If you sew and other people know that you sew, I’m sure you get asked to sew up stuff for them. I LOVE TO SEW …. but not generally for other people…. I do not buy my clothing anymore (with the exception of lingerie, etc) and I sew my own wardrobe. I am not the quickest sewer, so I don’t generally produce new dresses in a day. Although since I got my eyes “fixed”, sewing for me is quite a bit faster. Even things like cutting a pattern out take me less time than they used to as I don’t have to squint and concentrate anymore. I like to spend my time sewing garments for myself, frankly, and not others. I guess that people who go out and buy what they want to wear instead of creating it themselves don’t really understand this concept. If I want a new dress or a shirt or a skirt, I get my pattern out, buy my fabric and add it to my sewing list. It isn’t the same as running out to a store and getting instant gratification. It takes time and planning. And my time is very valuable to me.
That isn’t to say that I don’t like making things for other people, but it is a labor of love for me. I have on my list for the next month to make a shirt for my husband, a dress for both my MIL and my husband’s aunt, and a special vintage dress for a good friend of mine. None of these people asked me to make them these things and all of these people are special to me, so I will take time out of my “sewing for me” list — which it quite honestly important to me — to sew for them.
However, some people seem to think that whipping up a dress takes little time and that I can just blast out items for them. I am not a store. I am not a dressmaker’s shop. I like to post a few photos on my personal FB page of my makes as I am proud of them. I don’t post them there with dollar signs attached to them and a checkout cart. And yet I still occasionally get a comment (and usually from someone who is just an acquaintance): “Will you make dresses for me?” I used to give people a figure upwards of $70-$100 for a custom dress and they would never like the price and leave me alone after that. I guess people think that a custom dress with many hours of labor should be sold for the same price as a cheap mass-market factory-made dress? I don’t think so.
Lately, I’ve been telling people who ask that, that I will give them tips on SEWING THEIR OWN STUFF and point them in the direction of some useful sewing tutorials on blogs and YouTube so that they can MAKE IT THEMSELVES. After all, it does not take a PhD in mechanical engineering to operate a sewing machine…. But the answer I usually get is: “I can’t sew”. In my opinion that generally means: “I don’t want to learn how to sew.” Perhaps I am more a do-it-yourself person than others whereas I like to figure things out on my own and I am of the opinion that I can learn to do just about anything. Other people don’t seem to think this way.
What is your opinion of sewing for others? Do you like to do sewing favors? What do you say when you get asked to reproduce an item you’ve made for yourself?
I shall get back to my selfish sewing this afternoon. I don’t have children of the two-legged nature and I imagine if I did I would be sewing a lot for them as well. But for now, I’m the top priority. On to my sewing list….