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Thread: If/When someone asks "Can/Will you fix this ....."

  1. #26
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    I usually laugh and tell them as soon as I finish the mending in my own basket which dates back to 1999, I will get right on theirs.

  2. #27
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    Iclang took my answer. The answer works too - I use it often. I have never been a clothes sewer.

  3. #28
    Super Member kydeb's Avatar
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    I generally refuse to do any outside sewing - especially clothing. I just don't want to deal with clothing anymore. I have one friend at work that I did a couple of things for her as a favor which was way out of my norm. A new employee assumed that since I make quilts, I can (and will) do sewing for anyone. One day she came in and announced to me that her skirt had a hole in it and since it was her favorite, she would bring it in to me the next day so I could fix it for her. REALLY??? Luckily, I was able to get out of it quickly and gracefully by telling her she needed to go buy an iron on patch (denim skirt) and she could fix it herself. I don't quilt for others either - unless I make a quilt as a gift.
    Debbie in Kentucky
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  4. #29
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I enjoy doing it. The rural pickers often came to get their work clothes repaired. I had a couple of rules: the item had to be clean and they had to put up with whatever material I used to repair the item. They usually quite liked the combinations I came up with when reparing a sleeve or collar etc. I usually got a bag of fruit as payment. These days I am mostly shortening neighbours' jeans. Some ladies give me donations that I repair or alter and take to the charity shop. Sewing is therapy for me and this way it keeps me happy with very little expense.

  5. #30
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    I had to have my winter coat fixed twice this year. The twenty dollars total that I spent to have a seamstress do it was a small price to pay to not have to do it myself. So sometimes I even have to say no to myself!
    Good advice to remember, bear....

  6. #31
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindi View Post
    If it is clothing, I automatically say "Sorry, I don't make or repair clothing anymore. I only quilt." Because, frankly, I don't want to deal with clothing anymore!
    And have you had anything repaired at a local tailor or dry cleaners lately? HOO-EE! The prices they charge are steep. If you wanted to get extra cash, I suppose it would be okay, but just to fix something for somebody...not me. Unless it's my son or hubby.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jitkaau View Post
    I enjoy doing it. The rural pickers often came to get their work clothes repaired. I had a couple of rules: the item had to be clean and they had to put up with whatever material I used to repair the item. They usually quite liked the combinations I came up with when reparing a sleeve or collar etc. I usually got a bag of fruit as payment. These days I am mostly shortening neighbours' jeans. Some ladies give me donations that I repair or alter and take to the charity shop. Sewing is therapy for me and this way it keeps me happy with very little expense.
    Good for you! ! ! I really get a good feeling doing this type of thing for someone else. It's like a puzzle. Figure out the best way to repair it and then do the best job you know how. I don't need to be paid, but fruit sure is nice. I love making old things usable. And that's why I love the vintage sewing machine threads on this board.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  8. #33
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    I have on occasion repaired something, but told them not to expect it to look like new as that rarely happens. They either bring it over or not, don't get asked as much now, yea.

  9. #34
    Senior Member mhollifiel's Avatar
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    My friends know I don't like repairing or heming anything but once in a very great while in desperation a couple of coworker friends asked if they can pay me to hem or fix something minor emphasizing that they wanted to pay me. I did about half a dozen of these little jobs without charge. I told them each time that I did not want it to get out that I sewed for $$ and had people expecting me to take on their jobs. So to just pass it on. Both were coworkers and kept it on the QT. One was a notary and, Boy, did that little job pay for itself over and over when I needed something notarized!
    Holli
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    Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, For I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.

  10. #35
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I too have learned the hard way to stop and think about whatever they're asking for, and more and more, I say no. If I feel the need for an excuse, I just say I already have bitten off more than I can chew. I only do what I want to, I'm not looking for something else to do!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda58 View Post
    If someone asks me to make them a quilt, I just say, you can't afford me!! Or sometimes I say, it takes me 2-3 years to make a quilt sometimes, can you wait that long! They don't ask again.
    This is exactly how I handle it....or I tell them I have a sewing machine that they can use, and will teach them how to do it. That stops it in their tracks. They don't want to know how, they just want me to DO and I don't! Unless, it's a grandbaby...then all bets are off.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  12. #37
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    I have learned that the asker sometimes does not have ANY idea of what may actually be involved.

