Sunday, December 27, 2009

Selfish Seamstressing: Another Take

I recently discovered sewing blogs (I know, I am always so far behind on any trend), and one that inspired me to start my own is The Selfish Seamstress. She has actually inspired me in a lot of ways, and one of those is an entire attitude shift on "why I sew". Of course, #1 is I haven't figured out life without sewing, so that hasn't changed. Anyway, she recently wrote a "Guide to Selfish Seamstressing" and I thought I'd throw in my version.

My basic rule is only sew for others if they pay you (hey, I do have an etsy shop that has things that I sew... you can buy them) or you owe them a huge favor. Some people make casseroles or baked goods, or agree to watch small children in return for a favor ... I prefer to machine monogram towels. Of course there are always exceptions.

I think I'll start with her categories in her guide:
Costumes for Kids: I made my kids almost all their costumes, but wouldn't want to make costumes for other kids unless money is involved. But, there is almost nothing easier in that the material is usually cheap, and the workmanship can be, well, mediocre comes to mind. And look how cute! My kids still talk about the shark:

Mending and Alteration: I am 100% with her on this subject! I have clothes of my own that need hemming that were purchased more than a year ago. I'm usually not asked.

Home Dec Sewing: You couldn't pay me enough money for this one, but I'm darn good at it. The house we're currently living in had only blinds on every window, and now they all have fabulous creations made by me, saving the family buckets and buckets of money. I particularly like the valance and matching shower curtain I made for the bathroom next to Roland's office (which also has a matching valance).

 When we leave this house, I want to take them all with me, whether they fit anywhere or not.

Clothing for Men: Not going to happen. Oh, wait. I did make College Boy one of those towel wraps for the dorm shower. Even monogrammed it. Not wanting to make it easy on myself, I made it out of some kind of furry toweling stuff I bought at Joanns, that left fluff throughout the entire house. Odds that he actually uses it... slim to none.

Clothing for Women: Also not going to happen, unless it's for lots of money, or for Daughter Laura. She has a cute figure, and is fun to sew for, and she usually doesn't ask. I just do it.

Turns out I am better at selfish seamstressing than I thought I was. At least with those categories. Here's where things go bad for me.

Sewing (non-clothing) Gifts for Others: It seems like a great way to get attention and show off a skill not many that I know personally have. I like the gushing and the "I can't believe you did that". I have made stuff as gifts and not gotten the appropriate amount of fawning over (or even a proper thank you), and those people get gift cards now (ok, maybe not because I'm averse to gift cards, but you get the point). Here's my latest "gift for others" which will actually stay at my own house because that's where it will be used by my future son-in-law (and Thomas, if you read this, you gushed appropriately, and I had fun making it).

Now I just need to work on making more stuff for myself, but I have some projects lined up. Stay tuned!


  1. Ahh Elle I enjoyed reading this and I wish I could get inspired to sew...I am hopeless at it!!!!

  2. You didn't point out the University of Kentucky blue and white ornaments on my stocking! I really was surprised :)




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