Do you have sewing skill and a sewing machine; and you need to earn extra income? If YES, here are 50 best creative sewing business ideas you can start at home in 2016.
If you have been fantasizing on how to make money from the sewing business, even if your talent is not quite ready for the runway scene, then you are about to learn fifty ways you can showcase your passion and craft and also earn money while at it.
All the sewing businesses below might not offer a get-rich-quick escape route but if you are a determined entrepreneur you can make serious money for yourself to perhaps fund a trip or two to somewhere exotic.
Before starting your home sewing business, you must not only be good at sewing, but you would need to carry out a thorough research on what you will require to start the business, and how much you will charge for your services without selling yourself short as compared to what your competitors are charging. Also, ensure you keep scrupulous records and pay close attention to your balance sheet so as to make a profit.
If you are ready to take the plunge into this industry, be ready for the challenges as well. Listed below are 50 lucrative sewing business ideas for you to choose from;
50 Best Sewing Business ideas to Start at Home in 2016
- Craft Upholsterer
A craft upholsterer creates artistic upholstery that can be used for antique or furniture purposes. As a craft upholsterer, you would make use of materials such as brocade, leather, and plush. Most times you would need to use hand-craft tools.
Craft upholsterers have to be creative, focused as well as have a feeling for aesthetics. Choose your niche in an area where you won’t have many competitors and then market your services to potential clients and watch your business soar and cash roll in.
2. Pattern Makers
A pattern maker translates a sketch into reality. As a pattern maker your task is a challenging one as you would have to be a perfectionist and detail oriented. Your sewing ability must be top-notched. Education and experience is vital for this kind of business because as a pattern maker your task is very critical in the production process.
As a pattern maker you have more control over waste, sewing problems as well as quality. Starting this business will be quite lucrative especially if designers and fashion houses see the quality of work you do.
3. Sample Maker
A sample maker sews the design from the pattern and notes any flaw before the pattern is approved for production. A sample maker helps prevent waste and problems. A sample maker is usually an expert at sewing different type of products and can sew three fully lined jackets in a day.
As a sample maker, you can teach a seamstress about production sewing, manufacturing process, as well as quality patterns. As a sample maker, you hold the key to sewing quality. If you are a very good sample maker, designers and fashion houses will seek to patronise your services.
4. Sewing Online Video Courses
If you’ve always had people rave about the quality of your work, then it’s high time you think of passing on your knowledge and experience to others via online video tutoring. To ensure participation and student improvement, you would have to give out interesting student assignments and ensure the best gets recognized in your next video. However, to achieve this kind of status requires hard work and good online marketing to attract potential students.
5. Sewing Machinist
As a sewing machinist, you would be required to stitch soft clothing or furnishings in such a way that it matches the instructions of the pattern correctly. A sewing machinist has to be able to use different sewing machines like blind hemmers so as to come up with different finishes, this does not however mean that you cannot specialise in one machine, like a flatbed.
As a sewing machinist, you do not have to be only good at sewing but need great eyesight and steady hands, understand patterns, and also be able to sew quickly and precisely.
6. Cross Stitching
A cross stitch is the way in which a stitch pattern is created. Aida cloth is the best material to be used for cross stitching especially for beginners. An Aida fabric comes in different sizes – 11, 14, 18 and 28 and refers to the number of stitches that can be created in a square inch. Other materials that can be used include fiddlers’ cloth or linen.
A cross stitcher matches the grid on the pattern of his or her choosing to the grid on the cross stitch fabric. If you cross stitched unique patterns, then you won’t have much difficulty selling your pieces. Ensure you advertise your stitches on line via website and social media.
7. Clothing Alteration Business
Clothing alteration business is a very tedious one as it requires much patience and concentration, no matter how much of an experienced seamstress or tailor you are. If you love sewing and have a great deal of passion and pay attention to detail then this is a business for you.
You can start this business on a small scale and then expand to a medium or large scale so as to accommodate the number of clients that you would be required to handle. You would also need to employ more hands to help you once the business expands. Ensure that you are located close to fashion houses or boutiques.
8. Wedding Dress Designer
A wedding dress designer creates wedding dresses individually or through mass production. As a wedding dress designer, you must be able to draw and most importantly, sew. If you intend for your business to become successful, you would need to have great marketing skills so as to promote your wedding dress as well as be able to communicate to clients effectively.
Location also matters greatly in this business especially if you want to become a huge brand. Ensure your gowns are marketed in appropriate bridal magazines both online and offline.
