Price for Baptism gown?

forensicmomNovember 23, 2010

I posted that I am making a Baptism gown out of a wedding gown for the daughter of someone from my church. The gown was quite a challeng because of the hem. It took me 2 1/2 hours just to lay the pattern pieces out and another 2 hours just to cut the pieces. I knew I couldn't make a mistake with it.

I am finished (except for the buttons) and my total time was 8 1/2 hours. Plus, I'm making a bonnet and slip, which I'm just starting.

My biggest problem is price. A seamstress told me to start at $200 and go up from there. I also figured approximately 10 hours total and if I charge $20 per hour, that's also $200. I just feel terrible charging that much for the gown. Maybe I'm a cheap person but I would never pay that much.

Could someone offer an opinion on price here???

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I can imagine how hard it feels to be in that situation.
If you are thinking you are a cheap person, then I am cheap, too.
Some people pay $200 for themselves or for their kids and it's not a problem. For me, that would be a lot. Every one has different thresholds of what they are willing to pay for things.

It sounds like you did not mention any price before the project began. How well do you know this person from your Church? Do you know the daughter, as well?

Maybe you should just let her know how many hours it took and then let her suggest a price. It's akward because if you don't really sew for a business/profession, then it is kind of like doing a favor for a friend.

You put a lot of time and care into this project. People who don't sew have little idea of how much time and thought goes into it. Make sure they are aware of the hours you spent....otherwise, they might think you spent an hour instead of 10 hours.

Hopefully, someone else will give you some other ideas of how to handle this. I've never been in this situation but just wanted to chime in with my 2 cents.

Please let us know how everything works out and post some pictures of the Baptism gown. I bet it's beautiful!


    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 4:48PM
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Thanks so much for responding. I just sent her back an e-mail to set up the day next week to pick up the gown. I told her that I spent 12 hours on the gown/slip/bonnet. Most places I found on the web were charging $250 and up,so I suggested $200 (that's only $16 per hour). I also said that since we didn't talk about price before, I felt bad asking so much but I had no idea how many hours it was going to take. I told her that if the $200 is too high, then we can work out something.

I know her mom casually but had never met her before until she brought me the dress.

I definately don't sew for a living and I'm not sure I would want to. It's fun when you're doing it for fun but if I HAD to do it all the itme, it might nor be as much fun anymore.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 1:45PM
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Sounds to me like you took a wise and reasonable approach.
It's probably also good that you did it through email. This will give them time to think about it before responding. They may even do a little online search and see how much professionals charge for custom baptismal gowns. They will discover that your price is more than fair.

However this turns out, you can know that this gown will be cherished and likely used for any of their future children, grandchildren, etc. That's something very special you did for this family : )

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 1:58PM
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Ideally you should have given them a price up front - but, of course, you hadn't made one before.

$200 is very inexpensive for such a job, and you deserve to be paid for your time. Don't cheat yourself. Your customer should not be shocked at that price.

When I was sewing professionally my goal was to make $20/hour - and that was years ago. Of course, some jobs went more easily and some were more difficult, but I did average that.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 11:39AM
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Thanks. She responded back and was fine with the $200 price. She said that's what she estimated anyway, so we're both pleased. IF I do this in the future, I will at least have an idea of what to tell them.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 11:57AM
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So glad that it all worked out! Also, by posting this experience, you are helping others in similar situations.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 12:22PM
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