This project reinforced what I already knew: I should never sew for other people - even people I love dearly. I'm just too darn selfish. A few years ago, my nephew, who is a barber and a big fan of the Oakland Raiders and the Los Angeles Lakers asked me to make a barber smock that reflected his fanaticism. I made a smock using Oakland Raiders fabric and he loved it. He wanted an LA Lakers smock, so I gave him vendor web sites, told him to order the fabric and have it shipped to me. He said he would, but of course, he never did. So his mom, my SIL stepped in (two and a half years later) and ordered LA Lakers fabric and planned to surprise him with the brand new barber smock.
One evening, when I was working on the smock, SIL happened to call. I told her I was working on the smock that very moment and I had to order additional fabric because I underestimated the amount needed. I also ordered a 26 inch purple separating zipper because Jo-Ann only had neutral colors and their longest zipper was 22 inches. At no time did I ask her to pay for the cost overruns. As a matter of fact, she wasn't even paying me to make the smock in the first place. Yet, she questioned whether it was really necessary for me to spend money on an extra yard of fabric and a separating zipper. In addition to telling me how to spend my own money, SIL gave me a deadline. She wanted the smock before "March Madness". What the professional Los Angeles Lakers had to do with the March Madness college tournament was beyond me, but I kept my mouth shut.
These trivial little demands might not have bothered most people, but they bothered me. Sewing is the only activity in my life in which I have complete autonomy. I have treasured that autonomy and I won't give it up willingly. I love the attitude expressed by Elaine, "The Selfish Seamstress". Her blog's tag line is "Because I only want to sew stuff if it's for me." I really wish I'd thought of that first because it describes me so perfectly. The Selfish Seamstress actually has sewn for other people, but has dubbed those projects "S.W.A.G." (Sewing with a Grudge) - another sentiment I totally embrace. Yes, I'm acting like a selfish control freak, but what better time and place to indulge my inner selfish control freak than when I'm alone in my sewing room?