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  1. #1
    Member Mariyam's Avatar
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    How much do you charge for a costume?

    Hello everyone,

    For those of you who are making costumes for others: how much do you charge (approx. per hour) for the making of costumes? Or if you are buying custom-made costumes, how much are you paying the creator approximately per hour?

    Slightly off-topic, but I'm making a wedding dress for a friend of mine and she is asking how much money I want for my work. I've done some sewing for friends before, but I usually charge nothing because these are small projects not worth the hassle.

    Since bellydance costumes and wedding dresses are almost in the same category in terms of work and creativity, I thought I'd ask you :p

    Thanks!

    Mariyam

  2. #2
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Hi Mariyam

    I can't speak from experience as I only make things for myself (purposeful creative outlet after YEARS messing about pointlessly with fabric, beads and embroidery... belly dance where have you been all my life?). But try this link - everything's in dollars but it gives some useful pointers.

    http://www.costumegoddess.com/pricing.htm

    Happy sewing!

    A xx

  3. #3
    Member Mariyam's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    That's actually a quite interesting website, thank you very much!

    What she mentions is pretty much in the same range of what I was thinking, so I guess I wasn't that far.

    Thanks again for the link!!

    Mariyam

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Azeeza's Avatar
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    Exclamation Great Question

    I've been finding myself doing work for other dancers and I'm using my time and my supplies and not getting paid for it.

    Sometimes it takes me hours of work and I need to start charging I think.

    I really resent that I am at home using my time to work on someone else's project while they are out socializing. That's just not right, is it?

    Azeeza

  5. #5
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    I haven't made any custom belly dancing outfits yet. However, I do sew a ton of children's items, from baby carriers (slings and such) to gift items and fabric bowls, and boxes. I love to sew, what can I say.

    Depending on the item, usually if it's a job that will take less than 30 minutes to complete, I charge $15.

    $15-Button, new zipper, hem pant legs, replace buttons (all new ones) Fix seams and sew a small-medium sized tote bag (no pockets, nothing fancy) if they supply me the stuff.

    $15 is basically the labor fee, because they are usually giving me everthing, unless I need a $1 spool of thread. I have about a gazillion buttons, so I don't make them bring or buy those unless they want something out of the ordinary.

    Now, I have been more cautious with my sewing goods, and have found that the more I charge the more likely I am to sell the item, because people can sense that I am comfident in my work and know that it's not cheap labor.



    Hope that helps!


    PS-That website was very informative for a first time person.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Costume prices

    Dear Group,
    First, the idea of charging by the hour is almost impossible. No one ever gets rich building belly dance costumes unless they are using very cheap (think overseas) labor, as do most wholesale costume suppliers.
    Depending on what the person wants and how much aggravation they cause me, I usually charge anywhere from $350 to $1,000 for a complete costume. Most fall into the $500-700 range for custom, one of a kind work.
    I am a professional theatrical costumer as well as a dancer and worked as costume designer and shop supervisor in a university theatre department for 7 years, so I have done all kinds of costuming.
    These days I stick to dance costumes and sometimes I have free time to build a costume for someone and sometimes I do not, depending on what the needs of my dance company are at any given time. I also build all of my own belly dance costumes.
    I love making dance costumes because they are just so beautiful and they practically speak to you about what to do to make them a work of art.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  7. #7
    Junior Member ditzahdancer's Avatar
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    Default I live in New Zealand and make beautiful costumes for me and to sell

    The thing is this is a vey small country and its reall hard to get sequin braid and pailettes and such , I try to get back what I pay for the bits then try to make at least another 100 to 150 on top of that because if I priced out my time at 15.00 an hour for approx 15 hours I'd never sell it no matter how beautiful it was, I also take a confidence dive because I'm the only one I know to use a glue gun to decorate my costumes , If anything the use of the glue gun adds many advantages.And having test run many of these costumes made with a glue gun I find less wear and tear than imported ones. And mine fit better than those concrete cup ones I have seen for all their money. I guess I'm really doing it for the love of seeing someone dancing with joy felling beautiful___Here's one of mine

  8. #8
    Member Mariyam's Avatar
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    Many thanks for all your very interesting comments! Since my friend is going to do something for me in exchange, I feel a bit uneasy about asking for money. She is a dear friend and I didn't make her dress in order to make money, I did it because I love sewing, because I loved the challenge of making a dress from scratch and because... I just wanted to do it

    But at least you all gave me an idea of how much this kind of creative work is worth, so we can see if her work for me is going to be in the same range. For info, she's a graphic designer and she will design a logo for my translation & training services, which will appear on my website, correspondance, brochure, flyer, etc. This is also a lot of creative work

    Thanks again to all! :o

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Hi Mariyam,

    I don't know how to sew so I'm not experienced at all in this area, but I can understand you feel a bit uneasy about asking money. Anyway, I would certainly ask for the money you spent on the materials.

  10. #10
    Member Mariyam's Avatar
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    Oh, she paid for all the material herself, except perhaps the few notions that I will most certainly reuse after the dress is finished. These I bought myself, for myself. But I get to keep the fabric/lace/ribbon remnants :p

    It's just so hard for me to put a value to the dress and on my work. The original is worth about 2500 euros, because yes she asked me to "copy" a dress from an original dress she had tried on in a bridal shop. But I don't carry the name or the fame of the designer!! We used different materials, we tweaked the model into what she really wanted, we decorated it with what she wanted. So in the end, it's not quite like the original... When it will be finished, I can post pictures in the Off-Topic forum

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