Day one; Finding a Dressmaker?

My new Collection ‘room/office’

No.1 I’ve successfully (and finally I might add) found a local Dressmaker that matches me, being flexible, avaliable and ‘easy going’  enough to design and collaborate with all my ideas…

“Hi, what about talking about what I’m making?!” yes, why not?

I never got the chance to blog about Making my Collection back in 2008…and I have always dreamed about doing a full cover of the design process. While I was filming (a lot) in India I never captured the initial sketches in the ‘start up process’ and didn’t do much writing on my ‘old’ blog back then either. So the process with choosing the fabric, setting the entire looks and what garments to make right to the sketches and Garment Sampling is what I’m planning to show-case here, thanks to having a ‘play ground’ like Make it Fashion!

1.Finding a Dressmaker (I searched locally by googling: dressmaker/seamstress/tailor) and then my area/country..

This is what I’ve wrote to the Dressmakers that I managed to find;

“Hi! My name is Alice and I’m a ‘starting out fashion designer’ with a small label. I have previously made collections over-seas and I am familiar with the process and providing detailed sketches and fabric cuttings, plus plenty of ideas. But I have a lacking ability of ‘sewing’ any garments to what I would really like them to look at.

I am in the hunt for a dressmaker to collaborate with, firstly for a few garments aimed for a first Sample Collection, the clothes needs to be finished by 1 June approx 1 month away. I have recently moved to Tauranga and found you online/

What I would like to know firstly is;

Do you have time for this?

What you’ll need from me, anything I can start preparing?

Quote the job?

Do you do ‘home visits’ as an option?

Do you charge a set price per finished garment or is it an hourly rate?

(If so, what’s the hourly rate or usual cost?)Thanks in advance and look forward to hear from you (and possibly get started, I might also be keen for follow up jobs if these pieces work out and work expanding to more designs:)

Warmest Regards! Alice


To summon things up, I emailed a total of 4 local dressmakers that seemed okay to work with (for me it’s important that they have a website) since I prefer to work online without spending too much time physically commuting to approve the process, therefor; I need someone that knows their way around a computer)..I got 2 replies back, one saying:

Hi Alice,I’m booked up till 23rd of June,so not the best person to help you. My hourly rate for daywear is $25 minimum. I don’t have a set price per garment and don’t do home visits.
Not the most exciting response but then I got a second email: 
Hi Alice
Thank you for your enquiry.  I would need to speak to you and have a look at fabrics and your pictures to ascertain whether I would be able to undertake the work you want doing.
Please contact me with contact details and possibly a time that would suit you to meet.
Will have the meeting tomorrow, so I’ll update you then:-)…In the meantime, here’s ‘me’ working to finish the last tweaks on the 6 samples that I want to make…more sketching to do! As a final note: Rule number one, if you can’t sew make sure you can sketch and explain your designs, use pictures or ‘physical samples’ (never straight copy) but use as references…

working out the labels and lining, here cutting fabric to attach to the pant sketches…

See you soon:) oh, feel free to ask me questions as we go along…

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