New Attitude

This week after wearing the post-op ski boot for 3 weeks and knowing another 3 more weeks of the same are in my future, I have decided to take action.

For the past couple years I have had a display in one of my sewing rooms with business cards from hairstylists, masseuses, estheticians, musicians, caterers, make-up artists, franchise cosmetic makeover specialists, used bridal gown sellers etc, in case my brides needed any suggestions for their special day. Although I get most of my brides a month before the wedding and most details have been secured by then.

It got me to thinking…why am I doing this?

Do I ever get referrals from these women with clients needing alterations – NO.

Do I ever get any thank yous for sending my brides their way – NO. 

So the display was dismantled and it gave me a feeling of claiming my room back. Also in the batch were cards for a leather repair shop…how did they get in there?

So as it goes, when you clean out one area, something comes in to fill it…enter 2 other women wanting to get their cards and business promoted by me. They both told me that because I come across way more people in my line of work than they do that I have a responsibility to help them out…Really? So the volume of my work determines the strength with which I must help other women to find their own clients or advertise? Hmmmm

As though my little sewing business is a freaking “gravy train” for massive referrals for all the other needy business women out there. The normal amount of brides in a season lasting from Mar-Oct is around 26 with the same amount of bridesmaids. In our valley most gowns are bought at David’s and the receptions are on a tight budget usually held in a church hall or backyard or they travel to the coast for a beach wedding. Shoe are really minimal and I would say half the brides wear no shoes or flip flops unless the venue requires footwear such as a country club.

But along came a woman who says she has been making custom shoes since the 70’s and she thinks I would be the perfect resource for her to get her business really going again after a long spell of inactivity. She thinks brides would really “dig” her shoes and she needs me to promote her work. She drops off cards just to make sure I will follow through on her plans. Seriously, I cannot promote this at all.

The next businesswoman said she was a life coach. OK…go on. We have so many “life coaches”, spiritual guides, hypnotists, channelers, energy gurus, past life regressionists, nutritional advocates, etc in this valley already it just seemed to fit right in. I told her I did not need her services as in the back of my mind I did actually have my sh*t together. Well the next day I get a newsletter. It is promoting her website that is a weight loss program for morbidly obese people.  It makes me wonder why she targeted me or my brides. Maybe it is like she said “you come in contact with more people than I do” but this is a bridge too far.

Maybe it is the straw that broke the camel’s back but none of this feels right to me and from now on there will be no more referrals from my sewing room. The gravy train has pulled into the roundhouse and will not run down the track again.

I happily refer clients to other local seamstresses and they do the same for me because it’s nice to help and support each other. There is plenty of bridal and non-bridal work to go around. We all have our specialties, our niches that make us happy.

On a happy Spring Cleaning note here are some photos of some re-arranging I did to make the areas more user-friendly. The table newly covered in terry cloth used to be in the corner of the cutting room/annex. It really should have been at the end of my sewing machine counter top to help hold all those heavy gowns and the terry cloth will keep the slippery fabrics from racing to the floor (fingers crossed!)

The cutting room/annex now has my older smaller cutting table from JoAnn’s to store all the rulers etc and the large 3 sectioned cutting table has room around it to walk and work…Yippee! You can see my mannequins/ladies-in-waiting all lined up in happy anticipation! To their right are all my favorite fusible interfacings hanging on the back of the door, all pre-shrunk and ready too.


The first bride of the season has dropped off her dress to be ready in a week. Here is a photo of the bustle…I covered a 5/8 inch button with fabric and made the loop at the bottom of the back opening. I hang the bustles for a few days to make sure they can handle the weight and then steam the dress ready for action. It is as simple as can be but the shape and length of the train was perfect for just one attachment point.

May all your sewing projects be rewarding and simple this week…wouldn’t that be a nice change?

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9 Responses to New Attitude

  1. Tina Blair says:

    There must be something in the air! I too share your organizational anxiety lately. Especially when your looking for that perfect notion for a project. You have given me inspiration! As for the gravy train, I applaud you. It’s nice to look after one another and know it’s appreciated. I’m glad to have some amazing seamstress friends who do just that! Thanks Mrs Mole! Now I have a few plastic boxes to sort! Haha

    • mrsmole says:

      We all need a kick up the backside from time to time to get organized…glad I could be of help…ha ha Go Tina!

  2. theresa says:

    There is a certain sense of entitlement in this area isn’t there? Good for you freeing up that space. You have just reminded me, I need to preshrink some more interfacing too. I’m jealous of your window in front of the sewing machine. I have a wall. Boy 6 weeks is a long time to have to wear das boot. Yuck.

    • mrsmole says:

      About that window, many of my clients comment that it must be nice to look out and see birds and flowers and daydream. You must be kidding! Who has time to do that? I tell them I just put my head down and sew. Most of the time when gals are changing into their clothes the blinds are down and shut for privacy.

  3. Alethia says:

    I,too, applaud you for not freely referring these businesses anymore. I collect “a” card here and there of businesses that interest me and I think my clients may be interested in, but guess what, I have not had to use them, so they stay hidden.
    If you ever think about referring business again, create a program where they will have to pay to advertise. “We” have a vendor program where the person pays “x” amount of dollars per month to advertise their business in our stores. Makes sense.
    As for the organization, I’m still trying to make sense of my mess. I’m trying to make room for sewing classes and my cutting space. It makes sense that you have two separate rooms, I’m taking notes.
    Also, I’ve heard before about pre-shrinking interfacing, but I’ve never tried it out of fear. I would love for you to do a Technical Tuesday chat and talk about this technique. I know it’s not a new technique, but there may be others, like me, that has feared doing this for lack of understanding.
    Great blog post!

  4. mrsmole says:

    Great ideas about charging to advertise! About pre-shrinking…no mystery….cut a length of fusible interfacing, soak it in a sink of warm-hot water…let it sit until it is cool, spin it or squeeze it, hang it up to dry smoothing the wrinkles out. Sew-in interfacing can be done the same way or in the washer and dryer on settings you normally use for clothes and then iron and hang on hangers like the fusibles. I have used fusibles without pre-shrinking and with the first cleaning in cool water that stuff shrunk the full length of my front facings, buttons and buttonholes to make a mess. Ended up cutting it all away to release the fabrics and salvage my blouse…not fun.

  5. prttynpnk says:

    I don’t get to use my front window much either- if I open it up it immediately fills with cats and the dachshunds start barking- sort of ruins my little room of peace and tranquility!

  6. mrsmole says:

    Sewing needs to be a quiet art form, I think. If I ever open my screened window I can hear the hummingbirds zipping in for a drink at the feeder hanging just above the window under the eaves. The Scrub jays continue to dominate the back yard squawking at all the other smaller birds. Chickadees fattening up on sunflower seeds for a summer of love on the hillside behind our house sing to each other. That’s pretty much it except the sound of the UPS truck at my front door bringing goodies for my sewing room…a really good sound! Happy you had a nice time with Mickey at Disney world!

  7. Ms Wilder says:

    Pre-shrink your interfacing – it has never occurred to me to do that. I have a love/hate relationship with interfacing because of the shrinking issue, particularly fusibles. How can I have been sewing so many years and never thought of this. I shall go pre-shrink my interfacings and do the happy dance!

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