9. Sewing Machine Sales
This is a business that requires a huge investment as you would need to stock different sewing machine brands and types. You would need to decide what niche of sewing machines you intend to sell; and would also need to sell only those of high quality. Those wanting to start the business or those already in it are your clients, so you would have no client shortage in starting this business.
However, you do not need to limit yourself to sales of sewing machines alone; you can also sell different sewing machine parts for those who do not want to acquire a new one.
10. Upmarket Stitching
Someone must cater to the luxurious and top class clients. Upmarket stitching means a niche that takes care of the upper class folks who are willing to pay top money for all their dressing sewing needs. It would require you to make dressy out wears that might be worn to various events such as music shows, charity balls, and awards and so on. The essence is to create a name for yourself in the fashion industry.
The best way to establish yourself in this kind of business is to be endorsed by a big celebrity or personality; this might mean sewing innovative one or two wears for such a personality for free.
Hemming is used to shorten clothes which can be let out later; most parents take their kids clothes to be hemmed by professionals, and is a way of cutting back on expenses especially as children change clothes way faster than adults. This in no way means that hemming is for children’s clothes alone, even adults get their clothes hemmed which might be due to prevailing fashion trend.
You would need to be detail oriented if you want to hem especially as you would be handling so many pins and needles. Sometimes too, you might need to cut the fabric and so you would need to ensure you cut the fabric just right.
12. Pet Wears
The American Pet Product Manufacturers Association has said that the sales of pet products pull in more than 50 billion dollars in revenue yearly. This therefore shows that this industry is booming and any entrepreneur who is willing to enter into this niche will make so much money.
As an entrepreneur who wants to go into pet wears, you would need to know how to sketch designs, select appropriate fabrics, measure and cut patterns and know how to sew and hand-stitch. This is a very lucrative business if you are creative enough to make wears that will appeal to the pet owners as they are your target market.
13. Lingerie Designer
The lingerie business is now a billion dollar industry. Lingerie makers previously targeted slim ladies and then also stuck to high end lingerie but all that has changed now. Nowadays, there are affordable lingerie and lingerie for plus sized females, the market have grown to accommodate all kinds of customers.
As a lingerie designer, you should first identify the niche you intend going into before starting to churn out lingerie. Ensure that you carry out adverts and promotion of your lingerie via conventional and non-conventional modes of marketing. Also, ensure that you are located in an area where there is a huge amount of traffic.
There are so many institutions where uniforms are worn, prisons, factories, medical institutions, private schools etc. This shows the boundless opportunities that await you if you venture into this niche. However, this is a large scale business that would require you to hire more hands as this kind of job usually comes with a deadline.
If you intend to start this kind of business, you would need to send a colourful brochure that shows some of your works with an introductory letter to organizations you intend to work with.
If you are good at sewing but do not want to go into commercial sewing, you could become a sewing consultant. A sewing consultant comes up with different ways for those in the sewing business to make money.
To get clients, you would need to print out business cards and fliers and pass them out around fashion schools and houses, colleges, supermarkets and other places of interest. You would also need an active website and social media forums so as to allow more people see your work and contact you.
16. Costume Designer
A costume designer works closely with the production team to ensure costumes fit in with the overall vision of the team. They also collaborate with the make-up department to ensure that both make-up and costume of the character or person is in cohesion. This could be on television of film set. A costume designer has to be an expert, and fast enough in carrying out his or her duties.
If you intend to be a costume designer, you must not only know how to sew, and sew quickly but also know how to combine colours, fabrics as well as be creative and know different styles. It is best to always display your portfolio online so that your target customers can see. Also, you would need to submit a brochure with your work to different production houses.
17. Fiber Artists
As a fibre artist, you are required to display textile art for sale, which requires the knitting, weaving, sewing and crocheting of yarn, fabric, natural and synthetic fibre. Different machines are used for this purpose which includes a loom, knitting or crocheting needles, or a sewing machine to achieve this aim.
To make money out of this business as an entrepreneur, you would need to be innovative in mixing fibres and colours to either make your quilts or other handicrafts. If you want to run this business from home, you would need to approach stores and boutiques to help with selling your crafts and then agree on a revenue split with them.
18. Bed Cover Designers
A bed cover is a fabric that is used on the bed and most times over a blanket. Everyone uses a bed cover as it is a must use in homes and hotels, and so this can never be a saturated market. Most designers prefer to concentrate on just this niche.
