6 things never to say to someone who sews

If you sew, you’ve been there.

The same reactions, responses, and requests you get when someone finds out that you sew.

We know that everyone means well…

…but still…

There are some things we’d rather not hear for the umpteenth time.

Am I right?

6 things never to say to someone who sews


So here are 6 things never to say to someone who sews, and our mental responses that we would never say out loud:

1. I have a pair of pants I need hemmed…how much would you charge me?

Mental thought: Not enough.

OK, this might be fine if you’re talking to a tailor, or a friend who does lots of alterations in general. But most of us who sew either as a hobby or as a business – if we’re not tailors – would rather not hem. Or even get paid to do it. Because while it could take a tailor a short amount of time to complete the job, it will take someone like me longer, since we don’t do it all the time. And we’ll feel like we need to charge less than the tailor. Besides, it will get in the way of all the fun stuff we’d rather be sewing, or our time for fabric petting, or our time to dream about our next project. You get the drift. I keep the name of my favorite tailor in my mind at all times, just for this question.

2. Sewing? I didn’t know anyone did that anymore.

Yeah, I’m old fashioned. When I’m not sewing I’m churning butter in the backyard and cleaning my clothes on a washboard in the basement.

Crafting is a $30 billion industry in this country, and dedicated quilters – those who head to their machines several times a week – spent $2.5 billion on their hobby in 2010. I suppose many people no longer sew for necessity, but many people sew. Still. Even after all.these.years. It’s pretty big.

3. Can you make me (such and such)? I’ll bring over  the fabric, and all you’d have to do is sew it up.


Because the fabric is usually inexpensive compared with our time, and often you won’t know which fabric will work best for the project. And for those who offer to pay for our time (and friends usually do, thankfully) … don’t be shocked to find out that it might take 10 hours to sew and that the cost is more than you expected. You wouldn’t ask your accountant friend to do your taxes for $3 an hour, right?

4. Because you sew, I gave your name to The Committee so you can make 55 Bible covers. Someone will be calling you soon!

Holy Mother of God, really? How on earth will I find the time to do that?

So it doesn’t have to be Bible covers…but you get the picture. Maybe we want to give our time and talent for worthy projects. But please don’t volunteer us! We might be completely overbooked with other projects, or our family schedules, and can’t do it…and now we’re in the awkward position of having to say no. If we’ve heard of the project but didn’t volunteer ourselves….there might be a reason.

5. Did you make that? You’re so talented! You could make a ton of money selling those! You need to start a business, and then do craft shows, or start a website, and I’ll tell all my friends….

Sadly, you don’t have nearly enough friends to keep me in business. And people who go to craft shows like to think they can “make it themselves,” study my work, and walk away without buying.

I know this is totally well-meaning. And your comments are very kind and flattering to us! But most of us who sew have, at one time or another, either tried to make a business of selling our wares, or we’re already making money another way – in a sewing-related field or not. Selling finished products is tough work and requires a lot of time, energy, dedication, and stick-to-it-ivness. Online selling requires learning photography skills and social media strategies. Craft-show selling requires lots of weekends away and bulk creating. Selling to boutiques requires pricing, marketing, and sales skills. If we’re not already selling finished sewn products, there’s likely a reason why.

6. I’d be so honored if you’d sew my wedding dress.

Have you heard of Bridezilla?

I asked this of my own mom before I sewed. And she said no, and now I get it. Most of us aren’t couture seamstresses and it’s a lot of work, and pressure, to sew something as special as a wedding gown. We might not even really know what to do with all of those fancy fabrics! If you’re rich, call Georgina Chapman of Marchesa. Otherwise…head over to your local bridal shop. I’m sure you’ll find a style that’s stunning for you.

So – what reactions have you had when people find out you sew? And when you need to say “no…” are you able to do it? Or do you say “yes” and then resent it? I’d love to hear your stories!

Deanna McCool writes for sewmccool.com. If you enjoyed this post, you’ll enjoy reading this post about why the word “modern” should be banned from our sewing vocabulary. To make sure you don’t miss a post, please follow SewMcCool by e-mail (the link is at the top of the right-hand column) or join me on BlogLovin’ – the button is just below the e-mail feed box! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. says

    Hi Deanna, love this post because it speaks volumes about what happens when people know you sew. Have had a couple of those comments made at me too, including “Could you come over and take a look at my wardrobe?” They wanted me to make alterations and upcycle some of their clothes for them for …… zeeeerrroooo. Have a great week.
    Agy recently posted…Four Ways to Wear Your Upcycled SkirtMy Profile

  2. says

    Hahaha! Spot on, Deanna! Talking about sewing at a cocktail party can be a real conversation-stopper, too. People get a glazed look and walk over to freshen their drink. They have NO IDEA how difficult and challenging sewing can be. Poor dears! 😉
    Maris Olsen recently posted…A Slice of Seattle SewistsMy Profile

    • Kristofer says

      I just wish sometimes people would be willing to let me borrow their patterns. Many would rather just say find it yourself or something like that…v.v

  3. Mary says

    Humm, I’ve learned to be very careful not to mention that I sew. Once a woman showed up at my door with a fabric store bag. She had purchased fabric, pattern and thread and was going to let me make her a dress to wear on vacation. Crazy part was that she sat down and expected to wear it the next morning and got upset that it would take at least 8 hours to complete the garment.

  4. says

    I’m quite lucky as my husband has always taken up his own hems on his jeans etc, (he has my very old Elna machine) and when I get asked question 1, I just say “I don’t do hems etc, ask Kim, he may be able to help you out” .
    PIP recently posted…Seeing spotsMy Profile

    • Alyssa says

      It is different when they want to pay for sewing lessons… but even still, I am pretty much entirely self-taught over the years, and did a lot of my learning online. I need to start learning to say “no” to these things.

  5. Kathy E. says

    Oh, these are good ones! I laughed at each one as people have said them to me too. I once heard someone say that asking a quilter/sewist to hem a pair of pants is like asking Picasso to paint the garage…ha! I won’t tailor anyone’s clothes but my family’s and I don’t sew for $2 an hour either to make someone’s dream outfit!

  6. Kathy E. says

    Oh, these are good ones! I laughed at each one as people have said them to me too. I once heard someone say that asking a quilter/sewist to hem a pair of pants is like asking Picasso to paint the garage…ha! I won’t tailor anyone’s clothes but my family’s and I don’t sew for $2 an hour either to make someone’s dream outfit!

