The Sewing Place

I love my job!

UttaRetch

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2017, 08:38:32 AM »
I have done a similar upsize to that, a couple of years ago (but not to such a hideous dress). ... 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.

Clearly you have the requisite skill and it's all part of running a sewing business, but I wouldn't to do alterations.  I hope you charge a proper rate for this sort of 're-engineering'.  0_0
What goes around comes around.

Sandra

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2017, 08:45:19 AM »
Mrs Mole's wonderful from 'Fit For a Queen'. She does some extraordinary alterations and she carries them out with such good humour. I love seeing what she's up to.

I'm self-employed and have been since about 1994. Had a break of about 7 years when the children arrived. I alter clothes for a local dry cleaners and a local menswear shop.
Other work arrives via word of mouth, but I'm not keen on strangers visiting. This is mine and my children's home and I don't enjoy people I don't know coming here.

The work I do could be as simple as stitching a small seam, to curtain shortening, to bridal wear alterations...anything really.

As Sewsuzie says, it's lovely to be able to transform a garment for a customer.

Being self employed suits me very well. I enjoy my own company and I seem to work very well under my own steam. I'm not really a 'people-person'...a bit shy and awkward in a group...so my solitary working environment is good for me.

The only problem is that sewing has never been known for good earnings and I'm currently wondering if I need to rethink what I'm doing so I can earn more. (I'm single with two teenage children and I'm feeling a bit skint at the moment.)
Do I need to get a 'proper' job? I don't want to stop sewing. It's the only job I've ever done.

Sandra.
xxx



Francesca

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2017, 09:45:27 AM »
The only problem is that sewing has never been known for good earnings and I'm currently wondering if I need to rethink what I'm doing so I can earn more. (I'm single with two teenage children and I'm feeling a bit skint at the moment.)
Do I need to get a 'proper' job? I don't want to stop sewing. It's the only job I've ever done.

Could you supplement with teaching? Like adult education or similar. I know it might be tough if you are a shy person but often the Adult-Ed classes I've done have been quite small and not really "stand up at the front and teach" more just move around the sewing room helping people with their projects on a 1-2-1 basis.

Sandra

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2017, 12:00:39 PM »
Teaching....?
I've never been to college or evening classes or anything to know how they're run and how they work, and I've no idea what's available locally, if anything.
I don't drive. Would I need to carry lots of supplies to the classes?

It's a nice idea to work amongst a group of friendly, interested, like-minded people, although I'm not sure I've got it in me to do it...I can get quite nervous/anxious?...vomiting included...if I'm out of my comfort zone.

I wonder if I simply need to get a normal, ordinary job, just so I can pay the bills, and then I'll be able to sew purely for pleasure. :)

I need to think of something. In three years time my youngest will be 18, and as part of my divorce settlement, I will have to sell the house. I'm lucky enough to have a fabulous, (but untidy) separate sewing room which I'll lose. I can't imagine wanting to set up my machines, (and all the mess which comes with it), on a dining table somewhere...on a daily basis so I can get my work done?

Sandra.
xxx

Francesca

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2017, 12:51:59 PM »
Yeah I definitely feel you need a separate room if it's your fulltime job!

You probably would need to drive. They instructor I had didn't carry loads of equipment but some.

It was more that we'd all come into the class and she'd talk through with us round a table what we wanted to make. She'd give us a list of things to buy (she used to bring big pattern books in for the Big4 so we could find a pattern and talk it through, then she'd help us work out the sizing and send us off with a list for the correct meterage, type of fabric, and to buy the pattern). Then each session would be helping us with how to cut, how to sew etc. A lot of it was our own work with "help me miss!" when we got to an instruction we found difficult. It wasn't like being a normal teacher.

You could offer 1-2-1 classes in someone's home, or your home. I have been to classes for knitting machines where I visited the instructors house and sat with her for an afternoon. It was expensive but worth it for me.

Lowena

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2017, 13:18:28 PM »
Would you consider a 16hr a week part time job ( Tescos for instance let you choose your own days and shifts) Perhaps then you could combine the two.
Triumph of hope over experience :D

Sandra

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2017, 13:34:50 PM »
Would you consider a 16hr a week part time job ( Tescos for instance let you choose your own days and shifts) Perhaps then you could combine the two.

Yes. I've wondered if this would be the best idea. Part time, then keep my dry cleaner and my menswear work. I'd feel bad for losing these two. They've been very good to me...It's easy work, no trouble and they deliver it to my door.

BUT....If I'm going to lose my sewing room, ( when I move house), I'm back to the messy dining table and strangers clothes hanging up everywhere.

There's a solution somewhere. I just haven't figured it out yet.

Sandra.
xx

Sewsuzie

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2017, 11:31:40 AM »
Best part of working from home........ finding something that needs doing on the old lady, where I can see and feel the lovely weather today  :).
Just doing some buttonholes on a dressing gown, using the Singer buttonhole attachment. Need to find a few more jobs that will keep me downstairs, instead of upstairs in my cramped sewing room. A bit of hand sewing in the garden would be nice.... or some unpicking...... :vintage: :vintage:



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

Maximum

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2017, 18:44:00 PM »
Sewsuzie that looks like bliss. Reminds me to dig out my buttonholer and have another go at getting it to work properly, I'm sure it will but I need to spend time and patience getting the settings right

Sewsuzie

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2017, 18:58:35 PM »
It does take time to get the settings just so, but it's worth it. They also respond well to a good clean and oil. Mine was very stiff and clunky when I first got it. I had another buttonhole to do as well, to match up to an existing one with keyhole end, so thought about the Greist template ones I have. Discovered I have 4 of them in boxes, of varying ages, but all had the same size keyhole template, which was too long for what I wanted. There probably is a way of making a shorter one, but I reverted back to the cream/red Singer and produced a very satisfactory alternative.

