Sunday, 19 May 2013

'Did you make that?' is not a compliment.

Recently, my bestest friend in the whole world gave someone a quilt that she had made for their new baby. She was a bit disappointed that they hadn't realised she had made it for them - so her boyfriend quickly pointed out to everyone how talented she was (What a star!).

But I think that's the best compliment ever.

When someone takes a look at your sewing and says 'Did you make that?', its not really a good thing. You might think its lovely that someone notices, but no. If you are asked if you made that, it means there is something about it that screams home-made. By that, I don't mean 'handmade', or 'homespun'. Such terms are complementary, and often manufacturers will attempt to create an illusion of handmade. I mean home-made. It might be a bit regretsy.

I quite like the idea that people won't spot me as a dressmaker from a distance. In fact I was a bit chuffed when someone I worked with said that I didn't look like the kind of person who sews. Because 'the kind of person who sews' conjures up images of older ladies in horrible patchwork vests and loose trousers with cuffs and trims that match said vest. A bit like this, but without the irony.
Wow! Did you make that?
(And then wear it?)

Or people who sew because they have alternative tastes in colour combinations. People who chanel Lady Gaga from the craft isles at Spotlight *.

Don't get me wrong, I've been suckered in by 'fun' fabric, only to realise after constructing it that I can't actually wear it in public. Or even privately, as was the case with one apron made of hot pink fabric with a love heart candy print. I wanted that fabric for a long time, and then when I finished making it, I remembered I wasn't 8 years old.

And I've had plenty of garments which I've finished, and then realised because of construction or fit issues, they are destined for the 'Museum of Sewing Lessons Learned'. In which case, again, I don't wear them out of the house.

It isn't quite so bad if they know you sew. In which case they might say (at least in my case) 'Oh, you finally finished it?'

Ideally, you will hear 'Nice dress! Where did you get it?'

On the other hand, I remember wearing one of my creations to work once  and someone saying 'Did you make that dress?' She must have seen the panic on my face, because she laughed and said 'Don't worry - I can tell because it fits you perfectly'. Good good. That's what we're after!

* I really miss Spotlight.

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