  7. Tessa says

    My mother-in-law is the worse about #1. “I have this top I just bought that needs to be taken up xxx.” She never asks, she just bring it over then gets offended when I don’t get it back to her right away. REALLY LADY?!?! I have my own project I want to do. I’ll get to yours whenever I feel like doing it. This last time she FINALLY ASKED ME about a dress. I told her no, I don’t touch those kinds of jobs even for myself.
    Honestly, I didn’t even really think about what the job was, I just didn’t want to do it.

  8. says

    Oh yes! No. 1 and No. 5 are my favorites! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told how wealthy I’d be if I sewed for the public.
    We all know we would NEVER get paid for our time!

  9. says

    Brought a lovely grin to my face…. I have been volunteered for big projects, hemmed trousers, shortened dresses, and offered to help people learn. Needless to say I haven’t done the big projects, & only hem for immediate members of the family!!
    Vicky myers recently posted…Upcycled Cargo PantsMy Profile

  10. says

    Substitute Crochet/knit for Sew and totally spot on for us too. I can’t say how many times someone has seen me crochet and say “Oh my grandma does that” or ask for a king size blanket then be floored at the price I suggest to cover the hours and hours of time to make it. The other good one is when they bring something random in to show your or a photo and say I bet you could make that! Yeah, maybe, do you have a pattern? sheesh. I love though how some people get so excited to find out you craft and want to talk all about it :)
    Kristina & Millie recently posted…Introducing Makeup by ONE DIRECTIONMy Profile

    • Erin says

      Ha people bring me patterns and I am like ummm I need to see the finished product first. Patterns make ZERO sense to me and I am one of those people that look at something and figure it out. BUT no Clothes!! I can’t stand making clothes! A lot of people think because I taught myself to sew that I make all my own clothes now….um no. lol

    • Faith says

      I crocheted an afghan as a birthday gift for a good friend of mine. Spent $40 on the yarn alone. 5 years later, during one of my visits to her house, she hands the afghan back to me telling me “You know this really doesn’t match my couch anymore since I redocorated. Do you want it back?” I was stunned speechless but mutely accepted the afghan back. Then she proceeds to tell me “I’d love it if you could make me another one that matches my new color schemes. I thought “Yeah, that’ll happen at the time hell freezes over.”

      This woman is normally the most thoughtful and generous person. I finally wrote the whole thing off to her not having any idea how much time I spent crocheting that damn afghan for her.

      • SB says

        O. M. G.

        Well I guess that’s better than her giving it to her pet for a bed. I’ve heard of people seeing their work used in that manner. I think I would’ve said, sorry I don’t have 100-150 hours to give to another afghan. It’s a one time and done sort of deal!

    • Joyce says

      I brought an afghan I was making for my king sized bed to the hairdresser. The shop owner asked if I sold my work. I replied that I only made afghans for new babies and my daughters. She was absolutely flummoxed after she’d kept asking how much I’d charge her to make one for her. I replied “Oh, for you, only $200!” She was kinda tongue tied when she told me that was way too much! I am a trained fashion illustrator and designer. I was put on the spot by my best friend to make the bodice of her wedding gown. Sight unseen and measurement taken by someone else. I got it done, but, I told my friend never to volunteer me that way again. AND, I was finding seed pearls all over my house for a lonnng time. I did get stuck on a wedding outfit again. I held no resentment at all that time. The wedding was held poolside and the bride wanted a bathing suit outfit. That was so much fun, since she didn’t have any requests other than the suit be sexy! She asked for just the suit, nothing else, now what bride walks into their venue without a train? Lace over skirt with a satin cummerbund. That was the last time I agreed to do anything like that until my youngest daughter wanted a gown dipped to her hennie dimples and a fish tailed train. I learned pretty early on to smile and walk away!

  11. Natalie says

    Great post!! Oh man, this drives me craaazy!!! It is like people think they are doing YOU a favor when they buy the fabric….??! Or they’ll say something that makes it sound much easier than it really is like “it’s just a few straight lines so it will be easy!” If it’s so easy for you, I am thrilled for you to do it yourself!! And aaghh I hate hemming even my own pants.

  12. Linda says

    I have found over the years that people that don’t sew are completely clueless about it! They think we are so talented, but have no idea how much time is involved in doing what they think is simple. Sometimes I feel like I am from outerspace! So it’s always nice to know others that sew to share in their mutual understanding of the craft and how wonderful it is to know how to sew.

  13. Christine says

    #1 happened to me this weekend and I was completely stressed out. “I need a BIG favor. Well, I haven’t ever hemmed pants before. Well, with all the other things you make, (girls dresses), this should be a piece of cake.” I ended up giving the pants back to them hemmed with wonder tape for the event and told them to find a real tailor to do them permanently. Of course this was after about 4 hours of my time trying to get it right, before I gave up and used the tape. 4 hours I really needed to sew orders for my customers. I’ve also been asked to make curtains, hem curtains, and make pillows. While I could probably handle the pillows, the rest I would hate to do. I don’t even make my own. :) This post is great! I wish I felt I could post it to my FB wall, but sadly they probably wouldn’t read it anyway.

      • Alyssa says

        I spent a couple of days working for a place that made them professionally – it’s actually pretty easy when you know a simple way to do it, but you really have to know what’s up. Also, industrial machines and home machines are *completely* different to work on… I wish I had an industrial machine, it would make things so much quicker.

  14. anna says

    Yes I have been asked to hem clothes and take them in. My favorite is oh if I buy the stuff you can make me that right. Since I sew for a living I say ya for such and such price and then they get offended. I tell them I don’t make human clothes I sew for dolls because they cant talk back. HA HA HA

  15. says

    Oh my, YES! All the above…I’ve also been asked to knit socks for a co-workers husband’s Christmas (she has no discernible talents) and my mother-in-law is always volunteering me to make mashed potatoes for 40-80 people for church dinners and funeral dinners because she thinks I make the best mashed potatoes. Say what!?!?!

  16. Vicki F. says

    I remember the time my step-sister showed up at my door, with a pair of scrub pants with a worn out crotch, and expected me to replace the crotch. While she waited. Yikes! This summer I have said no to making a little girl’s flower girl dress for a wedding (I don’t sew well enough, you wouldn’t be happy with it), and making several men’s dress shirts smaller (I don’t know how to do that. Ask so and so, she is a professional seamstress, maybe she can. (I doubt she will!))

    • Margie says

      Love that wonderful two-letter word!!! We should all learn to embrace it and use it to our fullest for sanity’s’ sake.

  17. says

    I have some stock answers one for when people ask me to make them something and one for alterations and hemming.

    For making up stuff, “I used to sew for people 20 years ago and my price then was $20 usd an hour with a two hour minimum, I’ll do you a favor and not adjust my rate for inflation.” That generally stops them dead. For really rude people, who insist that I should be honored to sew for them “I only sew for free for people I either am sleeping with or gave birth to and you are not my type.”

