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Another day, another whole lotta thinking about me. Such is the life of the truly selfish, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And as is often the case, I’ve been thinking about myself and my blog.

When I mention to people that I maintain a sewing blog, often the first thing they ask is whether a lot of people visit. I don’t do any rigorous stats tracking, but I say that it seems to be quite a lot of traffic these days. The next thing they ask is, “Do you make a lot of money off of your ads?” And when I tell them that I don’t do paid ads or sponsors, they are surprised at the wasted opportunity. Similarly, I’m often asked by other sewers why I give my patterns away for free rather than trying to sell them. Why not be more… selfish?

Here’s the thing- I have no moral or philosophical objection to people making money off of their blogs or sewing. Quite the contrary in fact- I love knowing that people are able to leverage their beloved activity in a way that benefits themselves, and sometimes even supports them. You know how I feel about doing things for your own personal benefit. Passionate. And ads on blogs don’t bother me at all (so long as they are sitting there quietly and not popping up windows or obscuring the content that I want to see). I even appreciate a nicely curated ad that was chosen because it might be interesting or relevant to me. Would I ever even have heard of ModCloth or any number of independent vintage pattern companies if not for these little ads? People who blog are putting something out there for others, trying to make a contribution, so why not get a little something in return?

So why don’t *I* advertise on my blog then?  And why don’t I charge money for my pattern downloads?  The answer is simple (and you should have guessed it by now if you’ve ever visited this blog before): SELFISHNESS. Sewing and blogging are two of my primary free time activities, and the less of a “job” it is to me, the better. And if I’m getting paid for it, it becomes kind of a job in my mind, and with that comes a sense of responsibility and accountability, a.k.a. YUCK and YUCK. Perhaps no one else would feel that I was accountable, but I would. As it is, I try to post at least a few times a week, but as you know, life (and sometimes extraterrestrial life) can get in the way, and maybe there will come a time when I just don’t feel like writing or sewing for a whole month. Or six. I don’t want to worry about whether my advertisers feel like they’re getting their money’s worth, or whether they’re being cheated, and I certainly don’t want that worry to be my motivation to maintain a certain quality or frequency of posts. If I feel like writing crap or hibernating, that’s up to me :D

Same deal with patterns- I’m an amateur drafter, and an even more amateur grader. As it stands now, you get the pattern for free and if you think it stinks, well tough noogies for you- I warned you to sew it at your own risk, and guess what? It was FREE. That’ll teach you to download free stuff off the internet :) It doesn’t fit right, it doesn’t look right, why doesn’t it come in size 38? What do you want me to do, give you your $0 back and head back to the drafting table to fix your customer service issue?  Ha. I’m obviously exaggerating a little bit here, but I think this should give you an idea as to why I am so very very NOT interested in charging money for my patterns ;) (And seriously, who would pay $5 for a pattern download by an acknowledged amateur drafter? Not me.)

That pretty much sums it up- the whole lack of commercial features on my blog is driven not by any holier-than-thou attitude towards profiting, but instead out of pure and simple selfishness, self-centeredness, and lack of responsibility! I won’t promise it will always be this way- circumstances and priorities may change. But for now, this is how it stands. Selfish, lazy, and all about me and my own personal glorification.

You might be thinking, “Ah, but Selfish, what about your Selfish Seamstress Store? You sell things for charity, which seems like both a blog-related responsibility AND unselfish!” I have gotten comments to that extent before, and all I can say is that you greatly, greatly misunderstand the motivation behind that. You hear the word “donate” and you think of it as altruism. I think of it as taking advantage the masses whom I have ensnared into reading my blog, and manipulating them into doing things to make the world a little bit more into the world that I want it to be. And making sure they think about me every time they drink their coffee. Shameless self promotion. See how that works?  Now go buy some mugs and t-shirts to support St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Do as I command!

[Note: If you are suddenly feeling like this whole post was actually one long roundabout ad, you would be correct. Hahaha. You think I zig?  I zag!]

At long last, I have finally gotten around to adding new merchandise to the Selfish Seamstress Store! That’s right, you can now pick up t-shirts, mugs, and totes with all of your recent favorites, like “I just don’t want to,” “You bloodsucking leech,” “If I’m so selfish,” “Sweet beloved stash,” “I mended your pants,” and of course “When monkeys fly out my butt.” Classy! And of course, you can still get merchandise with all of your favorite classic haikus.

100% of royalties from all new purchases will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a leading institute for research on and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases. You can read more about this wonderful non-profit institution here.

Your generous purchases of Selfish Seamstress merchandise have already resulted in donations of $270 to the Atlanta Humane Society, and $464 to the American Red Cross and $120 to Doctors Without Borders to help with disaster relief efforts in Haiti. (Actually, a little more than that for the Red Cross but I still have to tally it up.) So how about another fun mug or shirt to help some children who are in need?

Once again, here’s the IMPORTANT NITTY GRITTY:

1) All of the royalties I receive will be donated. Please navigate to the Selfish Seamstress Store from a link on my blog – if you do so, Zazzle will double the royalty from 15% to 30% – that means you pay the same for your shirt, but twice as much will get donated! If you get to the store from a bookmark, by typing in the URL, or from any other link on the web, the royalty will only be 15%. (The remainder of your purchase price goes to Zazzle for producing the merchandise, operating costs, etc.)

2) You can get any haiku you want on any t-shirt, mug, or tote.  So if you love the “Sweet beloved stash” haiku, but want it on baseball T instead of a ringer T, just click on the item and go to “customize.”  This will allow you to play with the colors and styles to get exactly the haiku you want on exactly the shirt, mug, or tote you want!

For personal reasons, supporting research and treatment of childhood cancer is a cause very near and dear to the little empty space in the Selfish Seamstress’s chest where her heart would be if she had one. Please consider making a purchase and in doing so, a donation to this wonderful and urgent cause.

Dear Readers:

Thanks so much to those of you who purchased Selfish Seamstress merchandise! I wanted to give you an update on the donations. Because I was worried that the Salesforce matching program for donations to the American Red Cross might meet its $250,000 limit, I made a donation on Saturday night of everything I had earned until then, which I matched, and then put in an additional $50.  For those who want to do the math, this was $91 + $91 +50 = $232.  With Salesforce’s matching, this brings the total to $464.

On Sunday and Monday I repeatedly attempted to donate to the Red Cross both through the matching campaign and directly and the webpage simply kept giving me errors.  I can only hope this is because they’re getting more donations than they can handle right now! Anyway, I decided today to make an executive decision and donate the new earnings, which I matched, to Doctors without Borders.  More math: $59.78 + $59.78 = $119.56.

So, Selfish Seamstress readers, this means that we have been able to contribute a total of $585.56 (with some matching help) to the relief efforts underway in Haiti. I will continue to donate all of earnings from the sales of Selfish Seamstress stuff to disaster relief in Haiti until further notice, so please keep visiting the Selfish Seamstress Store! And as always, if you navigate to the store from a link on my blog, that means 30% of your cost will be donated! Thank you so very much for your generosity in this time of need. 

-Elaine, The Selfish Seamstress

You guys have been doing a great job buying up stuff from the Selfish Seamstress Store!  As requested, I’ve added new totes, mugs, and shirts with some of your favorite recent haikus, including, “Your stupid house,” “No such thing as bedtime,” “Me me me me me,” and “We call them ‘suckas.’” Check out the store for more styles, colors, and haikus! 

Proceeds from all sales will be donated to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in Haiti.  More details here and here.

Thanks to those of you who have purchased items from the Selfish Seamstress Store, the proceeds of which I am matching and donating to disaster relief efforts in Haiti.

Shannon has just pointed out’s matching campaign, which is matching donations to the Red Cross dollar for dollar up to $100,000. Thank you, Shannon!

I plan on making the donation through this campaign, which means the royalties from sales will be quadrupled and donated.  That’s right– you purchase a Selfish Seamstress Haiku mug, shirt, or tote by navigating to the store from a link on my blog, and I will receive 30% of your purchase price, which I will match and donate, which means 60% of your purchase price.  Salesforce will then double this amount, which means 120% of your purchase price will be donated to the American Red Cross’s disaster relief efforts (more than you paid for your mug, shirt, or tote).  There’s no better time than now to pick up some snarky haiku merchandise and help people who are desperately in need.

Dear Readers:

As you have no doubt read or heard, a massive earthquake struck Haiti yesterday causing tremendous destruction. The Haitian government estimates that the death toll from the earthquake may exceed 100,000 people. This is surely one of the greatest human tragedies that has taken place during my lifetime.

This Sunday, I will make a donation in the amount of $50 to the American Red Cross’s International Response Fund to support relief efforts in Haiti. In addition to that $50, I will donate all royalties from the sales of Selfish Seamstress merchandise purchased before Sunday and match those royalties with my own funds as well. (UPDATE: I will match up to $200- my apologies, I should have specified this earlier. Sorry, I’m a person with a regular salary, not a foundation!)

If you would like to purchase a Selfish Seamstress haiku item, as always, please navigate to my store using a link on my blog– this doubles the royalty, meaning that I will be able to donate 30% of your purchase price, rather than 15% (the remainder of your cost goes to for manufacturing the items and hosting the store.) This figure will be matched for a total of 60%. 

Please consider purchasing an item from the Selfish Seamstress Store or making a donation directly to the Red Cross to help provide relief to the victims of this terrible tragedy.


-Elaine, the Selfish Seamstress

P.S.– A request to fellow blogger-seamstresses: If you post on your blog between now and Sunday, please consider including a link to this post to help spread the word and drum up relief!


Hope you’re all having a Happy New Year’s Eve day!  I just wanted to remind everyone that I’m matching the royalties from all Selfish Seamstress Store products up until the end of the year (tonight!). If you’d like to buy Selfish Seamstress totes, mugs, or t-shirts, I’m donating 100% of the royalties I earn (15% in general, but 30% of your cost if you purchase after navigating to my store from a link on my blog) to the Atlanta Humane Society, and matching the donation myself. So, if you’ve been wanting Selfish Seamstress Haiku Stuff, order today and have a donation made to the organization in the amount of 60% of your cost!

Plus, all t-shirts and mugs are 20% off today on Zazzle with the code NEWYOUZAZZLE. Why not start the new year off with some Selfish stuff for yourself and a nice donation to help out some animals in need?

Happy New Year, everyone– see you in 2010!

Selfish Seamstress readers, you are AWESOME. So far, your purchases of Selfish Seamstress Haiku mugs have garnered $43.35 to be donated to the Atlanta Humane Society!  So, just in time for the holidays (especially if you’re like me and wait until the last minute to shop or have a tendancy to bail on actually sewing things for people), I’ve added Selfish Seamstress Haiku shirts and tote bags to the Selfish Seamstress Store! Head over there for all your favorite snarky sewing haikus on gifts for your favorite selfish seamstress (yourself, right?) or pick up some for your sewing buddies to make sure that THEY OWE YOU IN 2010. As always, ALL of the royalties I receive from sales will be donated to the Atlanta Humane Society.

IMPORTANT THING #1: Please navigate to the Selfish Seamstress Store by using one of the links on my blog, rather than from a bookmark or from Zazzle’s homepage.  The reason for this is that if you buy something after navigating from my link, Zazzle will double the royalty (your cost remains the same), meaning  30% of your purchase price will be donated to the Atlanta Humane Society, rather than 15%. (The remaining cost goes to Zazzle for producing the items and staying in business.)

IMPORTANT THING #2: You can get ANY haiku you want on ANY shirt/mug/tote.  That means that if you love the “Bite me, holidays” haiku, but want it on a tank top or long sleeve T instead of a short sleeved ringer baby T, you can have it!  Just click on the shirt with the haiku you want, and customize it!

IMPORTANT THING #3:  Your generosity to the sweet little animals in Atlanta has melted the Selfish Seamstress’s tiny-shard-of-ice-for-a-heart ever so slightly.  Therefore, I pledge to match all of the royalties earned from Selfish Seamstress products until the end of the year up to $200 in donations to the Atlanta Humane Society.  So, buy your stuff by clicking on a link on my blog; 30% of your purchase price will get donated, and I will match the amount and donate that too for a whopping 60%!

Also, Zazzle is having a deal for the next three days- if you purchase $50 worth of stuff, shipping is free.  So, in case you just need to have the entire set of mugs, postage is gratis :)  Be selfish and buy stuff for yourself!  Be unselfish and buy selfishness-themed gifts for someone else!  Do both and help puppies and kitties!  This is blowing my freakin’ mind.

The Selfish Seamstress Store is… here, sort of :) Right now it’s just a mug store.

For now you can get your favorite Selfish Seamstress haikus on a coffee mug ($14.80 and they’re doing free shipping TODAY) so you can show that annoying lady at the office just what you think of her suggestion that you sew her a dress “just like yours!”  Or gently remind your loved ones over morning coffee that perhaps they should learn to sew their own damn buttons. The mug also features the awesome new Selfish Seamstress dressform logo, courtesy of the very talented Dan.

And of course the best part is that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Selfish Seamstress items (15% of the list price) will be donated to the Atlanta Humane Society to help sweet homeless puppies and kitties.  And who doesn’t want to help puppies and kitties, right?? (Sorry, I wish it were more, but the rest goes to pay the printing company!)

More fun Selfish Seamstress haiku items will be added in the coming days.  In the meantime, take a trip to the Selfish Seamstress Store and pick out your favorite mug, or get some as holiday gifts for your Selfish Seamstress buddies! (Saves you the trouble of having to sew something for them.)

About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

Little Black Dress Medium

Get Selfish Seamstress Haiku Stuff!

100% of sales proceeds are currently being donated to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Total donations to date:
$270.00 to the Atlanta Humane Society
$464.00 to the American Red Cross
$119.56 to Doctors Without Borders

The Selfish Seamstress Recommends:

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