as we all know about grain on
                                                      fabric,
                                                      > the back began to sag. Maria didn't last in town as a seamstress.
                                                      > Tell these women, that even though they may not be professionals,
                                                      their work
                                                      > is a major contirbution to a production. Without a costume, there
                                                      is no
                                                      > ambiance to the play. Even if it only a minimum amount, they will
                                                      feel much
                                                      > more appreciated with a pay cheque under their belt. I have taken a
                                                      course
                                                      > in theatre, Costume Cutting and Construction. So I know what
                                                      costumes entail
                                                      > as we did 4 productions a year as we learnt the tricks of the
                                                      trade. And
                                                      > both years, we made an extraordinary number of costumes for 2 of the
                                                      > productions.
                                                      > Another example of value...what would you charge to make a tutu? We
                                                      learnt
                                                      > how and it is almost a never ending job and must absolutely be a
                                                      labour of
                                                      > love. But if you are receiving monetary value for your work, then
                                                      it is
                                                      > lworth every stitch. We were told that there was/is a gentleman in
                                                      > Newfoundland who makes tutus. He charges $3000 per. Probably more
                                                      now as
                                                      > that was 6 years ago. And he would spend 3 - 5 days on making them.
                                                      Not a
                                                      > very long time, but once you do a few, you get into a system. Our
                                                      instructor
                                                      > charged $300 for each of the 3 that we made, but we didn't see any
                                                      of it as
                                                      > it went into the program funds. The girls won gold medals and here
                                                      again, it
                                                      > was the costuming that created the ambiance of their dance. Their
                                                      dancing
                                                      > won them their gold. They performed for us at our Showcase and they
                                                      were
                                                      > just gorgeous.
                                                      > I don't know what they pay in theatres in the USA for a
                                                      costumer/stitcher,
                                                      > but we will get paid $15/hour to sew on buttons or label garments.
                                                      > Millinery. We had a workshop on drafting and making a very basic
                                                      bonnet. No
                                                      > frills, no nothing. Well, mine was bent 2 days before the project
                                                      was due
                                                      > and when you bend millinery wire there is no straightening it. Our
                                                      > instructor was the milliner from Stratford. She said that for a
                                                      basic bonnet
                                                      > such as what we were making, her base price was $350 and went up
                                                      from there.
                                                      > She valued her work. After I realized that my bonnet was wrecked
                                                      (not by me,
                                                      > but by my signifigant other, cause he didn't place value on my
                                                      work) I went
                                                      > to class with it, sobbing my heart out. My instructor gave me over
                                                      the
                                                      > Christmas holidays to remake it from scratch. I love creating! So I
                                                      made
                                                      > it as I wanted to in the first place, but was told I couldn't. I
                                                      was told
                                                      > that it looked like a cake with icing, and even though it was late,
                                                      I
                                                      > received 10/10. After that I looked at a hat of mine that had cost
                                                      $100 and
                                                      > I thought that was pricey at the time, but I began to appreciate
                                                      the skill
                                                      > and experience and work that went into creating that hat. True, it
                                                      may have
                                                      > been made by a woman in the 3rd World, or not, but I began to place
                                                      value
                                                      > where none had been before.
                                                      >
                                                      > Of course, my signifigant other, has changed his opinion of my
                                                      work. Good
                                                      > thing, else he would be told to 'Hit the road, Jack and don't you
                                                      come back
                                                      > no more, no more, no more, no more' Good thing you can't hear me
                                                      sing. It is
                                                      > not one of my virtues! Although I do a great Chicken Opera...
                                                      >
                                                      > I work at a fabric store, yes. Purely by chance, staying for love.
                                                      And
                                                      > during that time period, I have been able to explore my own self
                                                      and sewing
                                                      > skills, challenging myself to create and to make things I never
                                                      would have.
                                                      > I am just that way as I get bored with sewing the same thing over
                                                      and over.
                                                      > I am going to put on a Bridal show next spring at the theatre we
                                                      have
                                                      > downtown. So I am making wedding gowns right now. At the moment I
                                                      have a
                                                      > need to create a black gown. Corseted and a bustled skirt with
                                                      train. Her
                                                      > bouquet will be a dragon headed cane instead of flowers. (We have a
                                                      large
                                                      > goth community here).
                                                      > This is my challenge for myself as I have alot of work to do to
                                                      create the
                                                      > silhouette of what I am after. I am probably looking at 12 metres
                                                      of fabric
                                                      > just for the outer skirt, never mind the underskirt and corset. But
                                                      I still
                                                      > have to measure it out. I may have enough in my fabric room for
                                                      that. I love
                                                      > creating, rather than constructing something someone else wants.
                                                      That is the
                                                      > main reason I have chosen not to work under someone else's
                                                      direction. This
                                                      > way I can explore my own creativity and make my own successes and
                                                      mistakes.
                                                      > I no longer become frantic when under the gun as I put myself there
                                                      every
                                                      > fashion show I do.
                                                      > I have learnt this about myself as well as I love costuming and if
                                                      a garment
                                                      > is just a ho hum jacket or pair of pants, I am not interested. I do
                                                      not like
                                                      > alterations. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts on that one. I love
                                                      making
                                                      > corsets. I love making gowns and all of the work involved in
                                                      creating them.
                                                      > And I also love putting on productions. It allows me creative
                                                      discretion and
                                                      > because I am in charge of this one, I can have my models wear their
                                                      hair and
                                                      > makeup as I want it and not worry about being told no, because I
                                                      have no say
                                                      > in it at all.
                                                      > Am I going to make any money on this venture? I don't know, but I
                                                      am also
                                                      > fully aware that the value I have placed on it is a drive to
                                                      succeed and
                                                      > to produce a bridal show that hasn't been seen in this town ever. A
                                                      few
                                                      > shops getting together and purchasing the ugliest, cheapest fabric
                                                      for
                                                      > backdrops wherever they could get a deal on a hall, is not my idea
                                                      of a
                                                      > decent bridal show. But then I love the theatrical presentation. I
                                                      have the
                                                      > skill, the training, the natural ability and the love for the work
                                                      involved.
                                                      > That is the value I have placed on it; otherwise, I wouldn't do it.
                                                      > I have found that once I began to place value on what I do, my
                                                      attitude has
                                                      > changed towards myself. I am highly respected at work and in the
                                                      costuming
                                                      > department. Sewing is my vocation, but the passion I have for it is
                                                      in my
                                                      > soul.
                                                      > Once again, I have talked alot, but I love talking and have been
                                                      alone in
                                                      > the house for 3 weeks. Not quite alone as I have been out and about
                                                      with my
                                                      > daughter and Sean and here and there, and I do have 12 cats to keep
                                                      me
                                                      > occupied.......and I love the fact that I don't have to explain
                                                      every single
                                                      > detail to a group who has the knowledge to understand the lingo.
                                                      > The most important thing I learnt at college.....was that I didn't
                                                      want to
                                                      > color within the lines any more. And during the communication
                                                      course, our
                                                      > first presentation was about success. I wrote mine the morning of
                                                      and I
                                                      > stated that it could have been the being at college or the
                                                      classroom or the
                                                      > student loan I received, but the real success was ME. I was there.
                                                      > Made a couple of other women cry.
                                                      > So when you begin to see yourself as a success, you begin to place
                                                      value
                                                      > upon yourself and then on what you do. That was the most important
                                                      lesson of
                                                      > all.
                                                      > Jacquie
                                                      >
                                                      > On 10/16/07, Susan Cassidy <susabela@...> wrote:
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Thanks for all your input, Jacquie-you've put into words how
                                                      underpaid
                                                      > > and
                                                      > > undervalued I feel. I'm trying to organize the local ladies who
                                                      sew for
                                                      > > community theatre to not be willing to do it for free. Costuming
                                                      is hard
                                                      > > work, harder than directing in my opinion, as you have to produce
                                                      a
                                                      > > physical
                                                      > > product on top of knowing the show. And yet the costumer doesn't
                                                      receive a
                                                      > > stipend, because it's traditionally women's work, while the
                                                      director and
                                                      > > choreographer get paid pretty well. And the retail world is
                                                      pretty awful,
                                                      > > too.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > _____
                                                      > >
                                                      > > From: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<TheCostumersManifesto%
                                                      40yahoogroups.com>
                                                      > >
                                                      [mailto:TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<TheCostumersManifesto%
                                                      40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Shadow's Silk
                                                      > > Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 12:59 PM
                                                      > > To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                                                      > > <TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com>
                                                      > > Subject: Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Advice on Pricing
                                                      Alterations?
                                                      > >
                                                      > > I recently spent a couple of days helping a seamstress get caught
                                                      up with
                                                      > > her workload during grad and bridal time period. She had 60 gowns
                                                      in her
                                                      > > shop to get out in 2 weeks. What she stated on her price list was
                                                      > > $30/hour,
                                                      > > yet she was timing herself on each and every garment. So in
                                                      effect, by
                                                      > > using
                                                      > > the timing method...writting down the in time when she started
                                                      and the out
                                                      > > time when she took a break or was finished the job; she was
                                                      actually
                                                      > > nickel
                                                      > > and diming herself out of business. It was alright for her to do
                                                      this as
                                                      > > she
                                                      > > was living off of her late husband's insurrance, but in the real
                                                      world,
                                                      > > she
                                                      > > wouldn't have been able to sustain any of it, what with 2 kids
                                                      and living
                                                      > > expenses.
                                                      > > In charging only for the time she spent in and out, she wasn't
                                                      thinking
                                                      > > about the cost of utilities, the wear and tear on her machines,
                                                      the
                                                      > > expense
                                                      > > of supplies and the time away from a normal family life. I was
                                                      able to
                                                      > > look
                                                      > > at her books, as she had promised to pay me $30/hour, but with
                                                      her mother
                                                      > > and sister giving her major grief over my being there, I decided
                                                      to let
                                                      > > her
                                                      > > off at $12/hr, which is what she could afford.
                                                      > > Why I went there in the first place was that I had met her
                                                      through work
                                                      > > and
                                                      > > she called me, herself in tears because the workload was too
                                                      great for
                                                      > > her.