    For hemming or alterations, “No problem,would you mind cleaning my bathroom while I hem your pants? I only have so much free time so if you do my housework, it won’t take away from other things that I need to do. Please start with the toilet” . Not many takers there.

    I once was walking around with an acquaintance at a Renaissance Faire where we were both participants, we stopped at booth that was selling skirts and bodices to admire them. The boothie was asking about $60 usd which seemed like both a lot of money and a fair price all things considered. The girl turned to me and said,”If I buy the fabric you could make me one of these really cheaply.”
    Usually I am a little more tactful, but what I blurted out was,”What ever gave you the idea that I work for free?”


  18. says

    I’ve heard several of these, and at one point was asked to sew a whole grouping of bridesmaids dresses as well as a wedding gown. And not just a wedding gown, but one that had everything you can think of done to it- I told the bride to be that after figuring in fabric and my time, she could probably spend a third of that and just go buy the dresses already made. There have also been some supposedly easy things I’ve taken on that ended up being about ten hours more than they were worth. Ugh!
    Deb recently posted…So Sew Easy Wrap Dress… Erm… Shirt!My Profile

  19. J bowen says

    My answer is simple. I AM AN ARTIST, NOT AN INDUSTRIALIST!

    Just as a painter creates a painting, I create my art. I never do TWO identical pieces.

  20. Adrienne says

    I also have had all those comments and more aimed at me. The comment I enjoyed the most was when my teenaged son came up to me and announced that he had to mend his own clothes because I was always too busy.

  21. Charlotte Trayer says

    I loved this, and am sharing it on Facebook!

    I have a couple of stock answers. One is, No, you couldn’t afford me!

    Another is, I did sew for a lady once, and, although she was happy with what I made, *I* did not enjoy the process. Now I only sew what I want when I want to; anything for others is because I want to do it, usually as a gift, not because I’m being paid. However, most of my sewing now is for me, my family members (grandkids, mostly), and my dolls.

    • Deanna McCool says

      Sounds like the best plan! I find that when I do take on a project like this I drag my feet, too! I have to enjoy my sewing projects. Life is too short not to!

  22. diane lelay says

    Loved the article. Asked one of my daughters recently if she wanted to learn to sew…her answer…Mum, why would I need to learn to sew when I have you!!

  23. Bonnie csomo says

    Another one for your list is when someone asks if you made it but they don’t give you a complement. You are left wondering how amateur or awful what you made looks.

    • says

      “I know it won’t take you long and you are so good at it, so will you make my daughter’s prom gown for 25.oo? You know, the copy of the Vera Wang I showed you with the thirty yards of strips appliqued to the skirt?” uh, NO.

      True story: I literally had my overbearing mother in law, in a room full of family, as is her technique, say, “I just bought (son number one) six pair of pants. Can you put up the hems on them? It will only take you a few minutes.” Before I could spit out a nasty no my darling husband popped in and said, “She doesn’t hem my pants so why would she hem yours?” Love him to pieces!

      • Deanna McCool says

        LOL, that’s awesome, Bunny! My husband wants me to make him…of all things…underwear. And once he gave me a shirt and sincerely thought it would be fun for me to sew on a button for him. He knows better now (I sewed the button because I love him and it needed doing, but I told him in no uncertain terms that this is not what I do for fun!).

    • Deanna McCool says

      That’s so rude! I’ll admit that hasn’t happened to me before (though a time or two I can tell the compliment was forced)….hard to believe someone wouldn’t at least try to say something nice after asking if you made it!

  24. Jeanne says

    Like the other ladies all said, I, too, have heard all the same questions and comment as you’ve mentioned…and more! The worst time was when the choir director at the high school told everyone to drop their choir gowns off with my daughter and she would bring them all home for me to hem. Unfortunately, she never really asked me–she just assumed I’d be happy to do it–because “I’m a stay-at-home mom and I love to sew!” (I do love to see, but not that kind of stuff? I’m so glad to see that I’m not the only one that gets taken advantage of. Now I tell people that sewing is an art and they have to pay accordingly for the artwork!

  25. Sonya says

    This was fun to read. I get the “will you hem my pants” request. The latest was my mother in-law asking me to make her curtains for her bed room. She saw the curtains I made for my house and thought I just made them over night or something. When I told her how long it would take she decided to just buy some. So I thought I was off the hook until she bought them too long and asked me to hem them. I thought why on Earth would you buy curtains too long?!?!! Well I didn’t get them hemed on her time line so she got mad and took them back like I did her some kind of injustice. All I could do was laugh. She has no idea the time and annoying effort that goes into curtains.
    I also liked the one about turning your hobby into a business. I always say to those people, I already have a job. This is what I do for fun. It’s no fun anymore once you get paid for it and you have dead lines to meet.

    • Deanna McCool says

      Agreed! I haven’t knitted in awhile but a few years ago I spent about $60 on special yarn and roving to make a pair of gloves. And another $100 on Italian wool for a sweater. Because if I’m going to spend all the time knitting something, I wanted it to be a nice fiber!

  26. Emmy says

    My sister just got a sewing machine of her own and cautiously asked me “I probably already know what the answer is but…” and was taken aback when I said I would LOVE to teach her how to sew. After checking to make sure I wasn’t being sarcastic she asked me why I would be willing to teach her to sew when I usually refuse to sew for her but laughed when I told her it would make her more likely to stop asking me, and her fiance too!

    I’m also a vet student and tinker with computers, and it’s amazing how people think you would be willing to do all of these things for them on their time for free. I learned to refuse them all because it always leads to “and while you’re here…”

    • Alyssa says

      I have a friend that works with computers professionally… I used to have a decent-paying job, and when my computer crashed (turned out to be that my mother board was fried) he completely fixed it and ordered a new motherboard for me and whatnot. I paid him for the motherboard, obviously, which was $105 but told him I wanted to pay for his time, because I understand that people’s time is valuable. He ended up only charging me $120 including motherboard repairs, but the point is that you should always, ALWAYS recognize the value of a person’s time. A good friend of mine once told me that he is often offered bargains on things because he is so well-liked (this is very true.) He instead pays people more than the original asking price, quite often, because his theory is that if you give people the money that they’re worth, they’ll be around later to continue offering services that you need.

  27. Pam says

    This happens to anyone with a skill-I’m also asked to make fondant cakes, another expensive hobby, and people are stunned to hear that it costs at least $40 just for the ingredients for a small, very basic wedding cake. If I make one, it is for someone I know wouldn’t be able to have a cake otherwise and will overlook the flaws I know will be there.

