How Much Does a Seamstress Charge to Make a Dress?

How Much Does a Seamstress Charge to Make a Dress

Sewing might seem simple to many people but it’s a skill that requires a lot of investment to master. If you have spent money, time, and effort to grow your ability and experience in sewing, you would definitely want to charge for these skills unless, of course, you’re offering your services to your household or family members.

But, if you have bought that heavy-duty, quality sewing machine to start making a living by sewing, then you need to come up with a service price list. The prices for your services should be within the market range. Therefore, if you’re reading this it’s probably because you want to know how professional seamstresses charge to make a dress.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to charge exactly as they do, but at least you want to have a general idea of how high or low the prices can go. If you don’t want to start offering sewing services but you just want to know how much you’ll be charged for a dress, then this post is for you as well.

How Does Seamstress Charge For Sewing Services?

The charges for sewing services vary from one seamstress to another. Generally, there are several factors that professionals consider in determining the amount to ask for their services. First, the seamstress will need to factor in the amount of time out of her schedule. She will decide on an amount that’s fair to her and you as the customer (within the market range) depending on:

  •  The type of machine she has
  •  The nature of the service you need (the amount of work that needs to be done on your dress).

It goes without saying that if you’re going to offer sewing services at a professional level; you need to invest in one of the best sewing machines on the market.

Keep in mind that there are different sewing machines for different fabrics. Some machines, though, can handle a wide range of fabrics without a problem. Ensuring that you have a reliable sewing machine is a good place to start becoming a serious seamstress. You don’t want to ruin your customer’s dress just because you used a machine that’s not meant for that particular fabric. So, having the necessary and best tools and equipment is a must. That’s because you must ensure you produce the incredible quality clothing you make.

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Back to the price; as mentioned, the price a seamstress will charge for her services will depend on the type of work she will do. Averagely, the rates for a seamstress range from $100 to $280. The price will vary from one region to another but that’s the range you should expect.

For simple projects such as hemming jeans and repairing holes, the rates are usually flat. On the other hand, large projects like altering suits, making custom dresses or creations, and altering wedding gowns are often priced based on the unique specifications of the pattern, fabric, and the amount of time needed. The following are some examples of seamstress average rates for various sewing services:

  • Taking in a sheath dress – $45
  • Shortening dress sleeves – $19
  • Taking in a dress shirt – $20
  • Adding an eye and hook – 50 cents each
  • Replacing buttons – 50 cents each
  • Hemming a dress – $10 to $15
  • Shortening jacket sleeves – $23 – $28
  • Re-stitching a fraying seam – $5
  • Moving a button – $2

Hourly Sewing Rates

According to the data produced by the Bureau of Labor Statics in 2017, the average hourly rate charged by most seamstresses is around $15. Ideally, based on our research, you should expect a seamstress to charge you about $12 per hour but this amount can vary depending on where you’re and other factors.

Remember that every seamstress can rightfully create her price list depending on her level of skills and the quality of services she offers. Similarly, some seamstress offers discounts, which can lower the cost of the service. However, the discount isn’t guaranteed and you should be ready to pay in full.

So, generally, how much will a seamstress charge you to make that dress? Usually, the level of expertise and experience a seamstress has will significantly affect the amount she charges. For example, a seamstress who understands the amount of work that goes into creating a custom dress may not charge the same as a newbie who hasn’t done several custom dresses to get a general idea of the amount of work and time required.

Additionally, if you want your dress designed from scratch, then you may need to pay more because that kind of work takes a lot of effort, time, and expertise. Note also that an experienced seamstress will make the perfect dress that fits you perfectly regardless of the material you choose. For that, you’ll have to pay the price.

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So, even if the average price a seamstress will ask is $12 an hour, this price can go higher or lower depending on the amount of work and time as well as how experienced the professional is. If your dress requires heavier fabrics and high-quality threads, expect to pay a higher price because the seamstress will have to invest heavily.

How Much for a Sewing a Dress?

Dresses are different from other types of clothing and so is the price. A seamstress will charge you depending on the type of dress, how complex its design is, and whether it has multiple zippers, sleeves, etc. Therefore, if you want a custom dress made or a customer wants you to make a dress for them, here is what you should expect to pay:

  • Regular dresses – price starts from $60
  • Sundresses (lighter fabrics, simpler designs) – price starts from $35
  • Wedding gowns – price can start anywhere from $1000 to $5000 (Price depends on the design and embellishments)

Charges for Altering a Wedding Dress

A wedding gown or dress is the most important dress in any woman’s life. For that, women are always willing to pay a seamstress for alterations to make the dress a perfect fit. That means the prices for this service are slightly higher than for other common sewing services:

  • Add bra cups – Up to $40
  • Take the sides of the wedding dress – Approximately $200
  • Add a bustle – Up to $95
  • Add a modesty panel to your address – Up to $50

Sewing Pattern Charges

Patterns are charged differently from other sewing services. If you want a seamless to create pattern of your choice, she will have to calculate the measurements to ensure that the pattern fits correctly. Since creating custom patterns requires a lot of care and accuracy, seamless will have to charge you more.

Depending on the complexity of the designs, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $300. But, sometimes you can pay up to $1000 or more for more elaborate designs that might take the seamstress a lot of time and effort.

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Rates for Freelance Seamstress

If you don’t actually want to become a full-time sewer but want sewing to be a side hustle, you can become a freelance seamstress. By the way, finding customers might be a bit difficult at first but you can always start with your relatives who can recommend your services to others. However, once you’re used to it and offer quality services, customers will always start coming in.

It’s not easy to estimate the price a freelance seamstress can charge. That’s because it depends on one individual to another. In other words, a sewer can determine her rates and stick to them while another might decide on different rates. But, you can expect to pay a seamstress about $20 to $35 on average per hour. This depends, of course, on the state or country and the level of expertise your seamstress has.

If you’re a beginner in sewing and trying to come up with an effective price list, the best thing to do would be to check for ideas on freelance job markets like Upwork. From there, you can decide how to set your pricing ensuring that you don’t make losses or get paid too low for your skills. Once you get familiar with the market and your experience increases, you can start asking for more.


That’s all we can say about how much a seamstress charges to make a dress. We hope that this is the information you were looking for. Remember, the charges of making a dress will vary depending on some factors. These include the seamstress’s level of experience, the complexity of the design, the state or country you’re in, etc.

The prices will also vary depending on the amount of work your dress requires and the amount of time the work will take. If you’re planning to become a seamstress, the above information will help you create that perfect price list. And if you want a dress made for you, at least you have a general idea of what to pay.