                                                      > > Well ya! So I went on my days off and the first day we spent in
                                                      giving her
                                                      > > some time to have a break here and there. I might have stayed and
                                                      she
                                                      > > could
                                                      > > have developed a greater business than she had, except for her
                                                      family's
                                                      > > interference (of whom none of them were able to or willing to
                                                      help out in
                                                      > > any which way. I actually walked in on her sister yelling at her
                                                      about my
                                                      > > being there). I decided not to stay on 2 counts. 1 - Her family
                                                      didn't
                                                      > > want
                                                      > > me there...big one; 2 - I personally hate alterations and
                                                      actually there
                                                      > > are
                                                      > > 3 counts....she was trying to achieve perfection with imperfect
                                                      gowns.
                                                      > > Can't
                                                      > > do it, the constuction on the innards of those gowns was shoddy
                                                      to say the
                                                      > > least and I as a seamstress would not have been able to charge
                                                      what the
                                                      > > retail outlets charge. The outer garments were wonderful, but the
                                                      stress
                                                      > > at
                                                      > > working on these gowns would have just drove me to tears and with
                                                      her
                                                      > > being
                                                      > > a perfectionist, I couldn't imagine what it was doing to her.
                                                      > > My advice to you on altering bridal and grad is think about what
                                                      you are
                                                      > > doing first. If you love ripping apart and putting back together,
                                                      then try
                                                      > > it. I do not. I prefer to start from scratch. Also, a really fine
                                                      point to
                                                      > > consider, is that these young ladies are very up and down in
                                                      weight and
                                                      > > stress levels. One gown she took in 3 times and then had to let
                                                      it out to
                                                      > > the original size because the client started eating again. This
                                                      gown was
                                                      > > gorgeous, a grad dress, but it was also beaded, so after the final
                                                      > > fitting,
                                                      > > all the beads had to be removed, the gown let out and rebeaded by
                                                      the next
                                                      > > day and in the meantime she was supposed to have another 8 ready
                                                      for the
                                                      > > next day, and started on the day afters, which was another 8 or
                                                      10.
                                                      > > She was also not charging these people time for the fittings nor
                                                      extra for
                                                      > > any alteriations after the fact. I suggested to her that she
                                                      should charge
                                                      > > them double if she had to constantly redo her work over and over
                                                      again.
                                                      > > She is top notch at what she does and only had cards in one
                                                      store. I
                                                      > > couldn't imagine what she would have done if she had cards in all
                                                      the
                                                      > > shops
                                                      > > in our city.
                                                      > > If I decided to alter bridal and grad, I would be charging
                                                      $30/hour. No
                                                      > > ifs
                                                      > > and or buts. If you are good, you will get the business. If you
                                                      aren't,
                                                      > > you
                                                      > > won't. Period. It may take you 46 minutes to hem up a gown, but
                                                      charge for
                                                      > > the extra time to make up the hour. This will pay for the
                                                      machines,
                                                      > > supplies
                                                      > > and utilities.
                                                      > > Business is business. Have you watched "Dragon's Den"? They will
                                                      not put
                                                      > > any
                                                      > > money into a project if there is no money to be made. Good
                                                      advice. That is
                                                      > > why they are all billionaires in their own right.
                                                      > > So are you wanting to be a good samaritan or are you wanting to
                                                      make money
                                                      > > and a livlihood?
                                                      > > As for basic alterations, here too you can be a good samaritan or
                                                      you can
                                                      > > make what your time is worth. In Alberta the going rate for a
                                                      zipper
                                                      > > starts
                                                      > > at $20 and goes up depending on the length. Hems start at $20 for
                                                      a pair
                                                      > > of
                                                      > > pants. Check out a local tailor shop and the dry cleaners to see
                                                      what they
                                                      > > charge. Do not undercut yourself just to get the business. It
                                                      isn't worth
                                                      > > it.
                                                      > > I used to do that as I thought I needed the money, but by the
                                                      time I was
                                                      > > done, I was angry at myself for not charging more. So now I have a
                                                      > > starting
                                                      > > rate of $350 for everything I do and the price goes up depending
                                                      on the
                                                      > > amount of work involved. I am much happier by the end of the
                                                      garment
                                                      > > because
                                                      > > I feel that I am being paid for what I am worth.
                                                      > > A major consideration when starting on your venture, is to
                                                      consider what
                                                      > > you
                                                      > > are actually doing when you under charge.
                                                      > > I work at a fabric store. I would be asked how much I would
                                                      charge and I
                                                      > > would let the person know that I was expensive. (Our city was a
                                                      farming
                                                      > > community, but things have changed drastically and the main
                                                      populace is
                                                      > > just
                                                      > > starting to realize that you have to pay...ex: the women would be
                                                      appalled
                                                      > > at paying $5 to have a zip replaced in a pair of jeans. Now the
                                                      zips are
                                                      > > almost that much)
                                                      > > There were 2 women, sisters through marriage, who worked with me.
                                                      They
                                                      > > were
                                                      > > just learnig how to sew. but every time I quoted a customer, one
                                                      of them
                                                      > > would run back to me and ask how much I quoted. I mentioned it
                                                      one day to
                                                      > > Fahima, about why I wasn't getting any business and she asked if
                                                      I wanted
                                                      > > to
                                                      > > know the truth. I said yes, I did, as my knowledge is extensive
                                                      and my
                                                      > > experience is vast. She said that every time I quoted someone,
                                                      they would
                                                      > > come back and ask me how much I quoted the customer and then
                                                      undercut me,
                                                      > > so
                                                      > > they got the business.
                                                      > > That was the last time I ever did that. My respect and trust for
                                                      them was
                                                      > > lost immediately. I still maintained a repore with them as I
                                                      worked with
                                                      > > them, but there was no more sharing and actually, my attitude
                                                      towards them
                                                      > >
                                                      > > changed drastically.
                                                      > > I had an opportunity to once quote a gentleman who wanted a white
                                                      Chinese
                                                      > > brocade, long sleeved, mandarin collar shirt made for him. In
                                                      cutting for
                                                      > > him, I knew that he would ask me what I would charge him to make
                                                      it for
                                                      > > him.
                                                      > > I already figured him out and told him $350. He exclaimed "For a
                                                      shirt?!?"
                                                      > > Yes. Now a shirt built with fabric you purchased on sale from
                                                      $16.98/m (39
                                                      > > iinches to a metre) less 50% is definately not worth spending
                                                      that kind of
                                                      > >
                                                      > > money to have it made. So why did I do it? Because he was high
                                                      > > maintenance.
                                                      > > He would want alot for nothing. So I called Fahima over to quote
                                                      him and
                                                      > > she
                                                      > > quoted $70. I asked her later if they got the job and she said
                                                      no, another
                                                      > >
                                                      > > seamstress quoted him $35 and that was who he went with. I then
                                                      explained
                                                      > > to
                                                      > > her and the other staff that women who will sew a grad dress or a
                                                      wedding
                                                      > > gown for $100 are really doing the other women who may or may not
                                                      be
                                                      > > trying
                                                      > > to make a living at sewing, an injustice in low rates and
                                                      undercutting
                                                      > > others, just to get the business. (Point made here) And I stated
                                                      that we
                                                      > > as
                                                      > > women often do not value our work and so our pricing reflects
                                                      that. In a
                                                      > > male dominated business, the hourly rate is what it is. Their
                                                      work is
                                                      > > valued
                                                      > > at a certain price range and you either pay it or do it yourself
                                                      or find
                                                      > > someone cheaper and reap the benefits.
                                                      > > They now charge $20/hour and are no longer working with us.
                                                      > > I am myself probably going to quit at the store. I am receiving
                                                      > > $9.85/hour.
                                                      > > The money wasn't keeping me there, the love of fabric was. New
                                                      girls being
                                                      > > hired today reeceive $9/hour to start and know absolutely
                                                      nothing. We were
                                                      > >
                                                      > > told that raises wouldn't be any different than previously,which
                                                      was
                                                      > > $.05/hour to a maximum of $.25/hour Yes, cents, not dollars. Now
                                                      my
                                                      > > duaghter
                                                      > > just received a $2/hour raise and my boyfriend $1.50/hour raise
                                                      (which
                                                      > > equals
                                                      > > to $3/hour in less than a year). When one has the managers coming
                                                      to you
                                                      > > for
                                                      > > information and advice or handing over customers to you because
                                                      they don't
                                                      > > know what to do for the person, and you aren't making much more
                                                      than a pre
                                                      > >
                                                      > > beginner, something is not right. That is undervaluing your work.
                                                      When the
                                                      > > women stay at the job for the low wages, they will keep the
                                                      hourly rates
                                                      > > as
                                                      > > low as thethe company can get away with. That is undervaluing our
                                                      work and
                                                      > >
                                                      > > ability to make money for the company. Our store is the only one
                                                      in
                                                      > > Central
                                                      > > Alberta from the east to west borders and north to south for
                                                      about 100
                                                      > > miles. Last year we were $150,000 short of making almost double
                                                      what we
                                                      > > did
                                                      > > the year before. We are only one of 150 stores. Their wage base
                                                      can be
                                                      > > increased, no problem, but they won't do it. Why? Because women
                                                      will work
                                                      > > for less and complain more and do nothing about it.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > I think I have talked long enough here. But I hope that you think
                                                      about it
                                                      > >
                                                      > > long and hard and do some research in your own town/city. Adjust
                                                      your
                                                      > > rates
                                                      > > accordingly and try it first before you commint to it. Doing
                                                      favors for
                                                      > > family is one thing. Having clientelle and a business is another.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Jacquie
                                                      > >
                                                      > > On 10/16/07, Renee Schmutz-Sowards <janejr_2000@
                                                      > > <mailto:janejr_2000%40yahoo.com> yahoo.com> wrote:
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > Howdy,
                                                      > > > I need some advice! :)
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > Almost invariably when people find out that I can sew, they ask
                                                      me if I
                                                      > > > could do some alterations for them, and how much I would charge.
                                                      > > > So far it's mostly been fairly close friends and acquaintances,
                                                      so I
                                                      > > don't
                                                      > > > really give much thought to the money...a 5 here, a 10 there, a
                                                      favor in
                                                      > > > return, it's no big deal.
