If you are anything like me, someone sewing around life, kids, housework and a million other commitments, it is exceptionally hard to determine an hourly rate for your work. It is even harder to put a price on what we love to create but, if we want to make money off our hobby, it is what needs to be done.

This is a little formula I have come up with to assist me to price my items in a fair way. It also helps to determine whether an item is a viable product line or a big waste of time with minimal profit.

The first thing you need to do is choose an item. I am going to choose this mermaid skirt which I love to make and is a quick sew for me:

Work out the material costs and consumables, including things like electricity and insurance as part of your consumables estimate.

The fabric for one of these is $6, elastic $2 and I add a standard $4 to anything I make for consumables.

$6 fabric + $2 elastic + $4 consumables

Total materials cost= $12

The next thing to work out is how many you could make in a standard working day if this was your full time job. I worked this out by making one from start to finish and timing on my phone stop watch. I decided on an 8 hour day and it took me 30minutes to make the skirt.

Total made in a standard working day = 16

Now multiply your material costs by how many you can make in a day.

$12 in materials x 16 made in a day

Total materials cost per day = $192

Think about if you were earning a wage to sew for an employer. What would you think is a reasonable wage to do this? I decided on $250 a day. Add your total material costs per day to your daily wage.

$192 fabric + $250 daily wage

Total of materials and wages= $442

Finally to work out your sale price divide that total of materials and wages by the number of items you can make in a day.

$442 materials and wages / 16

Sale Price= $27

Now think if that price seems reasonable. Would people buy your product at that price? I think people would buy my skirt at $27. If the product price is too high workshop a way to get your costs down or minimize production time. Do you think this product line is then worth it? You may be happier finding a new item that gives you a good return.

Please feel free to add your workings in the comments and ask any questions relating to your results.

I hope this helps in some way, because let’s face it all those people who say “I would totally pay $80 for that” almost never do and we need to get serious about how we are pricing!