- Vena Cava for my (slimmer) friend Emily -
I am always being told by my non-sewing friends that I should start sewing garments...for other people...for money. Only other sewists, can truly appreciate how ridiculous this suggestion is. I can fully appreciate that there are professional seamstresses that can and do make money from sewing for others. For the amateur, untrained, hobby seamstress, like myself, sewing one-offs would seriously be an unprofitable exercise.
I have just finished sewing up Vena Cava's Vogue 1228 for a friend. (A slightly slimmer friend). I did not do it for money. I did it because she's a fabulous friend, who is terrible at spending money on herself, finds clothes shopping a nightmare and is wonderfully kind enough to look after my little boy for me each Friday, while I go out and actually make some money.
Just for my own amusement and her curiosity, I have 'costed' this dress. This exercise has reinforced three things for me:
1) One of the reasons I sew - So that I can wear clothes I like for a fraction of what they would cost to buy.
2) Why I will never sew for others. (Extremely close friends and family excepted)
3) How bloomin' expensive it must be for a non-sewing person to get something custom made.
So how much would it cost a person starting from scratch? I have randomly come up with a figure of $30/hour for sewing time. (Obviously, I'm a very slow sewer. A professional would be much quicker than me.) Still, my friends keep suggesting that I, a non-professional, should do it for money...he he he!
Fabric: 3m of silk from Spotlight $30/m = $90 (I got it on sale for $54. I also only used 2.1m so have enough left over for an additional blouse. This means I only used $38 worth of the fabric)
Vogue Pattern = $30 (I borrowed this one from my sister who bought it on sale = $0)
Cotton: ($2.50) (I used stuff I already owned - extra big roll. Have allowed $1.50.)
Sewing machine needle: $1.50
Toile fabric: 2.5m calico = $12.50 (I used fabric off a 17m roll I bought at a Trash & Treasure stall for $2 = 30 cents)
Time: Cutting, sewing, fitting & deconstructing toile = 2 hours x $30 = $60
Pattern placement (this takes time!), cutting and machine sewing dress...+ unpicking! = 9 x $30 = $270
Hand sewing hems = 0.5 x $30 = $15
(My gosh! Profitable? No Sir-ee!)
How much did it cost me to make?
I had read in other people's reviews that the neckline needed to be changed to ensure it covered even the most skimpiest of bras. To alleviate this problem, I added an additional 1cm to both the left and right side of the neckline. I also omitted the cuffs and finished off the sleeves with a rolled hem.