    I was recently asked to alter a wedding dress and didn’t know how to say no…I dreaded it because although I can follow a pattern, I prefer craft sewing and have no idea how to do alterations. Luckily (for me) the wedding was broken off.

    My brother is asked all the time to make computer repairs for free, and my other brother is asked to repair cars (at least he can say he doesn’t own the tools to make repairs on his own).

    There are exceptions-professionally I’m a wildlife biologist and am more than happy to volunteer my time to rescue the poor snake etc. that got trapped in your house. :)

    • Deanna McCool says

      Wow, you’re a busy woman! As a side note and completely off-topic…I have a keen interest in wildlife biology and for a few years I worked at PR/Communications firm that specialized in conservation/wildlife issues (we worked with clients like USFWS and various state agencies). One of the biologists in my office coached me on how to “over-winter” a salamander I found in my house just as winter was approaching….and it was pretty neat to release that salamander in the spring after its basement hibernation, hehe! (She was quite the snake expert and even brought in a rattlesnake she rescued…thankfully not from my house, at least!)

  28. Mary Houseman says

    Just found this website and I love it. I can so relate to people asking you to drop everything and sew for them.

    I used to work full time and did sewing as my stress relief. Imagine after a hard and stressful day at work coming home and poking things with needles and cutting up stuff to vent.

    After a while I started making and selling cabbage patch doll dresses at a local craft show. A woman came up to me and looked at the dresses and said “I can make that cheaper”. Well I told her to go ahead. She needed a pattern – about $5 then – some material – another $4-5 – thread – elastic – trim – buttons or snaps. I figured about $15 just to get started. I wonder if she ever did make a doll dress.

  29. Rachael says

    Great article! I could go on and on about this as well. But I will keep it to only the things that have actually been said to me. Firstly, I’m a professional costume designer and stitcher. I work full time at a contemporary ballet.

    1.) Can you make my wedding dress? It’s really simple. (Shows me an Ellie Saab runway photo). I only have $250.

    Um, I can’t even purchase your supplies for that amount. Let’s not even discuss my time and maniacal attention to detail. Honestly, for $250 you can grab something amazing at David’s Bridal. A variant of this is where they ask you if you make wedding dresses and you can just tell by the hopefulness in their voice that maybe this is their chance to only have to spend $100 and get what they want.

    2.) Oh you’re a costume designer? Can you make tablecloths for my baby shower?

    Wait, what?!

    3.) Oh you’re a costume designer? If I gave you fabric could you just whip up some new kitchen curtains for me? I don’t like anything at Target. That won’t take you long, right?

    Excuse me?! Yeah I said I’m a costume designer not a drape maker. I’m sorry about your experience at Target. Try Sears.

    4.) My girlfriend wants a dress and has been watching Project Runway. How much does that cost?

    Oh, lordy… where to start. How about; “Um, actually really short on free time right now.”

    5.) Oh I know all about costume design. I watch Project Runway. Have you watched that?

    First off, Project Runway is about Fashion Design, not Costume Design and it’s a reality TV show, it’s not reality. Also- No, I don’t watch it.

    6.) The classic: Can you make my kid’s Halloween costume?

    Yeah if your budget is at least $150, (which it’s not), and you’re not telling me 2 DAYS before Halloween (which you are). Also, I don’t need the stress and your $20.

    7.) What’s it like to work in a sweatshop?

    I’m sorry your only reality of sewing is apparently- a sweatshop.

    And my all time personal favorite…

    Them: What do you do?
    Me: I’m a costume designer.
    Them: No, I meant what do you do for a living, I wasn’t asking what you’d like to do.
    Me: Well I’m fortunate enough to be able to say this IS what I do for a living.


  30. Danielle says

    I usually barter my skills for another skill I don’t have – small automobile repairs, the hunting of a wild boar for a luau, minor carpentry, lawn service, etc. It ends up being a fair trade.

    • Deanna McCool says

      Literally laughing out loud, Danielle. I wish I had thought of the “hunting of a wild boar for a luau” line, seriously. :) Thanks for the chuckle.

  31. says

    My worst was many years ago when I used to make wooden folkart cows n cats etc..flat to hang on the wall. A lady commented that she could do it herself and do I have a paper and pencil she could borrow so she could trace around it…I was gobsmacked…lol
    Oh the retorts I thought of later after she got an emphatic NO!!!…lol
    Phillipa in NZ recently posted…Updated my “About me” Page.My Profile

  32. Katrina Kratzer says

    I made a full court costume for someone for a renaissance faire & was only charging labor. I spent over 100 hours & made sure it was cast approved. The lady felt $400 was too much & only paid me $200 & wrote me a note telling me she felt $200 was paying me too much. She had been warned dozens of times verbally & in writing to expect to spend between $600 & up for her costume.

    • Alyssa says

      I would have gotten legal help at that stage. If it was in writing, and there was an agreement to the price in writing, I am sure you could have gotten help. Although a couple hundred sometimes isn’t worth the time. It’s even worse when they calculate the time and think that less than $3/hr is sufficient. I’ve refused to give people costumes over it. I won’t let anyone have their item until I receive payment in full.

  33. Kersten says

    I made my daughter’s and niece’s christening gowns. I loved it, it was so much fun. But since then people who see the dresses (which are pretty detailed and I did a lot of hand stitching on) are always telling me how I should sell them. I just smile and say “maybe someday.” But I just think..”doubtful.” I made those dresses to do something special for my daughter and niece, but if I had charged my sister for the work on the dress (which took over 50 hours to complete, not including creating the pattern and muslin mockups) and only charged minimum wage it would have been at least $450 just to break even on time and fabric. So if I ever wanted to make money I’d have to charge $500-1000 to make it worth my while. I don’t think people get that.

  34. Addie says

    What is the deal with hemming jeans? Once anyone finds out that I make my living in a sewing related field (embroidery design, for goodness’ sake) they want me to hem their jeans. While I do sew some of my own clothes as a hobby, I’ve never ever hemmed a pair of jeans. And I don’t intend to start. Other than those who do that kind of thing for a living (hopefully being paid well), why would anyone even want to do that? It’s doesn’t really offer the creative outlet that leads most people to sew in the first place.

  35. Rebecca says

    Ha! This is so right on…

    SOMEONE at my husband’s workplace happened to be talking about what a “great sew-er” (is that even a word?) I am. I am truly flattered, considering the fact that I just consider myself generally crafty and happen to like to sew. In actuality, I am probably little better than novice. Well, apparently the comment was overheard by another in the office who sent my husband an email asking if he thought I could repair a rucksack he had. Apparently, it held sentimental value and he was loathe to replace it but NO ONE he’d taken it to would take on the challenge. That should have been a huge red flag! However, hoping to help him out and help “team-build” a bit on my husband’s behalf, I told him to bring it home and I’d see what I could do.

