Note: I do not want to try to disguise that this post is nearly completely stolen from "Seth's Blog", one of my favorite business "philosophers", who writes beautifully accurate, honest, succinct posts that inspire...
A shortcut to client and dressmaker intimacy is to respond in real time. A phone call is more human than an email, a personal meeting has more impact than a letter.
When you do your work on someone else's schedule, your productivity suffers, because you are responding to the urgent, not the important, and your rhythm is shot. How many times have you tried to finish a hem in record time, sacrificing quality and your own feelings of joy and peace in the process?
Think on this: How important it is that your interactions be intimate? If it's not vitally important that you increase the energy and realism of the relationship, then insert a buffer. Build blocks of time to do serious work, work that's not interrupted by people who need to hear from you in real time, right now (like your children, your mother-in-law... you get the picture).
On the other hand, for interactions when only a hug or a smile will do, take the time and choose to be present.
Confusing the two is getting easier than ever, and it's killing your ability to do great work. So if you have a sewing area, shut the door, make a sign, and announce your schedule. If it is important to you, it should be important to those who love you, too.