Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I said 'No'

Twice, in the same day.

This week is 'Camp Crazy' week at church...sort of our updated version of VBS. The kids are there from 9 - 3, and they do an activity (like roller skating or swimming), have lunch, have Bible lessons and team competitions...anyway, the kids love it.

It runs from Mon - Thurs, and it has become my annual 'Go to church and clean out the costume storage area' time. Only yesterday I had some other tasks to do there regarding records for my Wednesday night jr high girls, so I'll hit the cleanup today.

But, while I was in the classroom, one of the Children's pastors came by with a request. Kids' Camp is next week, and he had some costuming/set design things he needed sewn. He thought it would only take a couple of hours (after hearing him out, I'd guess it would be more like 4-6 hours, but I may have a fancier notion of what he wanted than is actually the case). It just so happened that when he stuck his head in the door to ask, I was looking at a wedding dress a friend had brought by to see if I could alter it for her. 'It just needs the straps taken up,' she said, 'And there's this thing in it with a bunch of zippers that we could probably cut out.'

But I'll be working at church until 3 every day; there's something happening every night this week...I wouldn't even be able to look at the stuff he was asking about until Friday. And Kids Camp starts Monday morning...or maybe even Sunday afternoon... Anyway, they'd need it IMMEDIATELY for stage set up.

So I said no. I felt bad to not help...just a little...but I just didn't think I could squeeze it in. Not and have clean clothes and such next week, anyway....

Then it was back to the wedding dress. Turns out it was a store sample, with a strange inner zipper thing that apparently allowed ladies in sizes 4 - 22 to try on the dress and get the back somewhat cinched so they could see what it would look like in their size. And it didn't have straps...just very narrow shoulders on a sleeveless v-neck style. With appliqued lace and bead sewn over the shoulders. My friend needed a petite adjustment to the armsceye, and the only place to do it was the shoulder seams.

I just didn't feel like I could risk doing that well. The appliques and beading would have to be removed, the shoulder seam unpicked and adjusted, and the trim re-applied.

I did think the inner zipper thing could be salvaged as a sort of inner corsolette, if the extra zippers were unpicked and the excess over/underlap removed.

But I referred her to an alterations shop to get it done. Again, I hated to say no, but I didn't have enough confidence in my ability to sew such a high visibility alteration perfectly.

Not to mention I wasn't sure the crinolined skirt would even fit inside my sewing room...

So, I'm still on my original plan for the week...clean/organize/make notes on needed repairs on the costumes and see how much brown/purple I can get sewn while the laundry is running when I'm home... ;)


  1. Last week I said no to a lady who asked me to replace a fly zipper in her DH's leather motorcycle pants. That's definitely beyond my skill level--especially in leather--so it wasn't so hard.

    Tina W

  2. Good job saying no! :) Better to put a proper estimate on your available time and skill than to accidentally let someone down.

  3. Good on you! It's hard to say no at first but if you don't at least sometimes, then you end up sewing for everyone else and no time for yourself.
    Later this year is the school musical and the last few times I have done 90% of the costumes myself. This time I've taken note of the other Mums who I've found out who sew and they won't be escaping! The worst request I've had was for 5 tailcoats in 10 days, all different sizes. I did it, but they were unlined and I left the teacher to sew the buttons on. That was the last time I let myself be guilt-tripped.