Hiring a Sewing Contractor? Ten Things to Do to Get the Best Results

ake time to prepare for your meeting with a sewing contractor by doing these 10 tasks.
Take time to prepare for your meeting with a sewing contractor by doing these 10 tasks. Photo by alejandro-escamilla

You’re really excited about the new product you’ve envisioned and rightly so! It’s made of a flexible material (fabric, vinyl, felt, rubber, leather, etc.) so you know it needs to be sewn.  You don’t know how to sew but you’re sure you’re ready to take the next step to have it manufactured. At this point, you realize you want to maximize your investment in time and money but you’re concerned about how to explain what you want and get the best quality result. What to do?

There are ten things you can do before you meet with a sewing contractor to insure that you are prepared. These tasks are what I wish all of my customers had done ahead. Thought invested doing these will save money during the consultation period and speed up the time it takes to get started. Sketches do not need to be attractive or perfect. None of the answers to these questions need to be exact at this point. Actually, it’s better if you’re open to suggestions from the sewing contractor you are hiring. They should be able to suggest changes that are right for your product and might save you materials, time and money while delivering the best possible results.

  1. Sit down and do a simple sketch of your design idea. Include as many measurements in your sketch as you know. Indicate what materials are in your product and where. Point out where hardware such as buttons, zippers or buckles might be. Does it need to fit onto a body or product such as a stroller, car or computer? How will that work?

  2. Why did you design your product? Did it fill some need you had or solve a problem you noticed?

  3. Look up photos of products that are similar or have similar parts or details to show to your contractor.

  4. Think about who will buy your product. Who was it designed for? Why will they want it? What will it do for them? If it’s apparel or an accessory, does it need to be different sizes? What should the fit be like? Answer the same questions if the product is not for sale. For additional help with answering these questions, refer to this blog post on satisfying customers.

  5. How much will your product cost and why? How much do other products like it sell for? If it’s not for sale, what is your budget to get the product made?

  6. Find a sewing contractor in the United States so that you can benefit from the 5 advantages to manufacturing in the U.S., listed in my blog post on Reshoring.

  7. Ask them for dates to expect the work to be done by so that you can keep track of the process. Make them aware of any deadlines you need to meet! This is very important!

  8. Ask the sewing contractor for a cost list and a written estimate. This may take time to generate. Agree on payment terms.

  9. Ask for testimonials or references from their customers.

  10. Schedule a time to meet with them again and agree on what will be done at that point. Make sure you have contact info.

At the end of your consultation, take time to think about your impression of the sewing contractor you met with. Did they listen? Did they address your concerns? Do they have the experience you need? Did they review your project and associated due dates with you so that you know they understand what you want?

Completing these tasks will go a long way toward making your production journey smoother and faster. If you’re in New England or the Tri-State area, come visit us! We’d be happy to meet with you to discuss your needs.

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