Is the stuff I sew crappy?
4 years agomrskanuckles @mrskanuckles
Sorry.. The topic title is deceiving.
I just wanted to put out a big thank you to the Oliver and s and people on Flickr I follow through finding them via o&s.
I started sewing about 2.5 years ago and made some great crap. It was ugly, poor patterns and my fabric stunk.
Since then, I have a beautiful stash of patterns and a wonderful stash of fabric.
I still catch myself looking at my kids while they run around playing in the clothes that I make for them, wondering if other mothers are feeling sorry for my kids because their mom likes to sew and I force them to wear the crap I make. Im always eyeballing the items wondering if they look “as good as” store bought stuff.
We’ll, maybe it is my biased eye… But I think they look better than in store bought junk.
I recently bought my daughter a dress for a daddy daughter dance and as she was leaving to go to the dance, I thought… What a piece of junk that itchy dress was. I don’t even want to wash it for fear of it being ruined.
I have multiple friends whose kids ask me for Jammie’s for Christmas instead of toys because they only wear the Jammie’s I sew them (hopscotch dresses and sleep over pjs)
So what I’m saying is that because I found this community.. My kids don’t run around looking like ragamuffins in ugly crap I sew… Instead I sew things that make me proud.
I appreciate that you all blog and post your photos.. No matter how simple the items may be…. A good tee shirt is used way more than a fancy dress!
And o&s… Please keep taking my money on new patterns… They are fab!
Ps I’m still looking for a great girls tunic that can be used as a swim suit cover up… Hint hint.4 years agomeleliza @meleliza
That’s fantastic, and very funny at the same time.4 years agoLightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch
Very funny and so true!
I’m in the dilemma at present with school wear. I just KNOW I could make a perfectly reasonable copy of the baseball style jacket that is part of the winter uniform. yet mine wouldn’t have the school logo (even I won’t go so far as freezer paper stencilling a faked logo!) and I doubt I’d get the exact striped ribbing that’s used for the cuffs.
Should I do it anyway? I’ve decided no, as I know it won’t LOOK crappy but I don’t want my kid to FEEL crappy wearing it if it isn’t quite right.
I’m rather glad I’ve handed down or thrown out all the things I’ve made that no longer fit. It saves me from having to look at the crappy seam finishes or shocking, frayed buttonholes. We all started somewhere, right? Now, I’m in that happy place of being exceedingly pleased with how my kids are dressed (most of the time)
Having said that though, I just sewed some very crappy Juggling Balls. They’re as a gift for a 1 year old, but I’m ashamed to give them. As if she’d notice the puckers!
As I was sewing them I was wondering if the seam allowances getting caught in my next seam would matter, and I was shocked (shocked I tell you) that the book didn’t instruct me either way. That’s the level of hand holding that I’ve come to expect from a pattern and I lay all on the blame on the wonderful Liesl & Co. 😉 No wonder I hated sewing that recent Burda shirt.4 years agowith love Heidi @with love Heidi
You guys are making me appreciate two things about my sewing. One that I learnt to sew very early on. Mum sewed a lot of my clothes, even as a teenager, as it was essential to get things to fit, be long enough and was still more economical! So I picked up the skills more by osmosis and having a go after watching for years than having to work it out myself.
Also since I mainly sew for other people’s kids, if they didn’t like the clothes or construction the kids wouldn’t wear the clothes. But since the kids wear the clothes regularly and they or the parents ask for things specifically, I figure I’m on the right track 🙂4 years agoNicole @motherof5
Kelly, you speak the words I am too scared to say for sounding totally obnoxious. Rather then aspire to RTW, I (blush) look down my nose at it.
Not all of it, we have some great indy labels like Bullrush in AUS that make awesome quality (expensive) children’s clothes but a lot of them just aren’t that nice.
And wait until you get Teens, particularly if they have grown up with nice fitting clothes. I could sew full time for the Twins.
Off topic, I miss commenting on everyones work but the new Flickr takes so long to load with our internet I miss so much. It make me sad. I have to go to Town next week and I am going to have a huge catch up session.4 years agocybele727 @cybele727
I see every little error I make and obsess. Like who’s going to be looking inside? If she wears it until it falls apart, is that because it was poorly made, or because it was so well loved that she wore it to bits. There are some pieces that are falling apart. (Although those that are falling apart are not O +S patterns, so maybe that’s the reason; the level of construction isn’t there. I am talkin’ to you, Etsy PDF pattern purveyors. Some are shamefully bad.)
