Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Why you should NOT be a dressmaker... EVER... (which circles back to... Why you should hire a dressmaker)

As I write this, my fingertips are sensitive and raw from hours of delicate and sculptural hand sewing.  I had to start my day with stretches to relieve my shoulders, arms and hips from the aches brought on by all of my sewing contortions. Following days of limited sleep and multiple projects, I met with a client yesterday morning for whom I recently completed a dress, and she squealed "I love it!" (Thank God, because all she would need to feel is that she hates it, for my entire mood to change for a WEEK...

It need s only a hem now (by hand... I'll show you why) and it will be DONE.  Whew.

Here's why the hem must be done by hand.  The machine just won't navigate it gracefully, and no opaque edging I've considered is graceful or weighty enough to make it "float" when she walks.

I had lunch with a close friend yesterday after finishing up with my client, and when I showed her the dress, she gasped.  That was the biggest compliment I could ever get, because she's seen me make all sorts of things for a few decades now, but the gasp she emitted was completely involuntary, then silence, and then her eyes widened, and she whispered, "You made that?"

The essence of the dress...

Mostly "sculpted" by hand more than sewn by machine.

So, yeah, that's right... I was gonna tell you why you should NOT be a dressmaker.  Okay... Here's why - 

No, wait...

Back when I was feeling witty, annoyed, and snarky maybe a week or two ago, I was distracted by this brilliant tidbit from one of my favorite creatives, Wim Wenders (feel free to expand this advice to include sewing professionals):

Here's the problem with the way I was feeling when I wrote the posts preceding this one.  I was so clear on why someone should avoid this profession at all costs, and now, in a period where I am having a great time and getting great results, I can't remember why I thought I could write some humorous take on why you should NEVER become a dressmaker.  So, in a nutshell, by all means, if you love it, do it.  And don't let anyone talk you out of it.  

Keep in mind, though, that business slowdowns, problems, missteps, and unpredictable income are impossible to avoid.  Still in?  Good. 

Carry on...

If you are a dressmaker, who wishes to advertise your business on the site, click here for specific information.

If you are considering dressmaking as a pursuit, and wish to learn more, click here to learn about a great organization.

If you are an established dressmaker, looking to increase your professional credentials, click here to learn more about certification.

If you are looking to commission a dressmaker for a project, click here for information.

Note, I do have professional affiliations with all of the above programs, so i am absolutely biased, and will state that proudly here.

Previous post on related topics in this category: Why you should create/design your own projects which all circles back to Why You Should Hire a Dressmaker


  1. If it is your passion, you must do it for the money, the applause, the gratitude to your Maker for giving you such a drive and talent to make people look their best and clothes fit the best. I have been many things in my life but none are as satisfying or trying as being a bridal seamstress. In the end, as my husband reminds me, that I have touched so many lives of brides and made their day. Who remembers who made the cake? Who remembers who arranged the flowers? But the seamstress...her name is remembered and shared.

    1. Amen to that! And... it is an experience - not just a garment.


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