There’s no money in this for me

A sad, but true thought came to me today. I will NEVER make money sewing for other people. Because I cannot meet a deadline. You see, my friend Jon asked me if I would make a dress for his wife for her birthday. In 2008. Maybe even summer of 2008. He even offered to pay me my asking price. And yet, I did not sew it. They were going to Belize in January. A good a time as any to make up Simplicity 3503 for her. Nothing. But, the weather broke and my daffodils bloomed.


I was feeling motivated.

Finally, this week I told myself to at least cut it out. I even did a single layer layout so I’d have enough fabric for a top for me. And tonight, I bailed on bookclub (never did get a copy of the Love Languages) and just sewed. Couple hours later I was done. This maxi dress is pretty much the same as I made it before.


The finishing is a little cleaner in terms of I knew how it was going to go together.


The knit was from online and is a poly blend. The wife is Indian and we’re near the same complexion. So, I hope the yellow pops the same way. If I were making this for myself again, I would add a lining. It’s pretty thin and should be worn with a slip. Unless you are a hussy like me and don’t bother. I’m a little sad letting this go because I think it’s really cute. I think I still see another one for me in my future.


So, the short list: one more dress that I was asked to make. The Weekender bag I’ve been ignoring. And maybe a new dress for the high school reunion I can’t decide if I’m going to.


  1. You wouldn’t want to depend on sewing for money anyway, then you’d start to hate what you love so much. Oh wait, maybe that’s just me.

  2. Can’t wait to see the haircut. After the lead-up, “it went fine” is a bit of a tenuous kind of a review, don’t you think?
    Love the dress – you make me nostalgic for the days of the maxi-dress.

    • LOL. Sorry! It went really well. She charged half what I was expecting to pay. Let me keep the length, took thickness out of the back.

      It’s much shinier looking and easier to twist at night. I am VERY happy and will definitely see her again in four to six months.

      Overall it’s a subtle shaping and just what I wanted.

      I don’t have close ups because it makes it obvious that my color has grown out by three inches (sheepish).

  3. I have this pattern and LOVE this kind of dress – never would have thought of that kind of print though. I need one!

  4. Beautiful dress. It would be hard to let it go. Maybe you should just wear it once, just to make sure it wears well!

  5. You should keep the dress – it looks amazing on you. I love the maxi dress look and you carry it off so well. Being a shorty, I don’t think I would wear the look with such panache.

  6. People always try to tell me how much money I could make sewing for others. I just laugh. Sometimes politely, sometimes not!

  7. I think that sewing as a profession is difficult and physically rough. My sewing professor had a fabric store (how beautiful it was, how sad I am it is closed), a sewing school and 3 seamstress working for her. Elisabeth was drawing the patterns or correcting the retail ones and the 3 women were sewing the garments. I remember having long conversation on how picky people are when it come to made to fit clothes. They buy RTW clothes that are off grain, not nicely finished, which do not really fit, with very ordinary fabric, they pay a fortune for that and they are happy ! Take the same people bring them to a seamstress (couturiere in French) Dr Jikell and Mr Hide… they are not the same, fabric is never the right colour or texture, the fit is never good enough and they wish it would be half the price like clothes made in China by women who are fully exploited. Oh I sound negative I know. It simply what I have seen on Saturday mornings when I use to give her a had at the store in exchange of fabric. If you sew for other, sew only for people who can appreciate the quality of your confections. PS. If this is your new cut… woaw !!! very urban chic and choc. You are so pretty.

  8. Love the dress – It looks great! I wish I had one too 🙂
    I don’t sew for money either. I did once and resolved never again.
    I’d be tempted to keep that dress – you are a better person than I

  9. That dress is very cute and the color looks great on you. Glad you like your new do, there’s nothing like healthy hair.

  10. Great dress! The print and color are wonderful, and I love the style. I’ve seen quite a few of those maxi dresses around — I remember my mom wearing them when I was a kid, so it is fun to see them come back.

  11. Cidell,

    Love your dress. I am making the same one up right now based on how great your past reviews on this pattern were. I have a question for you though, what did you use for the built in bra cups? I bought some flimsy ones at Joannes, but my girls seem to need a little more help. Any advice would be appreciated.

    I think this style will be hot well thru this summer as I see a lot of them in high end department stores.


  12. Doing it for money is the fastest way to convert a labour of love into labour.

  13. Dress looks lovely on you. I love the fabric and the color. I guess you’ll just have to make another one for your self. I hate to sew for other people, since like you I can’t ever seem to get it done either. Your hair looks great.

  14. Vivienne is so right. I do not sew for other people there just isn’t enough money in the world to take what I do for myself and give it to people who can’t and don’t appreciate the effort. That dress is beautiful on you, I don’t know how you’re going to part with it. BTW did you clean up your sewing room? I’m still having nightmares.

  15. I love that fabric. I wouldn’t want to let it go either! I wish I was brave enough to try a maxi dress. I have several patterns, some vintage and about three fabrics that are just cyring out to be a maxi dress. Maybe when I finish my SWAP …

  16. You would be surprised what you can do – even meeting a deadline. My mentor always told me to keep an eye on the clock (she knew that I had a problem about letting go). It’s still hard, but my specialty is wedding gowns, so I sorta hafta get those done on time.

    I hate deadlines, but the truth is I would never get anything done otherwise.

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