Thursday, June 17, 2010

Initial Delivery

I delivered the first two of eight chair cushions to my piano teacher today and she was ecstatic.  
She said, “You missed your calling!”  I replied that I could never have made any money sewing because I couldn’t bring myself to charge a proper rate for my time.
In her case, the project required $105 in materials.  But by the time I am finished, I’m sure I will have put in around 10 hours of labor.  At the rate she charges for piano lessons, that would come to $650.  But I never let on just how much time was involved.
She said she would either give me a couple of free lessons or buy something nice for me.  I’m thinking about going for the latter just because of the element of surprise.
This is nothing new.  When I was a teenager, I made Barbie doll outfits for $1 each.  Granted it didn’t take much fabric to wrap around that curvy little plastic body, but it took hours to make a bridal dress, something everyone wanted.  I was obviously not in business to make a lot of money.
And so today I occasionally sew for friends to save them from paying a professional the going rate.  There is not much I can’t do with a sewing machine.  But I could never have made a living with one!


Blogger Terry said...

You don't know how much I identify with this! I never charge enough for my time for the sewing I do for people. Why is that?

12:31 AM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

You raise an interesting point here. I don't not pursue fixit work for people because they don't understand the value of my time.

I recently did a two-hour job for a neighbor and she paid me for the cost of materials and gave me a ten spot for my trouble. Honestly, if you feel you need to pay then pay, otherwise take my effort as a favor.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There is not much I can’t do with a sewing machine. But I could never have made a living with one!"

Maybe you still love sewing in part because you HAVEN'T ever tried to make a living with it. :-) You clearly have a great creative gift with materials and craft -- what a blessing!

It took me many years to charge my clients a fee that's sorta fair to myself. But, the eventual net result: everybody involved has even more respect for each other.


12:42 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

You are just so talented! I'm amazed with the ways you fill your days. It's impressive, you know. Completely impressive.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

But doing the work and not charging a fee probably brings you some measure of satisfaction, don't you think? It's more pleasant because it's NOT just a job. I'm just guessing.

8:11 AM  

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