Why I don't sew for money

I love to sew and make quilts, adore it. My job was and part time still is teaching Spanish and French. Sewing is an awesome hobby, it is definitely not how I earn money and I plan to keep it that way.  I sew for people I love or when I feel like it and then I give it away.  Let explain why I don't sew for money.

  1. Bad initial experience - I sewed for money one year when I couldn't find a summer job.  It was awful.  My Jr. High Social Studies teacher wanted me to design, purchase the fabric and sew a dress for her which was "cool, just touches my shoulders, is bright and has no zippers, buttons or other fasteners."  So I tried to follow these vague directions and she kept having me remake the elusive perfect garment.  I finally collected the money I had spent on fabric, gave her the not quite right dress and called it a day.  Best lesson I ever learned from a teacher.
  2. Customer service - I don't want to know if you have decided you no longer like what I made, if something frayed, came apart or you just have buyer's remorse.
  3. Deadlines - I sew on my schedule which basically has no stress.  If I don't get a baby quilt done by the birth, oh well, I deliver it later.  Missed my daughter's wedding quilt date by years, sorry!  No one can complain that you are not making their present fast enough.moneyre
  4. Boredom - Maybe I don't want to make 45 of the same baby quilt.  Maybe I am onto table runners now.  I have made party favors and I get bored halfway through the project. Repetition is not my sewing favorite.
  5. Creativity - I want to take chances, learn new things and try new combinations.  If I was fulfilling customer orders, I would have to make what they want.
  6. Quality - I buy really expensive all cotton fabrics from terrific sources.  I use Italian thread.  I have really expensive sewing machines.  I lose lots of money on my hobby.  If I was trying to make a profit, I would be cutting corners, buying what was cheapest and making what I could produce quickly.  That's not as much fun for me.
  7. Valuing my time and sewing - It costs a lot to produce a great product.  People have no idea, sewing is not cheaper, you just can get exactly what you want.  Everyone wants a bargain, no one would pay for the raw materials I use let alone my time.
  8. I take compliments with a grain of salt - People always say, oh you should sell these!  I think they mean, that's nice.  I no longer listen to their words but try to hear the praise instead
  9. Business details -I love sewing, not packing, billing, shipping and marketing.
  10. Luck, Lack of need - I taught for 35 years, I get a pension.  I teach part time, I get little paychecks.  My husband works and so far, his bosses pay him.  Should the State of Illinois take away my pension, I might be writing a new post entitled "Shop at my Etsy Site"  but until then we have enough money for fabric and food. Well, fabric anyway.

I consider myself very fortunate that I get to keep my hobby, my hobby.  For the many of you who have made the opposite decision, I say hooray, good choice.  We all can make the decision that works in our life.  I hope you make lots of money!

Either way, for money or for a hobby, sew happy!

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, biking and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, I prefer not to share that. You can email me at QuiltingSewingCreating@gmail.com

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