Alex organized his first fashion show with the help of his supportive family and a few friends. While the show was still three months away, he made a discovery which surprised him. While preparing for the fashion show, Alex realized that not knowing sewing is a big handicap for a designer.
Alex continues to take sewing lessons today and advises that “if you’re going into design, you need to know how to sew first. You must know All of the rudiments of the business.”
Sewing is certainly one of the most valuable skills you can teach yourself and your children.
So why is sewing a top career choice today?
The world seems to be going in a circle. More and more women and men are seeking tailor made clothes and smaller boutique fashion stores – which not only provide a better fit than ready-made clothes, but also lend a sense of individuality to the wearer.
Learning the craft of sewing is absolutely necessary in order to know what’s possible when designing – and there are multiple well paying career options open for those with sewing skills.
Here are some examples of profitable businesses run by those with sewing skills.
- Custom curtain making is a lucrative business idea – every new home owner wants to make his or her home beautiful.
- Embroidered baby quilts: Which mother would say no to something beautiful for her baby?
- Make bridal dresses, headpieces and veils: Which bride wouldn’t want something different from Sears? And how many can really afford a dress by Sarah Burton?
If you are a back-to-work mom, with sewing, you could be doing something which is creative, fun and offers the possibility of financial freedom. With time you could teach sewing or expand into a custom tailoring business with the help of a couple of apprentices.
At the very least, you will be able to choose your own fabric and make a suit for yourself, exactly the way you want it to fit at a fraction of the price you pay to the designer brands.
Sewing is one of the most successful ways to be a solopreneur. Everybody needs clothes, right? And, hardly anyone can fit in the “readymade” clothes available in the supermarket. Sewing is certainly the easiest way to earn some extra cash for your household.
How do you go about the business of sewing?
You might feel that sewing for profit is very different than sewing a pair of pants for yourself. There are many elements to consider apart from sewing – tools, equipment, material suppliers, constructing a product line, figuring out your specialties and marketing your sewing business or finding a job.
Don’t get worried. All these are just details. As long as you enjoy sewing everything falls in place through the process of trial and error. It might need a bit more work, a bit more uncertainty in the beginning – but when you do get in the groove, you will be thankful that you chose sewing instead of that nine-to-five office job.
What is the best way of getting started?
To answer this question we reached out to Laurel Hoffmann, who is today one of the most respected figures in the sewing industry in North America. Author, Teacher and Designer – Laurel today opens up the world of sewing for budding designers through her live sewing classes and also through her books on sewing and pattern-making.
As Laurel says on her blog – ContemporaryFashionEducation, “industrial sewing is different from home sewing. However YOU can – everyone can – easily learn the methods used by professionals and create exquisitely beautiful garments, like those produced in the industry, for yourself, your family, and your customers”.
Laurel Hoffman kindly agreed to share her thoughts in this short interview with us:
First of all, we would like to thank Laurel for taking the time to share so much insight for all of us. A creative career like sewing and fashion design is a vocation which brings great fulfillment, and kudos to Laurel for the great work she is doing in this field.
In closing, I would like to echo Laurel’s words – “YOU can learn sewing”. You can master the nuances of the business and make a successful living out of it. Do NOT give up if this is what you love. Give it another shot – a good shot – leverage the experience of experts like Laurel, find a small support group and you WILL find success.
We close with this maxim:
Question: When is a bad time to sew?