The Sewing Place

Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.

annieeg

Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« on: May 15, 2020, 12:34:15 PM »
I've made my sister a few things FOC (she does pay the Postage) and recently sent her a tabard which she's very pleased with.
She wants another tabard and has offered to pay me, and TBH, I could use a few extra pennies as I'm now out of work and don't get my State Pension for another year.
It takes a reasonable amount of time, as the edges and neck are all bound with bias and there's a large pocket across the front which I section off into 4 parts.  I think if I worked solidly I could cut, sew, and finish in about 3 hours.
What does anyone think would be a fair "mates rates" price to charge for time and materials ?
(Its going to be made up in thickish, good quality cotton fabric from my stash.)
Annie

Efemera

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 13:06:47 PM »
Always a tricky subject.. you definitely want to cover the cost of the fabric, what you charge on top of that is debatable. Have a look at what RTW would  cost...

PollyWally

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2020, 01:44:35 AM »
Perhaps you could tell her how much the materials cost and how long it would take to make. Then ask her how much she thinks is reasonable to pay . It would give her an appreciation of what is involved and be less awkward than suggesting an amount.



Kwaaked

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2020, 07:16:43 AM »
Hi, have you met me?  I am OCD about all this crap.  You can scroll to the end to get a really simple formula for charging, or read the OMG you're nuts version.

But: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8mkValuei0

Shows how to make a cost sheet for RTW, but principles can be applied to one offs.

A major problem I find is that the cost of material+labor+overhead=too high, especially using retail sources.  And forgive the American prices, but all of these are resources anyone can use, they aren't my wholesale accounts.

So we are going to assume that for the same of argument, that you got the fabric from Fabric Wholesale Direct (so I can get a price on it) and $4.99 a yard is the price point.  You need 2 yards.  Now going to Wawak for the rest: bias tape is $1.40, need 2.  Add in a little for a needle and thread (needles cost me about .10 each for a domestic) for a total of about .15.  You said 3 hours labor, and you've made it before, so we can kick out the pattern cost, which leaves us with sewing, laundry and cutting.  At $10 an hour, that's $30, plus laundering $1.  I am leaving off the shipping here, because we probably won't need anything extra out of pocket to pay for, other then the actual cost of shipping.

Fabric=$10
Trim= $1.55
Labor=$31
------
Total=42.55, round down so $42

At this point, you should multiply that by 1.8 or 2.2 for a "wholesale" cost, but it is already pretty high, and you're not in it to make money so much, or you can round it up to $50. 

There are a few issues sewing professionally: you tend to take longer learning how to do things faster, so you tend to take a labor cut.  So using the same formula and fabrics for my business I would get $26-30 as a cost, including my 1.8-2.2 mark up (about $4 for overhead).  Main difference is that
a) I have a cutting table most don't have, so cutting is a matter of setting it down and I use a cutting knife for simple things, which makes a cut out less then 10 minutes.
b) I would make my own bias tape.  I have tools to make the cutting of it down to mere minutes (it's a ruler, rotary all in one that does all my work once I find the grain) and I do this often enough I can make 10-12 meters/yards of it in about 15 minutes from cutting out to finished.  (Yes, I make a lot of bias tape.)  It does not add considerably to my labor.
c) I have binders that make the bias tape attachment go fast.
d) I can sew this in about half an hour, or should at industry standards, making my labor affordable.  Same as the video spreading the labor costs in a way.
e) I use industrial machines.

So using tools, experience and repetition, I cut my labor down to 1 hour for it all, and honestly, it may take me more time, depending on what I am doing that day and what I got going on.  This is the best case scenario.

Mostly, you don't want to be out of pocket for anything.  When you aren't as OCD and I am, it can be simpler and you can charge 2 or 3 times the cost of materials to make it (in my scenario, it would be about $24 to $36).


jintie

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2020, 07:45:21 AM »
I would be too busy for now....   
Stroppy old grandma

Iminei

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2020, 09:07:07 AM »
Why dont you sell your quilts Imi ???

Is a question Im sometime asked ... Because unless you are seriously minted you would be aghast at the costs  involved let alone the time taken...

Case in point; For my lovely friends and neighbours Luke and Lucy who got married last year after 20 odd years together I wanted to make them a quilt as a wedding present ... Yes it had to be double bedsized which would involve me making it in four quarters or taking it to a longarmer for £125+

Lucy came over and discussed what she wanted, style, colours etc and settled on soft Blues and greens ... not my colourways at all so I had to buy some of the fabrics ...  After this meeting she added .. Oh and Of course We will give you a few pennies for fabric ... I insisted this was my gift as altho' I knew she wouldnt literally hand me a fiver in change I didnt think she would have any idea as to the true cost ...