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > BUT: The word is apparently spreading about the new seamstress
                                                      in town
                                                      > > and
                                                      > > > I'm getting more inquires about sewing jobs from people who
                                                      fall into
                                                      > > the
                                                      > > > actual *Real Customer* category! Yay...this is exciting!
                                                      > > > So now I need a *Real Price List* too.
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > My questions are:
                                                      > > > What are the standard sort of prices for basic alterations?
                                                      > > > And,
                                                      > > > Do any of yin's do this sorta work, and have any advice or tips
                                                      to
                                                      > > share?
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > I get the most inquires about hemming garments, but also a fair
                                                      number
                                                      > > > about altering bridesmaids gown's (fitting, hemming and adding
                                                      straps to
                                                      > > > strapless gowns seem to be the big three)
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > I'd really appreciate any advice anyone can give me!
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > Thanks in advance!
                                                      > > > Renee
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > ---------------------------------
                                                      > > > Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers,
                                                      not web
                                                      > > > links.
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > >
                                                      > >
                                                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                      > >
                                                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                      > >
                                                      > >
                                                      > >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                      >
                                                    • Sylvia Rognstad
                                                      I know it s very difficult to estimate how long a job will take you in advance, but that s what you need to do. Then you need to figure out the materials you
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Oct 25, 2007
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        I know it's very difficult to estimate how long a job will take you in
                                                        advance, but that's what you need to do. Then you need to figure out
                                                        the materials you will need and estimate a cost for them. How much do
                                                        you want to charge per hour for your labor? Do you have any idea if
                                                        this studio is quite lucrative, or not? Since it's not theatre, I
                                                        would estimate on the high side. I know most theatres won't pay much.
                                                        Businesses tend to pay better. I would think about a figure of $15-20
                                                        per hour. Include design time. Add the labor cost and the materials
                                                        cost and present them with a total. You can always bargain down if
                                                        they balk.

                                                        Sylrog

                                                        On Oct 24, 2007, at 9:01 AM, Rebecca wrote:

                                                        > Hi Everyone,
                                                        > I have a very similar question so I thought it made sense to continue
                                                        > this thread. I'm being approached to make toddler and children's
                                                        > costumes for use in a private portrait studio. I will probably need
                                                        > to design a lot on my own, and perhaps find some costumes patterns
                                                        > that may work.
                                                        > I've costumed shows for a fixed stipend and a materials budget, so
                                                        > I've never priced out my own work. I have no idea how to go about
                                                        > asking for payment.
                                                        > I agree with all the sentiments below but I'm not getting any real
                                                        > constructive advice out of it! lol!
                                                        > Do I charge separately for materials, and then by the hour, or maybe
                                                        > by the costume, with materials included?
                                                        > And, since these original costumes will become property of the
                                                        > portrait studio, should I charge for the design work too?
                                                        >
                                                        > Warning: Unless I'm figuring yardage or measuring for alterations,
                                                        > I'm pretty slow with this mathematics stuff, I need it spelled out
                                                        > simply!!
                                                        > Thanks everyone.
                                                        > -Rebecca
                                                        >
                                                        > --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, "Shadow's Silk"
                                                        > <magicianscorset@...> wrote:
                                                        > >
                                                        > > It is difficult for us as women to place a value on our work. Good
                                                        > or not.
                                                        > > As you said, many feel it is women's work; the same with
                                                        > housekeeping,
                                                        > > picking up after everyone, doing the laundry, ironing, shopping,
                                                        > cooking,
                                                        > > dishes, etc, etc. You get my point.
                                                        > > Of course the director and choreographer receive a pay cheque. They
                                                        > place a
                                                        > > value on their work. While these women are sewing for the theatre
                                                        > for free,
                                                        > > they are devaluing those who do actually work and get paid for it. I
                                                        > > constantly watch the credits for costumers and wardrobe personelle
                                                        > at the
                                                        > > end of a movie. Seldom do all the names come up. Yet there will be
                                                        > a grip
                                                        > > boy's name up there and anyone and everyone else who worked on the
                                                        > > movie. Why is that, I have to ask?
                                                        > > This spring I was recommended by another x co-worker to a young
                                                        > lady who
                                                        > > wanted a grad dress made. I looked at it, told them that I was
                                                        > expensive and
                                                        > > gave them my estimate. They left, called her dad, came back in and
                                                        > told me
                                                        > > to go for it. I was shocked, to say the least as I quoted her $1000
                                                        > and was
                                                        > > paid up front on our first meeting. It took me awhile, but not once
                                                        > did I
                                                        > > feel that I wasn't paid for the work I was doing.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Kelley has some very good points to consider as well. There are
                                                        > many ways to
                                                        > > calculate a price on a zipper or a seam and I have looked at them
                                                        > all as
                                                        > > well as having a price list, although mine stated $10/seam. Once
                                                        > again, when
                                                        > > I started ripping out a zipper on a pair of jeans, inserting a new
                                                        > one and
                                                        > > remaking the crotch area, I said (pardon my French here) 'Screw
                                                        > it!' I am
                                                        > > doing all of this work for what?...$5? ...$10? Not on your life. I
                                                        > no longer
                                                        > > replace zips on anything. Take it to a dry cleaner, please. It is
                                                        > just not
                                                        > > worth my time, especially when you can purchase a brand new pair of
                                                        > jeans at
                                                        > > Walmart for less than I would charge you. Someone else on the other
                                                        > hand,
                                                        > > would love to rip out that zip and replace it, saving that pair of
                                                        > jeans
                                                        > > from becoming a scrap quilt.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > When you begin to research wage ranges for work done in the sewing
                                                        > world,
                                                        > > there is a vast diofference between what a woman might charge and a
                                                        > man.
                                                        > > Again, who is placing value on their work? Ex: about 10 years ago,
                                                        > I was
                                                        > > involved with a woman whose daughters were into figure skating.
                                                        > There was a
                                                        > > gentleman in Edmonton who was charging $50/hour to make an outfit
                                                        > and those
                                                        > > outfits can be very pricey. What was she charging? Not enough. She
                                                        > thought
                                                        > > she was a great seamstress, but in actuality she was a piece
                                                        > worker. Sewing
                                                        > > garments together as fast as she could. Well, that didn't pay off
                                                        > as she
                                                        > > decided that a serger was a Godsend and serged together,
                                                        > completely, a
                                                        > > wedding gown. That was when I learnt something from someone else's
                                                        > mistakes.
                                                        > > She ended up safety pinning the gown together just before the bride
                                                        > walked
                                                        > > down the aisle because serging just can't cut the weight of a
                                                        > wedding gown
                                                        > > with trains, and appliques and bead work. She only charged $600 for
                                                        > all of
                                                        > > the work she did do on the gown, but in actuality what was her work
                                                        > worth?
                                                        > > Another mistake she made was to make a tailored jacket for a woman.
                                                        > Years
                                                        > > later, my mentor who taught both Maria and myself the Bishop Method
                                                        > of
                                                        > > Sewing, told me that she had gotten the jacket to try and salvage
                                                        > it. Why?
                                                        > > Because Maria, who knew better than everyone else, cut the center
                                                        > back and
                                                        > > side back on the cross grain and as we all know about grain on
                                                        > fabric,
                                                        > > the back began to sag. Maria didn't last in town as a seamstress.
                                                        > > Tell these women, that even though they may not be professionals,
                                                        > their work
                                                        > > is a major contirbution to a production. Without a costume, there
                                                        > is no
                                                        > > ambiance to the play. Even if it only a minimum amount, they will
                                                        > feel much
                                                        > > more appreciated with a pay cheque under their belt. I have taken a
                                                        > course
                                                        > > in theatre, Costume Cutting and Construction. So I know what
                                                        > costumes entail
                                                        > > as we did 4 productions a year as we learnt the tricks of the
                                                        > trade. And
                                                        > > both years, we made an extraordinary number of costumes for 2 of the
                                                        > > productions.
                                                        > > Another example of value...what would you charge to make a tutu? We
                                                        > learnt
                                                        > > how and it is almost a never ending job and must absolutely be a
                                                        > labour of
                                                        > > love. But if you are receiving monetary value for your work, then
                                                        > it is
                                                        > > lworth every stitch. We were told that there was/is a gentleman in
                                                        > > Newfoundland who makes tutus. He charges $3000 per. Probably more
                                                        > now as
                                                        > > that was 6 years ago. And he would spend 3 - 5 days on making them.
                                                        > Not a
                                                        > > very long time, but once you do a few, you get into a system. Our
                                                        > instructor
                                                        > > charged $300 for each of the 3 that we made, but we didn't see any
                                                        > of it as
                                                        > > it went into the program funds. The girls won gold medals and here
                                                        > again, it
                                                        > > was the costuming that created the ambiance of their dance. Their
                                                        > dancing
                                                        > > won them their gold. They performed for us at our Showcase and they
                                                        > were
                                                        > > just gorgeous.
                                                        > > I don't know what they pay in theatres in the USA for a
                                                        > costumer/stitcher,
                                                        > > but we will get paid $15/hour to sew on buttons or label garments.
                                                        > > Millinery. We had a workshop on drafting and making a very basic
                                                        > bonnet. No
                                                        > > frills, no nothing. Well, mine was bent 2 days before the project
                                                        > was due
                                                        > > and when you bend millinery wire there is no straightening it. Our
                                                        > > instructor was the milliner from Stratford. She said that for a
                                                        > basic bonnet
                                                        > > such as what we were making, her base price was $350 and went up
                                                        > from there.
