A Few Excerpts of a Disgruntled Seamstress:
Today I think I came off as rude to a Mama who was complimenting Sophie’s costume from last year – she wore it to preschool today. “You should sell these!” she said, after fondling my girl’s dress and pinafore. “Oh… thank you. I just keep them around year after year for my friends to borrow,” I replied. “No really, you should make a line of these clothes and sell them!”
Urf. I shudder to think how much time it would take for me to make a full line of clothes – even a limited spread of specialized costumes for children – to sell them. Not to mention that by doing that I would be stifling my artistic expression in sewing in order to make it my money-earner. Nor do I want the heartache of starting a serious business. Nor would very many want to pay for my sewing, which I charge a good hourly rate AS WELL as use fine materials. But I get the weirdest comments in regards to my craft – and I’m going to share some of the comments that irritate:
1. People who admire my work briefly then tell me they’d “like to sew, but don’t have the time.” First off, in general people who complain about being so busy bore the tits off me (who isn’t “busy”?). But would someone say this in response to a beautiful oil panting? No, because apparently painting is an art – it requires talent and you don’t know how good you’ll be until you try – while sewing on the other hand is some half-assed hobby that anyone could master if they just threw a few minutes at it every now and then. The garment you’re admiring took years of sewing for me to make it as well as it is made. Oh, fuck off. P.S. I can sew and knit but not crotchet; I can barely struggle through making something that involves pipe cleaners or glue. To each his / her own talents.
2. On the other hand, people who say “I could never do that!” Well, maybe you could. I had to slug through and work my ass off; I had to learn to love a seam-ripper. Maybe if you put the time in you’d be rewarded as well. But I’m not a Magic Elf that was born with the ability.
3. Acquaintances who, if I mention wanting a new tablecloth or whatever, say “Oh you could sew that for cheaper!” Holy shit. Yes, I suppose I could sew every cloth item in my goddamn home! (which would include diapers, covers, and wipes; tablecloths and napkins, because we don’t use paper products short of TP). Secondly, it WOULDN’T be much cheaper, unless my time counts for nothing (time I use to clean, to read, to write, to wipe my kid’s ass, to hang with girlfriends, to make out with my husband) and I buy bottom-rate fabrics and employ shoddy construction methods – like most things you find at Target, Pier One, etc.
4. People who actually roll their eyes like I’m weird for tailoring my t-shirt or making my pants. WTF? Are they jealous? Do they think I’m some weirdo for not doing the easy thing and buying it? I love sewing. I would do it all day long if I didn’t have bills to pay and people in my life who would strenuously object to being ignored all day.
5. People who ask me to sew something, then when they find out how much it costs, act shocked or offended. Now, I am not disgruntled about this because I know why it happens. And for those would-be customers there are plenty of sweatshops that can afford them their fiber-arts for scandalously low prices at the expense of many wee Chinese pre-teens. Fun!
I have a list of very NICE things about sewing and my admirers, but I’ll just put the bitchy stuff out there for now.