Alteration Service Business Idea

Business Summary:

Crafty individuals who know their way around a sewing machine have a great opportunity to start their own home alteration service business. The need for services requiring skilled sewing is in great demand. If you’re a skilled expert with a sewing machine and love the craft, then perhaps a home alteration service is for you. Whether your clients are looking for wedding gown alterations or upkeep on their vintage clothes, the demand for alterations and tailoring continues to grow.

An alteration service offers alterations and repairs on items such as garments, draperies, table cloths, quilts, costumes, duffle bags, tote bags, tents, or other industrial items made of fabric or canvas.

Start Up Cost: Varies – $2,000

Can Be Home Based?: Yes

Can Be Operated Part Time?: Yes

Skills Required:

Your advanced sewing skills and knowledge of fabrics and patterns are the core basics for getting started in a home alteration service. You should be knowledgeable in different stitches, mending different fabrics, and an expert at your sewing machine, as well as with manual needle and thread. An alteration service also needs to know how to take accurate fitting measurements, as well as have a familiarity with different body types and know how to alter garments accordingly.

How Much Can You Earn:

The money you can make in this home business depends on the experience you possess, the expanse of your skills in the craft of sewing and alteration services, and the drive and ability to gain and retain clients. One of the fastest ways to grow your business is to be the alteration company to whom dry cleaners, bridal boutiques, or other clothing shops outsource their work.

Many basic home alteration service businesses charge by the hour, piece, or by the specific alteration service required, like hemming, zipper or button repair, or complete refitting and resizing a garment.

If you are looking to operate your alterations company part-time, then you can expect to earn in the range of $12,000 to $20,000 annually. However, the upside earning potential is great for an alterations company, with many established, full-time businesses brining in revenues easily in the six figures.

Understanding Customers:

Marketing Strategy:

If you are skilled in sewing, stitching, or tailoring, it is easy to find and acquire clients for your home alteration service business. By mailing flyers, brochures, or simply meeting in person, you can find that there is a need for outsourcing alteration services for companies and organizations such as dry cleaners, clothing retailers, bridal boutiques, schools, and local theater companies. Acquiring a client list of other businesses is one of the quickest way to grow your business and maintain revenues. The types of alterations could include mending and repairing work uniforms, drill team or cheering uniforms, theatrical costumes, prom dresses, and wedding gowns.

You can also advertise your alteration services in local newspapers and online service boards for personal alterations. Though most people buy “off-the-rack,” many individuals, whether petite or tall, find that they do not fit the off-the-rack sizes and need alteration services to refit new garments. Of course, there will always be special occasion garments that consistently need altering, including business suits, wedding gowns, and formal dresses.


An alteration service needs a top of the line industrial quality sewing machine in order to quickly, accurately, and creatively sew fabrics together.

Other needs and supplies include:

  • An adjustable fitting dummy
  • Sewing supplies such as needles, various colors of thread, scissors, etc.
  • A separate room or suitable workspace for performing alteration service work, storing supplies, and meeting clients

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