Word gets around that you sew after a while. Even for some reason if we don't talk much about our hobby, sooner or later everyone is going to know that you sew your own clothes, or bags or other accessories, or things for the home.
This inevitably leads to the question “Did you make that?” when you are seen in a new outfit, or have a new bag or give a gift of any kind made from fabric, or even hang some new curtains in your home.
How does that make you feel if someone asks? Is it a compliment when someone asks if you made that new dress you are wearing? Does it make you feel good? Do you feel delighted that someone assumes you are such a great sewer that you created garments that look as good as ready-to-wear? Are you thinking that the fit is so good they assume it was custom made? Is it so unique that you just can't buy anything like it therefore it must be your own original design?
Or does it fill you with doubt and dread that they think it looks ‘home made'? Do you worry about the finish, did you use the wrong fabric, is there a loose thread? Or do they just think it doesn't look very good, like you might not have bought it in a shop? Is my zipper wonky? Are they only asking because they think it looks bad and are trying not to hurt my feelings?
Or maybe this is an ideal opportunity and just what you want to hear because you are a sewing teacher, or have a store selling your sewn items and it's the perfect excuse for you to launch casually into your sales pitch – get a new customer for your sewing classes or make a sale of a bag just like yours.
What do you say?
It could be that how you react to the question is more important than the question itself.
Miserable moggy – Do you cringe, shy away, say “It's not very good but I sorta like it?” Do you point out the small errors and apologise for them? “It's not puurrr-fect but…” Do you always assume the worst? Maybe the person really liked it and now they might feel bad about asking in case you took it as a criticism. 🙁
photo credit: it's still raining via photopin (license)
Happy puppy – Or do you beam and smile, take it as the biggest compliment, and tell them all about how much you love to sew, how much you love your new dress or bag, and how you would love to help them learn to sew as well (if they want to). Yay! Feel proud, you did an awesome job.
photo credit: Pup Bounding in Field via photopin (license)
Why do people ask?
Maybe people are just disappointed when you go out in ready to wear and they look forward to seeing your own original creations, something that makes you stand out from the crowd. It can be a real conversation starter to ask if you made your own outfit and when you say no, you bought this one, oh, OK. If you didn't make it, then do chatter on about what you are working on right now, or a recent project you are particularly proud of – that person wouldn't have asked if they weren't interested to know.
My hubby loves it when I wear things I've made myself. Makes him feel really proud, and he tells everyone that I made my dress I'm wearing. I don't always have the right thing to wear for every event so when he asks if I'm going to wear one of my dresses, sometimes I have to say no because I might not have something dressy enough, but then he always encourages me to at least take one of my bags. Makes me feel good about myself and my sewing that he wants to be seen out with me in something I've made. To me, that's the biggest and best compliment of all.
Tell me, what do you think? Is it a compliment if someone asks if you made something yourself? How do you answer?