The more I sew, the less I like RTW, and dread the day when my daughter won’t wear my stuff anymore. I don’t mind her being a touch bossy about what I am making right now, b/c it is ownership and hopefully that means she will eschew RTW longer. I simultaneously adore and dread the phrase, “you make me…..” That is the signal that we are about to enter into some serious negotiations.
And sadly, I just got excited about a tip my local fabric store girl gave me. She said, “when you zig-zag to finish your seams, use the triple stitch zig zag. It won’t cause the seams to curl.” When I saw the results, I was awed. And who in my life gets excited over this? No one, but you all of course. Thank you for being excited that the triple stitch zig zag finishes seams beautifully.
Which brings me back to the little error, did I do a crappy job thing? I mean, some of my seams are finished the regular zig zag way and some beautifully with my triple stitch zig-zag in my latest dress. What if I gave the dress away and someone noticed that the seams weren’t beautifully the same?4 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
I’m in the happy position of having samples of other folks’ sewing and I think it gives me a very useful standard to aspire to. I wouldn’t say that mine are nicer than store-bought, but they *can be* nicer, substantially nicer, if I am willing to put in the time and effort and be finicky. For a lot of things, I am ok with ‘good enough’ — serged seams, buttonholes that are a bit off, wavering topstitching. But for special things I am able to do all the nice details and get a great result. And it’s very exciting and a source of pride and satisfaction to have learned it here, both directly from the patterns, and very much also from the community.
I wonder if you gals have had the experience of somebody finding out something your kid was wearing was handmade, and subsequently asking “Did you make that?” about every single thing she wears…
The key differences between homemade and store bought for me are not so much how I make them as what I make. I would never buy a Liberty blouse and herringbone shorts for my kid to wear to the park (who could even afford that?), but I’ll totally make them. I can buy the shoes I like and then make clothes to match, or make things you just do not find in children’s clothes, not at Target anyhow. Stuff that’s *my* style (and hopefully as she develops her own, *her* style) rather than whatever licensed character or kiddie trend is out there, in any colors I choose. 8 out of 10 other little kids will be wearing (girls: pink or purple princess tee, leggings, jellies; boys: red or blue superhero tee, jeans, sneakers). The 9th kid will be wearing CrewCuts or another expensive brand, and my kid will be wearing something nobody has seen in a store anywhere, and it gives me just the biggest thrill.4 years agomeleliza @meleliza
Oh yes, I get that all the time and I can never tell what to think. I mean for me it’s so very obvious the difference between rtw and what I’ve made. I can tell someone else’s handmade from a mile away with few exceptions. So do they think I make the crappy store bought stuff she sometimes plays in? Or do they think my stuff is crappy? Or are they just interested and don’t know much about clothes? It depends on what she’s wearing I suppose. I do buy her some pretty nice store bought occasionally. There are some I could have made and would have made, if I could in fact sew every single thing we all wear.4 years agoTamara @justsewit
Honestly and truly Kelly you have hit the nail completely on its head! I had people asking me why I sew when my daughter was very little and when I was just starting to make her clothes. It made me feel as though they thought I was wasting my time! And then like you I was also wondering if they felt sorry for my kids, or did they wonder how did I find the time to make great clothes. Nowadays I just sit there proudly watching my children in my handmade outfits because they do get great comments and they seem to be genuine.
As for flickr, i confess I haven’t been sewing anything that I have felt that people would want to see on flickr (not that they are crap, just probably really boring) and so I haven’t uploaded anything for absolutely ages. Blame the loss of my sew jo for that! Soon though.
I would prefer handmade to store bought because of fit but I would prefer store bought to handmade because of the wicked fabric choices and prints – just can’t seem to connect to where to get fabrics that would camouflage my sewing even more.4 years agoroundtheworldgirl @roundtheworldgirl
I was just thinking about how far my sewing has come – and that is due 99% to this pattern line and this community. I think my sewing friends are probably sick of my O+S promotion but it’s only because it truly does make you a better seamstress. The Flickr group plays a large role in that too.
