Experienced sewers

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Can you turn a sewing passion into a business?

Advice and examples of sewing entrepreneurship

Many of us have from time to time wondered if our sewing passion could lead us on the greater things – most notably being able to give up the day job, or at least earn a little extra from our number one pastime.

The simple fact is that hundreds of people have succeeded in realising this potentially exciting ambition. Temper this however, with the thought that in all probability many more have failed.

So we spent some time having a rummage about in an attempt to highlight some initial hints and tips that might just encourage you to do some research – and find out whether you can turn your passion into an income generator.

You’ll notice by the way that we never use the word “hobby” when it comes to describing sewing – it’s much too important for that!

Start small and work your way up

The excellent LoveSewing website really hits the nail on the head with an article “How to make money from sewing…”

“Even if you haven’t mastered all the more advanced techniques you can start by sewing up simple purses, bags, pin cushions or little soft toys. Spend some time creating unique designs.

“You can sell these little gifts and accessories at craft fairs or on a handmade marketplace like Folksy.com…” 

What makes a good “sew to sell” project?

An excellent question – well answered by the So Sew Easy website. Stephanie Woodson from from Swoodson Says has compiled a really good list of considerations, including

“Shipping – can be expensive on large, heavy or valuable items. Smaller items that can go in a padded envelope and be inexpensive to send may sell better.“

Enjoy what you’re doing!

SewMyPlace comes up with some nice ideas in the aptly titled “6 Ways to Make Money Sewing” – and there’s one piece of advice in particular that we think is really important. Make sure that you really enjoy the type of sewing that will be required.

Otherwise you may as well go back to the day job!

“After all, the whole point of making money sewing is being able to earn some cash while doing something you already love to do. So you should choose a sewing business that allows you to do the types of sewing projects you most enjoy.”

This article contains lots of relevant stuff, including the type of sewing service that you might light to consider providing.

Choose your speciality

All of which brings us very neatly to the Assemble & Earn website and their article “Introduction to Starting A Sewing Business From Home.”

“What you decide to sew will also depend on the the kind of equipment you are starting out with and whether you are working on your own or with someone else.”

They flag up suggestions like alteration and repair, custom sewing and designing.

The real life success stories

It’s all very well people banging on about “how to do so-and-so” or “top ten tips to become a millionaire in 20 minutes” (to be fair we haven’t found that one yet lol), but the best and most inspirational example are the people who’ve been there. Done it. Worn the T shirt – and in this case probably made the T shirt as well.

We’ve got two for you here – one bang up-to-date and one a couple years older that we also love.

Debbie Shore, “Derbyshire’s TV sewing superstar”, according to the Derby Telegraph. She has so much energy and get-up-and-go that she was always going to be a success – even being Zippy’s girlfriend on Rainbow!

The wonderful This is MONEY website features an inspirational report on Helen Dickson, who started Bustle & Sew who “…realised her passion could become a commercially viable business after her daughter left home and she finished a full-time job working for the local authority.”

The right tools for the job?

And we couldn’t finish without a subtle plug for our wonderful Jaguar sewing machines and overlockers, which, like the Jaguar 377 offers automatic threading.

The Jaguar 377 offers the perfect sewing partner for precision sewing, offering you the ability to use a variety of built in different stitches, enables you to create a variety of sewing projects with ease, making it ideal for beginners and more experienced textile crafters.

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