A friend has commissioned me to make a sweet little patchwork pillow for a toddler. This is the first of four blocks, all centered around a fussy cut image. I’m planning on sashing the blocks with a light green, framing the blocks with solid pink and then embroidering the little girl’s name and probably adding some matching and contrasting running stitches. I’ve enjoyed the commission process–my friend told me what she was thinking, I put together some images and pulled some fabric, she let me know which ones she likes and I’ve been given free reign from there. The challenge is to figure out how to charge her for the work. I think when all is said and done it will be about $15 worth of supplies (although that is only an estimate–some fabric I’m using was $17/yard and other fabric was only $7/yard) and probably 5 hours of labor. Even at a modest $10/hour for labor this will be a $65 dollar cushion cover. There is no way I can charge my friend $65.
I sewed some draft dodgers for my sister-in-law who is a graphic designer this winter. She bought the fabric, I kept track of how much time I spent making them and then she did the same amount of graphic design in exchange. The barter felt like a good exchange–I was happy to make the draft dodgers for her and I felt like my skills were honored without having to put a monetary price on something that I primarily do as a hobby.
So what do others do? I don’t want to charge her only the price of the fabric, because I do want to acknowledge that time was spent making the cushion cover, but I also don’t want to charge her an hourly rate. Any advice in the comments would be great. Thanks in advance.
Here is the finished pillow.