Maintaining Boundaries – I’m Still A Selfish Sewer


What I’m Wearing:
Cardigan: Trunk Club // Tee: Tipstiched // DIY Pant: Simplicity 8558 // Pants Fabric: APC Fabrics (also here)

About 3 years ago (gosh, that long!) I did a video on “It’s Okay To Be A Selfish Sewer”. Let me just say that I still concur with those thoughts. I haven’t sewn a stitch for anyone other than my family when my daughter crushed my mommy and me dreams to bits in 10 seconds. That’s it.

As I’ve been making my sewing more purposeful, and really making pieces I love, I’ve found that I’m wearing them out more and more often.

With that comes compliments (which are always appreciated) and then followed by requests in the next breath. I take all of that as the highest compliment.

But, I still say no.

First, I barely have enough hours in the day to accomplish the things for my family, myself, and my business. There’s usually something left undone.

I began to outline more reasons for sticking to my “no” and then deleted it.


Because I (and you) owe no one anything beyond a “no, thank you.”

It’s taken practice, but I don’t feel that pinch of discomfort or internally gag when I am looking for the words to reject a flattering offer for sewing for someone else.

Let me pause here and say that I really don’t like this narrative of “No” is a complete sentence. Call me old-fashioned, but it’s a bit rude. As I explained in the video, my mindset is never that someone is trying to take advantage of me, get work done cheaply, or anything bad.

My mindset is that it is an honor that someone has enough faith in me to create something beautiful for them. It doesn’t mean I have to oblige, but my mindset is always in a space of gratitude.

With that being said, I don’t just simply say “No”. I qualify it with a “thank you for thinking of me” or the like.

Maintaining those boundaries are super important for me. I’m almost 40 and I’m tired. LOL I’m an introvert. I cannot give without limits. And I have to make sure that I’m good so that I can be there for my family, business, and close friends.

It’s easy to smile when you know that you have the strength to maintain boundaries. How do you maintain your boundaries when asked to do something you don’t want to do?

Photo cred: Marrica Evans

6 replies on “Maintaining Boundaries – I’m Still A Selfish Sewer”

  • My rule is, I only sew for immediate family (that includes church family, aka, immediate spiritual family – think Christmas program costumes).

    I also don’t do formals or wedding for ANYONE. I broke that rule once, and still regret it.

    Too many people are overly demanding, and don’t appreciate ithe item when it’s done. So I applaud you for keeping your boundaries firm!

  • I love this piece! I agree!I find that naturally I love to teach and draft more than anything. I have an EXTREMELY creative mind and I don’t like to be stuck in one place while I could be designing.I find that sewing very detailed thing’s, although it comes out beautiful…it overwhelms me. I have two children and a husband. I have a household as well as my health to maintain in the midst of working. I would rather sew on my own terms if sewing for anyone.

  • You are raising an independent thinker! I need to get better at posting my makes. Yes, the compliments are greatly appreciated, but that follow up question of “Will you make me?” Ehen you tell them you only sew for yourself. They don’t take a polite no and follow with, “I’ll pay you!!” used to cause anxiety for me. I learned to say, one of two things, “I have an extra sewing machine. It’ll be fun as I’m happy to show you how you can make your own.” or “I have an extra sewing machine and would love a sewing buddy!” It’s normally crickets after that.

  • My response is chile if you can fit in it, you can have it, but I’m not making you one. They already know the answer when they ask but I think there is a small glimmer of hope that I will say yes. I end it with if you want a bag I’m your girl!

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