    In the end, I was able to effect a reasonable repair, make my husband’s colleague over-the-moon happy, and earn $50 in return (I didn’t ask for payment, he insisted), but holy smokes! NEVER AGAIN!! Within ten minutes I fully understood why no one in their right mind would take that on! It took me the better part of a day, several attempts and re-attempts, and I remain convinced it would have been easier to sew an entirely NEW rucksack! LOL

  36. says

    Well, being that I did have a business and I did sell finished sewn goods (for a while), this post was right down my alley. Oh, the horror stories I could tell! I was also in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) in the 80s (still am, but smarter now), and I was graciously appointed household seamstress and was told I was allowed (get that) to make Kinsale cloaks for the household. Cloaks made of thick wool and fake sheepskin (yes, the stiff back kind). With pleats. And kilts.

    Just say NO! Is all I can say. Some of the responses I give to some of these questions ensure they don’t ask again – such as the Bible covers one… usually when I get the call from a church to make such things I say, “Gee, I am so sorry. But I just have been commissioned to do an entire set of shrouds for the local satanist group.” I’ve gone all Maxine in my old age.

    And custom work? Lets see… materials plus three times materials for labor… sorry, you just can’t afford it. Armani would be cheaper.

    Thank you for this refreshing post!!

  37. says


  38. says

    I make specialized things. I’ve trained for years, design and pattern. So, my favorite thing is when people just drop off clothes, usually with my kids, saying “can you ask your mom to….” . All time favorite is when someone hands me a pair of jeans with a hole rubbed either between the legs or on the butt and asks me to fix them because…”they’re my favorite jeans and they’re sooooo comfortable”. Sure, let me reweave the fabric for you! Seriously, NO! I don’t do alterations because you cant pay me enough.

  39. Diana says

    I specialize in 1800 to 1910 ish. I love Civil War, Victorian and Edwardian clothing. I cannot and will not make a full Victorian Bustle dress set, drawers, shift, corset, corset cover, petticoat(s) lobster tail bustle, more petticoats, skirt, over skirt, shirtwaist and maybe a jacket PLUS the gloves, hat, satchel, find your own darn shoes at least!!!! for $200.00. ugh The fabric is more than that!!! sigh and no I am not interested in hemming your curtains. sorry

    • Deanna McCool says

      People have nooooo idea how much fabric costs! So true. And that type of clothing uses so much fabric. I’m surprised people expect an outfit for so little money.

  40. Crystal says

    lol people always seem to be impressed with what I produce. But I remember the comments when I used to tell people I was going to school for fashion design. Oh sewing that’s an easy degree lol they have no clue how much math and calculation and drafting skills are required to design a garment or any item from scratch takes. Oh how many sleepless weeks my friends and I spent before finals sketching and then bringing to life the garments required for our finals. People have no clue the time and energy required to create the beautiful things we make.

  41. says

    Oh, dear. ALL OF THIS!

    I do have a business doing costume commissions, but I recently raised my prices because I realized I wasn’t making enough money to make it worthwhile. (I was charging roughly 55% of what I make at my 9-5.) And my most frequent inquiries come from broke college kids that don’t want to pay what I’m worth. @_@

    Then my co-workers find out I sew and they come to me in October wanting me to make their Halloween costumes. That’s when I hit them with my prices… and they suddenly don’t want it anymore.

    I actually turn down more commissions that I accept because, at any given time, I have 2 – 5 projects in the works and I’m planning 3 more when they are done. (Gives a dirty look at the 2 commissions she’s been working on for over a year and the dress she’s converting for herself into a skirt and hairbow.)

  42. CarolIne says

    So true! I usually laugh and say “there’s no way you would pay what I’d charge.” I also tell people I only sew for myself and for gifts for the people I love.

  43. belinda says

    Unfortunately, this attitude is common in every form of art or craft, it seems.

    I don’t sew, but I paint and I’m in a band, and we get similar…requests from people.

    My mom always drops my name for huge projects that I’m not even interested in, to people who don’t know my work at all, and she’s always asking if my band will perform for whatever little piddly thing she can think of that is going on in her neighborhood. Friends do similar things, asking if ‘we’ will play weddings, parties/etc for lower than we would be paid anywhere else. They don’t realize that its hard enough to get a band together for practice and gigs, getting them to play for free or very cheap is not going to fly.

    I’ve received calls asking me to design murals for the side of buildings (I’m not a designer), to do commission work for random town committees and have been asked for numerous ‘art’ favors where people want me to paint ‘something else they saw’ for a cheaper price. I tell them to buy it from the artist and that its rude to ask for that.

  44. Mark says

    The comments that I normally get are.

    So you make clothes?
    But you’re a man.
    Well spotted.

    It’s so rare that you get guys that can work a sewing machine.
    Why is that?
    Well, it’s normally something that ladies do isn’t it?
    Way to gender stereotype there!

    My favourite (and by that the one that annoys me most of all) I have made my wife a load of outfits to wear at Steampunk events, when people hear that I have made them….

    Oh he’s a keeper.

    So my ability to maintain and foster a relationship is based on the fact that I can put a number of pieces of fabric together in a pleasing manner? Thanks!

    Finally, one that my wife still uses (but nowadays only out of my earshot)…

    So your husband makes clothes?
    and you don’t?
    That’s right, why keep a dog and bark yourself?

    Fortunately, she appreciates how long stuff takes to make and is learning to make things herself now.

  45. KAREN says

    I sew for myself (love to sew from vintage patterns, a challenge) but I have had several “requests” over the years. I work in a school library and I agreed to make a dress for one of the cast members of Cinderella (the production our school was doing that particular year). The home-ec teacher gave me the fabric and pattern and said, “she needs a size 22”. Yup, size 22 ball-gown in yellow satin!!! What fun. Another year we did The Wiz and I made a number of costumes. One was the wicked witch. The drama teacher was quite specific in what he wanted — big stand up collar, etc. Costume was completed and fitted then he fired the actress and replaced her with another student, yup, 2 sizes larger!! Urk…

  46. Kathy says

    This gave me an idea! Next time I get asked to hem/alter things I can just say “Sure I will, and while I do that you can weed my veggie garden”. It really does sound like a good trade to me! Would work well in winter too, just substitute “shovel the snow in my driveway”.