                                                        > > She valued her work. After I realized that my bonnet was wrecked
                                                        > (not by me,
                                                        > > but by my signifigant other, cause he didn't place value on my
                                                        > work) I went
                                                        > > to class with it, sobbing my heart out. My instructor gave me over
                                                        > the
                                                        > > Christmas holidays to remake it from scratch. I love creating! So I
                                                        > made
                                                        > > it as I wanted to in the first place, but was told I couldn't. I
                                                        > was told
                                                        > > that it looked like a cake with icing, and even though it was late,
                                                        > I
                                                        > > received 10/10. After that I looked at a hat of mine that had cost
                                                        > $100 and
                                                        > > I thought that was pricey at the time, but I began to appreciate
                                                        > the skill
                                                        > > and experience and work that went into creating that hat. True, it
                                                        > may have
                                                        > > been made by a woman in the 3rd World, or not, but I began to place
                                                        > value
                                                        > > where none had been before.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Of course, my signifigant other, has changed his opinion of my
                                                        > work. Good
                                                        > > thing, else he would be told to 'Hit the road, Jack and don't you
                                                        > come back
                                                        > > no more, no more, no more, no more' Good thing you can't hear me
                                                        > sing. It is
                                                        > > not one of my virtues! Although I do a great Chicken Opera...
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I work at a fabric store, yes. Purely by chance, staying for love.
                                                        > And
                                                        > > during that time period, I have been able to explore my own self
                                                        > and sewing
                                                        > > skills, challenging myself to create and to make things I never
                                                        > would have.
                                                        > > I am just that way as I get bored with sewing the same thing over
                                                        > and over.
                                                        > > I am going to put on a Bridal show next spring at the theatre we
                                                        > have
                                                        > > downtown. So I am making wedding gowns right now. At the moment I
                                                        > have a
                                                        > > need to create a black gown. Corseted and a bustled skirt with
                                                        > train. Her
                                                        > > bouquet will be a dragon headed cane instead of flowers. (We have a
                                                        > large
                                                        > > goth community here).
                                                        > > This is my challenge for myself as I have alot of work to do to
                                                        > create the
                                                        > > silhouette of what I am after. I am probably looking at 12 metres
                                                        > of fabric
                                                        > > just for the outer skirt, never mind the underskirt and corset. But
                                                        > I still
                                                        > > have to measure it out. I may have enough in my fabric room for
                                                        > that. I love
                                                        > > creating, rather than constructing something someone else wants.
                                                        > That is the
                                                        > > main reason I have chosen not to work under someone else's
                                                        > direction. This
                                                        > > way I can explore my own creativity and make my own successes and
                                                        > mistakes.
                                                        > > I no longer become frantic when under the gun as I put myself there
                                                        > every
                                                        > > fashion show I do.
                                                        > > I have learnt this about myself as well as I love costuming and if
                                                        > a garment
                                                        > > is just a ho hum jacket or pair of pants, I am not interested. I do
                                                        > not like
                                                        > > alterations. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts on that one. I love
                                                        > making
                                                        > > corsets. I love making gowns and all of the work involved in
                                                        > creating them.
                                                        > > And I also love putting on productions. It allows me creative
                                                        > discretion and
                                                        > > because I am in charge of this one, I can have my models wear their
                                                        > hair and
                                                        > > makeup as I want it and not worry about being told no, because I
                                                        > have no say
                                                        > > in it at all.
                                                        > > Am I going to make any money on this venture? I don't know, but I
                                                        > am also
                                                        > > fully aware that the value I have placed on it is a drive to
                                                        > succeed and
                                                        > > to produce a bridal show that hasn't been seen in this town ever. A
                                                        > few
                                                        > > shops getting together and purchasing the ugliest, cheapest fabric
                                                        > for
                                                        > > backdrops wherever they could get a deal on a hall, is not my idea
                                                        > of a
                                                        > > decent bridal show. But then I love the theatrical presentation. I
                                                        > have the
                                                        > > skill, the training, the natural ability and the love for the work
                                                        > involved.
                                                        > > That is the value I have placed on it; otherwise, I wouldn't do it.
                                                        > > I have found that once I began to place value on what I do, my
                                                        > attitude has
                                                        > > changed towards myself. I am highly respected at work and in the
                                                        > costuming
                                                        > > department. Sewing is my vocation, but the passion I have for it is
                                                        > in my
                                                        > > soul.
                                                        > > Once again, I have talked alot, but I love talking and have been
                                                        > alone in
                                                        > > the house for 3 weeks. Not quite alone as I have been out and about
                                                        > with my
                                                        > > daughter and Sean and here and there, and I do have 12 cats to keep
                                                        > me
                                                        > > occupied.......and I love the fact that I don't have to explain
                                                        > every single
                                                        > > detail to a group who has the knowledge to understand the lingo.
                                                        > > The most important thing I learnt at college.....was that I didn't
                                                        > want to
                                                        > > color within the lines any more. And during the communication
                                                        > course, our
                                                        > > first presentation was about success. I wrote mine the morning of
                                                        > and I
                                                        > > stated that it could have been the being at college or the
                                                        > classroom or the
                                                        > > student loan I received, but the real success was ME. I was there.
                                                        > > Made a couple of other women cry.
                                                        > > So when you begin to see yourself as a success, you begin to place
                                                        > value
                                                        > > upon yourself and then on what you do. That was the most important
                                                        > lesson of
                                                        > > all.
                                                        > > Jacquie
                                                        > >
                                                        > > On 10/16/07, Susan Cassidy <susabela@...> wrote:
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > Thanks for all your input, Jacquie-you've put into words how
                                                        > underpaid
                                                        > > > and
                                                        > > > undervalued I feel. I'm trying to organize the local ladies who
                                                        > sew for
                                                        > > > community theatre to not be willing to do it for free. Costuming
                                                        > is hard
                                                        > > > work, harder than directing in my opinion, as you have to produce
                                                        > a
                                                        > > > physical
                                                        > > > product on top of knowing the show. And yet the costumer doesn't
                                                        > receive a
                                                        > > > stipend, because it's traditionally women's work, while the
                                                        > director and
                                                        > > > choreographer get paid pretty well. And the retail world is
                                                        > pretty awful,
                                                        > > > too.
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > _____
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > From: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<TheCostumersManifesto%
                                                        > 40yahoogroups.com>
                                                        > > >
                                                        > [mailto:TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<TheCostumersManifesto%
                                                        > 40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Shadow's Silk
                                                        > > > Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 12:59 PM
                                                        > > > To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                                                        > > > <TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com>
                                                        > > > Subject: Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Advice on Pricing
                                                        > Alterations?
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > I recently spent a couple of days helping a seamstress get caught
                                                        > up with
                                                        > > > her workload during grad and bridal time period. She had 60 gowns
                                                        > in her
                                                        > > > shop to get out in 2 weeks. What she stated on her price list was
                                                        > > > $30/hour,
                                                        > > > yet she was timing herself on each and every garment. So in
                                                        > effect, by
                                                        > > > using
                                                        > > > the timing method...writting down the in time when she started
                                                        > and the out
                                                        > > > time when she took a break or was finished the job; she was
                                                        > actually
                                                        > > > nickel
                                                        > > > and diming herself out of business. It was alright for her to do
                                                        > this as
                                                        > > > she
                                                        > > > was living off of her late husband's insurrance, but in the real
                                                        > world,
                                                        > > > she
                                                        > > > wouldn't have been able to sustain any of it, what with 2 kids
                                                        > and living
                                                        > > > expenses.
                                                        > > > In charging only for the time she spent in and out, she wasn't
                                                        > thinking
                                                        > > > about the cost of utilities, the wear and tear on her machines,
                                                        > the
                                                        > > > expense
                                                        > > > of supplies and the time away from a normal family life. I was
                                                        > able to
                                                        > > > look
                                                        > > > at her books, as she had promised to pay me $30/hour, but with
                                                        > her mother
                                                        > > > and sister giving her major grief over my being there, I decided
                                                        > to let
                                                        > > > her
                                                        > > > off at $12/hr, which is what she could afford.
                                                        > > > Why I went there in the first place was that I had met her
                                                        > through work
                                                        > > > and
                                                        > > > she called me, herself in tears because the workload was too
                                                        > great for
                                                        > > > her.
                                                        > > > Well ya! So I went on my days off and the first day we spent in
                                                        > giving her
                                                        > > > some time to have a break here and there. I might have stayed and
                                                        > she
                                                        > > > could
                                                        > > > have developed a greater business than she had, except for her
                                                        > family's
                                                        > > > interference (of whom none of them were able to or willing to
                                                        > help out in
                                                        > > > any which way. I actually walked in on her sister yelling at her
                                                        > about my
                                                        > > > being there). I decided not to stay on 2 counts. 1 - Her family
                                                        > didn't
                                                        > > > want
                                                        > > > me there...big one; 2 - I personally hate alterations and
                                                        > actually there
                                                        > > > are
                                                        > > > 3 counts....she was trying to achieve perfection with imperfect
                                                        > gowns.
                                                        > > > Can't
                                                        > > > do it, the constuction on the innards of those gowns was shoddy
                                                        > to say the
                                                        > > > least and I as a seamstress would not have been able to charge
                                                        > what the
                                                        > > > retail outlets charge. The outer garments were wonderful, but the
                                                        > stress
                                                        > > > at
                                                        > > > working on these gowns would have just drove me to tears and with
                                                        > her
                                                        > > > being
                                                        > > > a perfectionist, I couldn't imagine what it was doing to her.
                                                        > > > My advice to you on altering bridal and grad is think about what
                                                        > you are
                                                        > > > doing first. If you love ripping apart and putting back together,
                                                        > then try
                                                        > > > it. I do not. I prefer to start from scratch. Also, a really fine
                                                        > point to
                                                        > > > consider, is that these young ladies are very up and down in
                                                        > weight and
                                                        > > > stress levels. One gown she took in 3 times and then had to let
                                                        > it out to
                                                        > > > the original size because the client started eating again. This
                                                        > gown was
                                                        > > > gorgeous, a grad dress, but it was also beaded, so after the final
                                                        > > > fitting,
                                                        > > > all the beads had to be removed, the gown let out and rebeaded by
                                                        > the next
                                                        > > > day and in the meantime she was supposed to have another 8 ready
                                                        > for the
                                                        > > > next day, and started on the day afters, which was another 8 or
                                                        > 10.
                                                        > > > She was also not charging these people time for the fittings nor
                                                        > extra for
                                                        > > > any alteriations after the fact. I suggested to her that she
                                                        > should charge
                                                        > > > them double if she had to constantly redo her work over and over
                                                        > again.
