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Now imagine getting paid to do something you love that much. Like most who take up sewing as a hobby, you do it because you enjoy it. Using your sewing skills to make money might never have crossed your mind. Until now. Yes, you can make money with your sewing skills.

And you don’t have to be an expert sewer with years of experience to do it. Sewers at any skill level, even novices relatively new to the craft, can turn their sewing skills into cash.

And as your skills improve, your profits will grow right along with them. Does making money and having fun at the same time sound like a pipe dream?

Well, lots of people are doing it. Some sewers use their skills to make a little extra spending money. And some sewers turn their hobby into full-time, work-at-home businesses.

  • What Should I Know Before Becoming a Seamstress?
  • Can You Make a Living as a Seamstress?
  • How do I Start a Seamstress Business?
  • What Sewing Crafts Sell Best?
  • Do Tailors Make Good Money?
  • Is Sewing a Good Hobby?
  • How Long Does it Take to Become a Seamstress?
  • How Can You Become a Seamstress?
  • What Skills Should a Seamstress Have?
  • How do I Start a Small Tailoring Business From Home?

What Should I Know Before Becoming a Seamstress?

A seamstress is a female clothes maker who makes and repairs clothes for individuals and establishments. This job requires dexterity, coordination and a zeal for perfection. If you want to earn a living as a seamstress, you must have the necessary requirements. The following information will help you to know what the job entails.


Starting a career as a seamstress requires at least a high school diploma but many employers prefer to hire individuals with a little experience as well. Having an associate degree in fashion design at a community college or a vocational school will go a long way in giving you a general idea of the skills required to earn a living as a seamstress.

Read Also: You Can Make Money With Gifts For Dad

Subjects such as fashion design, clothing selection and history of design are taught by professionals that are in the fashion industry. Some classes take a year and half to be completed.


Any aspiring seamstress need to take some courses to sharpen her tailoring skills. They include pressing seams, drafting for pattern application, machine applications and fusible interfacing.  Although a few employers provide training for their employees, you stand a better chance of getting a good job if you have already acquired additional knowledge by the courses you have taken.

Enrolling in an associate degree program gives you access to practical application in pattern drafting, measuring, sewing and so on. You will be able to know how to handle delicate fabrics like silk and cashmere and also how to work with strong ones like cotton and wool. This type of training will surely help you to become a better seamstress when employed.

Work as a professional seamstress

A seamstress can begin as an apprentice before becoming an experienced one. Apprenticeship helps you to learn and acquire valuable skills and techniques that have to do with clothing alterations and garment repair. Seamstresses may work independently or may work for Laundromats, clothing stores, bridal shops or tailor shops.

If you have garnered adequate experience, you can earn a living as a seamstress by opening an alteration shop of your own. It is important to ensure you have a database of satisfied customers and clients if you desire to open your own business. This category of people would not mind patronizing your services anywhere you are.

Knowledge of machinery

It is also important to know a little about computers and electronics because machinery comes in different models. With improvements in technology, they are likely to become more complex. A basic knowledge of machinery prepares you for versatility. You will be able to adjust to any changes and also work in a cross-cultural environment and as part of a team.

Job outlook

A seamstress can decide to work full-time or part-time. It is a job with assurance of continuity and growth because people will always require clothing repairs and alterations. As long as you are skillful and attentive to details, you will never lack customers and clients to attend to and you can earn living as a seamstress. After a period of time, if you so desire, you can decide to specialize in other areas.

Can You Make a Living as a Seamstress?

You could choose from thousands of different sewing projects as you launch your home sewing business. The world is your oyster when it comes to selecting a project to make and sell! That said, you may find it more helpful to zero in on just a few possibilities as you start.

Take a look at these realistic options to get yourself started.

1. Bags

You only need basic sewing skills to create a professional-looking, useful bag! Many bags require just a few straight seams and some finished edges. Sewing most types of bags won’t take you very long, so you will save time by trying this simple project, too.

Think of all the kinds of bags you use each day, such as zipper makeup bags, reusable snack pouches or lunch bags, and handy totes to replace plastic grocery bags! With such a variety of types to choose from, you might want to break into the sewing business by starting your own line of hand-sewn bags.

Due to the trend to eliminate plastic grocery bags and protect the environment, you may find a strong market for fabric produce bags and market totes. If you feel like getting fancy, you could make these bags out of cute fabric printed with food or farm designs, or even applique some carrots, onions, and tomatoes to the bag!

