Oliver + S

picky about wearing what I've made

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    yellow_blue @yellow_blue

    I know this is might be a sensitive topic for many of us–it is certainly for me! But my question is this–do you often face the problem of your child refusing to wear what you have so lovingly made? My daughter is four, and I have as of late, started to take her opinion in what kind of cloth she wants before I make something (despite knowing that the winner is always something in pink!). Sometimes she’ll approve a different colour, but refuses to wear it after I have made it! My heart of course cries, remembering how many loving hours I have spent on the dress, skirt or pants. And at the same time, I know she is developing her own mind, and that is good. I mean it is good, right? Do any of you ever face this problem? Because now it seems that I not only have to check with her on the colour and cloth but also the style. But, alas the mind of a four year old is a fickle one! After requesting skirts, it turns out that she can only wear frocks! So–dear sewists, and suggestions?

    asmita (yellow_blue)

    Justine J @justmejay

    You are not alone – all of my kids are picky to some degree – however, it is my 4 year old who is currently giving me the most heartbreak – most of her wardrobe is handmade, yet she it totally addicted to wearing jersey/knit fabric, and will wear the same (Hopscotch) dress E.V.E.R.Y S.I.N.G.L.E D.A.Y. (I finally manged to wash it yesterday after about a week’s worth of wearing…)

    As to suggestions, I can only offer letting her have input (but this does not seem to have a fab success rate here), and making her the same clothes that she favours (hence the pile of knit fabric currently on my sewing room floor)


    KarenK @KarenK

    All of my kids grew an opinion around that age as well. I do my best to give them input when possible- offering a choice of designs, and a choice of fabrics (i.e. you can choose on of these three). I also don’t buy at the store the things I make a lot of. If all they have to choose from is my handmade clothing…then that’s what they choose. 🙂

    juliamom2009 @juliamom2009

    I JUST had this battle on my last sewing project….I really thought my neighbors were going to come knocking on my door asking us if my daughter was okay because of all the screaming….I just wanted her to wear the Playdate dress I worked so hard on for a picture….not all day….I bribed her a couple of times, then backed off, but she continued screaming like I was murdering her. At one point, it just becomes comical…..

    Lesson learned – my daughter is not even three, but next time I make her something (other than what I’ve already got cut out) I’m going to have her at least help select fabric.

    It is ironic that with my older daughter (now 22) when I sewed for her, I never had a single problem. I sewed all her clothes, plus all her gymnastics leotards. She wore whatever I sewed her, as did my two boys. This child, however, is a totally different thing!

    Nicole @motherof5

    I have not had actual refusals…..the outfit is simply not worn.

    Lid’s and Tildy (8&3) still love everything I make,Hugo(15)is very cruisey but perhaps I just know his taste.

    Zara&Elsa(13) well,that is trickier.

    I made a few things that were completely their choice,and that I didn’t like,and surprise-surprise-the items were unpractical and not worn.

    Compromise works well and they have fabulous shoes to make them feel more sophisticated.

    In a nutshell,lots of discussion and playing with fabric and showing me pictures from magazines before we make a decision.

    In Zara’s case,we have the rule,nothing is fixed UNTIL it is cut as she constantly changes her mind.

    Most things they show me I can alter an o+s pattern to achieve the same look which means they get a groovy outfit and Daddy is happy because all their bits are covered.

    Tamara @justsewit

    If I let my daughter have her way with what she got to wear all the time, I would have either something out of a Batman movie (yuk!) or a child au natural! This is currently what I am up against at present. A little girl on the cusp of preteenage hood yet still very much a little girl who knows her own mind and mum knows little (apparently). She flits from character to character but at the moment she is inbetween “The power puff girls” and “batman’s girlfriend” even though you will get protests to that title also. If leotards and leggings were warm and snug then I would gladly make them. However, they are not and they look absolutely ghastly when they are getting too small! (if you can imagine what I mean).

    She says she likes the things I make but I rarely see her wearing them (apart from the hopscotch tops and dresses that she wears as nighties) – which begs the question, what is she wearing because most of her clothing is Oliver+s – leotards from last year’s dancing lessons!

    I had a flat out refusal with the School Photo Dress I made in denim complete with Italian smocked bodice – it is in her wardrobe growing smaller by the day!

    She does however, seem mildly impressed by the new patterns that are being released so maybe there is hope yet.

