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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Business details -I love sewing, not packing, billing, shipping and marketing.
- 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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