Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why I don't sew for profit....

As a sewist/quilter I often get asked to do "commission" work.  And until recently I always felt guilty and so I'd either agree (and be pissy the whole time) or I'd make up an excuse as to why.

That's changed.

And now, after some soul searching (and reading an amazing blog by my buddy SewFearless) I now can put a definitive reason as to why.

I want to sew on my terms.  I sew because it makes me happy.  I sew because I want to sew.  I sew because it's my creative outlet.  I sew because I love to sew.  I sew to release stress.  I sew because I can't stand most TV and have to have something to do. I sew because I see something I want, but I want to make it my way.  I sew for fun.  I sew because frankly, I'm good at it.  I sew pretty things because they are pretty and I like them and I want to look at the fabric/pet the fabric/admire the fabric.  I sew because I need a really good reason to hoard as much fabric as I hoard (and trust me, it's epic.  Seriously.  I have a problem.)

I do not sew as a job.  I teach sewing as a job, but that's different.

Sewing is my hobby.

As soon as I agree to sew for profit it's not a hobby anymore.  It's a job.  I don't want another job, and I never ever want STRESS put on my hobby (which is a fantasy because anytime  I procrastinate on a present I put stress on myself, but that's different)  and I don't want to have to follow someone else's creative vision. I want to follow my own crazy creative vision :) is where I interject.  I LOVE and ADMIRE people who make sewing their job.  I benefit highly from them.  I do not look down on them in any way. I love, recognize, acknowledge, admire
that people in my creative world are able to profit and have created amazing things by turning their hobby into a job.  That is AMAZING and WONDERFUL.  It's just not for me.  :)

And I like it that way.

So next time someone asks me to commission, I'll smile and say "No thanks.  Its just a hobby and I don't do commissions" and then go on my way.


A quick amendment :) I have to say that I love giving quilts and handmade gifts....and I gift most of my quilts and bags.  And occasionally I sell something I've made (see my key fobs on instagram!) but that's ME sewing what I want to sew when I want to sew it and then selling it after the me that's totally different.  I'm not sewing someone's vision, I'm sewing my vision and then selling it (USUALLY to buy more fabric.....)


  1. Exceptionally well said, Kenna. It's my motto too. although I do sew for others, but its always a give away or i sell it and give the proceeds to the local food pantry. no stress, pure joy.

  2. I make for family , have made one quilt in honer of a dead friend but only charged for what fabric i bought. I like it that way I am retired and should enjoy my life. but i do love making quilt's

  3. I do sew for profit (pays the bills) but I certainly understand what you are saying and you put it so well.

  4. This is why I don't sell my handmade items - just the patterns I design. Thanks for linking!

  5. I love the way that you have stated this. I have been looking for the right way to word it for a while. I have heard so many " lectures" as to why I should do it for profit, but nobody wants to hear why I don't. Now I have the right words in the right order for the proper comeback. Now I just need them to listen.

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