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Sewing Business Idea

You’re sick of your 9-5 job, and you’d rather be at home sewing. Perhaps you can trade your cubicle for your sewing room and start a sewing business!

The question is, what do you like doing the most? Do you enjoy sewing as a craft for your own projects or do you enjoy sewing for other people?

Do you like working with people? Perhaps taking work in from people in the form of alterations is for you. The steps to start are fairly easy, you just need a place to meet with your customers and a couple of simple supplies.

Invest in a full length mirror, and if you have space for such a thing, a three-way mirror would be ideal.

Some of the types of work you might consider:

  • Simple hemming of trousers and hemlines
  • Alteration of men’s suits
  • Bridal fitting and alterations
  • Altering draperies, curtains, or bedding
  • Embroidering and personalization of clothing or household items

Establish a price list for each type of alterations you perform, so that you can give your customers an idea of the cost.

Getting Started

If you work from your home, be certain you are comfortable allowing strangers in your house. If you have any pets, you must consider whether pet hair will be a problem, and whether you should segregate them from your clients.

Check with your insurance provider to see if you need liability insurance, in the event that someone would hurt himself while you are conducting business from your home. Also, find out from your state Department of Revenue whether or not you must collect sales tax on your services.

Markets For Your Sewing Business

Would you rather make things? Here are some markets you might want to tap:

  • Baby clothes and accessories—people are always on the lookout for unique gifts and items for the new little ones. Hard-to-find or unusual items include:
    • Frilly bonnets
    • Oilcloth items such as bibs or drop sheets for under the high chair
    • Burp cloths embroidered with baby’s name
    • Preemie sized clothes
    • Smocked dresses
  • Maternity clothes—women want to look stylish and have unusual clothes while they enjoy this exciting time of life.
  • Plus-size women’s clothing—flattering designs and beautiful fabrics are in demand, especially among professional women
  • Hand bags and totes—the more unusual the better for these indispensable accessories—make them conversation pieces
  • Household accessories—throw pillows and blankets, embroidered guest towels, table linen sets; there are so many ways fabrics are used in the home

If you plan on making items to sell, you will have to find identify places you can market them. Make a list of places in your community that might be good outlets for your sewing business. Additionally, consider these ideas:

Furniture stores may be able to display your pillows on their sofas and chairs. Ask the owners if they would take coordinating items on a consignment basis. Bring along a digital camera so that you have some ideas for fabrics, and take notes to go along with your photos as to the true colors and type of fiber used.

Check out local boutique clothing stores to see what styles and fabrics they carry. Set an appointment with the buyer to show samples of handbags, totes, and clothing you make, and be sure to ask about next season’s lines and colors.

Have your own “trunk show” at your house or a friend’s house. Send out invitations, and have some beverages and snacks available to encourage people to linger and check out your wares. Display it as creatively as you can.

Take your sewing business show on the road. Attend crafts shows in your area, and think about making one-of-a kind items, as people will purchase for themselves and for gifts, especially if they know there is not another tote bag just like it out there.

You might consider doing a little of both types of sewing—alterations and creative sewing. You can take alteration work to keep cash flowing, and invest some of the income in materials for your production work.

Other ideas for expansion include selling sewing supplies and sewing machines or providing sewing instruction to local students.

No matter how you proceed with your business, you will be doing something you enjoy, the profits will belong to you, and that will be less like a job than any 9-5 ever was!

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