  13. #38
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    I have helped a few people out hemming jeans and sheer curtains.They have all offered to pay me for my time. I also told them that I'm not interested in doing other projects, because then it becomes a job, no fun involved, and I'm retired, and don't want a job!

  14. #39
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Someone asked if I could do clothing alterations. I said, sorry I only make quilts. I hate doing alterations.

  15. #40
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    I'm not crazy about hemming, but have to shorten all my husbands pants, which I do, mostly cheerfully, because he does so many nice things for me. I have shortened my son's shirt sleeves, but only after I had him price-out having someone else do it; I wanted him to see the value in what I can do!! I did shorten a formal gown for a friend of mine, but I made her promise not to tell others! I didn't want it get around that I would do it. lol! I have asked friends to do a few things for me, for which they would take no payment, but I have paid it forward to others for things that I wanted to do and was within my skill. All evens out in the end.

  16. #41
    Senior Member Barbshobbies's Avatar
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    We have a handy capped son that always needs his cloths adjusted. For years ( about 45 yrs) I struggled with this Then the Good Lord sent me "Dorothy" She is a seamstress, and she took the stress out of my life. There must be one in your area that you could have the phone # on hand for them.

  17. #42
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    I tell everyone I only sew for those I want to and don't know I'm making them something. So it's a surprise. I used to be a hairdresser and a few relatives would stop by my folks house with hair in curlers and expect me to do their hair for nothing. Told one relative who arrived shortly after I did, "I'm sorry you went to all that trouble. I'm off work." She wanted to know what my folks were going to do about it. I was 35 years old at the time. Once again I was the rebel of the family. Oh well! Her family still talks about it and she's been gone for 20+ years.

  18. #43
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    I don't usually repair thing for others. One of my son's friends just got a job and I am hemming 5 pairs of work pants for him. They are really easy and I don't mind helping him since he just started working again.
    A friend at my sewing group asked everyone if anyone could fix her husband's silk tie he had purchased in Hong Kong when he was on a business trip. No one volunteered but I did. It was fun like working a puzzle. It had to be done by hand. She did it as a surprise for her husband and he was thrilled to have his favorite tie back!
    I have a friend who has a "cat" quilt which is coming apart and she asked me if it could be fixed (hinting for me to repair it), I told her the material was too old and it would be a lot of work but I told her I would loan her a machine and she could work on it. I was not going to waste my time and get tangled up with that mess that cats wallow all over.

    I just am selective but rarely do any sewing for others… mostly just immediate family members...

  19. #44
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coopah View Post
    And have you had anything repaired at a local tailor or dry cleaners lately? HOO-EE! The prices they charge are steep. If you wanted to get extra cash, I suppose it would be okay, but just to fix something for somebody...not me. Unless it's my son or hubby.

    Worth every penny charged! Those who do not sew...have no clue the expense of equipment and the expertise required. Even I take my clothes to an alteration shop and I gladly pay her. I hate alterations. I won't get them done for me as fast as she will. Pony up!
    sandy
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  20. #45
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    I did repairs once to a jacket - had to replace the entire zipper in a winter jacket. Took me all day but it turned out good as new. Did as a favour to grandson as it was his favorite jacket (per his mother). Turned out she broke the zipper slamming the jacket against a brick wall to get snow off of it.
    Never seen him wear it since either so I think it went for a yard sale.
    Further repair requests came from this one woman, and I provided her with an older working machine, with owners manual (as one excuse was that she had previously had an old machine but it didn't work anymore). Offered lessons too.
    After the last request ( to downsize a quilted vest she bought on sale) - I deflected the request as it came at Christmas dinner with the entire family (she likes to put you on the spot where it's difficult to say no).
    Nothing mentioned since and I have decided I will tell her I will help her to do it on her machine.
    She must sense my resolve because it's been over 3 months and no mention of "fixing" the vest she bought on sale that's too big.

