How to make money from sewing…
Have you ever contemplated giving up the day job so you can spend your days sewing? Here are a few ideas for how you can start a business with your sewing skills.
Our magazine is full of tips and advice for learning to sew. Once you have the sewing bug it’s hard to not want to spend every spare hour at your machine. Have you ever considered using your sewing skills to make some money?
Whether it’s just a little extra money to buy fabric or perhaps the beginning of a full time home business, we thought we’d put together a few ideas to get you started!
Sew Gifts and Accessories
Even if you haven’t mastered all the more advanced techniques you can start by sewing up simple purses, bags, pin cushions or little soft toys. Spend some time creating unique designs. Look around for design inspiration on sites like Pinterest, but be sure that you don’t use any other designers patterns unless they explicitly say it’s fine to sell your finished products.
You can sell these little gifts and accessories at craft fairs or on a handmade marketplace like Folksy.com where they have masses of tips for setting up a shop and learning how to market your handmade products.
Finding a Niche
Finding a gap in the market is always the best way to start any business. Luxury pet coats, eco hoodies for kids, dresses from vintage fabrics or novelty duvet covers, people are often happy to pay far more than high street prices for somehing personalised, unique and handmade.
Share Your Skills
You don’t have to be a saville row tailor to teach people to sew! You can specialise in teaching people to sew curtains, T-shirts, bags or basic dressmaking skills. Ask around friends and family and see if they would like to come to a sewing class with you.
Once you have taught a few people, some good friends perhaps, your confidence will grow and you can start planning and marketing your sewing workshops. Community Halls are often very cheap to hire for a few hours for you to teach and you get the benefit of advertising to all the hall users. Or invite people to your home if you have a big dining room table that can fit a few machines.
Have a look online to see how much you should charge and be sure to provide people with all the information they need on what they need to bring with them (eg bring your own sewing machine!)
Mending and Alterations
Not perhaps the most exciting of jobs, but it will certainly keep you busy as there are so many people who just don’t fit clothes off the peg, or find a perfect dress that just needs a little tweak to make it perfect. Shortening trouser legs and shirt sleeves, adjusting waistbands or mending a split seam. It may seem simple to you but so many people don’t have the time or inclination to learn to mend a garment.
In terms of marketing your services, setting up a Facebook Page and asking friends and family to spread the word is a great start. Put up prices in a list for basic alterations, it’s easy to do a little research to find out the going rate in your area.
You need to keep it local with advertising, office buildings, a local dry cleaners or hairdressers may be able to put up an advert for you.
There are loads of tutorials for drafting patterns online and you can also find software to help you create patterns which you can sell as downloads. Whether you are designing dress patterns or just patterns for accessories and soft toys it’s important that you have your patterns tested to ensure they work.