  47. Elissa says

    One women asked if I could upholster her father favorite chair. I did go look at it thinking that perhaps it was just the seat cushion that needed replacing, but no it was an actual chair. Of course I said No!!! My reason… What would take an experienced person hours to do would take me days and I just don’t have the time OR the patients.

  48. Ted Robertson says

    I’m part of a medieval organization where service is greatly encouraged. So I get asked “Can you make a _____ for the King and Queen?” Thank god we have a great many sewers and some of them are really REALLY good, so if things are tight, I can say no and some one else picks up the slack. But yeah, I get plenty of the “Hey, you should sell these!” Uh yeah, no. No one wants to pay what my time costs. I might as well do it for free and get the gold star for being awesome and giving of my time. It’s a better trade off. Because yeah, in a group where at least rudimentary sewing skills are common, ever one thinks tends to think, ‘Oh, I’ll just do that myself rather than spend $200…” I finally had to stop doing that myself, and realize hey, that person is better at that particular thing than I am, I could learn it, but I’m busy with MY stuff, and they’re good at it NOW. When am I gonna have time? Here’s your cash…”

    And I ONLY hem for my wife. Ge-awd but I hate hemming a preexisting garment. Because that’s a finishing touch, and you can’t have it not match the style of the garment right? So a ten minute project suddenly becomes an hour and a half… *grumble*

    • Deanna McCool says

      I’m so impressed with those of you who make these types of garments. What group are you in? I’ve seen lots of comments today from those involved in sewing costumes…and am now curious about it! Please share – is there a Facebook group or a site I can look at?

  49. Tina says

    I actually do alterations/custom sewing, and seriously should write a book!

    “Oh you sew? I’ve had a pile of stuff in my car for over 2 months. I should come see you!”

    You do that! And this over the phone:

    “Yes I have this dress that needs a little taken in at the waist. It’s a simple alteration. So how much will it cost and when can I get it back?”

    Simple? Let me ask you? If your car won’t start, do you call your mechanic and ask him over the phone what is wrong with it, how much will it cost, and when can you get it back? I didn’t think so. So let’s just table the “simple” thing until I can “look under the hood!”

    Oh and the pricing issue! It’s like this is a “rare talent”, but everybody still lives in the stone ages and won’t let it advance. No, I’m not a grandmother in the basement, or the little foreign woman behind the kitchen in a closet! I’m actually college educated, self-employed, single parent….and I can’t even turn that light switch on for what you want to pay me!

    And the jeans? Heck yeah I will hem those jeans for you in 10 minutes or less! But you’re going to pay me double the going rate for making me switch gears. And if I have to spend the night here working overtime to accommodate you, then somebody is paying for my lodging under this counter! 😉

    Seriously should write a book…”101 Ways to Keep People In Stitches!”…heh! :)

  50. KDC says

    So my responses:

    1. You’re better off with a tailor or the dry cleaner. I hate mending and take my hemming etc to them.

    2. So your clothes magically assemble themselves instead of by a 5 year old child in Pakisten sewing for 16 hours a day? (seriously, and beef comes from cows too, and cows have faces)

    3. Local sewing shop teaches sewing and I hear that the classes are really great! and the best part is then you’ll be able to make stuff for a long time!

    4. Great!! the entire committee will be there as my minions right?? OR It’s wonderful that you felt you could volunteer my time without talking to me first. I mean, it’s not as if I work full time, manage a household, parent my children while running a business and writing a book. (seriously this is what I told the PTA person who wanted me to volunteer because I am the woman, even though my husband is on the PTA committee as the SAHP. She went slack jawed. But really, I hate volunteering, because I manage projects for a living and am used to being in charge and getting stuff done quickly by professional who don’t whinge)

    5. I’d rather open a couturiere’s shop, charge 1000s of dollars for a garment and have you as the minion to my cruel diva.

    6. The only wedding dress that I will sew is mine and my daughter’s. I did not see you crying in the hospital bassinet 6 years ago

  51. says

    I am a quilter – not just piecing, but longarm quilting – as a business! When my son got married a few years back, the mother of the bride (now a good friend, but I can’t share this with her!) came to me with a full length jersey dress and said, “This is too long. Please hem this for me!” Keep in mind that I was away from home (and my sewing supplies) and it was THE DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING! I don’t hem ANYTHING (ask my husband), so we finally gathered the jersey along the side seams to bring the bottom up enough to clear the floor. Sheesh…..

  52. says

    This is all very familiar to musicians. My favorite response from a bride upon hearing my rates – “$200?!?! How hard can it BE to play the harp?”

    • Deanna McCool says

      I had to check to see that you weren’t my daughter’s flute instructor, lol. She’s also a harpist and says she doesn’t even like to tell people she plays the harp! Everyone comes out of the woodwork asking her to play for their weddings. Because, you know, harps are so easy to play and sooooo inexpensive, right? And also so portable and easy to pack in the car and bring to the church. 😉

  53. says

    To add onto #3, I get annoyed when people try to guilt me into working for free. I’ve learned that it’s better to pay properly for a friend’s services because of the trust you two have built with each other. That friend will (or should) take more time than a stranger would to ensure that your item comes out correctly. On the rare occasion that I make a quilt for free, it’s for a good reason and for someone I deeply care about. Usually the person has no idea that I’m making them a quilt until I’m presenting it to them.

  54. Gretchen m. says

    Love these, heard them all! I was once asked to make 8 Vera Wang bias cut silk crepe de chine double layer brides maids gowns for a girl I went to high school with (and didn’t like!). She had been to New York and found them for $600 each. I told her it would be more like $800 as they would each be custom made. Oh yeah, and cuz did I mention, I didn’t like her!

  55. Lisa says

    Hemming pants. ALL THE TIME!!! Yes, I sew. Yes, I can hem pants. Do I want to? NO! I want to spent my very limited sewing time doing something I enjoy.

  56. Kelly says

    I haven’t heard them all, but I get the “you should sell your stuff” and “can you make me…” all the time. There is only one person I do any sort of sewing for when asked, and it’s in trade for getting my hair colored for free. Fortunately, it’s mostly hemming (up or down) and the occasional “upcycle” for her kids (she has 5). But other than that, crafting is my hobby. I do it on my own schedule and according to my own whims.