2. Kitchen Cuteness

Who doesn’t love home decor items that match a unique kitchen style? You could sew themed potholders, tea towels, tea cozies, or even kitchen curtains! Buyers who want something that exemplifies their own personal style will pay a premium for a unique, handmade piece of kitchen cuteness.

Everyone needs oven mitts. Of course, you could buy your potholders at Walmart for three dollars, but if you love your kitchen, you will spend a bit more to buy a special, handmade set of oven mitts that match the color of your kitchen walls!

Honestly, you could apply this idea to any area of home decor. You could easily start a line of themed throw pillows, for example.

If you’re an experienced sewer, this kind of project will probably only take you about half an hour. But don’t panic if you’re a newbie! You only need basic skills for a project like sewing a potholder, so you may find this kind of project a perfect place to start.

3. Personalized Gifts

Offering items custom-made with personalized details for each buyer will set you apart from mainstream retail products. You could sell baby clothes embroidered with the little one’s name or make quilts based on the customer’s childhood memories. Personalizing a handmade item can be as simple or fancy as you want!

The wedding industry is another great market in this area. You could sell t-shirts embroidered with the bride and groom’s names or tote bags labeled with each bridesmaid’s initials.

Of course, you would have to set up a communication channel with customers to make sure you provide exactly the personalization that they want.

You would also have to consider how much money you want to spend launching this business. If you already have an embroidery machine, this line of business might be a perfect fit for you! If you don’t already own this pricey piece of equipment, you might want to look for another sewing project.

4. Doll Clothes and Stuffed Toys

Sewing doll clothes require some advanced skills, and you may find it challenging to work in miniature. That said, dolls come in standard sizes, so you can count on always sewing things in the same shape and size. Real people come in many different sizes, so sewing for dolls is easier in that regard!

American Girl has made 18” dolls super-popular, and you can find a market for everything from historic prairie dresses for dolls to modern jumpers, headbands, and t-shirts! This type of sewing is so popular that you can find thousands of free patterns online to get you started.

If dolls aren’t your thing, you might find it fun to sew stuffed animals. Sewing in 3D could make you feel like your brain is turned inside out, but if you’re the kind of sewer who likes this challenge, give it a try!

Imagine the market for handmade, personalized, stuffed toys. Grandparents love that kind of thing!

As you may have noticed, this sewing project does require more complex sewing skills. You will need the patience and ability to sew a two-inch sleeve into a dress, for example. That said, doll clothes use simpler measurements and use far fewer materials than people’s clothes!

5. Dog Clothes

Yes, you could sew and sell handmade dog clothes! Lots of people love their pets like their own children and treat them accordingly. Why not cash in on that market and provide an adorable pet jacket to keep a special furry friend nice and warm?

You could focus on snug winter coats for dogs. Or you could branch out and make coats with superhero capes attached. Of course, you could also add some personalized touches if you want to go all-in!

Once again, this kind of project won’t require a lot of fabric and materials. After you get used to sewing designs that fit four legs instead of two, you’ll find these projects pretty easy!

6. Baby Clothes

If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of sewing adult-sized clothing, sewing baby clothes might offer the ideal alternative. Welcoming a new baby into a family is a time of joy and much gift-giving. Many new parents want infant outfits for photos, for christenings, and every holiday!

If you have the skill to cut out, sew, and perhaps personalize baby clothes, you will find a strong market for handmade infant apparel. You may even want to zero in on a more niche market, such as hand-embroidered christening gowns.

Even if you stick with the broader category of all baby clothes, think outside the box as you select themes and colors. You don’t want to try to sell something a parent can purchase at Target. Instead, create a unique, colorful, adorable outfit that no parent or grandparent could resist!

You will need to make sure you use only safe, hypoallergenic materials for such sensitive garments. Also, your handmade baby clothes need to have nice strong seams and hold up through multiple washes because babies tend to soil clothes quickly!

7. Quilts

Quilting requires specialized skill and tools, but if sewing quilts is your passion, you can sell these works of art for a lot of money! Seriously, hand-sewn quilts typically sell for over a thousand dollars.

Lots of quilting artists understandably refer to their work as textile art! Hand-made quilts have a long history full of artistry and deep meaning.