  21. #46
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GEMRM View Post
    I did repairs once to a jacket - had to replace the entire zipper in a winter jacket. Took me all day but it turned out good as new. Did as a favour to grandson as it was his favorite jacket (per his mother). Turned out she broke the zipper slamming the jacket against a brick wall to get snow off of it.
    Never seen him wear it since either so I think it went for a yard sale.
    Further repair requests came from this one woman, and I provided her with an older working machine, with owners manual (as one excuse was that she had previously had an old machine but it didn't work anymore). Offered lessons too.
    After the last request ( to downsize a quilted vest she bought on sale) - I deflected the request as it came at Christmas dinner with the entire family (she likes to put you on the spot where it's difficult to say no).
    Nothing mentioned since and I have decided I will tell her I will help her to do it on her machine.
    She must sense my resolve because it's been over 3 months and no mention of "fixing" the vest she bought on sale that's too big.
    Too funny - update - the same family were over for dinner lately, no mention of the vest from her, but he says - " I have a little sewing repair job for you" - He proceeds to describe what he wants sewn, (which does sound like a simple repair), and my reply was that his wife has a sewing machine and I can coach her through the repair, that it sounds like a good thing to learn on. His answer was " well that isn't going to happen". I'm not sure if he meant she wouldn't do it or he expected that I would do it I don't know. But I do know I am not doing it!!!!!!

  22. #47
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    I have a slight vision problem and when I am approached to "fix" something, I tell them that I am having trouble seeing well enough to thread the needle. They are not here when I actually sew, so they don't know any better. LOL
    Nikki in MO

  23. #48
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    People don't usually ask me for clothing repairs. Maybe they've noticed some of my crappy hems and know I'm a bad choice for anything garment-sewing related. (Blind hem...smlind hem, I'll just sew all the way through!) My DH is the only one who asks, and I don't mind fixing his stuff if he can't. He can (and does) sew his own buttons on but I do anything machine-sewing related.

    I do get asked for quilts - or sometimes not even asked, I'm told things like "Oh, you can make a quilt for my baby!" (Oh I CAN?!? How generous.) The most egregious was when I was on vacation and the valet at the hotel noticed me unpacking a lot of new fabric to take up to my hotel room (had to pet it!) and asked if I were a quilter. When I said yes she started describing this t-shirt quilt she wanted made and asked me how much. I said I don't do commission quilts, it's just a hobby and I offered to ask around to find someone who would be interested in the job, but she didn't want to hear that and would NOT stop badgering me. Even my DH was getting annoyed and starting to look like he was going to step in, so I finally said I would do it for $5,000, half due up front, and I needed a 3 year deadline to finish. She goggled at me and asked (rather nastily) why it was so expensive for "just a simple t-shirt quilt". I just said (in my best snobby voice), "Because I'm an artist, and art is EXPENSIVE."

    That ended THAT conversation. LOL!

  24. #49
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    Good for you Sewnoma - good thing she wasn't actually affluent enough to put her money where her mouth was!

  25. #50
    Member Mitch's Gram's Avatar
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    My friends and relatives know how to sew and I'm not asked by them. Hubby and my son, do ask. My son knows how to sew, I taught him many years ago. He doesn't live close, so doesn't ask often. My response is always the same, though. I'll look at it and see if I can do it. If not, it's up to the guys to decide what they want to do.

    At one time, I worked at a high school. They knew I could sew and they pretended to be too strapped for cash for new athletic uniforms. They wanted to know if I could fix them. I said I'd look at them and see what I could do. I thought I could fix some of them, but warned that they might not last more than one or two seasons. I also said I charged for my services. I told them it was $20/hour. I got the job. They didn't pay me that much to do my regular job, but they would for repairing uniforms? Amazing.
    Laurie

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