After years of losing sewing jobs overseas, the United States is seeing a turnaround in requests for American-made clothing and apparel. Poor quality, safety issues and missed deadlines have sent manufacturers and designers in search of reliable sewers for their goods. Sewing factories aren’t prepared to handle the requests and few trained workers are available. With skill and the right equipment, you can find contract sewing jobs when you market yourself correctly and make effective connections.
Join Sewing-Specific Sites
Build a website where designers and manufacturers can find you. With proper search engine optimization and effective photography of your work, companies and solo designers will be able to find you. Send prospective clients to your site for references. Additionally, check websites geared specifically for sewers where designers look for contractors. Sites such as Sewing Wish List and Fashions.org offer free listings for sewers to advertise, and you can answer ads on the same sites.
Meet the Artists
Meet local designers at art fairs since they might not have commercial spots where you can visit them. Artists who make hats, dresses and handbags display their work at booths. They often need contract sewers to follow their patterns, fulfill orders and stock up for these shows. Shows such as Artscape in Baltimore and the Winter Park Art Festival in Florida include a wide range of fabric artists you need to know.
Create Partnerships with Consultants
Contact local interior designers who can link you with clients who require contract sewing for window treatments, pillows and linens. Professionals who provide consulting for home decorating also can include furniture retailers, home builders, interior decorators and party planners. Create partnerships with the professionals in your area who serve clientele with these needs to build a base of custom contract sewing jobs.
Develop a Reputation as an Expert
Position yourself as an expert sewer by volunteering to sit on a panel when a local creative gathering such as Hatch comes to your area. Offer to speak to sewing classes at the community college or teach a course through the continuing education department at the school. Call reporters at your local paper and offer to be a source for questions regarding the sewing or design industry.