so. last week, i returned the silk gown i made for wee pixie. there was some tugging involved. some promises extracted about giving it back, should pixie ever grow tired of it. my dream was that she'd admit boredom with it right there, and respectfully hand it over. really, how many times can you wear a one of a kind bias cut topstitched green silk evening gown? maybe i should've offered her money? name my firstborn after her?
yet, i'm considering taking on sewing for friends again.
am i stupid?
while the gown left me with a severe case of maker's remorse, i did recently complete another sew-body else challenge that left me walking on air, and it wasn't even a request. in a fit of spring fever, i up and offered to make my sis-in-law a dress. i envisioned something simple, something she could learn to make as i made it, out of cotton, with maybe a fitted waistband. no first-time-failure polyester-masquerading-as-silk for her, like i did! it had to end in success, so that the sewing bug would bite her swiftly and surely. she countered with ideas of what she'd really like: a cotton skirt, and two of my double agent dress (tutorial, i swear, is coming). okay! i could see that ending in smiles! and she could be the guinea pig for my tute! i pulled out the proper patterns and got her size ready, and on The Day she arrived at my doorstep with the carefully selected oona approved list of supplies.
umm, only, the two yards of four way stretch jersey and one yard of light cotton turned into three yards of Thick. Double Sided. almost Neoprene material... which she had her heart set on making into a tailored top and pencil skirt. erm, actually, a REVERSIBLE tailored top and pencil skirt.
confident the day would end in tears, i had a mini heart attack, pushed all prepared patterns to the side, and poured some coffee. and by some miracle, at the end of the day she had exactly what she wanted. she was thrilled with the results, i was thrilled that i could do it (it is SO much easier to pin on a warm body that isn't your own), and because she saw and helped with the whole process, she really understood how much work went into it. and she wore it out the very next day! i was giddy, i tell you. GIDDY. it was so satisfying to sew for someone who really got it. we're doing it again very soon and i can't wait.
BUT. we all know that's not how it normally goes. someone sees something handmade on you, and chirps for one. "oh, except could you do that ruffle-y thing i saw in marie claire and i'd love pockets and hey wouldn't chiffon be cool? that wouldn't be hard right? 'kthnxbye!" so. i thought it might be a good idea to come up with some ground rules. (sis-in-law, these are not for you. you have the run of my sewing mill.)
friend requesting a garment shall heretofore be referred to as "the choosee".
1. first and foremost, if the choosee should be deemed to have Major Fit Issues, a short beginner's course in sewing a wrap skirt shall be offered instead.
2. otherwise, the choosee shall pick from patterns designated by oona, and only patterns designated by oona. no grabby hands at a one-off garment on oona's person, or pointing eagerly to something in a shop window. (unless it is a rectangular caftan maxi dress as sold by anthropologie for upwards of three hundred dollars. i'm not shitting you. four seams. true story.)
3. the choosee shall pay for all fabric, notions, and a pack of schmetz needles in the proper size and type.
3a. a bottle of alcohol would also be nice.
4. the choosee shall be given a list of said items, and shall do all shopping. oona may accompany if time and mood permits, but the choosee should be ready to go it alone.
5. the choosee must be there on The Day of sewing. this ensures three things:
- any problems with fit can be quickly solved with no guesswork,
- the choosee will therefore be someone oona actually likes; as otherwise, the choosee would not be invited to kalkatroona, and:
- anyone oona actually likes will be sure to bring a bottle of alcohol.