Things have been a little slow here on the blog lately. But it's not for a lack of sewing. Only that I've been sewing for someone else. More specifically, a client. An actual total stranger customer, believe it or not. I made a set of crib bumpers from scratch, two pillows and a crib size comforter for pay. Yes, I may have lost my mind....
Here's all the loot laid out on my guest bed, minus one other pillow.
I got a call a few weeks back from a coworker of my friend I redid the nursery chair for. The call was to ask if I'd be interested in sewing some baby bedding for her. My honest-to-goodness first thought was no way jose. I didn't think I'd have the time nor the proper sewing skills for it. But then I thought about it again. I knew I could do it. And I knew it would be top quality when I was finished with it. And I knew I wanted to try out making things for pay to see how I liked it. A trial run as a real seamstress (in the professional sense of the word). I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and give it a whirl. And I'm glad I did because I learned so much.
All the fabric was already picked out and purchased. It helped that I really liked all the fabric she picked out. I like that it's not traditional little girl stuff. My client (sounds so funny, doesn't it?) had some specific ideas of what she wanted, which was fabulous. I snooped around some baby stores to take some measurements. A local home decor fabric store had a sample bedding display which was what pretty much what she wanted-- just some minor changes. The pricing to have it made there was steep. I estimated how many hours it would take me and came up with a dollar amount based on that.
The crib bumper pads are cut from a one inch piece of foam and a layer of batting. I covered the foam with muslin. The pads can be removed so the bumper covers can be washed. The cording goes all the way around. Ties are made from bias strips of fabric. The bumpers were the most time consuming part of the project. The pillows are pretty straightforward. Just a pillow. Has an opening in the back like the bumpers.
The comforter was my favorite part. I was worried about making the comforter because it was something I had never tried before. Two different fabrics with a layer of batting sandwiched between. I knew I had to tack the batting somehow, so it wouldn't shift in the wash. I used embroidery floss and made a little x every few inches to tack the batting to the backing fabric. Then I stitched the top piece and cording like the pillows and bumpers. I wanted to make little o's to go along with the x's, but J told me to slow down. Not everyone likes super cutesy-ness ;)
And now for the million dollar question--- did I actually make the dollar amount per hour I planned on?
Nope. Not even close. But it's okay. I made a paper pattern for the bumpers so next time (yes, there already is a next time- for a friend) I will be much faster. When I estimated my hours initially, J said I better triple it. I thought nah, I've got this. Well, it wasn't quite triple the amount of hours but it was definitely more than double. Live and learn. It was a good experience and I'm glad I did it. What about you? Anyone else ever sew anything for pay? How do you calculate your rate and the amount of time spent sewing?
After all this work sewing I'm feeling selfish. Time to go sew something pour moi.