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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 7313  
Subject: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 2:54 AM
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I need to rant to some folks that understand. A friend of an aquaintance called and asked me for some help. It seems she decided to make her daughter's clown outfit for school. There were just a few problems, the main one being that she has absolutely no clue on how to sew. Literally! She did not even know how to thread a needle. So she decided, "Well, I'll take some sewing classes and I can make this." She decided this less than two weeks before her daughter's class. Needless to say, in two classes she has not learned how to make an entire clown costume. So, she got my number from her friend and called me.
She explained the situation, and I took pity on her (Hey, we've all done stupid things before!). She came over on Monday and said she needed it by Thursday. I took a look at the stuff and told her I'd do it for $50. Then I noticed that the fabric she bought was extremely thin and had to be lined. She had not brought any lining material, so I used some of mine. Then I start cutting. She bought the exact bare minimum to make a child's 4t costume. Her daughter is taller than a 4t. So I called her up and told her to bring more material. Then I looked at the zipper. She bought a jacket zipper - and the wrong elastic. So, I had to substitute my own ribbons and elastic to take the place of the stuff she brought.

This evening (Wednesday) she called and said she needed to pick it up. Huh?? When she said she needed it by Thursday, she meant she needed it by Wednesday to have it for Thursday. Okay, I said, "I'm not done yet. Tell me where you live so I can bring it to you later." She told me the town, and I said fine and asked her for directions. "Well, uh, it's really easy to get to. Umm, there's a bunch of turns. Oh, what is that street? There's a bunch of them there." Finally, I said, "Okay, you come pick it up about 11pm." She started complaining and I said, "I'm sorry, but I am not going out at 11pm just to get lost trying to get to your house." So she said, "Okay, I'll be there at 10:30pm." Fine, whatever. At this point my attitude is taking a serious nosedive as this woman has no clue as to anything including the fact that I cut her a deal on the costume.

So, I started busting a gut to get it done immediately. She showed up at the house at 10:30 and needless to say, I'm nowhere near done. I've been rushing and consequently I've been making mistakes and had to unsew and resew stuff. Then I get to the trim. She has bought the bare minimum amount of trim the package calls for. That's great except that there isn't quite enough and the only way I can even get it close is to use a bunch of small pieces of rick-rack on top of each other at which point they will fray, look bad, etc. So, I cannot put all the trim on. She is sitting there watching me, and we start talking. She told me that she was trying to make a pair of flannel pajama bottoms in class and they didn't come out right. Of course, it was all the material's fault.

When I finally finished the costume, she picked it up, grabbed the other zipper, elastic, etc. and started to walk outside. I said, "Um, are you going to pay for this?" She said, "Oh yeah, my purse is in the car." I start thinking, "Wait a minute, she came here to pick it up and didn't bother to bring the money or check in?" She came back in with the cash, basically threw it at me, and stormed out like I had just ripped her off. I'm so annoyed, I really feel like hitting the obnoxious little twit.
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Author: UhuraY2K Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 940 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 8:45 AM
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Z, I feel for you. This woman is a user, and I'll bet dollars to donuts she's done this to practically everyone she's ever come in contact with. I had a similar experience "fixing" a complicated cross stitch baby sampler with cherubs and roses and birds and ribbons, at least thirty different colors and personalization, and the woman not only kept "forgetting" to pay me, she badmouthed me for harassing her for payment.

Call your acquaintance and tell her, calmly but firmly, that you do not ever, ever, under any circumstance short of the second coming (and maybe not even then) want her to volunteer you for anything. Explain exactly what happened between you and the user and ask if she's done anything like that before (I know she has).

When that's done, recite this until it's automatic: "I can't take on any new projects right now." No apologies, no explanations. The first time you say it is always the hardest, but it gets easier with practice.

Now go hit a pillow and pretend it's her face.

Uhura :o)

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Author: CrestlineKathy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 941 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 9:58 AM
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What a horrible woman...this maybe childish but if I were you, after I hit that pillow a bunch of times, I'd find a source for some circus music (mp3 or wave file) and then make prank calls to her at night with nothing but the circus music...she deserves it!!!

Kathy

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 944 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 11:46 AM
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Call your acquaintance and tell her, calmly but firmly, that you do not ever, ever, under any circumstance short of the second coming (and maybe not even then) want her to volunteer you for anything. Explain exactly what happened between you and the user and ask if she's done anything like that before (I know she has).

Truthfully, if I had thought about who it was that gave her my name, I probably wouldn't have offered to help to begin with. The aquaintance is just as much of a dingbat. She asked me if I could make a couple of matching sister dresses for her daughters, and if so, how much. I said, "No problem. The minimum is $25 a dress (actually that's a jumper, but that's besides the point)." She just about had a heart attack, and said that was much more than she could afford. Basically, they want hand-crafted quality with Wal-Mart prices.
My one hope with this ditz is that she brings the outfit into her sewing class and tells them how much she paid for it. She'll get quite the come-uppance then.

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 945 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 11:50 AM
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What a horrible woman...this maybe childish but if I were you, after I hit that pillow a bunch of times, I'd find a source for some circus music (mp3 or wave file) and then make prank calls to her at night with nothing but the circus music...she deserves it!!!

I'd like to, but knowing how common caller ID is, I have no doubts that she has it and would have me arrested in a heartbeat. But FWIW to me, I know I did a good job (a LOT better than what she paid for), and I know that anyone that sees that costume is going to "oooh" and "aaahhh". I made the costume, neckpiece and a barrette bow.

