It’s not just me. It’s anyone with a skill considered valuable and useful. Whether you sew like I do or you write computer code or you are great at baking and decorating cakes and cookies people are going to ask you to do something for them. It’s perfectly natural and completely understandable. There are three types of people who ask:
- The people who think your work is good enough for what they need and want it done for free.
- The people who think your work is stellar and want to pay you for it.
- The people who think your work is incredible and want it done for free because you’re such a good friend/family member.
I say no to all of them regardless of how much they are willing to pay or like my work. My sole reason is because I don’t want to. I. Don’t. Want. To. Why? Because I’d rather make things and practice techniques I find interesting for myself. Sewing isn’t my job and I don’t want it to be my job. Secondly, most people these days, thanks to the incredible phenomenon that is fast fashion, don’t appreciate the effort. If they do appreciate the effort they don’t appreciate how stressful it can be to create something for someone else: Is it good enough? Does it meet my standards? Do I have the right materials? How am I going to make the time to make this? I get no joy from this type of mental activity. Also, you wouldn’t want to pay what I’d charge to do it.
In the instance that I do agree to make something I like to do things well ahead of time. “Oh I don’t need it right away.” Yes, you don’t need it right away, but I need it off my lap right away because I don’t want to endure the pressure that comes with needing to please you any longer than necessary. Naturally, I hate deadlines but hate procrastination even more (now anyway) so we need all the buffer for everything that can and will go wrong. I won’t get your suit that you gave me today tailored for tomorrow. How hard can it be? No, it’s not hard. It’s tedious and time consuming and I don’t want to give up my evening watching martial arts movies, eating cookies, and lounging with my cats to adjust the shoulder rolls in your blazer.
However, if I offer to sew for you, you should probably take me up on it because that offer is rare and fleeting and I will always be happy to make you something if it was my idea to begin with.
She no longer updates her blog but she’s my selfish sewing inspiration and deserves a shout out because it was her perspective that helped me put aside my guilt of saying-no-to-sewing when I don’t want to: The Selfish Seamstress.
Lead Image | Myriam