Posted in sewing

Remind Me in Three Years

Every few years a friend asks me to make something and I find myself saying ‘yes’. Why? Because I forget that I hate the pressure of making things for other people. It’s like childbirth. My mom says if we remembered what childbirth felt like we’d never do it again. Yet, I continue to do it over and over. Perhaps, it was the tee-shirt re-fashion back in September (and subsequent win at the polls) that made me forget.


That went so well and everyone was so happy that I thought making stuff for for other people just isn’t that bad! Besides, it felt GREAT to have everyone tell me how nice my shirt was!

This Butterick 5263 apron /smock is for a friend’s nanny (modeled today on a co-worker). It’s a surprise gift so I wasn’t able to get measurements. All I knew is that she had a 42 inch bust. High bust? Low bust? Cup size? Who knows!

The apron goes up to an L which is for a 38 – 40 inch bust. I made an executive decision and decided to make it bigger. Why? Because I lie about my size all the time and I assumed the measurements I received were based on bra strap. Not across the full bust.

Guys. I sewed this apron from start to finish last night after work in about three hours. Why? Because I procastinated the hell out of it. She asked me MONTHS ago. And, I literally waited until she was texting, emailing and Facebooking me asking when it would be done.

And you know what? I still found myself at Joann Fabrics, on a Wednesday night,10 minutes before closing, buying more binding because I ran out mid way through. I may hate Joann Fabrics, but last night I wanted to kiss the dirty glass doors I was so happy they were there.

So, I finished this apron at 11 p.m. the night before it was due. Oh, and you know I had to cut the back out twice because I cut the directional print the wrong way, right? And, of *course* I had to take the binding off the neck and pockets and re-sew it because it was horribly wavy the first time, right?

And before you ask, no. I didn’t charge her anything. Because after supplies we were up to $36 and I know asking for another $25 would have a) made me feel way more obligated b) would have covered less than one hour of what my time is worth. So, I didn’t bother. Besides, she’s happy. Hopefully the nanny will be happy and I’ve reminded myself that I don’t like to sew for other people.

13 thoughts on “Remind Me in Three Years

  1. How right you are! I recently was asked by a niece to take up her beautiful silk chiffon bridesmaid dress because the previous person had done such a bad job, the lining was a satin backed fabric.

    The dress went up under the bust, down a little at the sides and way down at the back. I tried to get the correct hem length whilst garment was on my niece, then off she went and I very slowly and carefully sewed the hems, she collected the dress and I thought I had done a great job.

    Well!, unbelievably when the finished dress was on my niece the lining was a good centimetre longer than the dress. How did that happen?!! They are the same length when you measure them! So a very rush job with the garment on my niece, all I could do in such a short time before her big event was turn the lining back on itself! All my plans to do a perfect job went out the window!

    By the way, I really enjoy your blogs. You have inspired me to once again sew for myself, having given up long ago. For the last few years I have only sewed baby clothes and items for grandchildren.

  2. As a rule I don’t sew for others. But a work colleague recently asked me if I would sew up a few bandanas for her. Stupidly I agreed. She hasn’t given me the material yet. The apron is really nice and I’m sure your friend will be pleased with it.

  3. Yeah, the pressure totally sucks! I don’t like to sew upon request and I usually wiggle out of it somehow. When I do sew for others, it is often a surprise for them. Even for my DD, I hate to sew on demand. She asked me to sew her a Halloween dress and I told her to order it from Target!

    But you know what? That T-shirt re-fashion really DID LOOK GOOD!

  4. While it’s flattering to be asked to sew for other people, it is a definite NO! The pressure alone to meet other peoples deadlines is unbearable enough. The fact that when people want something made they usually aren’t buying fabric and/or patterns on sale, don’t have stash notions and are not available to be fit at 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday, and listening to complaints that this is costing so much they should have just bought a (custom fit, custom fabric and color) dress at the store for less, NOT! just make this an absolute NO! (I say this after once making 5 dresses for my sisters, sister-in-laws for a family party) but it is nice to be asked.

  5. I think you need to make another one for your co-worker/model. She looks HAPPY to be wearing it!
    Kidding aside, making anything for another person really bites unless they have some inkling as to the work involved. You did a nice job.

  6. The thing I don’t like about sewing for others is that I feel like I have to do everything PERFECTLY. Things that I make mistakes on that don’t bother me I spend too much time and get too stressed out doing it for others. It was nice of you, and I bet she will love it.

  7. I have the same sentiments! I love sewing for myself and every time I share with my BF, she immediately reminds me that I need to make something for her also. That is so not gonna happen…I know her too well and even if she told me she loved it, she would find some fault with it. My DD on the other hand is not so much an issue. She has never asked me for anything and gladly takes whatever I send her way merrily and content. It also helps that we have almost the exact measurements. The perfection effect is still always present though and still adds a bit more stress.

  8. Hah! I’m happy to report that just a few days ago, I politely turned down a request to make a Halloween costume! And for at least a decade now, I’ve managed to refuse to fix or alter other people’s stupid purchases of clothes with broken zippers or too-long sleeves just because “it was only $5.” But I AM a great deal older than you…so take heart – you WILL be able to refuse…eventually 😉 Oh, and the apron DID turn out very cute and if I was still making stuff on demand for people, I wouldn’t have charged more either, LOL…

  9. You did a great favor for a friend. Bask in the virtuous glow! Use it to steel yourself to say, “No, but thank you for asking” the next time someone sidles up to you with a non-you sewing project. I sewed for others when it was a matter of putting food on my child’s plate, but I didn’t like it. I don’t do it anymore unless I just feel like it. Which is seldom.

  10. Yeah. Every so often I say yes, too. Lucky for me I’ve figured out who are the truly appreciative people in my life (and more important, who are not!)

  11. Very cute apron – I’m sure she’ll love it !

    I practice my ‘no’ completely unsuccessfully – there’s a project in my sewing room for my DSIL. I’ve had it since the beginning of the summer and at the time she said she probably wouldn’t want it before Fall. Nope, haven’t started it. I’ve got a very strong procrastination gene.

    We’re going to spend tomorrow at the Fabric FleaMarket in Ottawa (hopefully I’ll get to say Hi to Kay !) and DH is about to ask DSIL to spend the day with us 🙁 I have no problem spending the time with her but I KNOW she’s going to ask about her jacket and I’m gonna have to do it. Blech. Goodness know what I’ll say if she sees any fabric she likes and takes it into her head that she can buy for ME to make up for her – and yes, that is definitely a possibility. Maybe I’ll stay home LOL.

  12. It’s a cute apron, and I’m sure the nanny will love it. But the sense of obligation is why I never agree to sew for others, although I’ve been making some dresses and sending them out of the blue to a short, skinny relative halfway across the country. I’ve sent 3 in 2 months, and her gratitude has made me happy. But if she asks for another, I’ll be tied up for the next year and have to refuse.

  13. I totally know how you feel, I have three of my husband’s pants that are waiting to be hemmed…

    But you really did a great job on both!

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