But if you have ever completed a quilting project, you know that it takes many hours to craft even a small quilt. You will want to consider the amount of time and effort you can afford to put into your sewing business before you start selling quilts.

In general, quilting also requires an array of special tools, from cutting mats and rotary cutters to fancy quilting machines that cost several thousand dollars. Even if you hand stitch your quilts with a needle and thread, you probably need a quilting frame to hold your work as you sew.

8. Custom Clothing

The simple fact is that everyone needs clothing, and in today’s world, what you wear often reflects your personality and position in life. Wearing a perfectly fitted suit might land you the job you want, so some customers will pay for custom clothing!

Sewing clothes is a challenging business, but if you regularly sew clothing for yourself and your family, you may feel ready to market your abilities! You could easily go in one of two directions with your line of handmade clothing.

First, you could sell clothes based on typical retail sizes, like small, medium, and large. You will want to think about finding a type of clothing that fits your vibe. For example, you could sell fluffy poodle skirts to the “rockabilly” crowd, or you could specialize in floral sundresses. If you’re a real pro, you could design and sell complicated garments like unique wedding dresses.

Second, you could sell bespoke clothing tailored to a customer’s individual measurements. This second option takes a lot of advanced skill, like the ability to draft your own patterns based on a set of measurements. That said, if you have a fashion design background and experience, you can charge a lot of money for custom-made clothing.

Tailored jackets, fitted sheath dresses, or clothes made-to-measure for people with unique body types all have a strong market.

You will need to consider the cost of materials if you move into sewing and selling larger items like clothing. You should also realistically evaluate your skills: can you design and sew a fitted suit jacket that won’t fall apart the first time the customer takes it to the dry cleaner? If you answered yes to that question, you are one of a select few home sewers, and you should get in on the need for custom clothing!

9. Alterations

If you enjoy perfecting a mistake instead of creating something from scratch, you may want to consider starting an alterations business instead of sewing products to sell. You could hem pants, take in waistbands, or even make sure a wedding dress looks perfect for a bride’s special day!

Here’s the thing, though: like sewing clothes, tailoring demands mastery of some complex skills. Plus, while your bread and butter may be hemming trousers, you will also probably find yourself working with expensive garments like wedding gowns and prom dresses. You can’t afford to make mistakes on these!

On the bright side, the rigorous requirements of this profession mean that you will always find a market for your skill. If you’re looking for a part-time job, you may find an opening at a local tailor’s shop. If you want to work from home, you could start up your own small alterations business!

Keep in mind, though, that you will need a safe way to meet customers in person if you plan to alter their clothing. This kind of business operates quite differently from a home sewing business where you can package up your product and ship it to a far-away customer!

10. Lingerie

Etsy shows that people will pay a premium for custom-fitted lingerie made with luxurious materials! These garments practically cost an arm and a leg even when you buy them from a department store, so imagine how much you can charge for unique, luxury lingerie.

If you love silk, lace, and satin, you may enjoy this tricky type of sewing. Like with “normal” clothing, if you choose to sew and sell lingerie, you will want to narrow in on a target customer. For example, do you want to sew lace-up corsets or frothy, old-fashioned petticoats?

A smaller, more intimate item takes more advanced skill and sewing ability than something like a skirt or a pair of pants. The downside to this endeavor is that you do need a lot of sewing knowledge to craft lingerie.

If you want to corner a specialized market, you could sell lingerie based on a customer’s measurements. You have probably experienced the struggle of finding intimate items that match your body type, so imagine how much you would like to have custom-made undergarments!

How do I Start a Seamstress Business?

Starting your own business is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming process. If you have a flair for the creative, enjoy decorating and all things home design, and have experience in the field, opening your own painting and decorating business could be the ideal career for you.

It’s important to create a portfolio of work you can show potential clients, so even if you volunteer your time to decorate and paint a local doctor’s waiting room, you can gain experience and examples of your work for your portfolio.

Write a Business Plan

A business plan is something that many small business owners overlook when starting out but, it is actually a key component to success. A business plan helps you narrow in on the focus of your business, your target market, your business strategies, and most importantly – how you plan on being profitable.

If you plan on obtaining any sort of financing, many banks require a business plan for companies that are just starting out. So take some time to sit down and write a business plan.

Form Your Business Entity

Before getting your first customers, you will need to legally form your business. The first step in forming your business is coming up with a business name. Once you have a name, you’ll need to decide on a business structure, also know as a business entity.

