Why I am totally selfish (and ok with it)

Posted by Kristin on Wednesday, September 4, 2013.

"Can you make me ____________?"

"Can you fix/alter/redo this?"

"I would love to have that.  Can you make me one?"

Yes, yes I can (maybe).  But will I?  No.

And here's why.....

I love sewing.  I really do.  There are some days when I'll be sitting in my sewing room furious because I can't figure something out, but I love the entire process.  There is no pressure on me when I create things because I know it is for me and if I screw it up, no one knows.

I teach special education for my real job.  And although I love it, it is a job.  It has all of the stress and pressure that jobs usually have.  I don't want to bring that pressure into the craft that I love.  And I would.  I would be pressured to finish something by a certain time.  I would stress if every single seam wasn't perfect or if the fit was off.  I don't want that to happen because I would begin to dread my dates with my sewing machine.

People are also under the assumption that sewing is cheaper than buying clothes at the mall.  I quickly realized that wasn't true.  By the time I buy all of my fabric, thread, notions, it quickly adds up!  And I don't charge myself an hourly rate.  If I were to charge someone else for my time, say $20 an hour, the cost would be over a hundred, possibly two hundred (I'm slow.....really slow....).  Some people may be willing to pay upwards of $200 for a handmade garment.  Most aren't.  I'm not running a sweatshop where I work for $0.20 an hour!

And my most selfish reason???  It would take time away from my own projects!  I may not be married or have kids, but I am still quite busy.  I barely have time to squeeze a half hour of sewing or knitting into my days.  I'm not giving that up so that I can make something for someone who is underpaying me for my time. 

What will I do?  I will happily teach anyone to sew.  I'd love to help someone create their own wonderful pillow, garment, curtain, etc. 

So instead of asking me to make you something from scratch, ask me to teach you how to do it.  Trust me, it will be all the more special for you!  And I get more enjoyment from inspiring others to create than doing it for them.

Oh, I do make occasional exceptions for my immediate family or close friends.  But I still make them buy the materials...no one gets everything for free!

From the hilarious Selfish Seamstress

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