Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Money money money

Money can be a touchy subject I know, but we are all friends here.
A friend of mine has been asked to do some stitching work for someone else.

My friend's stitching is beautiful . 
She is wondering what and how to charge for something like this, so I said I would ask the Brain's trust (that's you guys) on her behalf.

Is  it a charge by the hour thing?
Charge by the piece? 
Have you ever sewn / stitched / crafted for someone else in a formal kind of paid way.

Share your wisdom folks.
(Needless to say no-one would ever employ me based on my stitchery work)


  1. I try to work mine on about $20 per hour plus materials. It does vary slightly depending on size, scope and difficulty.

  2. Same, I work on about $20 an hour.

  3. Maybe I'm just slow but I find stitching for an hourly rate really hard and used to charge per item. But don't do it anymore... Much too fraught!

  4. When I first started paying someone to help me I spoke to these guys: http://www.ethicalclothingaustralia.org.au/business-corner/

  5. There us actually a formula, I basically wanted to pay what was ethical.

  6. Yep. I've just had to put together a quote for a quilt for a TV series (don't get me started on how exciting it is!) but it was the hardest thing I've ever done. I came up with a nominal hourly rate ($25 since I believe our time and skill as textile artists should be worth something) and estimated how long it would take. It is such a difficult and taboo topic!

  7. I guess it could come down to if your friend is doing it to earn and income or supplement spending on a "crafting habit". If its for an income then she needs to set an hourly rate as she is worth every cent. If it's to provide support for her craft habit then talk payment in supplies / meterage! What ever works for her and makes / keeps her happy.

  8. Hi Jods I would charge a figure for the finished item a figure that I would be happy to receive to make it.xx

  9. Molli Sparkles does a great job discussing this topic on his blog here: http://www.mollisparkles.com/p/we-are-ew-worth-it.html

  10. I don't price my hourly rate as high as others. I charge $10/hour plus actual costs of supplies. But then I only do commission stuff when I feel like it, so I'm really into the project so don't mind taking a lower rate. That and I base my $10/hour on average federal minimum wage which is lower than $10/hour (sadly).

    I also charge by the piece for some things if I tend to make them a lot, like sock monkeys. It's just easier to have a flat price for the monkey and then do a la carte if they want outfits or extras.

  11. If she wants to do this on a regular basis you need to agree on a figure up front. If she never wants anyone to ask her again, you need to nominate an hourly amount - but with a ceiling for this job. When I have made quilts for friends kids (at their request) I pay for the fabric for the top and they pay for the wadding, backing and professional quilting. I give them a ball park figure, so they understand it is not going to be cheap eg alot more then buying from Target. I get to pick the design (so its not too hard, or its the pattern from a class I want to take) but they choose the fabric theme/colours. Good luck!

  12. That is really hard to solve. A fair wage for the western world may well make the items unsellable.
    Try it this way: Determine first the sell price of the item. deduce the price of the materials and divide than equally the rest.
    It won't come probably to a good hour wage, but it is absolutely fair.

    1. this isn't really the same though. Designing, making and selling an object isn't the same as stitching something for someone else when they're providing the materials.

  13. I paid per unit. Worked out at about $25.00 per hour. I am currently helping out an equestrian family with making horsy things and I'm charging $25 per hour, same as a horse riding lesson.

  14. It is always hard but never sell yourself cheap because it makes the general public think we are not professional and that handmade is not worth a lot.

  15. I get paid by the hour to restore quilts plus actual costs of supplies

  16. Such a lot of opinions and ideas. I have read them with interest. I agree that charging an hourly rate can be a good thing, but sometimes it could be hard to be the person having to pay that amount, because it is an unknown quantity. The item might become so expensive in its making that it is priced off the market for its worth. A factor in this could be how fast and competently the paid person is, however I am sure they wouldn't be asked if they weren't great at what they do. I also think it depends if the item is a shop sample for display or to be sold per item. If it was a one off, I like the idea of counting up what it cost for materials, versus what it could sell for, and divide the difference. If it is not making enough profit to pay both shop and maker, then it is not worth anyone's time to make. I have made shop sample quilt tops and agreed a set price prior, and it did not work out as much as $25 an hour, but was not unhappy. I could work when I wanted and had no set time frames.

  17. I've heard that for any item 3x materials cost is a good guide line. this gives 1x to cover costs, 1x to cover labour and 1x to go towards development, planning, etc. of this masterpiece.

  18. I remember reading an article ages ago about this issue and the thing I took away was that we will never be paid what the item is worth because craft is not a valued skilled. But the thing we must do is get enough money to cover the replacement cost of the supplies we use and this included needles and other items that wear out. The replacement cost must be the full retail cost not the price you paid or what you might be able to get it for on sale at some stage in the future.
    Also the hourly rate must be priced on a skills based level, if you consider that your time and skills are worth more than the minimum wage then you need to charge accordingly.
    I hope this helps in some small way.

  19. Have you ever been to a market and seen stuff that was being sold for what you straight away recognised as not even covering the cost of materials?
    Then there is going to a chain store and seeing mass produced, but quite nice goodies at a price you know you couldn't have made it for?
    That's why people under value what they do. I value my workmanship at $20-00 an hour for two reasons - I'm slower than most and although I will do my best, like Jodie, I don't believe my skills are as good as others.
    HOWEVER, Ladies, if you are reading this, never, ever sell yourself or what you do short. I'll take you out the back of the wood pile for a bit of a paddy whack!!!!!
    If you don't value what you do, how can you expect others to?
    If someone asks you to make anything for them, please let them know it is not going to be Target/Kmart/BigW prices. You are not a Bangladeshi factory. You don't use a specialist industrial machine that is capable of 13,000 stitches per minute. You don't have one for each special function you need to perform to complete the task.
    And, it is not only your own time you have to factor in to completing the task : there are material costs. Even if they have bought the material and the pattern to you, you have the wear and tear on your equipment; you may be providing the spools or skeins of thread; you will use your power for lighting, heating/cooling. All of this is called Cost of Goods Sold.
    It is always worthwhile doing the sums on what it will actually cost you, the maker, to do this for someone else. And, sometimes you have to sit people down to explain the hows and whys of it.
    I often ask people if they would do their day job (whether they are currently working or not) for less than half their hourly rate. I've never had anyone say they would. Then, why should they expect you to give away your skill and passion to give them something unique and lovely?
    Value what you do, whether it is "only" a hobby and not your day job. Because if you don't, no one else will either.
    Thank you!

  20. Never ask me to give a price! It's interesting to read and I do agree that work of a high standard is worth a decent amount and adds to the finished piece. I was burnt once agreeing to do some stitching that I didn't really want to do but agreed in an amount in US dollars but was paid in the much lower at the time AUD dollars


Hellloooooo !!!!