Sunday, May 11, 2008

Heavy Sigh

I had the most discouraging thing happen today. Well, in terms of sewing, anyway. We met my oldest daughter and her husband for dinner. I was wearing the linen tunic I made as my entry in the Fitted Blouse Contest on PatternReview. My daughter said she like the blouse and I said, "Thanks, I made it." And her response was..."I could tell."

That is so depressing. What's worse, neither she nor my other daughter (who agreed you could tell I made it) could tell me why it looks homemade. I'm reasonably sure it's not the quality of the construction. I was fairly meticulous about that and I know it fits better than any RTW blouses I have. They couldn't say if it was the style, the fabric or the combination of the two or what. Although my oldest did say maybe it was the buttons.

Gosh, now I feel like I never want to wear it again. How discouraging is that? If I ever happen to run into Tim Gunn, he's going to immediately think "Happy hands at home!" I need to head back over to PatternReview and read that topic about making your clothes look less homemade.

21 comments:

Caity said...

RASPBERRIES to that girl, dang it! I think it looks fabulous, and definitely does NOT look home made in the photo!

HUMMMPH!

Not Amused said...

My first time visiting your blog and I see an entry that resonates with me. Last week I wore to work a blouse made from a Burda World of Fashion pattern. I'd spent some time on a muslin getting the fit right as I knew it was a pattern I would use again. When it came time to making the final blouse I used really lovely fabric and some expensive buttons that took me a long time to choose because I wanted it to be just right. Like you, I spent a lot of time on the details and the end result was a very professional looking blouse (and several people commented on it). One of my colleagues pointed at my carefully chosen buttons and said 'they just make it look so ... I don't know ... hand made'. It's disheartening, but I encourage you to not listen to anyone. Your blouse is lovely and I know how much work would have gone in to it.
Carol Trendall

goodworks1 said...

Maybe it looks different than RTW because it FITS so well. No way RTW would fit like that!

When DD's say such things it really is painful, isn't it?

Sue said...

I think when people know you sew, they assume items are home-made, regardless of how they look. It looks great ...wear it with pride - hand-crafted!

Anna said...

You just said it yourself: "I know it fits better than any RTW blouses I have".

Would you also have felt discouraged if you had payed to have a garment made to measures by a professionel and someone commented that they could tell it was not RTW?

It is almost always possible to see when a garment is homemade. It fits better, the quality of the fabric is often better. Of course, there are also some details, such as collars and button holes that is difficult to do without professionel tools. But I guess, only people who know you sew or sew themselves will notice this.

Besides, remember this was your daughters. They know your sewing style and will probably recognize it. My own homemade clothes tend to be simpler by design, with fewer, but more carefully chosen details than clothes in the shops. People who know me well recognize this. So I really think you should be proud that they recognize your garment as homemade.

Rhoto said...

Your daughter DID say she liked the blouse, eh!!
Rhonda in Montreal

Cathy said...

Commments like this always leave me questioning myself, too. Is it a compliment--because they know I sew and it looks that good; or is it a critique--that something on it is not quite right? Explain yourselves!! We're drowning in self-doubt.

Sigrid said...

It's a beautiful, well made blouse with good fit. fully agree with Anna's comment.

Lindsay T said...

Paula, I had the exact same thing happen to me this Saturday. I was at a fundraising/shopping event and I was wearing my new pink matelassé jacket. An elegant older woman complimented me on it and I said "thanks, I made it." "I thought so" was her reply. And I said "Because it has that 'loving-hands-at-home' look?" She quickly backpedaled and said no, that it looked "custom."

Ultimately I think she was complimenting my jacket but it left a bad taste in my mouth the whole day.

But what are you doing paying attention to something a DD said? Things our DDs say to us, their mothers, usually have so many layers to them that you can never take their words just at face value.

CharityinAlaska said...

Oh ouch! I'm sorry, Paula. Before you spiral into utter depression, tell us what you were wearing with it? I know that doesn't sound related, but any RTW blouse can look a little "off" if not worn with the right accessories and all. While a fashion knit print top can stand on its own, a basic white blouse is usually something that an outfit is built ON. It's not a stand alone thing. KWIM? I'm hoping that perhaps it was just a matter of needing the right accessory or something...

Paula said...

I don't accessorize. Everything I wear is a stand-alone garment. So I was wearing jeans with the blouse, but I was sitting down, so all she could see was the blouse from the table up.

Paula said...

So basically, she couldn't even really see the fit.

CharityinAlaska said...

Paula - then don't worry about it! I bet if you polled a hundred strangers on the street, the remark wouldn't resurface. I agree with Anna that it's probably more reflective of the fact that your daughters know your love of sewing than it is about your skills. The blouse looks beautiful. And since when is RTW the standard to shoot for anyway? Most of it is utter garbage and the "handmade" stuff looks better anyway. Consider it a compliment!

Helen said...

I think your blouse is lovely, and very well made. Sometimes a remark like that really means that it's just not to a person's taste. So try not to take it to heart, and wear your blouse, it really looks good on you!!

Helen in Malden, Massachusetts

Marita said...

Paula, you have to wear that blouse it's beautiful and it fits great.Don't you mind what she says, maybe she had a bad day or she just meant that it looked custom made.

Anonymous said...

Youngest DD says stuff like that all the time. It's really annoying. She will say that it looks like something I would make, but she is referring to my clothing style and personality. By the way she doesn't approve of my clothing style.

Marilyn D.

Beth H said...

Could she be noticing the front facing? Often RTW won't have a facing there.

I don't see it on your blouse, but my daughter always complains about the ease in the sleeve cap. She says that RTW doesn't "stick up" above the shoulder "like that" -- pointing. (and she's right)

I think sleeve cap ease is one of the few things that RTW-buyers notice. They sure don't notice fit.

I love your blouse and would wear it proudly.

Bunny said...

I think she said it looks home made for any number of reasons, none of which is that it isn't gorgeous and doesn't fit well. It could be because she #1, knows your style and therefore knows that you made it. #2 It looks more expensive and better than the turtlenecks you'be been wearing, #3 The fit is fabulous and that indicates your high skill at self sewn garments. #4 the workmanship is to die for and only you and a Paula sewn garment could be made that well. Need more? Don't let it get to you. Daughters and mothers have such reactionary relationships. Its just the way it is. My youngest could pull the exact same routine any day of the week. Tomorrow is another day.

Paula said...

I find it absolutely fascinating that so many of you chalked the comment up to the mother/daughter relationship. If I had thought for one second that that was the case, I could have shaken this off so easily. For example, if my sister had said it, no problem...that's a wonky relationship! But my daughters and I just don't usually have that kind of dynamic working. Or we do and I am completely oblivious to it. Ignorance truly is bliss.

Anyway, I might wear the stinkin' blouse to a baby shower on Sunday. I wish I had gotten around to making some trousers. Oh well, I guess it will be jeans again for me!

CharityinAlaska said...

Paula - I know you said you're not an accessory girl, but I'm telling you nothing looks better with a white blouse and jeans that some vintage turquoise native american jewelry. Just throwing it out there. Chew on it for a little bit. Once you're used to that, I'll start in on you about a good pair of cowboy boots. *evil grin*

Paula said...

You can post all you want about cowboy boots but it's actually a physical impossibility for me to wear them. Between my enormous dino-legs, my high instep and my wide feet...it's just not happenin'. I know, I've tried!