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Author: CrestlineKathy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 947 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 12:02 PM
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<My one hope with this ditz is that she brings the outfit into her sewing class and tells them how much she paid for it. She'll get quite the come-uppance then.

>>

Don't hold your breath...2 to 1 she is telling everyone SHE made it. Hopefully another Mother will say "Wow, that's wonderful, you do great work, could you please make a clown costume for my daughter?
Kathy

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Author: ibnana Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 948 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 12:14 PM
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Basically, they want hand-crafted quality with Wal-Mart prices.

I learned that almost 50 yrs. ago when I first did a little sewing for some pocket money.

To most people, hand-crafted quality just means "home-made" and while that doesn't carry the cheap connotation it did 50 yrs. ago, it still seems to mean that to a lot of people.

The best way to make money sewing at home is alterations. They don't seem to mind paying for alterations because it's on a "good ready-made" item. I've always hated doing alterations......even for my own family. But when I se the prices being charged now to hem a skirt.........

Nope, I'm not even tempted. Hemming is OK, but it leads to other stuff!

Carol

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Author: CrestlineKathy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 949 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 12:54 PM
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<<The best way to make money sewing at home is alterations. They don't seem to mind paying for alterations because it's on a "good ready-made" item.>>

Right you are because not only is it a good ready-made item but we now have a personal attachment to the item. "These are my favorite slacks but the fabric must have shrunk cause their too tight, can you let them out, I'll pay any price to keep my favorite slacks!"

I think the hardest part of doing alterations is keeping a straight face when they tell you the fabric must have shrunk....lol

Kathy

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 950 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 1:12 PM
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Don't hold your breath...2 to 1 she is telling everyone SHE made it. Hopefully another Mother will say "Wow, that's wonderful, you do great work, could you please make a clown costume for my daughter?

No, I have no doubt that she is not telling anyone she made it, but I'd bet money that she is telling everyone that the "lady is a special friend of mine, I don't think she'd do it for just anyone". She seems the type to do that.
While I was working, she said, "Oh, our teacher showed us a neat trick to put elastic through the hole using a safety pin." I told her I knew about that, etc. Later on, I had to get a ribbon through the neckpiece (2 yards long), and I was over half-way through and I said to her, "Hey, you said you knew how to do this. Why don't you finish putting the ribbon through and I can finish the barrette?" She started trying and couldn't even handle that, and said, "I said our teacher showed us this, I didn't say I could do it."
Today, I'm actually laughing about it, but I still won't take another job. I've learned my lesson.

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 951 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 1:15 PM
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To most people, hand-crafted quality just means "home-made" and while that doesn't carry the cheap connotation it did 50 yrs. ago, it still seems to mean that to a lot of people.

That part really isn't true anymore on the whole, but there are definitely ditzes like her in the world. I know my SIL buys only hand knitted sweaters for my daughters for Christmas, and she knows they are quality, and that's why she buys them (BTW, they are absolutely gorgeous.)
I think the trick is not doing custom stuff, but putting it for sale in an area such as a store or online.

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 952 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 1:17 PM
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I think the hardest part of doing alterations is keeping a straight face when they tell you the fabric must have shrunk....lol

I have no doubts that there is no possibe way I could keep a straight face during that. I know I'd be on the floor.

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 953 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 1:19 PM
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BTW, the nice point that I've had is that I made a lovely dress for my daughter who has become rather ungrateful. Due to this, I decided to give it away to her best friend who was extremly grateful, and gave me big hugs and kisses for it.

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Author: RocketsMomma Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 954 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 2/27/2003 1:54 PM
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I knew there was a reason I didn't like clowns as a kid.

RM - still hates clowns

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Author: Rigs78 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1028 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 3/22/2003 1:42 AM
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I've gotten into cake decorating as a hobby, and read a message board about it. I'm amazed at how little some of these women charge for their work. A cake containing at least $10-15 of ingredients and several hours of time and they only charge $20-25, because they live in a "loow cost" area. BS. You're just letting people take advantage of your talent because people don't want to pay for a customize item.

I'd love to learn to sew, but I'll have to wait until we get a house. There's no way I'd find space in our current apartment.

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1029 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 3/22/2003 3:10 AM
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I've gotten into cake decorating as a hobby, and read a message board about it. I'm amazed at how little some of these women charge for their work. A cake containing at least $10-15 of ingredients and several hours of time and they only charge $20-25, because they live in a "loow cost" area. BS. You're just letting people take advantage of your talent because people don't want to pay for a customize item.


I also do cake decorating, but it rarely costs me that much in ingredients. Maybe that's why they are able to charge the amount they do.
I usually don't charge for mine, but I only do them as gifts or special occasions. I found making them on a regular basis was damaging to my waistline.
I'd love to learn to sew, but I'll have to wait until we get a house. There's no way I'd find space in our current apartment.
That's a definite, because once you get the "fabric bug", you're toast.
Kathleen
(an entire room of bolts of fabric)

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Author: ibnana Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1032 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 3/22/2003 11:29 AM
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I also do cake decorating,

OMG!!! Kathleen, is there anything you don't know how to do? I think you must be the crafting queen!

Carol....lowly crafting peon

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1036 of 7313
Subject: Re: Ranting Date: 3/22/2003 6:30 PM
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OMG!!! Kathleen, is there anything you don't know how to do? I think you must be the crafting queen!

It really isn't difficult. They have directions on the paper in the molds. The hardest partis trying to keep your waistline in a reasonable condition while licking frosting off your wrist, elbows, etc.
BTW, there's an old saying, "Jack of all trades, master of none." I'm Jack <grin>.

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