  57. says

    I do some alterations part time, and also make things to help supplement my income. I unfortunately did let myself get drafted to make not one, but two! bridesmaid dresses for a December wedding. I don’t sew dresses that often. Needless to say I spent every weekend working on those dresses, and they really did come out beautifully. BUT. The price I ended up receiving didn’t even cover the time from the first weekend I spent sewing. Live and learn. Lol. I won’t be making that mistake again! Great post, thanks for sharing!
    Angela recently posted…WorthinessMy Profile

  58. Rebecca says

    I sew but I knit more. I had knit a hat and gave it to a co-worker for her daughter. She did not ask for it I just thought she might like it. I was right, she loved it. Well, my co-worker’s friend saw the hat, fell in love with it and my co-worker gave it to her saying that I would just make another one for her daughter. I told her I did not have time to make another one as I had other projects in my queue.

  59. Marg says

    True! I’ve had a few friends ask to buy quilts from me… But then backtrack when I quote them $300-$500. But I do exchange hemming pants for gourmet dinners- I would much rather sew than cook!

  60. Marg in canada says

    True! People think twice about asking you for a quilt when you quote them $500!
    But I do trade hemming pants for gourmet dinners… I would much rather sew than cook! Lol my friends with great kitchen skills have pants that fit well :-)

  61. Heidi says

    I am a mid 19th century living historian who puts enormous hours of research into every garment I create. Lately, I just made a full, deep mourning outfit from a rare find fabric. The outfit required me to research and add two new undergarments, a dress, a pair of gloves, a bonnet and a long veil made of another rare find fabric, to my already existing stock of undergarments (Corset, chemise, drawers, petticoats, cage crinoline).

    I’ve had a few people with stars in their eyes ask me what it cost to make the dress. I always explain that what I paid for the dress is not what I would EXPECT to pay for the dress. Then I explain that materials alone cost me $300, not including the parts I already had but that if I were to have it made for me, I’d expect no less than $1000 for all the time, years of research and details put into it. If I had to start from the nothing, I would expect to pay about $1800 for the complete ensemble. The stars in their eyes are generally gone by then and replaced with respect and awe. And possibly a bit of “You must be insane!” Which, come to think of it, might be true. :)

  62. Amy says

    I can so relate to this list, and most of the comments!!! I make costumes for local theaters and theater groups. I usually “barter” my time and talent with them waiving the fees associated with my kids attending their classes and doing the productions. Well worth it, in my eyes, with three kids that enjoy acting! But the worst I had was a director call me (my kids were NOT in the show he was doing) and ask if I could make eight (yes, 8) matching women’s suits for $100 if he supplied the fabric. I asked him if he would be willing to work a 40 hour week for $100. His reply? “oh, I didn’t realize it took that long to sew a suit”…. smh….. oh, and did I mention his call came 8 days before he needed the suits??? ugh. But of all the responses I’ve read posted here, I have to say, I LOVE the one about “only making stuff for people I’m sleeping with or gave birth to, and you’re not my type”!!! May have to use that one!! 😀

  63. sarah says

    Hallelujah! I’m not the only one! I’m a fulk time seamstress for the Lyric opera and when people find out, I get a twitch in my eye. While I’m always grateful for business in my off season, people always have the biggest requests during the season when I’m workin 60+ hours already.
    They honestly dont understand how long it takes. My husband’s cousin asked me to reconstruct this wedding dress. While I was happy to do it, my father-IN-law kept hounding my husband months before the wedding. My poor husband! No worries to be had by anyone because she had it 2 weeks before the wedding and looked gorgeous, if I do say so myself.
    Love this article!

  64. rebecca says

    My parents bought me my first sewing machine for my birthday this year. Within an hour I had been given 3 projects by family members (important note: I had never sewn before). I tried to keep up with the requests but never having the time to sew something *I wanted*, I quickly lost interest and haven’t touched my machine for months. Your post has made me light bulb that I’m not actually obligated to fulfil requests (no, that had not previously occurred to me) and I’m actually inspired to start sewing again. Thanks! :)

    • says

      Oh, no. That’s kinda like what happened when I started college for computer science. All my family members suddenly wanted me to do all their IT stuff. My own father wanted me to make a database program for his company, when I was just starting to learn C. I kept asking him why they didn’t just buy a copy of MS Access, which would do everything he needed. ;_;

  65. KAtrina says

    About every 5 years I have to relearn that I don’t do private projects for people because I will not get paid. Literally, they walk away saying “Wow, thanks, you did a great job, I will pay you next week.” without giving me the cash, ever. My karmic bag has been filled by this SO many times in my life.
    Normally I tell people that “You can’t afford me.” And that is true. I also say, “No I will not sew your button on, but I WILL teach you how to sew your button on. ” Either way, if they take me up on the offer or not, they never ask again.
    I sew on military patches for free. I never felt the call to serve my country in any other way. If it is a friend and the job takes less than 20 minutes, it’s free. If it is not my friend, I usually don’t have the time. I also used to make most of my gifts. I have found that not all people appreciate handmade gifts and so, in order not to commit murder over my feelings being hurt by an idiot who tosses my hours of work aside like it’s a piece of crap, I only make handmade gifts for people who request them.

  66. Anna says

    Once at school a friend of mine asked me to make her a stuffie for $10 and for it being a medium sided stuffie i think that was a good price. I make it for her and then next thing i know ive got like four other people coming up to me and asking if i can make them something, i didnt even know two of them! apparently my friend had gone around and “advertised” for me. i had to tell them off and when i brought it up with my friend she got super offended and called me ungrateful! the nerve of some people.

  67. Wendy says

    I can only be on the computer, IPhone for a very short time. I am new to sewing, & trying to teach myself when I can. I made a winter skirt (since pants is a no-no), & got a lot of complaments from it. I enjoyed it so much, I am hoping it will develop. My husband has health issues, & I need to take care of him, besides being the financial provider. Thank you so much for posting questions, & comments. It’s what I needed.

  68. Doris Schroeder says

    I am a sewer of over 20+ years. I went back to school and got my University Diploma in Fashion Design. Love these 6 points because it is so true. Why shouldn’t we as sewers get at least $25 per hour like everyone else. When we sew for other people it is not just sewing. It is practically (couture) work. First there is the consult, then the sketch of the outfit, possibly two fittings (the first being a muslin, the second after adjustments have been made) then the cutting layout, the cutting, the stitching, the ironing … this list goes on and on. So for all those out there that still think $25/hour is unreasonable for a custom piece, I say go and shop at a discount store because as home sewers (some of who have spent thousands at school to perfect our crafts) we are not overseas sweat shops that produce hundreds of items for pennies. As stated in the 6 questions above, would you work for sometimes under $5 per hour? I don’t think so. OK so I’ll stop ranting now. Thanks for listening and happy sewing.