                                                        > > > She is top notch at what she does and only had cards in one
                                                        > store. I
                                                        > > > couldn't imagine what she would have done if she had cards in all
                                                        > the
                                                        > > > shops
                                                        > > > in our city.
                                                        > > > If I decided to alter bridal and grad, I would be charging
                                                        > $30/hour. No
                                                        > > > ifs
                                                        > > > and or buts. If you are good, you will get the business. If you
                                                        > aren't,
                                                        > > > you
                                                        > > > won't. Period. It may take you 46 minutes to hem up a gown, but
                                                        > charge for
                                                        > > > the extra time to make up the hour. This will pay for the
                                                        > machines,
                                                        > > > supplies
                                                        > > > and utilities.
                                                        > > > Business is business. Have you watched "Dragon's Den"? They will
                                                        > not put
                                                        > > > any
                                                        > > > money into a project if there is no money to be made. Good
                                                        > advice. That is
                                                        > > > why they are all billionaires in their own right.
                                                        > > > So are you wanting to be a good samaritan or are you wanting to
                                                        > make money
                                                        > > > and a livlihood?
                                                        > > > As for basic alterations, here too you can be a good samaritan or
                                                        > you can
                                                        > > > make what your time is worth. In Alberta the going rate for a
                                                        > zipper
                                                        > > > starts
                                                        > > > at $20 and goes up depending on the length. Hems start at $20 for
                                                        > a pair
                                                        > > > of
                                                        > > > pants. Check out a local tailor shop and the dry cleaners to see
                                                        > what they
                                                        > > > charge. Do not undercut yourself just to get the business. It
                                                        > isn't worth
                                                        > > > it.
                                                        > > > I used to do that as I thought I needed the money, but by the
                                                        > time I was
                                                        > > > done, I was angry at myself for not charging more. So now I have a
                                                        > > > starting
                                                        > > > rate of $350 for everything I do and the price goes up depending
                                                        > on the
                                                        > > > amount of work involved. I am much happier by the end of the
                                                        > garment
                                                        > > > because
                                                        > > > I feel that I am being paid for what I am worth.
                                                        > > > A major consideration when starting on your venture, is to
                                                        > consider what
                                                        > > > you
                                                        > > > are actually doing when you under charge.
                                                        > > > I work at a fabric store. I would be asked how much I would
                                                        > charge and I
                                                        > > > would let the person know that I was expensive. (Our city was a
                                                        > farming
                                                        > > > community, but things have changed drastically and the main
                                                        > populace is
                                                        > > > just
                                                        > > > starting to realize that you have to pay...ex: the women would be
                                                        > appalled
                                                        > > > at paying $5 to have a zip replaced in a pair of jeans. Now the
                                                        > zips are
                                                        > > > almost that much)
                                                        > > > There were 2 women, sisters through marriage, who worked with me.
                                                        > They
                                                        > > > were
                                                        > > > just learnig how to sew. but every time I quoted a customer, one
                                                        > of them
                                                        > > > would run back to me and ask how much I quoted. I mentioned it
                                                        > one day to
                                                        > > > Fahima, about why I wasn't getting any business and she asked if
                                                        > I wanted
                                                        > > > to
                                                        > > > know the truth. I said yes, I did, as my knowledge is extensive
                                                        > and my
                                                        > > > experience is vast. She said that every time I quoted someone,
                                                        > they would
                                                        > > > come back and ask me how much I quoted the customer and then
                                                        > undercut me,
                                                        > > > so
                                                        > > > they got the business.
                                                        > > > That was the last time I ever did that. My respect and trust for
                                                        > them was
                                                        > > > lost immediately. I still maintained a repore with them as I
                                                        > worked with
                                                        > > > them, but there was no more sharing and actually, my attitude
                                                        > towards them
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > changed drastically.
                                                        > > > I had an opportunity to once quote a gentleman who wanted a white
                                                        > Chinese
                                                        > > > brocade, long sleeved, mandarin collar shirt made for him. In
                                                        > cutting for
                                                        > > > him, I knew that he would ask me what I would charge him to make
                                                        > it for
                                                        > > > him.
                                                        > > > I already figured him out and told him $350. He exclaimed "For a
                                                        > shirt?!?"
                                                        > > > Yes. Now a shirt built with fabric you purchased on sale from
                                                        > $16.98/m (39
                                                        > > > iinches to a metre) less 50% is definately not worth spending
                                                        > that kind of
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > money to have it made. So why did I do it? Because he was high
                                                        > > > maintenance.
                                                        > > > He would want alot for nothing. So I called Fahima over to quote
                                                        > him and
                                                        > > > she
                                                        > > > quoted $70. I asked her later if they got the job and she said
                                                        > no, another
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > seamstress quoted him $35 and that was who he went with. I then
                                                        > explained
                                                        > > > to
                                                        > > > her and the other staff that women who will sew a grad dress or a
                                                        > wedding
                                                        > > > gown for $100 are really doing the other women who may or may not
                                                        > be
                                                        > > > trying
                                                        > > > to make a living at sewing, an injustice in low rates and
                                                        > undercutting
                                                        > > > others, just to get the business. (Point made here) And I stated
                                                        > that we
                                                        > > > as
                                                        > > > women often do not value our work and so our pricing reflects
                                                        > that. In a
                                                        > > > male dominated business, the hourly rate is what it is. Their
                                                        > work is
                                                        > > > valued
                                                        > > > at a certain price range and you either pay it or do it yourself
                                                        > or find
                                                        > > > someone cheaper and reap the benefits.
                                                        > > > They now charge $20/hour and are no longer working with us.
                                                        > > > I am myself probably going to quit at the store. I am receiving
                                                        > > > $9.85/hour.
                                                        > > > The money wasn't keeping me there, the love of fabric was. New
                                                        > girls being
                                                        > > > hired today reeceive $9/hour to start and know absolutely
                                                        > nothing. We were
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > told that raises wouldn't be any different than previously,which
                                                        > was
                                                        > > > $.05/hour to a maximum of $.25/hour Yes, cents, not dollars. Now
                                                        > my
                                                        > > > duaghter
                                                        > > > just received a $2/hour raise and my boyfriend $1.50/hour raise
                                                        > (which
                                                        > > > equals
                                                        > > > to $3/hour in less than a year). When one has the managers coming
                                                        > to you
                                                        > > > for
                                                        > > > information and advice or handing over customers to you because
                                                        > they don't
                                                        > > > know what to do for the person, and you aren't making much more
                                                        > than a pre
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > beginner, something is not right. That is undervaluing your work.
                                                        > When the
                                                        > > > women stay at the job for the low wages, they will keep the
                                                        > hourly rates
                                                        > > > as
                                                        > > > low as thethe company can get away with. That is undervaluing our
                                                        > work and
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > ability to make money for the company. Our store is the only one
                                                        > in
                                                        > > > Central
                                                        > > > Alberta from the east to west borders and north to south for
                                                        > about 100
                                                        > > > miles. Last year we were $150,000 short of making almost double
                                                        > what we
                                                        > > > did
                                                        > > > the year before. We are only one of 150 stores. Their wage base
                                                        > can be
                                                        > > > increased, no problem, but they won't do it. Why? Because women
                                                        > will work
                                                        > > > for less and complain more and do nothing about it.
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > I think I have talked long enough here. But I hope that you think
                                                        > about it
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > long and hard and do some research in your own town/city. Adjust
                                                        > your
                                                        > > > rates
                                                        > > > accordingly and try it first before you commint to it. Doing
                                                        > favors for
                                                        > > > family is one thing. Having clientelle and a business is another.
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > Jacquie
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > On 10/16/07, Renee Schmutz-Sowards <janejr_2000@
                                                        > > > <mailto:janejr_2000%40yahoo.com> yahoo.com> wrote:
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > Howdy,
                                                        > > > > I need some advice! :)
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > Almost invariably when people find out that I can sew, they ask
                                                        > me if I
                                                        > > > > could do some alterations for them, and how much I would charge.
                                                        > > > > So far it's mostly been fairly close friends and acquaintances,
                                                        > so I
                                                        > > > don't
                                                        > > > > really give much thought to the money...a 5 here, a 10 there, a
                                                        > favor in
                                                        > > > > return, it's no big deal.
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > BUT: The word is apparently spreading about the new seamstress
                                                        > in town
                                                        > > > and
                                                        > > > > I'm getting more inquires about sewing jobs from people who
                                                        > fall into
                                                        > > > the
                                                        > > > > actual *Real Customer* category! Yay...this is exciting!
                                                        > > > > So now I need a *Real Price List* too.
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > My questions are:
                                                        > > > > What are the standard sort of prices for basic alterations?
                                                        > > > > And,
                                                        > > > > Do any of yin's do this sorta work, and have any advice or tips
                                                        > to
                                                        > > > share?
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > I get the most inquires about hemming garments, but also a fair
                                                        > number
                                                        > > > > about altering bridesmaids gown's (fitting, hemming and adding
                                                        > straps to
                                                        > > > > strapless gowns seem to be the big three)
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > I'd really appreciate any advice anyone can give me!
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > Thanks in advance!
                                                        > > > > Renee
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > ---------------------------------
                                                        > > > > Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers,
                                                        > not web
                                                        > > > > links.
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                        > >
                                                        >
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                                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                      • Kelley Maxfield
                                                        I agree with Sylrog. You must figure out an hourly wage, but keep in mind some things. let s say you would like to take home $15.00 an hour. Ok now figure your
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Oct 26, 2007
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          I agree with Sylrog. You must figure out an hourly wage, but keep in mind some things. let's say you would like to take home $15.00 an hour. Ok now figure your taxes in this, I use to figure 30% for income and self-employment taxes. Wisconsin is very high so check with an accountant and they could help you in this area. Next figure your overhead, which is electricity, rent if you have a shop, water, all the expenses of running a shop, plus shop supplies, like thread, interfacing, little notions, sewing machines. If you figure the overhead cost for a month, then divide that by 184. That is the 8 hours a day x 23 days of the month. ( that is for a 31 day month like October. I am just figuring on 5 days a week. )
                                                          Add your overhead to the 15.00 that you want per hour plus your tax part. Don't forget to include insurance in this figure. That will get you a pretty close figure of what you will need to charge to succeed. I probable forgot a few things so talk with a good CPA and they will work with you on setting up your stuff. Then design one outfit keeping track of your time while your designing, then figure out how much material and supplies it will cost. When you have everything figured out add up the total costs and add 10% to cover anything you didn't remember. That will be your price.
