Because there remains ambiguity as to the time and complexity involved in digitizing sewing patterns, I’ve created another video for you. In this video, you can watch my CAD screen while I digitize 10 pattern pieces. Including set up time—creating a file, taping the pieces to the board—digitizing 10 pieces takes all of 30 minutes.
There are actually two videos, here is the second:
In the second video, I’ve cleaned up some grainlines and some points I didn’t enter correctly.
My point in making these videos was to allay some fears people have about the costs of digitizing. I suspect that people do web searches and become appalled once they see the cost of embroidery digitizing but the latter is more complex and time consuming. I know there are some pattern companies out there that charge $20 a piece for digitizing and in my opinion, that is crazy. $20 per piece for these 10 pieces equals $200 for half an hour’s work. I don’t know any pattern makers who earn $400 an hour. So, if that’s what you’ve been quoted, keep looking.
Keep two things in mind.
1. I’ve only shown digitizing services. This does not include editing the pieces, walking them, making corrections or any of that. Pattern services run from $45 (without CAD) on up to $150. It is possible that somebody, somewhere charges more than $150 an hour but I don’t know who does. I can only say it is not typical. The average is closer to $60-$95 depending on the area of the country and ideally, you want a provider who is close to you even if they are not the lowest cost provider.
2. Minimum charges: It is not reasonable to expect a service provider to charge by the minute if your job is very small. For example, if you have two pieces to digitize, it is not reasonable to expect a bill for 10 minutes of work. Many companies, particularly those with CAD systems, have a one hour minimum charge (whatever their hourly is). Of course if you have several styles with them and this one is a small job, they will probably roll the time in with the rest of it.