We encourage beginners to set aside enough time for at least 3 sessions to learn the basics and to become comfortable sewing simple projects on their own.
Students do not need to bring their own machine. We have new Janome machines to use. We sell the same Janome 7330 model that we provide for students' use if they need to buy a machine to continue their "homework". Students are encouraged to buy a machine only when they feel they are committed to sewing. Although we stand behind them, we only supply machines as a convenience and are NOT teaching in order to sell machines. If you have a dealer that you prefer buying from, we would be glad to work with that dealer to help you get the accessories you need for your lessons. We teach on ALL machines, yours or ours. We ask that if you prefer to use your machine at your lesson, that it be in good working order. We can provide service for your machine, if necessary, while you learn with our machines.
Group classes are available and we can cater the subject to your mutual interest. Group rates are available for 3 or more. Individual classes, however, are private so that we can devote our full attention to your lesson. We do have a waiting room for anyone dropping you off and picking you up. Please leave small children with a loved one for their own safety since our location is a working studio containing sharp tools, hot irons, etc.
Alterations are usually completed within one week. Let us know if you have an event or date that you need it by and we will make every effort to accommodate you. We do fix fashion disasters while you wait, just give us a call and tell us you're on your way. Alteration pricing is based on an $18.00 per hour labor scale, i.e. hems are $12.00-25.00 depending on type of fabric and seam required. Items like snaps, buttons and zippers will be added to the final invoice at standard retail prices.
Yes, we do. We are a full service dressmaker and we are able to design, drape, pattern, fit and sew your creation to life.
We prefer to have 5-8 weeks to do a professional job. We can accomodate rush orders for a nominal fee.
In today's globalized economy, most of the garments that Americans wear are produced with labor from the developing world. Modern ready-to-wear clothes come from countries as remote as Laos or Madagascar; our toys come from China; our seafood and fresh flowers come from Chile, Colombia or Ecuador. Contrary to what many believe, sweatshops are not a positive, or even necessary, step to economic development. Corporations who trample on the rights of workers in the developing world prevent a whole sector of society from sharing in the benefits of growth, silence millions through attacks on freedom of association, handicap the next generation through dangerous workplaces, as well as set back legislation by disobeying local, national and international labor provisions. Most poignantly, the scourge of child labor robs young people of the schooling necessary to raise themselves out of poverty and contribute to modern economies. In order to improve conditions in third-world factories, companies in the developed world must first fundamentally alter their business practice of demanding a continuously lower price from garment manufacturers – a price which renders those third-world factories unable to pay workers a living wage.
In violation of international labor law, workers are routinely forced to work overtime, often 16-18 hours a day. Many workers are paid up to 30% below their country’s legal minimum wage. This amounts to a sewing operator in Bangladesh, for example, making 20 cents an hour/ $9.52 a week/ $69.28 a month/ $831.34 a year. Most female workers are denied their legal maternity leave and their benefits. Workers are rarely, if ever, paid overtime. Although they often work more than twice the legal number of hours in a week, they are not paid more than their regular wages. The health clinics that many countries require their factories to have often do not exist and workers are NOT provided with basic safety equipment, such as dust masks. For companies whose merchandise suppliers are in China, workers do not have the right of freedom of association (ability to unionize). In many of the factories, workers need a ticket and permission to use the bathroom and even then their breaks are timed.
We obviously do not work under the conditions mentioned above nor, because of the standard of living here in the U.S., can we compete with these labor costs. When we create a garment or design samples for you, we actually go through the manufacturing steps that entail more than the mere labor of assembling your garment outlined above such as designing, fitting, patterning, grading, adjusting and final assembly. We have had a formal education in our craft plus equipment and overhead costs that the 20 cent an hour worker will never experience. Neither are we mass producing your garment so as a result we cannot spread the cost of the aforementioned process over several thousand pieces. Custom made garments should be considered a luxury since they are made to your specifications and are meticulously designed and hand made one at a time.
Yes! However, anyone considering launching their own line should research the experience thoroughly and become familiar with the process and costs involved. We will be glad to sit down with you during a free consultation, listen to your needs and outline what we can do for you to bring your creations to life with workable designs, patterns and samples ready to go on to a larger manufacturer who can grade the sizing and help you choose from their suitable wholesale fabric selection (www.ellen-clothing-manufacturer.com, for example) Distribution and marketing of your line should also be something you have considered in advance prior to embarking on any entrepreneurial endeavor with your fashion designs.