If you want to join the other entrepreneurs in this field, you would need to be proficient as the fabrics used for a bed cover is different from that used for a dress. You must be able to combine colours effectively. You can decide to just sew bed cover for children and teens, in which case you must constantly be aware of youthful trends.
19. Sewing Instructor
Everyday more people want to learn how to sew, from stay at home mums to students. Most of these people and even those looking to try their hands at a new profession are looking for someone who is proficient at sewing and can teach them how to sew without them needing to becoming interns.
To this effect, you can organise sewing classes for a fee. Students in schools need to learn sewing as part of their education. Apply to various schools in your area on the need for them to let you come and teach the students.
A dressmaker must have strong sewing skills and also a deep understanding fabrics, and garment design, styling and construction. As a dressmaker, you would need to study fashion trends, sketch designs of clothing, selection of various fabrics and garment production implementation. You would also need to be creative and pay attention to details.
As a dressmaker your task is not only as a seamstress, but you must also possess the talent of a fashion designer. Most times though, you might need to fit, alter as well as construct made to measure clothing according to client’s specification. Always ensure you display your works in the right places, and also approach boutiques on the need to display your works.
21. Quilting Supply Business
Before venturing into this business, carry out a thorough research on how those into quilting in your area are faring, if you notice that most usually have a backlog of orders, then it is the perfect business for you to go into. Making money by selling quilting supplies and services to other quilters is how you can make money in this business. Also, instead of spending so much on overhead by renting a physical store, you can carry out your business online.
Ensure you give your business the adequate promotion it needs by ensuring you enlist it in online directories, and also make use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website so that those looking for supplies and not knowing where to go, will buy from you once your name pops up via online search. Ensure that there are enough delivery options to cater to clients far and wide.
22. Sewing Blog
Another way to project your image out there is to start a sewing blog. Your sewing blog can be a source where your audience comes to seek for new ideas on how to sew patterns, make crafts and generally find inspiration. If you have the gift of writing, then it is time you turn this gift into money making venture.
Your blog can make some side money for you if you are consistent in putting up new posts daily, every two days or weekly. Once consistency is achieved, plus a large followership base, you can then approach fashion houses, schools, merchants dealing in fabrics, and even other type of businesses and pitch to them on why they should advertise in your blog.
23. Soft Toy Designer
If you want to sew but are intimidated by sewing language, then being a soft toy designer might be the best business for you. All that is needed to become a soft toy designer is basic knowledge of the use of a sewing machine. Even if you do not know how to shop for fabric, the business makes it easy for you as you can use any fabric and then put scraps and fillings in it to make a soft toy.
Sewing a soft toy doesn’t take too many hours, as all you would need to do is draw the shape of the toy you intend to make and sew round it. If you are consistent, you can sew as many innovative toys as you want and then sell at the craft market, in local stores, and at fair grounds.
24. Custom Kids Clothes
Before venturing into this business, you must have a passion for sewing itself especially as you would be working with the parents and kids – who are not always easy to work with – in order to measure and design the clothing. Even though most parents prefer to go to the store to pick something up, there are parents who still prefer custom-made clothes for their children and so you would need to carry out a research to find these kind of parents.
There are so many decisions to be made in starting this business which includes either working from home or getting a store where parents can bring their kids in for fitting. You would also need to set up a website for clients that stay far off that would give the options of fabric types, color, and a tool that will help parents figure out how to correctly take the measurements of their kids and send to you. You can showcase your handwork on popular craft websites as well as on your website.
25. Embroidery Business
There are several reasons why you might want to start your own embroidery business, one of which is the need to be your own boss. Starting your own embroidery business not only provide you with the potential for financial security, it also allows you to use you own skills and knowledge in a creative and challenging way.
There are a number of things you need to start your business, which includes an embroidery machine and a business plan. Once you plan your business well, this business can start bringing in much cash for you especially as everyone uses embroidery.
26. Sleep Wears
The sleep wear market is a very huge one as almost everyone on earth owns a sleep wear, which is what makes it an exciting business opportunity. You can design your own sleep wears and then sell it to retailer stores. You can also go into the business of designing and selling patterns used for creating sleep wear and then let consumers sew their own from the patterns for a fee.
27. Baby Blanket Business-: If you intend to go into the business of making baby blankets, then you would need to be prepared. You can start the business from home and sell your baby blankets online or through local stores.
28. Clothing Accessories-: Clothing accessories as with any other thing relating to fashion requires one to pay attention to details especially as these accessories are usually used on clothing as aesthetic or to complete a piece of garment.
