Recently a friend and former sorority sister contacted me and asked if I did commission-based sewing. The simple answer is "No" but only because I've never had the opportunity to do so. Sure, I've sewn a few items for my pregnant sister (who found the clothing options available to pregnant women to be either too expensive or too meh). But I've never sewn for others for money.
And I'm considering--very carefully--starting to do so.
This is a scary prospect. On the one hand, it would be AMAZING to earn some extra (heck, any) cash doing something I really love. On the other, I'm not certain I feel qualified to produce garments for people other than myself or immediate family. I have faith in my skills, but am worried that the little (and I mean tiny--you know, like that one tiny spot on a seam where the line of stitches isn't *quite* straight) quirks of a home sewn garment that I can force myself to let go of may result in a pissed-off customer and a bridge burned.
In the end, what I told this friend was I would do some research. She sent me a picture of the dress she likes--it's a one-sleeved dress that appears to be made out of some kind of jersey knit fabric. We discussed how she'd like the dress to fit (less "blousey" and more like a sheath dress). I ended up having to run (to pick up my poor, poor Tai Tai who went in for a routine dental and ended up requiring a five-tooth extraction--which is not unusual for a cat of his breed and age) but told her that as I'm not comfortable drafting patterns yet (I've only done it a handful of times for myself), I'd see if I could dig up some possible patterns that we could work with.
Here's what I'm thinking: IF I'm able to find a pattern that I'm comfortable working with and she likes, I may move forward with this endeavor. I think I'd ask her to buy the pattern and fabric, but would provide links to both, and have her ship it to me (she lives across the country). The part I'm not totally certain about, is what to charge for the labor. I'm inclined to charge her an hourly rate plus whatever it causes me to ship the finished product to her. That being said, I haven't really said yes to this project either, as it is incredibly daunting.
So here's my question: have any of you ever sewn on commission? If so, how do you figure your final price? Do you do a per hour price or something different? Any good links to discussions of this topic? If you were in my position, friends, what would you do?