ORGANIZATION: Knowing how to sew is one thing; running a professional business from home is another altogether. It takes planning, organizational skills, managing business growth, and knowing when to specialize. Altering bridal attire is a home-based money-making business opportunity. I created an Alterations Worksheet specifically for the bridal and formal wear business. It acts as a communications record and contract. Make notes for each fitting and have your customer sign and date. Terms and Understandings are defined. I tell my customers if you like my work tell everybody. If you are not happy, give me a chance to fix it. This worksheet documented properly eliminates miscommunication and a better chance of having a more than happy customer. For more information on developing a professional work ethics and marketing attitude, see Volume 2 Issue 7 of the archived SewBeIt.com Newsletters available to members only. Click on SewBeIt.com Member Services for information on how to join!
Alterations are based on a minimum of three fittings scheduled up front. Proper undergarments and shoes are required at each fitting. Scheduling all three fittings, backing up from the event date, keeps you on track. First Fitting: Measurements are taken for the record. It is determined what the customer wants to achieve. Document what changes they request. Educate the customer on what other problem(s) could occur by doing that particular task. Then show them what will work. A minimum of 50% deposit is required at first fitting. Second Fitting: Garment is basted. At this fitting, your customer may decide to change shoe heel size, slip fullness, undergarments. If changes are required another fitting may be necessary. As long as the garment is basted, and only minor changes are needed no additional charges apply. Final Fitting: Garment is complete and balance is paid in full. If more alterations are needed due to size change, rework charges will apply and must be paid for at this time. Another final fitting must be rescheduled.
The backside of the worksheet has prices listed. It acts as a sanity check before writing up an actual invoice. Customer is given an estimate. There is also a checklist of what items I am responsible for. Customer is responsible to take home any items that do not require alterations or steaming: shoes, jewelry, etc. An evaluation survey is also included for the customer to check and sign.