Starting a children’s clothing line just like any other business is a business that would require you carry out your research. Your research should be based on who your target market is, how large the consumer pool is, what brands they prefer and where they shop. This is why it is necessary for you to have a business plan as it will help you avoid the pitfall in this business. You should know that even know you are sewing for the children, it is actually the parents who buy.
30. Toiletry Bag
This is a niche for any entrepreneur that is seeking to diversify into other areas. You can make toiletry bags and have it sold online. Just make sure that you make use of strong and yet colourful fabrics so as to make it attractive to clients who want to buy.
31. Thrifty Sewer
This kind of business might not bring in mega bucks but it will help keep your bottom line healthy. A thrifty sewer makes use of discarded fabrics to make new wears or crafts. This means that as a thrifty sewer, you would spend less on buying fabrics than the average tailor or seamstress. You can even negotiate with different tailors and seamstresses to pick up discarded fabrics, or source for quality but discarded fabrics online, which you might get for free or pay a little fee for.
Ensure you carry out your research before starting this business. You might even run the business with any other business of your choice.
32. Tablet Cases And Stands
The fact that sewing is in a fashion inclined industry does not mean that it cannot cross over into other industries as is evident with entrepreneurs who are now making a foray into the I.T industry by merging fashion and tech. Before going into the business of sewing cases and stands for tablets, you would need to carry out a research on what fabrics are durable, and you would also need to have an eye for colour and creativity, as well as be detail oriented.
33. Tote Bags
If you are desperate for a sewing business idea that is quite lucrative, then consider going into creating tote bags for sale. A tote bag can be used for a casual meet or for pleasure. You would need to ensure that you get durable fabrics so that the bags can carry items without sustaining a tear. You would need to come up with certain creative colours and styles, and promote the bags both online and offline.
34. Storage Fabric Bins
Most people are tired of the conventional storage bins and so often go for fabric bins. Entrepreneurs going into this field must look for durable fabrics that would not wear out after a short while. Ensure you carry out a proper research before going into this business, so as to know who and where your target markets are. You could make the storage bins into different innovative shapes and sizes.
Tailors are those who produce custom-made clothes for men and women. A tailor might create the whole garment or work in a team. Tailors also help with repairs and alterations to clothing purchased or created elsewhere. As a tailor, you would need to spend time researching and gathering design ideas, which could come from sources such as clients, magazines, brochures, pattern books, art, exhibitions and fabric samples.
36. Custom Caps and Hats
This is another niche that can be looked into if you are an entrepreneur that is short on innovative sewing business ideas to embark on. Making of custom caps and hats is a lucrative business as almost everyone owns one or two caps, which means there is a market for it.
Promote your custom made caps and hats online via your social media platforms, as well as other platforms such as Pinterest and Google hang outs.
37. Neck Ties and Bow Ties
If you are looking for a business that requires less effort for good money, then sewing of neck ties and bow ties might just be the business for you. The amount of time needed to sew a neck tie is less than the amount of time needed to look for the right fabric as well as drafting the pattern.
This could be a quiet money churner for you. Your target can be men’s clothing store and gift shops both online and offline.
38. Book Covers
Everyone is seeking for a business that not only showcases their passion but brings in money as well. Book covers design business has the potential of meeting the above requirements and more. Everyone uses a notebook either for academic, business or recreational purposes.
Also, most people won’t mind having their notebooks stand out from others, and so you would need to carry out a research on what kind of book covers will likely sell most, as the needs of students will be different from that of adults.
39. Clasp Purses
Not everyone fancies carrying a large bag with them every now and then. Large bags have their purposes and functions, just like clasp purses as well. Most people do not have the means of splashing money on an expensive purse and yet they want a purse that makes them stand out without being too expensive.
As an entrepreneur, this is a niche you might want to look out especially if you have the flair for creativity. Carry out a massive promotion for your clutch purses especially online as most people usually go online to seek befitting gift ideas for themselves or someone else.
40. T-shirts Supply Business
Almost everyone wears a t-shirt either indoors for work or outdoors during occasions and events. Some others are in the t-shirt design business but often need someone who can supply them with t-shirts, which is where you come in. This is a challenging business as most times, you would need to sew many t-shirts to meet up with demand but if you have more hands helping, it is a business that can bring in huge profits for you as well.
Advertise your services online and offline. Ensure you pass out your fliers and business cards in places such as schools, churches, non-profit organizations as well as other places as these are the ones that usually demand for a large supply of t-shirt. You could offer other services such as embroidery as well.
