OMG, I have been sewing for 2 weeks straight, I can hardly string 2 words together. Yesterday I entered the dungeon at 7.30 am and it was grey outside. When I came up at 2pm it was sunny and I was shitty that my daylight hours had been spent subterranean.
Where are those damned elves when you need them? I left chocolate, but all I got was white ants (termites) – true story we have termites. Its a bit like having a communicable disease actually, I feel embarrassed to tell the new neighbours!
We completely gutted our house to the bare concrete bones nearly 3 years ago. We made jokes about how in this house, there was nothing for termites to eat because the walls are double brick, and the ceilings and floors are cast concrete. WRONG. It started with the skirting showing a little bit of a crack, then a ‘fault line’ in the parquetry.
I called the builder. Not the one who built our house, who is such a *&^!, but the nice new builder guy who is a gem, a veritable ‘undies on the outside’ super builder. He wondered about damp in the cavity and easily poked his key through the skirting. It rained and mud oozed through the holes.
This is the downside of living in the “land of milk and honey”. Thats the advertising expression my Mum told me brought my parents to Australia form England! Our weather is so not extreme here in Sydney, the bugs just multiply happily, unabated. Its extreme cold weather that keeps bugs in check apparently.
Just as well the pest guy is a sweetie, cos we’ll be seeing him every 2 weeks for 6 months – we have taken out a contract on the white ants. Pest guy opened up a hole in the skirting and #1 son and I were on our hands and knees, fascinated at the little bastards eating the skirting. Pest guy seemed proudly paternalistic toward the things he was about to poison! Bloody white ants plague us. Our holiday shack is completely eaten out too, that house is only held together with paint. The footings are non existent and when it rains the doors may or may not close depending on whether the footings have shifted – the house needs replacing.
So tomorrow we are meeting with architects. But having recently spent weeks in the dungeon sewing up fabulousness for another, I got thinking. When one engages an expert, how much power should said expert have over the finished product? I mean, they ARE the expert and you have entrusted your precious whatever to them, so doesn’t the expert know best?
When I make something for another, shouldn’t they just step back and say – “go for it Lesley”, “I trust you know what you’re doing taking into consideration the stakeholders and KPIs, I know you can deliver and I’m going to hand over total decision making power to you”.
Thats what I’d like to happen, but in truth, I’m not sure I could hand over total control to another either. What if the builder’s idea of heaven is a hollow core door? Though I wouldn’t have chosen that particular builder. What if he likes shadow lines and I’m a deep cornice (coving in the UK) kinda gal? What if I want artisan ally quirky and he wants in/out spec built.
What if I suggest weight in the hem but the other wants plain, plain, plain? It pains me to say so, but possibly I am merely the conduit for the creation. Bespoke is so different to walking into a shop where you wouldn’t even pick up a garment that didn’t appeal. With bespoke you engage the expert with some sort of idea of what you want the final product to be – usually. Then if it doesn’t live up to expectations – God knows my own creations for me rarely do, then who is to blame?
This is, I believe, why sewing for others is so difficult. I have all these ideas that I’m sure the other would enjoy, but then they say “no” and I’m thwarted. Its a really tricky path to tread and I’m unsure how to navigate it.
How do you negotiate ‘sewing for others’? Do you receive payment or payment in kind? Is it even possible to price it?