Custom sewing: Etsy seller recommendations?

Have I got a question for you today!!

Sometimes I get emails or Etsy inquiries from some of you lovely readers, asking if I do custom sewing and would be up for commissioning something for them. Often a copy of an Anthropologie dress or something I've made for myself and shown on the blog.  To all of these inquiries, I say the same thing--sorry, nope, I don't do any custom sewing.

The main reason is, I'm not set up for it--I sew for myself from time to time but I work full time and have a pretty full plate as it is, so I've never considered opening up an online shop or anything.  I don't have the materials and patterns and storage that a business owner might, meaning for each order I would have to start over and learn a new pattern, buy all new materials, etc.  To pay me a fair rate (custom sewing can run from $10-50/hour but it's hard to work for less than $20), and pay retail for the fabric, you're looking at a $100-150 dress for me to break even--which is usually what Anthro is charging and you were trying to avoid in the first place.

I'm SO flattered by the requests for custom work, but I just can't do it.  I would love to have a recommendation list going of other talented seamstresses out there who do do custom sewing--I know they exist, and have Etsy presences set up, and would love to do your projects!

I'm not as up on the Etsy world as some of you are, I'm sure, so can you tell me: which sellers out there would be good choices for someone looking to emulate something they've seen on my blog?

Leave a comment with the seller's name or shop URL if you know of anyone, or have any ideas!  Or if you yourself do custom sewing!

Thanks!

9 comments

  1. I used to have an Etsy shop but with the new FTC labeling laws it makes it impossible to just sew from my stash (some of that fabric is older than me and fiber content would only be an educated guess).

    That said there are still a lot of really talented people on Etsy that I'm sure can help. I don't know of any specifically, but I'd look for a shop that has been open for more than a year and have a good amount of feedback.

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  2. *raises hand tentatively*
    I've been known to make a custom dress or two from time to time.
    When I'm not doing a horrific job repainting furniture. Hi folks! *waves* I'm that guy.

    You're right about the cost, though, but that's twofold. Rather than paying retail markup, you're paying a human person to put the work into a garment that'll fit just right. You get to pick out the color, and say things like "my hips and butt are, like, a 2, but I have the boobs of a 12" - something you'd never be able to do at a place like Anthropologie.
    I haven't done a whole lot of custom work on Etsy because they shut down their custom "division," but over the past few years, I've been learning a lot about custom garment alterations and construction. I'm angling to become more of a fashion designer, but I'm not married to the idea. Mostly, I recreate or reimagine TV and movie costumes.

    Rather than provide you with a crap ton of links and look like a massive spammer (I'd like to keep the spam to a minimum), I'll tell you this:
    Check out my website.
    http://www.bymaggie.com
    I have a blog where I frequently post amateur photography - occasionally of what I'm working on.
    I have a contact page with links to my Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Burdastyle and Etsy shop, along with my e-mail address. Feel free to contact me at any time.

    And Susannah? I'll be posting an update today with pictures of how that TV console looks in my new apartment, with a link back to you here at Adventures in Dressmaking. :D

    Thanks, all!
    - Maggie

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  3. Allow me to proudly present my friend and mentor, Allison: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SewBeeItClothier?ref=ss_profile

    Here Etsy shop features her honed-to-perfection boleros, but oh can this woman sew! She is amazing. AMAZING. You should see the clothes she makes for her granddaughter! And her own daughter's wedding dress? Forget about it! Total perfection.

    Go check her out!

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  4. I do a lot of custom sewing (mostly dresses)
    I sell through my online store: www.ShopGinaMichele.com
    I can accommodate a variety of budgets =)

    ♥ Gina Michele
    CrochetClouds.com

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  5. I do custom flowers and jewelry, but custom clothes sounds like a scary undertaking!

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Leeya?ref=si_shop

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  6. me me me me:
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/orloSubito?ref=si_shop

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  7. I've had friends ask if I could make them a dress, because I started making them for myself. I told them basically what you said, that it would cost roughly $100 for a cheaper fabric and only paying myself little for labor, and they all immediately ran for the hills. I mostly stick to making for myself, or family as Chistmas gifts. Custom clothing is great, which is why I make for myself, but many people don't have the money/want to pay that much. But a great option is purchasing a dress from one of thsoe stores and having it altered. A lot less labor cost, as least. I tip my hat to those who can make it work! Bravo!

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  8. I've totally had that same experience with friends! They see something I made and say "I'd pay you $60 to make that for me!" Then I have to explain nicely about why that wouldn't work, and inside, I want to laugh and cry at the same time at how much non-sewists don't understand.

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  9. Like a couple of others, there is just no way to make money sewing. I sewed hula costumes for a halau and came out in the red every time. I did it mainly because I was friends with the people. By the time you buy the fabric and notions, nevermind wear and tear on your machine, it's not financially a good choice. It IS a fun choice, when that's why you are doing it - for fun.

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