                                                          One thing that benefited me was doing a time analyzes (sp) where you time yourself on every little aspect of sewing from cutting out, to sewing up a collar, putting in a zipper, sewing up side seam, etc. Then you can see how long it takes you to do something and that will help you get an idea of how long it will take you to finish a job. I have done this with my student workers last year and it was very beneficial to see exactly how fast or slow they worked. I then can gauge how long certain jobs will take.
                                                          Once you have done a couple of things you will see your time improving and then your profit margin will go up. This too will also check to make sure you are making a profit, since this is why we do things otherwise we would just volunteer our time. J
                                                          I hope this helps and isn't very confusing. I sometimes can talk faster than I type and I don't always communicate things clearly.
                                                          Mrs. Kelley Maxfield
                                                          Maranatha Baptist Bible College
                                                          745 W. Main St
                                                          Watertown Wi

                                                          Costume Cottage Supervisor
                                                          Cottage: (920) 261-3891
                                                          Cell: (920) 988-8937
                                                          Hours: Tuesday through Friday
                                                          8:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M.
                                                          Rentals from 2:00- 4:30
                                                          Other hours by appointment

                                                          Cottage location-
                                                          722 Lafayette St
                                                          Watertown Wi

                                                          From: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sylvia Rognstad
                                                          Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2007 10:52 PM
                                                          To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                                                          Subject: Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] More Questions about Pricing Sewing Work


                                                          I know it's very difficult to estimate how long a job will take you in
                                                          advance, but that's what you need to do. Then you need to figure out
                                                          the materials you will need and estimate a cost for them. How much do
                                                          you want to charge per hour for your labor? Do you have any idea if
                                                          this studio is quite lucrative, or not? Since it's not theatre, I
                                                          would estimate on the high side. I know most theatres won't pay much.
                                                          Businesses tend to pay better. I would think about a figure of $15-20
                                                          per hour. Include design time. Add the labor cost and the materials
                                                          cost and present them with a total. You can always bargain down if
                                                          they balk.

                                                          Sylrog

                                                          On Oct 24, 2007, at 9:01 AM, Rebecca wrote:

                                                          > Hi Everyone,
                                                          > I have a very similar question so I thought it made sense to continue
                                                          > this thread. I'm being approached to make toddler and children's
                                                          > costumes for use in a private portrait studio. I will probably need
                                                          > to design a lot on my own, and perhaps find some costumes patterns
                                                          > that may work.
                                                          > I've costumed shows for a fixed stipend and a materials budget, so
                                                          > I've never priced out my own work. I have no idea how to go about
                                                          > asking for payment.
                                                          > I agree with all the sentiments below but I'm not getting any real
                                                          > constructive advice out of it! lol!
                                                          > Do I charge separately for materials, and then by the hour, or maybe
                                                          > by the costume, with materials included?
                                                          > And, since these original costumes will become property of the
                                                          > portrait studio, should I charge for the design work too?
                                                          >
                                                          > Warning: Unless I'm figuring yardage or measuring for alterations,
                                                          > I'm pretty slow with this mathematics stuff, I need it spelled out
                                                          > simply!!
                                                          > Thanks everyone.
                                                          > -Rebecca
                                                          >
                                                          > --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com>, "Shadow's Silk"
                                                          > <magicianscorset@...> wrote:
                                                          > >
                                                          > > It is difficult for us as women to place a value on our work. Good
                                                          > or not.
                                                          > > As you said, many feel it is women's work; the same with
                                                          > housekeeping,
                                                          > > picking up after everyone, doing the laundry, ironing, shopping,
                                                          > cooking,
                                                          > > dishes, etc, etc. You get my point.
                                                          > > Of course the director and choreographer receive a pay cheque. They
                                                          > place a
                                                          > > value on their work. While these women are sewing for the theatre
                                                          > for free,
                                                          > > they are devaluing those who do actually work and get paid for it. I
                                                          > > constantly watch the credits for costumers and wardrobe personelle
                                                          > at the
                                                          > > end of a movie. Seldom do all the names come up. Yet there will be
                                                          > a grip
                                                          > > boy's name up there and anyone and everyone else who worked on the
                                                          > > movie. Why is that, I have to ask?
                                                          > > This spring I was recommended by another x co-worker to a young
                                                          > lady who
                                                          > > wanted a grad dress made. I looked at it, told them that I was
                                                          > expensive and
                                                          > > gave them my estimate. They left, called her dad, came back in and
                                                          > told me
                                                          > > to go for it. I was shocked, to say the least as I quoted her $1000
                                                          > and was
                                                          > > paid up front on our first meeting. It took me awhile, but not once
                                                          > did I
                                                          > > feel that I wasn't paid for the work I was doing.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > Kelley has some very good points to consider as well. There are
                                                          > many ways to
                                                          > > calculate a price on a zipper or a seam and I have looked at them
                                                          > all as
                                                          > > well as having a price list, although mine stated $10/seam. Once
                                                          > again, when
                                                          > > I started ripping out a zipper on a pair of jeans, inserting a new
                                                          > one and
                                                          > > remaking the crotch area, I said (pardon my French here) 'Screw
                                                          > it!' I am
                                                          > > doing all of this work for what?...$5? ...$10? Not on your life. I
                                                          > no longer
                                                          > > replace zips on anything. Take it to a dry cleaner, please. It is
                                                          > just not
                                                          > > worth my time, especially when you can purchase a brand new pair of
                                                          > jeans at
                                                          > > Walmart for less than I would charge you. Someone else on the other
                                                          > hand,
                                                          > > would love to rip out that zip and replace it, saving that pair of
                                                          > jeans
                                                          > > from becoming a scrap quilt.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > When you begin to research wage ranges for work done in the sewing
                                                          > world,
                                                          > > there is a vast diofference between what a woman might charge and a
                                                          > man.
                                                          > > Again, who is placing value on their work? Ex: about 10 years ago,
                                                          > I was
                                                          > > involved with a woman whose daughters were into figure skating.
                                                          > There was a
                                                          > > gentleman in Edmonton who was charging $50/hour to make an outfit
                                                          > and those
                                                          > > outfits can be very pricey. What was she charging? Not enough. She
                                                          > thought
                                                          > > she was a great seamstress, but in actuality she was a piece
                                                          > worker. Sewing
                                                          > > garments together as fast as she could. Well, that didn't pay off
                                                          > as she
                                                          > > decided that a serger was a Godsend and serged together,
                                                          > completely, a
                                                          > > wedding gown. That was when I learnt something from someone else's
                                                          > mistakes.
                                                          > > She ended up safety pinning the gown together just before the bride
                                                          > walked
                                                          > > down the aisle because serging just can't cut the weight of a
                                                          > wedding gown
                                                          > > with trains, and appliques and bead work. She only charged $600 for
                                                          > all of
                                                          > > the work she did do on the gown, but in actuality what was her work
                                                          > worth?
                                                          > > Another mistake she made was to make a tailored jacket for a woman.
                                                          > Years
                                                          > > later, my mentor who taught both Maria and myself the Bishop Method
                                                          > of
                                                          > > Sewing, told me that she had gotten the jacket to try and salvage
                                                          > it. Why?
                                                          > > Because Maria, who knew better than everyone else, cut the center
                                                          > back and
                                                          > > side back on the cross grain and as we all know about grain on
                                                          > fabric,
                                                          > > the back began to sag. Maria didn't last in town as a seamstress.
                                                          > > Tell these women, that even though they may not be professionals,
                                                          > their work
                                                          > > is a major contirbution to a production. Without a costume, there
                                                          > is no
                                                          > > ambiance to the play. Even if it only a minimum amount, they will
                                                          > feel much
                                                          > > more appreciated with a pay cheque under their belt. I have taken a
                                                          > course
                                                          > > in theatre, Costume Cutting and Construction. So I know what
                                                          > costumes entail
                                                          > > as we did 4 productions a year as we learnt the tricks of the
                                                          > trade. And
                                                          > > both years, we made an extraordinary number of costumes for 2 of the
                                                          > > productions.
                                                          > > Another example of value...what would you charge to make a tutu? We
                                                          > learnt
                                                          > > how and it is almost a never ending job and must absolutely be a
                                                          > labour of
                                                          > > love. But if you are receiving monetary value for your work, then
                                                          > it is
                                                          > > lworth every stitch. We were told that there was/is a gentleman in
                                                          > > Newfoundland who makes tutus. He charges $3000 per. Probably more
                                                          > now as
                                                          > > that was 6 years ago. And he would spend 3 - 5 days on making them.
                                                          > Not a
                                                          > > very long time, but once you do a few, you get into a system. Our
                                                          > instructor
                                                          > > charged $300 for each of the 3 that we made, but we didn't see any
                                                          > of it as
                                                          > > it went into the program funds. The girls won gold medals and here
                                                          > again, it
                                                          > > was the costuming that created the ambiance of their dance. Their
                                                          > dancing
                                                          > > won them their gold. They performed for us at our Showcase and they
                                                          > were
                                                          > > just gorgeous.
                                                          > > I don't know what they pay in theatres in the USA for a
                                                          > costumer/stitcher,
                                                          > > but we will get paid $15/hour to sew on buttons or label garments.
                                                          > > Millinery. We had a workshop on drafting and making a very basic
                                                          > bonnet. No
                                                          > > frills, no nothing. Well, mine was bent 2 days before the project
                                                          > was due
                                                          > > and when you bend millinery wire there is no straightening it. Our
                                                          > > instructor was the milliner from Stratford. She said that for a
                                                          > basic bonnet
                                                          > > such as what we were making, her base price was $350 and went up
                                                          > from there.