    Robin @Robin

    Oh it is painful when they refuse to wear what you’ve made. I found it helps to sew a few things for other people. Sophie gets pretty put out by that. Sophie will have a lovely box of vintage, handmade, rarely worn clothing to pass down to her daughter when she’s an adult. I did notice that if the fabric is sparkly and pink and purple and makes me embarrassed to have it cut, Sophie will generally wear it.

    cybele727 @cybele727

    My 6 y/o boy (Alex) complained that I only sewed for my daughter (Gigi- the drama queen) who is 2.5. I made him a pair of pj pants in a green(favorite color) and cute ghosts. His response? I like it sort of. Sigh. We went and picked out a heinous dinosaur print and they are cut and ready for sewing. Scratchy fabric for pj pants!

    Right now my daughter wears whatever I make her wear bc I wrestle her into her clothes. Not kidding. She wants to be naked all the time. This is not an option in Buffalo, NY, USA! Brrrrr… November to March!

    But I have found pockets help for her. Which is why I am excited about the book report dress. That is her style!

    And anything pink. Soft. Oh and anything Hulk. Yes, she wants to be the hulk. I am not sure how I will get her out of the character t she insisted on wearing to bed.

    So I wrestle my child into clothes and I find that because I am a stay at home mom and she doesn’t need to be dressed by a certain time, I will do the wrestle or strip down and dress when she is occupied and wants me to hurry. Then she doesn’t notice until it is too late. (mean mommy refuses to engage in a power struggle over clothes until she older!!)

    yellow_blue @yellow_blue

    Oh–I am having a lot of fun reading all the responses. Thank you– everyone who wrote! So the general consensus does seem to be that this (as in 4, or thereabouts) is “the” age, so include them a lot on all kinds of dress making decisions.

    Oh, I do do that, on the cloth choices, but I think I hit the limit sometimes with pink and purple. And these days I am realising that sometimes the a favourite pattern on cloth (like elephant or dogs) can mean that there is a possibility of a colour compromise. Or having a special lining that only she can see, which is a kind of having a secret.

    Otherwise, I have to say that I agree with cybele727, I sometimes will put clothes on her, when she is doing something else, in a hurry because we need to rush out, and then its too late and very possible to ignore the wails of resistance (by me, that is). And, I am glad to have your perspective motherof5, on kids of all ages. 4 will very soon become 8 and then ten and there will be other joys and issues.

    beachmom @beachmom

    For the most part, my kids will wear whatever I sew. Yes, there are a few pieces that hardly got worn and finally were tossed in the Goodwill bag.

    Try finding out what exactly she doesn’t like about the clothes. Maybe there’s a scratchy seam or it’s restricting her movement?

    I stack the deck a bit with my 2 younger girls even though they are very receptive to wearing mommy made clothes. When I put their laundry away, I make up 4-5 outfits and put them in their respective dresser drawers. Usually, the outfits have at least one piece that I sewed. The girls have the freedom to pick which outfit they want to wear from their drawer.

    Tamara @justsewit

    I take back everything I said in the previous post!!! I pulled out that denim School Photo dress this morning and offered it to Imogen to wear. Her exclamation was ” Ooooh pretty. Yes that will be perfect to wear.” I’m still gasping for breath from my shock!

    She may have forgotten about it perhaps, don’t know, but she went so far as to ask for another, in floral this time. I may have just struck gold! And further more despite the length being a little short, it still fits like a glove!!! Yay!

    mcholley1 @mcholley1

    Most of what is in my daughter’s closet is mommy-made so that she doesn’t complain about. I don’t think she knows there is any other option. She recently told her grandmother…”Susu, I like the pink piping on your iphone case.” Even at five, I do let her have a fair amount of say in what we make. We discuss fabrics and patterns before I cut anything. It took several years to get her to wear shorts and not just a dress everyday. Don’t forget that sometimes little details make a big difference to them. Linings, tags, pockets are always her pick. That way, I can still pick the style and fabric I like for the parts that actually show. I agree with Cindy, she usually will wear what’s on top or in the front first.

    She’s enjoyed playing paperdolls on this site and likes that she has an outfit like the dolls. She calls all the patterns by name and wants one of each.

    My son is 2.5 and is a bit pickier. His first choice is some hand-me-down buzz lightyear pajamas. After that I usually hold up two things I like and let him choose between the two. He’s pretty sensitive to tags, seams, etc… so that I have to pay attention to.

    Sarvi @Sarvi

    Yup, same here — I buy a few things if I see something I really like, or if it has some element I want to try to analyze and reproduce, but the bulk of her clothes were made by me, so she doesn’t have a lot of options. I do try to fulfill any requests as quickly and satisfactorily as possible to build this idea in her mind that to get what she wants, she goes to mommy (rather than to a store). My understanding is that mommy stops being the most competent, interesting, intelligent, and desirable human in the world at some point, so I am going to enjoy toddlerhood while I can, while being prepared to be demoted when the time comes.

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