sewing business, Working from Home

Minnesota Home Business Owner

The high school I attended offered Sewing as a choice in Home Economics Class. I took it one semester and only got a “C” letter grade. I was not that impressed with the class and really did not like making clothing. It did teach me the basics though and got me started with a sewing machine.

It was watching my grandmother sew her quilts, long before high school, that first planted the seed for my interest in sewing. That seed, planted when I was very young, grew into what I am doing now today, with my sewing.

I never took another course in sewing but have been self-taught just by reading books I checked out at the library. We didn’t have the internet then, although maybe computers. Just not in my home. I loved books because I could choose to learn anything I wanted from them. For me, my sewing took me to learning how to make a slipcover.

My mother had a small chair in the living room that needed a fresh new look. It was tattered and worn a bit. We always had the hand-me-down furniture when the neighbors or relatives were getting in new things. I was the girl in the family that got to arrange the big blanket on the sofa, tucking it in and centering it nicely on the cushions we used as a cover. It too was ugly but the covering worked to spruce it up.

Living will all this ugliness I wanted to make the room look pretty so was always thinking of how I could do that. A slipcover would be just the thing. It turned out pretty good for a beginner and it even had a skirt with pleats. It was a small barrel-back chair and of course, I have no picture! It was years ago.

I have evolved since making mom’s slipcover and now have over 40 years of sewing experience behind me. From alterations and making clothing, from slipcovers to pillows, from simple window treatments to valances, I have done a little bit of just about everything. I am retired now but still sewing for a few customers. I would love to make things to sell in my store once I get it up and running. I was with Etsy for a while when I did more bench seat cushions and cover.

I like being in charge of my own time and how I run my business. I don’t have employees so I do everything from ordering supplies, paying my taxes and doing all the sewing and shipping. I was busier a few years ago but now I am happy even though things trickle in. I like to spend more time in my flower gardens, writing my posts, and playing a bit on my piano.

Starting your own sewing business is easier than you think. Do what you love. If it is hemming pants, start with friends and family or run a simple add. I can’t believe how many people can’t find sewers around. You will make a good living at it. Even if you already have a full time job you don’t enjoy, you can sew on the side for gas money or groceries.

I got my first paid sewing job when I started doing hems for a friend’s mom. Then it was just word of mouth that kept the jobs coming in. I would get several pair at once and these can be quickly finished. I was making a very good hourly wage just to hem pants. Let me know if you want some advice or some guidance how to get started.

You don’t need a license or a degree to start your own sewing business. You don’t even need a website. You do need a sewing machine. It does not need to be anything fancy. It should have a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch. That is all you need, and a good scissor and thread of course. A tape measure and some pins. You can do it!

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