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Seamstress wanted and advice on charging for piecework

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  • Seamstress wanted and advice on charging for piecework

    Hi I'm not sure I'm putting this into the right category.

    I am looking for some help with finding someone to cut out and sew part of my Handi Bags. I am not sure which parts of the bag yet but they are pretty straightforward anyway. Probably the cutting out, sewing the lining, straps etc. I would still do my design bitty, embroidery etc. I live in Harrogate and so would be looking for someone locally. They would be able to work from home, so would suit someone who is retired or has small children etc. This may be a temporary one off thing or I might carry it on, its early days.

    I am also looking for some advice on how much I should pay, I really don't have any idea. I was going to pay piecework, £??? per bag/per part of bag. Is there a going rate for this kind of thing?

    Would the job centre be a good place to advertise? My past experience of job centre applicants is not encouraging!

    Another area I have considered is to use a local manufacturer, but have no idea where to start looking for one and would they only be interested in huge amounts? Does anyone have any contacts in the Yorkshire area I could talk to.
    Sorry this has got a bit long but thanks for reading, if you've got this far!

  • #2

    I carry out "out" work for curtain manufacturers etc but live along way from you so I thought I`d post my rates etc and see if this gives you an idea!

    I charge myself out at £8 an hour and but I sew fast. This also covers the cost of wear and tear on my machine, electricity machine needles. I`m usually sewing to tight deadlines (folks need everything yesterday!)so the hourly fee refects this.

    If I were you, I`d see how many of your bags you can construct in an hour and work out how much you should pay someone one based on how long it takes you to make a bag, atleast paying the minimum wage, electricity and machine wear and tear, NI & Tax if applicable ( an out worker will probably be self employed and have to make these payments)

    If you have a good fabric or habedashery shop go to them and ask if they have a list seamstresses in the area or know of anyone who carries out "out" work.

    Hope this helps and your enterprise takes off!



    • #3
      Some good advice in the above post. I used to make appliqued children's clothes and had an outworker who used to do some of the simple sewing (seams, etc).

      I worked out an hourly rate based on what I could do in an hour, and the person I found was happy with it. Sometimes she was asking me for more work!

      I would just check with the Inland Revenue what the laws are on employment and self employment - I think it's changed in the past few years. If I remember rightly, if all or most of your income comes from one source, you are classed as employed. It may make a difference to how you'll deal with it.

      good luck!
      digital stamps for cardmakers:
      hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc:


      • #4
        If the person is self employed, it's easy, they just invoice you for the work.

        I employ students every now and again to do some packing in high season. As long as they don't have another job and you keep their pay under about £100 a week, there's hardly any paperwork to do and no NI and Tax. Just record their hours and pay, and show the pay in your accounts.
        I pay them the minimum wage as it's pretty simple work (counting, weighing, sorting).
        Just a thought but you might find some art students interested in helping you, as long as they can show they can sew to the ability you need.
        One of my friends has gone back to Uni so that's why I went down that route, she can find people quite easily. Otherwise I'd probably advertise in the local papers.
        Bead Shop, 91 Liverpool Road, Penwortham, Preston, PR1 0QB, Lancashire. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sunday 11am-3pm.


        • #5

          Thanks for your replies, I hadnt even thought about the tax and NI implications - I hadn't thought past how I was going to get the work done and how much it might cost me! Your replies have certainly given me food for thought and a starting point, so thanks very much.



          • #6
            Hi, i'm quite late replying but though i would anyway.
            I used to work with my mil she had her own business that employed out workers. It wasnt anything crafty in (fact it was packing testing kits for boots).
            As the above post says it's much less complicated for you if you just get outworkers who do it on a self employed basis, then it's their worry to declare it to mr tax man etc, and you don't have all the other stuff that goes with employing people (sick pay, holiday pay etc).
            We used to do the same, we would sit down for an hour and do as many as we could in the time, then devide the hourly wage ( it was minimum) by how many we completed.
            Also with piece workers you need to stipulate whose responsibility it will be to collect the stuff, and return the finished goods, as if you have to deliver all the stuff and collect it you may as well do it yourself as the time/petrol etc will mount up.
            The other thing to be aware of is that you don't want pet hair/smokey smells in your products, make sure you know what the workspace is like they are working in....

            BTW i've just ordered from your website so you better get making hehe...


            • #7
              Hi Icecreamgirl
              Thanks for your comments and thank you for your order you should have received by now. Hope you like it. The owls is one of my favourite fabrics at the moment and I have the ipod pouch in the same.





              • #8
                Piece work

                I run my business on a part time basis and £8 per hour sounds a fair price to me.

                I am in Wales - but if you are interested and would like sewing done, pleae PM me!



                • #9
                  Hello Anne

                  I have just joined and was very interested in your posting as I live fairly near to you and am also looking for seamstresses for outwork on my design. If you are looking for help in finding a manufacturer in or near Bradford, I found my Innovation Co-ordinator at Invest in Bradford at the Bradford Design Exchange very helpful. They can put you in touch with local businesses to discuss your needs and my contact also went along with me to some introduction meetings.

                  I found the advice given by CreativeClare, Wendy, Bea & Icecreamgirl excellent - thanks very much for this and best of luck to you Anne.



                  • #10
                    I was just going to ask pretty much the same question, although my business is jewellery but I would also need someone who could sew on beads and embellishments. Would it be better to pay someone per piece or per hour?

                    A good idea to ask at the local uni. I am seeing my business advisor later, will ask them for advice too