A few years ago, I made my brother two Hawaiian-print camp shirts for his birthday. He was impressed and commented, “You should sell these.”
Like many of you, I’m sure, I have been told many times that I should open an Etsy shop. And like many of you, I’m sure, that doesn’t interest me one bit. In my case, it’s because sewing for pay makes it a chore and takes the joy out of my hobby.
But I didn’t tell him that. I was curious to know how much he thought people would pay for a shirt like the ones I had made him. He mused that they’d probably pay a good $35. So I explained to him how much the fabric and notions had cost (in this case about $15), and the fact that I had spent about six hours sewing the shirt. (At this point, he was probably sorry he had asked.) When he understood the economics a little better, he said he could see the shirts going for about $70. But before I explained everything to him, he would have thought $70 was a bit steep.
We all know that sewing isn’t an inexpensive hobby. And we’ve discussed this on the blog before. More than 12 years ago, Liesl wrote a post about sewing motivation in which she talked about why she sews despite the cost.
I sew because I enjoy it. It’s meditative and calming. As a homeschooling, work-at-home mom, sewing time can get scarce. But when I have time to retreat to the machine, I really cherish the opportunity to focus on something that is just for me for a little while.
I also appreciate being in control of fabric selection. So much of the clothes out there is made of really sub-par fabrics that shrink and fall apart and distort in the wash. I’ve become choosy about my fabric, because, if I’m going to take the time to sew something, I want it to last.
What about you? Why do you sew? Has your motivation changed over the years? Let us know in the comments.