                                                          > > She valued her work. After I realized that my bonnet was wrecked
                                                          > (not by me,
                                                          > > but by my signifigant other, cause he didn't place value on my
                                                          > work) I went
                                                          > > to class with it, sobbing my heart out. My instructor gave me over
                                                          > the
                                                          > > Christmas holidays to remake it from scratch. I love creating! So I
                                                          > made
                                                          > > it as I wanted to in the first place, but was told I couldn't. I
                                                          > was told
                                                          > > that it looked like a cake with icing, and even though it was late,
                                                          > I
                                                          > > received 10/10. After that I looked at a hat of mine that had cost
                                                          > $100 and
                                                          > > I thought that was pricey at the time, but I began to appreciate
                                                          > the skill
                                                          > > and experience and work that went into creating that hat. True, it
                                                          > may have
                                                          > > been made by a woman in the 3rd World, or not, but I began to place
                                                          > value
                                                          > > where none had been before.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > Of course, my signifigant other, has changed his opinion of my
                                                          > work. Good
                                                          > > thing, else he would be told to 'Hit the road, Jack and don't you
                                                          > come back
                                                          > > no more, no more, no more, no more' Good thing you can't hear me
                                                          > sing. It is
                                                          > > not one of my virtues! Although I do a great Chicken Opera...
                                                          > >
                                                          > > I work at a fabric store, yes. Purely by chance, staying for love.
                                                          > And
                                                          > > during that time period, I have been able to explore my own self
                                                          > and sewing
                                                          > > skills, challenging myself to create and to make things I never
                                                          > would have.
                                                          > > I am just that way as I get bored with sewing the same thing over
                                                          > and over.
                                                          > > I am going to put on a Bridal show next spring at the theatre we
                                                          > have
                                                          > > downtown. So I am making wedding gowns right now. At the moment I
                                                          > have a
                                                          > > need to create a black gown. Corseted and a bustled skirt with
                                                          > train. Her
                                                          > > bouquet will be a dragon headed cane instead of flowers. (We have a
                                                          > large
                                                          > > goth community here).
                                                          > > This is my challenge for myself as I have alot of work to do to
                                                          > create the
                                                          > > silhouette of what I am after. I am probably looking at 12 metres
                                                          > of fabric
                                                          > > just for the outer skirt, never mind the underskirt and corset. But
                                                          > I still
                                                          > > have to measure it out. I may have enough in my fabric room for
                                                          > that. I love
                                                          > > creating, rather than constructing something someone else wants.
                                                          > That is the
                                                          > > main reason I have chosen not to work under someone else's
                                                          > direction. This
                                                          > > way I can explore my own creativity and make my own successes and
                                                          > mistakes.
                                                          > > I no longer become frantic when under the gun as I put myself there
                                                          > every
                                                          > > fashion show I do.
                                                          > > I have learnt this about myself as well as I love costuming and if
                                                          > a garment
                                                          > > is just a ho hum jacket or pair of pants, I am not interested. I do
                                                          > not like
                                                          > > alterations. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts on that one. I love
                                                          > making
                                                          > > corsets. I love making gowns and all of the work involved in
                                                          > creating them.
                                                          > > And I also love putting on productions. It allows me creative
                                                          > discretion and
                                                          > > because I am in charge of this one, I can have my models wear their
                                                          > hair and
                                                          > > makeup as I want it and not worry about being told no, because I
                                                          > have no say
                                                          > > in it at all.
                                                          > > Am I going to make any money on this venture? I don't know, but I
                                                          > am also
                                                          > > fully aware that the value I have placed on it is a drive to
                                                          > succeed and
                                                          > > to produce a bridal show that hasn't been seen in this town ever. A
                                                          > few
                                                          > > shops getting together and purchasing the ugliest, cheapest fabric
                                                          > for
                                                          > > backdrops wherever they could get a deal on a hall, is not my idea
                                                          > of a
                                                          > > decent bridal show. But then I love the theatrical presentation. I
                                                          > have the
                                                          > > skill, the training, the natural ability and the love for the work
                                                          > involved.
                                                          > > That is the value I have placed on it; otherwise, I wouldn't do it.
                                                          > > I have found that once I began to place value on what I do, my
                                                          > attitude has
                                                          > > changed towards myself. I am highly respected at work and in the
                                                          > costuming
                                                          > > department. Sewing is my vocation, but the passion I have for it is
                                                          > in my
                                                          > > soul.
                                                          > > Once again, I have talked alot, but I love talking and have been
                                                          > alone in
                                                          > > the house for 3 weeks. Not quite alone as I have been out and about
                                                          > with my
                                                          > > daughter and Sean and here and there, and I do have 12 cats to keep
                                                          > me
                                                          > > occupied.......and I love the fact that I don't have to explain
                                                          > every single
                                                          > > detail to a group who has the knowledge to understand the lingo.
                                                          > > The most important thing I learnt at college.....was that I didn't
                                                          > want to
                                                          > > color within the lines any more. And during the communication
                                                          > course, our
                                                          > > first presentation was about success. I wrote mine the morning of
                                                          > and I
                                                          > > stated that it could have been the being at college or the
                                                          > classroom or the
                                                          > > student loan I received, but the real success was ME. I was there.
                                                          > > Made a couple of other women cry.
                                                          > > So when you begin to see yourself as a success, you begin to place
                                                          > value
                                                          > > upon yourself and then on what you do. That was the most important
                                                          > lesson of
                                                          > > all.
                                                          > > Jacquie
                                                          > >
                                                          > > On 10/16/07, Susan Cassidy <susabela@...> wrote:
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > Thanks for all your input, Jacquie-you've put into words how
                                                          > underpaid
                                                          > > > and
                                                          > > > undervalued I feel. I'm trying to organize the local ladies who
                                                          > sew for
                                                          > > > community theatre to not be willing to do it for free. Costuming
                                                          > is hard
                                                          > > > work, harder than directing in my opinion, as you have to produce
                                                          > a
                                                          > > > physical
                                                          > > > product on top of knowing the show. And yet the costumer doesn't
                                                          > receive a
                                                          > > > stipend, because it's traditionally women's work, while the
                                                          > director and
                                                          > > > choreographer get paid pretty well. And the retail world is
                                                          > pretty awful,
                                                          > > > too.
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > _____
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > From: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com><TheCostumersManifesto%
                                                          > 40yahoogroups.com>
                                                          > > >
                                                          > [mailto:TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com><TheCostumersManifesto%
                                                          > 40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Shadow's Silk
                                                          > > > Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 12:59 PM
                                                          > > > To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com<mailto:TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com>
                                                          > > > <TheCostumersManifesto%40yahoogroups.com>
                                                          > > > Subject: Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Advice on Pricing
                                                          > Alterations?
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > I recently spent a couple of days helping a seamstress get caught
                                                          > up with
                                                          > > > her workload during grad and bridal time period. She had 60 gowns
                                                          > in her
                                                          > > > shop to get out in 2 weeks. What she stated on her price list was
                                                          > > > $30/hour,
                                                          > > > yet she was timing herself on each and every garment. So in
                                                          > effect, by
                                                          > > > using
                                                          > > > the timing method...writting down the in time when she started
                                                          > and the out
                                                          > > > time when she took a break or was finished the job; she was
                                                          > actually
                                                          > > > nickel
                                                          > > > and diming herself out of business. It was alright for her to do
                                                          > this as
                                                          > > > she
                                                          > > > was living off of her late husband's insurrance, but in the real
                                                          > world,
                                                          > > > she
                                                          > > > wouldn't have been able to sustain any of it, what with 2 kids
                                                          > and living
                                                          > > > expenses.
                                                          > > > In charging only for the time she spent in and out, she wasn't
                                                          > thinking
                                                          > > > about the cost of utilities, the wear and tear on her machines,
                                                          > the
                                                          > > > expense
                                                          > > > of supplies and the time away from a normal family life. I was
                                                          > able to
                                                          > > > look
                                                          > > > at her books, as she had promised to pay me $30/hour, but with
                                                          > her mother
                                                          > > > and sister giving her major grief over my being there, I decided
                                                          > to let
                                                          > > > her
                                                          > > > off at $12/hr, which is what she could afford.
                                                          > > > Why I went there in the first place was that I had met her
                                                          > through work
                                                          > > > and
                                                          > > > she called me, herself in tears because the workload was too
                                                          > great for
                                                          > > > her.
                                                          > > > Well ya! So I went on my days off and the first day we spent in
                                                          > giving her
                                                          > > > some time to have a break here and there. I might have stayed and
                                                          > she
                                                          > > > could
                                                          > > > have developed a greater business than she had, except for her
                                                          > family's
                                                          > > > interference (of whom none of them were able to or willing to
                                                          > help out in
                                                          > > > any which way. I actually walked in on her sister yelling at her
                                                          > about my
                                                          > > > being there). I decided not to stay on 2 counts. 1 - Her family
                                                          > didn't
                                                          > > > want
                                                          > > > me there...big one; 2 - I personally hate alterations and
                                                          > actually there
                                                          > > > are
                                                          > > > 3 counts....she was trying to achieve perfection with imperfect
                                                          > gowns.
                                                          > > > Can't
                                                          > > > do it, the constuction on the innards of those gowns was shoddy
                                                          > to say the
                                                          > > > least and I as a seamstress would not have been able to charge
                                                          > what the
                                                          > > > retail outlets charge. The outer garments were wonderful, but the
                                                          > stress
                                                          > > > at
                                                          > > > working on these gowns would have just drove me to tears and with
                                                          > her
                                                          > > > being
                                                          > > > a perfectionist, I couldn't imagine what it was doing to her.
                                                          > > > My advice to you on altering bridal and grad is think about what
                                                          > you are
                                                          > > > doing first. If you love ripping apart and putting back together,
                                                          > then try
                                                          > > > it. I do not. I prefer to start from scratch. Also, a really fine
                                                          > point to
                                                          > > > consider, is that these young ladies are very up and down in
                                                          > weight and
                                                          > > > stress levels. One gown she took in 3 times and then had to let
                                                          > it out to
                                                          > > > the original size because the client started eating again. This
                                                          > gown was
                                                          > > > gorgeous, a grad dress, but it was also beaded, so after the final
                                                          > > > fitting,
                                                          > > > all the beads had to be removed, the gown let out and rebeaded by
                                                          > the next
                                                          > > > day and in the meantime she was supposed to have another 8 ready
                                                          > for the
                                                          > > > next day, and started on the day afters, which was another 8 or
                                                          > 10.
