Stitching for Fun and Profit!

Stitching for Fun and Profit!

Henri Lebasque - Woman, Sewing

Woman, Sewing

Henri Lebasque

Making Money with your Embroidery

Isn't that the dream of us all - to be able to earn money with our hobby? Well, there is money to be made from embroidery, however it will be hard work, and your embroidery should be of a high quality.

Some ways to make money are listed below, together with some details on how to go about it.

Greeting Cards

There are lots of small motifs out there that you can make greeting cards out of. You can purchase pre-cut greeting cards or you can make your own out of cardboard, with a cutout in it for your stitching (or just glue your stitching to the front of the folded cardboard).

These greeting cards can be sold at fetes, or at markets, etc. You may even find a niche for you to embroider personalised greeting cards for people.

Stitching Projects for Other People

There are a lot of people out there who love embroidery and would dearly love to have some in their house, but lack the knowledge, talent or know-how to stitch themselves.

Remember, though, these must be completed in a timely manner and must have a high standard of stitching. On the other hand, you get a project and the materials for it at no cost - and the fun of stitching.

Model Stitching

Ever wonder who stitches the pieces on the covers of patterns, or on display in shops, etc? Well, they are stitched by people called model stitchers.

As a model stitcher, you stitch the design. You will need to keep records of (a) how much thread you use (b) any errors in the design (c) anything that was unclear or very difficult.

The designer supplies all the materials, etc., and you usually return anything that is unused. Please note that some designers are unable to pay for model stitching, and some are.

Model Stitchers must be utterly trustworthy and able to keep confidential anything told to them by the designer, and must be able to provide feedback in a constructive manner.

In addition, because of the detrimental effect of smoke on needlework, Model Stitchers should be non-smokers, and live in a smoke-free home.

Most designers will want to see examples of your work before they let you model stitch for them. Some will provide a chart that contains all the elements they are looking for, some will give a list of what they want to see, and some will want to just see some of your work.

Model Stitching is rewarding, but it requires discipline and the ability to work to a deadline. There is no room in Model Stitching to deviate and use your own "creativity".


One of the hardest things to do is to price your work so that it is affordable, and still covers your costs.

Often, you will have to work out a price that covers that cost of your materials, plus about 10-15% extra. This is because there is - realistically - no possible way to charge for your work and still keep the price realistic and affordable.

The most important thing is to enjoy yourself - don't try to take on more than you can do, and make sure that you have the time to stitch.

Embroidery for money is a job - and as somebody is paying you for this, there is no chance of it becoming a UFO. Falling down on commissions means your reputation as a professional embroiderer will be ruined.

Oh- and one last thing - on everything (except Model Stitching!) don't forget to put your name or a little monogram in a bottom corner (not something big and obvious!). Always sign your sitching!!

Is there anything that you would particularly like to see an article on? If so, please e-mail me with your suggestions.

Happy Stitching

Happy Stitching from Megan

© 2001, 2002 Megan McConnell

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Signing Your Stitching

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