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Subject: I'm so disillusioned.

Exasperated sndm.
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Date Posted: Monday, April 20, 08:57:29pm

I have loved making ID dresses for years, but it seems I am working more and more for less and less money. When I strated all this in the 3 panel days there was no design on the back bodice, design only on the cuffs of the sleeves, the front bodice consisted of design only in the center front - no embroidery over seams, and no crystals. It got more difficult with the bodices and sleeves being heavily embroidered over the seams, but then the skirt didn't have embroidery, so the work evened out. Now customers expect heavy embroidery on the front and back bodice, on the entire sleeves, and on the skirt, and hundreds of dollars of crystals, and they want to pay the same or less than in the past. I'm doing a lot more work, but not making any more money, which means my hourly wage has gone down since the economic rebound. Are other dressmakers experiencing the same? I really need some motivation.

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Subject Author Date
I think it is the same for all of us. I only make dresses for the last 5 years but didn't change my fee since 2012 and doing a double amount of work on (NT)every dress.Monday, April 20, 09:15:32pm

Yes I have definitely noticed just the same trend, much more work and being squeezed to reduce prices all the time. Recently I realised I still really enjoy making OTRs, and usually sell them for more than customs! I'm switching back to those. (NT)More profit, less hassleTuesday, April 21, 06:06:32am

Absolutely. I'm trying to plot out a way to make this profitable (more off-the-racks, price hikes, trying to find cheaper materials, working more efficiently, etc.) but to be honest I'm on a two-year count down. I personally suspect the only way to make a decent living is to have 2+ (underpaid) employees, 2+ machines, minimal customization, and a direct source for Swarovski rhinestones... (NT)10+ years and worn outTuesday, April 21, 06:25:04am

Don't quit. Just outline for your customers what you just wrote. Use photos of past dresses as a visual. They will get it. If they are not willing to pay you for the amount of work they are asking for, they have the option to pay a BNDM $2500-$3000. (NT)good luck.Tuesday, April 21, 10:55:51am

Be up front with your clients at the start! If they're asking for heavily emb/bling dress for a bargain, simply ask them if they are expecting you to recreate a CS style dress for half the price? Remind them that regardless who is making the dress, it' costs you as much as CS (or the like) to recreate that style and you're not in the business to make top of the line costumes for half price. If they decide to go elsewhere, let them, there will be more customers who appreciate the work you do. (NT)take charge!Wednesday, April 22, 09:27:46am

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