                                                          > > > She was also not charging these people time for the fittings nor
                                                          > extra for
                                                          > > > any alteriations after the fact. I suggested to her that she
                                                          > should charge
                                                          > > > them double if she had to constantly redo her work over and over
                                                          > again.
                                                          > > > She is top notch at what she does and only had cards in one
                                                          > store. I
                                                          > > > couldn't imagine what she would have done if she had cards in all
                                                          > the
                                                          > > > shops
                                                          > > > in our city.
                                                          > > > If I decided to alter bridal and grad, I would be charging
                                                          > $30/hour. No
                                                          > > > ifs
                                                          > > > and or buts. If you are good, you will get the business. If you
                                                          > aren't,
                                                          > > > you
                                                          > > > won't. Period. It may take you 46 minutes to hem up a gown, but
                                                          > charge for
                                                          > > > the extra time to make up the hour. This will pay for the
                                                          > machines,
                                                          > > > supplies
                                                          > > > and utilities.
                                                          > > > Business is business. Have you watched "Dragon's Den"? They will
                                                          > not put
                                                          > > > any
                                                          > > > money into a project if there is no money to be made. Good
                                                          > advice. That is
                                                          > > > why they are all billionaires in their own right.
                                                          > > > So are you wanting to be a good samaritan or are you wanting to
                                                          > make money
                                                          > > > and a livlihood?
                                                          > > > As for basic alterations, here too you can be a good samaritan or
                                                          > you can
                                                          > > > make what your time is worth. In Alberta the going rate for a
                                                          > zipper
                                                          > > > starts
                                                          > > > at $20 and goes up depending on the length. Hems start at $20 for
                                                          > a pair
                                                          > > > of
                                                          > > > pants. Check out a local tailor shop and the dry cleaners to see
                                                          > what they
                                                          > > > charge. Do not undercut yourself just to get the business. It
                                                          > isn't worth
                                                          > > > it.
                                                          > > > I used to do that as I thought I needed the money, but by the
                                                          > time I was
                                                          > > > done, I was angry at myself for not charging more. So now I have a
                                                          > > > starting
                                                          > > > rate of $350 for everything I do and the price goes up depending
                                                          > on the
                                                          > > > amount of work involved. I am much happier by the end of the
                                                          > garment
                                                          > > > because
                                                          > > > I feel that I am being paid for what I am worth.
                                                          > > > A major consideration when starting on your venture, is to
                                                          > consider what
                                                          > > > you
                                                          > > > are actually doing when you under charge.
                                                          > > > I work at a fabric store. I would be asked how much I would
                                                          > charge and I
                                                          > > > would let the person know that I was expensive. (Our city was a
                                                          > farming
                                                          > > > community, but things have changed drastically and the main
                                                          > populace is
                                                          > > > just
                                                          > > > starting to realize that you have to pay...ex: the women would be
                                                          > appalled
                                                          > > > at paying $5 to have a zip replaced in a pair of jeans. Now the
                                                          > zips are
                                                          > > > almost that much)
                                                          > > > There were 2 women, sisters through marriage, who worked with me.
                                                          > They
                                                          > > > were
                                                          > > > just learnig how to sew. but every time I quoted a customer, one
                                                          > of them
                                                          > > > would run back to me and ask how much I quoted. I mentioned it
                                                          > one day to
                                                          > > > Fahima, about why I wasn't getting any business and she asked if
                                                          > I wanted
                                                          > > > to
                                                          > > > know the truth. I said yes, I did, as my knowledge is extensive
                                                          > and my
                                                          > > > experience is vast. She said that every time I quoted someone,
                                                          > they would
                                                          > > > come back and ask me how much I quoted the customer and then
                                                          > undercut me,
                                                          > > > so
                                                          > > > they got the business.
                                                          > > > That was the last time I ever did that. My respect and trust for
                                                          > them was
                                                          > > > lost immediately. I still maintained a repore with them as I
                                                          > worked with
                                                          > > > them, but there was no more sharing and actually, my attitude
                                                          > towards them
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > changed drastically.
                                                          > > > I had an opportunity to once quote a gentleman who wanted a white
                                                          > Chinese
                                                          > > > brocade, long sleeved, mandarin collar shirt made for him. In
                                                          > cutting for
                                                          > > > him, I knew that he would ask me what I would charge him to make
                                                          > it for
                                                          > > > him.
                                                          > > > I already figured him out and told him $350. He exclaimed "For a
                                                          > shirt?!?"
                                                          > > > Yes. Now a shirt built with fabric you purchased on sale from
                                                          > $16.98/m (39
                                                          > > > iinches to a metre) less 50% is definately not worth spending
                                                          > that kind of
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > money to have it made. So why did I do it? Because he was high
                                                          > > > maintenance.
                                                          > > > He would want alot for nothing. So I called Fahima over to quote
                                                          > him and
                                                          > > > she
                                                          > > > quoted $70. I asked her later if they got the job and she said
                                                          > no, another
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > seamstress quoted him $35 and that was who he went with. I then
                                                          > explained
                                                          > > > to
                                                          > > > her and the other staff that women who will sew a grad dress or a
                                                          > wedding
                                                          > > > gown for $100 are really doing the other women who may or may not
                                                          > be
                                                          > > > trying
                                                          > > > to make a living at sewing, an injustice in low rates and
                                                          > undercutting
                                                          > > > others, just to get the business. (Point made here) And I stated
                                                          > that we
                                                          > > > as
                                                          > > > women often do not value our work and so our pricing reflects
                                                          > that. In a
                                                          > > > male dominated business, the hourly rate is what it is. Their
                                                          > work is
                                                          > > > valued
                                                          > > > at a certain price range and you either pay it or do it yourself
                                                          > or find
                                                          > > > someone cheaper and reap the benefits.
                                                          > > > They now charge $20/hour and are no longer working with us.
                                                          > > > I am myself probably going to quit at the store. I am receiving
                                                          > > > $9.85/hour.
                                                          > > > The money wasn't keeping me there, the love of fabric was. New
                                                          > girls being
                                                          > > > hired today reeceive $9/hour to start and know absolutely
                                                          > nothing. We were
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > told that raises wouldn't be any different than previously,which
                                                          > was
                                                          > > > $.05/hour to a maximum of $.25/hour Yes, cents, not dollars. Now
                                                          > my
                                                          > > > duaghter
                                                          > > > just received a $2/hour raise and my boyfriend $1.50/hour raise
                                                          > (which
                                                          > > > equals
                                                          > > > to $3/hour in less than a year). When one has the managers coming
                                                          > to you
                                                          > > > for
                                                          > > > information and advice or handing over customers to you because
                                                          > they don't
                                                          > > > know what to do for the person, and you aren't making much more
                                                          > than a pre
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > beginner, something is not right. That is undervaluing your work.
                                                          > When the
                                                          > > > women stay at the job for the low wages, they will keep the
                                                          > hourly rates
                                                          > > > as
                                                          > > > low as thethe company can get away with. That is undervaluing our
                                                          > work and
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > ability to make money for the company. Our store is the only one
                                                          > in
                                                          > > > Central
                                                          > > > Alberta from the east to west borders and north to south for
                                                          > about 100
                                                          > > > miles. Last year we were $150,000 short of making almost double
                                                          > what we
                                                          > > > did
                                                          > > > the year before. We are only one of 150 stores. Their wage base
                                                          > can be
                                                          > > > increased, no problem, but they won't do it. Why? Because women
                                                          > will work
                                                          > > > for less and complain more and do nothing about it.
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > I think I have talked long enough here. But I hope that you think
                                                          > about it
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > long and hard and do some research in your own town/city. Adjust
                                                          > your
                                                          > > > rates
                                                          > > > accordingly and try it first before you commint to it. Doing
                                                          > favors for
                                                          > > > family is one thing. Having clientelle and a business is another.
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > Jacquie
                                                          > > >
                                                          > > > On 10/16/07, Renee Schmutz-Sowards <janejr_2000@
                                                          > > > <mailto:janejr_2000%40yahoo.com> yahoo.com> wrote:
                                                          > > > >
                                                          > > > > Howdy,
                                                          > > > > I need some advice! :)
                                                          > > > >
                                                          > > > > Almost invariably when people find out that I can sew, they ask
                                                          > me if I
                                                          > > > > could do some alterations for them, and how much I would charge.
                                                          > > > > So far it's mostly been fairly close friends and acquaintances,
                                                          > so I
                                                          > > > don't
                                                          > > > > really give much thought to the money...a 5 here, a 10 there, a
                                                          > favor in
                                                          > > > > return, it's no big deal.
                                                          > > > >
                                                          > > > > BUT: The word is apparently spreading about the new seamstress
                                                          > in town
                                                          > > > and
                                                          > > > > I'm getting more inquires about sewing jobs from people who
                                                          > fall into
                                                          > > > the
                                                          > > > > actual *Real Customer* category! Yay...this is exciting!
                                                          > > > > So now I need a *Real Price List* too.
                                                          > > > >
                                                          > > > > My questions are:
                                                          > > > > What are the standard sort of prices for basic alterations?
                                                          > > > > And,
                                                          > > > > Do any of yin's do this sorta work, and have any advice or tips
                                                          > to
                                                          > > > share?
                                                          > > > >
                                                          > > > > I get the most inquires about hemming garments, but also a fair
                                                          > number
                                                          > > > > about altering bridesmaids gown's (fitting, hemming and adding
                                                          > straps to
                                                          > > > > strapless gowns seem to be the big three)
                                                          > > > >
                                                          > > > > I'd really appreciate any advice anyone can give me!
                                                          > > > >
                                                          > > > > Thanks in advance!
                                                          > > > > Renee
                                                          > > > >
                                                          > > > > ---------------------------------
                                                          > > > > Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers,
                                                          > not web
                                                          > > > > links.
                                                          > > > >
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