I sewed the buttons on and found me a bit lot of unpicking to do after that. Even took the unpicking outside to do, in the sunshine. Lovely  :) :)
Now, what can I take to bits tomorrow......?

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

Bloobell

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2017, 21:50:49 PM »
I'm like Suzie - I'm self employed, do a lot of alterations and some bespoke commissions, but the main income is from bridal and prom alterations. I don't work for any bridal shops, I prefer to be independent and decide who, where, when and how much for myself.

I like the bridal alterations. In my 11 years in business, I've only turned away two brides from a "the job's not possible" point of view.

One was a girl who'd bought her dress in a charity shop and it was way way way way waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay  too big for her. It had sleeves, and was made for someone about a foot taller than her. The shoulders stood level with her ears, the bust shaping was at her neck......she was teeny. Basically the amount of work required to take apart this dress was pretty much a total re-make for her, and she wasn't prepared to spend the money it would cost.

The second was a girl recently who brought her dress to me three days before the wedding. Three days. She'd had it months and had planned to "diet into it". Instead, she admitted that she'd put weight on.......She told me over the phone that it was a "little tight" so I agreed to squeeze her in. Oh boy, I should have trusted my instincts.... A "little" turned into a gap of 8 inches. All the way down the CB zip and way beyond it. She couldn't get the dress past her thighs. I offered to add a corset laced back instead of the zip and open it up a bit more, adding a modesty panel, but she wouldn't consider that and told me I had to find the extra fabric from the seams. The seam allowance was 1cm. A total of 6 seams round the bodice would have given me about an extra inch, tops, not the 8 she needed.  She wouldn't even consider a wedge insert in the CB seam because I didn't have a perfect fabric match available. I had to tell her I wouldn't be able to purchase a perfect fabric match in the time we had, we live rurally and don't have fabric shops here! So I had to tell her that I'd be unable to help her. I then rode my rainbow unicorn to the kitchen and made myself a well deserved cup of tea!!!!


Tamnymore

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2017, 21:55:09 PM »
Sounds like the gentle art of diplomacy, Bloobell!
'One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.' Oscar Wilde

Sewsuzie

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2017, 23:24:01 PM »
Bloobell, I wish I could learn to say no. This is one I did a couple of years ago with about a week to the wedding. An Internet purchase that the supplier had messed up on the sizing 6 weeks earlier. They assured her they would send a new one in time, which they did, but..... the same size again. She was devastated but a lot more amenable to solutions than your customer. So, I had a bit of satin in the right shade and made panels in the sides, recut the skirt to fit the waist and applied the lace motifs back on. With more time, I would have tried to be a bit more inventive with the side panels, but fabric limitation and time were against me. She was very happy with the results and is still sending friends to me.

Suzie  :vintage:





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

Bloobell

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2017, 10:36:01 AM »
If I'd had three weeks, not three days, I might have had a chance to add a gusset at least. This was a fishtail dress so VERY fitted all the way down the thighs as well as the bodice. I have absolutely no idea what this bride did. I expect she had to go find another dress in a bridal shop and pay a fortune for it, if she was lucky enough to fit into one of their stocked items.

One thing I've learned (although it doesn't come naturally) is how to remove myself from taking responsibility for the bride's problems. If I can't fix it, I can't fix it. If I can, I do. Anything else is beyond the scope of my responsiblities and I have to almost harden my heart when they're upset. It's horrible, but I can't fix the unfixable, and I have to remind myself that it's not my concern beyond that. The human in me of course wants to wrap my arms around them and wave a magic wand, but the professional in me acknowledges their upset but doesn't take it on as MY problem.

I've had to develop a rhino hide regarding the emotional stuff. I have to give thanks to one girl who tried everything she could to MAKE me fix her problems, for pretty much free. She used tears, snivelling and whining as her weapons initially, then when I said I just couldn't help her, there was nothing I could do, she turned to threats of legal action. As I hadn't done anything to her dress except look at it, that was an idle threat, but her fury at not getting what she wanted was rather alarming, to say the least.

Sewingsue

Re: I love my job!
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2017, 12:36:44 PM »

I've had to develop a rhino hide regarding the emotional stuff. I have to give thanks to one girl who tried everything she could to MAKE me fix her problems, for pretty much free. She used tears, snivelling and whining as her weapons initially, then when I said I just couldn't help her, there was nothing I could do, she turned to threats of legal action. As I hadn't done anything to her dress except look at it, that was an idle threat, but her fury at not getting what she wanted was rather alarming, to say the least.
So Bridezillas don't just exist in US TV programmes? Scary.

Sewsuzie, I would hope that the one with the wrong size dress was just glad someone could rescue a mess that was the fault of neither of you.
Bloobell, seriously? She knew she hadn't 'dieted into' the dress, came to you three days before the wedding, then turned down the only solutions?
As for the other one - words fail!
Bernina Aurora 440QE, Brother BC-2500, Singer 99K (1938), Silver Viscount 620D overlocker.