Do you sew or mend for others

Hopefully this is okay to post … if not then someone please remove it.

I have been asked to hem pants and shirt sleeves for a friend and we’ve agreed it needs to be a paid job. She used to have it done at a sewing store but says she can’t remember what she paid.

Should I charge by the hour or another way? How much?


I believe alterations are generally per piece and not hour.

I found this link

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Hemming here is $10 per pant[s].

I can’t advise in shirt sleeves, but if there are pleats, I’d say it’s more complicated. 15?

I have done it for friends and it was like $10 for pants. I agree with Joyful Clover above about the sleeves.

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Do you sew or mend for others

Oh no I do not, forget that noise. Ugh! If I ever mended anything for you, it’s because I love you. A LOT.
Bah, it’s the worst when someone comes and asks you to fix something and you can just tell they think it’s no big deal but you know it’s easier to start from scratch and make a new jacket than it would be to replace the lining. :expressionless:

I guess the question is, do you want to sew or mend for other people? If the answer is anything other than an enthusiastic “Yes!” then I think you’ve got your answer.


I did two pairs of pants for her in October out of the goodness of my heart and it wasn’t that hard. This time though it’s 4 pants and 2 shirts.

I stopped taking sewing commissions a few years ago but this is such a nice older lady I can’t say no.

@Audania @JoyfulClover … thanks for the input with price.

I would check and see what local shops charge and charge a similar amount. If she’s a nice older lady then surely she isn’t looking to get it done for as cheap as possible.

I quickly end conversations with people who complain the local shops charge extortionate amounts to replace a ‘simple’ zipper or lining. No one is getting rich from a clothing alteration business. If you’re not willing to pay a fair price then you should learn how to do it yourself.

But I’m willing to help out nice people and will charge them either a fair amount or ‘a job for a job’. For example, someone I know is a professional cleaner. In return for alterations they would clean out my oven.


I HATE doing alterations, haha! It doesn’t matter if it is for me or for someone else, it is a boring task if you ask me.

I have gotten the question of alterations or hemming curtains before: Can you… And I always say that Yes, I can and No I won’t.

In your case I would do it too, but yes please for a fair price! :+1:t2:


Ha! I completely ignored the topic question, and moved on to facts. I agree with statements made by @Magpie, @Immaculata, and @wendiek.

If someone is asking, I generally shut it down immediately, and don’t sidestep it. Yes, but no. Also, here is where most people go…

If I am close to them/care for them, and it seems needed, (a favorite item), I might offer to fix it. Because there are many things I cant do, and generally it comes back in the form of a favor. I don’t do it explicitly for this reason (I’m not a t.v. mercenary working towards world domination, one pant at a time), but it just turns out like this. I agree, it is not generally appreciated, and many times replacement is ridiculously time-consuming, or involves angry stiching. Zippers? Ugh. So I might offer depending upon the circumstance, but rarely at request.

Because these are the same people who say ‘it should be really easy’. Cool, you do it.


Hahaha! Oh yes, so true!
I will borrow you my sewing machine :wink:

It isn’t about being easy or hard, it is all about NOT LIKING it! And No is an answer too :upside_down_face:

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I am generally amused when they try and sell me on something I know how to do, and I’m the on who fully understands the effort. But I’m doing them a favor with this opportunity.

There is someone who thinks she is funny by continuing to ask for knitted items. My response is a returned ‘humourous’ (but not) no. No. NO. talked over each other as she continues to tell me why I should knit a pashmina (her word, not mine eyeroll) for her, in x color. And LINED.

#IsAnybodyElseHearingThisMess? No. Unsubscribe.


OMG people.
I sure am not lending anybody my sewing machines either, hands off.

I will say, there are times I see a booboo on a garment and the challenge is too difficult to resist. I made off with a neighbour’s friend’s sweater last year because the wound in that pretty thing was bugging me too much to let it be, that was funny. She had it back in an hour. Sometimes someone will be over and I’ll see a 2 minute job like a falling down hem or loose button and I’m likely to make them strip right there or even just sew it while they are wearing it, that is also pretty funny.
A friend’s mom gave me a skirt she wants radically altered, didn’t ask just handed it to me. It’s not a job I’m feeling excited about so it’s been sitting in the pile. We’ll see.
Another friend has a vintage leather jacket with badly frayed zipper tape. I could have fixed that when the damage first started IF he hadn’t continued to wear it until it was 3" of not enough tape left to do anything about. But I feel challenged to find a solution, it’s like a puzzle that’s itching to be solved.
Like you said @wendiek

My time is so precious these days, I am only doing what I really want to do.




I hate being asked to alter things for ppl. Mostly because it’s stuff like hemming pants that I already hate doing for myself. I love making clothes but hate the hemming part. The only person I really don’t mind is for my grandmother. When ppl hear I sew they think I can alter really complicated garments. My aunt one time wanted to see if I could alter my cousin’s prom dress, but it was chiffon with all these detailed pintucks and it was way above my skills. My mom kept telling me you can do it and I had to tell her no way. The love to sew podcast has a whole episode (121) called “can you see this for me”. It’s a common ask for anyone that sews.

As far as what to charge, I would just say whatever you think is fair for your time.


I didn’t know there was a sewing podcast! Jeez! I only just started listening to podcasts and this hadn’t occured to me yet! Thank you :slight_smile:

@SewJill Some interesting conversation for you… :heart:

Talked with my friend today and told her it’s hard to set a price for a friend … she told me what she wanted to give me and after calculating in my head, agreed to that price. It’s about what I thought to charge and she’s very happy I’ll do it.


That makes it a fair price for you! :+1:t2:


I wouldn’t touch my daughters prom dress! I can fix some loose beading, but I have a friend who is professional seamstress that I take formals to be hemmed or zippers to be replaced. she can do it faster and it looks better. It was was embarrassing to take something I had tried to fix to her to redo. Well worth the cost though. I mostly do quick fixes, costumes no one is going to see up close, and things that aren’t precious if they don’t turn out well.

I think there are several sewing podcasts. I really enjoy Love to Sew, but it is focused on garment sewing. I think Threads magazine also has a podcast.