I totalled it up as I went along and the materials alone cost
Spoiler: show
£201.00


Add to that the time taken for the quilting ... each quarter took me 9 hours to quilt with the top two quarters taking longer because of the faceted hearts, say an extra hour or so each ... and without the time taken for cutting and piecing which I didnt log the quilt would have cost
Spoiler: show
 Who can tell ??
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 09:10:36 AM by Iminei »
The Imperfect Perfectionist sews again

Ellabella

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2020, 10:39:47 AM »
I won’t take on sewing jobs for other people unless I love them enough to do it for nothing.

If you charged a fair rate very few people would pay it, as people don’t normally realise the work involved. I understand your sister doesn’t want to ask you to make something for nothing but can’t you think of a trade off rather than a cash price. 

Mind you I do have a dear friend who asked me to shorten some curtains, a job I hate.  It didn’t take me long and she rocked up with a litre bottle of Gordon’s so everybody was happy.

Ohsewsimple

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2020, 11:48:25 AM »
Where I worked in the sewing shop my boss was a quilter.  She used to make for the fun of it and leave quilts lying around in the shop to showcase the fabrics and the courses.  She was often asked if they were for sale. No they weren’t.  She did offer one or two people the opportunity and quoted a reasonable price in 3 figures.  No where near what they cost in fabric alone.  Their response was to laugh because 'you could buy something cheaper in a shop'.  Can you guess what the response was?

snoozi soozi

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2020, 12:47:50 PM »
Never fails. People do not realise the cost of everything required to make a garment.

I've made two simple shift dresses - no fitting required - for the OH's SIL, and before I started I made her aware of the cost of fabric, then agreed an hourly rate of £5 and I gave her an idea of roughly how many hours it would take me. She was happy on both occasions and gave me a little more cash, with a wave of the hand. Thank you very much  ;)

About five weeks ago the neighbour who's back garden runs crosswise to ours asked if I could make some cushion covers for his 'lads' at work. They had some large bench cushions and he would get me the flame retardant fabric to make them from. No mention of cash but I've not heard anymore about it. I can only assume that he's discovered how much it would cost for the fabric and had second thoughts... :S

My suggestion is to let her know how much the fabric and gubbins cost and gauge her reaction. Bearing in mind good quality cotton is about £8 pm?!

Goth Gardiner

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2020, 12:52:41 PM »
Cost of the materials and three hours of your time at minimum wage.

If you do it for any less then make her promise not to tell anyone what you charged or else you will have other people wanting a bespoke item at knock down rates. 

You could offer her one in lieu of her next birthday or Christmas present.
Stash busting: 2.25m in; 2.25m sewn  |
UFOs finished: 1 | Items repaired:
1

annieeg

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2020, 13:55:08 PM »
Really appreciate all the replies.  I think I'm going to suggest  £15 plus the cost of postage.  If she thinks it's too much (bearing in mind I've already made one FOC and 2 xface masks) over the past couple of weeks she won't ask me again. 
When I go to stay with her there's usually a sewing task or two reserved for me to while I'm there which I do to say "thank you for your hospitality" .  So I consider that I have been generous with my time in the past.

Kwaaked

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2020, 08:05:06 AM »
This is one of my huge pet peeves with my family: sewing tasks when I visit.  Not going into the rest of the crap my family pulls in general, I once had a prom dress waiting for me to add a corset back, alter, hem and fix over a weekend I was there.  (It would have taken me most of the weekend.)  There was no actual hospitality involved; I stayed in a hotel and went out to eat.

The reply?  Well, you do it for a living, so it should be pretty easy.  Besides, you don't like the outdoors, so it's no big deal. (I do indeed like the outdoors, actually.)

I don't mind my mother in law (her son paid a lot of money for me to do this, and is right now keeping me from closing down permanently), or even my DH's niece who needed some for her formal, and very likely will ask again.  They live a few miles from my shop and will come in.  And I offer to do it, but waiting for me?  Sets mah teef on edge.  My in-laws come in when I am open, not on vacation!

But it is nice you do it @annieeg.  You are a far better woman then I am.

annieeg

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2020, 08:32:33 AM »
@Kwaaked
Usually I was relaxed and willing to do the jobs but the last time my BIL approached me about altering a suit :faints:
I said it was beyond my skill level so my sister and I took it into a tailors for a quote which came to 3 figures.   I think it served as an awareness of what alterations cost!

Puzzler

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2020, 11:55:50 AM »
@Kwaaked
Usually I was relaxed and willing to do the jobs but the last time my BIL approached me about altering a suit :faints:
I said it was beyond my skill level so my sister and I took it into a tailors for a quote which came to 3 figures.   I think it served as an awareness of what alterations cost!

 :o :o :o :o  3 figures as in £££? I'm in the wrong line of work. :S

BrendaP

Re: Mates Rates for sewing for someone else.
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2020, 12:43:42 PM »
Altering a tailored garment takes skill, and time.  Both add up to ££ and you can be sure that the bit that needed altering would have been one of the first parts to be constructed so would need the most unpicking.  I'm not surprised it was a three figure sum.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.