41. Sewing Book Author
If you are proficient in sewing and have vast knowledge that you feel needs to be shared to others in the sewing sector and even newbies, then you can become a sewing book author. You can decide to sell your books as physical copies in stores or sell them online as e-books. If you are selling online, you can easily come up with a new book either half-yearly or yearly, so as to infuse each book with new trends.
You would need to carry out a massive promotion of your book and list what the book contains so as to attract people into buying the books.
42. Aprons Business
Aprons are protective materials worn over the body during messy tasks. It is used at home by those cooking, in a mechanical workshop to prevent being smudged by grease, and in hospitals during different procedures. The materials used in making an apron depends on the apron’s intended use. Kitchen aprons for example can use almost any type of fabric, but aprons used in the hospital will require more than that.
If you intend to start the business of making aprons, then you are sure to make a lot of profit because the amount needed to be invested before one can start an apron business is small compared to the revenue to be made.
43. Fashionable Maternity Clothing
Gone are the times where people put on any flowing gowns just because they were pregnant. Nowadays, most pregnant women wear fashionable maternity wears so as to celebrate their style and look sexy as well.
More and more entrepreneurs are going into this business especially as according to statistics; more than 4 million babies are born yearly. Also, all pregnant women have at least 5 maternity wears, with some possessing more, making this a very lucrative market if you choose to venture into it. If you design, sew and sell your maternity wears, you are likely to make a huge amount of money especially if your target clients love what you make.
44. Children Beach Robes
Children love going to the beach and to the pool, however, most times after using the pool or playing in the beach, most parents use a towel on their kids which usually fall off after a while. However a beach robe not only helps keep your children warm, it doesn’t fall off like a towel would, and is also helpful when you want to pull off their beachwear for their home wear.
If you carry out your research well, you would see that there is a large market for beach robes for children. It doesn’t require any fancy sewing style or machine and can even be sewn by hand; just make sure you get enough colourful fabrics as kids usually love something colourful.
45. Men’s Wear
Men’s clothes tend to be tailored to the wearer. As a result, making men’s clothes requires techniques and tools that might not be familiar to many sewers such as flat-felled seams to finish an armscye, or a 1/8″ edge guide presser foot to ensure accurate edge stitching. This shows how lucrative this business would be for any determined entrepreneur. You can choose the niche in men’s wear that you want to go into such as shirts, suits or free shirts such as caftans.
46. Clothing Line
For you to start with a clothing line that is commercially successful, you would need to put in a great amount of time and effort, but it may be the perfect venture for you if you are passionate about fashion.
However, before starting this business, you would need to assess the market’s demand for the niche you intend going into so as to ensure its feasibility. A business plan is essential if you intend to know what you are likely to face before starting the business.
47. Placemats and Mug Rugs
Colourful placemats and mug rugs add a splash of beauty into homes and so going into the business will see you making money in no time. You would not require too much fabric to make one set, and so you could create as many different colourful ones as you can.
Advertise your crafts in online marketplaces and promote your business via social media platforms as well as your website.
48. Home Decor Business
Take your sewing business up a notch by going into the home decor business. Nowadays, most home owners usually like an array of handmade window curtains, bed covers, pillows and table dressings. If you have the flair to create a beautiful splash in someone’s home, then this business idea is definitely for you.
The good thing about this business is that satisfied clients would always refer you to friends and colleagues. Also, your works advertise themselves.
49. Fabric Shop
If you enjoy sewing and quilting, you might start your own fabric shop especially if you feel there is a need for more choices of fabric in your area. Fabric shops are very profitable speciality retail operations and can earn you a quick profit in no time.
However, you would need to carry out a research on what kind of fabrics and the colours people in your area mostly use. After starting ensure that you promote your store offline by passing out flyers and online via social media forums.
50. Curtain Making Business
Curtains help keep the sunlight out whilst retaining the coolness inside. They can be thin, or thick depending on a client’s preference. As a curtain maker, you have the opportunity at growing your curtain business into a successful one. However, your target market is very important for this business as almost every window, residentially or commercially requires a curtain.
The cost of starting the business curtains depends on the type of equipment and fabrics you intend purchasing. However, you can start small by getting light fabrics and then expanding to heavy fabrics as your business expands. You could also add curtain mending to your business.
Before going into any of the above businesses, you would need to recognize that you are turning your passion for creating needle craft items into a business. For some, this might take the fun out of sewing especially as you would have to encounter unsatisfied customers who might further dampen your enthusiasm. However, if you learn to separate your professional sewing world from your personal sewing world you can still enjoy both.