I have donated every clothing item I made in my pre-O+S sewing career – and honestly none of them got very much wear anyway. I operated under the assumption that I should save spending money on patterns until I was better at sewing, and did everything using free online tutorials. Only now, three years after finding O+S and 4.5 years into my sewing “career,” do I realize how counter-intuitive that was. I’m actually planning a blog post about it. I spent so much time banging my head against a wall and turning out shoddy work because I was too cheap to buy a pattern.
As far as RTW, my sewing motivation currently is driven in equal parts by 1) enjoying the design process of marrying fabric and garment, and 2) wanting my tall skinny girl to have clothes that fit her properly. She does live in leggings and tees but at least they aren’t ill-fitting. Now that I’ve heeded the advice given me on this forum a year or two ago, allowing her to have significant input into the clothes I sew, she wears them happily.4 years agoMama_Knowles @Mama_Knowles
How true Kelly! I never ever thought I could sew this well. Projects that were hard just two years ago seem as easy as pie now. If not you ladies here and the patterns at O+S I never ever would have tried to sew half the stuff I do. I am now bravely going onto sewing some lovely things for me. Thank you Liesl and ladies!!4 years agoJane @jesims
RTWG, I did the exact same thing. I have tons of Pinterest pins full of free patterns. It wasn’t until I had sewn my first O+S garment that I realized what poor construction, fit, etc those free patterns were. Now I won’t touch them. I do however give any of my friends that want to learn to sew the link to the Popover sundress. Even though it is free, it is still well constructed and the directions are great for a beginner!
I still have many of my early pieces and am embarrassed when I look at them. I can’t believe I sent my little one out in public like that. So happy that I have learned to spend a little on a decent pattern as well as quality fabric. It does make huge difference.
Jane4 years agodubhels2003 @dubhels2003
I am still very much starting out on the technical aspects of sewing, getting more concerned about whether the pattern matches, whether the seams are finished nicely, things that wouldn’t have even occurred to me 18 months ago when my baby was born! Her clothes still look pretty homemade, and I instantly see the mistakes in everything rather than the achievement – I made this!
The hints and level of instruction in the patterns is great, and the tips and advice from others via the forum is completely invaluable, thank you!4 years agocybele727 @cybele727
My daughter’s therapist (who has been giving her PT since she was 18 mo and we are now over 4) has a wee baby girl. About a year old. She sees the progress of the clothes on the dining room table. She always offers to take a hand me down. Some I just can’t bear to part with, though. That Birthday Party dress I just finished will be mine FOREVER. 😉
I also know I do ok, (but that is thanks to this all here) because when my machine went on the fritz, I took the machine in for repair to the dealer and brought the dress I was working on, so they could examine the problem/results. She opened the FR dress, and lovingly touched the hem facing, the seams, the neck facing, the placket and said…”we can’t have this machine destroy this beautiful work. I haven’t seen work like this in years, and certainly never in children’s clothing.” She sighed.
I gave all credit to O +S and those fabulous instructions. 🙂4 years agoAspen @Aspen
What a wonderful thread! I’m a new sewer, and am still self-conscious enough that I usually don’t say, “thanks, I made it!” I think I’m always worried that once they know it’s homemade they will look more closely and suddenly they’ll see the flaws.
The major thing that’s been weighing on me lately is the topic of handing down home-sewn clothing. Some of my things look great on the outside, but it’s obvious everything is handmade once you look inside. In my neighborhood of NYC we are lucky enough to have an amazing community of parents who give away/sell for really cheap used toys, gear, and clothing, and I’ve been wondering what I’ll do with my handmade clothing once my little one starts growing out of the first batch. Which is soon. Part of me feels so proud to have pulled off making some lovely things, and part of me feels embarrassed. Not embarrassed that they’ll see mistakes, just embarrassed period. I don’t know why I feel like I would be seen differently…and I know it makes no sense. It’s something I’m honestly proud of, so how is it possible that it’s also something that makes me feel a little lame? Not sure if I’m maybe afraid of some sort of social stigma like people might think I’m too poor to buy clothes, or that I’m awfully young to have such a “mature” hobby…but for some reason the thought of putting those homemade clothes into the bag of hand-me-downs feels really scary. Ugh. Just saying all of this makes me feel like such a lame-o for feeling this way!
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