There are several business structures to choose from including sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), Corporation, etc. You will want to consult an attorney if you are not sure which business structure to choose.

You can also use a formation service that will handle the entire process for you. Many small business owners choose an LLC because it provides limited liability protection to you as the owner and it benefits from pass-through taxation.

Here is a quick checklist of things you need to complete to form your business:

  1. Select a business entity type: Sole proprietor, LLC, Corporation, etc.
  2. Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS – once your online application is complete, you will receive an EIN instantly.
  3. Register your business locally in the State in which you will be conducting business. This is done with the Secretary of State in the State in which you will be doing business.
  4. Obtain any business licenses or permits required in your State to operate a sewing business at home. These can also be found at your local Secretary of State’s website.

Set up the Business

The following things will help you finish setting up your business:

  1. Open a business checking account (you will need an EIN to do this)
  2. Setup a way to manage your accounting whether it be a software program or spreadsheet to begin. This will help you track your income and expenses.
  3. Create a “media kit” that outlines your rates and services. This is something you can hand out or post online.
  4. If you plan on having employees work for you, setup a payroll system or a way to pay your 1099 contractors.

Decide on your Target Market

You may decide to be a one stop shop for all things sewing and garment repair or you may decide to stick to a specific niche like wedding dresses.

Whatever you decide, you will want to setup your business in a way to cater to your target market. After all, you are going to be trying to attract this target market for business.

Startup Costs

Starting a sewing business isn’t as expensive as other business ventures. You should plan to spend about $2-3,000 if you don’t already have the basic items needed.

Here are some of the common startup costs for a sewing business:

  • Sewing machine
  • Inventory of fabric, thread, buttons, zippers, etc.
  • Sewing tools such as needles, scissors, measuring tools, etc.
  • Larger furniture items such as a sewing table, mirror, fitting room setup, work tables, etc.
  • Shipping supplies if you plan on shipping any customer items
  • Other startup costs include setting up your business, business licenses, and marketing costs.

Setup Your Work Space

Clients will be coming in to drop off and pickup garments that need to be repaired or altered. Some clients will need to try clothing on for measurements, etc. You will want to make sure you setup a work space that is inviting and makes customers feel comfortable, especially if you are running the business from home.

Consider a room with an external door so customers can enter directly into your at home office without having to walk through your entire house. Also setup a private fitting room for items to be tried on. Keep the space clean and free of clutter so you look professional.

Some at home sewing businesses convert their garage by adding better lighting and perhaps some sort of heating/cooling system to maintain a comfortable temperature.

If you don’t have an ideal space in your home, you can rent a workspace or, as your business grows, consider a storefront. Wherever you choose to set up shop, make sure it is somewhere that people would want to come back to and make sure it appeals to your target market.

Business Insurance

Believe it or not, many businesses do not get the proper business insurance coverage. A sewing business may seem harmless, but you never know what could happen or what a disgruntled customer might do.

The following are the types of insurance a sewing business should consider:

  • General liability insurance – should a customer be injured while on your property, this will cover any costs as a result of that injury. It also covers costs for property damage claims against your business and advertising injury claims as well, among other things.
  • Commercial property insurance – if your business inventory or equipment should get damaged or stolen, this will have you covered. If you are working from home, most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover business inventory or equipment, which is why you need this additional coverage.
  • Workers compensation insurance – this is only applicable if you plan on hiring employees to work for you. Workers Comp Insurance covers the business should an employee be injured on the job.

Start Marketing

In order to get customers through the door, you will need to market yourself. While word of mouth is great, it can be a slow process for growing. Common marketing techniques include handing out flyers and business cards to local fabric shops, put ads online, and marketing yourself on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Also consider attending conferences like Wedding conferences and conventions, fabric events, crafting, events, fashion-related shows and events, and anything that could draw potential clients. You can also create a referral program where a customer can receive a certain discount or reward for referring someone.

Creating a website is also a good idea so that you can share your work, rates, and business information with potential clients.

Hire Staff

If you are just starting out, you may not need to hire employees quite yet. Many non-medical home businesses start with one person until they gain more clientele. So if you are not ready to hire staff, you can skip this section.

When hiring staff, you want to decide if you will hire employees on payroll or independent contractors who will receive a 1099 form. Spending time interviewing potential candidates is important as well as doing extensive background checks.

Hiring a bad employee could be detrimental to your reputation and raises the concern for liability issues. You can work with a recruitment agency to find qualified talent or perhaps even ask around in your network of friends, family and professional contacts for referrals.

Always ask for at least three professional references when possible. For sewing, you can even have them demonstrate their skills and abilities before bringing them on.

What Sewing Crafts Sell Best?

The keys to sewing for profit involve crafts that are:

  1. …quick, inexpensive sewing projects that are desirable.
  2. …small and/or easy to transport items (both for you and the consumer).
  3. …unique enough to attract consumers.

These aren’t the only important factors but they are the most important. You want to actually make a profit, which involves planning and patience.

Not every item on this list is a unique sewing project but that’s where your creativity and customization come into play. If you’re selling a product that can be found elsewhere, you need to either add something special (think a gift card pocket on a coffee cozy), use unexpected or attractive fabric, or price it lower.

By planning and thinking outside of the box, you can make a profit. Be on the lookout for fabric or notion sales, use coupons often, bust your stash, and get creative to keep your profit margins in check.

The list below includes the type of items that do well in general online or at craft shows and fairs.

  – Baby items
  – Bags and accessories
  – Gadget holders and accessories
  – Home and kitchen items
  – Pet items
  – Small gifts and stocking stuffers
  – Seasonal and holiday items
  – Travel accessories

Do Tailors Make Good Money?

Tailors, dressmakers and custom sewers fit design, create, alter or repair clothing garments using needle and thread or sewing machines. Completion of vocational school or an associate’s degree is sometimes necessary to be considered for this position, but not always. An employer might require up to two years of on-site job training after being hired for this job.

A Tailor, Dressmaker, or Custom Sewer earns an average salary ranging from $20,940 – $58,050 based on education and experience. usually receive average salaries of thirty-six thousand and forty dollars each year.

obtain the highest salaries in District of Columbia, where they get salary pay of approximately $48,370. Employees who work in this job make the greatest compensation in Management of Companies and Enterprises, where they can get average job salaries of $62,530.

Is Sewing a Good Hobby?

People who are skillful in sewing are very lucky. Why? Today’s generation is going crazy with expensive clothes. Some, if fortunate enough, pay so much for designers and tailors just to make them one-of-a-kind clothing — most Hollywood celebrities can afford this.

If you’re trying to imitate them, that cannot be considered a good idea unless you’re a daughter or son of a billionaire. However, if you know how to sew, you can create your own clothing that is not far from what you like to copy from your favorite celebrities — and of course, without spending too much.

One of the reasons to learn how to sew is that it can help you discover your talent in you. You can improve your creativity and sewing skills to make useful items you can be proud of. Once you know how to sew pieces of clothing from fabric, you will have the freedom to customize your outfits. You can also choose the best fabric for your clothing.

Love skirts? Imagine how exciting it is to make your own fashion line of skirts: pencil skirt, tulle skirt, or any simple skirt! You’re free to design your clothing.

Another advantage of being able to sew your own clothes is SAVINGS! Instead of shopping, you can transform your old clothes into something new and stylish. Just check on the internet and it will give you loads of tutorials on upcycling old clothing.

Plus, you can also salvage your favorite apparel in case it needed some repair or you just wanted to jazz it up according to trends. You can upgrade your look without spending much! Just incorporate expensive-looking accessories and studs to achieve the style you want.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Seamstress?

Becoming a seamstress doesn’t require any formal education, although some college programs—for example, a degree in fashion design or fabric styling or a certificate program in pattern making—can be beneficial. Many seamstresses instead hone their craft by taking classes or pursuing real-world experience through an apprenticeship. 


To make custom clothes, seamstresses need a wide range of skills. Beyond the basics of stitching by hand and sewing with a machine, aspiring seamstresses should consider taking classes in the following subjects:

  • Draping
  • Patternmaking
  • Sewing techniques 
  • Embroidery
  • Fabrics and materials
  • Garment construction


Even with the most extensive education, seamstresses can benefit from real-world experience. That can look very different from person to person. For some, it might simply mean practicing on real clothing—such as creating and mending your own garments—as much as possible. For others, it could mean pursuing an apprenticeship with a professional seamstress or starting as an assistant or in an entry-level sewing job and working your way up.

By immersing yourself in the world of a seamstress, you won’t only learn the ins and outs of sewing techniques, but you’ll also gain valuable experience in taking measurements, interacting with customers, and bringing clients’ visions and requests to life. 

How Can You Become a Seamstress?

Here is a list of steps you can follow to help you become a seamstress or seamster:

1. Develop key skills

Before pursuing a career as a sewing professional, it can be important to develop crucial technical skills to help you fulfill the job responsibilities more efficiently. This can include learning different sewing techniques, knowing how to measure and cut different fabrics, understanding how to use certain sewing tools and more.

If you’re hoping to develop these key skills, consider reading books and finding tutorials online that can help you learn the basics. It can also be helpful to purchase fabric and sewing tools to practice the skills on your own.

2. Consider vocational programs

Some colleges and universities offer vocational programs and courses that can provide further training and education required for a seamstress or seamster career. The schooling generally takes one to two years and focuses on improving technical skills, such as fittings and alterations, clothing creation, fabric selection and more.

Vocational programs also allow aspiring sewing professionals to develop a portfolio they can use to help find employment after they graduate. The portfolio often includes photos of your custom-created clothing, alterations you’ve made for individuals and drawn designs of future projects. Once you finish the program or schooling, the college or institution often provides you with a diploma or certificate to show your qualifications to employers.

3. Gain relevant experience

Gaining relevant experience can be important because it can help you understand the operations of professional sewing and tailoring businesses, provide you with on-the-job training for your career and help you attract potential employers with your resume.

Though experience with a tailoring business might be ideal, many jobs and positions in the customer service field can help you develop important soft skills, such as communication and problem-solving. You can also sharpen your customer service skills by working as a receptionist or an assistant at a professional sewing or tailoring business, which could potentially develop into a full-time seamstress or seamster role.

4. Earn certification

Though a sewing certification is often not necessary to practice the trade, becoming certified in different areas of a professional sewer’s work can improve your occupational credentials and help your resume become more noticeable for employers.

There are several certifications you can find at accredited institutions or organizations, online and in-person, that can provide you with courses and examinations on advanced sewing techniques such as professional practices, texture and pattern choice and proper size proportions.

5. Complete an apprenticeship

Though an apprenticeship isn’t necessary to start a career as a sewing professional, it can be beneficial in developing important technical skills and learning the trade through hands-on training and powerful mentorship.

An apprenticeship program allows you to work closely with a professional seamstress or seamster who can relay their occupational knowledge and skill set to you, allowing you to continue developing your technical skills.

An apprenticeship can also help improve your resume credentials and with finding future job opportunities with professional sewing and/or tailoring companies.

What Skills Should a Seamstress Have?

It’s important for sewing professionals to have a strong understanding of sewing knowledge and skills because it can allow them to perform their job duties well. Whether they develop these skills through practice or training from a professional, understanding the key elements of sewing and clothing creation can be imperative for a seamstress or seamster career.


During their workday, seamstresses often require the use of dexterity to sew and cut materials with precision. Dexterity can also be helpful for sewing professionals, who often have to use their tools for long durations at a time.


Whether they’re helping customers pick out new clothing or create a unique clothing design, a professional sewer often needs strong communication skills to create sound products for the consumer. Communication also allows seamstresses and seamsters to develop impressive customer service capabilities, helping them answer customer questions and generate sales more easily.

Attention to detail

When creating new items of clothing, it can be important for seamstresses and seamsters to have impeccable attention to detail because it can help them catch any sewing or cutting mistakes and allow them to create great products for their customers. It can also help them follow designs carefully and ensure their measurements and material proportions are exact.


Sometimes when they’re creating new pieces of clothing, sewing professionals might have to find creative solutions to unique challenges, such as lack of fabric or a final product that’s different from what they envisioned. During these instances, it can be helpful to have powerful problem-solving skills to help them make adjustments or find creative answers to the challenges.

How do I Start a Small Tailoring Business From Home?

We’re now giving you a step-by-step to put your tailoring skills to use and make some money.

1. Identify & Understand Your Target Audience

Women are the main targets for most tailoring services. Women love wearing customized and fitted clothes. They buy a lot of readymade garments from a mall or a bazaar. But they need someone to alter the garments, or upcycle an old outfit, or even stitch blouses and patch the fall or pico to their sarees. 

Identify the likes and dislikes of the women you’re catering to in terms of design, fits, and the price they are willing to pay to beat the competition from other local tailoring services.

2. Create A Dedicated Work Space

Though it depends on the number of machines and staff, a 100-120 sq ft space is enough to start with 2 machines. You can also utilize the vertical space for storing materials. There should be a separate, big enough room space in your home for a proper setup and space for customers in case they wish to come and discuss their requirements in person.

3. Determine Cost Of Production

To begin the work of cutting and tailoring In India, it is enough to buy a domestic, non-pedestrian sewing machine that can cost you between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2000. But there will be other hidden costs like buttons, materials, threads, pattern-making stencils, raw materials, electricity, delivery and logistics, promotion cost of your service, etc.

List down a total of the average minimum cost you may incur to set up shop from home and add 12%-20% labor, earmarked to pay yourself. The labor you charge can vary based on the volume of work you get every month or the volume of work you get from a particular customer. Anything over and above this is pure profit so charge accordingly.

4. Hone Your Skills

To run a tailoring business you need some basic skills that include:

  • Knowledge of sewing machine (basic machine) and running a sewing machine
  • Learn garment stitching. Whether you stitch garment yourself or hire a skilled tailor, you should learn the basics of garment stitching
  • Body measurement and garment measurement
  • Learn pattern drafting 
  • Cutting the fabric for garment parts 
  • Learn about fabrics and their properties 
  • Learn about garment fit
  • Take training on tailoring and garment manufacturing and pattern making. A 3-6 months course is enough to start a tailoring shop. 

Note: You don’t need to learn stitching work yourself if you plan to outsource stitching work to a hired tailor.

5. Secure The Investment

The investment associated with the business is extremely less as compared to other businesses. You can get started simply with the sewing machine, and the essential stitching materials. As soon as you start getting the orders from the customers, you can buy the raw materials.

Moreover, you need to create some of your customized designs and expose them to the local public. The skill will help you gain the customer’s attraction, and you will be getting more and more orders. 

6. Buy The Sewing Machine(s)

For a tailoring shop, you need at least one black head single needle lock stitch machine and one 3 thread overlock machine (Also called an interlock machine). An interlocking machine is used for edge finish. If you want you can invest in industrial sewing machines too. The price of the blackhead sewing machine on Amazon is around Rs 3,500-Rs 6,000.

7. Get Your Tools & Equipment In Order

Other than sewing machines and a table, you need to purchase working aids. Refer to the following list.

  • Scissors for cutting fabric
  • Chalk for marking
  • Scales and curves
  • Measuring tape
  • Pattern paper
  • Needles
  • Seam opener  
  • Work aids like special presser foot for hemming and pico stitch. (Hemming and pico stitch can be done manually)
  • Raw material requirement: Threads and supplies
  • Some hangers, rack, and stands
  • Electric iron
  • You need a table for pattern making, garment measuring, and cloth cutting. A 6 ft x 4 ft tabletop is ok. If you have a small space you can manage it in a 4 x 3.5 square ft table

8. Set Your Price & Create A Rates Chart

The rates change with respect to a locality, so do proper research before you set the price for your tailoring service from home.

Following are few rates for your reference

  • Kurta / dress alteration: Rs 50
  • Blouse stitching: Rs 300-Rs 400
  • Kurta making: Rs 250-Rs 350 (depends on design and inclusion of accessories)
  • Saree fall attaching + pico: Rs 80-Rs 100
  • Only Pico: Rs 40
  • Salwar kameez: Rs 350 onwards

Note: Print one price list of different types of work and hang it on the wall at a visible location.

9. Marketing & Advertising

You need to tell others about your services. Print flex banners and display the banner wherever possible. One banner must be placed at the main gate of your house. Print your mobile number. Along with the traditional marketing tools, online marketing has also proven to be extremely effective.

Read Also: How Anyone Can Make Money Without Money?

Create a social media account, post about your boutique, services and customer testimonials and see the difference. It will help you launch your business without any investment. Remember to keep posting regularly, engage with your audience and enjoy marketing free of cost. For all of the above, you can enlist the help of a family member who is comfortable and adept at social media. 

10. Go Digital If You Want To Scale

An effective way to manage your tailoring business is through technology. You can set up an app or website to receive orders and payments online. You can create a gallery of previous orders and new designs on the website, customers can look at your products with the ease of being at their homes. The major advantage of going digital is that you have digital data to plan your future decisions and expand your business. This is a great option once you decide to scale but is not necessarily needed for a home tailoring business.

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