I often get asked to provide a quote or a ball park figure on how long an item will take. Sometimes, to be honest I don’t know. each job relates to pattern, style, and fabric. What I can tell a client is how I work, and what I know. For me, it is preferable to sample a garment before I quote. I may have made something similar, but there are always things that are different that can alter how long something will take to make. You may have made it a million times, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can or will make it in the same way. But once Ive made a sample, I have a better idea of the “nuances” of the garment.. This is where thee unit price comes in, based on how long a garment will take to sew. once the unit price is agreed on, this is it. This is the price charged. I will never change a price without you knowing ahead of time.
A piece of clothing is costed as a unit price. A unit price is calculated on an hourly rate, based on how long a garment takes to sew. The hourly rate comes from the minimum recommended rate set by the Textile Clothing Footwear Union, for a business working as a manufacturer. It’s actually the law. Basically, there are a number of sums that have been done that equate to a fair living wage for a person or business making other peoples clothes from a business premise. Which is me, in my studio at the Brunswick Business Incubator. At the end of the day, if I’m sewing production I’m working on a cost per minute basis.
I am currently a one woman show., which means that I may be different to other makers and manufacturers. I am industry taught, not qualified. I have also learnt by experience, which has been varied and not limited to one type maker or manufacturer. I’ve worked and volunteered in factories, I’ve worked with sole operators. I know I sometimes do things differently, That’s my experience. And it grows every day. But at the end of the day I work at a rate that is fair, for me and for my clients.