The Sewing Place

I love my job!

Sewsuzie

I love my job!
« on: April 09, 2017, 08:42:25 AM »
Thanks for the new addition to the forum, Fran!
I'll kick off the chat with a quick introduction into what keeps me busy each day.
I set up a small alterations business 13 years ago, working from home and absolutely love it. I'd worked with my mum for the previous 20+ years sewing made to measure occasion and bridal wear! but didn't fancy carrying it on when she retired.
I know most people hate doing alterations, but I love unpicking and turning a baggy sack into something that fits. I do anything from sewing on a button, to resizing and reshaping expensive (and cheap) bridal wear. Everything is treated with the same careful attention to detail.
In the early days, I did a lot of freelance alterations for a local bridal shop too, but that was hectic and involved several trips out to the shop every week, so when they closed down, I wasn't really sorry. I had already built up plenty of local customers, and word of mouth has definitely paid off. I only run 1 tiny ad in the local church magazine and have a Facebook page to display some of my work. These 2 avenues of advertising bring in enough work to keep me busy all the time, and I love the variety of things I have to do.
Over the last few years I've had a lot more bridal and bridesmaid alteration work, which usually tends to be either from Internet purchases that ain't quite what they were expecting, or from the bridal outlets that seem to be springing up everywhere. Everyone has a budget, and even with the cost of having them altered, they generally represent value for money. There is the occasional 'OMG, what were you thinking?' moment, but hopefully it doesn't show on my face. I've always managed to turn it into something they're happy with.
So, today is a day off, but tomorrow I'll be finishing off a wedding dress alteration, shortening a pair of trousers, resizing a Condici wedding outfit and taking in a couple of shirts..... oh, and finishing off a bespoke jacket that I'm making someone in gorgeous Linton Tweed.
Enough about me, what does anyone else do?

Suzie  :vintage:
Never let your sewing machine know you're in a hurry 😉

Vegegrow

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2017, 09:28:52 AM »
I too work from Home.. having sewn for the fabric shop I worked for when it went into liquidation I set up as self employed  :fabric: :thread: :sew: :pin: :snip:
 Well I tend to get more household stuff than bridal.. but the occasional wedding dress comes along.. I'm more likely to make Roman Blinds than put in a new zip but when a customer who I have made curtains for asks me if I'll put in a new zip I don't refuse but I never say that I do them :ninja: I don't advertise at all everything is word of mouth which suits me fine as I 'm quite likely to be asked to go and drive a tractor when DD  wants to run the planter.. and I avoid booking things in over Harvest as its so frantic.. I make and sell craft items and do a market once a month lots of my customers come and see me there... and I'm quite likely to pick up work ... can you? or are you busy? would you just? I end up doing allsorts which suits me fine...
"The only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary." ~Mary Kurtz

Sewsuzie

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2017, 09:49:00 AM »
Sounds ideal, Vegegrow. Best of all worlds.  Like to keep some flexibility in my working week too, as I'm called upon to do the grandkids after school run a couple of days a week, but then I go back to work once they've gone home.
I'm the exact opposite to you, in that I have done the odd soft furnishings job for regulars but usually turn it away and pass it onto another lady locally that has that sort of business. She returns the favour if she gets clothing enquiries.

Suzie  :vintage:
Never let your sewing machine know you're in a hurry 😉

Lowena

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2017, 10:14:20 AM »
Wow, lucky girls  :)
Triumph of hope over experience :D

DementedFairy

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2017, 10:19:48 AM »
I'm in awe of you guys who do all those wedding alterations- I would lose my rag and tell them what's what I'm afraid!  I love following 'Fit for a Queen':  have you seen her latest job of adding in TWELVE INCHES to a 1970s dress, while being forbidden to actually 'change' it so the bride's daughter could wear it in her turn?
Good grief.

Me, I teach maths in college, mostly A level right now, but who knows what next year's timetable will bring?  I like it, but I'm daunted by the prospect of keeping going for another 9 years...
C'est moi!

Tamnymore

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2017, 10:23:38 AM »
DF, adding twelve inches in width or length???, Either way the mind boggles!
'One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.' Oscar Wilde

DementedFairy

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2017, 10:34:14 AM »
Width!  There were also wine stains from 1970, and an enormously long foofy train.  I would have binned it...  ridiculous
C'est moi!

Lowena

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2017, 10:36:07 AM »
12" width...the mind boggles  :ninja:
Triumph of hope over experience :D

Tamnymore

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2017, 11:01:23 AM »
Flippin 'eck. Sounds like welding another dress onto the original.

When I was clearing out my mother's house a few years ago I came across some Laura Ashley dresses I'd made in the 1970s and had asked her to give to a charity shop years ago. Bless her, she kept them and I certainly wasn't going to bin them now. However, even if I fancied prancing about like a very mature looking milkmaid now I think I'd need that 12inch width fix!!
'One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.' Oscar Wilde

DementedFairy

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2017, 11:27:50 AM »
C'est moi!

UttaRetch

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2017, 16:20:19 PM »
 0_0  0_0 She would have been sent packing possibily with the assistance of my boot to her backside.
The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Efemera

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2017, 17:00:55 PM »
Gordon Bennet.. wouldnt have touched it!..

Ohsewsimple

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2017, 22:52:50 PM »
I'm in awe of you guys who do all those wedding alterations- I would lose my rag and tell them what's what I'm afraid!  I love following 'Fit for a Queen':

Me to DF.  One talented lady. But this one?  Like you I'd have a hissy fit!  And the dress is pretty hideous anyway.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2017, 22:55:55 PM by Ohsewsimple »

Sewsuzie

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2017, 23:17:14 PM »
I have done a similar upsize to that, a couple of years ago (but not to such a hideous dress). The girl had ordered her dress (from America, probably via China?) in plenty of time and chosen the correct size for her measurements, but the company sent her a much smaller one. So, she contacted them and they said they would send a new one out in the correct size. It arrived 2 weeks before the wedding.... and, they'd sent the same wrong size again!!!! It was at least 10" too small and she was both devastated and panicking when she got in touch with me. I ended up putting extra panels in the side seams and recutting the waistline on the circular skirt to lift it to the right size (including moving all the lace motifs down). Luckily it was way too long for her anyway, so it then fitted onto the altered bodice. Bit of a rush job, but it all worked out OK for her and she had a lovely wedding.
I get lots of this type of work, but that's got to be the biggest upsize I've done. I do think I must be slightly mad to take some of them on, but I'm a sucker for a sob story  :'( :'(

Suzie  :vintage:
Never let your sewing machine know you're in a hurry 😉

Ploshkin

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2017, 08:20:21 AM »
I take my hat off to you Suzie, I don't even like taking up trouser hems.
Life's too short for ironing.