  69. says

    I get this one alll the time whenever someone asks me to alter an item for them. “It shouldn’t be too much work. It just needs to be taken in a very small amount. or It just needs to be hemmed a little bit”. BUT the one that drives me insane is altering prom dresses or brides-maid dresses. Those that sew know and those that don’t sew don’t know. Really, the cost of the dress has no reflection on the cost of the alterations, does it? I was asked to make alterations for a wedding party months ahead of time and only one girl came to me because she was a customer of mine and liked my work. Her dress needed several things and I charge by piece work. When the bride’s mother heard what I charge this girl for my work, she called and told me I was way too high because the dresses were on sale and didn’t cost very much!!

    • Deanna McCool says

      Wow, so true! well – at least the dress was inexpensive so the total cost with alterations wasn’t as much as it could have been, right?

    • says

      I’ve once had someone criticize me on a public forum for charging $75 for a blouse or $150 for a “simple” cloak. While I can create these in the space of a day, it’s still 5-10 hours of my time that’s being used. Why should I get paid less than I get at my 9-5, when I’m doing something that’s far more labor-intensive?

  70. Marcia says

    Heres the worst thing i had to deal with, i have a long arm business and occasionally make memory quilts for people, i have had to cut back on that a bit because i have a full time job, but when i wasn’t working i made the mistake of under pricing my work to a friend who is actually in the sewing business- yeah she didn’t pay me for a long time she was going to bring me the fabrics took months i had more stuff come in that took priority and then she started pestering me when i was going to finish etc etc – never again i charge 15 bucks an hour for labor, expect half up front and basically have a contract for full payment on receipt- no money no quilt…..

  71. gRANNIE b says

    So true, all of you. Whether it’s sewing, or refinishing furniture or baking, I’ve finally learned to smile and say, “You couldn’t afford what I would have to charge”. The worst freebie job was from someone at church, who brought very old roman shades from the nursery, sun faded, broken cords, splits in the fabric. “We’re passing these out, all you have to do is sew new fabric over the old, be easier than making new. We’re going to get cheap cotton from WalMart, we need you to figure out how much we need and do one or 2 yourself?” (there were 8! ) I was shocked, and said I absolutely could not in good conscience sew new over that old stuff, and in my opinion it would look like CRAP. And I referenced the scripture about not putting new wine in old wine skins or a new patch on an unshrunk coat. (Matthew 9:17, I had to look it up) Upshot was that I made 8 new shades from scratch with my lining, cord and time, and it took a long time, and yes they asked often when it would be done. There was shock when I asked for a voucher of a $500 donation for a tax deduction, they weren’t sure could do that, but finally did. A few months later? “here’s some fabric I fell in love with, make curtains for another room and line them with something to make the room dark enough, they like to use videos, this was all they had, I know you can make it work. Just make a casing at the top, on shades this time. ” It was not long enough, I had to find a solid to match the wild print and make it look decent. And find charcoal fabric heavy enough to line and make them ‘room darkening’. And devise and make tie backs so it wouldn’t be dark all the time…….and no rods on the window, go back home, get a drill, some old rods and screws, and do it myself. Yeah, not just because of that , but I’m not a part of that church anymore.

      • gRANNIE b says

        I think I have “PATSY” branded on my forehead. Another woman, plenty of money, handed me SEEDS for pumpkins and gourds. We lived on a farm, “Here, you plant these and you can have half of them when they are ripe, and maybe you can give away or sell the rest. (Our kids were grown) Hers were still small. Never offered to hoe, or pull a weed. And you know what happened? The squash beetles ate all of the vines with her name on them. lol

  72. Sharon Ball says

    Wow! People who understand! I have had all of the things on the list happen to me and have called an end to it. My natural tendency to be helpful and do the kind thing is finished. I don’t even want fair pay for my work. I just want to work on my projects.Thanks for the comments.

  73. says

    I fiend myself always being in the defence of expalining why a quality handmade product costs so much. In my country, in this case, and in many cases, people always refer to the price they pay for a shop bought childs dress, which is always cheaper. Either they don’t want to spend that much money, or they are not able to appreciate the time and effort I spend in creating this very special and unique garment.( always a smocked dress or garment) I am so happy however, that I do have clients who do appreciate my work( and pay for this accordingly )
    But I have learned so much during the years, that all you have written is so true and that now I understand the full meaning of it. But most importantly, I have learned to act accordingly! Thank you!

  74. Lady E says

    Wow! I have been sewing for about 5 years. I make products to sell for money. I am not a seamtress or alterations person or a tailor. I really thought it was just me that gets these comments from people (mostly family and friends who think I just sit around and play with my sewing machine all day). I am always asked if I can make something “custom” for someone or fix a tattered and torn item that would be better served by tossing it out. I don’t know how to say “no” most of the time. I get the feeling they think I am lazy if I say I just don’t have time, because hey I’m just hanging out in my sewing room 12 hours a day, right? When I do get up the courage to give a reasonable price, I get a shocked look like why would I charge anything. They are my friends, so why would I not do it for free. I’m so glad I’m not alone. This article and all the comments have strengthened my resolve to simply say “No, I only work on the products I sell.”

  75. Doreen says

    Someone asked me if I would make them an optical illusion quilt. She said she would give me $20 for the material and $20 to make it I am sorry, I just laughed at her.

  76. Paula says

    When people find out that I can sew, I usually get asked to replace a zipper. I just tell them that I would rather make a complete new pair of pants than replace a zipper, and the dry cleaners down the street does alterations.

    I also had a co-worker ask me to take up her sheets. She said her sheets didn’t fit tight enough on her bed. I was so shocked that I told her I would, but I couldn’t guarantee how long it would take me.

  77. Marilyn says

    I just discovered this site so I am new here but yes ! I started sewing when I was 8 yrs old , that was a few decades ago and yes I have heard all of the requests on here LOL.
    I learned long ago to just say no ! I have sewed for a living , my own designs and business , people will come up with the most amazing things that they want done for free and in a day max , makes me wonder what on earth they are thinking.
    My sister in law received from me a hand crocheted afghan double strand as a wedding gift . She loved it , in fact loved it so much that a yr later she volunteered me to make one for her sister hmmmm, However when I told her how much it cost to make it plus my charge for my time , guess what ?? Uh ha,, ya ,,,you got it .
    Good thing they moved to another state though I do miss my brother LOL.

  78. says

    #2. Comes with the idea that no-one makes stuff anymore because of mechanisation. Then trying to explain to them that there is no such thing as a t-shirt machine. (Blank look.) No, really, someone did sew everything you wear. Probably heaps of people actually. (More blank looks).

    I always wonder what I don’t know that I don’t know when I’ve had a conversation with someone who believes the human race has somehow transcended actually making things.
    Zoe recently posted…Drafting the Purple Mushroom DressMy Profile


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge