I think soapboxing can be very therapeutic.
I don't know if it's because I've been sewing so long as Gigi said or if it's just personality (I'm thinking more the latter) but I also have no problem saying no. I try to be diplomatic if called for - i.e. sometimes people genuinely believe the request is a compliment because they so respect your talent.
Occasionally I'll do it even if assumed if someone asks nice or has been kind to me. I was a bit taken aback when bf had his kids's Christmas stockings out on the table one night when I went over and said "I have a sewing job for you". Uh, you what? But I know he meant no ill intent (and restitching the hangers was minor compared to shirtzilla on the machine for him) and was good to me so it was fine. Ex MIL brought a box of pants to be hemmed on a visit once, no discussion aforehand, and said she brought them for me to hem, but there were only 6 pair and they were all alike. I wonder what she'd do if someone came to her for a cake (she's a master cake decorator) like that? I said I'd look at them. Well there were 8 pair, they were not all alike, two were, one had already been turned up twice hemmed so would have to be undone before being done. They babysat that night while DH and I went to the movies and apparently she made a snarky comment to DD about how she didn't know how I was going to get those done since we went out. So next morning she made some comment about the pants, I noted the dissimilarity and needed her to try them on to mark, and would have them for her when they came back following weekend. Well she wanted them the next day (meaning that day)! I stuck to next week. So she took them and came back next week and they'd multiplied to 11 pair. And she joked that she'd had them for two years. I said if they've been waiting for two years there was obviously no rush. ExFIL said I told you you should have just taken them to a tailor (not mad at me, but the situation). I said yeah, take 8 pair to a tailor/cleaner on a Saturday afternoon and tell them you'll be wanting them for your trip tomorrow and see what happens. I said it very politely. Since he intervened she backed down and asked politely if I could please just do the one black pair for their cruise. Sure. I did those no problem. All I wanted was to be asked and treated respectfully.
I turned my own daughter down for alterations to the bridesmaid's gown for her brother's wedding. I am not proficient at those things (plus it was strapless, boned, lined, she's very large busted and given my DIL hates me already, it didn't matter how the other dresses fit or did not if I did an alteration she didn't like it would be fuel to the fire).
I have taught her to do some other simple alterations and guess what, she's appreciative and does them. But if someone I care about asks me nicely or kindly without trying to take advantage (like the $1 hem!!!!) and I know what goes around comes around I'll do it if it's easy enough.
I have started sewing more for others this holiday season though. As already stated, if it's MY idea then it's what I want to sew and why and I'll do it. I'd gotten in a not so pleasant mood over some issues with someone and I found it very rewarding that when put in such a mood, making something nice for someone I cared about and knowing they were getting a gift and not the person who thought they were was uplifitng. Ok so I'm nice but in a backhanded sort of way.
My exSIL and a couple good friends are recipients of some beautiful aprons they were surprised and thrilled to receive. Quiltzilla is top done, basted together, and will be given to a dear old childhood friend who loves purples. It's not a high end quilt like so many, just a myriad of purples in a rail fence pattern. It was originally intended for DIL whose favorite color is purple. I do not enjoy quilting but I am so happy to be giving to my good friend who I know will appreciate the effort and irony - and purple - it entails.
But I cannot WAIT to be done to get back to just sewing for me. Memememememe!!!!!!!!!!!