Made by me

Working for someone else

Today I am wearing a garment that’s not mine to keep. It’s the eyelet tunic for my friend that I have blogged about intermittently for the last four months or so. The design is very much her idea and the collaboration has gone really smoothly. I think it helped a lot that she was very specific about what she wanted. Another crucial thing was that I first made a muslin were I tried out the design ideas so that we could evaluate and tweak them.

There are over 30 eyelets in this tunic. It’s been a lot of hammering!

The fabric is a slightly rustic linen/rayon mix.

While I have sewn for 25 years and probably churned out hundreds of garments, just a smidgen of those has been for others than myself. I think mostly it’s because sewing is very much “me time” a creative outlet to develop my ideas and my dream garments. Also sewing for others and realizing their ideas can be a risky path to take, since some things just doesn’t work out as well as one had hoped. And they are the ones who has to wear it.

How do you feel about this issue? Do you sew for others or is it something you prefer not to do?


  • Lisette M
    September 20, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    I have sewn for others, my family. I made one wedding dress and the bride was very happy; I choose to leave it at that, I am afraid that the customer would not be happy with the outcome. Besides sewing is something I do for me, I don't want it to be stressful.

  • Anonymous
    September 20, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Oh Eyelets…am I stupid or are those things really hard to install, could you make a quick tutorial…those illustration and very brief instructions on the back of the package are not doing helping me at all…I've been trying to finish a jacket I made, and this stupid eyelet is keeping me from finishing it…thanks!

  • cindy
    September 20, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I love the idea of sewing for others but when it comes down to it–I am NERVOUS to do it. Sewing has been for myself and relaxing. If I screw up–so be it, but I put too much pressure on myself when it is under review by others! Hopefully I will get over it.

    I love the shirt. The eyelets are wonderful!

  • Judy Ross
    September 20, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    I have sewn for others nearly as long as I have been sewing. I have three sisters, and some of my earliest custom sewing was for them and their friends. I don't do it a lot, but I enjoy it when I do. A lot of the time I make formal dresses – bridesmaid's dresses, several wedding dresses, all sorts of things! One thing I really really like about this is that I get to make things I enjoy making, often drafting patterns too, for things that I would not have the opportunity to make for myself. It is a great chance to stretch my creative wings.

    I don't worry about happy customers because I try to be clear at all stages of the process what they want and what I can deliver. I hope that clear communication at all stages will lead to satisfaction, and so far it always has.

  • Johanna
    September 21, 2009 at 5:58 am

    >>Lisette M: Hey, cool that you have made a wedding dress for someone else. That sounds like a really courageous project in my book!

    >>Anon: They are pretty easy to install and my best advice would be to just do a few test runs on fabric swatches to get the feel of it. I might do a tutorial about them and you can also check this out

    >>Cindy: I can so relate to that nervousness, I go into perfection mode when I sew for others and obsess about the tiniest stuff, like in this case that I put on of the eyelet rings the wrong way on the inside. There is no way you can tell, but I still feel bad about it. But hopefully we get over it as your say 🙂

    >>Judy Ross: Wow, you sounds really proficient! It's really encouraging to hear. Good points about communication. I also agree about spreading your wings, that is the thing I have enjoyed the most when I have sewn for others. It's always good to think outside the box!


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